Friday, 27 July 2012

Shoulder injury

I've busted my left shoulder! (TNS!)

I can't believe it! It's only after Week 2 of training! (TNS X2!)

No, I didn't bust my left shoulder muscles or tore it to bits. I've injured my front shoulder ligament (coracoacromial ligament) that connects my left shoulder blade (scapula) to my upper back part of the shoulder blade (acromion).

How do you distinguish the injuries? Simple.

Muscle soreness typically goes away after 3 days and in some serious cases 4/5 days. If you have adequately worn out your muscles during training, recovery should typically be around 3 days. Also, soreness should be limited to the broad muscle area.

Bone or tendon injuries result in a more acute pain usually around the joint area. Pain lasts much longer, typically over a week. If so, quickly see an orthopaedic or a "tit tar sifu". I have opted for the latter. Will touch on this in my next post...

If I'm not wrong, I sustained this injury early last week when I was training chest and biceps (Day 1 Training Programme). Please refer to my earlier post for details of my Training Programme.

Chest? But how can chest training involve shoulder muscles too? Well, chest training is a compound movement. This means although the chest muscles are primarily trained, it also involves secondary muscles such as shoulders and triceps.

Injuries can happen whenever and wherever...not withstanding the amount of weight you carry. The risk is certainly greater when you are lifting heavy weights. In my case, my weights were light but challenging enough to provide the requisite intensity. Plus, my rest period is short so that I'm able to maintain the intensity level. I suspect the main cause of my injury is because I don't do any warm-up exercises before starting on my working sets. Big @$$ mistake!

In my defence, due to my various commitments etc I don't have much time for working out. I would be in and out of the gym within an hour and each training session lasts approximately 45 mins. My training programmes are designed in such a way to maximise the workout intensity at the least amount of time. The high reps also double up as cardio for me.

I guess I should now incorporate at least 5 mins of warm-up exercises before hitting my working sets. Better safe than sorry (just like using protection!) *Guffaw!*

Just when I'm finally in motion again and progressing well with my training, I've to sustain this injury and be out of action! (TNS X3!)

Sigh...I guess it has to be boring cardio on threadmill/stepper/elliptical machines for the time being...*Yawn!* How inspiring...

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Celebrity Fitness, Mid Valley Branch

I've been a member of Celebrity Fitness since 2008. Prior to that, I was with Fitness First. If my memory serves me well, I started in 2001/02 at their maiden club in Menara John Hancock (now Menara Manulife) in Damansara Heights within a few months of their launch. 

But why did I change clubs? Well, that's certainly something to blog about in the near future.

My membership with Celebrity Fitness allows me to workout at all their clubs (passport membership). I would typically workout at their 1 Utama, Subang Parade and Bangsar Village branches. I've only been to the Mid Valley branch just once previously (some time in 2008).

I had a meeting at The Gardens yesterday so I decided to swing by an hour earlier to workout at Celebrity Fitness, Mid Valley. I reckon that since my workout takes approximately 45 minutes, I should be able to get out by the hour mark after taking a shower.

Since I've only been to the Mid Valley branch just once previously in 2008, I decided to double check their website to be sure.

"Yes, the Celebrity Fitness branch at Mid Valley still exists!"

After parking my car, I took the lift straight up to Level 3. I came out at the cinema side and intuitively I knew I have to walk to the other end of that level cos that's where the gym is located at.

"Wait a minute, this can't be it! Where's Celebrity Fitness?', I asked myself as I stood right outside Pets Wonderland.

Looking towards the previous food court area, which was now off limit to the public and clearly some kind of renovation/construction work was in progress, "Where's the food court? The gym used to be located right after the food court. What's this huge Mickey Mouse statue doing there?"

I walked over and took a peek into the renovation/construction area (actually more kancheong than kaypoh ya).

"Where's the gym? Have they moved? Did they close this branch since they now have a branch at Bangsar Village? Didn't they update their website? I can't be leaving Mid Valley now and head over to Bangsar Village for my workout. The to and fro traffic and not to mention parking will surely be a stressful ordeal! I don't have much time to waste! I need to workout now, otherwise I will be late for my appointment! I've psyched myself up for today's training! Damn potong steam! (POTONG STEAM X1)

I decided to call them...

"Hi, Celebrity Fitness Mid Valleeeeey."

"Huh-low. I'm trying to find the gym at Mid Valley. I'm now at Level 3, standing right outside Pets Wonderland. I don't see the gym anywhere. Have you relocated?"

"No, sir. We are still located at Level 3. But you can't access the gym directly from where you are. You'll need to go down to Level 2, walk towards Jusco and take the escalator up."

"Great! Thanks!"

I did as instructed and as I reached the end of the escalator, "Woohoo! Found it! I still have enough time to complete my Day 3 training programme but I'll have to be quick plus I need to limit my rest period."

After tagging in, I quickly walked up the stairs and headed towards the guys' changing room.

"Hmm...where's the towel counter? It should be right outside the changing room. Maybe they have moved it inside."

I went into the guys' changing room but there's no towel counter in sight.

"'Cuse me, bro. Can I know where the towel counter is?"

"It's downstairs, next to the staircase."

"Oh, I didn't see any towel counter when I came up the staircase. Thanks bro, will check it out."

I walked down the other staircase and there was the towel counter!

"There are 2 staircases here and I had to take the one without the towel counter! Brilliant! Just brilliant!"

After collecting my towels, I quickly ran back to the changing room and changed. Once I've finished changing, I took out my padlock and proceeded to lock my locker...

"TNMCH! The locker hook is too tiny and my thick and long padlock can't fit! OH NO! This can't be happening to me!" (POTONG STEAM X2)

I checked on a few other lockers and they have the same tiny hook...

Then, I stumbled upon 1 that's just slightly larger then the previous ones and my thick and long padlock can be forced through.

"I don't care! This will have to do!"

I locked up and headed straight to the weights area to start my workout. The guys there were mostly working out in groups, doing straight sets etc. Since I was new there (last time there was in 2008), naturally they were checking out my workout. As shared in my earlier posts, my training is different and has been designed to double up as cardio too (yeah, it's legit cheating!). It's high in intensity as it involves high reps and has multiple movements in each set and limited (sometimes none!) rest period between sets.

I got reacquainted with an old gym buddy when I was finishing up my training. We used to train at Fitness First, KLCC between 2002-2004. He's so much larger than how he used to be. I wanna be just like him when I grow up! *Guffaw!* Then again, I doubt that'll happen as my training programme is more skewed towards general fitness and not growing thicker (and longer! muahahahahaha!) and larger muscles. :-P

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

1st week of training

"I will survive! I will survive! I will survive!" (to the tune of "I Will Survive"....what else could it be? :-P)

......and yes! I did survive my 1st week of training :-) WOOHOO!!!

Like a poorly oiled machine, my movements were slightly off the mark. It actually felt weird when I initially lifted weights. This was expected due to the long layoff.

"Old" members were staring at me (hopefully not sniggering at my out-of-shape body!) as I was considered "new" to their gym. Regular gym-goers have buddies at the gym and they would sometimes workout together. This "newbie" was all alone and was lifting puny weights! (Malunya!)

Maybe that's why they were staring at me...a big-ass guy lifting puny weights and sweating buckets! (Malunya x2!)

In order to slowly ease myself in and not injure myself, I used light weights (about 1/4 of what I used to lift) and emphasised on form. Reps were kept high between 15-20 and I didn't rest much between sets. This is to ensure I get a good cardio workout too while lifting weights.

Weights were indeed puny but the intensity was kept high at all times. As a result, I was sweating buckets! I've the perfect solution to the recent water rationing woes! :-P

On the average, I managed to complete each training session within 45 minutes!

What do you mean no time? It's only about 45 mins per session!

After my 1st week of training, my body was aching all over! Muscles were in constant spasm! I couldn't even straighten my arm and was walking slowly (like an old man who has lost his walking stick!).

The pain eased after 3-4 days. I know this pain is well-worth it as it's the start of my journey back into shape. Also, the pain gets considerably less along the way. I look forward to next week's training!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Rest days

It's advisable to have at least a day of rest between each weight training session.

Once you've adequately worn out your muscles during a weight training session, the tissues need time to rebuild/repair in order to thicken. It typically takes between 48-72 hours for that to happen.

Rest is also important so that you are able to maintain proper form at the next weight training session.

No point pushing hard and keeping the body at constant stress when lifting form is sacrificed. Remember, you are a body-builder, not a weight-lifter!

However, if you feel you want to maximise your time at the gym and workout everyday, you may want to consider slotting in cardio training on non-weight training days.


Monday- Day 1 Weight Training
Tuesday- Treadmill
Wednesday- Day 2 Weight Training
Thursday- Stepper/Bicycle
Friday- Day 3 Weight Training
Saturday- Swim
Sunday- Rest

The above is strictly for "normal" people who are into training for fitness purpose.

Professional body builders train up 3 times a day, 5 days a week. Now, that's a different matter all together...

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Durian!!! My favourite!!! :-)

It's durian season once again and I've been stuffing my face with lots and lots of durian of late!

Durian flower

Prices are relatively high now as it's still early in the season. Prices should taper down a bit in due course when supply increases (law of supply and demand) and that's where you get a bang for your buck! Yummy in my tummy!

Grow on trees and drop when ripe. Thudddddd! That's music to the ears!

My favourite variants are XO and D24 as these are value for money at about RM10-12 per kg and they taste creamy and bitter. I prefer my durian bitter than sweet...actually the more bitter the better!

I've recently decided to try Musang King or Mau San Wong as the Chinese would fondly call it. I've been put off by its high price of circa RM30-35 per kg but what the heck! No harm trying, right?

So I came, I saw, I ate....and I loved it! It's worth every cent paid! I now understand why people are crazy over this variant- big and bold flavours of bitterness with a tinge of sweetness, creamy and with great texture (ever so pleasing in the mouth and on your tastebuds)...the after taste of each bite seems to linger profoundly at the back of your throat! In wine terminology, it has "long notes"! I'm starting to crave for Musang King just reading my description of its taste! :-)

Musang King or Mau San Wong

After my first encounter with the (in)famous Musang King, I long to have it daily! Wifey thinks I'm mad!

"I'm off to buy some Musang King for dessert."

"Again??!! They are expensive plus you just had it!"

"Well, Sonny loves it..." (a damn convenient excuse!)
My good friends such as FatBoyBakes and TCH have also treated me to the (in)famous Musang King. Thanks so much, guys! Appreciate your kind gesture!

I find that durian is a superfood as it has many benefits...

1. Rich in energy, minerals and vitamins;
2. Contains simple sugars like fructose and sucrose;
3. Contains simple fats that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly;
4. Cholesterol free;
5. Rich in dietary fiber;
6. Rich in antioxidants;
7. Contains many B-complex groups of vitamins (a rare feature among fruits)- niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1);
8. Contains good amount of minerals like manganese, copper, iron and magnesium;
9. Rich source of potassium; and
10. Contains high levels of essential amino acid.

Nutrition value of durian
This wonderful/miracle fruit contains a relatively high amount of fats among fruits, so you need to watch your portion. Who am I kidding? Can control meh when it comes to whacking durian? Honestly, it's an ordeal lor...(paiseh only!)

It's great to have this as part of your diet during bulking phase but not so during cutting phase. Honestly, best to stay away during cutting phase.

I too need to watch my durian intake, otherwise my training sessions would be jeopardised. If not, soon I may have to change my nick from "Flab2Fab" to "Flab2Fat" (reminisce of my blunder email add over the weekend!) and my blog from "MrFlabbyLess.blogspot" to "MrFlabbyNess.blogspot"! Ouch!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Come back

After a long hiatus (since Feb 2010 when Sonny was born), I plan to make a come back to the gym scene. This week shall be my first week back in training. However, my focus and training programme have some what changed.

Before Sonny's arrival, I had all the time in the world and I would workout 3-4 times a week for about 1.5 hours per session. I was in tip-top condition and was able to flaunt it! Hey, I worked hard and deserved to have some bragging rights, right? :-P

Previously, it was strictly weight training with limited (sometimes even none) cardio. The weights that I used to carry were massive. As an indication, I could deadlift 120kg easily! My biceps were about 16"!

However, since I'm a homey and responsible dad and I cherish spending time with both Sonny and Girlie, I try to cut short my training. Although training time may have reduced, intensity shall be kept high.

I've recently designed my new training programme and I'm happy to share...

Day 1
  1. Inclined barbell chest press + Barbell bicep curl + Dumbbell bicep curl
  2. Flat barbell chest press + Inversed barbell bicep curl + Dumbbell chest pullover
  3. Flat dumbbell chest press + Flat dumbbell chest flye + Hammer bicep curl
  4. Inclined dumbbell chest press + Inclined dumbbell chest flye + Inclined bicep curl
Day 2
  1. Military shoulder press + Reverse military shoulder press + Seated leg press + Seated calf extension
  2. Arnold shoulder press + Lateral dumbbell shoulder press + Machine leg extension
  3. Barbell lateral shoulder raise + Dumbbell lateral shoulder raise + Dumbbell lunge
  4. Front barbell shoulder raise + Bendover dumbbell shoulder raise + Machine leg curl
Day 3
  1. Bendover barbell back row (open & closed grip) + Overhead French tricep press
  2. Bendover dumbbell back row + Barbell closed grip bench press + Abs crunches
  3. Machine pulldown (open & closed grip) + Machine tricep extension
  4. Machine seated back row + Seated tricep press + Bendover dumbbell tricep extension

In order to keep the level of intensity high, try not to rest between sets for each combo. Weights can be light but don't worry about it. Since you do not stop during the course of each combo, this training consist of both aerobic and anaerobic training. Call it cheating but from a time perspective, it makes a lot of sense for me. One can spend 2-3 hours at the gym but if it's of low intensity, you're wasting time and effort! My aim is to have the most effective training at the least amount of time.

Since this training programme is new to me, I'll print it out into little sheets of paper that I can easily slip into my pocket for easy reference during training. The last thing you want is to second guess (and waste time!) your training programme during the course of your training. This method helps to simplify your training and keeps you focussed on what needs to be done. Try it!

My weekly training programme in little sheets of paper for easy reference during training

Getting started

How did I end up starting this blog?

Well, I was having a pint (actually 2) of Guinness draft with my buddy, FatBoyBakes, yesterday and paired our perfect pints with some sinfully delicious finger food (I know, not all healthy but hey there's no harm in indulging now and then)...and while we were catching up, the subject of blogging came up (not surprising as FatBoyBakes is an avid blogger).

"What should I blog about? I don't have the slightest clue. Also, I don't have the time! Plus my English is not as good as yours!"

"Anything that interests you. Why not try fitness and health since there aren't many around and you are knowledgable in that area? You don't need a lot of time to blog...about an hour or so for each post. If you can write the way you sms me, you'll be fine."

(I've to confess the above are not verbatim but they more or less cover the gist of the discussion)

I've decided to use "Flab2Fab". Why? I think it's catchy and IMO there's some truth behind it. Let me stop here so that I can stress this....SOME (yes, just some)!!! :-P

I declared to Wifey and she approves of the idea of starting my own blog and my choice of pseudonym. While both Sonny and Girlie were taking their afternoon nap, I took out my iPad, accessed Blogger and started to sign-up for a blogspot account.

In order to sign-up for a new blogspot account, a new Gmail address is required. I impatiently keyed in "" and registered that as my new gmail address. I then keyed in my name and "flab2fab" as my profile ID. I continued for a while more and then decided to review my account settings. To my horror, I realised that while my profile ID was rightfully "flab2fab", my email add was ""!!!

"OMG! OH NO! This can't be happening! Which school did I go to?!?! How do I fix this?"

I tried adding a supplementary email add and then tried to delete the primary email add, hoping that the supplementary email add will be reclassified as the primary email add but to no avail. I finally decided to delete the "" account and then to start afresh.

I tried registering "" but it's already registered by someone else. 

"Arrgh! This is terrible! Maybe I shouldn't waste time...maybe blogging is not for me. This must surely be a sign..."

I asked Wifey for suggestions and after throwing a few names, we decided on "". With my fingers tightly crossed, I keyed this in and yes, I was successful! 

After I'd inserted my preferred profile ID of "flab2fab", I needed to decide on a domain name before I could start blogging. Naturally, I wanted "" and keyed this in but it was not available. I tried a few other names and just when I wanted to key-in "", FatBoyBakes sent me a sms saying something something something (I really can't recall) and he ended with "Mr. Flabby Less". 

"Hey, this might just work!"

I checked with Wifey for confirmation and thereafter decided to go with this suggestion by FatBoyBakes.

"I got it! I got it! I can finally start blogging!"

Before I could do anything, my dashboard highlighted that this domain name has been automatically deleted by the Blogger system. When I tried to restore it, the system mentioned something about this domain being spam. I had to complete an online request/appeal form so that the Blogger Team could look into this matter. They did and I finally had access to my domain "" after about 10 minutes. TYVM, Blogger Team!

It has been an interesting experience for me setting up this blogspot account. I'm keeping my fingers crossed this is worth my while.

My parting words for my very first post..."I dedicate this first post to my deaaaaarrrr friend who inspired me through fat and thin, to impart my wisdom on matters pertaining to fitness to the masses." (this is verbatim per FatBoyBakes' request!)