Read on to find out how James Zhou Zi Siong, a Postgraduate Student, achieves his body goal. #MyBodyMyGoal

A while ago, you made a commitment to make changes to your body. When was that and what prompted you to do that?

It was in early 2007. I was very skinny – I weighed around 46kg at 1.65m. I had enough of being so skinny for health reasons, quality of life and admittedly, my ego.

What did you do to achieve your body goal?

A combination of the science of fitness and systematic trial and error. Staying patient and knowing that results may come slow has been vital for me.

What was the hardest thing you had to do to achieve your goals?

Learning and changing my beliefs and behaviour according to the science of fitness and results I was getting. The rest is just details. I started being really unscientific, and that really slowed the rate of my progress. The moment I started embracing science-based fitness, my progress surged.

Did you approach anyone for help? How did he/she inspire/help you?

The Singapore fitness scene was small, and so it was really difficult to find quality coaches who know the science and art of fitness well. As such, Facebook has been a great learning platform for me. Many folks on my Facebook have been instrumental in my fitness journey, but I think the following stand out (in no particular order): Alan Aragon, James Krieger, Nick Tumminello, Patrick Umphrey, Geoff Futch, Leigh Peele, and Travis Pollen.

These people have inspired me through their knowledge, care, and commitment towards evidence-based fitness. I have learnt a lot through their sharing and direct interactions with them. Each of them has their own fitness business – feel free to Google them and/or find them on Facebook using the names. Trust me – you won’t regret knowing them!

How long did it take for you to achieve your body goal?

It took me about seven years.

Have you achieved it? What’s your next body goal?

Hmm… I am contented with how I look, and thus I would say yes, I have achieved it. However, I am also much more of a process-driven person, especially in fitness. Additionally, from an objective standpoint, I doubt I have reached the limit of drug-free muscle potential.  As such, my next body goal is simple: to keep trying my best within my commitments, enjoy the process, and let the results flow from my efforts.

What advice do you have for men who want to achieve what you’ve achieved?

I think it’s extremely important to follow the science of fitness. This means learning the basics of functional human anatomy and physiology, program design, biomechanics, and psychology. That said, it’s also very important to systematically experiment with information.

Too often I hear Singaporeans switching training programs and eating methods without giving enough time to let those approaches run their course. This makes it near impossible to decide if those methods work or not. Finally, remember that fitness isn’t an end goal in itself; we don’t stop the moment we achieve a six-pack. Rather, fitness is a journey, and it’s important to keep the goal the goal.

Would you advise them to seek help or go at it alone?

Definitely seek help from people who know the science and art of fitness. Besides speeding up your learning curve, social support is also a critical component of long-term fitness success.