PETALING JAYA: It’s not every day that you get to meet a former beauty queen whose idea of exercise is lifting 85kg in weights – and doing eight to 10 repetitions of it.
However, Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberley Leggett is no stranger to strength training for she has been doing it for the past two years. All of her workouts have been weight-based to help her build and maintain lean muscle mass.
“Before this, I relied a lot on cardio and would obsess with burning ‘x’ amount of calories.
“I would also spend hours running but that just ended up damaging my metabolism and doing even more damage to my body, which has been hard to recover from.
“Lifting weights is challenging, efficient and reaps great results. And it gives a woman the curves she wants,” said Leggett, 22.
Completing 30kg military shoulder presses and 60kg squats in a single gym session is normal for the Penangite, who does them slow with a lot of rest in between.
Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights would not make women appear bulky, Leggett said.
According to a 2014 University of California study, lifting weights as a part of your workout routine can even cut down your risk of dying prematurely.
Besides spending six days a week at the gym, Leggett follows a Paleo Diet, eating only meat, fish, vegetables and fruit and nothing dairy, grain or processed.
“I steer clear from anything with gluten, refined sugar, refined vegetable oils and dairy so that means no bread, pasta, pizza, cakes and battered or fried food.
“I don’t feel like I’m missing out when I know what I am eating is fresh, quality food that is providing me with all the nutrients I need. Plus, I load up on good fats like avocados, coconut oil and nuts, which totally banish cravings and regulate hormone production,” she said.
Leggett, who is in the midst of completing a degree in Media Communications and Screen Studies in Melbourne, is also training to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach, a career she hopes to start next year.
Her advice on staying disciplined when it comes to keeping fit is “prepare your own meals ahead of time”.
“This saves you time when you’re on the run and will stop you from having to buy food or eating anything unplanned. Keep healthy snacks on hand, too, for whenever you’re feeling peckish,” she said.
For those interested in keeping fit, you can look forward to getting tips from experts about various health issues at the coming FitForLife Fair Penang 2015.
Organised by Star Media Group with Great Eastern Life as the event partner and Nestle Omega Plus as the wellness sponsor, it will be held at the SPICE Arena, Bayan Lepas, from Oct 16 to 18 and is open from 10am to 7pm. Admission is free.
Those who pre-register at gelife.co/fflpg15 will not only get express entry to the fair but also a free personalised 2016 calendar.
Runners can also register by Oct 9 at Star Northern Hub, Bayan Lepas, or Star Pitt Street, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, for the first-ever 7km FitForLife Run on Oct 18 from the SPICE Arena. The registration fee is RM13 per participant.
For enquiries, call 03-7967 1388 (ext 1529/1243) or check out www.facebook.com/starhealthfair.