Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Running Out Of Ideas

Maintaining a blog purely gym related, unless once ventures into that territory of self proclaimed gym gurus, like some blogs in town, is harder, MUCH harder than I initially thought. Firstly, one has to avoid any hint of criticism, of the instructors, regardless of how they may suck. Exposing oneself to libel just because of an exercise class hardly seems worth the effort. Then one also has to tread carefully, lest other things mentioned in a post is deemed offensive. Rating of classes is also out, because that would also constitute criticism, or praise. So, how?

As such, once again, the urgency to go to the gym has diminished, with the lack of impetus to write. However, I did drag my lazy ass to the body pump class on saturday afternoon, which is not one of my normal slots. Bumped into the new GXC for MML, who looked exceedingly stressed, and not his normal chirpy self. Best to stay away when people are stressed. Combat instructors can perform a variety of movements on you, to injure you. Pump instructors can whack you with the bar, balance instructors can ask you to do some contortionist pose, to break your back, step instructors can ask you to do repeators till you die, or squat till you poop, so I figure, it's probably best not to mess with these chappies.

Body pump. The instructor concerned has an Aussie accent thicker than a redneck in the outback. Chist proud, hips bet shoulder width, bar to the nipple was my first one hour pump class in a long time. For some reason, I just could NOT complete the lunges on my right leg. Usually lunges are a struggle, but I can complete them. Quite an enjoyable class, no complaints.

Yesterday was the usual combat with FCI. Decided not to stand anywhere within his line of sight, since he sniggers at me during the class, either imaginary or otherwise. The class was as usual, more crowded than an LRT after office hours, and the girl next to me was doing her kicks so high I was convinced at some stage I was gonna have my wisdom teeth knocked out, which is not a bad thing, as I need to get it surgically removed at some stage. Since it's the last week before the new launch, FCI did a lot of tracks from the last release, including that satisfying muay thai which involves punching the daylights out of your fallen victim. That was a minor orgasm of sorts. Who did I envisage I was punching? Ah, that's my secret.

Conditioning was his trademark Not Gonna Get Us, that notorious squat track. Cool down, Bohemian Rhapsody, which was initially greeted with a lot of opposition. Why, I dont know. It's a nice cool down. I realised the Combat version of this queen classic is censored somewhat. Probably due to a line that could be deemed offensive to a certain religion. Oh well, at least I am not the only one who has to be subject to censorship.

Friday, May 26, 2006

How Do You Keep the Music Playing?

I got the above suggestion from a fellow gymnast...hangon, is that what we're called? People who go to gym? Gymnast? Doesn't sound right. Fellow gym-er? You get my drift. And yesterday, I got an offer for a free month use of Amber Chia's gym. I kinda declined, since as it is, I am already abusing my passport membership in FF, by not utilising it enough. Heck, I haven't even gotten around to visiting FPI in his new nest, Uptown. Nor have I made it to meet that enigmatic RPM/Pump instructor who also likes to bake. I think I will take up my friend's suggestion, and start gym whoring.

Yesterday was the usual lunch time Body Step class. Nothing much to usual, good sweat, fairly packed class.

Moving on, at the risk of treading on even MORE toes, I received this hilarious sms from the same gym-er, and chuckled out loud as I was reading Jane Fonda's biography in Times Bookshop. This sms was an extension of an earlier discussion about a certain GXI, whose name we shall not mention, Beanstalk or not.....who has recently been getting his share of adoring female fans, probably in their teens, on the fitness fever forum. Wow, instructors wield a power than hitherto I never thought possible.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Aargh Pee Em & FCI's Birthday

I figured that if I had one hour to workout, and wanted a really good sweat, I would choose to go for an RPM class. Not because I like it in any remote sense, but because it is just that, a darn good sweat. I am actually quite amazed at how the cool downs are really quite effective, because during the class, the aches I feel in my legs, knees, etc, are enough to convince me that I will be wheel chair bound the next day....but miraculously, whenever they say, let the toxins disappear, (during cool down), it actually does.

Since my usual Wednesday combat instructor wasn't teaching, I thought I might as well go for RPM. By the time I got into the class, at 6.25pm, there weren't many bikes left. Okay, the MJH studio is a mini concentration camp, and it does fill up rather quickly. No choice but to take the bike right under the instructor's nose. Herny is quite affable, so it's no skin off my nose to be under hers. As with all RPM classes that I ever attend, by the 2nd track, I am thinking, how can time pass so slowly. By track 3, sweat is dripping into every crevice and orifice of my body. I also notices that some people never touch the dial at all, ie, never increasing nor decreasing their intensity. Maybe they start at such a high intensity to begin with, there is no turning up.

Of all the cool downs in the Les Mills program, there is nothing quite as gratifying as an RPM cooldown. It's like sipping a beer at the peak of Mt Kinabalu, after reaching the summit. Not that I have, (sipped beer, or reached the summit of Mt Kinabalu).... but it doesn't hurt to have an active imagination.

After RPM, gym related activity continues with the birthday of FCI. A quiet affair, though judging by the mob of adoring fans he has on Fitness Fever, I could probably have auctioned off my seat at the dinner table for one of them to have the pleasure of his company. It was a pleasant evening, at Chillis, with FCI, and FCI's gf, and the kiddos. Happy Birthday FCI.

There goes the 50 minute RPM class.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Puberty Pump

I know it sounds a bit vulgar, but actually, it's not meant to be. I was referring to the age of the instructor in yesterday's body pump class. Actually, I would not have guessed the boy's age had I not had been told earlier, that he was a mere lad of 17. Maybe kids are growing up much faster these days. He certainly doesn't come across as being 17. I am old enough to be this boy's father.

The class was deserted at first, with only 3 participants, at the start. The instructor mumbled something about perhaps he scared them away after last week. But as the class went along, more people trickled in. Now, I personally can't get myself to enter a class if I know I've missed the warm up, unless under VERY exceptional circumstances. Maybe it's a disorder I have. Completeness is very important. Hence the need for complete sets of stuff. Books, and whatever else comes in sets. So attending a class, and missing a warm up, would make me exceedingly fidgety. Let alone missing the first 2 tracks. Well, obviously not everyone suffers from this syndrome, as by track 4, the class had reached a reasonable size.

The clean and press was that one with 4 direct C&Ps, which I wondered whether was going to completely destroy my elbow. I've found that the clean and press movement doesn't aggravate my injury as much as an upright row. The biceps track had 24 singles at the end, which proved quite challenging. Kudos to the boy for fitting in all 10 tracks in a 45 minute class. I always feel a certain gratitude to these zealots who try to accommodate as many tracks as possible, even if it meant earning them glares and dagger stares from the crowd waiting outside.

Hypothetically, if I were to rate the class, I could find little fault with it, except the distraction of youth.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Step On Sabbath

Sunday, after church, and after lunch (usually at coffee shop) comes that perennial struggle, to Body Nap or to Body Step. Skipping Body Step would mean having to trudge up the bukit kiara hill, in that 5km walk, which isn't a bad thing, coz it's outdoors. Anyway, going for step at 2.45 pm usually frees up the rest of the evening, to do other domestic errands, so I lugged my sluggish ass to the gym.

I had been a bad boy, and had skipped gym on friday and saturday. So it was great to finally sweat and detoxify. Hmm, blogging purely about gym isn't as easy as I expected it to be. I mean, what else can one say about the class? Yeah, it was good, it was quite crowded for a Sunday afternoon. An acquaintance I bumped into also decided to join the class, and for a first timer, he seemed a natural at it. Good selection of songs.

And look at this sms I got over the weekend. Looks like the rating fever is on. A TEN OUT OF TEN!!!! WOW!!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday Step

As usual, Thursday step is like Friday mosque, cannot miss one. Despite the dark clouds, heavy rain, and that you needed a sampan to get to the gym.

It never ceases to amaze me how FSI, or most instructors, seem to be able to put on a happy face. Maybe they are genuinely happy, (as in joyful), doing what they love, and loving what they do, and all that.....but still. I find it hard not to frown, let alone smile.

Well, for starters, the studio was like Superman's Fortress of Solitude, built in the North Pole. Polar bears could have resided there. In fact, if I wore white, I might have to watch out for eskimo harpoons. I couldnt wait for the warm up, literally.

Actually, now that I have dedicated this blog entirely to gym, I find myself at a loss for words as to how to describe the class. What is there to say really???? It was good? It was great? Well, FSI's classes are always good, and so are FCI's classes. So why bother writing at all right??? Mercifully, the squat content in yesterday's class was at a bearable level. I understand that FSI has to push the squat movement, to maintain his sexy thighs and calves, but heck, the rest of us, woe betide if we are in labour or have diarrhoea.

Overall, great class. Triceps dips for conditioning. I must be the strongest there, since I have to dip with the most weight. Not to mention oldest. Apart from FSI, I was the only guy in that class yesterday. Usually got a few others. Maybe they couldn't find a sampan.

Rating: 9/10 (minus one point coz of freezing weather conditions)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Surprise Combat Replacement

When you revolve your life around attending group classes, it can get pretty stressful, trying to get to a class on time. As it happened, yesterday, I had intended to go for body pump, with that young hot momma, who also teaches RPM. But, the queue at the cash out counter at Metrojaya first day member's preview sale was soooooo long, and by the time I was done there, and collected my altered cheap pants, it was 4.25pm. Bearing in mind that class was 4.45pm, (yes, yes, I know it would seem like I don't work, but I just snuck off at 3pm to go for the MJ sale) I made another judgement error and didn't take the Kerinchi Link, which would have gotten me on time. In addition, my gym bag wasn't in the car, so anyway, after a nerve wrecking manouvering through the hills of jalan maarof, I decided I wasn't going to make it on time. Now, call me anal, but I can't get myself to just enter a class in track 3....mainly coz I don't want to risk injuring this fragile body because of no warm up.

So, no body pump. Then I thought, oh well, it won't kill me to do two combats in two consecutive days, afterall, in my younger days, I used to love combat AND DID do it even four days in a row. This is before the other GXs stole my love and affection. GXs, not GXIs. Wednesday combat was a slot that I religiously attended, before I got side tracked by RPM, and the occasional Body Squat. I was kinda looking forward to attending the combat class, but only to find out regular instructor wasn't there. I had just met the new GXC of MJH (that's Group Exercise Coordinator of FF Menara Manulife), aka Fearsome Squat Instructor, and had just congratulated him on his appointment. He mumbled something about being stressed by demanding members. Who, I wonder. Anyway, I in turn mumbled something about ensuring good combat instructor replacements.

To cut a long story short, the replacement instructor was Myke, hitherto apparently exiled from MJH for reasons unknown, but now back. To his credit, he has improved by leaps and bounds, and his propensity to sweat left a mini danau toba in front of his person. Mostly old tracks, which is refreshing, and the same cool down as FCI on Tuesday night, which is stand by me. I hate those cooldowns that assume you are a gymnast, and can do those stretches with legs spread open, and head touching the knee kinda thing. The other song that does this is Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word, by blue. The night before, FCI had actually pulled my hand so that I can stretch lower, which of course, nearly snapped my spine.

Good sweat. Class rating : 7/10
Previous day's class rating: 9/10 (minus one point for lack of oxygen)

I bet it'll be a matter of time before I get into trouble for rating classes.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Why I Need To Blog About Gym.

It dawned on me on Monday, that ever since I stopped blogging, my urgency to go the gym has also stopped. The obsession with group X classes has waned to a dangerous level. If it was represented by one of those heartbeat monitors in the ICU, I reckon mine would look like the surface of a mildly calm sea.....

I sms-ed a few people, bemoaning this fact, and yhsmom suggested it could be because of the ********* [censored]. If there is one thing I learnt from my previous blogging experience, it's that you really cannot reveal too much without eventually stepping on each others toes.

What have I been doing since the blog hiatus began?

These are more or less my regular group X classes, Combat on Tuesday, with Favourite Combat Instructor, (FCI...oh no, I got start redefinining them all over again), Wednesday, either pump, combat or RPM, Thursday is Body Squat with FSI, Friday again has become very iffy, since Favourite Pump Instructor abandoned us at MJH, or MRB, Saturday usually Combat with longest instructor, (as in he's been teaching there the longest), and Sunday Step with 2nd FSI.

Not enough Pump and RPM. The former mainly due to an elbow injury, probably a ligament or something, and the latter, well, sheer lack of incentive.

Yesterday's body combat, gosh, it was like being in a small fish tank with a thousand guppies. FCI's classes are always a crowd puller, and since he's taken over the Tuesday evening slot, the class really lacks oxygen. I reckon half my exhaustion is because of air shortage. It's one of those classes that you have to queue 20 minutes in advance to get into.

Okay, I am a bit out of practise talking about Group Exercise, but give me some time.