Zheng Ge Ping on his fitness transformation & tips on maintaining muscle health

·Lifestyle Editor
·5-min read

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Singapore's original hunkle. PHOTO: Mediacorp Artiste, Zheng Ge Ping
Singapore's original hunkle. PHOTO: Mediacorp Artiste, Zheng Ge Ping

Many were blown away by Zheng Ge Ping's physical transformation from uncle to hunkle years ago. As the original hunkle in Singapore, the multi-hyphenate actor is not just an actor, producer, and director but also the Ensure Stand4Strength ambassador. A poster boy for all middle-aged men today, Zheng drives awareness pertaining to fitness, especially towards muscle building and seeks to inspire all age groups on healthy living and eating. Yahoo Shopping grills him on how he managed to maintain his hunkle status despite pushing 60, and obtained some tips on kickstarting your own journey towards a healthier you.

Yahoo Shopping: What is one sport/fitness activity you love, and how did you get started?

I like to work out in the gym, and my fitness routine is extensive in resistance training and cardio. When I was younger, working out was mainly to look good and lose weight, but what got me started on my gym regime was my role in Kampong Ties in 2009.

I was 45 when the director proposed the role of a 28-year-old with a body like Bruce Lee. I decided to take on the challenge and got on a structured personal training programme to transform my body. I have never looked back since!

What are the benefits of training at the gym, and what do you love about it?

Training at the gym allows me to change my routine as and when I like, targeting specific muscle groups. I can change my workout routine every three to six months with the different equipment. This is important because when you work on the same muscles every day, you will not see any improvement.

How often do you indulge in it, and with whom?

Due to the nature of my job, I usually train alone at the gym whenever I have an empty slot on my schedule. I try to visit the gym at least three times a week. The alternate days are rest days for muscle recovery.

Was there any point you wanted to give up? Why and how did you bounce back?

My fitness routine was disrupted when gyms closed at the start of COVID-19 in 2020. As much as I tried to stay active and keep up my fitness level, I felt sluggish and weaker without my regular resistance training. This made me realise just how vital muscle strength is to our overall health and well-being. So I improvised my training sessions at home by taking up skipping and incorporating more push-ups into my exercise routine.

PHOTO: Mediacorp artist Zheng Ge Ping
PHOTO: Mediacorp artist Zheng Ge Ping

What gears/tools/attire do you need when engaging in the activity?

Getting dressed appropriately for the gym can help prevent unnecessary injuries. That’s why I wear proper sports shoes and gym clothes. But it’s not just about what I wear – it’s also about what I put into my body. I make it a point to fuel up with a nutritious breakfast, followed by my morning workout. My diet is low on carbohydrates and sugar and high on protein. A bottle of Ensure Gold HMB Liquid after gym sessions is a must for me to support muscle tissue building.

Please share with us one thing you learned from resistance training

It's gotten more challenging to maintain my strength and fitness with age. Did you know that healthy muscles are essential for organ function, skin health, immunity, and metabolism? Protein is a crucial ingredient to support muscle health as it helps maintain and rebuild muscle mass. I maintain a protein-rich diet with chicken, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans and dairy.

Many are unaware that older adults require higher amounts of protein than young adults. Some need almost double the amount depending on their nutritional status or if they have an acute or chronic disease. I supplement my meals with Ensure Life as it contains HMB, high-quality protein, 28 vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D and Calcium.

I hope that taking care of my muscles and maintaining muscle mass helps me stay strong and active well into the next decade of my life so that I can keep doing what I love, such as acting or spending quality time with my family.

What is one way you inject positivity towards your fans as a public figure?

Whenever I post on my social media, I strive to share positive content that helps to motivate or uplift others. As an ambassador of Ensure and the Stand4Strength campaign, I am humbled to hear that my fitness story inspires people to improve their fitness. Hence, I encourage you to start by joining the Stand4Strength challenge and finding out your muscle age using the Muscle Age Calculator.

The Muscle Age Calculator is an easy-to-use tool to give you an idea of whether you are on track with your muscle strength or not. All you need to do is perform the five-times sit-to-stand test as fast as possible and then match your test time with your specific biological age group online to uncover your muscle age. I did the test again recently, and even though I’m 57 years old, my muscle age is in its 20s. It's good to know I’m not quite an uncle yet! Your biological age does not determine your muscle age. Your muscles can be young even if you are older as long as you take the proper steps via exercise and nutrition. I think that’s such a great motivator!

We all have a part to play in maintaining our good health as we age and enjoy a good quality of life in our older years. There’s no time better than now to start taking care of our muscle health!

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