Thursday, September 5, 2019

Gym Review :: Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang, Seoul Korea {실로암사우나찜질방}

 
We went to a traditional Korean sauna and bathhouse aka jimjilbang - Siloam Sauna {실로암사우나찜질방} for the first time in our recent trip to Seoul (○゚ε^○)

Such an awesome experience for the whole family and I think we should go back, or try out new ones, each time we're in Korea haha...

Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang is conveniently located near Seoul Station and Lotte Mart.  Not too expensive, it is open 24hrs and has 6 floors of amazing facilities. These include medicinal hot baths, saunas, massage rooms, game rooms, sleeping rooms, Korean cafes etc.

Honestly, you can spend the whole morning and afternoon relaxing at the jjimjilbang, then head over to Seoul Station in the evening for dinner before shopping to your hearts' content at Lotte Mart and the Lotte outlet stores there. Sounds like a perfect plan to nua, right? heh..

Note: Some people even use it as their holiday accommodation as Siloam Sauna allows long-term stay and has large luggage storage available. Kind of like a cheap "hostel" experience, except that the facilities are much better than your typical hostel!

I would definitely be sharing more about Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang in a later post, but first I want to talk about their awesome gym/ fitness room on Level 3!!

Goodness! I was very surprised at how well-equipped it is and honestly, it beats most of the hotel gyms I've seem so far in terms of number and variety of weights and machines.

Like most of the other facilities, it's free to use for Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang customers but you can't wear your own footwear or gym clothes in. You'd have to gym barefoot and in the provided jjimjilbang t-shirt and shorts. I don't think they allow children in as well for their own safety.

Fully air-conditioned, there's the usual cardio bike and treadmill machines...

Full set of dumb-bells..

Leg press, hamstring curl, shoulder press, lats pull-down, bench press etc. machines..

There's even a Smith machine rack and belts available for you to lift heavy haha..

And an area for you to roll and stretch out. Very impressive.

The boy and I didn't use the Siloam Sauna gym as we'd already completed our day's workout at our hotel {Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul} gym and wanted to spend more time with Lil Pumpkin and try out the other sauna rooms and facilities.

Also, I wasn't really that keen to work out, get sweaty then go down to B1 for another shower and change hahaha.. maybe next time we'll work it in better (⌒.−)=★

Pop by {and follow hehe!} my Instagram and FB page for more of our trip updates and pictures (◕‿◕✿) Documented it on-the-go on my IG Story Highlights - look for Korea #2 and Korea #3 folders for this trip, and our 2018 winter holiday in Kimchi-land stories are in Korea #1 and Korea #2 folders.  

P.S. This is why I began writing hotel gym reviews


☆ Gym Star Rating for Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang, Korea Gym
Overall satisfaction: 4.5/5
Equipment: 4.5/5 
Atmosphere: 4/5
Cleanliness: 4/5
Accessibility: 5/5
Staff availability: Yes

Other Korea travel posts:
Le Chef Korean Restaurant @ Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul Dongdaemun
Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang Gym 


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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Little Reading Therapy Is All A Person Needs Sometimes

Work has been rather busy since the year started. I have a new boss and a little promotion so have more on my plate now.. I've to be involved in more projects and events and at times, it can get rather tiring. Not just for doing more work, but also in dealing with more people #welps

I mean, it can be somewhat fun as I do things beyond my usual work scope, but still, it can be tiring.

Especially the past few weeks as we worked towards 2 major events that we were organising for the year... so glad that they are finally over and we can all relax for a while (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*✲゚*。⋆

I'd like to blog more on our winter Korea trip and the recent powerlifting meet that the boy took part in, but first, I am dying to jump right into the pile of new books we got recently!!

Trying to expand Lil Pumpkin and my reading horizons and expose ourselves to new ideas and viewpoints so I'd chosen a diverse range of books outside our usual "reading comfort zone" of familiar authors and genres...For example, I don't usually read autobiographies but picked up a copy of Becoming by Michelle Obama since it had such rave reviews, and to see what life is like for one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era.

Even the boy is influenced too hehe...

He saw The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa in my new pile of books and quickly called dibs to read it first!! And how cute to read it to the clinic cat, 招财??!

So tired from work that all I want to do is just sit snug in bed with a book and a mug of hot cocoa with marshmallows by my side. Sounds like bliss, right?

Well, that's exactly what Lil Pumpkin does at times when she's reading and I really should take a page out of her book #punintended hehehe... 


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Singapore Powerlifting Alliance Championships 2019 - What's a Powerlifting Meet Like??

The boy took part in Singapore Powerlifting Alliance {SPA} Championships 2019 - his first ever powerlifting meet! It was my first experience at a powerlifting meet too!

Since we had to leave home around 7.30am, I went for a very early 5am morning training at the club gym because I didn't know what time we'd be home, and I'd probably be too tired to train in the afternoon too.

We reached around 8am but registration only started around 8.30am. After that there was a lot of waiting around until about 9.30am when the meet started so I took the time to do my own foam rolling and stretching since we brought along a roller and mat hahaha

The boy introduced me to his personal trainer/ coach, Clinton, and his gym mates from Elevate Barbell Club, that was founded by powerlifting enthusiasts turned competitive atheletes. They specialise in powerlifting weight training so programming is pretty different from what I do with Superman {my personal trainer}.

Since it was my first time at a powerlifting meet, I was pretty confused with the format but thankfully, Hayley gave me a crash course hehe. Yunie and her were there to help Clinton support and take care of the other Elevate gym athletes taking part in the meet.

Apparently different powerlifting meets are run differently, although the format is mostly the same. I'd just be talking in general how SPA Championships 2019 is like in this post. Just blogging to note this down in my memory, and also if anyone is thinking of joining a powerlifting meet for the first time, I hope it will be useful (*^▽^*)

First, you have the weigh-ins

SPA Championships 2019 was done over 2 days - Sat 3 Aug {males} and Sun 4 Aug {females}. Weigh-ins are 24hrs prior to the start of your flight. Soooo, if you're competing on Saturday, then weigh-ins are on Friday and if you are competing on Sunday, then weigh-ins are on Saturday. If you do not make weight, you can still compete but will not be eligible for any prizes. Also, you can weigh-in as often as you like up to 30 mins before your flight commences, although some other meets only allow one weigh-in.

Note: A group of powerlifting competitors is called a flight. Usually, a flight consists of 10-15 competitors. Flight "A" will normally consist of lifters in one body weight category. Flight "B" the next higher body weight category, and so on.

Weigh-ins are done in a private area and lifters are weighed only in their underwear {briefs for men, sports bra/bra and panties for ladies}. 

During the weigh-ins, lifters also have to declare a first attempt for all 3 lifts i.e. the opening weight the lifter will lift for squats, bench press and deadlift.

Since the boy competed on Saturday, he had his weigh-in on Friday at Strength Yard {another powerlifting gym}. He had already tested and decided his first attempt weights on Tuesday with Clinton. 

Then, you have your warm-ups and flights on the actual day.

I reckon preparing your body to be in peak form before each lift is pretty tricky at a powerlifting meet, so thank goodness the boy had Clinton and the Elevate team there to support, be his "handlers" and strategise his game plan. If you were an individual lifter without any handlers there, I'm sure it would be quite mentally challenging, on top of being physically challenged.

By right, I should talk about warm-ups first as that's what you do before competing, but to fully understand how warm-ups are done at a powerlifting meet, you should probably know the order of competition.

Competing at a powerlifting meet consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. The lifts are done in that order too.

In the boy's morning session, there were 2 flights - Flight A and Flight B. Where there are multiple Flights, all lifters in Flight A will complete all 3 attempts of a lift, before Flight B takes the stage i.e. Flight A will squat their 3 attempts from lightest to heaviest, rotating through the order until every lifter has had 3 attempts, then Flight B will go.

After each attempt, the lifter has a minute to submit their next attempt, or the decision will be made for them {at least 2.5kg heavier I think}. A lifter will not be allowed to attempt a weight lower than the attempted in the previous round i.e. if you chose to squat 100kg in your first attempt, you have to go higher than that, and cannot go lower than 100kg in the next attempt.

For each attempt round, you might not go in the same lifting order as that is determined by the lifter's choice of weight per attempt because the bar must be loaded progressively during a round on the principle of "a raising bar". For example, in the first attempt round you might go 4th in your Flight, but for the second attempt you might go 9th if you are going to attempt to lift heavier than 8 other people in your Flight.

Having said that, each lifter probably won't jump weight too drastically from how you would, so you probably won't move in the lifting order too much.

However, this lifting order is important as it you need to know when you are lifting to time your warm-ups and rest properly.

To know how to time your warm-up takes experience, and that's why it's important to have good handlers with you at the competition. You don't want to warm up too early and cool off before your lift, and you also don't want to not warm up enough or warm up too late so that you'll be too close to your lift and not recover in time.

Not only can the handlers help to time your warm-up, they can check your form/ technique, advise on weights to use as well as help you load your warm-up weights so that you don't lose extra energy. Every extra bit counts during a meet, yeah?

At SPA Championships 2019's competition site, there was a warm-up area that was separated from the contest platform. At the warm-up area there was only enough space for 3 lifters to warm-up with weights at the same time. You can't "chope" one rack/bar/platform to use throughout your whole warm-up session, and have to work it in with other lifters at the meet.

So not only do you have to time your warm-up according to your lifting order, you have to time it so that you can actually do so with others using the same equipment. In addition to all this, since the boy is in Flight B, which is after Flight A, he has to factor in the pace of lifting for that group of competitors too since he is only competing after them. 

Tricky, huh?

This is really just the basic of how a powerlifting meet is like. I can't even go into details on how to plan your weight attempts to try to win your opponents {if you're aiming for a medal} or calculate the total to determine the placings as that's too complicated for me to understand at the moment heh. 

Anyway, the whole meet for the boy lasted around 6hrs. Fwah!!! Pretty long but I managed to keep myself busy watching some others lift, helping the boy to take pics/vids of him and his gym mates, and walking around the small Aperia mall sometimes haha.

Stayed out of the way from the boy so that he can focus more on the competition.

At the end of it all, he managed to come back with a medal for all his efforts and despite some injuries! ( ᐛ )و So proud of him!!

It was an enjoyable and enriching experience for him, and definitely an eye-opener for me!

Will share more on how he did for SPA Championships 2019 in the next post. Meanwhile you can check out his squats, bench press and deadlift attempts on my YouTube channel. 

P.S. If I get any points wrong or if there's anything else to add on to this post, feel free to leave me a comment!


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Fitness Diary :: Powering Up for His First Powerlifting Competition!! ೕ♥

This Saturday, the boy will be competing his first ever powerlifting competition - Singapore Powerlifting Alliance {SPA} Championships 2019.

This is his second competition, the first one being CrossFit Opens 2017.



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It has been a year since the boy took up powerlifting and no matter what the results may be at the competition, I'm already very proud of him for what he has achieved ೕ(˃̵ᴗ˂̵ ๑)

He has always been my inspiration to not give up on my training, not give up on getting stronger, no matter what injuries I may have or whatever setbacks come my way {see Lessons Learnt from Being Injured}.

I mean, speaking of injuries, the boy suffers no less than me. Actually much more.

He had surgeries for hernias , laberal tear and calcium deposits in the shoulder, with recurring pain in his back and both knees too. If he has reached a plateau or gets stuck in any way, he doesn't wallow in sorrow. He tunes his mindset and finds ways and means to solve the problem and get better.

This can be seen in the way he has shifted through the different forms of weightlifting from body-building to CrossFit and now, powerlifting to adapt to his injuries and body's needs.



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With powerlifting, the boy can now enjoy the simplicity of just focusing on the 3 major lifts {deadlift, squats and bench press}, which he has always liked anyway, and the powerlifting exercise forms are more forgiving on his injury-prone body.

Thankfully like me, the boy has also found a knowledgeable coach {Clinton, from Elevate Barbell Club} he trusts to efficiently plan his powerlifting programming so that he can improve consistently cycle by cycle, without beating himself too hard or traumatising his old injuries too much.

Being relatively injury-free enables him to continue to train hard and do what he likes without any worries.



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Growing up, I've had my fair share of competitions as a competitive swimmer so I don't find any sense of joy in joining them now. I find a better sense of accomplishment if I can just "compete" with myself to improve and be better than who I was yesterday.

It doesn't even need to be about numbers on my weights. If I can do one more rep, or do the exercise with even better form even if I can't increase the rep or weight, I'll consider that a progress and small win too. (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑

Nonetheless, I'm very happy to see the boy push past his comfort zone and see how he fares amongst others in front of a crowd. Knowing the boy's character, this is not an easy thing for him to do too.

All the best, Poogeo!! 頑張ってね~!Lil Pumpkin and I are behind you all the way!!

P.S. If you're coming down to support him, you can look out for the guy wearing the suit that looks like a tiger with green stripes.. or maybe a watermelon?? hehehehe..

*****

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