Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Leg Work Alternatives

Lately I've been worrying that my quads are shrinking, and shrinking fast. That creaking knee has improved somewhat in a sense that it doesn't give me anymore sudden pain.  But it is still creaking nonetheless.

Confession:  I am still avoiding squats.

I tell myself that I am not gonna compete in powerlifting.  When once I used to do only strict powerlifting stuff, I now know that overall balance is important: I want strength, speed, and mobility.

So, if I can achieve those and still be able to avoid squatting, more power to me.  But like I said, my quads are shrinking, and shrinking fast.  Enter Ben Bruno.  This guy is a genius when it comes to alternative leg work i.e. knee-friendly stuff.  You can read his articles over at T-Nation.

But over here I've compiled my favourite leg work stuff Ben Bruno style:

Building Quads - "Squat Free"

For you Glutes and Hammies

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Post-fasting month weirdness

I lost weight AFTER Ramadhan is over.  How weird is that?  I mean, it's Hari Raya season and of course food is in abundance.  I spent one whole week in my hometown stuffing myself silly every chance I get and I lost weight.

Okay, there will be people who would want to slap me unconscious right now but I worked hard for my butt, shoulders and traps and they're not what they looked like before and it is so frustrating.

The one week Raya holidays coincided with my deload week.  I didn't bother with any exercise at all because hey, I am on a break!

Anyway.... Now that I am back, it's back to building my backside again.  Sigh.

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Push Press PR

I hit a new 3RM. 30.5kg.

Yeah, it's not much.  I know.  Especially for the push press.  If it was for the military press, I'd be pretty impressed myself.

But it's better than nothing.  The good news is I was actually aiming 30.5kg as a 1RM.  I felt strong enough to hit 3 reps and still have some left in the tank.

Will test for a new PR in another month.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Journey So Far

I've been a regular at the gym since early 2008.  Mostly because I was bored at home and the fact that I can memorize the TV programmes alarmed the f**k  out of me.  I wasn't actually surprised I got so into it (the gym, not the TV).  But 'getting so into it' doesn't mean I'm getting it right.

I did a lot of stupid things, and wasted a lot of my time going nowhere.  I only started flirting with free weights late 2009 and that was only using dumbbells.  My flirtation with the barbell only began in June 2010.  2 years after I started exercising regularly.

If I could kick myself in the ass I would for taking such a long time to actually start doing things properly.  But better late than never they say.

I think I did pretty okay for someone who started so late.  Pic on the left was taken early 2009 after 1 year of hitting the gym regularly.  I weighed about 47kg - 48kg at that point.  Pic on the right was taken earlier this year (2012) and I weighed about 50kg - 51kg.

After 3 years I only made a gain of 3kg, give or take.  But those 3kg look pretty damn good if I say so myself.  And it does seem that 50kg is my new normal weight.

I have hit 50kg before but the weight didn't last long and I reverted to my then normal weight of 48kg.  I start feeling sluggish even when my weight only increased to 49kg.

The heaviest I have hit was 53kg.  Which I achieved this year.  But similar to before, I didn't feel good at 53kg.  Sure I looked bigger, and I have certainly put on muscle but I felt bloated.  I've trimmed down to 50kg and it feels like the ideal weight for me for now.

Let's just hope I never hit 47kg ever again.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ramadhan - Day 18

18 days of fasting and I've only lost 500g so far.  This is an achievement for me since I usually lose 3kg - 4kg  .  4kg won't be much for some but it's about 8% of my bodyweight.  8% is a lot in a month if you ask me.

As you may know, I have successfully started my cooking adventures this month.  Granted, it isn't much.  Most All of them are fried stuff e.g. stir fried veges, fried meat, fried chicken, fried egg.  The plus point is I get to control what goes inside my frying pan.  And I have increased my vege intake quite easily.

Also new this past week is my efforts in detoxing my body.  Simple stuff.  I just blend a green apple and 2 pieces of celery together and drink the concentrated juice.  Maybe it's just psychological, but I'm starting to notice a reduction of dry skin in the eczema-prone parts of my body.  That's kind of cool.  But I have to say the apple+celery concoction makes me wanna pee more often.

Training wise, I've cut down training from 4 days per week to 3 days only.  And my de-loading week will coincide with the Hari Raya holidays.  Talk about nice timing, eh?

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Passionate about exercise does not equal passionate about running.  So stop asking me why I don't sign up for marathons.

I hate running.  You can either make me walk, sprint, or push a sled.  Ask me to run, and I'll throw your car keys into a monsoon drain.

Stop saying I should benchpress to grow me some pecs.  It's just not worth the inevitable shoulder injury.  I am happy with my tiny boobs.  Thanks.

Don't give me advice about strength training when you can't even squat/deadlift MY bodyweight.

I am a nerd.  I like to read about all things strength and conditioning related. It doesn't make me an expert.  And you sure ain't no expert either.  So stop giving me your unsolicited opinions, you skinny little twig.  

Don't ask me how to lose weight.  Especially if you're sedentary.  You know bloody well how to lose weight.  But you are just wondering if there's any shortcut.  There is:  swallow tapeworms. (The sarcasm might be lost on some people and they'll go searching for tapeworms for sale on ebay after reading this).

I keep quiet not because I think you're right.  I keep quiet because I know telling you the truth is futile.

Dude, if you need a belt to lift your bodyweight then you're weak as heck.  You might wanna work on your core muscles first.  But of course, you'd give me a thousand and one reasons why I'm wrong.  Yes, yes because you are the expert and I am just a woman.

Sheesh.  No wonder I don't bother.