When a Lankan Starts to Gym – A Male Perspective

Firstly, what picture does the word “gym” paint in the mind of a guy? Does he see a rack of dumbbells? Or a line of treadmills? Simple – It comes down to your ideal appearance and on what your fitness goal is. Do you want to lose those layers of fat you carry around? Or are you tired of looking at yourself as a walking skeleton? Along with this, there may be some of you out there who simply need to break a good sweat – an outlet for all the calories you’ve consumed!

1. The Idea

You realize that this journey you’re about to go on will be much better with a buddy. So, what do you do? On one of your typical guy nights, in the midst of all the laughter you decide to drop the idea, “Ado machan! Shall we all join a gym?”

You instantly get a whole lot of positive responses:

“For sure!”

“Oh yeah! We need to get rid of these beer bellies”

“I heard this place is pretty solid”

Sorted. You now start picturing your squad all huge and ripped, walking around like you own the place. Little do you know that this was just in the moment. On the day you are actually supposed to go, you start seeing them fall off, one by one. If you’re lucky, you’ll have one other person who will come with you. Three weeks into it, he too starts skipping days until you give up checking on whether he’s joining you that day. You realize you’re now on your own.

2. Your first few days

When you walk into the gym for the first time, you are terrified seeing all these giants lifting weights. The personal trainer you’re supposed to workout with shows you the exercises you need to do for the day and you start training. Then comes the day you walk in, and your usual trainer isn’t there. Since you know your schedule, you start your usual routine. One of those giants walks up to you and starts to give you advice, “Malli, do this instead of that; This is not good for your joints” and so on. Now you’re left confused between exercises. What do you do? You do not want to ignore his advice in front of him which might give him the wrong impression. Here’s my advice – stick to what you know. Tell him you’re on a schedule now and will try it out next month. However, make sure you check with your trainer when he’s back. Your muscles may not be ready for new complex exercises just yet.

3. The hardest part of it all – DIET

Being Lankan, rice and curry is the backbone of your nutrition. Sadly, if you want those six pack abs to show, you know that must change. You increase your protein intake. For example, pasta with grilled chicken becomes grilled chicken with pasta. And living with parents does not make it any easier. You are constantly told to eat more rice, no matter how many times you’ve told them that it is not part of your diet plan. Oddly enough, they only seem to remember this when you tell them you’re going out with friends. You immediately hear, “Where is your diet now? You can go out and eat, but at home you can’t eat what is put on the table”. Moreover, if you decide to get yourself a supplement, good luck explaining to your folks what it does. You use terms like “whey isolate” and “amino acid profile”; realizing that it’s not getting you anywhere, decide to settle with “It’s an energy drink”.

4. Will people notice?

It’s been a couple of months now, and you start seeing results in the mirror. Congratulations! Your colleagues compliment you saying you’ve got bigger, or lost weight (whatever your goal is). Impressing your aunties at family gatherings, on the other hand, is a whole different game. If you have lost weight, you are asked, “Putha, why aren’t you eating? Look at you! What’s wrong? Are you stressed out?” and if you have bulked up, “Look at you, putha! What is this? Do you eat out every day? Go for a walk every morning”. There is just no winning with them!

5. The Deciding Stage

Everyone follows at least one fitness page on social media. Being Lankans, maintaining the physiques portrayed on such pages is not easy, unless you are the 1% blessed with awesome genetics. This is the time frame in which you decide to either gym up on this ridiculous venture completely or go ahead with your daily torture. The choice is all yours!

Athletes’ Training Center

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Author: Editorial
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