How Gary V Stays Fit, According to His Personal Trainer

Gary V’s Personal Trainer Reveals How He Remains Mr. Pure Energy at 60 Years Young

Gary V is known for his boundless energy onstage. How does he do it at his age?

I had to double-check the time to be sure. 11:30 PM. That’s three hours and counting. On the stage, the energy hasn’t really dropped a level. Surely, it had to end soon, right?

Well, after another medley of classics and an encore, Gary Valenciano, or more universally known as Gary V (but whom many people close to him refer to simply as Tito Gary) ended the night with a bow and a much-deserved standing ovation.

I checked the time and it was close to midnight on day one of his back-to-back concert aptly titled Pure Energy, One Last Time. The reception was huge — big enough that they had to put up a third night on a later date. And judging from all the positive reviews on social and of course our own personal experience, Tito Gary didn’t disappoint. The man who has the perfect moniker just keeps delivering with his rare combination of musical prowess, smooth voice, and of course, electrifying dance moves.

Most people don’t even realize that the man is turning 60 this year.

I turn to my wife Bits and say “Grabe siya, walang kupas.” Then I add, “I can’t help but feel proud.” To which she smiled and rubbed me on my shoulder.

I’ve been privileged to work with Tito Gary for 11 years as his personal trainer. I’ve known him, though, since the ‘90s through my parents who used to have prayer meetings and bible studies with him. But we started working together back in 2013 in my old gym, 360 Fitness Club. Back then, he wanted to get stronger, work on some mechanical issues, and of course, be ready for his numerous shows and concerts. He was actually preparing for his 30th year anniversary back then and it’s really a blessing to be working with him still for his 40th.

When Gary V performs onstage, his moves look so effortless that most people don’t realize just how much discipline and hard work goes into his daily routines so that he can continue performing at this level. Add to that his condition, type 1 diabetes, which in itself presents many challenges and has its own set of routines that are needed to manage it.

Being his trainer, yes, I do give him workouts when it comes to resistance training, but that is only one small part of the puzzle that keeps him fit and healthy. I recently interviewed him for my Instagram page and we talked about what goes into his daily routine which has worked for him through many years.

Here’s what he had to say.

Eat good, feel good

Nutrition is a big part of his routine.

When someone has type 1 diabetes, your body cannot produce insulin, an essential hormone that helps the body control its blood sugar. Without it, there can be major consequences in the body’s ability to produce energy (which may sound ironic, given the moniker of Tito Gary). So people with type 1 diabetes usually need to have an insulin pump installed in their body and will need to have their blood sugar constantly monitored and managed. Food plays an essential part in managing this so Gary V has a very stringent routine when it comes to nutrition.

Upon waking, he takes food right away. He explains that this is to make sure that he has enough to get him through his morning activities.

Gary Valenciano (Gary V) biking
(Photo credit: Gary Valenciano on Instagram)

“The routine is, I wake up, check [my blood sugar], eat. It’s the first thing I do to make sure that I have enough to sustain me for whatever it is I have to do in the morning, even if I’m just going down to my studio. I just have to make sure that my body has enough for the morning,” he shares.

The rest of the day involves a balancing act when it comes to his nutrition. It involves being very knowledgeable about the carbs that he eats and the amount of insulin that he has to pump in order to keep himself balanced. “Sometimes it’s hit or miss for me,” he explains when it comes to balancing his blood sugar. “The meals that I take are not big, but they are regular.” 

During the interview, my wife and I took lunch with him and we saw this firsthand. He had some fruits and vegetables, some light pasta with more veggies, and a stick of pork barbecue — the exact definition of a balanced meal.

Of course, just like everyone else, he has his weaknesses.

“I love locally produced chips. Not the imported ones. The locally produced chips that are so easy to get. You just have to go out and they’re there na in the corner store.” To combat this, he has turned to vegetables with dip as an alternative which he swears by as well as air-fried popcorn with a salt substitute and pepper.

But he is quick to mention that it’s not like he doesn’t indulge, albeit in regulation. “Listen, I love pizza, I love spaghetti, I love ice cream, and I can take some of these things at the proper time, but it has to be in regulation. And I believe that’s the best advice I can give, diabetic or not.”

Movement is a must

When it comes to physical activity and exercise, it has been a lifelong habit and commitment. He was part of the track and field team in his high school days and biking was always part of his life. In fact, when there is no work to be done in the studio, his mornings are spent on one of two activities: going on a bike ride or playing golf.

I played golf with Tito Gary once, when he invited me to join him and his good friend, Jojo Lastimosa in the fairway. And trust me when I say the energy is the same when he plays golf. The man reminds me of Danny Rojas of Ted Lasso fame. Just replace “football” with “golf” — golf is life!

Tito Gary just recently picked up golf again after a long hiatus, but riding a bike has been the one constant in his physical activity routine. He actually used to bike to our workouts. Most people have a hard enough time going to the gym to get on an exercise bike. He explains that he can’t go a day without some form of physical activity and he believes that everybody should do this. 

Gary Valenciano (Gary V) playing golf
(Photo credit: Gary Valenciano on Instagram)

“Everyday, do something,” he says. “It’s just good to get your body going. For those who don’t like doing much except walk the mall, then walk the mall! But don’t just walk in and eat then go back to your car and go home. Really walk the mall, window shop, walk from one end to the other.”

I give the same advice when it comes to daily physical activity. Most people are intimidated by exercise thinking that it involves running long distances or lifting heavy weights.

In fact, the most important thing that you should do is to just be more mobile on a daily basis. Move as much as you can and the best way to do that is to really walk as much as you can. And yes I know, for the vast majority of us city dwellers who don’t live or work in BGC, our cities are not very walkable. But are we really going to wait until Wall-E becomes a reality? Spot the opportunities for movement around you and use them. Take the stairs, park further, and take a walking break every hour. And yes, walk the mall.

Movement is even more crucial now for Gary V as he approaches his 60th birthday. “Especially now at my age, I’m getting to see the importance of trying to stay active. Not overly active, but just staying active, because it has its benefits.”

And when it comes to staying active, who better to listen to than Mr. Pure Energy himself?

Banner Image from Gary V on Instagram.  

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