Thursday, March 28, 2013

A quick weekend escape

Sometimes you just need to get away from structured training and just do what you damn well please.  For me that means frolicking by the beach, practice my swimming skills in the salty sea and get a nice big dose of vitamin D while I'm at it.

Having a peri-workout meal.  Got out of the water for just enough time to get some calories in.  Then its back into the water.

Pretending to be on a photo shoot and started making silly poses.

I hate rides actually.  But these three enjoyed it.  But you can't tell from the screams of terror.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Zercher Squats

One of the main reasons why I developed a creaky knee is because I used to back squat almost exclusively, which puts a lot more stress on the knees. Plus, when I squat heavy my form tends to deteriorate and that also brings undue stress to the knees.

Front squats actually solve the problem of bad form as it forces to keep my body upright.  I hate front squats though.  The main reason being I can't quite get the hang of racking the barbell so near to my throat.  I always feel like I'm choking.

Recently I've gravitated more towards the goblet squat and the lumberjack squat which are cousins to the front squat.

Then I re-discovered the Zercher squat.  I've known about the Zercher squat for quite some time but for some reason I never bothered to try it myself.  Maybe it's because it looks pretty alien.  You don't rest you barbell on your traps, nor do you risk choking yourself with the barbell like how the front squat position makes me feel.

With the Zercher squat, you rest the barbell on the crook of your elbows.  Don't get me wrong, it's gonna get uncomfortable once you're able to lift heavy.  That's why I tend to cushion the barbell with something soft just to try to reduce the discomfort.

But that's the only minus point of the Zercher.  This variation will be a mainstay in my training programmes because:

  1. It forces me to stay upright, therefore my form is automatically correct
  2. No spinal loading
  3. I can load more weights than I can compared to goblet squats and lumberjack squats
  4. You can still hit the Zercher squat even if you don't have a squat rack
For a demo of how the Zercher squat is done, check out the vid below.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bodyweight Buttsercise

Okay, so right now I am following a training programme that uses the Pull/Push/Legs concept.  I've been enjoying some nice gains for my upper body, but I feel like I'm not hitting my glutes as much.  And you know how we girls love to focus on our booty.

So I asked Jay Ferruggia about how I can add on some additional glute exercises without risking overtraining.  And he gave me this simple glute exercise template that I can actually do everyday. No equipment necessary.  Which means I can do this anywhere.

So here's the the list of exercise

Bird Dogs 3 x 10
Glute Bridge 3 x 20
Clam Shells 3 x 20
Lying Side Abduction 3 x 20

I reckon you should do this as a circuit. And below are the videos for the exercises.

Bird Dog

Glute Bridge

Clam Shells

Lying Side Abduction

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Juicing overdrive

Fact:  training alone doesn't improve your overall health.

Diet plays an important role too.  You should try to avoid consuming too much acid-forming food in order for your body to easily maintain its slightly alkaline state.  Which is crucial if you want to stay healthy.

As I have written before, I have been embarking on a juicing journey late last year when I discovered that my immune system has been deteriorating.  About 5 months down the line and I am happy to report that my health has improved.  I don't catch the flu and colds easily.  And when I do, I recover faster than I did before.  There are still some problems with eczema, but the severity has definitely lessened.

Knowing that I now have taken juicing seriously and have juiced almost every single day I have decided to take it a step further and invested in a decent juicer.  Specifically a silent juicer, which presses the fruits/vegetables to obtain the juice which unlike blending, preserves their nutrients and enzyme.

Plus, it's faster and easier.  Makes life a whole lot simpler.

This is what I juice on a typical day:  cucumbers, some kind of leafy vegetable, and celery.  Carrots I include on occasion due to its higher sugar content.  And I no longer juice tomatoes as I have recently discovered that it belongs to the nightshade category and as a person with eczema, this is definitely a no go.

I apologize for the shoddy quality of my pictures.  I was never good at taking pictures.  But posing in pictures... now that's a different matter.  But I digress.  So this is my slow juicer.  Pricey, but I got it at a discount through a group but and it has been one of my better investments.  Just look at the amount of juice I yielded.  It's definitely much more than if I blended the vegetables.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Right.  I haven't updated in quite a while haven't I?  There isn't much to tell quite frankly:

  1. I'm starting a brand new training programme which uses the Pull/Push/Legs concept.  It's the first week so I'm starting light.
  2. Work's been crazy so I haven't been eating enough.  
  3. My weight has been steady at 49kg.  Which is good because that means I haven't lost weight.  But bad because it means I haven't gained either.
  4. Strength level has improved, but nowhere near where I want it to be
Yeah that's it for now.