BARELY nine months ago, businessman Michael Quah weighed a hefty 120kg. But now he is 87kg – down by a whopping 33kg.
It certainly did not come easy as it was the result of regular exercise, a nutritious diet and plenty of discipline and determination.
Quah, who is 1.9m tall, vows to further slim down to his ideal weight of 86kg, which he described as “just a little bit more down the road”.
As the jovial chap steps up his game in an eight-week challenge for a leaner body, he went further to pair up with his childhood friend to help strangers to stay fit and in shape.
So far, Quah and Patrick Saw, both 44 and from Ipoh Garden, have organised numerous community workout sessions in Petaling Jaya, where they are based for work, offering workout guidance and fitness tips to interested members of the public.
“Since both of us still travel back to Ipoh frequently to see our families, we had the idea to bring similar workout sessions to the capital of the Silver State.
“We conducted our first public workout session in July at Polo Ground and about 20 people joined us.
“It was a good start and we certainly have plans to do it again,” he said in an interview.
Recalling his transformation to stay fit, Quah said it all began in January when he attended the funeral of a good friend in Ipoh.
“My friend and I were of the same age, size and live similar lifestyle. We both have young children, too.
“Seeing his wife and children lose their sole breadwinner and having to fend for themselves left a bitter feeling inside me.
“It was like the hard smack on the back of my head that I must change, or the same thing might befall me and my loved ones,” he said, adding that he has never looked back since.
Fate had it that Saw, who used to suffer from bad gout before turning himself around by adopting a healthy lifestyle last year, invited Quah on his fitness journey and they went on a series of workouts and fitness challenges at the gym, coupled with strict and balanced diets.
When they met another friend who runs a fitness club in Petaling Jaya, it was when their fitness circle expanded to a greater crowd.
“We started at a basketball court in Solaris with three people, offering free workout sessions.
“Now we have over 110 steady followers with three workouts scheduled weekly. Seven fitness coaches including Quah and I would take turns to guide the group,” said Saw, adding that they have since shifted the sessions to a more spacious fitness club in Damansara Uptown to cater to the growing crowd while avoiding bad weather.
“This is the place where we provide fitness analysis, muscle training and various kinds of short-term fitness challenges to our members.
“Besides guiding them on techniques while we workout together, we also make sure they achieve their fitness targets within stipulated time.
“It is important to see results for them to go on,” he said, adding that a nominal fee for workouts at the fitness club was applicable to cover the rental and utility.
In fact, the ball is already rolling in Ipoh, spearheaded by the duo, offering several tabata and high-
intensity interval training sessions to fitness buffs at a gym in Bercham.
“We also want to do the community workout at public parks again to spread awareness on healthy living.
“It is important to stay fit and lean. Life has so much more possibilities when we are healthy.
“And for that, we will be able to see results better and faster when we are guided correctly,” he added.