Every year I say I want to lose weight but every year its been a tough and difficult process. Even with mountain biking, I managed to lose significant weight (down from 113kg to currently 97kg) but I feel that I am still on the hefty side and need to lose even more. Few things came to mind, of course being healthy is the main purpose but I want to get fitter for mountain biking as well. That means fewer crashes and being able to be agile on the bike and be fit enough to last long descents in Chiang Mai.
This time around, I am going to try something different. Last time I tried joining gyms or getting a personal coach but this time, I joined Fuel Athletics in order to lose weight and also increase my fitness level.
If you clicked on their website, it is more than just a gym. It is a place where I truly and really sweat so much because the things they make me do there is enough to really work out more than just sweat. Here are my reasons why I joined Fuel Athletics over a traditional gym and a personal trainer.
- The head coach at Fuel Athletics is also a mountain biker (amongst other things). I asked him to help me work out a program for mountain biking
- I like that every class is different, whilst each day at Fuel Athletics there is a theme, each class is different and there is enough change to make things interesting
- I like being in a class because it is motivating to see others push harder and faster. The classes aren’t that large so I still get the attention of the coach to help me with form
- I also like that Fuel Athletics is about a 10-minute drive away from my office so getting there with the least amount of resistance is ideal for me
So far after attending classes over 4 weeks, I learned where my areas of weaknesses are, especially my knees. I am trying to perform more squats daily to improve the strength and also trying to cope with it swelling up very often. One of the issues I faced during my first trip to Chiang Mai for mountain biking was that my knees swelled up after 2 days of riding (making me miss the last day). This year, one of my resolutions is to attend an enduro race as well so based on last year’s Mad Enduro competition, I needed to climb Twin Peaks 6 times at Bukit Kiara. That is the benchmark that I need to get my fitness level up to par.
Hopefully, as I continue on this path, I am able to see some improvement in both my health, weight and also riding ability. If I were to give a quick review after 4 weeks at Fuel, I would say I definitely saw improvement in my mountain biking climbing ability. For example, after completing a trail such as Apollo or 2K Mission at Bukit Kiara, there is a long climb back up to the tarmac. Previously I would take about 3-4 rest stops in between the climb before reaching to the crossroads but recently I managed to complete it without resting (not as fast as my friends but still without stopping to rest).
Another example is the ability to tackle some technical switchbacks and climb up especially the first bits of the green trail at PCP where I managed to clear both switchbacks on my manual bike. The last time I didn’t have the strength and had to push it up there. Overall, I was pleased with the results so I am definitely looking forward to improving my overall fitness and getting better PR’s (personal bests) on Strava.
Lastly, this is how I look after an hour class of intense training. That is the only consistent feeling I get after each class at Fuel Athletics, completely wiped out.