International Transformation Of The Month: Lee Tze Hian
Business moves often include fitness changes. When Lee Tze Hian left Singapore for South Korea, he discovered the secret to six-pack abs. He ditched his cardio-minded philosophy and began a bodybuilding regimen that delivered the physique he sought.
WEIGHT 190 lbs
BODY FAT 18.8%
WEIGHT 174 lbs
BODY FAT 10%
When I left the Singapore Army, my fitness started fading. It faded even more when I moved to South Korea and began a new job. With the career came more socializing and more drinking—you do the math. Age didn't help.
After 30, things got worse: simple activities like climbing stairs and lifting loads took more and more effort. I also had a load of excuses for not exercising: a loose rotator cuff, an injured left wrist, lower back pain, bad knees. Finally, after continuous teasing, I'd had enough!
I had an X-ray, followed by physiotherapy, for my back in June 2011. When the physiotherapist gave me the green light, I took up membership in the gym in Korea. This might seem unbelievable, but men with a six-pack are common in Korean gyms. Even men well into their fifties look amazing.
Seeing the way Koreans train is ridiculous. A guy can complete seven sets of different exercises straight, look at his abs in the mirror, then repeat the whole process all over again. How can you slack with somebody like that training next to you?
As I started training, I started reading. I've read roughly six books about fitness, but the most effective was The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. The book highlighted the ketogenic diet, which is difficult yet effective. Now, a year later, people are consulting me about losing fat and gaining muscle. I hope my story will continue to reinforce the motto that so many before me have set: "Anything is possible, you just have to put you mind into it."
Seated Cable Rows (High elbows)2 sets of 8 reps
Picking up an exercise regimen is easy. Sticking to one is tough. Sometimes, advice from people and books may seem ridiculous, but until it is proven wrong, how do you know it won't work for you? Most written exercise theory, to a certain extent, will work for everybody.
You have to read and experiment until you find a program that floats your boat. Do not jump into a gym membership without a plan. Method-less training is haphazard.
Haphazardness will not produce sustainable results. Without sustainable results, a person is likely to give up.
The fact that I was quite fit during my school and army days made it unbearable when people reminded me of my long-gone "hay days" and current "good-life" body.
In Singapore, six-pack abs are rare while pot-bellies are a common sight. I used to be part of the crowd that believed cardio is the best way to lose fat.
Two weeks into my training, I went online to find a formula for a six-pack. To my surprise, none of them included running, swimming, or any long cardio sessions. I found bodybuilding to be the best fat-loss formula and went on to give it a try. I had serious doubts, but now I am a true believer-look at me!
I train people of different nationalities on the importance of a good diet, the role of fat-storage hormones, and the benefits of a good workout. That's my mission.
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I actually started this just to lose body fat, so when The 0-carb diet started producing results, I loved it. It is effective and fast for cutting down a load of water retention, but the sudden loss of sugar will cause moodiness.
I really just go for a mix of different meats in the supermarket. I know shark oil is good, so shark steak must be good too.
Hi Tze Hian,
From a fellow Singaporean to a fellow Singaporean, I am inspired by your transformation. Makes me wish that I am overseas again as my first transformation took place more than 4 years ago when I spent a year overseas and lost weight having been obease since young. Having been back in Singapore over the past 4 years have been a struggle to keep the weight from piling back on. Hit the gym for the past 2 years but my weakness has always been food.
Being that Singaporean culture like many other cultures revolve around food where outings with friends and family normally revolve around meals. I can't stop myself from sampling and than eating especially when there's new food items to try. What would you recommend to control food cravings?