Monday, January 11, 2016

Cycle 2 Program End Report | Operation 健康アップ Weeks 21 - 24

I'm done with Cycle 2 of my Operation 健康アップ!! The past 3 months seemed to go by in a whirl.. I missed having my fave trainer around during my sessions and sometimes I really was pretty unmotivated... (っ˘̩╭╮˘̩)

However at the end of it all, I'm still glad that despite the usual struggles of juggling work, motherhood, and other commitments, I trudged on with the support and encouragement of my family, friends & the team at Genesis Gym to reach my goal of 18% body fat! (☆‿ ☆)ᕗ

Gym Workouts
I went in on Tuesdays and Fridays mostly - only changing my routine for the last 2 weeks with the long holiday weekends. Since the gym was closed a Friday for Christmas, I went in on Saturday morning that week and it was super packed!! Guess everybody wanted to get rid of all the festive fat gained during the holiday season haha..

As usual, trainers I work with now are Farhan, Superman and Mark?? Tall Guy helps out sometimes too.

Anyway for December I worked out on my last program for Cycle 2. It takes around 1.5 - 2 hrs to complete and was like a Giant Sets program, but each exercise had high reps {15 each} which I dislike because I tend to lose count and it gets too boring for me #oops

I must admit though that I find it trains my mental strength and endurance to just keep going, even when I feel like just dropping the weights after 6-8 reps. According to what I've read, basically low repetitions with high weight increases strength, whereas high repetitions with low weight increases endurance.

However, even though the boy disagrees that my weights are heavy {pfffft}, I reckon I'm doing high reps with relativity high weights so I guess that means increasing strength and endurance with this program??! hahaha..

This was my gym workout plan with the latest weights I lifted:

A1. Lying Hamstring Curl {Split}, Toes up, 4 sets, 15 reps - 30lbs {14kg}
A2. Barbell Hips Thrust, 4 sets, 15 reps - 55kg
A3. Leg Press, {feet higher on platform, glute emphasis}, 4 sets, 15 reps - 63 + 65kg
A4. Dumb-bell Chest Supported Row to Chest {Pronating}, 4 sets, 15 reps - 11.5 + 12kg
A5. One Arm Row, 4 sets, 15 reps - 10kg
A6. Seated Supinated Dumb-bell Curl, 4 sets, 15 reps - 6.5 + 7kg
B1. Sit-Ups, 3 sets, 60s - 4kg
B2. Moving Front Bridge, 3 sets, 60s 
B3. Flutter Kicks, 3 sets, 60s

I had to change a few exercises from the original program Jen planned for me because of my back and knee problems e.g. A2 was supposed to be Cable Split Squat but my knees were hurting when I lunged down.

The Leg Press was the hardest exercise for me in Set A as my legs are soooo weak!! Many a times I felt like giving up and if my trainers were right there pushing me, I probably would have.

Set B was added to help me train my ab muscles. After completing my previous workout program which had weighted front bridges that I could hold for more than a minute, I thought my abs muscles were quite good! I. Was. So. Wrong. #cry

Sit-ups are still ok {tip I learnt, turn your feet in to activate the abs more}, but I feel very retarded doing the Moving Front Bridge as I sway too much and my arms aren't strong enough to "keep moving". Not really able to keep kicking for a full minute too and have to stop to rest half-way (@﹏ @)

Home Workouts
I managed to go at least once, if not twice a week to our club gym for my home workouts. On Sundays I gym while Lil Pumpkin has her swim lesson so I've to keep it to 1 hour, which means doing only 3 sets instead of 4.. or changing some exercises.

During the long weekends, I managed to go to gym with the boy too before his work. If we both gym together, Lil Pumpkin is at the club's kiddy playroom and we'll usually keep our workout to an hour too.  

This is my home workout program with the latest weights I used:

A1. Seated Hamstring Curl {Toes up}, 4 sets, 15 reps - 45lbs {20.5kg}
A2. Standing Dumb-bell Shoulder Press, 4 sets, 15 reps - 7kg
B1. Leg Press {Wide stance, Feet out, High on platform}, 4 sets, 15 reps - 200lbs {90kg}
B2. Bodybuilder, 4 sets, 75sec
C1. Lat Pull-down {Supinated, Close width}, 4 sets, 10 reps - 62.5lbs {28kg}
C2. Sliders, 4 sets, 75sec

A complete program like this would usually take me about 1.5 hrs.

I learnt a new exercise for my home workout - the "bodybuilder". If the video above isn't working, see it on my YouTube channel here. I hope to share more fitness exercise videos this year too so subscribe if you're interested to keep up to date on it :P

The "Bodybuilder" is apparently used by the US military to train the guys and I can see why they say it's a very good at building cardio endurance. Like burpees, you move your entire body to burn fat {woohooo!} and is something you can do at home without any weights.

Basically you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart then do these movements for 1 rep,
1. Drop to a squatting position with your hands on the ground.
2. Kick your feet straight back in a plank position
3. Kick your legs open
4. Bring your legs back together in a plank position
5. Do a push-up
6. Pull your legs into your chest
7. Stand up {or jump up for higher intensitiy}

For co-ordination poor me, it is quite challenging haha.

24 Weeks Progress End Report
It's been officially 5 months since I started my personal training program in late July 2015 and getting serious about being fit again.

Some of you many know this, while there’s others that don’t so I’ll just share again anyway. I used to swim competitively when I was younger. This included training {not just exercising, but TRAINING} daily, sometimes twice a day, for at least a decade. You don’t think about keeping fit or staying healthy when you have such a lifestyle – because you just are.

Then came along uni, life and you realise you have such FREEDOM to do whatever you want! It’s an enormous world waiting for you to explore, so why would you want to “waste time” at the pool / gym & worry about what you eat when you’re young, free and full of energy?? It’s a warped thinking but when you’ve been caught up in a sporty life since young and you suddenly realise you don’t have to any longer, you suddenly feel like a jailed bird set free and just go wild! And that’s why my friends, you find that a lot of athletic people who don’t keep up with their sports become fat and so lazy compared to when they were kids (⊙_◎)

Some of us come out of our bubble, realise that we’ve gone overboard and get back on track though. Lucky for me, I’m one of them. The past few years I’ve struggled to get back on track but it’s been really tough with motherhood and stuff but thankfully, my hubby never gave up on me. In June 2015, I took the plunge and signed up for personal training sessions. It is not cheap. But I needed that extra push & monitoring, and I can’t expect my hubby who has his own commitments to do it all for me.

In the past 5 months I’ve lost about 6kg, 13cm off my waist & 14% body fat, but I’ve gained a lot on eating healthily, living well and even gaining strength & endurance mentally. I didn't even notice about my body transformation until more and more people started commenting on it. It was then that I compared myself now with old photos than ya, I can see the difference too (★^O^★)

I love hearing messages from others like Susan who say they are inspired by me and have even started on their own exercise regime too. It gives me a greater purpose and keeps me motivated to not just work out for myself, but to encourage others too just like others who have been encouraging me. My way of paying it forward...

A good health is the best wealth and people really should place more emphasis on it, especially so when we all live such hectic lives and need to be on top of our game to take care of our family {see my tips on making time to exercise}. Be stronger than your strongest excuse.  

Food Nutrition
I didn't really monitor my food much on MyFitnessPal recently because I eat basically the same food most days so can roughly gauge my daily calorie intake. Most of the days, I kept within my limit but on days when I had festive parties, I know I went over but didn't beat myself up over it.

I will be meal-prepping more in 2016 and have been busy preparing for that too by reading up more on what I can cook and freeze in advance to save time, as well as decluttering my kitchen to make space for prepping and cooking food.

Oh, the boy also bought me a Yonanas machine, as recommended by Jen because he knows I'm such a sucker for desserts haha. It makes soft serve ice cream out of frozen fruit. Frozen bananas and creamier fruits give you ice cream, and frozen citrus fruits gives sorbet like texture. I haven't tried it out yet but I think it will be one of my most used kitchen appliance once I get it going ٩(^ᴗ^)۶

Thoughts of the Weeks
Training during the festive season can be such a drag because all you want to do is just chill and enjoy the holidays, and yes maybe you can cut back, but there really is no excuse to stop exercising completely.

It actually feels weird for me now if I don't somehow exercise daily. Maybe I'm badly influenced by the boy haha. If I'm not gymming for the day, I'd do some kind of body weight exercise at home like push-ups or running nearby with Lil Pumpkin.

For me, this is an ongoing process and a #transformationforlife. I thought long and hard about it, and finally decided to join Genesis Gym's unlimited package for the next 3 months. I intend to go in at least 4 times a week {which is what I'm doing most weeks anyway} and cut out my home workouts to fully maximise all my workout sessions since when I gym on my own, I tend to be more slack.

I do the exercises, but I know that I'm not pushing myself as hard as when I'm with my personal trainers so that's why I want to make this change to my fitness training routine in 2016. I told Jen that I'd like to build more muscles and hopefully get down to 16% body fat {currently at 18%} to have more muscle definition & actually look like someone who trains haha.

And like I mentioned earlier, I plan to meal-prep weekly every Saturday. Since I'm making recess obentos for Lil Pumpkin, I might as well plan ahead for the week ahead for my own healthy, wholesome meals too.

I’m just so excited for what I can possibly achieve in 2016! (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

In case you missed it, I've been selected to be one of the top 4 finalists in Her World Plus Social Media Awards. Always honoured to receive recognition for sharing my motherhood and life stories ♥

It's the last week for voting {ends Fri 15 Jan 2016} so you can and don't mind, please support me by voting here. You only need to vote once, not daily so it shouldn't be too troublesome!

Thanks in advance xox


Mum's calling said...

2016 is looking even greater for you, I can see those curves! Wee wee! Oh man, I can't imagine myself having that same kind of discipline as you. I'm lazy! Ok, maybe I'll just hit the outdoor instead of gym, brisk walk or rollerblading. Heh.

Susan said...

Woot woot! That's very noticeable transformation my dear. And yes you're been such an inspiration to me in restarting my engine to get active and fit. Let's keep cheering each other on for a healthier lifestyle!

An Apel a Day said...

With the back pictures I can really tell a difference. It does take time, and energy to get everything done. It's great you have supportive people on the sidelines rooting you on.

Theresa Mahoney said...

Isn't it amazing what can be accomplished in just 5 months! Girl, you are rocking that fitness routine so well! Keep up the good work.

I hate going to my gym the start of the new year. It is always so packed with people trying to lose the holiday pounds. We had 40 people crammed into our group exercise when it's only designed to hold 25. I can't wait for March when the slackers stop coming.

I seriously love that pic of you and the boy. Such a cute couple you two are!

May said...

I LOVE THAT KISS! haha Who took that photo btw? Reading your post makes me tired already! Yay! I feel worked out! hehehehe

Phoebe said...

happy new year! you are looking better and fitter! lovely photo ( taken by lil pumpkin? I'm guessing) of you and your hubby.

Ai Sakura said...

Mums Calling: Doing ANY kind of movement is better than just lazing on a couch!! ;)

Susan: thanks a lot! jia you and keep going!

Alissa: yup I'm glad I managed to trudge through for 6 months.. don't plan on giving up just yet!

Theresa: thank you my dear! you're one of my inspirations too.. can hardly believe you are a mum of 2 teenagers!

May / Phoebe: haha.. it was just taken on a timer :P

Ashlyn Thia said...

I feel motivated to kick my butt off the chair each time I see your posts on your exercise regime. But it's just so hard to get it started. Hopefully I can report some good news next time. haha..

Ashlyn Thia said...

And your transformation is indeed inspiring. Keep up your good work!

mail4rosey said...

That's such a fun picture of you guys together. :) I love the saying to be stronger than your strongest excuse. That's applicable in so so many things. :)

Unknown said...

Great work! Keep up the commitment for 2016!

Pooja Kawatra said...

Such a great inspiration to start workout this year. Love your dedication to work on it.

Patrick said...

Keep up the good work and it takes loads of discipline to maintain it.

Michelle said...

Well done on your progress so far. You are indeed an inspiration.

Stacy said...

I'd have thought you were perfectly fine the way you were. But the photos really show a difference! Love that one with your hubs btw.

Danessa Foo said...

Amazing journey, Ai! I really salute you for the focus and determination that you put into your exercise routine, and it's paying of really well :)

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