Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Training: what i did differently or revisited

Once there was a time when I felt confident enough that I could design my own training programme. I thought just practicing the basic compound lifts like squats, deadlifts and presses are sufficient to make me stronger and increase muscle mass.

For a time, it did. But only for a short while. I think my CNS got fried in the process. I hit a squat PR of 55kg and then I struggled to even lift 40kg. Something was wrong. Very wrong.

Fed up, I turned to the AMF programme which focuses more on athleticism rather than how much I can lift. I struggled for the first few training sessions but I grew to enjoy it. I felt fantastic as well. After finishing the AMF I am now doing the UNCAGED programme which is very similar to AMF.

I think in future, should I regain my confidence in writing my own programme, I must remember to incorporate the moves below:

1. Explosive movements (e.g. snatches, cleans)
2. Compound movements (e.g. squats, deads, presses)
3. Single leg movements (e.g. lunges)
4. Bodyweight movements (e.g. chinups, pushups, rows)
5. Holds (e.g. handstand, front lever hold, L-sit hold)

The moves above are basically what I have been doing for the past couple of months and the gains have been noticeable. As of yesterday I am 51kg. The heaviest I have ever been. And still as lean as ever.

Diet wise, not much has changed. Only supplemented with BCAAs and fish oil. And I don't take those as regularly as I should (most of the time I just simply forgot to take them). So it must be my training programme that's the biggest contributer to my gains. No?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Swimming updates and coaching cues

Three swimming lessons later and I am now able to swim at the deep end of the pool. This is quite an accomplishment for me as I never EVER swim where my feet can't touch the surface. It took half the lesson for my instructor to make sure my strokes (free style) and breathing technique was up to par.

I had trouble perfecting my breathing technique. That was what was holding me back. After a while, I finally got it and that was after the instructor gave me coaching cues that made me finally understand how to coordinate my body which then made me feel confident enough for me to swim across towards the deep end of the pool and back. Yeay.

It made me rediscover the importance of good coaching cues. Good coaching cues improves a trainee's learning curve and body coordination. In the realm of weightlifting, it could even prevent injuries, not to mention increase the weights that can be lifted.

It's pretty unfortunate that not many trainers are able to give good coaching cues though.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Back from Tioman

Just arrived!
It was a pretty fabulous holiday. The view of the island from the plane was simply breathtaking and tugged at my heart strings. For someone who can't swim that well, I am very much a beach baby. There's something about the sea that commands respect. But at the same time I somehow feel strangely safe getting myself acquainted with salt water.

It rained all day the first day I was there. I got very restless in the room and started to do bodyweight exercises much to the chagrin of my friends. They said I was acting like a spoilt brat, throwing a tantrum at the grey skies. Hm.

Happy to frolic at the beach
But the second day was simply heavenly. It wasn't raining and the sun wasn't too harsh even at noon. We swam all day. At the pool as well as at the beach. I am baked. Didn't bother to put on sun tan since the sun wasn't looking very threatening. But still... I got baked.

Oh, I checked out the gym. They actually didn't have a good selection of dumbbells. They have that all in one weight machine thingy and several treadmills, but not much of a dumbbell collection. But it was fine with me since I got a whole load of exercise swimming all. day. long.

Uhh.. strike a pose!
But I saw a funny sight. The weather was lovely. The beach was inviting... yet there were people walking on the treadmill which was facing the beach.. Sheesh. You're on a beach vacation. Walk on the beach for goodness sake. No point going nowhere fast indoors, don't you think? Humans are funny creatures.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I am going...

... for a holiday in Tioman this Wednesday and I am obsessing about:

1. How bloated my tummy currently is since I am nearing thw time of the month and water retention is my bitter enemy (my swollen boobs look bigger though. Ok. Too much info)

2. How am i gong to fit in my training session. Will the gym have decent enough equipment? Although quite frankly I just need a decent selection of dumbbells. The rest I can substitute with killer bodyweight exercises.

3. My pre and post workout meals.

4. Whether no.2 & no.3 would actually matter. I might just have a bit too much fun u der the sun to care. Which brings us to no.5...

5. Will the sun shine?

Oh screw it. I am just gonna wing it and not think too much. I shall have myself a great holiday.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Why am I bigger?

Sometimes I really wish I can know accurately what it is that has made me bigger. My shoulders are definitely broader now. I am still lean. There's a bit of fat that has tagged along but nothing serious. I can get rid of it pretty quickly with an added conditioning session after the main workout.

But back to the subject. What exactl made me bigger? Was it the more MMA-style programme? Was it the BCAAs? Or maybe the salmon oil? Perhaps it was the soy? Most probably it is combination of all those factors.

I would really like to know which gave the biggest contribution though.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Swimming! Lesson 1

So I went for my first ever swimming lesson last Sunday. I was nervous as heck and was very very close to chickening out. But with a bit of prodding (I was basically laughed at by my friend for thinking such a ridiculous thing) I just went for it.

It didn't help that the lady manning the place was kind of unfriendly. No smile, no nothing. But at least she allowed me to change the time of my lesson to later in the afternoon for the remaining of my lessons. So it wasn't that bad.

Ok. The lesson. It was quite predictable. First my instructor Ellie (friendly gal... Made me feel at ease immediately) taught us to feel comfortable in the water and made sure we are relaxed and are able to float.

Then we started kicking our legs to get across the pool but without using our hands to paddle. We had the aid of a 'mini board' thingy to help us float. And before I know it, I was able to swim free style.

She hasn't taught us the breathing techniques yet though. Hopefully that will happen in the next lesson.

The 30 minutes was quickly over and I am really looking forward to my future lessons.