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: