Fitness Advice From People Who’ve Successfully Gained Their Ideal Body

By: Crown Asia
Fitness Advice From People Whove Successfully Gained Their Ideal Body

Need some encouragement for your fitness journey but tired of unrealistic advice? 10 different individuals give us the down-low on achieving #fitnessgoals amidst school and work.

Taking your fitness goals seriously? These people have been there! Here are some inspiring advice from people who’ve undergone serious physical activity to get their dream body.

1. “There will always be plans and reasons not to do your workout. But if you set a time and day for it, it becomes easier to follow and stick to as opposed to just doing it in your free time.”

— Ariana Manalo, 23, teacher

Ariana got into weightlifting after being in varsity all throughout school. Sticking to a clean diet was the hardest part of her journey, after getting used to eating like an athlete, getting the right coach, and finding a support system in her boyfriend helped. She highlights discipline and an exercise routine as major factors in living a fit lifestyle and keeping the end in mind the entire time.


2. “Find something that you enjoy. Be kind to yourself and be fluid — if you don’t like or enjoy something, then change it.”

— Miguel, 23, account executive

Miguel got into exercise as a way to kill time between college and employment. Although he found going to the gym tedious at first, he tried out all the classes that were currently being offered — yoga, aerobics, circuit training, Zumba, boxing, and spinning — eventually realizing what he liked, and going back for more. He now looks forward to exercising because he engages in activities he knows he enjoys.

3. “I can do ten straight pull-ups now, which may not seem like a lot, but to have fulfilled that from zero pull-ups in less than a year feels great. It sucked not getting my head over the bar, but you pick yourself up and move, and it’s the only way to get better, really. I just kept trying again until one day I could do it.”

— Justin, 23, junior visual creative

Justin started exercising with the simple goal of being able to do pull-ups. As someone who had not really gone to the gym before then, every visit felt rewarding. Luckily, he clicked with his coach, who’d put him on an exercise program and pointed out when he could do something harder. He advises having a sibling, friend, or coach to help you keep track — anyone to see you get better and force you to go harder.


4. “The hardest part of reaching my goal was the mindset of constantly comparing myself to others. Eventually, I learned to just focus on my own journey — this made all the difference.”

— Enzo Bonoan, 26, transformation coach

Enzo started training in 2009 to be less skinny as inspired by his sister. What helped him was his consistency with training and nutrition, sticking to his process for a long time. Comparison to others hindered him, but once he focused on himself using body statistics, progress photos, and a more positive mindset, he made real progress.

5. “It’s foolish to expect results every week. Set yourself a realistic timeframe with realistic targets. People are after quick fixes, but in terms of getting healthy and getting into shape there’s no such thing as a quick fix.”

— Max, 27, audit associate and cat lover

Max got into exercising in college to prepare for a boxing match. He set specific goals for himself, such as running 20 km in less than 25 minutes, and logged everything into an Excel sheet so that he could track his personal fitness progress. Having the match, paired with training alongside others, kept him accountable to his targets and pushed him to reach his end goal.


6. “The journey towards fitness has its waves. Progress is not always an upward slope, it can be a flat line at times whenever we experience a plateau. But progress is still progress.”

— Julia, 25, transformation coach and mental health advocate

After playing sports for most of her childhood and teenage years, Julia got into the gym after college, eventually co-founding the fitness org Extra Rise MNL. She paired this with a balanced diet, and these have helped her on her own journey battling clinical depression. She uses SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) goals in planning her targets and makes sure to surround herself with positive people who help keep her accountable.

7. “You have to learn to appreciate yourself in all your tiny efforts, whether that’s waking up a little bit earlier to exercise, or saying no to an extra serving of fries. Appreciating yourself makes a world of a difference.”

— Angelo, 23, 1st-year medical student

Angelo had felt like he’d gained a little weight in college, and really wanted to focus on something after getting out of a relationship. He channeled it into regular exercise, citing thorough research, proper planning, and consistency as the factors that helped him achieve his ideal body. Becoming fitter made him feel more confident and positive in general, but he also finds it valuable to be easy with yourself on off-days.

8. “In the Philippine context, it’s honestly a privilege to get into the sparkly Instagram brand of fitness where people go to spin class and eat an overpriced salad after. What I learned to love most about my journey was keeping it simple.”

— Diana, 22, graphic designer

Diana pursued fitness due to being pre-diabetic, as it seemed to have an effect in different areas of her life. She ventured into circuit training, High-Intensity Interval Training/HIIT, indoor cycling, yoga, and Zumba. Eventually, she settled on weightlifting and occasional running and keeps things simple by cooking her own food and researching what actually helps instead of being swayed by pills and tea. These small changes have helped her feel like she can do her daily tasks and everyday activities with more energy and clarity than ever before.


9. “Listen to your body and accept that rest is part of the process. The kind of mentality that doesn’t make space for missed workouts and days off will only lead to a twisted relationship with your body and self-worth.”

— Isa, 23, newswriter

Isa got into exercise to keep up with her athlete friends. She got sportier and transitioned from losing weight to maintenance, where she struggled a bit with overcoming the mindset that skinny doesn’t always mean better. She now hits the gym 10 hours a week, always trying out different workouts to keep her on her toes. However, after a 3-month gym streak sans rest ended up in weight gain and lack of enjoyment, and she learned that rest is irreplaceable.

10. “It’s a form of self-love. For all those minutes of grinding, you only have your mind and body to rely on. What keeps you going is you.”

— Gel Jao, banker

Gel got into Plana Forma as a means to get over a breakup; eventually, the barre class led to her meeting women with divergent lifestyles who became daily inspirations and lifelong friends. Exercise is now part of her everyday after-work routine, a habit that has ingrained discipline into her. It has taught her about her own body and mind, and her strengths and weaknesses, and she now sees the barre as her sanctuary.


Exercising is not only good for your physical fitness and physical health but it also helps in your mental and emotional health. You’d be more confident and be more daring. And due to this added confidence, you can easily tackle any obstacles. You won’t be held back by any insecurity and people would be drawn to you more. Obviously, not everyone is fit and it’s high time that we should be proud of our bodies no matter what size or shape it is. But just remember that for you to fully enjoy life, you must be healthy. Healthy isn’t determined by a shape. Just make sure that everything in your body is doing a-okay.

Everyone deserves a beautiful life, and there’s no one way to get there. But with discipline and routine, realistic goals and personalized targets, accountability buddies and support systems, and most importantly, self-love and forgiveness — you’ll find your way to your dream body.

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