Wednesday, 26 February 2014

La Fleur De Bouard, 2001, Lalande De Pomerol, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
La Fleur De Bouard, 2001, Lalande De Pomerol, Bordeaux

This wine is by my favourite wine-maker, Hubert De Bouard. It's made from 75% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 5% cabernet sauvignon.

Very dark in colour with garnet rim. Lovely and seductive perfume of game, blueberries, plum, chocolate, spices (mainly cinnamon) with a hint of sweet vanilla. Elegant and not overpowering mineral flavours. Medium body with good level of acidity. Typical old world wine taste. Nicely matured. Silky smooth texture, rounded tannins that evenly coats your mouth. Lacks complexity perhaps due to age. Highly enjoyable! 

Good drinking for at least the next 5 years. I doubt my remaining 6 bottles can last that long! :-P

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Cardio interval training

Since sustaining an elbow injury, I've not done any weight training at the gym. I would rather let my elbow fully recover before hitting the weight section again. Better safe than sorry. Personally, fitness is a life-long commitment and I should always take it one step at a time.

So how do I keep fit? Cardio internal training is the solution!

Cardio interval training burns more calories over a shorter period of time than a longer "steady-state" routine. This is because interval training forces you to increase you maximum aerobic capacity more than a similar "steady state" activity at an even pace. As your aerobic capacity increases, so does your strength, muscularity and fat burning capability.

When you are able to executed cardio interval training properly, you will decrease the amount of time spent exercising. You may be exercising for as little as 20 minutes but your body will continue to burn calories long after the workout session. The rewards of cardio internal training are straightforward- expend more energy, burn more calories (and fat) and spend less time working out!

Cardio interval training has 3 simple principles. First, you should limit the interval lengths to <2 mins. If you are able to sustain a longer interval, chances are you are cheating and aren't exerting hard enough. Next, intervals should not be <30 seconds to ensure you have sufficient time to expend enough energy to enable deep breathing that promotes calorie burning. Finally, a sufficient rest period is essential to exerting max or near-max effort during each cardio interval. An interval to rest ratio of 1:1 is recommended. In a nutshell, as your body adjusts and shows improvement, you should tinker with the length of the intervals, the duration of the rest periods and the number of cycles.

A sample cardio interval training routine is as follows:-

Warm-up                         4 mins
Cycling (interval 1)         45 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 2)         60 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 3)         90 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 4)         90 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 5)         60 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cycling (interval 6)         45 secs
Light cycling (rest)         60 secs
Cool down                      4 mins
TOTAL                           20.5 mins

1. Intervals should be at 85-90% of maximum exertion so that the same pace can be maintained during all intervals
2. The above routine can be tailored for running, swimming, stepper machine etc


Friday, 14 February 2014 slow delivery

I'm a big fan and supporter of and I frequently order lots of supplements from them.

Most of the time, I would opt for delivery via Global Priority Mail by DHL as I personally find this to be the most economical way of shipping your online purchases to Malaysia. It typically takes between 3 to 4 weeks for my orders to arrive.

However, my latest online purchase took almost 5.5 weeks to arrive. I panicked after 4 weeks and emailed but they didn't respond. Well, I guess since tracking is not available for delivery via Global Priority Mail by DHL, there's nothing much the guys at could do and hence the silence. When my products arrived after 5.5 weeks of wait, I decided to update by sending them an email and they responded almost immediately. Like me, I'm sure they are relieved their customer has finally received the ordered products.

I'm sure this slow delivery is only a one off incident as I've not encountered this problem previously. My guess is that our Malaysian postmen must have been hard at work! *LOL* Don't worry, you are forgiven! *Guffaw*

If you would like to give a try and order something from them, please provide my referral code QUW344 when you make your online order. You will receive an instant USD10.00 off your first purchase of USD40.00 and above or USD5.00 off orders below USD40.00.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Elbow injury

I thought to myself when I woke up last Monday morning..."Hmm, my right elbow feels weird. The pointed end of my elbow bone feels slightly sore and tender. This is not something that I've previously experienced before. This is definitely not a muscle pull or tendon injury. Did I fall down or knock something? What did I do over the weekend to sustain this injury?"

I didn't have an answer. I was dumbfounded to say the least.

I tried doing some push-ups and the pain was more noticeable. As a matter of fact, all movements that involved the extension of my right triceps would cause pain. However, there was no pain whatsoever when I executed pulling movements.

"Could I have busted my right triceps? If so, how? I didn't workout hard the week leading to this injury."

I'd previously visited Oriental Tit Tar for my shoulder injury and naturally that was the first place I wanted to visit to get my right elbow examined.

At Oriental Tit Tar, I explained my predicament to the sifu. We tried to speculate the cause of my injury but couldn't come to a consensus. He pushed, pressed and rubbed my elbow including my triceps and concluded that I've injured the veins in my elbow. Apparently these veins wrap around the elbow bone.

I found it hard to believe but accepted it anyway. I was glad it wasn't a bone injury. If it was, it would mean a long recovery period. The sifu assured me it was a minor injury and I would fully recover within a few weeks' time.

Property of Mr Flabby Less
My wrapped elbow

I've since gotten my right elbow wrapped 3 times at Oriental Tit Tar (Mon-Wed-Fri). My elbow feels much better now and there's only minor pain if I press my right elbow against something (anything, even my soft pillow or bed when I get out of bed). I've not gone to the gym for the past week and plan to take a break for the next few weeks to ensure full recovery. I hate sustaining any form of injury as that would mean timeout from the gym but I guess a break from the usual gym routine will do me good. Besides, this would mean more time for "bicep curls" at the bar! :-P

Sunday, 2 February 2014

My thoughts post-PT

Completion of PT #24 marks the completion of my personal training sessions with my "Wuss" Personal Trainer. Why "Wuss"? Well, that's what I call him :-) As a matter of fact, we call each other ridiculous names (thank God not lovey dovey pet names!!!) with the intention of psyching each other up during training so that we can workout that much harder. Personally (and looking at it as half full), I think it's a good thing :-)

Key takeaways from my PT sessions are as follows:-

1. Instead of lifting heavy weights right from the start, fatigue the muscles with a lighter weight and high reps  or even dropsets before moving to heavier straight sets to really workout the target muscles;
2. Good to have different combination of movements for each workout session to confuse our muscles and aide muscle growth;
3. Pulses/Partial movements immediately after full range movements helps to quickly wear out our muscles;
4. A spotter helps both physically and mentally (more of the latter IMO) when you are lifting weights; and
5. Good to have someone motivating you (or trash talking!) when you workout to get extra drive for additional effort.

So, will I sign-up for another round of PT? Highly unlikely. Why? A few reasons actually...

1. I don't have the flexibility of working out at my convenience and need to be at the gym at a particular time for my PT sessions;
2. As a seasoned gym-goer, I'm able to incorporate the key takeaways above into my future workout sessions;
3. Anyone working out at the weight section of the gym can be your spotter, just ask courteously;
4. I'm a seasoned gym-goer so no point, unless I'm training for a competition or an event or something; and
5. PT sessions don't come cheap.