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Archive for February, 2007

How effective is Body Pump?

February 24, 2007 2 comments

bodypump.jpgI’m a total slacker when it comes to weight training. Mostly because I think the weights area is a really intimidating, testosterone-fuelled area. I don’t like being checked on by the guys (not because I’m a babe). Yeah, I know they’re just trying to help, but I feel uncomfortable when a complete stranger comes to me while I’m working out to tell me what’s the best way to do this or that. Once, a guy even offered advice that was the opposite of what my personal trainer told me! Which is so confusing.

So I find Body Pump the funnest thing. A group of guys and girls pumping iron (ok, more like plastic weights) with cool music in the background and an energetic instructor at the front. The class usually goes by quickly.

But how effective is this class anyway?

Came across this excellent article: Body Pump – is it the world’s fastest way to get in shape?

Although the writer is dubious about the “fastest way to get in shape bit”, he does say:

Body Pump has been shown to help you lose fat. In a 13-week trial comparing Body Pump, Body Step, Body Attack, Body Combat, and RPM, subjects in the Body Pump group actually lost the most fat. Beginners, or anyone returning to exercise after a lay-off, may gain a little muscle and improve their cardiovascular fitness.

Body Pump is also very popular with anyone who prefers to exercise with other people rather than on their own. When I used to teach aerobics, there were many people who (no matter how many times I told them about the benefits of resistance training) wouldn’t set foot in a gym for love nor money simply because they found it so boring.

So, while it’s a long way from being the world’s fastest way to get in shape, Body Pump does provide some of the benefits of conventional gym-based resistance-training programs.

The lowdown from a research on people doing Body Pump classes:

The Auckland research team also point out that Body Pump provides only a low to moderate stimulus to increase aerobic fitness.

“The implication of these results is that Body Pump is useful for maintaining aerobic fitness, but does not provide sufficient stimulus to improve aerobic fitness in already fit subjects such as those who participated in this study.”

Ceh. I’m barely fit, so I think I’m so in this. 🙂

So, all in all. Yeah, Body Pump rocks, and if you’re a lazy ass like me when it comes to strength training, it’s the way to go! I take Body Pump classes twice a week – one on Saturday and another one on a weekday.

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I heart Body Pump

February 24, 2007 Leave a comment

Exercise: 1 hour of Body Pump + 15 minutes on the epileptical machin and 5 minutes on the threadmill

Breakfast: Pasta with tomato sauce and mushrooms with tuna. Lunch: 2 fried soft shell crab, mochi: 6, a bowl of salad with raw salmon slices, green tea, salmon maki. Dinner: Popiah

The pasta I took for breakfast fueled me up nicely for the Body Pump class. There was tiny girl in my class that was stacking such a big amount of weight on her barbells that I looked at my puny weights on my barbell and thought: “Oh boy…”

I didn’t find class taxing (maybe because of my puny weights, ahem) but doing lunges still do a number on my heels (my calves are too tight these days, and they end up pulling on my plantar fascia too much. And my knees – I must’ve been doing something wrong too because it hurts once in a while when I do squats.

After the class, I wasn’t even winded and did some light aerobics for 20 minutes. Then it was a nice bath and my favourite part of all: some time in the steam room.

Unfortunately, I think I went overboard with my lunch because I felt overly full. Next time, I’ll just take 1 plate of mochi and no more soft shell crab!

Categories: Thoughts & such

Stubborn weight …

February 24, 2007 Leave a comment

I was frustrated when, after getting on the scale on Thursday, I gained one more kg, despite having exercised quite faithfully this week.

Then I realised that

a) it’s my PMS time which usually means I gain 2kg of water
b) It was Chinese New Year and I scarffed down cookies and oily meat floss daily!

I have the old urge to just quit and regress again, but I realise at the same time that I feel better working out about four times this week. Also, I’ve been making a point to go back at 8pm every day from work, which does loads for my stress levels.

I had to read some dieters’ blogs to encourage myself that I can do it (and at the same time, envy them of the progress!)

Categories: Thoughts & such

Food and exercise log

February 24, 2007 Leave a comment

Feb 22:
Exercise: Cycling 20 minutes, gentle intervals

Lunch: spinach, white rice (fistful), sweet and sour chicken and buttered fish. Snack: Two pineapple slices. Dinner: brown rice, three pieces of buttered fish, fried squid, 1 egg with chilli and watercress soup, 2 persimmons

Feb 23
Exercise: Cycling 30 minutes (300cals) + 10min light aerobics

Breakfast: A bowl of watercress soup. Lunch: a fistful of rice, vegetables, meat with sauce. Snack: a slice of pineapple and a slice of melon. Tea: 2 fried spring rolls, 1 cucuk sumbat. Dinner: pasta with tomato sauce, mushrooms and tuna, and two persimmons

Categories: Thoughts & such

Biking away!

February 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Activity: 35 minutes. Stationery bike, intervals, 17km. I went from 70rpm to 100rpm
Calories burnt: According to the activity calculator based on my weight – 450 cals

Watched Bones while I was cycling. Amazing how quickly time flies when you’re concentrating (and huffing and puffing) while watching something you like.

Having a harder time with food though. My taste buds crave potato chips – specifically the one where it’s smothered in cheese … yum …

Food: 3 pieces of bread with dried pork meat slices (oily…), Lunch: brown rice with roasted chicken (1/4), two bowls of konyaku with fruits …, brown rice with vegetables and 1/4 roast chicken and a bowl of watercress soup.

Categories: Thoughts & such

Being fat means you’re treated differently

February 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Just read an article by Laura Moncur of Starling Fitness: Why I believe in Fat Acceptance.

When I was fat, I worked hard at my jobs, yet I had to defend myself against implications that I was lazy all the time. Weighing 235 pounds had absolutely no effect on how many phone calls I could answer or how many insurance claims I could process every day, yet I was constantly defending myself against insults about laziness. Not even my daily performance, which was one of the highest in my group, could protect me from those insults. Only losing the weight changed their perception of me.

I cannot deny the fact that being fat affects how people look at me. I used to be at a normal weight once, and I did get appreciative looks. Now that I’m 20kg overweight, I might as well been invisible. Worse, I have to endure jibes and insults from people who think they mean well. Once, somebody remarked about me: “I can’t believe someone so fat could be so smart!”

If I truly want to be honest with myself, I am losing weight not just because of my health, but because I want to be noticed again. I hate the fact that I’m still single because I’m not noticed.

In Asia, especially, if you’re fat, you’re simply very unattractive. You’re not in the “dating” market. AT ALL.

Laura says that if you accept yourself, love your body, you’ll be treating it better. I guess I have to say that I truly hate my body. I am not exactly sure how I’m supposed to get over this “hate”, but I do try to treat it better when I have the will.

The strange thing about the responses to Laura’s article is how they think she’s advocating “Love yourself for being fat, you don’t have to do anything about it.” I don’t think that’s her message at all. It is: “Accept that you’re fat, love yourself anyway and do something about it.”

Categories: Thoughts & such

Back in the gym

February 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Epileptical machine: 5minutes (warm up) + 35 minutes (gentle intervals)
Full body Weight training: 40 minutes.

It’s nice to be in the old gym again. Was tempted to take a fizzy drink after the work out (ironically, the gym has fizzy drinks dispensers, which make me go: Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of working out?) and took some tea instead. I did take 1/4 of 100 plus though. Couldn’t help it!

Categories: Thoughts & such