Monday, July 31, 2006

Lots Of Exercise Over The Weekend

On Friday evening, as I was lazing in the massage chair, in two minds whether to go for Richelle's pump or not, I got a call from the computer guy saying he was around the corner and could come and fix my pc. On a Friday evening, any old excuse to not exercise is welcome, although I do love Richelle's pump class. About 6.23pm, I get Lionheart's sms asking if I was going.....there comes a point of no return I guess, in most matters in life, the time I had decided whether or not to go, it was really too late. In any case, the pc guy still hadn't come.

One of the reasons why I didn't feel too guilty about not going to gym on Friday evening was coz I had an appointment to jog in lake gardens, with a friend from Singapore, who used to be my jogging buddy when he lived here for awhile. Everytime he comes (he's Malaysian) he'll ask me along for a jog, and there's a certain ritual involved. I'll stretch in the area outside the lake club guard room, he'll come walking up from the public car park, we'll exchange cursory greetings, do some warm up, and start jogging. Takes awhile for me to warm up, so in the beginning, he'll always be somewhat ahead. Then we turn off the Lake Gardens and go onto the road that leads to Carcosa. Onthis uphill track, I seem to be faster than him. On this particular morning, the road was stinking of garbage stench. Disgusting. As we re-enter the lake gardens, onto flat terrain, the pace is equal. On the half second round around the lake, there's an unspoken sprint of sorts to the finishing line, which is just after the staircase leading up to Tun Razak Memorial. Then we'd walk the rest of the way, about 800m or so, back to the club, which is when we'd chat a bit, and continue chatting over a drink in Lake Club.

Now, I haven't been jogging regularly since I started joining group exercise classes, and one thing bad about jogging with friend is we always tend to omit a cool down. I paid the price heavily for this oversight, as every conceivable part of the body, waist down, ached like mad that night.

In the evening, headed to the Curve, for combat with Saturday matinee idol. Lionheart had earlier texted replying about Richelle's class, and had asked, "by the way, who the heck ins the matinee idol". When I told him, he said "oh, the one who looks like Lai Meng, the singer, who can't sing". Had to clarify who was it that couldn't sing. Was it Lai Meng, or the instructor...turns out he meant Lai Meng. The crowd at the curve is becoming less unfamiliar, and starting to recognise some regulars, and struck up a conversation with one of them. This chappie, also a regular, was also bemoaning the fact that FCI's class there on monday night was too tight for comfort.

Anyway, "Lai Meng"'s class was good as usual. Love his facial expressions. Though I found the "Sexy" combat track a bit strange. Something felt amiss. Either it was the choreo, or me..... Asked newly made acquaintance after the class if the kick sequence was off, but he didnt seem to detect anything wrong. Didn't dare ask the instructor himself la, after kena kick.

Two cardios in a day. Big pat on the back. I deserve a massage.

Sunday.... as there was no sunday school, and we had planned to go for the earlier service, which ends at 10.15 or so, there was a choice of Axis, with FCI, Subang with No 1 in Tianjin, or the usual Step in MJH with 2nd FSI. FCI's class was quickly struck out, coz had to bring the kids for a birthday party at Hartamas Shopping Centre, AND, furthermore, I was sure he would say I was only there coz he was team teaching with Lai Meng. I was actually VERY keen to go for Dr Combat's class in WC, and had expected the kid's party to be over by 1pm. But noooo, it dragged on, and by the time we got home, was 2.15pm. So that left Body Step, with 2nd FSI, which was good coz I haven't been going for a month or so, and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed that class. A lot of "diva" tracks, as 2nd FSI said. But nice selection, and a great workout. Really, the mike and him seem to be completely incompatible. He always inevitably has some problem with the mike, in MJH.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Don't Worry, No Squats

You know, when someone who has such a sweet, good boy demeanour like FSI, says something, you probably would accept it as gospel truth.... so, it's quite disturbing when it turns out, you cant trust no one on God's green earth. As it is, I could have sworn I felt some squats in the warm up track. Now, let me clarify, I've nothing against squats per se, but I find the squats in body step a bit hard, because one leg is on the board, and one leg on the floor, so that uneven-ness ...hmmm...not good for old man.

So, after lowering down the boards, he announced, "Don't worry, no squats", specifically looking at me, with that angelic, innocent look. Then he paused, and said, "Err, maybe LESSS squats la" Okay, I thought to myself. But not less than 5 seconds into the track, there was a double squat, to which he said, "oops, double squat"....and 1 minute into the track, we had done enough squats to have had diarrhea in a public toilet.

And every track following that had squats. So, I guess what he meant by LESS SQUATS was perhaps 290 as opposed to 300. Oh, another thing, a few weeks ago, when I attended Richelle's body step class, yhsmom commented that the janitor had to mop up the sweat around my area. I seriously do not recall sweating that much, but anyway, FSI picked it up and alleged that I never sweat in his class. This "allegation" is an indirect way of a teacher telling a student, "Boy, (fatboy), you are not working hard enough in my class. I want to see some sweat".

But yesterday, it dawned on me, after my brain thawed, why this is so. The studio for FSI's class is like Winter, cos it's a lunchtime class, and the studio would have been empty for a few hours. And unlike DU, where the aircond in studio is separately controlled, in MJH, it's centrally controlled. So, it's like a penguin working out in the arctic. As opposed to the other evening classes, which already had body heat to warm up the studio. Clever or not, my explanation.

FSI also made some remark about preferring the name John Hancock to Manulife.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

If The Gym Police Caught Me....

Yesterday, before RPM, I decided to make a banana cake to bring to my inlaws, for dessert. So, the cake was sitting in the car, while I was at the gym. Now, it doesn't get any more incriminating than that, I reckon. If the gym police had tracked me through my workout, and into the car, the MINUTE I opened the car door, the aroma of banana cake assailing your senses would have warranted an arrest, with a sentence of 20 hours non stop body attack. AHA, you're on diet, you say? What is this??? A whole banana loaf, 3000 calories worth?

I think of all the group exercises, RPM is most similar to jail. Your legs are fastened to the pedal, so you can't make a quick escape, it's dark, congested, and probably smelly too, and you labour in futility, like a chain gang. Instead of chisel chisel chisel, it's pedal pedal pedal. Whatever happened to dynamos? They should hook up all these RPM bikes to dynamos, to generate free electricity for the rest of the gym. I'm sure in an RPM class of 30, 30 dynamos would generate enough electricity to light up...I dunno, maybe the lights in the male locker room or something. Also, I always wondered why they don't make the RPM studio more high tech, like a video games centre.... each bike should be wired to the main computer, which in turn, flashes on a scoreboard, the intensity, the distance travelled, and the positioning, much like those daytona cars in the video games centre. Coz, I for one, am always wondering how much resistance is in the bikes when you see some flers pedalling like they were hamsters in a wheel.....I know for a fact that some people don't bother turning the dial at all....

For me, I pretty much envisage the resistance to be commensurate with a real life situation. I mean if I was on a flat road, I should be killing myself, with mountain climb resistance.... and after a few RPM classes, I find my favourite position is standing climb, and most hated position is seated climb. But of course, my most most favourite thing about an RPM class, is tracks 8 & 9.

It was a pretty good class for me yesterday, I felt. Using more resistance, and stamina seems to be improving....Herny, ever smiling, was back teaching there again. I really must try the larger RPM studios....for some reason, RPM always seems to be very late.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Maori Haka Cooldown

ha·ka (häkä)
A Maori war dance accompanied by chanting

n : a dialect of Chinese spoken in southeastern China; this form of Chinese is not well known outside China because few of the Hakka people have migrated [syn: Hakka, Hakka dialect]

So when I say Maori Haka I meant the first one, and not some Chinese who sesat in the land down under.

It's very rarely done, this Maori Haka cooldown, in body combat, although I distinctly remember doing it under Mr Cool, (Ben Sim), in my 2nd ever combat class, and remembered vividly the strange slapping on the thigh. (hmm, rereading this sentence, it sounds kinky), and the maori warlike movements. The 2nd time I think I did it with Alex, the combat instructor who's days in MJH were shortlived for reasons unbenownst to me.

So last night, under FCI was the 3rd time I was doing the haka, from Body Combat 13, to Tarakihi by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. I suspect FCI was doing it to entertain himself, for he was looking at the class with this smirk on his face, and that snigger(which I know sometimes was directed at me...the audacity of that fellow). That wasn't the only time last night he sneered and laughed at me..... but anyway, not one to hold a grudge, I shall let it pass.

As usual, registration was an exercise in futility. Despite getting there 20 mins before class began, the list was already full. I am just waiting for an excuse to skip the class. Poor Cerebus, doing such a good job, manning the door with her photographic memory. "Your name is NOT ON THE LIST"....she can tell instantly. According to the lady who did jam the day before, I had just missed being an illegal by a minute or so....

Another track that I felt FCI was doing to partially entertain himself was one of the combat tracks with this weird crane (or was it claw) katas, that looks like a cross between a joget and an Indian classical dance move. But in the end, it was a good sweat, culminating in the killer conditioning, We Will Rock You. It's comforting to see that no one (in the class) actually CAN do the entire set of pushups on their toes. One day, I SHALL DO IT!!!!

Someone suggested I put my dieting attempts alongside with gymning to spice up things. Good idea, except, I have NO dieting attempt. Okay, I try to skip carbo at night, mainly because we eat brown rice for dinner, and I hate it. Reminds me of Bangkok Lawyer friend who told me how his wife did a frog in the pot thing on him, in the transition from white to brown rice. She started of with a few grains of brown, increasing it over time, until one day, it dawned on him he was eating 100% brown rice. (frog in the pot is the analogy of a frog in a pot of gradually boiling water, vs putting a frog directly into a pot of hot water) yeah, Rantings of the Ravenous, sorry lah, you're on your own when it comes to the deprivation of calories.....afterall, it would be too much work to change the blogname to thinboybakesatgym.....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Just Can't See Myself Doing Jam

After pump with YI yesterday, saw a regular combater who was going to do jam.... supposedly for the first time. If it really was her first time, then she's a natural....She looked good doing it. I think if I did jam, it would look quite obscene. It would be like the Blob meets Earthquake. Shudder. The very thought of it. All that shimmying, and shaking. I think the only way I could do jam is if I were stone pissed drunk.

Last saturday, attended usual combat in MJH, the last class for the day, with longest running instructor. There's a certain familiarity about that class, that is heart warming. It's almost like err..... going to a high school reunion. 45 minute class, and after 2 years of doing combat, I think I finally figured out that the Les Mills format for a 45 min combat class is, track1 - warm up, 2 - combat, 3- power, 4-combat, 5- muay thai, 6-recovery 7- power, 8-cooldown.

Pump with YI (young instructor) was good. Another class with lots of familiar faces. Quite a lot of guys for a class at that hour. YI was very considerate, and said he'd try to find a shoulder track with less upright rows next week, coz of my shoulder. (I think he noticed I carry donuts for shoulder). But I told him no need to do so on my account, I dont mind carrying donuts. I did increase weight yesterday for squats, from 11kg to 12.5kg on each side, which I think is quite do-able. For triceps, I put on an extra donut, so its 6kg on each side. Don't really know its effect, as there was very little bar work, most of the track was tricep kick backs at the beginning.

How to spice up a gym blog??? Even me, as the writer, am getting bored of writing, let alone the poor readers.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Good Boy, 5 Consecutive Days Oridi

I've been a good boy. Okay, boy may be stretching it... I've been a good "young" old man. Since Monday, I haven't skipped gym at all, despite desiring to do so. Recapping, Monday, Pump with FPI, Tuesday Combat with FCI, Wednesday RPM with Cam, Thurs Step with FSI, and Friday Pump with YI.

Yesterday, was having an interesting conversation with rantings of the ravenous and FCI gf, about the possibility of going for colonic irrigation. In theory, it sounds quite plausible that it's something good. Many years now, the Woman I am Scared Of, (WIASO) has been espousing this concept, likening the intestines to plumbing. Over the years, according to her, lots of gunk gets stuck in the stomach linings, and intestine linings. One way apparently to determine how clogged your pipes are, is to look at your poo diameter. Salami sized poo means your pipes are clean, (and oddly enough, you find that young kids have beautifully formed large bratwurst size poo, presumably cos their intestines are still clean), whereas, if your poo is down to spaghetti or meehoon diameter, then well, it's high time you got those pipes cleaned.

WIASO also told a story about how her friend, or her friend's friend, had amongst other things, a piece of bacon that was extracted from this procedure, and the weird thing is, the guy had been vegetarian for donkey years. So, according to the story, (which I reckon is an urban myth), that piece of bacon was lodged somewhere in the "villi", over the past ten years or so.... and was giving him halitosis. Now, I am almost sure God in His wisdom would have caused enough stomach fluids to completely decompose a piece of bacon after 10 years, and it's hardly believable that a piece that old could still be there. In all likelihood, Mr Vegetarian was cheating on the side, and having the odd bacon tomato lettuce sandwich every now and then. And when his vegetarian mantra chanting wife who happened to be beside him during the bowel extraction, he must have composed that story.

Anyway, I digress. Yar, these services are offered, at RM300 per treatment. Check out the site, with the charming pictures as well. Just like all other perils of the modern world, the irony is thick, that while people are starving and malnutritioned all around the globe, here we are, considering spending money, that can feed a small 3rd world country family for 3 months, on a procedure that is basically a big poo/anema job. Testimonies on the site will tell you how people can lose miracle pounds, up to 10 pounds, from one treatment. Will I do it? Well, apart from WIASO, I don't really know any normal people who've done it. But it would be interesting though, and if someone sponsored me for a clinical trial, I would not hesitate.

Back to non colon related matters, I was in two minds as to whether to go for pump. Richelle was not teaching, and was replaced by YI. (haven't decided whether to really bestow the "F" title yet, as I have been already told that I dish em out too liberally). But I got a call from Lionheart, ....almost like having your own personal trainer, I tell you, asking if I was going. I realise now, that when someone CALLS you to ask if you are going to the gym, most of your sluggishness and laziness dissipates in the cauldron of guilt.

So, I made my way there, and it was an overall enjoyable class. Looking at Malik and Lionheart carry their weights made me feel like a first class wuss, but fortunately, there were many other guys who were even wussier. Now, this is something I don't get. There are one or two rather muscular looking chappies in the class, and you'd expect them to be doing pushups on one hand, and certainly not using the female option. This is what it is, I tell you. All those protein shakes and supplements, ....really makes them into chiselled taufu. Taufu afterall is mainly protein.

Oh, forgot to blog about Thursday squat class. FSI announced at the on set, don't worry, not many squats. By track 3, we were already squatting. Not many squats my sweet a**. Step is beginning to take its toll on the knees, I reckon. But it was a great class as usual. FSI's sunburn seems to be healing, and already he's losing that tan.

By the way, my ex-FCI has set up a blog as well. Do check it out.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Cycling Nowhere

I wonder who first thought of these stationary exercise machines, treadmills that let you run nowhere, bikes that you cycle nowhere, boats that row nowhere, and weights that are of no real value in the real world, since hardly any of the gym folk are actually menial labourers. And if they were, they wouldn't NEED the machines. So, we are living in this fake world of make believe in the gym, simulating real life conditions that are rarely ever used. Very interesting notion. I wonder if the beings of higher intelligence observing us from galaxies far far away are wondering, "gee, look at the human hamsters", or "wow, how advanced, they can now exercise in weatherproof conditions".

For a change, I thought I'd go for RPM, which I enjoy in a sado masochistic way, in SMALL doses. (read, once a month). To my surprise, 15 minutes before class began, there were only like 2 bikes left, one right under the nose of the instructor. And by extension, under the sweat as well. The usual instructor, that sweet lil thing, Herny, wasn't teaching, and was replaced by Cameron. I have to say the latter speaks very well. He must be ethnically mixed. Chit chatted with a fellow tuesday combatter who was on the neighbouring bike. By track two, the instructor was already sweating copious amounts, could see the liquid trickling down via his chin, and I thought I was the sweat hog.

Vodoo child must be selling cheap, since this song is featured in at least 3 les mills programs. Pump, step and RPM. There is always a sense of euphoria after track 4, for me, coz I know we're more than halfway there. At the end of one track, Cam announced that there was 1½ minutes left, and I eyed the clock suspiciously...... I think usually they tell the truth, its just that time passes soooooo slowly, I looked up after what felt like an eternity only to see that the second hand had moved 30 seconds. Watching the clock during RPM is a bad idea. It's better to blank the mind and just picture scenery.

Felt the leg cramping up a bit during track 5 or 6, but it didn't get any worse, thankfully, or I'd have to skip Thursday lunchtime step AGAIN, and as it is, FSI is thinking that I am merely making excuses.

Okay, next RPM class in a month's time then.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Schindler's List

Not trying or meaning to sound frivolous about the holocaust, but merely to use an analogy, somehow, trying to get onto the registration list for FCI's class IS like the Jews trying to get onto Schindler's list during the holocaust. Or the Vietnamese trying to get onto the last helicopter out of Saigon, before its fall, like in Miss Saigon.

When I got to the gym at 6.25m, I asked Cerebus if registration for Combat had started. She said, 15 minutes before class starts. Good, 5 minutes to spare, I think to myself. I was already changed, so only had to put on my shoes. I thought, good, should make it to the top 20 in schindler's list... put on my shoes, take a quick sip from water cooler, (oh, meanwhile, a blur blur girl had accidentally walked into the men's changing room and ran out screaming), and went back out to queue.....ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT REGISTRATION HAD BEGUN, and the list was FULL!!!!! My pal, Roger was also in a similar predicament. He had actually gotten there at SIX pm!!!

Again, at the risk of getting the instructor into trouble, we managed to get in somehow, as illegal immigrants. Actually I reckon they probably can accommodate more than the number allowed in the dreaded LIST. The A/V system in MJH is placed at a really awkward place, and usually instructors stand in front of the A/V, which makes the front line actually quite far back from the front mirrors.

So by moving and aligning himself with the A/V, and bringing the front line further forward, I think he could easily accommodate about 10 more illegals. FCI, hope you dont get into trouble for this.

I have to say I love the Bohemian Rhapsody cooldown. No one else seems to do it, apart from my ex FCI, and I have to concede that this FCI does it better, and told him so. He just replied "of course". (which apparently he said jokingly)

I wonder if there's a recommended syllabus that's passed around every week....or recommended combination. Coz I swear, a few of the tracks were the same as the one Matinee Idol used on Saturday in the curve.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

At Least I Can Sleep Well

Usually on Mondays I head for YI's (Young Instructor's) pump class in MJH. I noticed on the schedule that he was being replaced yesterday... so had still intended to head to MJH to widen my exposure to various instructors. However, got tied up somewhere, and was late for that class, and the thought of doing the machines in MJH, despite my new MP3 player, was not an appealing thought, so I thought, why not, it's a long overdue visit anyway.

Off to Uptown I head, nearly got knocked down by a nasty cab as I alighted from the car, and entered the wrong tower....because it had a huge fitness first sign there. Well, actually access to FF is in tower B of uptown 5, but I didn't know, and went to tower C, which also prominently displayed the FF sign.

Managed to keep my presence there a secret right up to the very last minute, just prior to class starting. Had worked out a bit on the treadmill earlier, as the pump class was only 45 minutes. (and unlike in MJH, there was no buffer in between classes, so really, there was no way for the instructor to do more than the 8 tracks prescribed for a 45 min class) Shades did look suprised to see me, and muttered something about "you look familiar". He announced on the onset that he wasn't feeling too well. Initially, when I signed up, there were only 2 names there, but by the time class had started, the studio had filled up to a respectable population.

That vodoo child squat track....eugh..... with 16 bottom halves to end. He also erroneously announced the chest track to be a classic, with modern touch... straightaway I knew he probably meant Phantom of the Opera. Hallo, FPI, POTO isn't classic(al), if that's what you's considered modern oridi la.

Those mats in DU are a bit too thick, and I actually feel like I am bouncing on a water bed, and find it very hard to balance while on those mats.

It was nice to be back in FPI's class, though please don't expect me there on any regular basis. DU is sooo jammed, and hard to park as well. I later on got this sms:

This is in reference to the accusation that both Lionheart and yhsmom have made the effort to visit him since he moved to DU, whereas, yours truly has waited half a year....

Monday, July 17, 2006

Life Revolving Around Gym Folk

On Friday, had every good intention of going for Richelle's pump class, but decided to have a sit on the massage chair at about 6pm. To my horror, I dozed off, and when I regained consciousness, it was 6.42pm. To add insult to injury, yhsmom sms-ed me after saying I had missed a great pump class. Sigh.

On Saturday, headed to the Curve, to do HK Matinee Idol's combat class. Apparently yhsmom and lionheart refer to him as Lai Meng, supposedly an HK idol. It was a good class, and the guy obviously has his share of regular fans. Actually, the "Stuck On You" warm up is kinda nice. I like the tai chi thingie, as was the case with the "Breathe Easy" cooldown. Which come to think of it, is SUCH an appropriate title for Tai Chi!!!


The face of top 50 Gorgeous Malaysian Men, In Female Mag sometime back, apparently.

No 1 in Tianjin and GF (Jacq) desserting

Young Wolf, hostess and FGXC

Shades Looking His Best

Saturday night heralded the long anticipated dinner hosted by yhsmom. The major dampener in the whole thing was that Lionheart had to pull out last minute due to pressing engagements. Who would regale us with tales of instructor faux pas, and idiosyncracies? Anyway, it was still an enjoyable evening, with yhsmom and Mr yhsmom playing the gracious hosts at Kah Soh. Fortunately the see tou por (boss woman) was also an FF member, so was rather accomodating, and very friendly with us.

The list of gym "luminaries"were: (drum roll).... the hosts, yhsmom and hubby, no1 in tianjin and girlfriend, shades (still FPI, for now) and gf, young wolf (yw[2k]), of body jam fame, FSI, Robin, the boy wonder, Richelle, FCI & gf, yhsmom's FGXC, (the ex GXC of MJH), and me & other half.

Brought orange mocha chocolate brownies for dessert. Alas, didn't have time to source for better ice cream, and could only get a local brand from the nearby GIANT. Then again, it wouldn't do for the ice cream to outshine the dessert.

Of course, FPI kept rubbing it in, by saying, nice ice-cream, and FSI was going nice chocolate. (with no reference to the actual brownie). FCI went out of his way to prove a point (my hitherto accusation that he never eats my desserts), and stuffed his face with two helpings.....with a most insincere compliment.

Hostess, FBB with No 1 in Tianjin and FCI

Thanks again yhsmom for hosting such a pleasant evening of fun, laughter, surrounded by good food and good company.... what more can one ask for!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Step With Roast Lamb

Yup, he's back from his holiday in the sun, and boy, talk about forgetting to take precautions. Poor FSI is burnt to toast. So, being born in the year of the goat, I thought Roast Lamb was an appropriate title, for now.

To ensure that I did not miss yet another FSI's thursday step class, I left combat early yesterday, midway, to avoid any cramps, that seem to have happened twice in a row after the Pumbat combo, and it usually happens around track 6. So, after track 5, I decided to bolt. Oh, but I've already blogged about that yesterday.

Arrived just in time, class was fairly crowded, leaving no option but to stand right in front of FSI. Of course, he is in no way my mirror image, being slim, svelte and burnt, and all. However, just to give an idea how close I was standing, managed to kick his leg during the party track as we both moved forward...(ie, towards each other).

It was not his usual Fearsome Squat Class, thankfully, for after a two week hiatus, I doubt my knees could have taken his usual squat regime. Actually, by the third track, I found myself huffing and puffing already. I wonder why is the 4th track touted to be harder (or peak track) than the 3rd track. I think track 3 is actually harder, because the transition from warm up seems greater between tracks 2 and 3, whereas, between tracks 3 and 4, you're already quite hyped after all those turn steps, so it doesn't really feel like a peak.

The conditioning, which I've never done before, was HORRENDOUS. No pushups, just various contortions with the legs....can't remember which track is that. Must find out. Welcome back, FSI.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Superman Squats

When I saw the fler layout 4 x 10kg weights on the floor, I was thinking, OOOH, wonder what combo is that for. Well, I was kinda impressed with the 20kg per side for squats, but when I sms-ed the fellow member who carries heavy weights, he muttered something about aiya, those are only upper half squats, not deep enough. Heh heh. Looks like he still retains the crown then.

Instructor was a replacement, who also teaches attack and step. He didn't manage to fit in all the 10 tracks in the 45 minute class, so we skipped abs, which suits me fine. Though I'd rather skip shoulder track, if given a choice, as I still am wary about those upright rows, and am still using donuts for that.

Stayed on for half of combat, with Frodo. Very highly charged class, and was quite exhausted, despite only doing 5 tracks. All quite high intensity.

Further to the previous topic about replicating names within the GXIs, I just noted some more overlaps. There's an Anthony and Tony, and there's a Janice and our Jakarta Janis.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Last Samurai and LOTR

I think I can safely say this is my favourite cool down track of all the Les Mills programs I've tried. It's so ying and yang, starting with the aggressive samurai bits, and ending with the softer enya May It Be. The song reminds me of Darwin, the instructor who prior to the launch of this track, told us, "the cooldown for the next release will make you feel very special". Although subsequently, my first exposure to the track was at the launch, and it was done by FCI.

Trailing a close second, in the cooldown stakes, is Breathe Easy. I have to say that combat cooldowns are the best, because they involve some sort of kata, and flowy movements. So far, no one else has done Du Hast, the one that FCI does with such stylo milo-ness.

As usual, by the time I arrived at the gym, 15 minutes prior to starting time, the registration was already full. And for some reason, not sure if by coincidence or not, they always put the same girl at the door; she's the equivalent of the 3 headed dog, Cerberus, guarding the gates of Hades, in the Labours of Hercules. Not looks wise, but in terms of sternness and difficulty in getting past. Very fierce. Prison matron material. My buddy, Roger (not Federer) tried to sneak past, and she stopped him saying, "You haven't registered. I recognise all the faces". One cannot but help admire such work dedication.

Anyway, after all the legal immigrants had settled down, there seemed to be still room, so they let in a few more illegal immigrants, to the very crowded land. If the studio were a country, or city, I'd liken it to Shanghai. Overpopulated and not enough air to breathe, and a lot of chinese. The new track 6 with the slow mo kicks seems to be the flavour of the month with lots of instructors, and it seems to be the only track from the recent release that is being continuously used.

In any case, SUPERMAN RETURNS eclipsed any other highlights for last night. Watched it, LOVED it. I am unashamed to admit that the man in the red underwear is my all time epitome of the ultimate superhero. For a full review, go to

Apart from that, well, nothing much else to say..... good class as usual.

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Dishes Over the Weekend

Unwittingly, I managed to try two new classes over the weekend by instructors I've never tried before.... well, actually, on Friday, Richelle was replacing FSI's free step class, but it was Body Step instead. I've been for Richelle's pump, but not step. This slot is usually filled by Free Step enthusiasts, and since there was no free step, there was hardly fact, there were only three regulars, BUT, a whole host of giggly first timers, who by track 7 or 8, saw it fit to sit at the mirrors, on the step boards, like spectators of the colosseum.

Richelle's cue-ing is of course, crisp and clear, and it was a good class, despite the lack of regular participants. Through out the class, I was wondering if I should do Body Stump, (ie, step and pump), but by the end of it, decided not to, because my wrist was kinda hurting, and the long queue that had formed outside the studio made it easier for me not to sign up. Saw yhsmom peering in during the body step class..... which is quite scary, for she's the layman's les mills afficionado, and having her watch you is akin to being examined by a jury of your peers.

On Saturday, I headed for the curve, to catch combat with the "hong kong matinee idol", as he has been referred to by some female fans. Got there early, so managed to browse in Borders first, must have looked a pathetic sight, a lonely old man, on a saturday afternoon wandering the mall all by himself. Love the "me time" though.

To my horror, there was a yellow label on the timetable, ie, a replacement instructor. Unsure of what was in store, I decided not to chance it, as time was precious, and an iffy combat instructor can really ruin the day, so I quickly headed back to familiar territory, despite having blown RM2 on Penchala Link toll, and RM1 on carpark. I thought it was Kenny teaching step in MJH. At times like this, its frustrating that despite being armed with a 3G phone, I still don't know how to surf the net with the phone, and get access to the other club timetables.

Again, there was a yellow label in Kenny's step slot as well, a fellow called Anthony. Now, I do not know if the chap was old or new, or what. But anyway, 5 minutes into the class, it was pretty obvious that he was a seasoned instructor. His cue-ing etc is very good. So no regrets doing that class, in addition, he didn't know it was a 45 minute class, so we got the full benefit of an hour long class, which encroached into the following combat class. Longest running Saturday slot combat instructor was back, after a month long "hiatus", so I decided to do a bit of Combat as well. Couldn't stay the entire class, coz had to rush off to watch Broadway Beng in Bangsar Shopping Centre. Hence cutting short Stombat.

It's about a Hokkien boy makes good in Broadway. Note: if hokkien is not your mother tongue, I would not advise you blow that kind of money. But if it IS, judging by the response from the audience, it would be money darn well spelt.

On Sunday, because of kids sports day in the blazing sun all morning, was completely devoid of energy by afternoon, so had to body nap instead of body step. Nevertheless, still went for the Bukit Kiara walk, with new cheapo MP3 player in tow. Very restful, I find, that walk. Darn good sweat.

Federer won the wimbledon. Yay. He looks like a nice chap. Nadal looks a bit brash and arrogant.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bring On Those Grid Lines

Another Pumbat combo day. Replacing usual pump instructor was old timer, Ben Sim (one of many Bens in FF, I can think of at least 4), who actually, was also my first combat instructor, or at any rate, he's the first combat instructor that i REMEMBER. Now, if there is a Mr Robot in our midst, then this one is Mr Cool. I dunno, he just exudes this air of absolute coolness about him. Almost like Mr Robot, but with soul. He's one of those instructors that is impossible to dislike, though I suspect actually getting to know him is a mammoth task by itself. Anyway, lionheart was rather pleased, coz he knows that Mr Cool does lots of old tracks, being a vintage instructor and all. Sure enough, he announced that he would be doing a lot of old tracks. Actually, none sounded familiar to me. I mean, the music did, it's all from the 80s.... or a lot of it was.... like It's Raining Men...errr....can't remember what else.

His chest track had a move I'd never seen before. Almost like the triceps move, where you bring your arms behind your head.... while lying on the board. He said to halve your weights, and add on the rest after this movement. Lionheart said he had been injured by this movement before, thought it didnt stop him from piling on 12 kg on each side....even Mr Cool gave a slight bemused look. When I heard LH had been injured before, I dropped my weight to 5kg (from 7kg). When it came to adding back the weight, the 2½ plates were too far away, so I didn't bother, meanwhile, LH had increased his to 15kg on each side, for chest!!!! That's like 200% more than me!!! Aiyo!!! Puts us to shame. They'd have had to carry me out in a box if I lifted those weights.

To compensate for the light weights in chest, I decided to try 10kg on each side for clean and press, which was my weight before the elbow injuries. Can do la, but a bit of a struggle. I can't fathom it, but for this track, LH is down to 11kg. Biceps was another killer. But it was an enjoyable class all in all. I wouldn't mind attending his classes regularly actually. (actually, I did attend his combat classes fairly regularly when it was the thurs lunchtime slot.....till today though, no sign of recognition).

Combat - Frodo's back. I should clarify, that the nickname isn't because of physical attributes, for he is in no way was because he wore this ring, around his neck, like frodo, and when he did the Lord of the Rings cooldown.... I thought of Frodo. Frodo's back with a whole new painting on his back. (tattoo).

His class was VERY energetic, and it was a great class. Why the grid lines? Because, there are some people, who after shuffling right, or left, can't seem to find their original positions after the shuffle, and conveniently oust whoever they see fit. As was the case yesterday. After the shuffle, I found myself virtually kissing the ass the guy in front of me, who had encroached majorly into my space. I then moved a good 5 feet away; noticeable by Shin, who motioned to me why I had moved. Yup, we should have grids, Letters on one side, A-K, numbers on the other. So remember, Big Guy, you are on grid K9. Alternatively, have pictures on the ground, like the Sg Wang car parking lot, birds, elephants, etc.

By track 6, that familiar cramping feeling came back, and now, I am limping. FSI who saw me stretching downstairs said, "ya ya, another excuse to skip step".

Really really, I'm in pain.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Combat In An Lobsterman Aquarium

Have you ever been to those seafood restaurants, where lobsters or whatever marine animal it is, are packed into an aquarium, piled one of top of another? (usually lobsters lah, since fish are more mobile, unless it's soon hock, (bamboo fish), where they don't mind piling on top of each other).

I arrived 15 minutes before class started, to ensure I got my name on the registration list, and even then, I was like #38, 2nd last before that dreaded LINE on the list. Actually, for classes like combat, you probably could fit in a few more. My suggestion? Draw grid lines on the gym floor, make sure no one occupies more than a certain square footage. It'll be like airline seats. It works in favour of the small boned, small sized....whereas if you are huge and have love handles flopping all about, well, you'll feel the restrictions. For combat, maybe we should be allowed to occupy a 9 sq ft area. 3' x 3' grid. Of course, for other classes like pump and step, the numbers are dictated by the number of boards and bars. I don't know how many classes in the gym suffer this overcrowding thing. Doesn't help that the studio in MML is the size of some obscenely rich people's bathrooms.

Decided to stand in front and chance the sniggering looks of FCI. What can I say? It was a great class, as usual. Sweated buckets, ...till today, I'm not sure if its from all the body heat surrounding me, or the actual workout. FCI did We Will Rock You for conditioning which I think is the hardest for push ups. I think I managed about 70% of it on my toes. Cool down, Du Hast, I've never seen any other instructor do. I have to say FCI does his Katas with certain flair and aplomb.

One of the nicest parts of attending this class are the people la. Chit chatting with them before and after class, even Lionheart lingered around after his Stump class. (step + pump = stump) and chatted with us.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

When Even One Hour Isn't Enough

First, let me say this is not meant to be a criticism, just an observation. FYI's pump class started punctually yesterday, as he dispensed the pointers for first timers just prior to the start of the class. However, he ended an hour later, having finished all 9 was a good class, except I feel he could errr..... abridge the lengthy commentaries in between tracks. Assuming each commentary is one minute, that alone would take up 9 minutes...I guess he was erring on the side of caution, as there was a newcomer, and kudos for that, but I think the explanations can be sped up abit.

I really enjoy the monday evening class, because it's not overly crowded, though the numbers are steadily increasing, and FYI's enthusiasm and gung ho-ness is much appreciated. Also, the people are all familiar, so you have that feeling of being in your own classroom in school. That familiar, content feeling........oh well, maybe its an exaggeration, but you get my drift.

I have been exceedingly slack with body step all of last week, attending ZERO number of classes. Skipped last thursday lunchtime class with FSI, coz leg was injured, meant to try out the class in Subang Jaya on Saturday, before a wedding in Holiday Villa, but didn't get around to doing that, and, was soooo tired on Sunday, had to skip 2nd FSI's class in MJH as well. Now I am almost afraid to return to the step board.... as even a week hiatus makes it exhausting.

Instead of sunday step, went for the evening hill walk in the Bukit Kiara trail. I love that trail. It's amazing to see this family of chickens, literally, father, mother and 3 chicks, trotting along the trail. The father is this really proud looking rooster, and has a brilliant sheen, not seen in reared chickens.

Leg is still acting up abit. Specifically, the right calf.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Pumping With Richelle

Yhsmom and Lionheart have been raving about this instructress who has taken over mighty mouse's slot in MJH on friday night. Since my FPI vacated this spot a few months ago, I have not been for pump on friday nights, so it was a bit out of routine....but nevertheless, I decided I have to try this lady, (as in her pump class), so despite the fact that it would be my third pump class for the week, I made my way to the gym. The free style step class on in progress when we arrived, and yhsmom was in it. Lionheart was waiting out side, chit chatting with everyone, and showing the latest pics of his baby girl who is sooo cute. Told him that very soon he'll be attending her wedding, and he grimaced.

Anyway, I was introduced soon enough to the instructor. "This is fatboybakes". Dear me, am I to assume that I'm known as that???

The class was packed to the brim, no bars nor boards left for the late....

To quote yhsmom, "one thing about [instructress] is she's normally so bubbly and cheerful that wehn she tortures you in class to the max, u nvr take it personaly". Indeed, she has an expression that makes you forget you have all these weights on your shoulders or wherever else. Suffice to say, the class was exhausting...lots of bottom halves for every thing....but time flew by, thankfully. Just looking at lionheart's weights in front of me made me huff and puff like the big bad wolf (to quote yhsmom again!). Oh, in fact, when he reduced his weight to 10kg for clean and press, I got a bit worried, coz usually his weights are about 60% more than what I carry. So when the gap reduced to 1½ kg for clean and press, I thought he was privvy to the fact that it was going to be a real killer! Fortunately, it was quite alright.

Definitely also renewed my interest in the friday slot. Something struck me during the class, in her facial expression. I coulda sworn I saw a glimpse of Macho Nippon Lady Instructor, but at the same time, she also kinda reminded me of Michelle as well. When I told this to yhsmom and lionheart, without batting an eyelid, lionheart christened her RICHELLE.....somehow, MIYO didnt sound as good, he said....

So Richelle it is.