Three years ago, Ken Ong caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and decided that enough was enough. Unhappy with how overweight he was, the former chef decided to quit his job and make a lifestyle change.

Well, it looks like he certainly succeeded. The 26-year-old is now an amateur bodybuilder, and boasts a ripped and toned physique that any guy would surely be proud of.

Ong says that the major change involves the way he lives his life. Back then, he would work for about 12 hours a day and drink heavily with his colleagues after a shift is over.

“Now, my usual routine involves me working out at least four times a week. The satisfaction comes from the results I have achieved and the difference in the way I look,” he points out.

Since transforming his body, which took more than two years, Ong has competed in amateur bodybuilding competitions. Having obtained the proper certification, he currently works as a personal trainer at a fitness centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

“I didn’t think of becoming an instructor, actually. It was only when I realised fitness is a big passion that I have. It is something I enjoy, so I thought why not make a career out of it?” he comments.

“I actually got scolded by my parents when I quit my previous job,” he relates, laughing. “I think a lot of people are not aware yet that fitness is a big industry and can provide a rewarding career.”

According to Ong, training himself and instructing others are two very different things. As such, it has been a learning experience for him as well, when it comes to his fitness journey.

He says that the younger generation are becoming more aware about living a healthy lifestyle. There is also a realisation of how exercise is now very much an indispensable part of life.

“If you know that certain exercises work really well for you, then keep to it. Don’t switch from one to another just because someone tells you to or you read of some new fad over the Internet,” Ong advises.

“Don’t compare yourself to others too. The only person you should compare with is the ‘previous you’. That is my personal belief, and I feel that so far, it has worked really well for me.”