If you’ve been following Kris Aquino on Twitter and Instagram, you may have noticed how different her eldest son Joshua looks today.
From being obese and nearly immobile, Josh is now fit, active, and healthy— having lost at least 105 pounds as of January 14.
This was all made possible with the help of personal trainer Chappy Callanta, owner and head coach of 360 Fitness Club in Makati, who devised a strategic long-term fitness plan for his client.
Through an e-mail interview with Coach Chappy, which transpired from January 14 to 16, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to dig some secrets behind Josh’s weight-loss success.
TOUGH START. It was mid-2011 when Coach Chappy— a certified strength and conditioning specialist and TRX (suspension workout) trainer— met the Aquinos through Josh’s former life coach.
At that time, Josh was practically in his worst shape ever.
“He was very obese. He started out at 320 lbs. and even at 6'3", that's still considered obese.
“When he came back from a trip to the US a month after we started he ballooned to 330 lbs., that was his heaviest,” Coach Chappy said.
Given that condition, he knew right away that he had to take things slow with his new client.
“I had to teach him how to move first.
“He was very immobile before I met him, so his body had to adjust to the movement patterns.
“I had a general long-term plan and I knew I had to make him move better before we could do the more advanced exercises.”
They would hold their workout sessions twice a week, doing what Coach Chappy calls “functional training.”
“Just teaching him how to walk, sit down, and stand properly.
“Once he learned how to do that, I started introducing the actual exercises.
”Weight loss is a side effect of this training.”
CIRCUIT TRAINING. By early 2012, Josh’s body became flexible enough to take on heavier exercises.
Coach Chappy then adjusted their schedule to include more workouts into the daily routine.
“Now, we work out four to five times a week, for 30 minutes per day,” he says.
He also elevated the intensity of the workouts, still focusing on mobility, but heightening the weight-loss and muscle-toning effects.
“We mainly do circuit training and high intensity interval training.
“We don't run too much, maybe once every two weeks.
“We focus more on functional exercises that will help him move better.
“The weight loss is actually just an awesome side effect, but my main goal for him was to be more mobile and active.”
When pressed for details about Josh’s full workout program, Coach Chappy refused to give us a definite answer, saying, “I can't get too much into detail because people might copy it.
“And what they may not realize is that what worked for Josh may not work for the next person.
“We were all created differently and people react differently to programs.”
But in the January 7 episode of Kris TV, Josh, together with Coach Chappy, demonstrated a few of the exercises included in their daily routine.
To warm up, they started with squats, hip mobility exercises, claps, jumping jacks, and burpees.
This was followed by the first half of the 30-minute main workout, which involved kettle ball swings, step-ups, dumbbell lifts, body pulls using a suspension device called Jungle Gym, and jumping jacks.
These exercises caused Josh to sweat a lot, which meant that he was already burning calories half way.
He gets a quick water break at this part to keep his body from getting dehydrated.
Afterwards, the exercise continues with tire flips, plank position exercise, modified push-ups, garter rowing, sled push, and another set of jumping jacks.
The session ends, of course, with stretching to relieve Josh’s muscles from tension and pain.
HEALTHIER DIET. Along with the workout, Coach Chappy also advised Josh to change his diet for his health to improve, and also to support his weight-loss goal.
“At first they [family] were a bit hesitant to change his eating habits.
“They said that he's happiest when he eats, so they didn't want to take that away from him.
“But when I explained that he would still be eating the things he likes but we were just going to be strict about portion control, they became very supportive.
“I have to give credit to his mom and his Yaya Bincai who really polices his food and activity level,” he said.
He sought the help of his own mother, Luchie Callanta, a nutritionist and dietician, to help him create a good eating plan for his client.
“Mainly, I just taught him to eat cleanly and to exercise portion control.
“One change we made was to make his plates smaller.
“This way, he won't feel deprived because he was still eating a full plate's worth of food,” Coach Chappy said, describing their strategy.
Among the other improvements in Josh’s eating habits is requiring him to eat his breakfast everyday.
In the past, Josh would usually skip breakfast, making him weak and hungry throughout the day, therefore causing him to binge later on.
Certain types of foods are also prohibited now, including soft drinks, bottled juices, and other preserved food products, which Josh used to have for snacks.
Today, he would munch on slices of fresh fruit, instead of the old chips and candies.
Coach Chappy also proudly told PEP that Josh achieved all of this weight-loss without the help of slimming supplements and protein shakes.
“He's all natural,” he said.
TRAINING SECRETS. Although Josh has already lost a huge amount of weight, Coach Chappy says there are still a lot of things they need to work on.
“He's lost 105 pounds as of January 14. We still have around 10 lbs. to go before we reach his 215 lbs. goal.
“Then when we reach that, we'll see if we can push for 200 and also add a bit of muscle and definition.”
Considering Josh’s extra special condition, one could only imagine how tough it must’ve been for Coach Chappy to train him.
So, in order to address Josh’s special needs, Coach Chappy had to make minor adjustments with his training technique.
He still followed the same way he presented and taught exercises to other clients, but, “I had to make it simpler and easier to understand, and I had to really focus on perfecting his form.
“We still have work to do, but his progress has been amazing.”
As he previously said, he couldn't have done it all without the extensive support coming from Josh’s family.
It also helped that he always believed, since the beginning, that exercising should not be thought of as a task, but more of a fun activity.
“Of course, it has to be fun!" he stressed.
“My style as a trainer is subtle strictness.
“Sessions are fun, but you also work hard.
“If it's not fun and if they're not inspired by the workouts, they won't stay long enough for them to reach their goals.”