Friday, May 6, 2016

Cycle 3 Program End Report | Operation 健康アップ Weeks 33 - 36

Wow time flies and I've come to the end of Cycle 3 of my personal training with Genesis Gym. It seems like I've joined them for a long time but yet, 9 months doesn't really seem that long too.

Gym Workouts
I had another workout rotation program with 2 workouts for the last part of Cycle 3.
Pull-ups is a great exercise to build your upper body strength, improve your grip strength and even help with weight loss. Jen really wants me to improve my pull-ups and I started doing a lot more pull-ups with the help of bands and using Parvel's Fighter Pull-Ups as part of my workouts. In fact, I have pull-ups every time I'm at the gym ( ᐛ )و

For Fighter Pull-Ups, you start with an all-out set and then cut a rep in each consecutive set for a total of five sets. The next day add a rep to the last set. Then a rep to the set before that, etc.The system is intended to be used for four weeks. At the end of the month, it is not unusual to up the reps 2.5-3 times. I started with a max of 7 reps {strict pull-ups from dead-hang, neutral grip} so maybe at the end I can do it for 17-21 reps! :P #fingerscrossed

Here's Workout A with the latest/ heaviest weights I lifted:
A1. Fighter Pull-Ups, 5 sets, start from 6 reps max
A2. Lying Hamstring Curl {Toes Up}, 4 sets, 6 reps - 56kg
A3. Heel Elevated Back Squat, 4 sets, 6 reps - 46kg
B1. Band-assisted Chin Up, 4 sets, 8 reps - Body weight
B2. Heel Elevated Back Squat, 4 sets 12 reps - 31kg
C1. Deck Squats, 4 sets, 60s
C2. Barbell Bear Complex, 4 sets, 60s - 20kg / Burpee Box Jumps, 4 sets, 60s - body weight
C3. Side to Side Ankle Touch, 4 sets, 60s
C4. Burpees with Alternating Groiner, 4 sets, 60s

This is the first time that I started doing Back Squats. Previously, we'd avoided doing squats of any kind since my knees were so weak but now that they are better / stronger, Jen added squats in my program.

I talked to Jen about not feeling very "tight" when doing squats, as opposed to doing deadlifts when I can feel the tension in my whole body. He guided me on some cues to use and I think it has improved somewhat.

When the weights are light, my form is ok but when the weights get heavier, I tend to depend more on my right leg. It's something I've to be conscious of and take care to correct. I also read an article about not squatting past parallel and discussed it with Jen. 

He said that there are many differing views in term of training. For an exercise like the squat, there are many different ways and techniques to squatting. People are built differently too, with different limb lengths and proportions, adding to the complexity of the subject.

The principle Genesis uses for their clients is full range of motion, done in safety. Since I'm more flexible than most, and are able to squat down fully, I should do that to help strengthen my knee joints, and the supporting muscles and ligaments, to make my knees even stronger.

So far, my knees are still feeling fine and I'm pretty comfortable doing squats {except for the imbalance bit}.

Workout B with the latest weights I lifted:
A1. Fighter Pull-Ups, 5 sets, start from 6 reps max
A2. Hybrid Deadlift, 4 sets, 6-4 reps - 71kg
A3. Seated Unsupported Dumb-bell Shoulder Press {Neutral}, 4 sets, 6-4 reps - 15kg
B1. Rack Pull from Mid-Shin, 4 sets, 8 reps - 83kg
B2. Single Leg RDL, 4 sets, 12 reps - 24kg
B3. Cable Fly, 4 sets, 8 reps - 100lb {45kg}
B4. Push-Ups with Parallete Bars, 4 sets, 12 reps - 4kg

This round, Jen also wanted me to improve on my chest muscles and added in exercises to build that. However, not sure why but I find it hard to feel my chest muscles being activated during the exercises! Had a go with Barbell Bench Press but that was a no go so Superman changed the exercise to Push-ups with Parallete Bars for me.

One fine Saturday morning he even planned an extreme workout of finisher exercises for me to work my chest muscles {7 sets of push-ups until failure, then 12 x cable pulls, then flex chest & hold for 10s} and expected them to ache after that. Felt kinda bad to tell him on Monday when I was back at the gym that nah sorry, they didn't ache at all!!

Oh well but I think even though I don't really feel them working, it doesn't mean that they are not working at all. Like after I do all my ab exercises, they don't ache at all but I think that my abs look much better now compared to at the beginning when I first started training them (≧∇≦)/

Food Nutrition
As my training intensity increased, I've been feeling very, very hungry. The boy said it's normal as since I'm training more often, I need lots more protein to build muscles, and carbs to replenish energy. For the last few weeks of Cycle 3, I was supposed to eat about 1,400 calories daily.

I had not been tracking my calories faithfully and was "guesstimating" most of the time.  Surprisingly, when I took my measurements last Friday {29 Apr 2016}, I hit my all-time low body fat percentage 16.85% & all-time high lean body mass 48.89g #soawesome

At this stage, Jen said that my body fat loss should be controlled more by my diet and food intake, and at the workouts we'll be concentrating more on strength-training to build more muscles, which in turn will help to maintain / keep my body fat percentage low.

My new daily calorie intake for the next 2 weeks is supposed to be 1,500 calories daily, and a slight carb-loading on Sundays when I can eat up to 1,650 calories. I started using My Fitness Pal app again this week to track and made sure I kept within my targets as I really want to hit 15% by the end of May!

Thoughts of the Weeks
I survived.. no actually thrived, going to the gym 4-5 times per week and really enjoy it.

It is scientifically proven that when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. In short, exercise makes you feel happy, and to me, that's true.

Exercising does help me in a way to relax by freeing my mind of any bothersome chores or work, stretching and moving my body to get the blood flowing. When we went for our Bangkok trip in March, the boy specifically chose a hotel with a good gym so that we won't miss our workouts haha. It gave us more energy for the day and even made us feel kinda better for pigging out during the trip :P

Some people might think I'm overdoing it but if it's keeping me happy and healthy, why not?

I've signed up for another 12-weeks unlimited package with Genesis Gym and have already started my Cycle 4 with them. I'm excited to see what else I can achieve in my fitness journey, and I hope you are too! xox


Mummy Kless said...

You are an inspiration through and through! And the results are so obvious, I'm sure it's a great morale booster for you. :) Gambatte!!!!!!!

Adrine said...

Wow! Reading about the reps makes me feel tired already ;-p But I totally understand the endorphin part. I've been doing a consistent wo routine too (tho no way as hard as yours!) and I super love the sweaty feeling after a wo. Such a high!

An Apel a Day said...

You're looking great! The food looks wonderful. I have such a hard time with balance. I used to wonder why, then found out my left ankle is very weak, and there's less of it than the right. That explains some things about myself and balance.

I read that pumpkin seeds have more protein in them than most nuts, and other seeds.

Unknown said...

You looked GREAT!!!
I love your quote '.... If it's keeping me happy and healthy, why not?' I'm so motivated to be discipline in my routine now, keep the fats away! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I can't imagine doing all these routine. I already feeling tired reading about it but I can agree on the food nutrition part. =)

Debbish said...

Wow! Very impressive. I've really let my fitness go over the past 3-4yrs and it feels like getting fit and healthy is just too surmountable a goal at the moment!

mail4rosey said...

My oldest works out daily and he is always hungry. He's careful about what types of foods he does eat though (usually). :) I'm in awe that you've got pull-ups on your list. I never could do many of those, even at my fitest in my youth. :)

May said...

Guess what! My Workout Wednesday with neighbours cancelled twice in a row. hahahahah We are finding too much excuses! If only reading your blogs can automatically make me trim and fit.

Stacy said...

If you can take it, definitely go on with it. Why not? :)

Theresa Mahoney said...

I can totally see a transformation. You look so healthy and strong. I need to start doing more with weights. I am stuck at 19% body fat and it refuses to go lower. Your 16% is very impressive to me!

Shub said...

What a dedication and self-discipline! I wish I could do exercise so regularly.

Estella Goh said...

You're glowing! Admire your efforts and super happy that you're reaping the fruits of your efforts. I'm just getting started and omg, its hard!

Pooja Kawatra said...

Wow! Superb dedication. I am so much loving your everyday photos of exercise regime.

Grace said...

You are looking super hot! Check out your muscles! Love your dedication x