wellness by Sam Potenciano

Get Well: Neil Dy

On 2 hour workouts, cheat meals, and eating kare-kare without rice.

As if completing his final year as a Communications Technology major at Ateneo De Manila wasn’t grueling enough, student Neil Dy also serves double duty as part of Bench’s latest wave of fresh-faced brand ambassadors. Amid photoshoots, press events, and, yes, that final academic stretch, he reveals how he also—somehow—manages to squeeze in 2 hours of workouts every other day.

How often do you work out in a week?
In a week I work out around 3 to 4 times, and each session is about 2 hours each. I start with 20 to 25 minutes of cardio, and then I lift for about an hour and half after that, and I end with stretching. I usually do all of that at the Wack Wack Country Club.

How do you find the time to work out for 2 hours in between classes and your Benchsetter duties?
I made it a point that when it comes to school, all my classes are scheduled in the morning so that I’m free to do whatever in the afternoon. That’s usually when I get to work out.

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Do you prefer working out alone?
I gym by myself, but I also play pick up basketball games at night with my friends.

What do you do to fuel each workout?
I make sure that I eat before each gym session. Coffee is definitely an essential for me. I have it in the morning and before I hit the gym.

Are you particular about what you eat?
I’m not so strict about what I eat, but I do try to eat clean—and I don’t eat white rice.

What do you have on an average day?
Usually I’ll have 4 hardboiled eggs and coffee for breakfast, then for lunch I’ll have chicken breast with egg again, and at night I’ll have whatever they serve at home, just without rice.

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So you don’t have any carbs at all?
I do have carbs—bread, pasta, black rice. I just stay away from white rice in particular because I can’t control myself when I have it. I’ve been doing that for about 2 years now, and even when I eat Filipino food, like kare-kare, I can just have the meat without any rice. I don’t look for it so much anymore.

What is your idea of the perfect cheat meal?
The kebab meal from Behrouz. That’s the only place where I have to eat rice. There’s one in Ortigas in Metrowalk. If I really want to have a good cheat meal I go for their basmati rice.

Finally, why is it so important for you to stay fit?
I just feel good—almost cleaner. Working out and staying fit puts me in a better, happier mood. When I don’t get to work out I definitely feel like there’s something missing in my day.

Photography by Kitakat Pajaro

Sam Potenciano
Sam Potenciano
Sam is the digital editor of L’Officiel Manila. Formerly the founding editor of The Neighborhood and the editor-in-chief of Candy magazine, she is also a columnist for The Philippine Star's Young Star section. Follow her on Instagram at @sampotenciano.
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