The ultimate goal : Leaner me. Definitions on shoulders. More prominent choc-bar abs. Sexy, round, butt. Sexy curves. Lean thigh.

Background image in courtesy of - Zuzana.

Zuzana is my inspiration. I want to achieve the exact same body like her.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ditch the typical cardio exercises

And go for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to change your body into fat burning machine!

Ever wonder why a regular treadmill-gym-goer's body shape still looks the same after half a year running at the gym? These type of people usually hit the cardio machines ie stair climber, treadmill, EFX (Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer) more often than using the dumbells or the plates. They may have the superb stamina for running more than 40mins non-stop in a steady pace but they burn THE LEAST calories compare to those who does HIIT.

Have you ever tried running before for more than half an hour only to notice that you are burning merely 150 calories? I still remember, a friend told me once before, "I wanna run on treadmill for at least 45mins to burn the nasi lemak that I've eaten this morning."

And I was like, man that was hard work! I kinda dread to think that I gotta run that long if I wanna have nasi lemak or run double the time if I wanna have fried rice.

So, I did not eat them, mainly because I hate running, that time.

So what is HIIT actually?
High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a form of cardio which involves intervals with varying intensities. It is the best way to burn more fats by doing less cardio. Think "Less is More". It increases your metabolism and allows your body to burn fat up to 24hours after your training. Which means, your body is still burning fat while you are sitting on your couch watching telly.
When you do the typical cardio, say for example, running on treadmill at a slow, steady pace for 30-60mins, your body will only burn fats during and slightly after the running. Besides, running more than 40mins can caused muscle loss, increase cortisol, overuse muscle injuries etc. According to Jason Ferruggia, the human body was simply not designed for long duration, repetitive, steady state activity.

How do you do HIIT?
Start by 5-10 mins of slow walk or any warm-up, and time yourself for an intervals of 30secs of fast and explosive workout follow by a recovery period of 60-90secs of moderate workouts. The recommended ratio should be 1:3 for work to recovery. For example, you can sprint for 30secs with 90secs of moderate pace. Do this for 6-10 sets and finish it within 15-20mins.

When your stamina has improved, you can increased your ratio from 1:3 to 1:2. At the moment, I'm doing 1:3.

What type of exercises for HIIT?
Any types of cardio like running, swimming, jumping, skipping or even Tabata. You can also do bodyweight squats 10reps and then squat hold for 30secs for 8 rounds. Be creative!

When is the best time to do HIIT?
You can do HIIT after your strength training workout or you can do it on your non-workout days.

Case study
I went for running this evening and did HIIT for the second time. My intervals will be 30secs of fast-run (can't sprint yet) followed by 90secs of slow walk for 8 rounds.

What I found out is that, in within the 10mins of HIIT, I've burnt approximately 200cals. I cooled down by jogging at a very slow-paced for about 7mins and I've burnt only 68cals. Amazing how HIIT works eh?

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Running Track!

I went to Stadium Petaling Jaya last night coz there was gathering cum dinner + fireworks organized by my boyfriend's soccer group - SKLFC.

It was also my first time going to the stadium and I was kinda excited to see that there was a running track around the soccer field. So I can actually run there every Thursday night while my boyfriend is playing soccer! Great!

If running (at certain places) can brings out the athleticism in you, this is the place where you wanna be. I was never a runner nor a sprinter back in high school. In fact, I was never really an athlete but if I could turn back time, I wish I was one.

So I called up a friend (who used to be a sprinter at high school) and asked him how many km or m of that track.

It's 400m.

Man it looks sooooooooooo friggin' far! And the way I look at it, it looks so much further than the jogging route at TTDI park and yet Coach Herny told me that the route is slightly shorter than 1km. I always try to run for at least 2 rounds of that TTDI route, which means a total of slightly lesser than 2km.

Which means, I gotta run a total of 5 laps in that track??!! Oh man......God bless me.

Anyway, I was thinking that maybe I could try and run every Thursday night starting next week. You know, a change of environment and power-testing, to see how much I can actually run. :)

Anyone wanna run with me next Thursday night? I could use some company here.

 Stadium Petaling Jaya

This is the track that I've told you.
Cool, ain't it?

p.s. Missed my training last night. Thursday is usually my weight training night.
I'll try to replace it on this weekend.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another mild training

Warm up : 10mins on treadmill, speed 8.5

Routine 1

Assisted pull-up - carrying 33kg of total BW
Cable lat pull-down - 19kg, 22.5kg
Seated back row - 6kg, 9.5kg
Cable back flyes - 5kg, 7.5kg
DB side lateral raise - 3kg, 4kg
*all 15 reps x 2sets

Routine 2

OB squat - 30kg, 32.5kg
BW push-up
BW V-up
*all 15 reps x 2 sets

Routine 3

OB deadlift - 30kg, 10 reps x 2 sets
Negative pull-up, holding pull-up position and slowly lower down body to original standing position - 6reps x 2 sets (man, am I heavy!)

Routine 4

OB bench press - 15 reps x 2 sets
DB push up renegade row - 4kg, 10 reps x 2 sets

Testing on my pull-up after resting
Results : still the same status. Only my forehead reaches the bar. Damn!

I always remember my very first trainer advised me when he was about to relocate to other branch. I was worried how the heck I was gonna train myself since I was such a beginner that time, way back 3 years ago.

He said this : Try to target at least 10 types of exercises in within an hour.

So I have been holding into that principles ever since. But I had difficulty achieving 10 types of workouts within an hour. Mostly 8.

Then I found another way to achieve 10 workouts within 60mins, or better yet, 45mins.

It's called SUPERSETS.

That is what I have been doing till now, if you notice my routine. I find that I manage to do a total of 12-15 types of workouts within 60 mins when I do my supersets.

Back at the early days when I did my "straight sets", I did notice some significant muscle gain but I hardly sweat. Not as much as when I did my supersets. I honestly feel better if I sweat more. It means I am working hard, right? *wink*

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Come-Back Training after 2 weeks off

So yeah, I spend my Valentine's Day at the gym.

Oh no. It's not pathetic. I don't think so. Really! In fact, if I celebrate V-day, I'll do it at home. I had really bad experience celebrating The day at Victoria Station and it was horrific! You know, cramming together with other 100 couples just to have a romantic candlelight dinner and all. So you'll end up people banging your chair while you were having your steak. So not romantic if ask me.

Plus, you don't need 14 Feb just to show that you love your boyfriend or girlfriend, true? Other days are also Valentine's Day for me. Ngeh ngeh ngeh.....

Anyway, I had my come-back training last night after taking 2 weeks off (Chinese new year holiday). So, me and my trainer are taking things quite easy. Nothing too extreme.

10mins warm-up on treadmill - Speed : 5-7

Routine 1

DB Step Up - 4kg, 6kg
BW Push Up - On Bench, On Floor
DB Bent Over Row - 4kg, 6kg
DB Shoulder Press - 4kg, 6kg
BW Crunches
*all 15reps x 2 sets

Routine 2

Assisted Pull-Up - carrying 26kg of total BW
DB Bench Press with both legs up - 6kg
DB Squat - 6kg
DB Front Lateral Raise - 5 kg
*all 15reps x 2 sets

Routine 3

Machine Leg Press - 20kg, 30kg
DB Side Lateral Raise - 3 kg
BW Hanging Knee Raise
*all 15reps x 2 sets

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Skipping is cool!

Seriously, and honestly speaking, I have logged into this blog, kinda forcing myself to just write about anything, anything at all for the sake of updating my blog. But I always got stuck at my dashboard. After 1 hour, not knowing and not having any inspiration to write, I log out.

Today is my 5th time.
And I'm still stuck.
Dunno why.

I just got back to KL last Wednesday. And I have stopped exercising for 2 weeks now. Back at hometown, I did cardio, skipping to be exact, once only, with my cousin. That was also my first time skipping 1000x. We did interval skipping and by the end of 1000x, which was about 30minutes later, I was drenched in sweats. It was a really good cardio workout, if you hate other types of cardio ie running. Try mix it with various types of skipping and you've got yourself a good conditioning workout!

Few things that I learn from skipping :-
  1. You need a good running shoes for absorbing the impact when you land on your feet. I did not invest in a good running shoes, but thank God for the constant workout, my calves are not sore, but yeah, I would highly recommend to invest in a good running shoes.
  2. Jump up slightly where the rope passes just right under your foot. This is to avoid creating the "heavy, thumping" sound when you land and also to reduce soreness on your legs the next day. (I land very heavily, which is really bad. I will try to land as soft as possible)
  3. When buy skipping rope, try go for the latex type rather than the fabric type as latex is lighter which actually allows you to do faster and explosive movement ie double unders.
Various Types of Skipping Techniques

Alternate leg jump
Jump under the rope with one leg at a time. First you jump with your left foot, then the next revolution you jump with your right foot. Always keep only one foot on the ground.

Double leg jump
Same as alternate leg jumps, except you jump with both feet simultaneously. This is good for balance and foot speed.

High Knees
Jump rope one leg at a time raising your knees as high as possible with each revolution of the rope. Go as fast as you can. If you really want a painful workout add some wrist weights to your jumping session. You’ll find ropes with weighted handles. Don’t buy those because the weight distribution is different and wearing wrist weights will transfer the effects of the jump rope to the right places with minimal strain as opposed to weighted handles.

Double leg high knees
Same premise as the high knee jumps, except you shoot off the ground with both feet leaving the ground at once, bring your knees to your chest. This one is a real killer!

Criss Cross
This is a tricky and advanced movement for the jump rope enthusiast. After the rope passes under your feet and is over your head, cross your elbows over each other at about the middle of your torso and jump through the rope as you would normally. The twist must be done quickly and accurately in order to make the jump. You really need to extend the elbows over each other to make the hole bigger for you to jump through.

Double Unders (This is my favourite. I learnt it from Pushmore. Gave me such a satisfaction when I finally master this move)
Any method of jumping you choose, make sure the rope swings under your feet two times before you land on the ground. These are very difficult and requires (and builds) A LOT of explosive power in the calves and quads. When attempting these, do not jump up as high as you can; you should only jump a little bit higher than you would on a normal jump and the swing the rope with your arms as fast as you possibly you can. If you can get 3 swings under, god bless you.

Run Skipping
You gotta get outside for this one. Pretty much you just start running while jumping the rope either with regular jumps, high knees, criss cross, etc. just keep running on a straight path while jumping rope. You can also utilize this method while running backwards, which is far more challenging.

Ali Shuffle 
Jump rope just like Muhammad Ali. Get in a stationary position, and jump rope while moving side-to-side, forward and back, criss cross side to side, any angles you can incorporate which move your upper body around but keep your feet in the same general jumping vicinity. These are awesome for balance and coordination, which of course are both essential in any sport.

So, wanna try skipping?

p.s. Manage to write a long post anyway. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hiya peepz!

Hi people. Welcome to my new fitness blog.

I have been blogging since 3 years ago, but my other blog has been a mixture posts of my personal life, work, fitness and everything that happens around me.

I was chatting with another fitness junkie wannabe, Aizan, few days back and she suggested that I should set up another blog just to write about my fitness life, about my journey to the leaner me. I think that is really a great idea especially I am aiming to a certain goal, to which I hope that I can achieve in the near future. Thanx babe! :)

I am actually kinda stuck right now, about not having any inspiration of what to write. There are few things that I wanna blog about, but I'm kinda ding-dong at this moment, due to some medicines which I took half an hour ago.

Flu and sore throat.
On Chinese New Year's eve.
What a bummer!

Anyway, I'll try to blog more tomorrow, once I'm feeling better. Hopefully the antibiotics help! Nite people. And happy holiday!