7 Insights That Transformed My Relationship With Fitness

Fei Kwok
4 min readAug 27, 2021

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve been with my first ever personal trainer. As I reflect, I’m thankful for the learnings this new experience has given me. Whether you’re just beginning your fitness journey or already a seasoned sportsman, I hope these insights would give you inspiration and motivation to stay active today and always!

Strengthening your body has the effect of strengthening your entire being. It’s a journey, not a destination. And the best part is seeing the positive impact it can have on other aspects of your life too.

1. Place intention & focus on the muscle you’re targeting

When you actively focus your mind and awareness on the muscle you’re training, you achieve more quality muscle engagement. This in turn helps you execute each rep more efficiently. Try zoning in your attention on the muscles you want to build, this mind-body connection works wonders!

2. Your body keeps score — both good form & bad form

Exercising with good form is paramount, because your body remembers and reinforces these actions. Over time, these repetitive movements become second nature and slowly shape your reflexes.

Each workout could therefore be an opportunity for you to train your brain into advancing proper form. For example, if you learn to land softly each time you do a jump lunge, your brain might just remember to do a soft landing the next time you fall. Maintaining proper form goes beyond better results, but also lowers your chances of injury.

The same holds true on the flipside, so if you find yourself using bad form, quickly adjust and reposition. Otherwise, you’ll pick up bad habits that become harder to break as time goes by.

3. Don’t sacrifice quality over quantity

It’s tempting to feel good counting the number of reps you’ve done or the minutes and hours you’ve spent working out. But it’s important to prioritise the quality of your exercises. And by quality, I mean the ability to maintain proper form, focus, and to choose exercises that are suited to your body.

Get to know your body limits and modify accordingly to maximize the quality of your workouts. At the end of the day, quality and quantity go hand in hand, but more is not always better. The quality of your training serves as a bedrock to breeding optimal results.

4. Visualize, story tell your workout

If a picture speaks a thousand words, the picture we paint in our minds can boost our capacity to perform better. I’ve found this approach incredibly helpful to practice proper form, and to focus on the right muscle group.

For example, try picturing yourself like a sushi roll when you do an abdominal crunch. Or imagine holding a diamond between your butt cheeks when doing a glute squeeze.

Communicating the mental model also helps address any knowledge gaps, as our imagination of how an exercise is to be done through observation can often be different from how it should actually be done.

5. Your body, your team

Once I developed the habit of engaging my core (be it while doing other exercises, or a flex through a brake on the train), I’ve found it to be a phenomenal helper. During workouts, especially compound exercises, my body naturally recruits my core to take on the work when other muscles begin to fatigue.

Your body essentially works as a team, with each muscle being a player that can be called upon when the other needs a break. Always remember you can swap in other muscle groups to help out when in need. So far, my core has been my best aide! What’s yours?

6. Enjoy the process

The last thing you want is to end up hating to exercise. There’s only so much that willpower can do; it falters and won’t sustain for the long haul. Switch things up, experiment with different routines to find something you truly enjoy. You want to make exercising something you look forward to, not dread. Keep exploring until you find something that clicks!

7. Celebrate and love your body

Learn to appreciate all the things your body does for you. It’s no easy task and almost everyone has some kind of insecurities. But learn to shift your focus to building a strong, healthy body and mind and to accept your body for the way it is.

Huge thanks to Michelle, a rare gem who’s been an inspiration to me on all things within and beyond fitness, and to Mitch for connecting us!



Fei Kwok

Lawyer turned Interaction & Service Designer | Design, death, mental health & humane tech. www.feikwok.com