You've been pumping hard in the gym. You have THE body to show to others. Then suddenly, something happens that breaks your gym routine. Your boss sends you on an overseas assignment that lasts for 1 month. Or you find yourself inundated with new projects to the extent that you don't even time for meals, let alone a workout. Or you just broke up and with that single reason, your whole world seems to come crashing down.

Some hit rock bottom and never bounce back. But others do. It all depends on which club you prefer to associate yourself with.

Never mind where your current end point is, the important thing to remember is that you can start all over again. I'm sure all of us can relate to this. The only question is whether you are mentally strong enough to persevere.

Welcome to the cruel but all-too-realistic world of trying to stage a comeback. Like the pugilist who has hung up his sword or the footballer who thought his glory days are over, you too are now making your re-entry to the gym arena.

Thinking positively, this used to be your playground. You can still recall the various exercises and which muscle groups they work. You can remember hearing the sounds of the metal equipment. You can smell the adrenalin in the air.

Yes, welcome back! This is your comeback workout.

As the name suggests and allow me to repeat it again, this is a comeback workout. So it is important that you moderate your expectations. Perhaps you once were able to bench X pounds. But looking at the current state of reality, never attempt to bench the same weight again. If you do, you are only going to hurt yourself as your strength has depleted considerably due to inaction. Worse, your morale will really hit rock bottom and it will be extra hard to climb back up again should this happen. Instead, start off with a lighter weight that you are comfortable with. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I would recommend you go for 10 - 12 reps. Machine weights, light dumbbell/barbell weights or the resistance band would be a good starting point.

Secondly, do anticipate some soreness. This is to be expected as you probably have not hit the gym for some time because of your hectic travelling schedule, injury or laziness. You are not Superman. In fact, you should rejoice should you feel delayed muscle soreness syndrome kick in the next day or the next, next day. 

If I were to recommend a workout sequence, I would design one that would comprise exercises utilizing compound movements. An excellent example would be squats with overhead presses. Trust me, there's really no point solely targeting on a particular muscle group. You need to shock your entire system back into action before you start seeing results again. Drop me an email if you are in doubt.

Lastly, be patient with yourself. It will only be a matter of time before you reclaim your old form and move on forward from there. May the Force be with you :)

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It's not an April Fool's Day joke, everybody. I just finished a marathon-like 4 day grooming workshop for Tampines Secondary School. This is the longest grooming workshop I've ever done thus far. But from the grins and smiles all round, I guess the 30 hour long programme was well worth it. Another first record for me was that I was allocated an all girls class. Who would have guessed I would be teaching 22 girls? Of course not forgetting that there was an assessment component at the end of the workshop which I had to set and test the students, subsequently grading each student. 

But rise up to the challenge I did. To me, the gender doesn't matter. The most important element in my workshop is to make the materials interesting to arrest the attention of the students. One cannot have too much theory stuff less it becomes boring. Too much practical would mean challenges in coordination as it was inevitable that the students had to wait for their turn while I helped others.

I gave everyone a surprise by announcing that I was going to check their fingernails. Some panicked, while others were cool about it. I explained the rationale of it that it was part of the assessment. One must always be prepared to upkeep one's outer appearance. And this refers to our face, hair, nails and teeth. Had I given the students time to trim their nails or buff them shiny, it would have defeated the purpose. 

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Who has the cleanest nails of them all? Let's compare!

When I taught them the different facial and body shapes, the girls got excited and started examining themselves and their classmates. Some pinched, while others used a ruler to measure. When they were done, guess who they analysed next. Yes, me! Haha...Using their newly acquired knowledge, they had a fun time dissecting my face and wanted me to verify my own facial shape. 

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Can I pinch your face to tell your facial shape? Hmm...I'm very sure I didn't teach this...hahahaha

As with most of my trainings, the students absolutely loved the colour analysis part. They learnt that wearing their best colours made them more alive, alert and younger. Wearing the wrong colours on the other hand made them look tired, dull and uninteresting. Looking at all the colour drapes and cloth samples, the girls were naturally inducted into the world of colours and fashion.

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I really admire the students as they were very quick to learn and completely grasped the concepts of warm versus cool colours easily. Helping one another along, they soon found their best colours. Add to this, my best colours as well...hahaha...

Posing with the coloured clothes and drapes, we must have been a colourful sight to behold while taking a class photo along the corridors. 

Moving on, the other two segments that particularly interested the students were the demonstrations for the various human postures - think standing, sitting and squatting. As the aim of the workshop was to turn the girls into sophisticated ladies, all were asked to participate in these postures. Then I had the class share what they felt was good or not. 

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Perhaps the one segment that the girls were looking forward to was the mock interview part. Each had to come dressed in an outfit suitable for an office interview. The 'interviewee' then had to be subjected to a series of questions designed to understand why she came dressed in a particular manner. Of course, colour selection and style played huge parts in the allocation of marks.

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See how pretty everyone has become with the right choice of clothes and poses. Awesome!

Students who passed the assessment would be granted a special one point deduction for entry to the ITE admission. It was only natural that the girls were all wary of whether they would do well. 

Splitting the assessment into two parts – the first on grooming and the second on etiquette, it was evident that in order to do well for the assessment, the girls had to give their best in both sections as both sections contributed to the final score. 

I'm happy to announce that everyone passed the assessment! Congratulations girls. I'm happy to have been part of your grooming journey

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