Friday, 2 January 2015

Building muscles faster

Building muscle is actually quite easy. You just have to remember 2 easy rules.

These 2 rules work all the time and they are easy to remember. If you neglect these rules, chances are you won’t see any significant improvement or result.

These rules serve to help you gain muscle faster, become significantly stronger and spend less time in the gym- a win-win-win situation!

Rule #1: No Isolation Training

Most gym-goers perform high reps with puny weights trying to sculpture their muscles. This is perfectly fine when you’re trying to sculpt the last 5%. However, you should never attempt this until you’ve already built the mass! What is there to sculpture when you don’t even have the muscle mass??!!

At the very core of every successful bodybuilder is the use of massive and heavy compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, barbell bench presses, pull-ups and barbell military presses. These compound movements are the foundation that build muscle mass!

Rule #2: Focus on Building Strength

This is a simple rule: strength = muscles!

You need to pack on the weights you are using to build muscle. Puny weights equal puny muscles! This is why a gym-goer can workout continuously for many years without seeing any real results. This person is most probably doing the same workout with the same weights every time he hits the gym! C’mon, that’s insane!

Building muscle is about creating a stimulus to your body that demands adaptation. The best way to create that stimulus is by shifting your focus away from high reps with puny weights to packing on the weights when you perform compound movements to build strength.

Pick any rep range you fancy- 5 sets of 5, 3 sets of 8, 4 sets of 10, anything really. You need to stay focused and achieve your sets and reps. Thereafter, add more weight and continue increasing each time you hit the gym. Simple! ;-)

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Asian flush

Everyone knows I enjoy drinking alcohol. They even know I drink like a fish! *guffaw* I love my reds and single malts in the evening. I enjoy cool and refreshing ales, beers and whites during a hot day.

I would typically turn red after a few drinks but I generally would ignore the cosmetic side effects to have a good time! Yes, that’s how much I enjoy my drinks!

Why do I turn red? No, it’s not because my blood circulation is in excellent condition. No, it’s not really due to any allergy to alcohol. No, it’s not because my genetics have malfunctioned. No, it’s not because I’m Chinese or Asian.

It has been scientifically proven that most Asian especially Japanese, Chinese and Koreans respond to alcohol by turning red. So there is no surprise when you see a sea of red faces (think loyal Man U supporters!) all over bars and clubs in Asia. In Europe, alcohol-drinking Asians will stick out like the red lights in red light districts!

Alcohol is metabolised in our liver where it is oxidised first to acetaldehyde and then converted to acetate by an enzyme known as aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2). Those who turn red after a bit of alcohol have a genetic change in their ALDH2. The gene variant causes the body to metabolise alcohol more quickly, but become less efficient in breaking down acetaldehyde. The build-up of acetaldehyde is what causes your blood vessels to dilate and your skin to turn red. Sometimes one will also experience itchiness on the skin and the body gets redder after scratching it! Drink too much and chances are you’ll forget your red face/body and itchy skin, as you end up throwing up and busy sorting out your mess!

This condition is known as alcohol flush reaction. Since it typically happens to Asians, it is also called the Asian flush/glow.

Recent studies have revealed evidence that ALDH2-deficient individuals are at much higher risk of developing esophageal cancer from consuming alcohol than those with a fully active ALDH2. Esophageal cancer also happens to be one of the deadliest cancers in the world with pretty low survival rates. Acetaldehyde is a metabolite of alcohol but is also an animal carcinogen and mutagen with recognised cancer-promoting properties. When the tissues of your upper aerodigestive tract are repeatedly exposed to acetaldehyde, the probability of DNA damage and mutation could also increase. OUCH! NO SHIT!

Since this is a genetic problem there’s no cure for alcohol flush except to completely abstain from alcohol. If you get red, you should think about drinking less as you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of developing both cancer and hypertension. If you can’t completely abstain from alcohol, drink moderately and this is defined as one to two drinks a day for men, and one drink a day for women.

Cheers! Opps! :-)

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Rolex Submariner No Date 14060M

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Rolex Submariner No Date 14060M

This is the "base" Submariner, which every collector must have in their repertoire of watch collection. In stainless steel, it's a very versatile piece for both casual, work and formal attires. Without the date feature, it has a very clean look and feel. I actually like the no-date feature as it's easier to adjust before wearing *LOL*

I bought this from a good friend complete with box and papers and after 9 months I sold it to another good friend. It's all good as this piece is still within my family of friends!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Optimal protein intake

People often ask me how to determine their optimal daily protein intake.

I immediately ask them their objective and body weight before giving them the optimal daily protein intake.

Basically, there are 4 objectives to consider:-

a. Survival- our bodies need roughly 0.8g of protein per lb of bodyweight

b. Maintaining- our bodies need about 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight

c. Bulking- our bodies need roughly 1.5g of protein per lb of bodyweight

d. Cutting- our bodies need roughly 1.25g of protein per lb of bodyweight

So, if you are 200lbs, you’ll need the following amount of protein daily based on the above four objectives:-

a. Survival- 160g daily or 26.7g per meal for 6 times a day

b. Maintaining- 200g daily or 33.3g per meal for 6 times a day

c. Bulking- 300g daily or 50g per meal for 6 times a day

d. Cutting- 250g daily or 41.7g per meal for 6 times a day

You’re probably wondering why the daily protein intake is divided into 6 equal portions. Well, there’s no way you can eat such amount of protein over 3 meals daily- you’ll be stuffed! You could as an alternative ingest protein shakes but not all the time as you need real food. The idea here is to constantly feed your body sufficient amount of protein so that it can absorb the same constantly to build muscles. Take too much protein at a meal and chances are your body will store it as fat. When you take protein periodically every 2 to 3 hours, your metabolic rate will be kept high throughout the day, which is good! I eat (protein included) 6 times a day and I consume a mix of real food and protein shakes.

You would also probably wonder why protein intake during cutting is more than during maintenance. Protein has a very high thermic effect of food (“TEF”)- how much energy your body has to burn to be able to use it. Carbs and fat have roughly 5% TEF. Protein has 20% TEF. That means if you eat 1,000 calories of protein, you instantly “lose” 200 calories as your body needs to burn that much just to be able to use that protein. Furthermore, when you are cutting, your body has to get energy from somewhere. It will get this energy from your body in the forms of adipose (fat), glycogen (carbs), and skeletal muscle (protein). This means, protein is very important when cutting as it helps burn itself off and when your body needs to extract energy, it helps minimize any loss from skeletal muscle (which you want to keep!)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Banrock Station, 2011, Chardonnay

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Banrock Station, 2011, Chardonnay

Attractive golden colour. Quite dense and chewy. Bouquet of pear, peach and vanilla. Short to medium finish. Sharp tannin and a tad sour when it warms up. Table wine price and quality. No complaints.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Poupille, 2008, Castillon, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Poupille, 2008, Castillon, Bordeaux

100% organic Merlot. Dark ruby in colour. Perfume of dark berries and cassis. Stubborn and needs time to breathe. At least 2 hours of decanting is required. Tannin is harsh initially but would integrate after decanting. Medium to full-bodied. Taste mainly of dark berries. Mild taste of spices and oak. Pretty straight forward wine and easy drinking after decanting. Still needs cellaring IMO.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Les Allees De Cantemerle, 2009, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Les Allees De Cantemerle, 2009, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux

2nd wine of Chateau Cantemerle, which is a Fifth Growth. 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. Even as a second wine, grapes were individually hand-sorted before fermentation and the wine spent 12 months in 20% new French oak before bottling.

Dark ruby-garnet in colour. Medium bodied. Short-medium finish. Pleasantly soft with decent structure. Tannins have rounded and pretty integrated. Loads of dark fruits character and nose- mainly blackberries, dark cherries and cassis. Tastes of rustic mushrooms, pencil graphite, tobacco leaf, cassis and dark berries. Worth cellaring a few years.