Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm waving it (Part deux)

When I first started with Jason Ferruggia's Muscle Gaining Secrets programme, the very first training template comprised of just the three basic lifts: squat, benchpress, and deadlift.  I was to start with 3x5, then 4x5, then 5x5, all the way to 8x5 and only then increase the weight.  By the time I hit 8x5 I'm already psyched and my body is more than ready to lift more weight.

This is what was lacking in the 5x5 programme.  I didn't feel so confident to increase the weights.  I still felt I was too weak.  It's like my body didn't have sufficient time to get ready for heavier stuff.

So I changed things up a bit, in a sense that I 'wave' my work sets.  My total work set is still 5, but the weight varies with each set.  But instead of sticking to 5 reps per set (hence 5x5) I now increase the number of reps for the earlier, lighter sets.

I discover that my body adapts to the later, heavier sets much better and I'm able to increase the weights I lift faster.  I'm only 3 training sessions into this 'modified 5x5' and so far the results are pretty promising.  Let's see how far I can take this until my body tells me to deload.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nifty fitness apps

I would be the first to admit that most fitness related apps in the various app stores are crap. But now and then I discover a few apps that are worth looking into.

My current favourite is the KB Timer Pro. It's pretty much for interval training purposes. What's nifty about it is that it has various preset times for intervals. For inatance, those who are testing out their VO2 max could go for the 15s/15s (15 second swings followed by 15 second rest).

A regular Jane like me can go for the 30s/30s intervals. And you can choose how long your torture session would last. My five minutes of 30s/30s swings leave me gasping for breath and begging for mercy by the fourth set.

It's not free though. The asking price is USD0.99 or MYR3.20. Fairly priced, if you ask me.

Do you have any cool fitness related apps that you frequently use? Care to share the info?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Overhead Press with Thumbless Grip

To be honest, I am not sure where exactly I got the idea of using the thumbless grip when doing my overhead press.  It definitely was from one of the myriad of blogs I read.  And there is quite a high probability it came from James Smith (the guy behind Diesel Crew).

Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about using the thumbless grip.

Thumbless = Unstable

At least, that's what I thought.

But I was pleasantly surprised that it made the lift that much steadier.  The 'line of movement' of the overhead press felt smoother and more comfortable.  Most probably because I could bend back my wrists a bit better.  Bottom line... you should try using the thumbless grip for the overhead press.  It's certainly one of the better tips I've read so far.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wow.. It has been quite a while since I last posted anything here. Life has been pretty busy. Training went smoothly and it's the same routine thing. But two weeks into my post-sickness training phase I had a call from my mom saying that my dad isin hospital and he is not doing so well. So I dropped everything so that I can be with my family and have just started training again last Sunday.

But that is not what I wanted to write about.

You see, my dad is an interesting case. He doesn't take care of his body. He ised to smoke packs of unfiltered cigarettes each day and drank copious amount of coffee. He doesn't control his eating. While he is by no means obese, he is a diebetic so his diet should be restricted.

Couple that with late nights and hanging out with friends who are heavy smokers as well... You have a time bomb just waiting to explode.

My dad is 64. Still young by today's standards. Yet he is already on dialysis and he had a bypass surgery 7 years ago. His body is pretty much damaged. But a couple of years back he changed hia lifestyle for the better. He quit smoking altogether and made an effort to walk around the neighbourhood on a daily basis.

His health improved tremendously. And despite being on dialysis, I reckon he is in better health now than he was 5 years ago. The reason why he was hospitalized recently was because he grew a bit too confident that his body can take a bit of abuse. And by abuse I mean sleeping right under the fan and drinking too much liquid.

So again... The only reason For his recent hospital stint was due to his own bad judgment.

What's the point of my ramblings, you may ask.

Well, the point is this:

Take care of your health. You may think you are the only one that is suffering. But the truth is, when you are sick... It takes a toll on the people who has to take care of you. Don't be selfish.

The occasional fun and partying are fine. But the key word here is OCCASIONAL, folks. Don't make it a habit.

Everyone wants to live a long life. But what is the point ofliving a long life when you spend half of it having to restrict yourself from doing this and that due to ill health? It's just so silly.

So yeah. Stay healthy, get strong. Kick those nasty habits. Or at least... Get them under control, eh?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Non-training day activity

Believe it or not, I have not played any kind of sport for some time now.  The only exercise I do is weightlifting.  And even that I don't do as well as I want to.

My colleagues have been asking me to join them for a game of basketball.  Gosh... the only kind of basketball that I play is the one at the arcade.  And I suck.  And here they are wanting me to run around the court, while dribbling a ball and try to shoot it into the darn hoop.

I was actually concerned that I couldn't move fast enough.  That all that weightlifting made me inflexible.

Thus I am happy to report that I moved pretty okay for someone who hasn't played any kind of sports for many many years.  I was pretty fluid (it could be better) and didn't suffer injuries due to inflexible joints or crap like that.  Just a bit disoriented and rigid because I was more accustomed playing netball (product of an all girls school) rather than basketball.

I suck at shooting the ball though.

Oh well.  Perhaps with a bit of practice I'll get better.