Living and working in Hong Kong for the last 6 ½ years as a strength and nutrition coach while moonlighting as a washed up rugby player on his last legs, has given me an insight into the ebb and flow of the city and also the habits and pitfalls people living here tend to encounter.
Nutrition is the Key
As with any city where professionals are cash rich but time poor, Hong Kong is a place where convenience reigns. The majority of the time, having anything you want just a phone call away can be awesome (laundry/food/water/massage etc), but on the flip side looking for quick fixes around every corner and to cure all ailments can lead to dramatic problems in the long run.
When it comes to strength / composition training and leading a healthy lifestyle, it is my opinion that a lot of people in Hong Kong have fallen into the trap of being enamored by a quick fix idea and perhaps understandably so. On the outside, flashy advertising, and clever marketing promises body transformations in 6 weeks or clear skin with one application. Although this may be the case and is possible, (and also quite impressive) at what cost are these quick fix activities bringing to our long-term health?
A lot of clients we see at RAW have come to the gym looking to gain (or regain) their health following the compounding effects of years in an office environment, along with entertaining clients and having a family. Not only do a lot of these clients have structural imbalances that need to be corrected through proper strength training and mobilization, they also suffer from a number of underlying symptoms such as, adrenal fatigue, chronic stress, sleep deprivation and poor gut health, to name but a few. If everybody was 18 years old, time rich and willing, these kinds of transformations would be more normal than impressive. Unfortunately, the stresses and strains of life take their toll on most and other things take priority.
The problem arises when people looking to regain/gain their health are convinced by a quick fix programme and come to the gym looking to transform a lifetime of bad habits in a matter of weeks.They have the money and the motivation to do it so why not? Fat loss may be achieved in a relatively short period of time but at what cost? Eventually, the same reason that has motivated the client to come to the gym and get healthy in the first place is compounded and can ultimately lead to worse health than when they started out. This can manifest itself in the form of physical injuries or physiological system damage (adrenal fatigue).
Fat loss may be achieved but at what cost?
At RAW, although we are results driven, we are also in the health industry the first and foremost rule being DO NOT HARM. We listen to what the client is looking for, combined with a multitude of testing protocols, such as Charles Poliquin’s BioSignature Method (more on this in another posting), to help our clients set realistic and achievable goals. This could be fat loss, gaining strength or achieving the swimsuit body/junk ready physique that they crave, we ensure that they do so not at the expense of their long-term health, but with the idea of improving it
All clients are encouraged to look at their work in the gym as only a small part of what should be a movement towards a healthier lifestyle.This includes nutrition, lifestyle choices, as well as creating an environment conducive to positive change.
In essence, all trainers at RAW have been recruited due to their outlook and ability to inspire their clients towards a healthier lifestyle.The challenge in Hong Kong, is persuading and convincing people that there is no quick fix or magic bullet. Training and exercise should only be a small part of what makes up the bigger picture of a healthy lifestyle. These things take time, patience and continuous effort to change, and this is the conundrum. In a fast-paced city where convenience is king, who is willing to listen to reason and slow down to get healthy.
“Short term gain (quick fix) = long term pain (health)” or “short term pain (slowing down) = long term gain (health).”
The results and testimonials from clients shown on our website are the result of time spent following the exercise and nutrition plans set out by our Personal Trainers. Results may vary between clients and cannot be guaranteed.