Rany Hok had something to prove. She didn't want to let her body and health slide after her pregnancy. So Rany made a goal to get back in shape within a year after the birth of her son. She proceeded to lose 50 pounds, and completely turned her life around. Rany is now a self-proclaimed gym enthusiast, and an inspiration to anyone seeking to make a physique change.
Muscle & Strength: Rany, since 2008 you have completely turned your life around. Tell us what your life was like before the change, and what inspired you to make a change?
Rany Hok: Life for me before the baby in 2008 was very typical. After a long day at work I would get home and debate on whether or not to go to the gym. I thought I was in good shape because out of all my friends, I went to the gym the most (3-4 days out of the week) and ate pretty decently. My entire perspective completely changed just after the birth of my son in 2008.
Just Like most woman I gained unwanted pounds and before I knew it I was 163 lbs after birth. Prior to pregnancy I was 125lbs and under the impression I was healthy and in great shape. At this point in my life I needed to do something with my body, I constantly felt tired, weak, and self conscious about my physical appearance. I knew I wanted and had to change not just for myself but for my family. My entire outlook on life took a 180 degree turn after giving birth to my son and quality of life was a top priority.
Muscle & Strength: What motivates you the most to keep pushing? And are you working towards any specific goals?
Rany Hok: Things that keep me motivated are first and forth most my son and husband and the quality of life I get to live with them. I'm also very competitive person and hate to be told that I CAN'T do something, this really drives me! Last thing I would say that really keeps me motivated are the results I see & feel from working hard in the gym and eating clean!
There is nothing like looking back on old after pregnancy photo and seeing all the hard work pay off. Currently, I'm looking to compete in my first fitness contest in So-Cali on Aug 7th. I'm a newcomer to the sport but I believe I can make a positive impact in the world of fitness. Another very passionate goal of mine is to inspire and motivate other women so that they may improve their over all health and positively impact their lives.
Muscle & Strength: What advice do you have for someone who is out of shape and wants to make a change to their physique? Where do they start, and how do they sustain motivation?
Rany Hok: It's all up to you! People need to stop looking out the window, blaming others for their problems and start looking in the mirror to take responsibility for their choices. The positive thing is that if your reading this website you've already taken the first step in making better choices. The next step is to set some goals. These should be obtainable goals and nothing you can't obtain quickly.
Reaching your goals and setting new goals is a great way to stay motivated and track your progress. Don't forget during this time to take pictures from day one and then once a week on the on the same day. This will help you see your progress which in my opinion is one of the most important practices and the biggest driving factor to sustain motivation and reaching long term goals.
Muscle & Strength: What does your current workout and split look like, and what are some of your favorite exercises?
Rany Hok: Currently I workout 6 days a week.
- Monday - Back/Biceps
- Tuesday - Abs/Cardio
- Wednesday - Legs
- Thursday - Chest/Triceps
- Friday - Abs/HIIT
- Saturday - Shoulders/Traps
- Sunday - Active Rest
Muscle & Strength: You mentioned that you will be competing for the first time on August 7th. Can you tell us what your diet and cardio approach will be leading up to the show, and have you altered your weight training approach at all for contest prep?
Rany Hok: For training, I'm constantly changing it up to shock my muscles. Currently I'm still lifting heavy, in fact I am still trying to go as heavy as I can despite my current diet to lean up. Right now due to my schedule I'm training a major muscle group once a week and ending it with 25-30 minutes of moderate cardio. My goal is to increase my max each time I'm training a certain muscle group because as I slowly cut carbs out of my diet I will lose size so with this method I hope to slow the process leading up to my contest.
To maximize my training I only consume my carbs right before and after my workouts and completely cut it out for the rest of the day. Diet wise I'm increasing my protein, water intake and slowly taking out sodium, carbs and sugar from my meals but still following the 6 meals a day rule.
Muscle & Strength: Most women avoid heavy training for various reasons. What does heavy training do for your physique that light "toning" work can't? And any advice for women who want to "tone" but won't lift heavy weights?
Rany Hok: Lifting weights has transformed my body into what I've always dreamed of. For many years I thought I couldn't have certain curves due to the fact I'm Asian and had that stereotypical Asian body frame. About a year ago I took fitness much more serious and "finally" decided to venture out of my comfort zone and to pushed myself to my max. I was surprisingly shock to see how strong I eventually became after consistent weight training by the 6th month into my training.
I was power squatting, and leg pressing more than most men at my gym. For the first time I had a butt that stuck out and came to the conclusion that some are born with a great body but for the rest of us, a great body takes a lot of work, dedication, clean eating and heavy training to take you a step above.
My advice for women who are avoiding heavy training/lifting due to the misconception of "looking too bulky": they should seriously reconsider unless their doctor advises them not to. Lifting weight has brought new meaning to working out and my personal opinion I look better now than I did before being pregnant.
Muscle & Strength: How is your life different now then it was before you made your transformation?
Rany Hok: My entire outlook on life took a 180 degree turn after my transformation, I feel so much stronger, have more energy and I look and feel better about myself which has positively changed every aspect of my life.
Muscle & Strength: What are your long term fitness and personal goals?
Rany Hok: I never thought it possible to set goals like these for myself before I embraced this lifestyle.
My long term fitness goals are: be an excellent example to everyone I inspire, pursue my passion in fitness, run the LA marathon next year, and compete nationally in figure competitions.
My personal goals are: finish my master degree and eventually become a Registered Nutritionist so I can help as many people as I can to live healthier.