Saturday, April 16, 2016

Work it! (part 1)

Despite the unfortunate news yesterday that my contract in Papua New Guinea will not get extended, blogging still has to continue. In fact I will have more time to blog now that I am not taking on new work as this is my last hitch in PNG. Anyway here goes.

Over the years a lot of people have asked me about my gym routine in an attempt to "replicate" my body and some have even asked me to train them personally. I am the worst teacher and motivator on this planet so I have always turned them down but that does not mean I have nothing to say when it comes to all things gym-related. In the next series of posts I will let it all out based on my 15 years of experience hitting the gym.

In this first post (the others can be found here: 2 3 4 5 6) I want to describe my gym routine which comprises of strength-training and cardio. There are roughly 9 muscle groups that are commonly trained. When I am back home I split these groups into 2 1.5-hour sessions and I only do 2 sessions within a week (to the surprise of many who because of my built think that I live in the gym). In the first session I focus on shoulders, triceps, traps, legs and forearms in that sequence while in the second, I work the remaining chest, biceps, back and abdominals in that order. I came up with this sequence and split myself so as to have minimal overlap of muscle groups between exercises. In this way I can concentrate fully on each group. I do 4 exercises for each muscle and 3 sets for each exercise. I alternate between heavier weights (8 reps per set) and lighter ones (15 reps per set) every week as the former builds muscle-size while the latter muscle-length (as I have been told). To burn more calories I only rest for a minute between sets so as to throw in some bit of cardio effect when doing weights. When I am in Papua New Guinea due to my long working hours, I prefer shorter sessions and so I split the 9 muscle groups to 4 0.5-hour sessions within a week instead.

In addition to weights a good routine must contain cardiovascular exercises as well. There are people who only do weights and not cardio and the most common reason is that cardio burns off muscles which I do not think is true. I used to do both classes (Body Attack and Body Combat) as well as running on the treadmill or time on the cross-trainer. Ever since I moved to Melbourne I frequently go for topless jogs outside too since the park is just nearby (regardless of the season, I always go topless). When I am working in PNG I find it harder to do classes when I am on my break due to schedule-mismatch (when I was still working in Melbourne I used to go to the gym before work just when the gym opens at 6am). Classes are about an hour and jogs as well as treadmill/cross-trainer sessions are 0.5-hour long. I don’t like to go for long runs as I feel that jogging alone is boring.

Another important element of a successful fitness regime is of course diet and I will touch on that in my next post. In this series I shall also upload short clips of one exercise per muscle group. These videos were self-taken in the gym of the remote site in PNG. For those who have always wanted to see me in action in the gym, you are in luck! The first two clips feature shoulders and triceps. I am getting lazier over the years and so I don’t have very good exercise posture so just admire my muscles and don’t dwell too much on my form OK?


Shoulders:


Triceps:

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