Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tips for tight hips and a more effective way to perform glute bridges

I've tried the tips from both videos below and it really works.  Feeling amazing.

My hips have been feeling especially tight lately so this vid (check out the original site here) came up at just the right time.  I've always incorporated cossack squats in my leg day warmup but the inside leg lift was something new that I haven't tried before.

The exercise looks a bit weird but it does wonders for my tight hips.  Give it a try.

I've come to a point where doing a 20-reps of 40kg barbell glute bridges doesn't give me the desired burn anymore.  After reading this and this, I realized it was due to anterior pelvic tilt.  So in this video Bret Contreras shows how barbell glute bridges could become more effective when you flatten out your lumbar spine when doing them.

I gave it a go last night and oooo yeahhh... the burn's back, baby.  It's back!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ramadhan, Training and the Butt Conundrum

As I'm writing this, I'm already half way through my 13th day of  fasting.

Training wise, things are going along fine.  I have hit a plateau in certain lifts, but to be honest I think it's more to do with my ability to digest food than my true strength level.  What the heck do I mean by that, exactly?

During this fasting month, I have made it a practice to eat light first (light is pretty much a few pieces of bread with eggs/corned beef or a few pieces of kuih) then perform my Maghrib prayers and then start training. This is usually around 8.30pm.  So I actually have more or less a 45-minute window to let the food settle in my stomach.

Sometimes this works well.  Other times I feel like I'd start regurgitating what I've eaten earlier.  So during times when my stomach feels a little weird more often than not my lifts start to suffer a bit.

But overall, progress has been okay.


My quest to re-inflate my deflated butt has had its ups and downs.  So determined was I to improve the state of my glutes that I read a lot of articles posted by Bret Contreras (the Glute Guy, as he is known) on glute development and activation and even bought one of his e-books to satiate the nerdier side of me.

So far I have been including barbell glute bridges on leg days and have faithfully performed Jason Ferruggia-prescribed bodyweight buttsercises daily but with a single modification.  The original prescription was this:

Glute bridges 4 x 25
Clam shells 4 x 25
Bird/Dog 4 x 25
Lying side abduction 4 x 25

I discovered performing donkey kicks (see vid below) activates my glutes much better than performing Bird/Dogs.  So I switched.  So far I can see some slight improvements on my butt and I am pretty encouraged because I've only been seriously sticking to this regiment for a couple of weeks.  Hopefully the state of glutes would improve soon.

Monday, July 15, 2013

And the fasting month comes again

The good news is I've regained some of the weight I've lost when I was sick the other day.  The gains were noticeable not only to me but to one of my colleagues as well.  She was actually quite surprised I put back the weight fairly quickly.

I'm pleased as well but less surprised than she was.  All I did was shove food down my throat as much as possible and made sure I don't miss a single training day.  Training's gone really well too.  I've just embarked on a new programme and I'm loving every bit of it.  It's turning out to be one of my favourite programmes so far.

The bad news is my butt is still as flat as a bloody pancake.  I'm doing extra glute exercises on training days although I know I should be doing it on a daily basis.  I get lazy sometimes.

The fasting month is here so I do expect some weight loss yet again but I don't foresee any big problems.  I'd still train but perhaps lay off the conditioning.  Perhaps.

I haven't trained for the first few days of the fasting month since I was at my hometown.  Today will be the start of the first Ramadhan training session.  I plan to eat light, and then train.  And only then settle down with a bigger meal.  Which is actually what I've been doing this whole while anyway.  So yeah, we'll see how that goes.

Monday, July 1, 2013

I apologize for the long silence.  To be honest I didn't feel like writing much of late.  And it's not just the blog.  I make a living writing research papers and even that has grinded to a halt.  Talk about a massive writer's block, huh?

Anyway, some updates:

  1. Had high fever and severe migraine which has caused to be on MC for one whole week.  I didn't know what the heck happened.  I had a good weekend and on Monday my body ached like mad and on Monday night I had high fever.
  2. Due to the fever I lost my appetite which caused my weight to drop to 46kg.  I haven't hit a weight this low since 2007.  It made me upset that all the hard work I've put in goes down the drain in just one week.
  3. I have now recovered fully and am throwing myself into training.  And of course, shoving food down my throat like nobody's business.
  4. Recently had a medical checkup for the company insurance.  Had an ECG done and apparently I have an "extra heartbeat".  Doc said it could be a thyroid thing and he said I may need medication.  Screw medication.  I don't believe in popping pills.  Not anymore.
Yeah so that's my update.  Hopefully I can bust through this writer's block and write more often going forward.