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 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.