Lean, mean fighting machines!
Current Wonder Woman, and former military girl, Gal Gadot supposedly put on 14 pounds of pure muscle leading up to her role as the first female superhero to grace the big screen in over a decade. Even though we’re not about to save the world from destruction, we couldn’t help but wonder what workouts, dietary changes and other fitness regimens we would have to endure to get into Wonder Woman’s fighting form. We reached out to internationally accredited coach, MMA champ and the brains behind Warrior Academy, Tricia Yap to see what it would take.
Challenge Your Endurance
Hong Kong’s fitness scene is notoriously expensive, but there are heaps of ways to get fit in Honkers that don’t involve taking out a mortgage. Just starting out? Test your endurance with a laid-back hike one weekend and challenge yourself to The Twins the next.
“Get out and join a running or hiking group,” suggests Trish. “People are often hesitant to work out as they see exercise as ‘intimidating’ or ‘a chore’, but you don’t need a lot of technique for social sport.”
Even if you’re well versed in the world of fitness and have been training long-term, it doesn’t hurt to hold yourself accountable. Join a class or take the plunge and sign up with a personal trainer, “Andrew Wong Kee from JAB is awesome,” says Trish, “himself, alongside Jay Horley of RAW Personal Training hold the same principles as us here at Warrior Academy, they’re extremely personable and really focus on client needs,” which is what you should look out for when weighing up your options (pun intended).
You don’t need any equipment to get guns like Gal’s either; Tricia suggests trying something new for a month, each month until you find a sport you enjoy. “If you hate what you’re doing, nothing is sustainable, you can quickly get into a plateau working out at home.” Regardless of what you choose to do, “you need to ensure that you’re building lean, functioning muscle and also doing conditioning training on top of that.” Ultimately, if you’re serious about your goals, the main thing is to dedicate the time and get the formula right.
Mix up Your Routine
Start mixing up your workouts and try something new like rock climbing or an entire body workout such as paddle boarding. On training days, Gal Gadot favours boxing and martial arts, mixing interval cardio exercises with body weight and strength conditioning to ensure that all of her muscle groups are hit. “Definitely mix it up!” continues Trish, “I need more yoga in my life but I’m just not a fan,” she jokes. “I coerce friends to join in my mobility workouts which always makes things more fun. I could deadlift every day, but I’m trying to make a point of doing things that I don’t like… like squats. I hate squats.”
Get creative with your workouts and try something new. Gadot’s trainers suggest hitting the rowing machine or stationary bike, and Tricia agrees. “I don’t love War Fit or Crossfit but I know I love boxing and MMA. You are so gassed after doing any combination of strength and conditioning training that you’re left having felt like you’ve ran a marathon.” Ensure that you balance your styles of training, and like Gadot, if martial arts is your thing, “there’s endless types of conditioning combinations to keep the workouts fresh, fun and sustainable. If there were an impending zombie invasion, I would definitely be training like an MMA fighter.”
Eat Foods That Give You Energy
This city is full of temptation; heck there’s somewhere delicious opening up on the corner of Central every other day, — and let’s not to mention the fruitful nightlife. A peek at Gadot’s Instagram feed tells you that she’s not knocking back the beers on a Tuesday night. Fuel your workouts with wholesome, fresh food that will give you an extra boost of energy as you’re scrambling to complete your third set of burpees.
“If I’m training day to day, I don’t deprive myself,” confesses Tricia. “The moment that you start to count calories your diet becomes unrealistic and unsustainable. I eat when I’m hungry, enjoy carbs before and after a workout and eat real food. In an interview with Harpers Bazzar, Gadot confesses that she’s a huge foodie too, but at the same time, also looks at food ‘as fuel.’ It’s all a matter of measurements and quantity of the food. “Regardless of whether I’m getting ready for a fight, I eat lots of greens with a good serving of protein and healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocado” echoes Trish.
“The most common mistake people make is that they over train and remain undernourished. I’ve seen thousands of food diaries and for some, the gut health just isn’t there. You can’t eat junk food and consume heaps of alcohol, train for hours a day and expect to see the results you’re after.”
Drink Water Like It’s Going out of Fashion
Gal presumably drinks a gallon of water a day, “which sounds about right” according to Trish. “BC Shop stock water bottles which hold a gallon of water, carry one of these with you everywhere you go because, believe me, you’ll want to drink it just so it gets lighter!”
Up late watching Netflix? Getting enough sleep and proper nutrition is vital. You may spend an hour in the gym each day, but if the remaining 23 hours are sabotaging your fitness journey, what’s the point?
“You should be getting between seven to eight hours of ‘good’ sleep per day,” says Trish. “The first four hours are for mental recovery and the last four you begin to recover physically.” And she doesn’t mean that you fall asleep for a couple of hours, wake up, scroll through Facebook and nod off again, “good sleep means uninterrupted sleep. You shouldn’t need to wake up to an alarm and you should feel refreshed and full of energy.” Training is one small component of a fitness journey and sadly, living in Hong Kong, “the environment is just not conducive to body transformations.” Were constantly bombarded with light and noise pollution (we feel for all of you Causeway Bay dwellers), but “we also have to factor in actual pollution and the hectic lifestyles we live in Hong Kong too.”