Trainer Reveals Secrets to Super Body

      July 18, 2007 09:58

      Choi Seong-jo, the trainer famous for shaping Korean actor Cha Seung-won /Samsung Books

      "Who knows the two ways to build a perfect body?" a professor asks his students during a physiology class. A student quickly raises his hand and says with confidence, "Patience and perseverance." Wrong. The answer is push-ups and squats.

      Choi Seong-jo, the trainer who's famous for shaping Korea's top actor Cha Seung-won, is of the same opinion. "Simple weight training with dumbbells is all you need to build great muscles." And he claims it only takes four weeks. Here Choi shares his tips for toning your body.

      ◆ Weight Loss Secrets - Jump Rope and Power Walking

      Choi's secrets to helping chubby comedian Jeong Hyeong-don shed 11 kg in just seven weeks are power walking and jump rope. In power walking, your strides are more effective if you bend your arms 90 degrees and swing them back and forth until you feel your chest muscles stretch. Jump rope is also very effective for burning off weight. Choi recommends 20 sets of 50 jumps with a 20 second break between each set. If you don't sweat much, you can try wearing a specially designed suit that will help you sweat. If your goal is to lose weight, it's more effective to exercise for a long period of time at mid to low intensity. Going from fast to slow, hard to easy, also helps.

      ◆ Are Dumbbells Really All You Need?

      Choi says that weight training using your own body weight and dumbbells is a basic way to build a muscular body. If you want great abs, try pulling your knees toward your chest. Sit on the edge of a chair with both hands holding on to the sides. Lean your body back, put your legs together and slowly raise them up. Breathe out while bringing your knees toward your chest. Hold them for three seconds and then slowly extend your legs.

      For a toned chest, Choi says push-ups are the way to go. Also try raising dumbbells with your back on the floor. Lie down, bend your knees, grasp the dumbbells in your hands and with your arms extended raise them over your chest. Slowly lower your arms back to the floor and hold them for three seconds just before your elbows touch the floor. Repeat.

      For shoulder muscles, try lifting dumbbells over your head while seated or lifting them up to shoulder height while standing. Chair push-ups are a great way to strengthen the muscles in your arms. To stimulate your thigh muscles, bend your knees and then straighten them in three sets of 12.

      ◆ Run on an Empty Stomach; Water Before Alcohol

      Healthy habits also play a big role in building the body of your dreams. Choi runs for 30 minutes on an empty stomach every morning, after which he eats a protein and mineral rich breakfast like tofu, mushrooms and salad. He only takes one drink of water every 10 minutes while exercising. He works out three days a week and rests the other four days. To maximize the impact of the previous work out, he stretches for 30 minutes on his off days.

      Choi recommends stretching your legs as soon as you wake up, by bending your body forward and sideways with your legs spread, and stretching the whole body while lying down. He also recommends drinking a sport drink, but if you must drink juice, choose tomato juice with less sugar. Tofu and powdered green tea are good for you as well. When you go out for a drink, choose light appetizers like tofu and veggies and remember to drink plenty of water.

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