Sunday, February 21, 2010

A hardgainer's diet...

This week will be the last week I'll be doing the Meatheads programme. I am planning to do the original bodyweight programme after this. That'll keep me busy for a few more months before I start planning on which TT programme to take on next.

Again, the workouts are pretty much a non-issue. I enjoy my workouts and nowadays I can complete the circuits pretty quickly. But I have to stress that the workouts are not easy. The reason why the circuits end quickly is because I take minimal rest between sets. Hence increasing the intensity.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is the workouts are not the real challenge. The real challenge is the diet. I need to eat more. And I need to eat clean. Eating more is easy. But eating more clean food (i.e. natural, not processed food) is a tough task. So far I can think of two ways to make my diet 'cleaner':

  1. Blender drinks - this is recommended by DailyMuscle and from what I can see, it's not that tough to prepare. I can actually prepare the ingredients beforehand, put them in nice little containers and when I need a drink I'll just whip one of the containers out and chuck the contents into a juicer and wham! I have a meal ready. The only thing is... I don't have a juicer. Surprise. Surprise.
  2. Weight gainers - Weight gain powder could be an okay way of adding up the calories. The sugar contents are a bit high, but I think I can deal with that. But the cost of a tub of weight gainer is the same as the cost of a juicer.
Okay, so I have a bit of a cash constraint. Yes, I know the quest to gaining mass will mean I have to shell out more moolah for my diet but sheesh. It's a bit tough. Alas, it is a necessary evil. I'm going to buy myself a tub of weight gainers first. I'll buy a juicer when there's a sale going on.

If you have some tips and tricks for me on how to have healthy meals for someone on a budget and has a time constraint AND who doesn't like to cook (I know, tall order huh?), I would really appreciate your feedback.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My motivation

Confession. The reason why I started working out was not because I wanted to have a more active, healthy lifestyle. It was because I wanted to kill time. When I started seeing results of my consistent working out, I kept pushing on because of vanity.

Screw the health benefits. I wanted a hot body guys and girls would drool over. And I wanted to maintain looking young even as I grow older. So yeah. Pure selfish reasons. So what? Getting healthy is a good bi-product of vanity.

But at least I obtained my not bad looking body the hard way. No cheating. No slimming centres. No botox. No silicones. No liposuction. Just hitting the weights and trying to eat healthy at all times. Yes, I check myself out in the mirror. So what? I worked hard to get this body. And I will check myself out in the mirror if I want to.

When you start filling out your clothes at all the right places and friends comment about how good you look, you know you've done something right. Yeah, it may sound shallow but my vanity is my motivation. But hey, as long as it results in you changing to better health habits, it doesn't matter if the motivation stems from something so narcissistic and self-centred.

After all. It's about you. Not about other people.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My nephew and the TRX

Wow. Long weekend. Much needed break, most definitely. And I am proud to say I did not skip my workouts even when I am away from my humble home gym. But I did bring along my TRX. Unlike in Bali when it didn't even get the chance to get out of the bag, it was put to good use by yours truly during her recent trip back to JB.

I even get to show my (soon to be) 7-year old nephew Arief a few TRX moves. He was in love with the darn thing! Even tried it himself and showed off to his dad his newly learnt workouts! Kids. Life would be boring without them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winning the Superbowl, Mr. Brees and the TRX

Phew! Hmmm... strange that I always seem to have ideas to write in this particular blog right after a great workout. I wish I could hang my TRX at the office and get a short workout done so that I get ideas on what to write for my papers. Speaking of the TRX, did any of you watch the Superbowl match between the Saints and the Colts? Nope, I didn't watch it but I knew the Saints won their first ever Superbowl this year.

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints. A well deserved win from what I can see in the match highlights in YouTube. Very spirited team. Which is what is most important. Anyway... what does TRX have to do with Superbowl? Well, the Saints' quarterback Drew Brees has been training with the TRX.

He suffered a dislocated shoulder a few years back that could've ended his sporting career. But I'm guessing through therapy and sheer determination, he overcame the injury and ended up winning the Superbowl. Cool, huh? A story for the ages. They should make a movie out of this. Err... Remember the Saints... yeah right. So ciplak. But I'm digressing yet again.

Enough already. Check out these vids of Mr. Drew Brees training with the TRX. Pretty impressive for a guy who had a dislocated shoulder, don't you think?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Doctors, weight gain, choc milk and protein shakes

I went to the clinic a few days ago and the doctor commented that I've gained weight. That was the only piece of good news that I've heard in days. I told the good doctor that I've been exercising, of which he replied "aren't you supposed to lose weight instead of gaining weight when you exercise?" Which goes to show doctors don't know everything (I have a doctor friend who asks me for fitness advice).

Anyway, I think the reason why I've effectively gained weight is because of the habit of drinking chocolate milk after my workouts. The protein's good for me. And I'm pretty sure it's not fat-gain because I'm as lean as ever. Tummy's flat. But still no six pack. Yet.

Pre-workout meals are a bit of a b*tch for me. Can't seem to find that perfect food combo that's easy to get. Maybe this is where those protein shakes come into the picture. What say you?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Natural anti-depressants

Been feeling the blues lately. There are some personal and work issues that need to be ironed out. The blues is even worse than usual seeing that I'm nearing the time of the month (too much info? screw it lah. It's my blog).

Good thing that I exercise regularly nowadays. It's a sure fire way of getting rid of any depressing thoughts. I don't know about any studies, but I'm pretty sure exercise releases feel good hormones.

Hmmm... sometimes I wish that corporations provide a simple gym for their staff to relieve stress. Just hang a few punching bags, supply some free weights, perhaps a couple of TRXs and give incentives to their staff to actually use the gym. It may sound counterintuitive (to the idiot bosses) but by doing so the company may see an improvement in productivity.

Maybe the powers that be should see it this way: healthy employees means less medical bills. Happy employees means a lower chance of a disgruntled wage earner storming into the offices with a shotgun in each hand.

Me thinks those are decent reasons. Don't you?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fat Burning Bodyweight Circuit Exercises

By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Turbulence Training for Fat Loss

When you travel, you worry about missing your workouts and eating poorly...So you must plan ahead for both (apples and almonds for planes, trains, & automobiles)...and bodyweight circuits for "no-equipment fat burning".

And while I have bodyweight exercises that are just as hard as the bench press and barbell squat in one of my bodyweight workouts, today we'll focus on replacing intervals with bodyweight circuits.

To do a bodyweight circuit...

a) Pick 3 lower body exercises

b) Pick 3 upper body exercises

c) Alternate between a lower and upper body exercise without rest, till you are done all 6 exercises

d) Rest a minute.

e) Repeat 2-3 more times until you are done 20 minutes

For example, this is a great circuit that doesn't need any equipment

1) Prisoner Squat (12 repetitions)
2) Elevated Pushups (8 reps per side)
3) Single-Leg Deadlift (10 reps per side)
4) Close-grip Pushups (As many reps as possible)
5) Jumping Jacks (30-60 reps)
6) Cross-Body Mountain Climber (12 reps per side)

Whew. That's pretty advanced...for a beginner, we'd slow it down like this and take some breaks between exercises...

1) Wall Squat (8 reps)
2) Kneeling Elevated Pushup (5 reps per side)
3) Lying 1-leg Hip Extension (8 reps per side)
4) Plank (30 second hold)
5) Jumping Jacks (5-10 reps)
6) Side Plank (15 second hold per side)

Safe travels, and of course, always check with your doctor before beginning a fat burning bodyweight circuit exercise program.

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 Turbulence Training for Fat Loss

Monday, February 1, 2010

Long weekend update.

Another round of Meathead Workout B under my belt and I'm feeling really good.

This weekend I decided to take it slow and stay at home instead of the usual back to back partying. Just met up with some friends, played a few rounds of pool and then it's back home. Admittedly, I didn't workout on Saturday and Sunday. Just practiced my pull ups and chin ups for a few minutes (maybe seconds) and I was then on my laptop playing Mafia Wars and later on watched the Federer-Murray final on TV.

Only today did I decided to exercise. It's just a short 30-minute workout but don't be fooled. It's still a tough one which left me in a pool of sweat. Anyway, I've decided to take it slow and not be too anal about how many times I workout in a week.

Three times of intense workouts should be sufficient. I think it's the worrying about filling my 'workout quota' that has gotten my lazy of late. Must not be too obsessed. Must remind myself of that.

Okay. That's it. I'm off for a chocolate milk. Tata!