Tuesday, 25 August 2015

How I Lost 35lbs from Playing Ping Pong

During 2015 I hit a very unstable part of my life in table tennis. I wasn't sure whether I should continue competing and aiming for my goals, or whether I should transition into coaching. I was in the process of applying for a green card in the USA and coaching seemed to be my long term future. My training habits slipped and a period of sickness also ensued.

Diet habits in America and a lack of physical exercise as I helped kids improve their games caused me to reach the highest weight I had ever become in my 25 years. I was right on the edge of hitting 200lbs. For a previously aspiring athlete this was unacceptable to me, I had let myself slide.

Me and my teammates in the gym in Zhengding, China
Benefits of Table Tennis

Thankfully Table Tennis came to save the day. What many people don't realise is that table tennis at both social and competitive levels is a very aerobic sport. I have seen many success stories of people coming to table tennis for fun and to help their fitness levels and a healthy body and mind. What are the benefits of table tennis and how can it help you get in shape?


  • Helps build strong hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
  • Involves fast reactive footwork.
  • Strokes are quick and repetitive, helping burn fat and tone.
  • Speed and intensity can cause heavy sweating, good for flushing toxins and burning fat.
  • Involves aerobic and anaerobic fitness elements
  • Sharpens the mind as well as physical aspects


Over the following months my focus back on table tennis caused me to lose 35lbs in extra weight. With the help of a good gym schedule, some multiball training, a month of training in China and a switch from my terrible American diet, I was back in shape again. You can also see Aerobic Table Tennis  which uses table tennis basics to help promote healthy body and fitness.

The earlier stages of training, carrying extra weight

Now not everyone can just jet off to China for practice but there are many health benefits to just playing table tennis socially, even a few times a week. 

The best thing about table tennis is people of all ages can play it, so even older players can benefit from the many advantages of participating in this great sport. Table Tennis has helped me get back in a shape I'm satisfied with and I know many other people who play to keep their fitness levels up. 

What Body Parts Can Table Tennis Tone?

  • Wrists and Forearms which generate fast movements for driving the ball and creating spin.
  • Legs for generating power and footwork (quads, hams and calves)
  • Core strength for weight transfer and balance (central and lateral)
  • General fat and calorie burning (back, upper body, legs etc.)


Table Tennis is a great way to have fun, make friends and keep in shape all at the same time. I utilised games to help along the way, playing friends and kids for 50 situp punishments etc, every small contribution helped me achieve my result.

Getting in better shape, multiball in China

Of course, treating table tennis in a competitive nature can help shed the pounds faster and taking more serious practice regularly can get you in great shape, it depends how far you want to take it. The best part is you can improve so many aspects of your health, mind and body while enjoying an amazing sport!

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