Friday, August 21, 2009

Fast Track

Linda Hamilton arms mission going steady. Despite sleeping only 4 hours, I managed to wake up for gym this morning. No not that I have a new laptop but I was out with a friend til pretty late as we had not seen each other in a year and we had lots to catch up on.

Was on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes, after which I did:

2 sets x 20 push ups (i picked this up from Suzy Favor Hamilton's book Fast Track which I am currently reading - check out her arms on the cover!)
3 sets x 10 reps dumbell press
2 sets x 12 reps dumbell
3 sets x 10 reps tricep dip
2 sets x 12 reps barbell clean and press

After doing the pushups my arms were quite fatigue, so during the second set of my dumbell press (using 10kg weights each arm) i suddenly dropped my left 10kg weight on my chest! Thank God for extra adipose tissue to protect any damage! Good thing it did not drop on my ribcage. So for the 3rd set I reduced to 8kg each side.

WHile I was working out, there was another lady at the free weights section talking to me. She was groaning about how she gained 1kg. What she wore was super tight, revealing no love handles and a great figure, and there she was sighing looking at her non existent bulge on the mirror. I was rolling my eyes as usual. And then another aunty came along and told her "oh i like your arms" to which she replied "Thanks, that's all I've got".


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Central Park Routes

Another lonely night without the computer last night, so I was off to bed early.Woke up this morning to continue my pursuit of Michelle Obama arms. Ok maybe I don't want Michelle Obama arms....I want Linda-Hamilton-in-Terminator-arms.SO Wednesday is my usual interval and back day.

30 min walk/run on treadmill
30 min elliptical machine.

My arms feel like falling off after doing:
*Lat pulldowns
*Upright row on cable pulley
*Bent over dumbell row
*Bent over fly
*Lateral raises
*Bicep curl

Aside from my Linda Hamilton arms pursuit, I am also on the quest of a running route in Central are some routes I found on the internet. Unfortunately I am not familiar with the area so I don't really know what to expect.

Central Park, with 843 acres in the heart of Manhattan, is one of the world's most popular places to run. Whether you're a Central Park regular or you venture onto its roads and paths only occasionally, these guidelines will help you navigate safely and keep an accurate count of your training miles.

For tips on staying safe while running in Central Park, click here. Please be considerate of other park users by staying in the innermost recreation lane when running or walking.

Loop Courses

Full loop—6.0273 miles on roads
Start on East Drive at East 90th Street (point 1) and head north. Pass the 102nd Street Transverse on your left at approximately .75 miles (point 2), and Lasker Rink and Pool on your right at approximately 1 mile. Continue around the north end of the park to the 102nd Street Transverse on your left at approximately 2 miles (point 3). Continue south on West Drive, crossing the 72nd Street Transverse at approximately 3.75 miles (point 4) and Tavern on the Green on your right at approximately 4 miles. Continue around the south end of the park, heading north on East Drive and passing the 72nd Street Transverse on your left at approximately 5 miles (point 5). In the final mile you'll pass Loeb Boathouse on your left and the Metropolitan Museum of Art on your right before returning to your starting point.

Lower five-mile loop—5.1432 miles on roadsFollow the full loop course, but turn left/west onto the 102nd Street Transverse (point 2), then left/south onto West Drive (point 3). This transverse is closed to vehicular traffic, but be aware of bicyclists and in-line skaters.

Upper five-mile loop—4.9280 miles on roads
Follow the full loop course, but turn left onto the 72nd Street Transverse (point 4), then left onto East Drive (point 5). This transverse is open to vehicular traffic at designated times.

Four-mile loop—4.0439 miles on roadsFollow the full loop course, but turn left onto the 102nd Street and 72nd Street Transverses.

Three-mile loop—approximately 3 miles on roads
Start on East Drive at East 90th Street (point 1) and head north. Pass the 102nd Street Transverse on your left at approximately .75 miles (point 2), and Lasker Rink and Pool on your right at approximately 1 mile. Continue around the north end of the park and turn left/east onto the 102nd Street Transverse at approximately 2 miles (point 3), then right/south on East Drive (point 2) to return to your starting point.

Lower loop—1.7153 miles on roads
Start on East Drive at the 72nd Street Transverse (point 5) and head west across the transverse. Turn left/south on West Drive (point 4), passing Tavern on the Green on your right. Continue around the south end of the park to your starting point.

Reservoir loop—1.57 miles on cinder pathway
The pathway around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, just over 1.5 miles, is marked at 100-yard and half-mile intervals beginning at 90th Street and East Drive. The pathway is well maintained and offers sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. Stay to the right and run counterclockwise.

Bridle path loop—1.66 miles on dirtA bridle path encircles the reservoir just below the cinder path, making for a slightly longer loop on soft surfaces. Horses have the right-of-way on the bridle paths. If you cannot move out of the way of approaching horses, slow down or stop until they are well past you.

Full bridle path loop—approximately 2.5 miles on dirtStart on the bridle path at East 90th Street and head north. At approximately East 96th Street make a hard right down a short gravel hill. Bear left and continue north, following the trail as it loops around the North Meadow ball fields (they'll be on your left), passes alongside the 102nd Street Transverse, and continues alongside West Drive. Rejoin the reservoir bridle path loop at approximately West 93rd Street, continuing around the south end of the reservoir to your starting point

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Semi Amish Lifestyle

It's been a week over since my laptop died. So far, and surprisingly it has been quite alright. Although a sweet sister lent me her laptop, I don't use it everynight as I used to with my own laptop.I'm quite used to it really, I just get online at work, and I spend my nights reading the Bible (sounds really Amish right?)and sleeping early. Which is the biggest plus point - sleeping early. I find that I am getting enough sleep these days and I've also been boosting my immunity by taking Vit B, C and echinacea. Although there are some days I am really tired like last Saturday, I find that I recover much faster with sufficient sleep and the supplements.

As such, I had such a fantastic run this morning. Only 6km but it was fast and energetic (okla nothing like Usain Bolt but it felt fast to least i didn't feel tired)Some mornings I wake up tired but once I start running I am ok. This morning I woke up feeling energetic, and I felt I could keep my pace throughout the run and not slow down on the last round.

I've also been eating more lately (hence weight hasn't changed) but I do feel a bit more streamlined and compact.Also stronger. Oh I just hope it is muscle!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Michelle Obama arms are coming along fine. Not that I have even achieved 50% of that but I notice my arms are a little more shapely than say 3 weeks ago :) The needle on the scale hasn't budged though after 3 weeks of hard work :( but at least the hamster cheeks are gone :)

In my pursuit of MO arms I am now incorporating some upper body work together with my lower body work.

Today I did:

30 mins run on treadmill
30 mins on bicycle

Adductor exercises
Abductor exercises
Seated leg curl
Sumo squats with shoulder presses

Oh i also noticed there is a new Treadwall in the gym, but it's only for those who take personal training sessions :(

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Finally got some motivation to run on weekends..Woke up late as usual...since our new cell group started we've been ending a bit later than usual...that's because we start later as well, and plus supper included, most times it's nearly 12 midnight by the time I get home.

Thank goodness the weather was lovely today. Ran around Damansara Heights, about 15km. Slowed down a bit on the second round, especially going uphill. Even the lorry stalled uphill!

I've got a bit of a tan now, and now I am just waiting for dinner..that totally negates all my hard work this morning!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Asian BMI

Had some lovely strawberry cheese ice cream cake at Dad Baker's yesterday. Right after gobbling 2 slices of the lovely cake and 3 pieces of pizza, Dad baker whips out a BMI Index chart...special one, catered for Asians.And of course, moi was categorised as PRE OBESE. (ya ya i know i should stop eating those cakes but Dad Baker keeps making 'em?? :D)

Anyway I googled Asian BMI and here's a link I found, WHO's BMI criteria for Asians. It says:

So the Asian "overweight" criterion is >=23.0 kg/m2. But "obesity" body mass index criteria is up to each Asian nation to decide for themselves.

Hmmm typical Singaporeans la.

THis is the standard one:

So I've renamed myself "Her Royal Tubbiness, Queen of Cellulite" since I am obese by Asian standards.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Becoming Amish

My laptop died on me. So I have been sort of cut off from the world... This is posted from the office desktop but it isn't really convenient to be online all the time here as it is a central computer used by everyone.

Anyway speaking of being Amish, my friend sent me this link...looking through it I SHOULD become Amish, so i won't be tubby and have all those lovehandles which I have been shamelessly displaying ( I got 2 tight tight shirts for my birthday).

To be more thinnish, try being more Amish

As noted here recently by Sarah White, scientists have found that there is a common gene variation that makes people more likely to be overweight, but three or four hours of moderate exercise each day can nullify the gene’s effect.

In fact, persons with the fat-inclined variant gene who got lots of physical activity were no more prone to excess weight than those without the variant, and weighed an average 15 pounds less than those with the variant who didn’t exercise.

The scientists suggested that those with the fat-inclined gene need, almost literally, to exercise their butts off. Unfortunately, this raises the question of just how people are expected to add three or four hours of workouts to their daily schedule. In fact, there may be at least a partial, practical answer.

The key is that the scientists who made this discovery did so by studying the Amish of Pennsylvania, a people not renowned for gym memberships or extended workouts or sophisticated exercise equipment…or indeed, sophisticated equipment of any kind. And therein lies the key to their physical fitness.

The Amish do not avail themselves of the labor-saving devices and electronic diversions that the rest of us enjoy. They labor. And when not laboring, they don’t sit and gape at a video screen. They work off calories simply by hand and foot: house cleaning, gardening, walking, athletics, and so forth.

This may not seem like a serious exertion program, but the Amish are prodigious eaters of food as fattening as anything at KFC — pork, gravy, black bread, more gravy — and according to the scientists, it certainly works for them. Perhaps it will work for you as well.

The Amish exercise plan — no shunning of electricity required
This doesn’t mean that you have to buy a mule for transportation and cut the power lines to your home. It means that there are ways you can, let’s say, “Amish-ize” your lifestyle with potentially good results for your waistline.

We’ll start with the obvious measures. The Amish do not drive. Probably half of their lack of excess poundage can be traced to that alone. There are surely certain places that you presently go to on a regular basis by car that you could get to without great inconvenience by bicycle.

This would actually give you bragging rights over the Amish, who generally travel by horse-drawn conveyance rather than bike. There’s not much calorie burn when the horse is doing all the work.

In addition, the Amish are largely an agricultural community. They grow their own food to a significant degree, which means they are engaged in digging, weeding, furrowing, tending, and harvesting crops to a great extent. In the process, they simultaneously get exercise, raise healthy, nourishing, low-fat produce, and save money. How can you pass up a deal like that?

And you needn’t make a big, onerous deal out of it. A few tomato plants, a few zucchinis, a row of snap beans and one of lettuce, and you’re in business. Just keeping them healthy, productive, weed-free and watered on a regular basis will keep you moving.

For that matter, if you have a yard, you have a number of calorie-burning possibilities. Start with the lawn. If someone else currently mows it for you, discharge them and mow it yourself. And no Amish no-noes such as a riding mower or motorized push mower; get yourself a sturdy manual lawnmower and go to it.

Similarly, if you currently use an electric or gas-powered hedge trimmer, replace it with a simple pair of hedge shears. Sand things by hand rather than by power tool. And so on. In general, the idea is to abandon the use of electrical or gas-powered tools in favor of manual alternatives wherever possible.

Exercise during chores, and no games for you
The same with household appliances. You can’t be expected to hand-launder everything, for example, but eschewing the clothes dryer and lugging the clean wash into the yard and hanging the items on a clothesline can provide a good 15 minutes of physical activity.

Hardwood floors needn’t be vacuumed; they can just as easily be swept. The same goes for driveways, sidewalks, patios, walkways, or other outdoor surfaces that you currently just clean with the hose.

And finally, to repeat: The Amish do not have TV sets or video games. Study after study has linked the amount of time spent glued to the tube or console with the amount of excess weight on the gluee. The more you separate yourself from these electronic sloth enablers, the better.

Go for a run. Rake some leaves. Shoot some hoops. If you’re really serious, get yourself a butter churn.

Adopting a more Amish lifestyle could do wonders for your health and weight. And you don’t even have to go to the prayer meetings.

(By Robert S. Wieder for CalorieLab Calorie Counter News)


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Torturous evening run

Just got back from an evening run…nearly suffered the same fate as the KOTR runner….it was way too hot, I was dehydrated. I felt quite alright while running, but when I stopped to cool down, I felt a bit spaced out..the nearly passing out type of feeling. I’m sticking to my morning runs, definitely.

I squeezed in an evening run today because I missed my Saturday morning run yesterday….we ended bible studies pretty late on Friday and I was too exhausted on Saturday morning to wake up for a run. Could not run this morning either as I was singing in church. In my desperate attempt to clock in some mileage over the weekend, I decided to run in the evening.

Things I have observed about evening runs:
1. I don’t sniffle as much as from morning runs. My sinus tends to act up in the morning.
2. I much prefer to run on an empty stomach, the only exception I make is Power bars before runs. Nothing else. I was still burping from my soft shell crabs for lunch just now. Yucks!
3. Too too hot. I am really heat averse. Whole reason why I never run in the evenings.
4. Takes me a longer time to cool off in the evenings
5. I feel more energetic in the morning. Feel sluggish for evening runs and tend to drag my feet more

Think I got a bit of a tan from the run just now. I have sun kissed cheeks now! But I am still sweating after a cold bath..yucks!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Michelle Obama Arms

Earlier this year there was so much rant and rave about Michelle Obama's arms.Honestly, I dont think her arms are that nice, I much prefer Madonna's. Some beg to differ as they think that Maddie's is too masculine..but I like. But to achieve Maddie's arms you probably need 0% fat...which is like absolutely yes I'll settle for Michelle Obama arms anyway...more realistic.

So this morning I started my pursuit of Michelle Obama arms...After a light cardio workout on the elliptical machine for 40 mins, I started weight training on the chest. I've put off tricep dips for a long time now (laziness..) but I'm starting again.

Here's what I did today:
Push ups (using fitball) - 2 sets x 20 reps
Dumbell press (using fitball) with 8kg dumbells each arm - 2 sets x 20 reps
Dumbell fly (using fitball) with 6kg dumbells each arm - 2 sets x 20 reps
Tricep dips - 2 sets x 12 reps (AIYOYO! Need to improve.)
Lateral raises (4kg dumbells each arm) - 2 sets x 12 reps
50 crunches only (slack today. :P)

My arms feel like falling off already..gosh need to work extra harder..I don't want my arms to be wobbling still after I've stopped waving...

Thursday, August 06, 2009


No I am not talking about the psychedelic experience from drugs. I'm talking about tripping, as in falling over something.Went out for a short 6km run this morning, and at about the 5th km, I stepped on a long twig with my right foot, and somehow it momentarily got lodged between both my feet and nearly caused me to trip. I was then reminded of the times that I actually tripped and fell while running.

I have fallen twice in my entire running career. The first one was back in 2002 (I think), where I fell down and scraped my left knee badly. I still have the keloid to remind me of it. (I actually took a picture of my keloid to post on the blog, but the close up looked so disgusting even after touching up the picture, so I decided to spare you from seeing it). It was one of the most painful experiences I've had, a superficial cut hurts even more than an internal injury. I could feel all the nerves on my skin being ripped or something like that. What made it worse was the cut was right on the kneecap, so there was no way of it healing properly as the cut would open everytime I flexed my knee.It took quite a long time to heal. What a nightmare. THis happened at the Power Run...I remember I was quite tired that day, and this all occurred before I started running any marathons. At that moment in time, I was just praying to God that I would be able to finish the run..and guess what, I tripped and fell over RIGHT IN FRONT of an ambulance. So, I DIDN'T get to finish my run, but there was DEFINITELY some divine intervention coincidental can that be, falling down INFRONT of the ambulance? I was trying to be a hero and finish the race anyway, but it was too painful and I was bleeding too much to finish the race. So that was the one and only time I ever got back to the finish line IN AN AMBULANCE. How embarrassing!

THe second time that I tripped was a few years back...think I was dragging my feet and then whoops, suddenly just tripped and fell....this time RIGHT infront of a bus. Good thing the bus didn't run me over!

But today, no I didn't fall infront of any vehicle. Definitely no psychedelic feel either!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Interval Workout

Had a blast of a workout today. It's interval day, with 30 mins of run /walk on the treadmill, keeping heart rate between 140 - 160bpm.

Also did my own spinning for 30 mins, starting with Level 7 on the bike for about 4 minutes, then increasing 2 notches up every 2 minutes until I reached about Level 15, then I brought it down to Level 7 again. Repeated second cycle until I hit Level 16, and for the third cycle, max level was Level 17. Kept heart rate at between 140-160bpm.Was dripping buckets!

After cardio, I went on to do back exercises:
Lat pulldowns (managed to increase weight yay!)
Reverse fly
Upright row
Dumbell pullover

Was supposed to do 100 situps but only managed 95 today. Sore!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Penniless Celebrity

My Celebrity Fitness membership is expiring soon. I've been offered 3 packages:

Package 1
buy 18 months and get another 18 months free

Package 2
buy 24 months and get 24 months free

Package 3
buy 48 months. After 48 months you pay RM120 per year
(They call this Lifetime membership but i dont call it that coz it's not like you get it free for just pay significantly lesser)

I heard that Celebrity Fitness has bought over California Fitness. According to them, this is the last Lifetime Membership that they are extending to members, as in the long run, lifetime memberships do not make a lot of money. THat's why places like California Fitness and True Fitness (according to this staff ..dont quote me!)are having financial liquidity problems.Sounds quite logical..if you look at Fitness First, they dont offer lifetime membership and they seem to be sustaining pretty well.

The monthly fee at Celebrity has increased from RM149 (which is what I paid before) to RM169...but at this new fee i will be entitled to passport membership - which means I can use any Celebrity branch here. (And that includes the California Fitness in Mid Valley which they took over)

However $$$$ is the problem (isn't it always?:P) While the lifetime membership is a lot more worth it, it's also A LOT MORE $$ upfront.

I've worked it out:
(48 months x RM169) + RM120 (procesing fee) = RM8232

Of course they have some installment package tied up with some credit cards, but it's still a lot of money.

Previously they had approached me on lifetime membership at a cheaper rate, but I was reluctant then as I was worried that they would foldup overnight, plus their service was crappy.Now that they have bought over California Fitness, I see that they could stay for long - especially if they are considering scrapping lifetime membership in future in order to sustain better. Also, their service has improved (but it took them a LONG LONG LONG LONG time - ah well maybe they are slightly - only slightly better than our country which is REGRESSING)

SIgh....bills bills bills...I'll be a penniless B grade celebrity.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Runner Dies at KOTR

I found out on facebook that a male runner died from heart attack after completing the 22km at the Adidas KOTR run yesterday..

This sounds really insensitive but I wouldnt mind going this way..quick, and doing something I like.

RIP Gary Leon Robert.

Updated: Oops, was told the cause is not known yet.