Tuesday, December 29, 2009
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
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
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:
- Stability ball rollouts - you can feel your abs burn with this manoevre (12 reps)
- Cross mountain climbers - total killer for the obliques (12 reps each side)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
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.
- Bulgarian Split Squats - 10 per side
- Shoulder press - 10 times
- Step ups - 10 per side
- Chest Press - 10 times
- Dumbbell Rows - 10 times
- Lunges - 10 per side
- Dumbbell Swings - 10 times
- Shrugs - 10 times
- Incline Press - 10 times
- Squats - 10 times
Monday, December 21, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
I am definitely going to try out this circuit when I hit the gym.
Monday, November 23, 2009
So come on over and take a look here.
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
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
Plus points of having a home gym:
- I don't have to pay gym membership anymore. It improves my cashflow.
- I don't have to deal with other people's sweat.
- No more parking problems.
- No more fuming at people who hog the equipments.
- 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.
- 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.
- I like observing people.
- Did I mention about the environment? Oh, yes I did.
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
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:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- Close grip benchpress: You can use dumbbells instead of barbells in this workout.
- 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.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
- 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.
- 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).
Friday, November 13, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
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
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.