Friday, 29 March 2013

Non-PT #3 (Back & Rear Delts)

Straight arm reverse grip cable pull down
20kg x 12 reps x 4 sets

Seated reverse grip wide cable pulldown
33kg x 15 reps x 2 sets
40kg x 12 reps x 2 sets

Reverse grip wide barbell row
20kg x 12 reps x 2 sets
30kg x 10 reps x 2 sets
40kg x 6 reps x 2 sets

Racked deadlift
50kg x  15 reps x 1 set
80kg x 10 reps x 3 sets

Seated cable row
33kg x 15 reps x 2 sets
40kg x 12 reps x 2 sets

Rear deltoid flye
26kg x 12 x 4 sets

Monday, 25 March 2013

Non-PT #2 (Legs & Arms)

50kg x 20 reps x 4 sets

Giant set preacher curl & dumbbell curl & hammer curl
39kg & 6kg & 6kg x 15 reps each x 4 sets

Giant set tricep pressdown, reverse grip tricep extension & dip
25kg & 15kg & body weight x 15 reps each x 4 sets

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Medium rare steak

Typical of any hot blooded man (gym-goers and body builders included), I love having steaks. I'm not picky when it comes to the cut of the meat but my steak has to be medium rare. I just can't stand overcooked steaks (no flavour and too much chewing! yucks!). And how do I enjoy my medium rare steak? With a robust bottle of red of course! :-P

I used to frequent steak houses for my doze of steak but since the arrival of Sonny and Girlie, Wifey and I have decided it would be more convenient to just dine at home (it's less stressful too! *guffaw*). As such, I've been cooking my own steaks for some time now.

Initially, I was worried and of course I got it wrong a few times (I'm only human). But after a few attempts, I can now declare that cooking steaks is not difficult. 

After you've marinated your steaks with black pepper and sea salt, remove them from your fridge about an hour before cooking them. It's important to always cook your steaks when they are at room temperature. They'll cook unevenly if you toss them straight into the pan from the fridge. The pan has to be hot and searing as you want to quickly cook the outer layer of the steaks and seal the juices inside. For medium rare, all it takes is 3 minutes a side (for 1-inch thick steaks). Once the steaks are ready, set them aside to rest for up to 10 minutes before serving so that the juices settle down. And the end result? Your steaks will have a nice brown crust on the outside and pink flesh on the inside....YUM!

To sum it all up, the golden rules of cooking medium rare steaks are as follows:-

1. Room temperature steaks before cooking
2. Hot searing pan
3. 3 minutes on each side
4. 5-10 minutes of resting period before serving

Some personal pics below to share...

Property of Mr Flabby Less
My marinated steaks at room temperature (ribeye on the left and sirloin on the right)

Property of Mr Flabby Less
My sirloin in hot searing pan

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Flip the sirloin over at the 3 minutes mark to reveal the beautiful brown crust

Property of Mr Flabby Less
My resting sirloin and ribeye

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Deglaze the pan with red wine, throw in some rosemary

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Enjoying my medium rare steaks with red wine and rosemary sauce

Sunday, 17 March 2013

PT #2 (Back & Rear Delts)

Straight arm reverse grip cable pull down
20kg x 12 reps x 4 sets

Reverse grip wide barbell row
20kg x 12 reps x 2 sets
30kg x 10 reps x 2 sets
40kg x 6 reps x 2 sets

Seated cable row
33kg x 12 reps x 4 sets

Racked deadlift
50kg x  15 reps x 1 set
80kg x 8 reps x 3 sets

Seated reverse grip wide cable pulldown
33kg x 12 reps x 3 sets

Rear deltoid flye
26kg x 12 x 4 sets

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

PT #1 (Pecs & Front/Side Delts)

Machine Flye & Machine Incline Press
40kg & 70kg, 12 reps x 12 reps x 3 sets

Barbell Bench Press & Dumbbell Flye
50kg & 12kg, 12 reps x 12 reps x 3 sets

One Arm Cable Crossover
10kg x 12 reps x 3 sets

12 reps x 3 sets

Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise
6kg x 50 reps x 3 sets

Steering Wheel Front Raise
10kg x 10 reps x 3 sets

Static Contraction- Chest & Shoulders

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Non-PT #1 (Legs & Arms)

Barbell lunges 
8kg per dumbbell x 20 steps per leg x 5 sets 

Superset single arm bicep cable curl & tricep pressdown (nice squeezes throughout)
12.5kg & 22.5kg x 15 reps x 3 sets

EZ barbell curl & French press (focus on negatives)
25kg & 25kg x 12 reps x 3 sets 

Machine single arm preacher curl & machine single arm tricep extension 
15kg & 15kg x 10 reps x 3 sets

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

La Fleur de Bouard Wine Dinner

"Eh bro, since you enjoy French wines, would you be interested to attend a wine dinner with your wife?"

"What wines will be served? Date and venue please?"

"Here's the invite..."
Photo courtesy of SW Wine
La Fleur de Bouard Wine Dinner Invitation Card

I got hard (guffaw!)...err...I mean excited after receiving the invitation card! ;-P These are chateaus owned by my favourite winemaker, Hubert de Bouard! His wines are powerfully elegant to say the least and I've been a big fan! I've been buying his wines and will continue to buy more to share with my family, especially with Sonny and Girlie when they turn 18 and/or 21 (yes, wines by the de Bouards can be cellared for a very long time).

Trying hard (yes, "hard" again! lol!) to contain my excitement I responded, "I'll need to check with Wifey and make arrangements for both Sonny and Girlie. But I should think it's highly possible for us to attend the wine dinner. If for any reason Wifey is not able to attend, I'll still be there."

That night, I managed to convince Wifey to join me for the wine dinner. Afterall, it's only a max of 4 hours (including traveling time) away from the kids. I'm glad cos we hardly go out as a couple since the arrival of Sonny in early 2010.

Yahoo! I was thoroughly excited! I even picked my outfit for the wine dinner on that particular night itself! (I admit I can be rather vain at times :-P)

Looking at the invitation card and zooming in on the wines that will be served, I tried to determine the total cost of wines for the La Fleur de Bouard wine dinner. Assuming I drink only a glass each, the total cost of wines should easily be at least RM600. What a steal considering the cost per pax is just RM250! I would be a fool not to attend this wine dinner!

After a few days of confirming my attendance, I received the dinner menu for the wine dinner via email. My initial thought was that the organisers have done a great job in planning the dinner menu to pair with the lovely wines. I immediately got even harder...err...more excited (guffaw!)! Can't wait!

Photo courtesy of SW Wine
La Fleur de Bouard Wine Dinner Menu

I arrived at about 7pm on event day. Immediately the waiters at Frangipani served me a glass of Chateau La Fleur St-Georges 2009. It went well with the canapes served.

 Photo courtesy of SW Wine
Chateau La Fleur St-Georges 2009

Tasting notes for Chateau La Fleur St-Georges 2009- elegantly light, clean, cherry perfume, short finish, mellow, pleasant tannins, very easy drinking.

Photo courtesy of SW Wine
Pre-dinner drinks

The hosts then introduced me to Coralie de Bouard (yes, one of the de Bouards and the eldest daughter of Hubert de Bouard) who's the co-owner and Commercial Director of Chateau Angelus and her husband Loic Maillet who's a masterclass sommelier. It was a pleasant experience chatting with them as we exchanged views and stories about wine and food. They are such friendly people!

 Photo courtesy of SW Wine
Loic Maillet and Coralie de Bouard

Photo courtesy of SW Wine
  Guests getting ready at the dining table

At about 7.45pm, all guests were ushered from the alfresco area into the dining area. After everyone was seated, the emcee from SW Wine welcomed all guests and introduced Coralie and Loic as the distinguished guests of the evening. He also gave a quick brief on SW Wine's unique business offering where they sell wines by the case and offer free cellaring of wines purchased at their premises. He then shared their wine philosophy- cellaring of wines to achieve full drinking potential over time for utmost appreciation and satisfaction. I totally agree with him. I know for a fact La Fluer de Bouard 2010 may taste good and approachable now but think of how its taste will evolve after 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years. Wine appreciation is an evolution and the same wine will taste differently over time. Patience is key.

 Photo courtesy of SW Wine
  Loic passionately sharing this wine knowledge and experience 
The floor was then passed to Loic who shared his knowledge and experience on wine and the French wine industry particularly in Bordeaux. Very interesting indeed and I hope to visit Bordeaux one fine day...

 Photo courtesy of SW Wine
La Fleur de Bouard 2006, 2009 and 2010
 Le Plus de la Fleur de Bouard 2006
Chateau Angelus 2006  
The first course was served immediately after Loic's speech. We were served two tastes of foie gras with the vertical tasting of 2006, 2009 and 2010 vintages of La Fleur de Bouard. I found the fat of the foie gras was perfect to match these three wines.

Tasting notes for La Fleur de Bouard 2010- scent of chocolate, coffee and ripe berries, taste of mainly dark berries, plum and light caramel, perfect tannins, quite long finish, round texture, young but powerful.

Tasting notes for La Fleur de Bouard 2009- floral scent of dark berries and plum with a hint of chocolate and coffee, taste of licorice and plum with a hint of spice, rounded tannins, fleshy and silky texture, quite full bodied, balanced oak, powerful and robust.

Tasting notes for La Fleur de Bouard 2006- scent of mineral, truffle and dark berries, quite full bodied, good finishing, rounded tannins, seductive spice aftertaste, rich and concentrated, beautifully smooth and elegant.

Of the three, my favourite is the 2010 vintage. As shared above, although this wine may be young but I find it powerful and thus it can be cellared for a long time. Perfect for keeping and sharing with Sonny and Girlie!

 Photo courtesy of SW Wine
Coralie explaining her family's wines

Coralie then took the stage to explain a bit more about the 2006, 2009 and 2010 vintages of La Fleur de Bouard. She also introduced the next wine, the Le Plus de la Fleur de Bouard 2006.

The Le Plus de la Fleur de Bouard 2006 was paired with pan seared cod fish wrapped in duck "prosciutto". This is another beautiful pairing. I had initially thought that cod would be too light for this red but I was pleasantly surprised. I think the duck "prosciutto" wrapping and the richness of the omega-3 found in the cod did the trick to intensify the course to match this big red.

Tasting notes for Le Plus de la Fleur de Bouard 2006- gorgeous dark colour, seductive floral perfume of truffle, ripe plum and spices, good finishing with long ripe plum and ripe berries note, clean and elegant taste, rounded tannins, rich and concentrated, very appealing to the palates.
Sorbet was served after the second course to cleanse our palates before they serve the third course and present the grand finale for that night. The grand finale was none other than the 95-pointer by Robert Parker, the Chateau Angelus 2006. Since it was the grand finale, it was also the most expensive wine that night! I have to confess that this is the most expensive wine that I've tasted todate.

Coralie graciously took the stage to introduce this highly sought after wine. I would love to visit her chateaus to see for myself the full works of wine making.

Shortly after Coralie's speech, the pan roasted grain fed tenderloin was served. It was cooked to perfection and melted in the mouth without much chewing! The black truffle sauce added decadence to the dish and I thoroughly enjoyed this course with the Chateau Angelus 2006. What a fine pairing! Here's another confession...I shamelessly requested for another serving of this wine, which the waiter obliged. In my defence, I still had some tenderloin when I finished the first glass so I couldn't let the remaining tenderloin go to waste, could I? :-P My bad but the flesh was weak especially after a few glasses of wine (LOL!)

Tasting notes for Chateau Angelus 2006- lovely dark colour, beautiful floral scent of dark berries, chocolate, plum, tobacco, coffee and spice, taste of dark berries, plum and mild oak, wonderfully long finish with a hint of clean green pepper aftertaste, smooth velvety texture. strong tannins that doesn't bite, intense and concentrated, pretty full bodied 

Between the Le Plus de la Fleur de Bouard 2006 and Chateau Angelus 2006, I don't think there's much to separate the two but personally I prefer the former. From a price perspective, the former is about 1/3 the price of the latter so this means I've more to enjoy (yes, I prefer drinking 3 bottles of great wine than 1 bottle of exquisite wine!) :-P

The evening finished with dark valrona chocolate terrine, which had a firm but silky smooth texture. A great way to end the meal.

 Photo courtesy of SW Wine
Coralie, Loic, owners of SW Wine, the chef and operations director of Frangipani

Food wise, it was just right and wasn't too much. In any wine dinner, the wine is always the main course. This means the food portion and taste should be just adequate to accentuate the wines served. It's afterall called a wine dinner and "wine" should always precede "dinner".

Overall it was a wonderful evening and Wifey and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I personally think the organisers in particular SW Wine did an excellent job in organising this wine dinner. Everyone sang praises of SW Wine and the event. SW Wine also gave away door gifts (personalised framed photo, wine list and a thank you card) to every participant. This definitely added a personal touch to the evening.

Photo courtesy of SW Wine
La Fleur de Bouard wine card and thank you note from SW Wine

If you are interested to buy wines, I highly recommend that you check out the stash at SW Wine. Their contact details are as follows:-

SW Wine Depot Sdn Bhd 
2/4, 4th Floor, Jalan Medan Setia 2
Plaza Damansara, Bukit Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2095 1889

I don't know about you but I'm sure I'll be buying lots of French wines from SW Wine for personal consumption and also for cellaring and to be opened and enjoyed with Sonny and Girlie when they turn 18 and/or 21. Sharing is indeed caring :-)

Friday, 1 March 2013

Personal training

I've been lifting weights for over 10 years now and I consider myself pretty experienced and knowledgeable in this area. So when I was approached by a trainer at the gym, I was noticeably uninterested. I would typically not listen to any trainer as most of them are not experienced and don't look the part (most are smaller than me!). I've seen this guy train and he's probably as strong and as big as I am so I decided to have a chat with him and listen to his proposition.

After a chat, I started sharing my thoughts. My legs are genetically gifted and are visibly muscular (he calls it tree trunks!) although I don't squat that heavy or do heavy leg extensions/curls etc. My problem areas are my shoulders and chest, which don't seem to react much to my training and as such lag behind in comparison to my legs (he agrees).

He says he can help solve my problem and explains the technicalities of what he plans to do. I listened and listened and was still sceptical. My time is pretty tight and I don't really have a fixed time to workout. He says he can be flexible to accommodate my request and timing.

We spoke about the cost and it was pretty affordable.

That night, I gave it some consideration after Sonny and Girlie went to sleep. "No harm having a personal trainer. I could actually learn something new from him. Be open. Change can be a good thing."

The next day, I had another chat with the trainer at the gym before signing up for 24 PT sessions. We've decided to focus on my chest, shoulders and back during PT sessions. There'll be 2 PT sessions per week for me. On non-PT days, I'll be doing legs and arms (both biceps and triceps) on my own. I don't need his help with my legs and arms since they are in fine condition. Maintenance will do.

Moving forward, since every training session will be different (he likes to confuse the muscles), I'll be recording the movements in this blog for future reference.