Sunday, 28 September 2014

Poupille, 2007, Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Poupille, 2007, Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux

A powerful and vibrant red made of 100% merlot. Love the dark garnet colour. Pretty decent legs. Still rather sharp tasting now and tastes quite spicy when open. Typical intense nose of dark berries, plum and spice. Tinge of rustic earthy scent. Medium bodied. Tannins are still edgy. Needs a few years to mellow down and for tannins to be rounded. I think it tastes best after close to 1.5 hours of decanting. Pretty smooth and elegant after decanting.  A value for money French red.

Monday, 22 September 2014

3 variants of bend over barbell row

I'm quite a "lazy" bugger so I like doing compound movements to cut short my workout. Compound movements save time as it involves a few muscle groups working together simultaneously when you execute them. Since each compound movement involves multiple muscle groups, it definitely takes more effort to execute it. Examples of compound movements are deadlifts, barbell chest press, squats, bend over barbell rows etc.

Bend over barbell rows are great as you not only workout your back but also your forearms, biceps, traps, triceps, abs, thighs and hamstrings! It's also one of the best ways to add real power, real strength and mass to your back.

There are a few variants and all are great movements depending on which specific muscles groups you plan to target...

Variant #1 – Pronated Grip (Palms Down)

This is the most traditional row. Lift the barbell up safely and bend over so that your body is at about 45 degree angle. Thoroughly tighten your legs, gluts, lower back and keep your head in a neutral position. Pull the barbell towards your belly button and hold for a second before lowering it.

Barbell bend over row with the pronated grip is more demanding on your body, your grip strength, your forearms and your back because your biceps do not assist you much when you execute the barbell rows. 

 Variant #2 – Supinated Grip (Palms Up)

With this grip, you actually draw your elbows closer to your body. It gives you an advantage as you are able to bring your biceps more into play with this grip variant. With your biceps more involved and your elbows closer to your body, you will have more power and more strength to execute your bend over rows. Once again, pull the barbell towards your belly button and hold for a second before lowering it.

This could arguably be the best grip to begin with if you have never done a barbell bend over row before!

Variant #3 - Pronated Grip Pulling Higher Towards the Chest

A slightly different variant is to hold the barbell using the pronated grip and pull the barbell higher up towards your upper abs and just below your chest. This is significantly harder and you are likely to pull lighter weights.

This movement forces your elbow out wider so now you are hitting more of your upper back, your deltoids and your rhomboids. You tend not to workout your lower back much with this movement.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Triple drop set circuits

Want to lose weight? Want a quick but effective workout? Want to triple the burn (and pain!)?

If yes, you should try doing triple drop set circuits.

Triple drop what? *guffaw*

Please don't let the grand-sounding name scare you. It's pretty simple actually.

Here's the concept:

You select an ideal weight that will adequately challenge you for a triple drop set of 12 reps, 10 reps and 8 reps with 10 seconds of rest between each set. Once you complete the drop set of 12-10-8 reps, that's considered 1 set. You do 3 sets for each movement or each muscle group.

In a triple drop set circuit, you'll apply the above concept for 1 chest movement, 1 back movement, 1 leg movement, 1 shoulder movement, 1 triceps movement and 1 biceps movement. 6 movements or muscles groups in total. You move from 1 movement to the other with just 10 seconds of rest between each movement. Once you finish all 6 movements, repeat the entire workout once more and you are done!

I bet my last dollar you'll ache all over the next day! No pain no gain, right? *guffaw*

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Gemstone, 2009, Estate Red, Napa Valley, California

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Gemstone, 2009, Estate Red, Napa Valley, California

My good friends visited Napa Valley and they brought back this bottle of wine to share. It was delicious to say the least!

This wine is a blend of 68% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot. Wonderful fruity nose especially blackberries. Luscious taste of dark chocolate, mocha, toffee, dark fruit, licorice and blackberry jam. Hint of oak. Concentrated, fleshy, chewy and silky smooth. Massive wine with impressing finishing. Lot of tannins still. Decanting is required- minimum 2 hours.

Drinking well but I'm sure it'll be even better over time until 2020.

This is a 91-pointer by RP.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Frank Phelan, 2009, Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Frank Phelan, 2009, Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux

Deep, concentrated ruby in color. Rich, complex ripe red and black fruits aromas on the nose and flavours on the palate. Tastes of interwoven blackberry and raspberry jam with smooth dark chocolate. Excellent structure. Approachable tannins and acidity. 75% merlot and 25% cabernet sauvignon. Drinking well now, but it will age beautifully through 2018. 

Although this is the second label of Chateau Phelan-Segur, it doesn't feel as if it's second best. Sure it's much more affordable compared to it bigger brother but Frank Phelan stands on its own pedestal and wears its own crown.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Complete arm workout

If you want to have nice arms, you'll need to focus on both bicep and tricep exercises. Most people just focus on their bicep as they want to show off their guns. But seriously, you need to train your tricep too for a fuller looking arm. 

One of the most effective workouts for building muscle in the arms is using a training technique called "Positions of Flexion". This basically means training your biceps and triceps through their full range of motion; starting with a compound mid-range exercise, then moving on to an exercise that works the muscles in the completely stretched position, and then finishing with an exercise that works the muscles in the fully contracted position.

This concept is certainly not new and Arnold Schwarzenegger previously used this style of training for his workouts. His arm development was stunning to say the least.

Give the below workout a try! I'm very pleased with the results!


1. Standing Barbell Curl

2. Incline Dumbbell Curl 

3. Seated Concentration Curl


1. Close Grip Barbell Bench Press

2. Overhead Barbell/Dumbbell Tricep Extension

3. Dumbbell Kick Back


Friday, 15 August 2014

Lemon wedge in your glass of water? Think again!

Do you like your glass of sky juice flavoured say with a wedge of lemon?

I sure do! This is especially so at restaurants. It makes me feel more “atas” (classy)!

Let me warn you. You might be drinking more than you bargained for as those garnishes could be serving up a doze of unappetizing organisms!

Researchers swabbed the rinds and flesh of lemons from some restaurants and found that a mindboggling 70% of them have microbial growth! The samples were collected as soon as the beverage was served, before drinking or touching. Researchers speculated that these microorganisms could have possibly come from the restaurant employees or raw meat or poultry contamination.


It’s rather weird as although lemons have known antimicrobial properties, a wide variety of microorganisms may still survive on the flesh and the rind of a sliced lemon. This means that lemon slices added to beverages may include potentially pathogenic microbes! Ouch! Yikes!

Most employees handle lemons with their bare hands and they may not diligently wash and scrub the lemons. It's also easy for a worker's hands, whether it be a bartender serving up a drink or a chef slicing the fruit in the kitchen, to cross-contaminate after dealing with patrons, washing glasses and handling food.

But fret not! According to researcher, there is only a small but distinct risk that lemon wedges might make you sick. Usually there would be no infection, but there is a small possibility. Our immune system is usually pretty good at fighting these microbes.

So you may just decide to squeeze the lemon juice directly into the water instead of throwing in a lemon wedge into your glass? Well, doing so will reduce exposure but you’ll never be able to eliminate it 100%. This is because even the flesh of the lemon can be contaminated!


But please don’t freak out just yet. You need to realize that similar organisms are present in all restaurants and in every surface area. This includes ketchup bottles and salt and peppershakers to menus and table surfaces! And the same likely goes for a variety of other drink garnishes too such as onions, limes, cherry etc.


So how do your manage this or protect yourselves? Start by adopting the most basic of action- hand washing as frequent as possible and/or use hand sanitizers Choosing a clean restaurant also helps but there’s no guarantee. If you still feel freakish, your best bet could be to cook and eat at home. But that too doesn’t guarantee anything.