Tuesday, December 29, 2009

With Modifications

Today, it was supposed to the third time I executed Workout C of the Lean and Jacked programme. I did the first part of the workout well enough, but my right knee wasn't feeling too good so I skipped the Kettlebell/Dumbbell 555.

But I didn't entirely cheat, though. For compensation I did a little circuit of my own which still left me drenched with sweat. Here it is, Aizan's mini circuit:

Dumbbell swings - 50x
Pushups - 12x
X body Mountain Climbers - 15x per side

I did four sets of the above. It is a sissy circuit compared to the Kettlebell/Dumbbell 555. But hey, it's better than nothing. It still left me feeling good. And gives a chance to rest my knees.

And oh, I did another slight modification in the first part of the workout. Instead of doing pull-ups, I upgraded it to pull-ups with knee ups. Yup, I wanted some extra abdominal work.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Are taking supplements the way to go?

The hardest part about trying to gain weight is getting sufficient calories to see the desired results. And like I've mentioned before, it is hard for me to pack on the kilos and it is extremely easy for me to shed weight. A few missed meals would do the trick.

That's not good because I want to look like Jillian Michaels. Mwahahahahha....

I am a strong believer in getting my calories the natural way - through regular meals. But time and time again I find myself skipping meals because of my busy schedule at work. It is made worse when I later look for a quick fix - eating fast food junk. I know, I know. I shouldn't be eating crap but sometimes it happens. And what's more worrying is that it's happening more frequently of late.

So I am considering taking supplements to ensure I get enough calories per day. You know... those mass gain supplements, or perhaps meal replacement powders. One that has a LOT of calories per serving. It's a bit drastic, but I can't think of a better way.

Any suggestions? Advice? I'd really appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ab Workouts for the Day

Since starting on the Turbulence Training programme, I have not done a single situp or crunch. My tummy is still flat, and in fact even more defined. Everytime I see my fellow gym-goers performing all kinds of situps and crunches variation known to man, I feel like screaming: Don't do it! Nooooooooo!!!!

The truth is, situps and crunches only serve to give you back and neck problems in future. And it still doesn't help define your tummy (if you eat junk and do lots of ab workouts it won't work either, mind you).

Earlier this evening I did my tummy superset which comprises of:
  1. Stability ball rollouts - you can feel your abs burn with this manoevre (12 reps)
  2. Cross mountain climbers - total killer for the obliques (12 reps each side)
I did this superset three times. And I am expecting sore abs tomorrow. Why don't you try it. You'd be amazed on how effective it is.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Love it! 10 x 10

My oh my. I can be very silly sometimes. Imagine going to the gym only to discover that you forgot to put your workout programme printout into the gym bag. Sigh. And I was so looking forward to do some serious lifting today.

Fortunately for me, I actually brought an additional workout programme. Well to be honest, I was planning to use it as a finisher but since my forgetfulness got in the way, the finisher became the main workout.

But hey, I had fun! It was a fabulous workout especially when done with almost no rest in between sets. Made me look really bad ass crazy. Mwahahahahahah.... And in case you're wondering what was the workout routine I did, here it is. Another turbulence training classic.

Oh, by the way... all of the sets are done with 10lbs dumbbells.

  1. Bulgarian Split Squats - 10 per side
  2. Shoulder press - 10 times
  3. Step ups - 10 per side
  4. Chest Press - 10 times
  5. Dumbbell Rows - 10 times
  6. Lunges - 10 per side
  7. Dumbbell Swings - 10 times
  8. Shrugs - 10 times
  9. Incline Press - 10 times
  10. Squats - 10 times
Below's the video, in case you're not sure of the moves. Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ramblings about food

Confession: I've not been exercising regularly these past few weeks. Yes, I do get my workouts done but not as regularly as I'd like. Apart from feeling under the weather lately, I've been busy with work and have not been eating well. My appetite has left me.

Frankly, I'm sick of all the stuff they serve at the food court. I just can't stomach them anymore. Eating gourmet food on a daily basis is out of the question as where on earth would I find the moolah to satiate my picky tummy?

Cooking. Ughhhhh... cooking! Do I really HAVE to cook? It's the one chore that I find very tedious. Okay, actually cooking is not the bad part. It's the food preparation prior to the cooking and the cleaning up after the cooking that irks me to no end. For crying out loud, it only takes 15 minutes tops to devour a meal but it would definitely take a much longer time than that to prepare one.

Is there a miracle meal that I might not know off?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Alternative Workout: Aikido!

I am contemplating going back to my martial arts roots. During school days (daze?) I used to take up taekwondo and it was definitely fun. Although it was only for 1 or 2 hours per week the pretty constant exercise made me strong and decently flexible. Looking back, I think the taekwondo training should've been coupled with a few sessions of strenth training each week. It is more complete that way in my opinion. But then again, how is a school kid gonna get access to a gym (we do have a gym in school but it was more for the school's track and field athletes). Back then there wasn't even decent internet access so we could look up stuff on the internet on what can be done with a couple of dumbbells.

Anyway... I'm digressing from my main point.

Like I've mentioned before, doing structured workouts could get dull sometimes. So I'm looking for something I could do that's different from the normal types of exercise I do. Hence the kickboxing tryout which didn't turn out quite as I expected.

So now I'm considering Aikido - forget about taekwondo. Been there, done that - as my 'alternative workout' of choice. There's a dojo nearby where I live. And the schedule is very suitable. I sent an e-mail out to them to ask if they hold trial classes. Let's see if they reply. Or perhaps I should just give them a call?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

3 Best Bodyweight Exercises

Alright folks. Today's entry is a bit different as I'm taking one of Craig Ballantyne's articles on the best bodyweight exercises to burn fat. So enjoy the write up. I hope you find it as informative as I did. Cheers.

The 3 Best Bodyweight Exercises

By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Here are 3 kick-butt bodyweight exercises you can do anytime, anywhere to burn fat, stay energized, and avoid overeating.

Bodyweight exercises help you burn fat shockingly fast, without any fancy equipment.

1) Any Single-Leg Exercise
The pistol (single-leg squat to the floor) is the most advanced
1-leg exercise. But you can also do assisted single-leg squats with a band, or onto a bench, or even with a Stability Ball between your back and the wall.

If you aren't ready for single-leg squats, you can use Bulgarian
Split Squats, Reverse Lunges, regular split squats, or lying 1-leg
hip bridges if you are a beginner.

2) Decline Push-ups
These are harder than normal pushups, thanks to your elevated feet. And in this position, you can still use a close-grip to fatigue
your triceps, a "piked-hip position" to build your shoulders, or
even the Spiderman leg motion to work on your abs.

3) Bodyweight Inverted Rows
I choose these over chinups and pullups because bodyweight rows let your chest rest, while your back is strengthened. It's the perfect compliment to a pushup.

Do 8-12 repetitions per exercise. Don't rest between exercises. Go through the circuit up to 3 times, resting 1 minute after each

For a once-per-month challenge, do each exercise to failure in your final round through the circuit.

Get in shape fast with Turbulence Training,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTraining.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Of Workout B, Chocolate Milk and Resistance Bands

Another torturous session of Lean and Jacked Workout B under my belt and it seems easier now. Sipping my chocolate milk while writing this entry. Ahh... the simple joys of life! Okay. Back to the programme now folks.

Yours truly has decided to ditch her gym membership next year and has opted for setting up a home gym instead. Truly, what is the point of having a membership when all I use nowadays are a few sets of dumbbells, the stability ball and the adjustable bench - all of which the cost is less than a year's membership fee for the gym.

Anyway, one of the pieces of equipment I plan to buy is the resistance band. It's portable and versatile. Very nifty indeed. I checked out several vids on how the resistance band can be used and I must say I'm pretty impressed. Of course, nothing can replace the good old dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells (why are they bells anyway? The don't make ringing sounds, do they?) but the resistance band is useful in its own way. Plus, it's portability means I can bring it anywhere... especially when I go back to my hometown or go on a holiday *wink* *wink*.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a decent set of resistance bands. The ones at fitness concept doesn't appear to be of good quality. Hmm... maybe I should order a set from e-bay?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The reason why

It's not surprising if anyone who reads this blog claims that it is very much Turbulence Training themed. While it is not intentional, I do admit that I am very influenced with the 'TT Lifestyle' (hmm... maybe I should copyright this term then sell it off to Mr. Ballantyne. Mwahahaha).

You see, I am not very well versed in all things health and fitness. And there was a time when I frequent the gym without any sort of workout plan at all. Admittedly, I saw results but unfortunately I plateaued pretty quickly.

So when I found out about TT I breathed a sigh of relief because the workout plans have already been prepared and all I have to do is execute it. Of course, there are many other effective workout programmes out there - P90X being one of them - but I do not like to confuse myself with too many 'schools of fitness'. TT works well for me, and I'm gonna stick to it. And perhaps when one day I feel like it doesn't give me as much a challenge as it did earlier, I'll move on to something else.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lean and Jacked Workout C

And I was fool enough to think that the Kettlebell/Dumbbell 500 was crazy. Today I was due to do Workout C of the TT Lean and Jacked programme. The first part of the workout was pretty easy. No problems there. Enter Kettlebell/Dumbbell 555. Another killer, but definitely fun workout.

When I first looked at the workout description I thought it wasn't half bad. Until I tried it. Again, the tears came close to flowing. But the sweat definitely flowed, alright! The Kettlebell/Dumbbell 555 challenge looks like this, for those who are curious:

Two-hand kettlebell/dumbbell swings - 100 reps
Prisoner Squats - 100 reps
Stability Ball Jackknives - 50 reps
Bodyweight Squats - 100 reps
Pushups - 105 reps
Two-hand kettlebell/dumbbell swings - 100 reps

Do the Prisoner squats and stability ball jackknives in a superset. Same goes to the bodyweight squats and pushups. The kettlebell/dumbbell swings should be done in straight sets.

You wanna know a funny story? I accidentally did 200 reps instead of 100 reps of the second round of dumbbell swings. Goes to show I have masochistic tendencies. And oh, I did Workout C in 55 minutes (including warm up and stretching). Will try to cut down the duration the next time I do this insane challenge.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Demo

During the weekend I went to Melaka to visit my old pal Nani, and also to celebrate a fellow blogger's birthday. While I was there I took the opportunity to ask Nani about her exercise regime. Like many others like her who are trying to lose weight, she is pretty obsessed with the scale.

Wake up: Scale. After breakfast: Scale. After shower: Scale. You get the picture.

Many times I have told her not to take the scale seriously. Admittedly, it is a way to quantify your progress. But scales can be deceiving. You can weigh 60 kilos but have a higher percentage of body fat compared to muscle mass. You can also weigh 60 kilos but have a higher percentage of muscle mass compared to body fat.

So screw the scale. Weigh yourself but couple it with a body composition test. But then you'll have to buy that body composition tool thingy that looks like a clothes peg on steroids. The next best thing is to notice whether your clothes feel lose. Do you need to wear a belt with your jeans now? That's a better indicator if you ask me.

Anyway, Nani also told me about her exercise regime. She mentioned that she's been doing interval training (she didn't say interval training, but that's actually what she was doing). She says she's doing jumping jacks for 30 seconds, rest a bit then followed by static jogging (err...lari setempat) for 30 seconds. Repeat. I've no complaints. That's the best way to go, in my opinion.

She also mentioned she's been doing crunches and situps. Obviously, she doesn't read this blog because I've mentioned that crunches and situps are a big no no in my books. So I recommended she do stability ball rollouts and cross mountain climbers instead. I hope she adapts those moves in her workout sessions after this.

And oh... this pic is of me demonstrating a pullup to Nani. Unfortunately I couldn't do as many pullups as I could at home. Doing pullups on a monkey bar at a playground without gloves on and doing pullups at home on a padded pullup bar is definitely different. Plus it was 3.30pm. It was hot. I couldn't concentrate. Yeah, yeah....excuses.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Crazy. Simply Crazy.

Expletives. Expletives were what spewed out of my mouth almost throughout Workout B of the TT Lean and Jacked programme. And oh, sweat poured out akin to the water spraying from Niagra Falls. Okay so I'm exaggerating. But just a little bit.

Anyway, I just got back from a quickie weekend trip to Melaka and not wanting to miss my workout session, I did Workout B at home. It was a very wise decision indeed seeing that I felt like crying trying to complete the Dumbbell 500 challenge (originally it's Kettlebell 500. But I don't have a kettlebell to my name, so dumbbells will have to do).

As I type this entry, I am still reeling from the craziness of that Dumbbell 500 challenge. Did Mr. Ballantyne had murder in his mind when he designed it? Only he could answer that question. Expletives, tears, and sweat aside... I had fun. Totally insane, but you can definitely feel the burn and a sense of accomplishment after completing it.

In case you're curious. Below is the Dumbbell/Kettlebell 500 challenge:

2-hand Kettlebell/Dumbbell swings - 200 reps
Bodyweight Squats - 200 reps
Stablity Ball Jackknives - 100 reps

You need to do the swings as a straight set and the remaining two moves in a superset. I split the kettlebell swings into sets of 50 x 4. The Bodyweight squats 30 x 3, then 60 times then 50 times. Stability Ball Jackknives 15 x 3, then 30 times then 25 times.

Total time taken to finish Workout B as a whole (including warmup and stretching) - 55 minutes. Next time I do this, I'm gonna try and shave off a few minutes.

Ninja Training

The first thing I did after coming home from watching Ninja Assassin was to YouTube Rain's training regime for this particular film. The guy looks unbelievably lean and ripped in this movie. What's pretty amazing to me is that his workouts looked pretty much like classic Turbulence Training.

My favourite move is the Pushup-Renegade Row-Shoulder Press thingy that he did. That's a total body workout all in itself in my opinion.

Hmm... I wonder what's the weight of the kettlebell he used for the kettlebell swings that he did. It sure looked pretty heavy to me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting Lean and Jacked

Alright! I have finally completed the fourth week of the TT Dumbbell-Bodyweight programme and I am happy to report that it is a very effective programme indeed to get a lean and toned body. As reported in previous entries, I've definitely gotten stronger. When previously I couldn't do pull ups and chin ups, I could execute them now. Admittedly though, I still can't make many repetitions. But with practice, I'll get there.

The new programme I'm doing is called TT for Jacked and Lean Meatheads. Like the Dumbbell-Bodyweight programme, this one also is focused on building a beach-worthy body: one that looks toned/muscular but not bulky like that of a bodybuilder.

From analyzing the programme I can see that it has 'split pattern'. Day 1 is more upper body and core workouts. Day 2 is lower body with a bit of 'cardio' thrown in. Day 3 is total body with more 'cardio' thrown in.

Today's Day 1 and I've to confess I didn't sweat as much as I did in the previous programme. This means I'll have to ramp it up by increasing the weights I'm using and/or decrease the rest period between sets. We'll see how it goes next week.

Check out the vid below for the Day 1 workout:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cardio + Weight Training *COOL*

Bravo! He has done it again. Mr. Ballantyne has come out with another crazy workout circuit's that's going to make you beg for mercy. Just check out the vid below. From what I can see, this is the perfect cardio + weight training combo. Which in turn is very much suitable for people like me: looking to gain weight but maintain good stamina.

I am definitely going to try out this circuit when I hit the gym.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Forum for Fitness Enthusiasts

Just like to share something with you. The good people at DailyMuscle.com have started a fitness forum for us enthusiasts to come together to discuss all things fitness and wellbeing (and perhaps some other stuff in between).

So come on over and take a look here.

Alternative Workouts: Kickboxing - The Verdict

When the session ended I was left wondering, "that was it? You gotta be kidding me."

To be frank, my one-on-one 'kickboxing' session with my personal trainer at my gym was even more intense than the one held at the kickboxing gym. But of course, I have to be fair. It is after all an introductory class. And apart from another lady and I, the rest of the attendees didn't have any sort of martial arts background.

It was just a few minutes of punching and a few minutes of kicking. I hardly broke a sweat. 15 minutes of turbulence training would always leave me drenched. But again, the instructor did his job and demonstrated the correct way of punching, kicking, and stance. So time was taken there.

And thus I am sorry to say, kickboxing is not my cup of tea. I was actually pretty disappointed and even watching the advanced classes doing their thing didn't manage to convince me that this was something I might pursue. No offence to any TNT students reading this. It's just my opinion.

Next up: Wallclimbing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


  1. I did my very first 'full' pull-up today. Woohoo!! I am very proud of myself.
  2. My left arm is developing well. It's finally catching up with my right arm.

Alternative Workouts: Kickboxing

Let's face it. Just hitting the gym to stay fit (and sexy?) sometimes become such a monotonous thing no matter how you vary the workouts. In my quest to keep it interesting, I have called up TNT Kickboxing and book a slot for their introductory class. It's going to be held tomorrow (Monday) at 8pm.

So wish me luck. I hope I won't chicken out and not attend the class. Plus, their gym is just a few blocks away from my 'traditional' gym. So there is really no excuse for me not to just walk over and check out what they have to offer.

Alright. Hopefully I'd be able to update you on the kickboxing experience. Wachaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Home Gym vs. Proper Gym

I am contemplating setting up a home gym of sorts. Not that I feel that going to a proper gym is a hassle. Far from it. It's just that sometimes you don't feel like driving 30 minutes during the weekend to go to the gym. FYI, my gym is 5 minutes away from my office. My office is about 30 minutes away from my home (provided that you drive like a civilised human being. If you drive like a maniac on Ecstasy, then it could just take 15 - 20 minutes).

Plus points of having a home gym:
  1. I don't have to pay gym membership anymore. It improves my cashflow.
  2. I don't have to deal with other people's sweat.
  3. No more parking problems.
  4. No more fuming at people who hog the equipments.
Plus points of visiting a proper gym:
  1. The environment. When you go into a gym you see people exercising. When you go home, the first thing you'll see is the couch.
  2. I like the routine of going to the gym. There have been many times when I plan to workout at home but ended up playing Mafia Wars instead.
  3. I like observing people.
  4. Did I mention about the environment? Oh, yes I did.
Hmm... maybe I'd still setup the home gym but still go to a proper gym. Heheehhehe.. yeah, maybe I'm just nuts. Anyway, my home gym won't have much. Just an adjustable bench, dumbbells of various weights, stability balls and a pull up bar. That would be sufficient to get a total body workout done. Who knows? If I'm crazy enough I may even get a barbell.

Oh!!!! How could you?

Yeah! Just got home from another sweat-inducing, heart racing workout and I am feeling fabulous. Is it just me or does our body look better right after a session at the gym? Heck, maybe I'm just vain. Yes, yes. There is nothing to be vain about. But that's another story altogether.

Anyway, while I was going through my routine, in walked this trainer and her client. The trainer's kind of chubby. Dare I say that the client is in a slightly better shape? As I did my workouts I observed this duo. The trainer told the client to do this and that. And the client did as she was told.

But that's exactly the problem. She was told to do this and that. But the trainer didn't even bother demonstrating how to execute the workouts. Call me mean, but I have this suspicion that even the trainer can't do the workouts properly.

How can you NOT demonstrate to your client on how to do a certain move? It's just ridiculous in my opinion. The client might as well watch exercise videos in YouTube. At least it's free.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tricep Workouts

I certainly do not want my triceps to look like Mr. Burns'

This is more of a personal note to myself. I was thinking of various arms workouts to be included in my training after the pre-planned circuits and I realized I don't have much variations when it comes to triceps workouts. Again, when scouring the internet for tricep exercises I looked for those that do not require the use of machines. Strictly dumbbells and bodyweight. I guess machines do work, but I notice using free weights and bodyweight make me stronger faster.

Anyway, my existing tricep workouts are as below:

  1. Lying Tricep Extensions: I love this one because it not only works your triceps, but it works your abdominals at the same time. Pretty cool, huh?
  2. Close-grip Pushups: This one's tough to do. I still can't do proper close-grip pushups so I do declining close-grip pushups instead. This one's slightly easier, but still leaves me tired out after 10 reps. Kneeling close-grip pushups are bit too easy for me though.
And below are the additional tricep exercises that I've rediscovered (rediscovered, because I have been using these workouts before) that could be incorporated in my arms workout circuits:
  1. Tricep kickbacks: I used to do this exercise previously but somewhere along the way I ditched it and I'm not sure why. Most likely I just forgot about it. Told you I'm a goldfish.
  2. Close grip benchpress: You can use dumbbells instead of barbells in this workout.
  3. Tricep Dip: I used to do this one too, on a tricep dip machine. But it feels kind of funny. I'd prefer to use body weight instead. Need to find another alternative to do this exercise.
Okay, so that's about it. Do you have any other suggestions for me on what other types of tricep exercises I could do? Would love to get your feedback.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I can do it now

These are the two types of exercise that I thought I could never do, but discovered recently that I could execute pretty well.

  1. Push-ups: When I was in high school I could barely manage 2 proper pushups. Then I go kaput. Nowadays I could easily do 10 pushups. My next goal is to execute spiderman pushups. I could only do one set and then I give up.
  2. Chin-ups: I can do proper chin-ups now. Woohoo! I never thought I'd see the day. I can do about 5 chin-ups now. Hopefully I can do more as I progress. Once I've mastered this, then the next mission would be pull-ups (which is way harder).
What about you? What have you discovered that you can do now that you never thought you could never do before?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bad Ass Bob

The Biggest Loser Asia is airing soon. And like the US version, the Asia version would have a male trainer and a female trainer. For those who are familiar with the programme, you'd know Jillian's the brutal, in your face trainer while Bob is more of a motivator.

But checkout the video below, showing Bob getting his claws out. Entertaining stuff. But also it shows that it's all in the mind. You can achieve anything if you focus and stop giving excuses. Oh, I discovered this vid when I was browsing through DailyMuscle.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Deception Point

I had a fever on Monday because I spent the whole weekend out with friends and we got caught in the rain (but I did manage to fit in a morning gym session on Saturday though). So, in need of medication and an MC (obviously) I went to my trusted doctor. Remember I told you that the last time I weighed myself I was 45.5 kilos? Hah! Either I don't know how to use the scale at the gym or my doctor's scale is lying (which I doubt, actually).

Apparently, I now weigh 47kg. Hmmmm... Do I look 47 kilos to you?

FYI, I'm the one right most. Just in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stay the same? No way!

At my gym there's this huge guy who always wears a red sleeveless top and red shorts. He's all hairy front, back and on the arms. He is dark skinned so the bright red is a blinding contrast to his skin. Anyway, that's not what I want to write about.

From the day I joined the gym until today, Mr. Red... like me has been working out diligently. Every other day I'll see him hitting the treadmill, the ski thingamajig and every other cardio machine available. But the thing is... while I am getting stronger and my body more defined, he still looks the same.

Frankly, I am not surprised. Why? Because of the pace he hits the treadmill. It's one steady pace every single time. Maybe he might break a sweat but he's not burning enough calories and melting off sufficient fat to reveal the inner buff dude that's screaming to come out.

Sigh... if only I had the guts to come up to him and say, "hey buddy, you're doing it all wrong. You ain't ever gonna burn off fat that way." How DO you burn off fat anyway? I believe in interval training. I'm gonna let the video below explain what on earth is interval training in the first place.

All I ask is for you to have an open mind and an open heart. And you can see that interval training is a much, much better way to shed off the fat.

Okay fine... so you don't want to look at another cardio machine for the rest of your natural life. Well, perhaps you might wanna check the video below.

Have fun trying out the workouts! I know I did. Cheers!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Busy Girl's Guide to a Workout Quickie

Sometimes I can't make it to the gym because I'm pressed for time. And when I finally come home after a long day I seriously am not in the mood to slug it out for 45 minutes. But the thing is, I don't feel very good if I don't break out a sweat.

And there it is, my predicament: Too lazy to do a 'proper' workout, but in need of stress-reliever badly. A few days ago I saw this YouTube video at the TT blog and I was hooked. A 12-minute total body workout? That's absolutely fabulous if you ask me.

I go home, eat some food, rest a bit. Slug it out for 12 minutes, have some more food (I need loads of food), rest a bit, take a shower, play Mafia Wars then go to sleep. Mwahahahhaa... ain't that the coolest thing? And the next day I still can hit the gym to do my 'full-blown workout'. Teeheehee...

Friday, November 6, 2009

To Cardio or not to Cardio

I never liked cardio. When I was in school I never liked running. I loved my Taekwondo, I loved whatever bit of hockey I played but I balked when it came to running. Then when I started going to the gym I hated the treadmill. My trainer at the time put me on a treadmill and I didn't enjoy it at all. However, I got used to the routine of doing 20-minutes worth of 'intense cardio' before hitting the weights machines.

There have been many times that I've wondered what good does this 'cardio' do to me? I mean, I hit the cross-trainer (the ski thingamajig) for some high speed 'swinging' for 20 minutes and apparently I only burn 150 calories. The equivalent of an ikan bilis bun. Luckily for me, my goal is to gain weight. Can you imagine how disheartening it is for those who slave on the cardio machines for hours on end only to burn a minuscule amount of calories?

And come on, let's be honest here. Raise your hands for those who LOVE their cardio? No? No one? I thought so. There must be a better way of doing cardio (which I guess means the conditioning of your heart) that'll burn off fat as well. And indeed there are ways to do it, without ever having to step on another treadmill or any other kind of cardio machines ever again.

Yup, you guessed it. It's through turbulence training. Check out Craig Ballantyne's article and a sample workout here. And I think you can picture how his brand of cardio provides more variety and burns even more calories than slugging it on the treadmill.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stubborn Left Arm

My left arm is as stubborn as its owner. The left and right legs are balanced. Both sides of my obliques are equally developed. But my right hand is stronger than my left. Which is natural seeing that I am right-handed. It doesn't make it less irritating, though. Sometimes I feel like my left arm could never keep up with my right arm.

Example: I can lift a 15-pound dumbell with my right hand, and pump about 6 perfectly executed reps. The left one could hardly lift it four times. Sigh. Maybe it's because I've been too reliant on machines. The right arm tend to compensate when the left arm falters when using machines to weight train.

Hopefully I'll fix this soon. I'm no longer training with machines nowadays, opting for dumbells and bodyweights instead so there won't be cases of the right arm compensating for the left arm. Shall report of positive developments, if any.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stronger, but none the bigger

I'm getting stronger now. Today I was going through the TT Bodyweight-Dumbell workout and one of the moves I was required to do was the Dumbell Push Press. Usually 10-pound weights would be just nice for me. Not too light, but not too heavy until I couldn't execute the reps well. But just now when I lifted the 10-pound weights it felt way too easy. So I switched to 15-pound dumbells now.

It's good to know that I've become stronger. But the funny thing is I'm not getting any heavier. I'm still at my post-Ramadhan weight of 45.5kg (I weighed 48kg pre-fasting month) but I can safely say I feel way better and much stronger than before. My body's more defined too. Hmm... maybe it's because almost all my fat has been burnt off. Just a theory anyway.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Work that booty, baby!

Ouch ouch ouch. My butt hurts. Right. Before you get any funny ideas in your head, let me tell you that it is my gluteal muscles that are hurting. Got you there, didn't I? And here you are, thinking of naughty thoughts!

Anyway, as you may know I am naturally skinny. And a woman with hardly any body fat at all means a woman with tiny breasts. Sigh... so since I can't do much about increasing the size around my chest area without resorting to implants, I decided to focus on my butt instead. Woohoo!

And nothing works your gluteal muscles more than regular squats, split squats (hold a pair of dumbells and you're really gonna work that butt into overtime), and lunges (again, a pair of dumbells would increase the intensity of the workout).

The workouts definitely work. Have actually received compliments on how cute my butt is. Teeheehee.....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Four-Week Programmes

Sorry guys and gals. Seriously, I don't actually mean to be gushing on how great Turbulence Training (TT) is. But the fact of the matter is that the programme is good. I've been hitting the gym for almost two years now and frankly, exercising can become monotonous especially when you don't have the aid of a personal trainer to design workout circuits for you.

What's cool about the Turbulence Training programmes is that you are only supposed to follow a certain programme for 4 weeks before progressing to the next one. This way you won't get bored and get too comfortable with one routine. And it makes you keep pushing your body to improve.

For someone as disorganized as I am, these 4-week programmes are the answer to my prayers. True, nothing beats having your own personal trainer. But the Turbulence Training programmes are pretty decent substitutes.

Anyway, just for the record, these are the programmes that I have already gone through:
  1. TT Mass @ Home - This is the first TT programme I used. Designed to focus more on building muscle mass. I could get the workouts done in 45 minutes tops but don't be fooled. They're tough to do.
  2. TT Female Bodysculpting - I got curious to what this programme entails. And frankly I was pretty smug at first. You're talking to a girl who could lift more weights than some guys. So a female programme was to me... pretty easy. Or so I thought. This programme introduced me to one heck of a workout. But I have to confess it got easier when the programme was nearing its 'expiry date.' But I simply made it harder by increasing the frequency of the supersets and increasing the weights. Anyway it just goes to show that I have improved.
  3. TT Bodyweight-Dumbell Fusion - Today is the start of a new programme and I chose this one. You basically need a pair of dumbells. That's it. Very useful for those who do not have access to a gym.
Anyway, if you'd like to check out the various TT programmes that Craig Ballantyne has to offer (he's the founder of TT, by the way), you can click here. But better yet, go check out his YouTube videos. You can get a better idea of what the workouts are like.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No More Crunch Time - Crunch Free Ab Training

Like many other people out there, one of my main objectives when joining the gym is to get toned abs. Toned, because I think a woman with 6-pack abs ala Shwarzenegger is kind of freakish. When the sales guy took me on a tour of my would-be gym, he showed me all the ab machines they have on offer. I was pretty excited when I saw all those equipments, ready to be used as the instrument of torture for my abs. Little did I know back then that I don't need any of those equipments. None of them. Zero. Zilch.

For the longest time I have subjected my lower back and my neck to torture when doing hundreds of crunches a day. It came to a point that I didn't look forward to my abs workout sessions. Luckily for me, I discovered that I don't have to do any of those backbreaking, neck snapping crunches to strengthen my abs. Through turbulence training, I discovered that a total body workout is the best way to a stronger, flatter and toned abs.

When I first tried out the workouts, I couldn't believe how hard my abs are working. And hell they were sore the next day; evidence that the abs have been put to good use the day before. Here are a few sample videos of the kind of ab workouts I'm doing now. Then you can try it out and tell me what you think.

The vid above shows different types of bodyweight ab workouts while the one below shows some basic upper body workouts that also target your core. Two-in-one. Cool, huh?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The First Entry

Hey guys and gals. So this blog is actually a pet project. I started visiting the gym almost two years ago because I suddenly had a lot of extra time on my hands. So what better way to utilise it than by doing something about my scrawny frame, right?

Unlike most fitness blogs out there which focus on weight-loss, mine is a bit different I guess. I've always been skinny. Fall sick for a day or two, and I shed kilos. Fasting month? Yeah I shed more kilos. Depressed? Boyfriend troubles? Time of the month psycho mood swings? More kilos down the drain.

So yeah, for me it's a challenge to gain weight. There are some misinformed people who have told me all I need to is eat more. Why waste time visiting the gym? The thing is, I'm not looking forward to fat gain. What's so sexy about a flabby tummy? I'm looking to gain mass, which translates into a better body.

This blog AIMS to record my journey towards a higher percentage of muscle mass and a lower percentage of body fat. Would love it if you would join me on the ride.