Thursday, 16 October 2014

Mixing it up!

Here’s 1 of my BIGGEST training secrets…always mix your training every time you hit the gym. This applies to all your muscle groups. It can be mixing the angles or reps or sets or the combination etc. Whatever it is, just mix it up!

Say you are training your biceps. You can do the following:-

Heavy weight: 5 reps x 20 sets

Normal weight: 15 reps X 10 sets

Light weight: 20 reps x 10 sets

You can use a straight Olympic bar or EZ bar, you can stand or sit down in an incline position, you can even use dumbbells or the preacher curl rest, you can do the weights as a pyramid or a half pyramid, different lifting an resting tempos etc. The idea here is to constantly mix it up.

What happens here is that you are constantly shocking your muscles and this is an extremely important element in weight training. When you keep your muscles off balance, they work harder as they can never build up a resistance and that gives you a better result that equates to muscle growth!

You shouldn’t be doing the same routine etc at every workout as you’ll never maximize your result. Your muscles tend to become complacent and resist growth if you are constantly doing the same workout.

Friday, 10 October 2014

7 anti-aging foods

I’m a vain pot and they call me Vain Ken! There you have it! I’ve admitted I’m vain! *LOL*

I’m in my mid-30s and I’m not waiting ‘til I’m older to start taking natural anti-aging nutrients. Best to start early if possible to defy each passing year!

Below are what I regularly take (mostly the first 4 items) to help me stay youthful:-

1.  Red Wine - Its resveratrol content is a unique anti-oxidant that can help fight against diabetes, heart disease and age-related memory loss (drink too much and you’ll have momentary memory lapses! *LOL*)

2.  Beans - The unique proteins in beans thicken and strengthen your hair cells resulting in a fully head of hair (hopefully it’s only applicable to the larger head! *LOL*)

3.  Tomatoes - Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which has been shown to support heart health and healthy cholesterol levels as you age.  Lycopene also acts as a natural sun block to keep skin youthful and protected from harmful UV rays. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to apply sunblock when you go out in the hot sun ya ;-)

4.  Olive Oil - The monounsaturated fats contained in olive oil support healthy arteries and a healthy heart, while the polyphenols, which is a potent anti-oxidant helps prevent a number of age-related diseases.  Organic extra virgin olive oil is arguable the best!

5.  Brazil Nuts - Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral which aids in the production of the anti-oxidant glutathione to help slow down the skin aging process.  Just 2 nuts a day will provide you with enough selenium to reap its anti-aging benefits.

6.  Raspberries & Blueberries – They contain important anti-oxidants that help offset inflammation and oxidative stress that contribute to skin aging and wrinkles.  Just one serving of either contains more anti-oxidants than 10 servings of most other fruits and vegetables! Berry up!

7.  Organic Eggs - Eggs are rich in biotin and iron which help to promote healthy, youthful skin and hair.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Chateau Cantemerle, 1996, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Chateau Cantemerle, 1996, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux

Fifth Growth. 1996 is a great year in the Medoc.

Balanced sweet perfume of bouquets, truffles, berries, plums and mineral. Tastes of luscious ripe dark berries with some mild spices. Brickish colour at the rim. Soft, smooth and pleasant tannins. Medium bodied. Medium finish/length. Very delicate, elegant, romantic and feminine. Balanced and highly enjoyable wine.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Poupille, 2007, Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Poupille, 2007, Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux

A powerful and vibrant red made of 100% merlot. Love the dark garnet colour. Pretty decent legs. Still rather sharp tasting now and tastes quite spicy when open. Typical intense nose of dark berries, plum and spice. Tinge of rustic earthy scent. Medium bodied. Tannins are still edgy. Needs a few years to mellow down and for tannins to be rounded. I think it tastes best after close to 1.5 hours of decanting. Pretty smooth and elegant after decanting.  A value for money French red.

Monday, 22 September 2014

3 variants of bend over barbell row

I'm quite a "lazy" bugger so I like doing compound movements to cut short my workout. Compound movements save time as it involves a few muscle groups working together simultaneously when you execute them. Since each compound movement involves multiple muscle groups, it definitely takes more effort to execute it. Examples of compound movements are deadlifts, barbell chest press, squats, bend over barbell rows etc.

Bend over barbell rows are great as you not only workout your back but also your forearms, biceps, traps, triceps, abs, thighs and hamstrings! It's also one of the best ways to add real power, real strength and mass to your back.

There are a few variants and all are great movements depending on which specific muscles groups you plan to target...

Variant #1 – Pronated Grip (Palms Down)

This is the most traditional row. Lift the barbell up safely and bend over so that your body is at about 45 degree angle. Thoroughly tighten your legs, gluts, lower back and keep your head in a neutral position. Pull the barbell towards your belly button and hold for a second before lowering it.

Barbell bend over row with the pronated grip is more demanding on your body, your grip strength, your forearms and your back because your biceps do not assist you much when you execute the barbell rows. 

 Variant #2 – Supinated Grip (Palms Up)

With this grip, you actually draw your elbows closer to your body. It gives you an advantage as you are able to bring your biceps more into play with this grip variant. With your biceps more involved and your elbows closer to your body, you will have more power and more strength to execute your bend over rows. Once again, pull the barbell towards your belly button and hold for a second before lowering it.

This could arguably be the best grip to begin with if you have never done a barbell bend over row before!

Variant #3 - Pronated Grip Pulling Higher Towards the Chest

A slightly different variant is to hold the barbell using the pronated grip and pull the barbell higher up towards your upper abs and just below your chest. This is significantly harder and you are likely to pull lighter weights.

This movement forces your elbow out wider so now you are hitting more of your upper back, your deltoids and your rhomboids. You tend not to workout your lower back much with this movement.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Triple drop set circuits

Want to lose weight? Want a quick but effective workout? Want to triple the burn (and pain!)?

If yes, you should try doing triple drop set circuits.

Triple drop what? *guffaw*

Please don't let the grand-sounding name scare you. It's pretty simple actually.

Here's the concept:

You select an ideal weight that will adequately challenge you for a triple drop set of 12 reps, 10 reps and 8 reps with 10 seconds of rest between each set. Once you complete the drop set of 12-10-8 reps, that's considered 1 set. You do 3 sets for each movement or each muscle group.

In a triple drop set circuit, you'll apply the above concept for 1 chest movement, 1 back movement, 1 leg movement, 1 shoulder movement, 1 triceps movement and 1 biceps movement. 6 movements or muscles groups in total. You move from 1 movement to the other with just 10 seconds of rest between each movement. Once you finish all 6 movements, repeat the entire workout once more and you are done!

I bet my last dollar you'll ache all over the next day! No pain no gain, right? *guffaw*

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Gemstone, 2009, Estate Red, Napa Valley, California

Property of Mr Flabby Less
Gemstone, 2009, Estate Red, Napa Valley, California

My good friends visited Napa Valley and they brought back this bottle of wine to share. It was delicious to say the least!

This wine is a blend of 68% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot. Wonderful fruity nose especially blackberries. Luscious taste of dark chocolate, mocha, toffee, dark fruit, licorice and blackberry jam. Hint of oak. Concentrated, fleshy, chewy and silky smooth. Massive wine with impressing finishing. Lot of tannins still. Decanting is required- minimum 2 hours.

Drinking well but I'm sure it'll be even better over time until 2020.

This is a 91-pointer by RP.