Monday, 28 January 2013

Overtraining does more harm than good

Some people train 5 times a week. Some people even train twice a day, 3-5 times a week.

Let me tell you this is absolutely madness! Let me also remind you that I'm a firm believer of fitness being a lifelong marathon and not a sprint. Just because you workout twice as much in a given period of time you'll end up getting stronger and fitter? No freaking way. In the long run, it'll harm you and could even keep you out of the gym forever (yeah, slight drama here but there's certain truth to this) if you sustain a serious injury! You need to have enough rest to recover.

I'm a big fan of Lotus (the sports car ya (used to own the Elise Mk1) and not the Indian restaurant) and I subscribe to their philosophy "LESS IS MORE".

The idea here is not to overtrain, which is defined as training beyond the body's ability to repair itself. Some people overtrain by training the same body parts too frequently (this results in the body part not having enough time to recover before the next workout), while others consistently work out and push the body harder than what the body is able to accept.

Fitness is not all about working out at the gym. It's also about what you do outside of the gym such as your nutritional intake/diet, rest etc. What you do outside of the gym constitutes about 60-70% of how you look.

So how do you avoid overtraining?

1) Have the right training frequency- Train on alternate days. Training more then 2 days in a row is very difficult for your body to recover from. When you train on alternate days, you allow more recovery time and thus enable your body to get stronger.

2) Take a training break- Completely stop training every 12 weeks for 1 week. This will provide ample time for your body to recover and your joints to heal.

3) Do High Intensity Interval Training ("HIIT")- Don't waste your time doing 45-60 minutes of low to moderate impact cardio. Do HIIT instead. With HIIT, your workout gets harder, more challenging and more fun resulting in more fat/calories burned in less time.

So remember..."LESS IS MORE" and you have all to gain!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet, 2004, Pauillac, Medoc, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet, 2004, Pauillac, Medoc, Bordeaux

Don't be deceived by the fifth growth label attached to this wine. You'll be pleasantly surprised with its rounded, robust, clear and powerful taste. Produced using organic grapes, this wine is good to drink between 2009-2015. I find this wine has a strong structure, a wine with character to say the least. Ruby in colour and with good legs and long notes, I enjoy the wine's strong and long fruit (mostly red berries) finishing. The initial sips can be slightly edgy but overall the tannins are rounded and gives a warm after taste of spicy mild oak.

Although the grapes are grown on first growth soil, price wise it is no where near the first growth crown jewels of Lafite, La Tour and Mouton. Prices are approximately <10% of that of Lafite and the likes.

Value for money? Most definitely! Who says good French wine needs to be expensive?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Vertical hanging- a must before your workout

What's vertical hanging? Basically vertical hanging is an act that enables gravity to help indirectly pull your arms and subtly stretch the ligaments in your shoulder. Vertical hanging doesn't only make your shoulders feel better (loose!) but also get primes your shoulders for your workout.

In order to perform vertical hanging, you simply lift your arms straight overhead and grab onto the handles of the pull up bar and then just let yourself hang for awhile. Perform this a few times and your shoulders will immediately loosen resulting in improved flexibility.

So remember, the next time you hit the gym, please incorporate vertical hanging as a warm-up activity.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Chateau Kirwan, 2003, Margaux, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Chateau Kirwan, 2003, Margaux, Bordeaux

This is a third growth wine, which experts say is good to drink between 2009 and 2020. However, I think it's good to drink now and should stay this way for the next 5 years or so. I absolutely love the deep purple colour and I enjoy this balanced medium bodied wine with medium tannins and mild spicy oak taste. The nose is rich with licorice, plum and cassis. It also has floral scent of red berries and mellow gravel.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

New training programme post StrongLifts 5x5

Now that I've completed 12 weeks of StrongLifts 5x5 and have somewhat bulked up, I've decided to change my training programme so that I'm able to continuously challenge my body to workout harder and to see better results. This new programme serves to cut and define the body and will last for between 12-16 weeks. It can be tweaked along the way by increasing the weights and/or number of reps and/or sets. The choice is yours...

As for food, you'll need to watch your diet carefully. Remember, you are what you eat :-P

Here's my new training programme:- 

Day 1 
  1. Flat barbell chest press- Half pyramid- 60kg x 15, 65kg x 12, 70kg x 10, 75kg x 8, 80kg x 6
  2. Incline barbell chest press- Half pyramid- 50kg x 15, 55kg x 12, 60kg x 10, 65kg x 8, 70kg x 6
  3. Flat dumbbell chest press- Dropset- 4 sets x 12 x 2 (18kg & 14kg)
  4. Incline dumbbell chest press- Dropset- 4 sets x 12 x 2 (16kg & 12kg)
  5. Machine flye- Dropset- 4 sets x 12 x 2 (40lbs & 33lbs)
  1. Barbell bicep curl- Half pyramid- 20kg x 15, 22.5kg x 12, 25kg x 10, 27.5kg x 8, 30kg x 6
  2. Incline dumbbell bicep curl + Incline hammer bicep curl- 4 sets x 12 (8kg & 6kg)
Day 2
  1. Overhead barbell press- Half pyramid- 40kg x 15, 42.5kg x 12, 45kg x 10, 47.5kg x 8, 50kg x 6
  2. Overhead dumbbell press  + Arnold’s dumbbell press- 4 sets x 12 (18kg & 14kg)
  3. Front barbell raise + Bendover dumbbell raise- 4 sets x 12 (25kg & 6kg)
  4. Upright barbell row + Dumbbell lateral raise- 4 sets x 12 (30kg & 8kg)
  1. Squats- Half pyramid- 70kg x 15, 75kg x 12, 80kg x 10, 85kg x 8, 90kg x 6
  2. Machine leg extension- Dropsets- 4 sets x 12 x 2 (45lbs & 40lbs)
  3. Seated calf extension- Dropsets- 4 sets x 12 x 2 (105kg & 95kg)
  4. Machine leg curl- Dropset- 4 sets x 12 x 2 (40lbs & 33lbs)
Day 3
  1. Deadlift- Half pyramid- 60kg x 15, 70kg x 12, 80kg x 10, 90kg x 8, 100kg x 6
  2. Bendover barbell row + Bendover dumbbell row- 4 sets x 12 (50kg & 40lbs)
  3. Machine pulldown (open & closed grip)- 4 sets x 12 (40kg & 33kg)
  4. Machine seated back row- Dropsets- 4 sets x 12 x 2 (40kg & 33kg)
  1. Barbell closed grip bench press- Half pyramid- 50kg x 15, 55kg x 12, 60kg x 10, 65kg x 8, 70kg x 6
  2. Overhead French tricep press- Dropsets- 4 sets x 12 x 2 (25kg & 20kg)
  3. Machine tricep extension- Dropsets- 4 sets x 12 x 2 (25kg & 20kg)

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Consuming alcohol

A new friend asked me not long ago, "Bro, do you drink alcohol much?"

I gave a cunning smile and answered, "Like a fish! I mostly drink wine. Go check out my blog at and you'll know...and that's not even half of what I drink!" *chuckle*

Yes, although I'm health conscious and I workout regularly, I'm also a big wine fan (beer and whisky too...with the right crowd of course). I'm blessed as I've a friend who's an avid and knowledgeable wine connoisseur and he has generously shared his wine collections (including his many wine experiences, stories etc) with me. I'm truly blessed!

There are a few key things that we need to be mindful about when it comes to alcohol:-

1. Alcohol is "fattening"- 1ml of alcohol contains about 11 calories, while 1g of fat contains about 9 calories. This means it's technically less "fattening" (calorie wise) to consume fat than alcohol *guffaw*

2. Alcohol is high in empty calories- Alcohol offers no nutrients whatsoever and does not satisfy hunger.

3. Alcohol slows down your metabolism level- Alcohol slows down your metabolism level and consequently reduces the body's ability to burn fat into energy.

4. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to higher BMIs- Alcohol is more dangerous to the body if consumed excessively in one sitting. The level reduces significantly if consumed in small quantity even if frequency is increased.

5. Alcohol makes you eat more- When you drink alcohol, chances are you'll be snacking on sinfully delicious finger food (just like me!). The more alcohol you drink, the lower your self-control and discipline thus resulting in consumption of way too much sinful snacks (yes, this is the reason why I'm not ripped to the core! *ROFL*).

6. Alcohol dehydrates your body- Do you notice you feel very thirsty in the middle of the night after you've consumed alcohol? Well, that's because your body is dehydrated and needs water to flush alcohol out of your system. Try drinking lots of water before, during and after consuming alcohol.

The key word here is "moderation". I try my best to limit alcohol consumption to maybe once or twice a week and I try not to go overboard whenever I drink (challenging I've to admit but I try my best nonetheless).We need to enjoy responsibly ;-P

Friday, 4 January 2013

Rolf Binder, Hales, Barossa Valley, Shiraz, 2009

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Rolf Binder, Hales, Barossa Valley, Shiraz, 2009

Rolf Binder is one of my favourite Australian wine makers. Unlike typical shiraz wines that are usually quite bold and robust, I find this 88-pointer by RP medium bodied and easy on the palates. It has soft, smooth and rounded tannins, and this makes it easy to drink and enjoy. Although this wine primarily tastes of ripe berries and licorice, it also has a hint of chocolate and mild spices. This dark garnet beauty has an elegant structure and pleasant nose of dark berries. I find it's price affordable and can be a good choice for everyday wine. For me, it has been my everyday wine for a few years now and I'm still enjoying it :-)