Thursday, 24 July 2014

My supplement stack

Any body builder or serious gym-goer would know this- you need to ingest sufficient nutrients to maximise your workout result and for overall health and well-being. Personally, I agree with this but I would extend the notion further...ingest sufficient nutrients at the right time throughout the day.

Let me explain. Let's talk about my daily protein intake. I'm about 200lbs so that means I need about 200g of protein daily for maintenance (that's 1g:1lbs and I would increase to 1.5g:1lbs during bulking stage). I can't stomach this much protein over a meal or 3 meals but I'm sure I'm able to do so over 6 or 7 meals. This means I divide the 200g of protein into 33.3g (for 6 equal meals) or 28.6g (for 7 equal meals). Take too much protein at 1 go and the body will immediately process and throw out the excess protein- yes, I'll waste time, effort and money. The idea here is to constantly nourish my body with sufficient amount of protein so that protein is consistently absorbed by my body.

While eating natural protein is encouraged, eating about 30g of protein (amongst other things) every 2.5 hours can be a daunting task. You'll probably feel bloated throughout the day, not to mention tired of eating too. As a result, you'll most likely not enjoy eating and eating can be an ordeal. This is where supplements come in handy. They are easy and quick to ingest. Just pop in a few pills or drink a shake and you would have met the nutritional needs for your meal. Brilliant!

Property of Mr Flabby Less
My supplement stack

Below is a list of supplements that I take daily:-

Natural Factors Vitamin C
Get the 1000mg type for maximum potency. Also, insist on the time-release variant so that you are able to receive a constant flow of Vitamin C over a period of up to 6 hours. I typically take 1 in the morning. When I'm down with flu etc, I would take 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening to help recovery. Vitamin C also helps to enhance your immune system.

ONS Opti-Men Multivites
This is packed with vitamins and minerals (1 of the best in the market IMO) and I take it in the morning- Tue, Thu, Sat and Sun. On Mon, Wed and Fri, I take Pharmaton. If there's no Pharmaton, I would take Opti-Men daily.

This is an important chain of protein and I take it every morning, and before and after my workouts. It helps with muscle/tissue building and improves recovery especially after a strenuous workout.

Mutant Whey Protein
I use this in between my main meals and it functions as a meal on its own. 30g of protein is taken in mid morning and late afternoon (on non-workout days) or just before workout (on workout days). I thoroughly enjoy the choc taste of this product.

Universal Creatine
Love this supplement as it functions as a cell volumiser and helps with muscle growth. It also enhances strength and is quite evident when you train with weights. I take 5g first thing in the morning and 5g before my workout. The monohydrate variant is the most basic and highly value for money. There are better creatine formulas but they don't come cheap. Matter of personal choice.

Jarrow Formulas EPA-DHA Balance (Fish Oil)
Fish oil (always insist on Omega 3) helps your heart, joint, brain and promotes overall health. However, you need to be aware that not all Omega 3's provide you with EPA and DHA so you'll need to choose wisely. Also, choose the molecularly distilled ones for added quality. I take this every morning for health maintenance purposes.

Pharmaton (With Ginseng) Multivites
This is another product that is packed with vitamins and minerals and I take it in the morning- Mon, Wed and Fri. I alternate this with Opti-Men as I find Pharmaton "heaty" and causes sore throat and acne. This is purely how my body reacts to Pharmaton. Some people do not experience such side effects. If this works well for you, you don't even have to alternate with another multivite.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Leptin and weight loss

There’s one important hormone that can either make or break your weight loss journey. The hormone is called leptin and it’s the “fat burning hormone”.

Leptin is essentially the "master" hormone that more or less controls EVERY other weight loss hormone in your body and your ability to burn fat as a whole. When you have leptin on your side, fat loss becomes easy.  When you don't, losing even a single pound can become virtually impossible. This means in order to lose weight or fat, you need to control the level of leptin in your body.

In order to burn fat, your body depends on these 2 things:-

1) high levels of leptin; and
2) highly sensitive leptin "receptors" (which acts as the "lock" to leptin's "key")

Every time you go on a diet and reduce your calorie intake, leptin levels plummet and fat burning is dramatically reduced. Why is this so? Leptin's main function is to protect your body against starvation and in the midst of decreased food and calorie intake when you diet, your body unfortunately views your stored body fat as a huge asset to survival. Whenever your food or calorie intake is below the "normal" level, your brain will reduce the leptin levels in your body and thus dramatically decreases your body’s fat burning capabilities.

Research has shown that leptin levels drop by as much as 50% after just 7 days of dieting.  That puts you at only 50% of your fat-burning potential just one week into your fat loss plan, and it only gets worse with each passing day.

So the bottom line is don’t reduce your food or calorie intake. Workout instead. Do it the smart and right way.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Les Charmes de Kirwan, 2000, Margaux

Les Charmes de Kirwan, 2000, Margaux
Property of Mr Flabby Less

Second label of Chateau Kirwan (Third Growth Wine) and 1 of my favs! Made with 40% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 10% petit verdot. Seductive ruby colour. Tastes slightly earthy. Velvety and smooth with a long aftertaste. Good nose of mature berries. Drinking very well now.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Chateau Fleur Cardinale, 2009, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Chateau Fleur Cardinale, 2009, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

A blend of 70% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 10% cabernet sauvignon. Full bodied, silky smooth, rounded and rich in texture, concentrated and very expressive/full of character. Taste of dark chocolate, dark berries, plum, spices, oak, with a hint of licorice, vanilla and cassis. Beautiful nose of blackberries/raspberries jam and mocha/espresso. Requires breathing/decanting, minimum 2 hours so that it opens up nicely. Perfect for cellaring.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Chateau Moulin De Chollet, 2009, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Chateau Moulin De Chollet, 2009, Bordeaux

Ruby in colour. 80% merlot and 20% cabernet sauvignon. Dominant taste of cherries, blackcurrants and plums. Hint of spicyness. Pretty fine tannins. Pleasant and easy drinking. Short length. Weak character. Not all that great but given the affordable price, overall it's decent.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Working out in KK

I recently started my new job in KK. It's more or less what I've been and enjoy doing- corporate work. This company plans to seek listing on AIM in London, something that I've not only previously done and achieved (successful AIM listing of a Malaysian company) but I've also ran the corporate side of the company during its tenure as an AIM-listed company.

I fly in to KK weekly for a few days and I stay at Waikiki Condominium in Tanjung Aru. Since this is a condominium, I expected some very basic equipment at the gym.

Boy, was I terribly wrong! "Basic" cannot adequately describe the gym...

Property of Mr Flabby Less

Property of Mr Flabby Less

The multi-trainer machine and bench have missing seats. They are so kind to offer a plastic chair as makeshift bench! The multi-trainer machine is not oiled so there will be kinks when you use it. As for dumbbells, there are only 3 dumbbells- a pair of 25lbs and 1 (yes 1 single dumbbell) 5lbs. The barbell is not an Olympic standard sized barbell that weights 20kg. It's not only puny but it's also rusty. There are 4 plates- 2 10kg and 2 5kg plates.

I was looking forward to really hit the gym big time when I'm in KK as I don't have much to do besides working at the office. Furthermore, I don't have to worry about picking up the kids or rushing them to sleep so that I can head over to Celebrity Fitness for an hour or so before they close at midnight.

So what do I do? How do I make full use of my free time in KK? Go drinking? *LOL* Well, that's a good option but I would rather workout when I'm alone. Furthermore, it's no fun drinking all by yourself at the pub.

I visit this gym twice and below is what I do to maximise my workout given the limited equipment:-

Day #1
1. M100s to warm up
2. Pectoral flye- 15 reps x 6 sets
3. Flat machine chest press- 1 full pyramid of 16 reps, 14 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps, 14 reps and 16 reps. I start with a relatively light weight for my 1st set for 16 reps and I increase the weight at each subsequent set all the way to 8 reps. Then, I decrease the weight as my reps increase from 10 reps back to 16 reps. That's 1 full pyramid.
4. Seated machine shoulder press- 1 full pyramid of 16 reps, 14 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps, 14 reps and 16 reps.
5. Standing barbell front raise- 15 reps x 4 sets
6. Standing skull crusher or standing machine tricep extension- 15 reps x 5 sets

Day #2
1. M100s to warm up
2. Bendover barbell row- 15 reps x 5 sets
3. Bendover reverse grip barbell row- 15 reps x 5 sets
4. Lunges or jumping squats- 20 reps each side x 4 sets
5. Barbell curl 21s- 5 sets
6. Reverse grip barbell curl- 12 reps x 4 sets
7. Standing barbell lateral raise- 15 reps x 4 sets

Monday, 9 June 2014

Chateau Pibran, 2000, Pauillac, Bordeaux

 Chateau Pibran, 2000, Pauillac, Bordeaux
Property of Mr Flabby Less

Still dark red in colour with no visible orangy brick colour yet. Drinks very well now actually and not past it's drinking date. Quite earthy with just the right amount of acidity. Quite dusty. Pretty smooth tannins with loads of berry after-taste. Overall, this is still a solid medium-bodied bottle of Paulliac rouge that's very elegant.

This wine is far more enjoyable and delicious compared to the older 1996 vintage.