Friday, April 30, 2010

Pushmore Foundation Series - Lessons 2 & 3

Yahoo! I've finished my foundation series classes at Pushmore and I must say that I've learnt a lot. Proper technique and form is really important and I think this class is worth the fees imposed.
Anyway, below are the stuff I learnt on Day 2 and Day 3.

Day 2
1. Press
2. Push Press
3. Push Jerk

Workout challenge:
3 DB Presses
5 DB Push Presses
7 DB Push Jerks
(I used a 10lbs DB)

As many sets as possible in 5 minutes (I think it was 5 minutes. Can't quite remember)

Day 3
1. Deadlift
2. Sumo squat deadlift - shrug errr... sorry, I can't remember the name of this particular move. Haihh... my memory is failing me and I'm only 30

Workout challenge
3 Medicine ball cleans
3 Pushups
(I used a 5kg medicine ball)

As many sets as possible in 7 minutes - I managed 12 sets.

So yeah, that has so far been my learning experience at Pushmore. I think I'm gonna give them a shot and go for a 1-month trial. See whether I can fit them in my schedule.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pushmore Foundation Series - Lesson 1

Tonight was Lesson 1 of the Foundation Series and it entails the intricacies of various squats. Got to know from Adeline beforehand that it would be squats for Day One so I was looking forward to it. Squats are something I did not quite get the hang of. It's not easy when you learn how to execute the proper form through YouTube and articles that describe in text what proper squat form looks and feels like.

So poyo was I that I came to class an hour early. Okay, I came early not because I was poyo but I hate being late plus the traffic was horrible due to the rain. So yeah, turns out that I was early. Waaayyyy early.

Anyway, I learnt three types of squats today:
1. Air squat aka bodyweight squat
2. Front squat
3. Overhead squat

I think the RM150 I shelled out is a good investment so far as I was able to learn the proper way of squatting and have someone spot my form for errors. And dare I say I passed with flying colours for the first lesson? Hmmm...

Anyway, after the lesson we had a mini challenge workout where you need to do air squats for 20 seconds and hold the bottom position for 10 seconds. Repeat the process for 4 minutes. Sounds simple, yeah? Left my legs burning like crazy.

Tomorrow is lesson number 2. Can't wait!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Body Redemption System - the review

Okay, okay. First and foremost I've to apologize as I know this review is long, looong overdue. I've been crazy busy. Or when I'm not crazy busy I'll make myself crazy busy by partying like crazy. But I'm digressing.

Alright, so what is the Body Redemption System (BRS) all about? The product's objective is basically lifestyle change. It teaches a person what kind of habits to instill and what kind of habits to get rid of for good. I especially like when it discusses the people you should surround yourself with. This I feel strongly about because most of us are very much influenced by the people we mingle with. The wrong people could do more damage to your health than you can possibly imagine.

In a nutshell, the BRS covers these areas:

1. Habits
2. Diet
3. Supplements
4. Workout

My verdict: This programme is VERY VERY good especially for those who are just embarking on a healthier lifestyle. Often, those who are just starting are bombarded with crazy information. The BRS sets the record straight and you know it's no bullsh*t info when it comes from DM.

This programme is still a good addition to the libraries of the more experienced fitness enthusiasts as we also sometimes get sucked into believing some crazy sh*t. Most times, the simplest things are often the most effective and the BRS is a good way to keep us on track.

So yeah, go get yourselves the BRS. I think DM is still having that 50% off offer going on.

p/s I also like the way DM summarizes the Lessons for the Day in the e-mails. So super busy people can have a rough idea what the lesson entails. And there are a few cool bonuses in the BRS. Go check it out yourselves!

p/p/s I don't get any commission for writing this review. This blog remains a non-profit organization. :P

Substitute moves

In reality, working out at home means you have to make do with certain equipment that can be easily accessed in a commercial gym. The most obvious thing that is missing for me is a barbell. I don't have the cash to invest in a barbell and the plates that are required and I think it's pretty dangerous to execute certain moves without the aid of a spotter or with the lack of additional support equipment.

Fortunately, there are moves that you can do to replace some of the exercise that require barbells. And just for the heck of it, I'm summarizing additional substitute moves as well. These info are all taken from the Turbulence Training website.

In replacement of deadlifts
1. dumbbell squats
2. lower body exercise + row

In replacement for squats
1. 1-leg squats
2. 1-leg bench squats
3. bulgurian split squats
4. split squats,
5. lunges,
6. step-ups,
7. reaching lunges,
8. 1-leg deadlifts,
9. 1-leg hip extensions.
10. Goblet squats
11. DB squats are okay

In replacement of DB Split Squats
1. 1-leg lying hip extensions for beginners
2. high-rep Bulgarian split squats for advanced
3. 1-leg bench squats
4. high-rep split squats with your front foot elevated 4-6 inches for intermediate
5. 1-leg deadlifts
6. 1-leg squats onto bench
7. deepstep-ups
8. reaching lunges
9. lunges

For DB Chest Presses (of any kind)
1. pushups
2. close-grip pushups
3. decline pushup
4. elevated pushups
5. off-set pushups
6. pushups with your feet on the ball
7. pushups with your hands on the ball
8. spiderman pushups
9. pike pushups
10. decline close-grip spiderman pushups

Replacement for DB Rows
1. inverted rows
2.underhand inverted rows
3. inverted rows with your feet on the ball
4. inverted rows holding the ends of a towel hung over the bar
5. chinups
6. pullups

Replacement for bodyweight rows
1. db rows
2. db elbow-out row
3. db chest supported row
4. db rear deltoid raises
5. stickups/prone stickups/WYTs
6. band rows
7. bb rows
8. seated cable rows

Replacement for pullups and chinups
1. db rows
2. db pullovers
3. underhand grip pulldowns (kneeling) – replace chinups
4. overhand grip pulldowns (kneeling) – replace pull-ups
5. assisted chinups/pull-ups using machine

Replacing military press 1. DB 1-arm shoulder press

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Hate Asthma

When you have a history of asthma, weather changes are pretty much your biggest enemy. This is what I've learnt along the years. Thankfully, my asthma attacks are very few and far in between as I grow older but when it comes knocking, more often than not, it overstays its welcome.

It always, ALWAYS starts with a sore throat. And then it becomes much worse. Doctors who do not know my history will just prescribe some stupid throat lozenges and antibiotics that never ever works. Luckily for me, I have a good doctor who is very well versed of my ailment and gives me medications that helps prevent my sore throat from becoming a full blown asthma attack.

This time however, the asthma still came although it's pretty mild compared to the onslaughts that I've experienced before. But then again, I was foolish enough to miss taking my medications. The result? I missed a few training sessions which frustrates me to no end. Today however, I decided to train nevertheless.

I was apprehensive at first; afraid that I'll have breathing problems and pass out and/or die on my living room floor. Obviously, I didn't. And interestingly, I feel so much better after training. I got some sweat out. And training forces me to breathe more heavily and that somehow lightens my heavy chest.

But I'm significantly weaker though. I barely managed doing dumbbell curls (7.5kg) and felt like crying when trying to complete my sets of dumbbell stepups (7.5kg). Aizan however, is no quitter. No sirree. I finished all my sets. Utterly exhausted, but utterly satisfied.

I'm praying hard and trying to take care of myself better so I'll be in optimum condition when starting my Foundation Series training at Pushmore this Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I trained a friend for the first time a few days ago. There's a gym at the apartment where she's staying and she asked me to come along for a workout. I had better ideas.

I nicked a beginner's Turbulence Training programme and got her to execute it. Her aim is to lose fat. So this was what I had her do:

2 sets of these:

Bodyweight squats x10
Half/Kneeling pushups x10
Prone stickups x10

She was already sweating a bit after the warmup. The main course went like this:

Workout (2 sets of these)
1a) Lying hip extensions x8
1b) Plank x15 seconds

2a)Bodyweight squats x10
2b)Bird dog x5 per side

3a)Kneeling pushups x8
3b)Side plank x5 seconds each side

4a)Stickups x10
4b)Mountain climbers x10 each leg

After helping her on her workout I did my own. And while I was doing my workout, my friend disappeared for a bit. I thought she went to buy herself a drink. When she reappeared, she told me she went to the ladies to puke.

I was a bit dumbfounded because I was certain the workouts weren't too intensive. She was puzzled as well as she herself said that while it was tough, it wasn't intensely tough. And she liked the fact that she doesn't have to actually go to the gym to do the workouts I had her do.

Hopefully, after doing it a few times more she'll get used to it. Then we can move on to something more brutal and fun. Mwahahahahahaha...

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Hate Running

One of the things which I had to do at the Pushmore trial workout was running. I ran around the block twice as part of the warm up regime. While I didn't 'cheat' and slow down and/or stop to catch my breath, it didn't mean that I enjoyed it.

Far from it.

Even during school days, I hate long distance running. I'm always the last one to complete the 1500 metre run which was one of the requirements to 'pass' pendidikan jasmani those days. I loved 100 metre sprints though.

During school and uni times I was quite the active kid. I joined the taekwondo club in school and during uni I played hockey. And when I think of it, none of these activities required me to have the kind of endurance a long distance runner needs.

Sparring was 3 minutes per round. Burst of energy for three minutes and then you rest. Then you go for the second and third round. Even for hockey, you don't really run all the time. It's just light jogs here and there. And short bursts of sprinting as and when needed.

No long distance running there either. Fine, some of you may say I'm just making up excuses for the things I don't like to do. But seriously, I hate running. HATE it. It hurts my joints. It hurts my hamstring.

And my heart rate goes up all the same by doing jumping jacks, which I think is way more dynamic and less strenuous on the joints compared to running.

Just my 2 sen.

P/S I don't admire a long distance runner's physique.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pushmore! Makes you push more and more

Loser = all talk and no action.
Shamed by Adeline who took action and went to Pushmore to get herself tortured, I finally followed suit tonight. Went to Pushmore I did, and got tortured I did. Ain't gonna write much. This was what I was made to do:

Warm Up:
Light jog around the block x 2 rounds

3 rounds of these:
Bodyweight squats x 10
Situps x 10
Figure 8 x 10
Pushups x 10
Jumping pullups x 10
Hip flexors 15 seconds each leg

Main Workout:
As many sets of these that you can do in 10 minutes:

Jumping pullups x 5
Pushups x 10
Bodyweight squats x 15

I only managed to do 6.5 sets, with the 0.5 consisting of 5 jumping pullups and 10 pushups. Fine, I'll admit it. I am a sissy. Overall, I think Pushmore is a great place where only serious people come for training. You don't see bimbos and jimbos on the phone hogging machines while trying to look cute. Wait, there are no machines at Pushmore. They only use free weights. And I think that is a major plus point. Okay, let me summarize what I like and don't like about Pushmore:

I like
1. Friendly trainers who know what they're talking about
2. Cute guys galore
3. Workout of the day concept - different workout each day, so you won't get bored
4. Time limit for the workouts (like I said, they do know what they're doing)
5. Did I mention the cute guys?
6. No hardselling. I come in for the trial. I finish my workout. I can go home. It's not like commercial gyms where they harrass you until you sign up and be made to shed cash for 24 months. I guess that way they can 'filter' serious applicants and those who aren't.

I don't like
1. ... the fact that the warm-up is a bit too strenuous. By the time I got to the main workout I'm already a bit drained. I think the warmups should be shorter and less intense. A warmup after all, serves only to 'oil the grooves' for the main workout. Okay, maybe this sounds like an excuse, but I think I would've done much better in the main workout if the warmup wasn't so tiring.
2. ... the fact that there were situps in the warmup. If you've read my blog long enough, you'd know I detest this move.

That's it. All in all Pushmore is fabulous. As you can obviously see, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I think I'm gonna join their introductory classes (there are 3 classes) and shell out RM150 for them. And then I'll decide whether I'll join them as a member.

Time will tell.

Oi Adeline. I've updated my blog. Happy now? Hehehehhehe....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sexy back

Men. Life would be boring without them. Me, I've always gone for the big and tall kind. Most probably because I'm in the petite category. So having a big strong guy kind of makes me feel safe and protected.

While a lot of women go gaga over men with big arms and washboard abs, I've always liked men with broad shoulders and a powerful upper back. These kind of guys have always... ehem... turned me on. So if you see me with a pathetic silly grin plastered on my face, you can be sure that I've spotted a big and tall guy with broad, muscular shoulders.

And seriously, I don't like men with massive pecs. I mean, having a muscular chest is always a big bonus but if they're too huge, it doesn't look attractive. At least to me it doesn't. They're still man-boobs in my opinion.

But don't start dissing me, guys. It's only one woman's opinion.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Muscle Gaining Secrets - Phase 1

Phew! I know it's been a while since I've updated this blog but life's been a bit busy, in a good way. The great thing is, as busy as I am I managed to complete all 3 workouts for the week. For those still not in the know, I've just started on Jay Ferruggia's MGS programme a few days ago.

The good man wasn't kidding with his claim of 'maximum mass in minimum time'.

Before I started on his programme, naturally I studied the training manual first. At least I won't have to start googling for instructions for certain moves during training. Get this. Each training session only consists of 4 moves. That's it. I thought this was gonna be easy.

And then I started the training for real. 30 minutes was all it took. And I was sweating and grunting and spewing expletives. Just the way a training session should be (well, at least for me it should be that way).

The next day I didn't feel too sore. The body recovers quickly which means that I can start my next training. Mr. Ferruggia mentioned that for hardgainers (that's me), it is best to train frequently (3 days per week is ideal) therefore the body must be able to recover quickly for the next session.

I don't wanna risk misquoting the good man, so I think it's best if you guys head on down to his blog. Like Mr. Ballantyne, Mr. Ferruggia is very generous when it comes to imparting knowledge. His blog is choc full of great info. Go check it out yourself!