January 13, 2012

Ok so by now I’m sure everyone knows that I’m very capricious when it comes to certain things, like exercise. I get all excited about some new fad and try it for a couple of months, get bored, abandon it and then find something else that’s new.

I put this down to the fact that I’m in love with the idea of exercise rather than exercise itself. I love the smugness of being able to say I completed 63 days of Insanity, or went to the gym everyday for a week, or dug deep and lifted heavier than before.

During the new year trainer Allan was away on vacay and I shunned the gym even though I could very well work out on my own. Instead I’ve tried to make up for it by constantly going for yoga. I went to four classes this week and it’s been three so far since Monday. Which is great because the teachers at the studio now finally know my name. big whoop.

Records show that from August to December last year, I attended a grand total of seven classes —  I was busy juggling Insanity with regular PT sessions, aside from being plagued by the occasional bout of extreme indolence.

But now in the current frenzy I think I managed to get back to it quite well. I have not progressed very much in executing new arm balances and the only inversion I can do is a shoulderstand so I’m hoping I will at least keep going regularly and try to improve on more challenging poses.

I’m a bit ambivalent about the efficacy of yoga versus something more intense like a full PT session. I still love the feeling of sweating bucket loads in a hot class and feeling my heart pounding in my chest. But that could be misleading in terms of caloric burn. No way to find out except with a heart rate monitor, which I don’t yet own. But what I’m sure about is that nothing builds muscle better than just doing supersets and lifting in the gym. So tomorrow it’s time to start training insane again.

In terms of cardio, I found I did very well with Insanity but it was just exceedingly tiring. I don’t know if I can muster up the commitment and time to do the program again. After I finished the program in November I was trying to push myself to do an Insanity workout every few days just to get the heart pumping to the max but so far I have had limited success. The last time I heard Shaun T’s voice was over two weeks ago. I’ll see how it goes.

In the mean time, I hope everyone’s gotten off to a fit and flying 2012, yes that means all five of you still reading this blog.



September 26, 2011

I’ve sort of stumbled into doing the Insanity workout. I had the videos on my mac for a while but just hadn’t gotten round to doing them.

Last week I’d been out with yenhan to Osteria Mozza and ate a crapload of bad carbs for dinner — dessert really is the killer. Come Thursday, despite all my best intentions I failed to get out of bed at the opportune time to make it to PT (I blame it on the rain that morning) so I decided some last minute remedial action was in order.

I skipped the fit test and went straight into day 2, which was ‘Plyometric Cardio Circuit’. I vaguely knew what plyometrics were and in my mind I just had visions of burpees, jumping jacks, maybe some compound push ups off a step board.

It started off with a brisk warm up of various high impact moves — jogging, Heisman’s, jumping jacks, mummy kicks, butt kicks, high knees — and I wanted to quit halfway through. This was the warm up.

After about 5 minutes of stretching after that, it swung full on into the insane part. This lasted about 20 minutes but I had to stop more than a few times, despite the 30 second water breaks in between. Each round consisted of suicide drills, power squats, mountain climbers, ski moves; and got increasingly faster with each round. If you don’t know what these exercises are and want to google, trust me, they’re as deadly as the names suggest. Try doing them non stop for 20 to 30 seconds each. There were a couple more rounds with other moves called switch kicks. Throughout the video Shaun T stresses not to sacrifice form — kicking high when necessary and more often than not engaging the core. But when you just want to collapse it is very hard to maintain proper form.

After my shower I struggled to pull on  my pants because my legs were just so tired.

The next day’s workout was called Cardio Power and Resistance and things were worse mainly because I found that my calf muscles were completely destroyed from day 1 — not used to jumping much.  cardio wise, I felt it wasn’t as intensive as the plyos but this had a fair amount of shoulder and tricep work, which i loved. Again, brought me near the brink of collapse.

So I was very glad when day 3 (or 4, since the fit test is considered day 1) was a recovery session — mostly yoga-style deep stretches. Frankly I wasn’t up for high impact jumping when my calves seemed to be as sore as ever.

Last night was the worst. Pure Cardio was on the sked and just the title alone should scare people. Because there were no. designated. breaks. at. all. The moves were similar to the plyo workout but they just came one after the other. I succumbed and took NUMEROUS breaks but took some comfort from the fact that the very fit people accompanying Shaun T in the video were stopping for breaks too. By the last two moves — I had no idea what I was doing. The last was push up jacks and I basically just keeled over on the floor thinking, kill me now.

But the good thing about it is boy do the endorphins kick in strong afterwards. They put me in such a good mood so I’ve been going to bed tired but content.

Tonight is another round of plyos, which actually refers to training the muscles by first stretching them, then contracting them to increase speed and power.

Fingers crossed that I won’t fall off the wagon on this one.


August 25, 2011

My exercise record has been very patchy the last couple of months. Right around May, my appetite for some reason shrunk to half its norm and I started losing weight — and a fair bit of muscle — quite quickly. Due to various reasons I also failed to keep up with my gym sessions so my body literally shrunk. I was pretty happy because that meant I could fit into all my pre H2 2010 clothes again. So out came the dresses and pants and skirts. At one point I was down to under 50kg, from about 55kg early this year. Now I’ve decided to ease off on the weight training a bit because as was evident last year, I can bulk up quite easily if I lift too much.

But in the last two weeks since getting back to the gym, I’m struck by how quickly the body can bounce back. Today’s BFA indicated that I’ve added about 500 g in overall weight, but lost 600g of fat mass so that means an addition of over 1kg to fat free mass.  i really hope most of that is water.


April 19, 2011

Trying to be more disciplined about exercise so I’m glad I didn’t cop out when my alarm buzzed at 6.15am this morning. Rolled out of bed and got to the gym by 7am and we did squats, deadlifts and tons of compound sets targeting the shoulders.  Yesterday was an hour and a half on the cross trainer, with John Legend on the ipod. Yes, I’m still on a JL high from the weekend, where Shree and I were shaking our booties for about four hours straight. Too much jumping because I woke up with stiff knees the next morning. And tomorrow, tennis! I hope we get great weather because I’m dying to try my new skirt play.

Anyhoo today’s song is another one featuring the Legend, although technically it is a Kanye West work. I still love it and he did it so well on Saturday.


April 1, 2011

suffering bad DOMS today… everything hurts. glutes, hammies, groin, trapezius, deltoids. but not triceps. And I thought we were mostly targeting them yesterday.  I’ve read that whether one experiences DOMS depends on a number of factors, most obviously how intense the activity was or its uniqueness. But other reasons include the amount of rest and recovery the body gets and diet. I think i’ve failed on the latter two this week. Must do better…


February 15, 2011

This evening I was a little late getting to PT and Allan had already set up the leg press machine, loaded with two 45 lb plates on each side for a total of 180 lbs. But when I got to the machine another guy was using it. Halfway through he asked if we were intending to use the machine and Allan said we could take turns as I would do deadlifts in between sets.

While I did my deadlifts Allan would load more plates onto the machine. On my third set he increased it to four plates on each side for a grand total of 360 lbs. And it was then that he pointed out, “The guy disappeared. He was pressing four plates and you are doing eight.”

Haha oops.


January 24, 2011

Since I got sick last month, I have been finding it hard to get back into the gym. Friday was only my second time this year. I know, appalling.

Honestly this has been a really busy month, much more hectic than I expected so I haven’t been keeping all my appointments. But I made it back again on Sunday, despite my DOMS. Lost a fair bit of muscle in my off month so we are starting everything light again. 180 lbs on the leg press, 70 lbs on squat rack. My lack of exercise shocked Allan so, he even put me on the treadmill for a while yesterday.

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