As a big fan of HIIT, here is a cool infographic from greatist.com on why HIIT can give you sky-rocket benefits!
In short, the above reasons holds for why I incorporate HIIT into my weekly regime:
HIIT is time-efficient. More calories, shorter amount of time. Period.
HIIT gives you a higher EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygym Consumption), which yields a higher afterburn post-exercise, causing you to still burn calories even after you are done.
But here are still some reasons why I choose to do cardio:
HIIT is awesome, yes, fast and efficient. But it is also TAXING if you are maxing out your weeks ahead with just strength and HIIT. This can be overbearing for your central nervous system. and result in higher chances of burning out your body, instead of recovering. Try including a day or 2 for low-intensity within the week to boost recovery. If you are training intensely for a week, it will be good to have a deload week of steady-state cardio or even low-intensity activities like yoga.
If you are looking to come back fro a sedentary life, then jumping all into a 30-minute nonstop bootcamp spider climbers may indeed… set you spider-crawling for the door. The key idea here is progressive. Begin your journey again with cardio may be a better start to slowly rebuilding your cardiovascular rate, rather than suddenly pounding up on the heart throbs.
Most people say cardio is a waste of time, although I beg to differ. Empty cardio is a waste of time. Because while burning the calories, most of us don’t take advantage of the steady-state motion. Usually we are running just to pass time, to exchange it for the calories. Try, instead to combat the boredom by undertaking de-stressing tasks. For example, If I’m doing some inclined walking on the treadmill, I usually like to detach from everything else from the world, immerse myself in articles, magazines, documentaries and let my imagination run wild. If I’m running, then a podcast would be more suitable without all the eye-focus jitters. Take the time to even space out, and re-evaluate your priorities in life. You may never know but some of your life revelations could come from that period of quietness.
So all in all, the big picture is for the busy rat, HIIT is still an overall winning strategy to maximizing fat loss. Do it. 30 minutes. 3 to 4 times a week. Eat well. And you will notice changes in your energy, mood and physique. And should you choose to get some cardio in, remember, don’t make it an empty cardio.
This article is just a general approach to healthier, balanced eating for the average individual. If you are looking for a specific and customized approach for weight loss and muscle-building, please consult a professional.
As we see an upcoming trend in people eating healthier in Singapore, more and more are heading towards the clean way of eating.
While stuffing down strictly prepared home-cooked food may be a cut-throat success, certainly packing the munchies isn’t a realistic long-term system for us rat racers in the office (unless you are looking to compete or cutting for a photo shoot). And when we eat out, a lot of what goes into our foods are out of control. Also, do we know how to much to eat? We get slewed around by words like “calories”, “carbs” etc. , we try often to keep track but more often than not, it is a hassle for the busy office worker.
Now here’s a more efficient way to do so – the Hand Measure Guide (extracted from Precision Nutrition ):
Okay. So now we roughly have an idea of how to portion out your food.
1) Most restaurants, cafes and eateries in town do not CARE about your body. As long as it makes their food taste good, they will not hesitate to put TOO MUCH oil, sugar, sauce, cream etc. (Think Char Kway Teow, Cai Fan, Mee Goreng). This is already in excess of your 1 thumb fat rule.
2) Unless you go to steakhouses or restaurants that serve entrees, it is difficult to find places that give you a good fist-sized meat. Honestly, even the franchise Salad places seem to ration their meat servings painstakingly for additional dollars.
Customizable Hi-Protein Salad Eateries
Yes. As society is getting fitter and recognize the need for a higher protein diet, such takeaway eateries are increasing in numbers to cater to our CBD gym-goers. You can be sure to get at least a fist-sized protein source, a salad base and also great low-GI carbs. Such eateries usually let you choose the sides and sauces rather than drenching them in pre-made honey mayo.
Now before your colleague starts judging you, go ahead and drag them along on a hunting mission for healthier eats. Make a pact together never to fall asleep again during office meetings.
So to begin, here’s a few go-tos for getting good hi-protein nutritious foods in the CBD area:
The Daily Cut
Where: 1 Raffles Place #B3-31 One Raffles Place
The Daily Cut is certainly one of my favorite places to get my post-workout meal. When you arrive, you will fill in a form that is very systematically structured: Tick and choose your protein source, carb source and several toppings.
The Daily Cut definitely offers great selections of carbs with low glycemic index (Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, etc.), and best if you are on the ketosis diet, you can simply choose a complete lettuce base.
With portions of “Regular”,”Large” or “Beast”, you can get great lean meat cuts such as turkey and chicken breast, and if you’re feeling it, just top-up a few bucks to get a salmon or sirloin steak. Vegetarians also have tofu as a protein choice. Following the protein sources, you can also add on other toppings such as couscous, quinoa, eggs, edamame, broccoli etc.
Overall definitely a decadent lunch packed with nutrition for power people.
BUT, be careful with drenching your salad with too much sauce or else you’re still raking in some significant amount of sugar.
Admittedly, I’ve whopped up a “Beast” portion in my earlier days. Personally I always choose Chicken Breast, Lettuce Base, Cherry Tomatoes, Broccoli, Almonds, Sous Egg and a little bit of honey mustard for taste. They even offer pepper and salt now for those of you who are sugar-conscious.
Where: Multiple Outlets at http://www.munch.sg/#franchise
This is another great eatery that I always head to whenever I want to pack in the protein sources. Their menu items consists of the following combination: 1 portion of meat + 1 or 2 Salads. What’s unique about this franchise is their already-made salads so that you can simply pick and choose which flavors you feel like it. The meat offerings are Chicken (Breast or Thigh), Salmon, Dory Fillet and Bratwurst Sausage. They have a whole range of pre-made salads such as Chicken Grape Walnut, Soba Noodles, Broccoli or even Egg Mayo.
I personally go for Chicken Breast, Eggs and Broccoli. I know I sound like a boring freak but honestly it’s tasteful enough and not heavily laden with too much sauces!
The Lawn Cafe
Where: 2 Outlets – The AXA Tower and 31 Biopolis Way
Another great place to “Meat Your Greens”. A hi-protein salad concept with freshly grilled meats that you can fully customize or order from their already prepared combination. This is definitely one of my other favorite places to eat. There is a wide range of meats such as beef, chicken, duck and seafood. You can even choose different flavors from Maple Infusion Chicken, Cajun Chicken, Grilled Salsa Duck to Ben’s Beef Rub. Moreover, you can top your salad base with unique toppings such as Alfafa, Couscous, Sunflower Seeds, Granola (careful on this one though), grapes etc. Their salad dressings also have interesting names so be sure to read through all of it and choose what you like. If you’re indecisive like me, then go for the Honeyball, it’s a safe bet.
My personal favorite: Double portion Maple Infusion Chicken topped with Almonds, Parmesan, Broccoli and Eggs with HoneyBall.
Walk into their stores and you will see the chiller sprawled with a wide array of pre-made salads from Chicken Tikka Salad, Crayfish Avocado Salad, Double Egg Chicken Caesar Salad and also other pre-made sandwiches. Their sandwiches are pretty good but although may still be a bit heavy on the sauce. Personally my favorite thing to get their shop is the protein pots that they have – which makes an excellent mid-day hi-protein snack. This one below is Cherry Tomato mixed with Humus and Spinach!
I must admit I do love their mega breakfast sandwich – the deadly combination of bacon, fried egg and cheese? Only for days when I choose to embrace guilty pleasures.
Picking up on the hi-protein lo-carb trend, Cedele now offers customizable salads as well! Least to say, it’s not my favorite because all their meats are cold, but still definitely worth knowing when your options run put since there are multiple outlets around town.
And for those of you who are working in the more heartlander areas where cafes and organic places are sparse, you most likely only have hawker centres to turn to. But, it does not mean it is the end of the world. Your best bets would be:
Sliced Fish Soup
Yong Tau Foo with lots of vegetables (less on the fried stuff please)
Lean Pork Soup
5+ 1 Salads (Yes, hawker centre are getting occupied by these lifesavers! Just don’t expect fancy-tasting meats though)
Yet, these stalls usually serve processed noodles. So what you can do is to order the soups with meat and vegetables from these stalls, and get the brown rice from the vegetarian stall to get your carbs in (usually they do serve brown rice).
This article would not have caught my attention in any way but since they used the photo (taken by Cheryl Tay) to symbolize “skinniness”, I will have a voice on this.
So the writer has given 8 reasons why a skinny girlfriend might not be the best girlfriend. So here’s a little dissection of mine pertaining to only some parts of it.
1. “When you want to get to know a girl, do you judge her by her appearance or her personality? In a world where skinny is the new beauty, will you be able to get together with a fat girl?”
He/she raises the context about choosing between appearance or personality. Half of the reasons in the whole article aren’t even personality-based arguments but are just there to fault the girl for how she looks like. (E.g “She’s less comfortable to hug”. Cmon seriously? ) The writer seems to associate only negative personality with being skinny and fun personality traits with the other.
There are also many other comparisons you can use such as strong girl, fit girl, curvy girl, buff girl etc but seems to me, the writer has only been exposed to two variants of body types.
2. “She diets…successfully.
Girls always think they’re fat and this includes your skinny girlfriend. The reason why she can maintain her figure is because she takes extra care in what she eats, which means if you are looking for someone to pig out with, you’re better off with your best friend than her, because then you’ll feel so guilty for pigging out in front of her while she eats her salad daintily.”
Girls who maintain their health take care of what they eat. Period. Anybody who takes care of their bodies will nourish it with good food and choose to be active. Occasionally, they balance it out by having treats whenever they feel like it. I have no idea why that is an unattractive quality to you. Honestly, most guys I know don’t really care what their girlfriends eat in front of them.
3.”She cannot eat buffet with you
If you’re a fan of buffets, you’d be sorely disappointed if you bring her along to a buffet with you because she’s just going to waste your money. With the quantity she eats, you’d be better off ordering ala carte.”
Have you met my friends? A Japanese restaurant in California ever removed their buffet option after we went there because they lost so much money overnight. With the quantity we ate, the restaurant was definitely better off if we ordered ala carte indeed.
4. “You’ll spend more money
When courting skinny girls, they’d definitely receive plenty of gifts and treats, even from you. But the moment you get your dirty paws on her, it doesn’t mean you can stop spending. In fact, you might have to spend even more because if you don’t, some other guy is going to come along and steal her from right under your nose, or at least that’s what you’ll think.”
If this girl is wiping out your wallet to unreasonable limits, yes perhaps you should think twice. Otherwise, there’s no reason why a guy or girl cannot be pampered by his/her other half once in a while.
5. “She has lots of admirers
One thing that all guys are afraid of is their girls getting snatched away by other men. If she’s skinny and gorgeous, you’ll always be living with the fear that she’s going to be taken away by some other guy who’s better than you.”
If you both have a strong, meaningful relationship, then there’s nothing to fear about this.
6. “She looks unhealthy
There’s the skinny girls, and there’s the skinny girls. If your girlfriend belongs to the latter, she’d look malnourished and generally unhealthy, so much so that when you go out with her, you’d always feel as though people are suspecting you for abuse.”
You need to be more sensitive to real issues that girls do struggle with.
7. “You’d always feel self-conscious
Because she’s skinny, you’d feel self-conscious and not up to standards in terms of looks and other qualities so you’d go crazy and possessive, suspicious at every little thing which sours the entire relationship and results in an unhappy breakup.”
This is your issue, not your girlfriend’s fault for looking just the acceptable way she is.
Overall, this article sounds more like one that is meant to skinny shame, and does not create any value to society at all..
While she’s at it, she puts a caveat ” If you are self-righteous or easily annoyed, please click the ‘back’ button now.”
Why can’t we just get over which floats whoever’s boats, right?
Most of us tend to put our workout on hold when we’re going on a holiday or travel for work, thinking that the lack of equipments of a gym access is an obstacle. NO, the obstacle is you. Your mind decides whether you are going to throw it all out of the window or you’re still going to keep up with your sweats no matter where you are.
If you are stuck in a hotel room during the whole work week, not to fret because there are still so many things you can do using basic furnitures and bodyweight for some interval training.
Check out the article I wrote for scene.sg below on a couple of exercises you can despite being halfway around the globe:
If you have not read my post on my journey into lifting weights, here’s a little re-entry.
I would like to share with you a little bit about the change in my active regime and what got me started hitting the gym 2 years back.
Some background- I grew up pretty much an active person and have been playing competitive squash for about 10 years already- with the game itself being an excellent hi-intensity cardio. From there, I have built a good foundation of muscle on my lower trunk. Yet,my strength distribution ended up being highly disproportionate, with a relatively weak upper body.
Not to mention, with my body type being a pear shape, I gain weight easily in my hips and thighs upon careless eating. This had happened a couple of times indeed. Below are some pictures proof-worthy!
So now we can say, I am not one who possess the luxury to eat whatever I want like. Everyone is born with a different body type. Some are born with very high metabolism and some pack the pounds easily. *grunts*
For many years, I attempted yo-yo dieting often, sometimes going for a week with really low calorie and other times having seasonal selection of food to survive on. (Some months are bread and peanut butter while others are like purely fruits). I do see the scale going down fast, without realizing that it is just water weight loss. Sadly, once the inner beast is unleashed again, we have a problem.
Having been very ill-informed about nutrition, I would up going back to the same poor eating cycle – Hold back, binge, hold back, binge, repeat.
Worse still, I was doing plentiful cardio, and I never knew how it could be so detrimental to my metabolism when I had not much muscle mass to begin with. Read on why women should not run (too much).
So… what comes off fast comes back on fast – I never knew how to make it stick.
In 2011, I befriended a gym buff who introduced me to weights training.
Like many of you, I had several hesitations. Ultimately, the gym was a place that had always daunted me, especially when the weights area is perpetually dominated by testosterone. Looking like an idiot not knowing what to do is the last thing I want to be. Also, I held the common fear that lifting will make me look manly, bulky, etc. Muscles looked scary!
So I wasn’t that interested initially and continued with my usual cardio regime so on and so forth.
After a year, I felt like I was going nowhere. Just like Jessica in the article above.
So, I was convinced to change it up and succumbed to some weights training sessions with my buff buddy. Soon, the words ‘squats’, ‘deadlifts’, ‘curls’, ‘legs day’ comprised of my daily dictionary. Alongside, I decided to do some research on the way I should be eating to make up for the increased hunger. I was surprised to realize that all the years of way of eating had been so wrong too.
With understanding what my body needed for my goals, I chose healthier options and eliminated processed foods. I ate every 2 to 3 hours with my portions divided up.
Just to share, here’s my list of preferred food sources. Note that everyone’s food preferences and lifestyle differs, so ultimately it depends on your liking and beliefs.
Whole wheat bread
Whole grain pasta
Dark green leafy vegetables
Within a year of consistent work, I could observe the obvious changes. I was feeling less bloated daily, more energized and saw differences on my body. Gaining more muscle mass helped me to burn calories at a higher rate during rest. And the best part was, I was doing close to zero cardio.
Liking what I saw, I kept going. I ended up restricting my diet even further and increased training 5 to 6 times a week.
Soon I became obsessed with being lean…
After a long period of time , putting myself on such a regime meant a lot of compromise. I found myself lunatic-ally refraining from sharing delicacies with my family and friends on some nights out. I get anxious eating that chocolate cake on a day that I’m not supposed to. I became grumpy if things get off track. I would panic if I did not go to the gym.
That was when I realized priorities had to be re-evaluated and balance is key. A fit body with an unhealthy mind is still not healthy. You need to enjoy every step of the journey. I’m not a figure competitor nor a runway model with the goal of having less than 15% body fat. I still want to enjoy good times and share awesome meals with my family and friends.
Eventually, I decided to loosen up on my strict regime, pulled back my training days, went out more often. The changes I worked for started to diminish slowly day by day and my ab-meter derailed.
But through that experience, I learnt how to love myself more.
It is because of this journey that I acquired the practise of self-love — a process created through time, it is not a “perfect”.. nor a destination.
Ultimately, if you’re going to love yourself only when you reach a kind of body or a career goal or some form of financial standard, then it’s a journey to mental destruction. Self-acceptance isn’t for those who seem perfect on the outside, or who seem to be able to “do it” in spite of their circumstances, it’s for all of us to figure it out and master.
It is also the courage to look at those with similar goals that you want (be it career-wise, achievements in life, status), that have been reached faster than you and admit that you’re not as good, but it’s not that you’re not as good enough, you’re just not as good, YET. Put in the hard work and you will eventually get there.
Today, I’m still definitely not where I want to be yet, but certain things will never die. I still love what I do – going to the gym and training. More importantly, I get to share this love for being active through my classes and my clients.
If you wish to make a change in your life or are interested in Personal Training, feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com or contact me directly at +65 97397964.
Remember – don’t underestimate the power of fitness in your life.
This post is a very short tutorial on how to check your Macro Intake for the day on myFitnessPal. It’s actually dedicated to guiding my clients for those who choose to engage macro counting to watch their nutrition.
What is a Macro?
Macro is basically a short for macronutrient – nutrients that provide calories or energy.
The three macronutrients are essentially:
What has it got to do with me?
It has everything to do with you because you are what you eat and the food you take in are composed of macronutrients and they come in differing ratios. But since this is more of a User Interface tutorial, I won’t go into that.
Moving on, let’s show you how to check on your daily macro intake on myFitnessPal.
We first need Xiaoming as an example.
Xiaoming is an engineer who lives by his desk from 9am to 5pm everyday. He is generally quite skinny, doesn’t put on much weight and wishes to bulk up. Xiaoming then decides to seek for nutritional consultation and has been prescribed to take in the following intake daily for his weight gain goals.
Total Calories: 2200
Carbohydrate Intake: 189 grams
Protein Intake: 189 grams
Fat Intake: 72 grams
In order to do this, Xiaoming downloads myFitnessPal App and starts logging his meals so that he monitor his intake.
Like Xiaoming, you can do the following steps to log your food intake and check your macros.
Logging Your Intake
1) Start adding food into your daily diary. The ‘+’ sign is an easy way for you add in the food you have consumed. myFitnessPal has already a great database of food with nutritional information on them so you don’t have to manually key in their details! Heck, they even have Singapore Prawn noodles.
Checking your Macro Intake
2) After completing your entry for the day, click on the “Diary” option.
3) Under the pop-up menu, click on the “Nutrition” tab.
3) Under the pop-up menu, click on the “Nutrition” tab. Here, you will be able to see an overview of your macro intake very clearly. And it even tells you how much left you have to consume towards to goal intake. Intuitive and easy!
3) When you click on the “Macros” tab, it will populate a pie chart showing your Macro ratio. We can see that Xiaoming is obviously far away from all his goals for the day.
DISCLAIMER: Note that this Macro ratio prescription is JUST A SAMPLE and not meant for everyone. This is just a tutorial to show you how to navigate through myFitnessPal to check your macro intake.
As a sucker for massage and also feeling for knots in the muscle tissues, I decided to enroll for the Introduction to Sports Massage course, which is certified by Sports Medicine Australia.
The whole program was a 4-day course held over 2 weekends at the Alliance Sports office , conducted by Linda and David from Alliance Sports Pte Ltd, a Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Management Clinic. Both of them hold vast amount of experience in sports injury management and sports training respectively having worked closely with National Athletes. Do check them out at www.alliancesports.com.sg.
The class took up to a maximum of 10 participants, so it was a good number of people for the theoretical discussions as well as the hands-on. It was a good mix of crowd, whom some never had a background in fitness, so this course is open to anybody!
Also, there is a final theory test and a practical test, which will be conducted on the last day. So you will have to pass these in order to get certified.
The highlight was definitely the hands-on sessions on all four days where we get to practice our techniques and perform full body massage on each other. There were grunting, crying, and gasping throughout the office. And when you hear a sudden yell, you know it’s when our professional sports masseuse, David who is coming by to re-demonstrate the proper technique on the guinea pig. By the end of the day, we had a mixture of feeling “shiok” and yet sore from pressing each other. As beginners, we were still trying to learn how to apply our bodyweight in our techniques. Seems like it’s not as comfortable as receiving.
Overall, I found the class to be very useful for anyone who is interested in Sports Massage as it provided enough materials and hours for hands-on practise. You will have an overview on the skeletal and muscular system and you will learn how to feel for the different muscles and explore various massage techniques.To find out more about the course material, I highly suggest to enquire Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back in March, I received an invitation to join the Casio Singapore team as a participant for the Nongsa Cycle 2015 (http://www.nongsacycle.com/).
“Nongsa Cycle 2015 is an inaugural bike race event jointly organised by Ideas Room Consulting and Ace Sports Group and in partnership with resort operator, Batam View Beach Resort and fast ferry operator, BatamFast. It is scheduled on 9 May 2015, Saturday in the idyllic north eastern region of Batam called Nongsa. The region is a popular holiday getaway for the likes of the locals, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Koreans, and the region expat community which boosts of resorts, beaches, marina and golf courses, among others. ” – Official Nongsa Cycle Site
It was a 3D2N affair in Batam from May 8 to May 10. This special event was launched to grace their Casio Exilim EX-FR10 as below. Sleek, stunning and dynamically adjustable, this gadget will level up your selfie game. Since it was also a striking opportunity to embrace my techie side, I said of course.
So having reached the Tanah Merah ferry terminal at 930am, we went to gather for a group breakfast at Kiliney Kopitiam before boarding.
Below is Team Casio participating in the fun: Professional photographer Danny Santos (http://www.dannyst.com/) and his wife, Katherine, TJ and Peiling, our hosts from the Casio Marketing Team, Justin from Asia361, Dennis from SuperAdrianMe.com and Anson from alvinology.com. These are definitely an awesome bunch of people with so much knowledge and tips for widening my eyes to social media.
So we finally landed in Batam after an hour of a boat ride and on our way to our stay at Batam View Resort, which was the resort operator in partnership with the organisers for the event participants’ accomodation.
Upon arriving, each of us received our Casio Exilim EX-FR10 Camera Pack and here’s a flatlay of what’s inside!
Here’s an excerpt from Casio Int Website on more about this product:
‘Separating the lens from the controller so you can take selfies, group shots, back shots, and more, and create fun times. Bluetooth® handles communications between the camera unit and the controller unit. This makes taking pictures a smooth process.’
And so we proceeded to set up the camera on our helmets and mounted the main panel on the bike stern. An appropriate setup for anyone who wishes to get a bird eye’s view while cycling through scenic landscapes.
Prior to briefing, we were off for the day for an R and R at Nagoya mall.
Here’s our day 2, all set in our Casio attire and ready to blast the hilly roads of Nongsa for a total of 24km, marking my virgin cycling tour.
And all racers getting ready and assembled at the start line.
Here’s a part of the hilly journey. At this point, my quads are burning up and I am literally snailing up every slope.
A happy Danny and me for completing our race and a little photo bomb of Justin! Danny completed 36km, though ;).
The last night ended off with a grand BBQ dinner for all participants and the feeling of having completed 24km was surreal. During the race, I said to myself I would never do it ever again. That’s of course when I was going uphill. But looking back, hey, it wasn’t that bad and I’m ready for the next round! Stay tuned for the cycling pictures from the FR-10 itself!
It was definitely an eye-opening experience to make visits across the different gyms and understand their different training programs plus the reasons why they were established. Would love to re-visit each of this gyms once again when I have more time!
Here are some very few pictures below that I took from the WBPF Singapore last Sunday that took part at Geylang West CC. It was such a muscle-candy galore as the contestants strut their thing across the stage. I didn’t manage to take photos of them on the stage however as I was too engrossed in watching them flex their mices. But thankfully, I managed to grab some backstage!
For a lot of you who don’t know much about competitive bodybuilding, here it goes ! Basically, competitors will be called upon the stage and perform specified poses, and later on performing individual posing routines which a panel of judges will determine the ranking. It really isn’t just about how much muscle you pack on your body, i.e muscularity. Judges also look at other criteria such symmetry and conditioning (you know, when you see the veins protruding).
As for the post-contest pictures, here is Mr Junior Singapore AKA Ben Broughton Liang. Missed working with this one. This guy definitely puts his 100% dedication and commitment into his craft.
And here is Ms Caethrin Unjoto.
L TO R: Jasmine, Seetoh Jiaxin and Me
L to R: Jasmine, Azimah and Me
A super nice fitfam photo in support of Ben, Jiaxin, Ray and Faris
Ending off with me and Jasmine Danker (www.jasminedanker.com) just playing around