Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Awesome Combat Class

Quite honestly, I was reluctant to go for Combat yesterday, because my lower back is still acting up, and I didn't want to risk aggravating it just when it was feeling somewhat better. But, because of the consecutive orgiastic eating binges the last few nights, I thought I really needed the workout, and so, I made my way to the gym early. These days they seem pretty strict with registration, and have reverted to the old pass system, and also restarted the announcement of registration. "Dear Members, Body Combat will be commencing in 25 minutes. Please register at the main studio". Had to dash out of the locker room when I heard that announcement. In a way, it's good, coz at least people don't have to queue like waiting for free bread in Somalia. But it's amazing how the queue suddenly forms after the announcement, like worms crawling out of the woodwork on a rainy day.

I have to say it was a thoroughly enjoyable class. I am probably endangering the instructor here, but there was so much extra time, so he did an extra track, which was great. That really added that final oomph to the class.... not to mention the extra track was a muay thai track. Fantastic. Might have scared off some newbies though. But hey, let's face it, this isn't military training, no one is going to penalize you if you take it easy. His position as FCI is still solidly in place.

Meanwhile, yesterday, I got an interesting sms from *FPI. (* coz I am unsure of his status at the moment, coz I haven't been to his class for yonks, and it would be unfair to deprive others of the "FPI" title)

My reply was, "well, I'm sure you didn't get your job purely from your wong hei looks alone". And then I got this:

I dunno whether to be happy or sad for the fler!!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

I've Been Good

Yup, didnt skip Richelle's pump on Friday as I had bumped into her on Thursday, and had promised her that I would be there. Probably due to the excess numbers in FCI's class, the gym has since implemented the pass system, whereby you have to register for peak hour classes and get a pass. Fortunately, I was there on time, but nevertheless, I had called upon the influence of Lionheart to get me a spot, just in case. I hope we don't get hauled up for detention, with this revelation.

Phwaaaah, it's only my SECOND time, actually, in Richelle's class, and Lionheart's words echoed in my mind..."she's a killer", "16 bottom halves". Fortunately, because of my lower back pain, (which is actually worse today), I was not carrying my usual weights. By the end of the squats track, I was sweating like I do after 4 tracks in RPM. I was surprised myself, and wondered if it was coz I was further away from the aircond, and the class was a lot more crowded than YI's class on Mondays. It AMAZES me how she always manages to catch me the minute I miss her cue, be it deliberately or otherwise. Like the clean and press, I wasn't expecting it to continue after 4 towards the miss the 5th one. She saw it. Same with the biceps, missed a couple, and she saw it....."Come on Fatboy", she'd exhort. At this rate, she'll be CFPI in no time. (C for current).

By the end of the class, I really felt every limb about to fall off.

Was gonna go for usual combat in MJH on Sat evening, since Leon Lai wasn't teaching at the Curve, but the plaintive cries of the kid melted my heart, and decided to bond with him instead and brought him for a swim.

Sunday, was soooo tired, and the choice of body nap over body step was beginning to look more inviting, but you know us les mills buffs la, miss more than one day get inundated with unspeakable guilt, so I dragged myself over, and it turns out, it was one of the toughest step classes ever, for whatever reason. Maybe I was tired, maybe it WAS tough, but gosh, I really felt thoroughly exhausted, elatedly so, though, after.

Back still acting up.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Step After 3 Week Break

As time goes by, I find it easier and easier to justify skipping when FSI told me on Wed that he won't be teaching step on the usual Thursday slot, (ie, yesterday) I would have done cartwheels if I could, in anticipation of skipping the class. Then, he added, .........BUT, K**** (Boy Wonder, Robin, or FFBI) is replacing me, so you better come!!!...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH, so far I have always been unable to attend Robin's balance class in curve, after Leon Lai's class, and he thinks I'm deliberately avoiding it. So, if I skipped body step, aiyo, ......

Anyway, I'm glad I went, for it was a great workout. After a 3 week break from body step, I felt winded after track 3....In some of the squat tracks, FFBI told the class, imagine you are peeing on a dirty toilet, this only applies to the women, as guys do not do half squats to pee over a toilet bowl, I just stood upright. Anyway, the class had mercifully few squats, compared with FSI's class.

Later in the day, I got an sms from FSI saying, "No squats how to have nice legs n butt?" Ah, sooo, that's his intention of turning body step into body squat. Well, I've got lower back pain at the moment, the last thing I'm worried about is my nice butt....

Need ginko. FFBI said something in class that I mentioned is definitely going to be blogged about, but now I can't for my life remember.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Compee Em

Combat and RPM. Meant to go for just combat, but then found out it wasnt the sistine chapel teaching, and in any case, I was late. By the time I got there they were already on track 4, and I was mentally debating the wisdom of entering the class without warm up. However, young boy Alvin beckoned me from inside, and I was curious to see how the new replacement instructor fared. To give a clue as to his identity, "what is de thing dat you mow???"

Entered midway at track 4, and left after muay thai to catch the rpm class. It must be where I was standing, but I had actually worked up an unusual amount of sweat in 3½ tracks.

Of course, that sweat was NOTHING compared to what was to come in RPM. By the 3rd track, there wasn't a single dry orifice left on my body, I think. Sweat was dripping down my forehead like lava off Vesuvius. I can't fathom how some people can emerge from that class virtually sweatless. Even if you pedal at lowest resistance, the room is stuffy enough to be like a sauna....surprisingly the class wasn't full, probably because of the heavy rains. Great workout, as usual. For me, RPM is still the hardest Les Mills class thus far.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

To Pump Or Not To Pump

I'm not talking about breastfeeding mothers. They, obviously, SHOULD pump.

Anyway, that recurring back injury manifested itself again whilst I was on holiday in Bangkok, probably due to a combination of slouching, early morning showers, general bad posture, lack of exercise, and a soft mattress.

Now, the fact that I haven't gone to the gym since last tuesday, made me feel really guilty, and much as I would have loved to have used the back ache as an excuse, I happened to be on line with FFBI, (future favourite balance instructor, aka Robin), who said it should be okay to do pump, with slightly less weight for squats and back. So I heeded his advice, and reduced the squat weight to 10kg and back to 7.5kg accordingly. There's something disconcerting about doing pump when some macho women seem to be heaving more weight than you. This regular, whom we shall call Rapunzel, must have been an Amazon trainer in her heyday.

I'm glad I went though, for after the class, the pain seemed to have miraculously disappeared, at least temporarily, either from numbness, or from loosening up. It's still niggling there somewhere. Also did some treadmill and cross trainer (for a very short while), darn mp3 player ran out of battery.....

They seem to be tightening the registration procedures at the gym. Wonder if Cerberus had anything to do with this.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Breaking News

Well, guess who made a guest star appearance in Body Combat yesterday???

Anyway, it was a great class. Lionheart was surprisingly very hak hei about intruding into the class, as Cerebus was still guarding the gates, and though we kept beckoning him to come in, it was almost he was err........afraid of the gatekeeper, and it wasn't until FCI went out to bring him in that he relented. He's a natural. When I said that to Lion, FCI muttered that I was jealous. ROLLLLL EYES!!!!

It was a great class....despite the fact that FCI laughed at me and came up to me telling me not to be so tense. Okay, object of derision, but acceptable because it was a really good workout and I felt really exhausted after that.

Off to Bangkok tomorrow. Might not gym before then.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Celebrity" Fitness Instructors

Thanks to an sms from Shades, I have a bit more to write about this morning, apart from the usual report on which class I went for yesterday, which by now, anyone who remotely follows these ramblings would inevitably know already.

Shades informed me that my ex FCI was featured in the NST today, and yar, he already announced it on his blog anyways that he was doing a feature for NST so it came as no surprise. But it's always nice to read articles that involve people you know, apart from obituaries. I actually have a collection of articles where friends appeared in.

Anyway, for those who do not subscribe to NST, because it is such a crony, pro government newspaper, (actually, these days it's not too bad), here's the article for your benefit.

Of course, in terms of posiness, ex FCI is second only to ahem, YOU KNOW HOO. (hint, SMI)
[fleeing the impending firing squad]

Attended usual pump class with YI. Actually, in terms of seniority, the attendees of this particular class are really vintage, as many faces have been regulars since the days of Lisa Jones. Not an easy mantle to take over!!! But it was a good class. Biceps ended with 16 bottom halves. When he said no pushups today, he meant no pushups for the chest track.... plentyyyy of triceps pushups, and also for shoulder. He's very kind, always asking me how my elbow is, and how he'll try to find a shoulder track with no upright rows. But no need lah, to deprive others on my account. Thanks for the thought anyway, YI.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Arabian Nights & Retro Combat

And it came unto pass, that His Majesty, King Richard the Lionheart (of Fitness First Fame, not the Crusader), decreed that all who found favour in the eyes of His Majesty be summoned to the hallowed halls of Al Nafourah, that dazzling middle eastern paradise of a restaurant right in the middle of haze infested Kuala Lumpur, at the twin towers that host Le Meridien and KL Hilton. (pic : Lionheart and his consort)

So apart from the group of 4 or so that fong fei kei big time, the rest of us were there, doing things like this:

Now, I could enlarge that object that is in Horny's hands, and headed for Richelle's mouth, .....but I shan't.

Anyway, present were Lionheart, and Lady Lionheart, FSI and young sidekick, whom we shall call Robin until a better nickname presents itself, the Pump/RPM and Axis GXC, whom Lionheart calls Horny, Richelle, FCI, GXC of SPK, and man of the moment, Leon Lai.

Now, the voluptuous belly dancer, Al Tummyra, can obviously smell her prey a mile away. The moment she laid eyes on him, she knew that Leon was to shake his bon bon. Actually, to be honest, no fun lah, watching Leon, coz he's a'd think it was his night job to accompany belly dancers.!!! Afterall, the guy is trained to do Nike Rockstar Bollywood. He looked darn good doing it. So unfair....

What we ALL would have REALLY loved to have also seen, is probably THIS:

The food!!!!! Omigoodness. You'd think Lionheart was feeding a battalion that was on the verge of capturing the holy land. I was actually full after the appetisers, which comprised lovely yoghurt dips, hummus, pita breads....the breads were gorgeous. When the mains came, we were completely overwhelmed by the amount of food that lay before us. Even the usually ravenous calorie burning instructors barely made a dent in the food. Truly a middle eastern feast.

Come to mama!!!

All the beautiful people of Fitness First.

Anyway, dessert was really good as well. FCI couldn't eat most of it coz he's lactose intolerant, but really, there was way too much food. One of the highlights was when FCI and Leon disappeared the speculation of the rest of us, when one of the lady chirped, "why is it okay for women to go to the toilet together, but not men?" Turns out they exited for a smoke break.

Lots of fascinating conversations, but some of which aren't really bloggable. Suffice to say, it was a great night, and I am sure on behalf of all your guest, we would like to extend our warmest gratitude to our gracious host and hostess for such a lovely dinner. I dunno how the heck I'm ever gonna host anything again, after he's set the bar so high.

Earlier that evening, I had also been the Axis, for their retro classes. What greeted me was a sight that is quite memorable.....No 1 in Tianjin and Longest Instructor (I really need to get another name for in, i've been to his classes for the longest time) in their wigs.

I really felt for the instructors, coz that wig must have been oppresively hot, but they had the sense to de-wig after the warm up track. Twas a great class of course, and one of my rare opportunities to be taught by no 1 in tianjin, who is such a dynamo, I really wish I had more chances to go for his classes. The two lasses who taught pump after combat looked really good as well, ....Richelle looked very retro elegant, while Xena looked like a slightly fitter and buffer version of Marilyn Monroe.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Need To Spice Things Up

Okay, some zealous protectors of the the GXIs have declared that "pimping" of instructors is an invasion of their PRIVACY. (just to quote that this word WAS indeed in CAPS) So I guess that genre of writing can be tossed out the window. So, what does that leave us with, in terms of creative writing about gym? But isn't it heartwarming to know that there are so many caring, protective people out there who are always on the look out for the welfare of their favourite instructors, protecting them from the slightest hint of scandal or negative exposure. Lucky Leon, some people have it all huh... talent, etc etc, and even their own guardian angels. (Right Leon? Heh heh!)

Anyway, moving on. Tuesday night, body combat as usual. Not sure why, or whether it was a response to my post last week about "having less breaks would be good", but FCI decided to have hardly any breaks, which WAS good. His James Bond cooldown IS one of the songs that I do associate with him, the other one being the crane and claw cooldown, which is what? Top Gun?

I associate Bohemian Rhapsody with Wai Hoong, Last Samurai with Kelvin Tan, Breathe Easy with Alvin Phey, Vedi Maria (Pump) with Lisa Jones, Angels (together with Do you really want to hurt me) with Alvin Looi. For cooldowns. Then of course there's a whole host of songs that remind me of instructors whenever I hear them. Shake Your Shimmy, Power of Love are always very dramatically executed by Alvin Phey, that song in the latest combat release with that sinister laughter reminds me of You KH, (coz he does it so well, that sinister laugh), Sexy is Wai Hoong, Alive is Teoh, ...... Never Ever Surrender somehow associated with Sop Fan, when I attended her Thursday lunchtime combat.

I digress. Anyway, I also realised that I am probably the oldest male participant in Body Combat on Tuesdays. So, even if I HAVE to do pushups on my knees, I should be allowed to. Mind you, I reckon for most conditioning tracks I can complete pushups on toes, except for We Will Rock You. As in normal pushups, not those funny ones where you're like a dog trying to sniff your ass by bringing your knees to your elbows and what not.

Yesterday, headed for pump at MJH, partially coz the online schedule said it was Mr Cool (Ben Sim) teaching. Turns out it wasn't, but still good, it was Herny, who is the usual instructor there. However, she had to turn it down a notch coz there was an invasion of new comers, almost 50% of the class, so it was quite a dizzying experience for her. Even for me, as a spectator, watching. Knees were going way over the toes, heels lifted, for squats, triceps all wrong, etc...but it was impossible for her to single handedly keep track, and under the circumstances, she did very well. Apparently there's a RM25 promo for a one month trial in FF. It's obviously working.

How come WE dont get any such benefits???

Anyway, stayed on for combat, with the Sistine Chapel. (since he's no longer wearing the ring of power, I think I'll change his name to the sistine chapel, coz he's covered with art..., ie, tattoos) A lot of the RM25-ers were there as well, but there was enough oldies to create a critical mass for some semblance of order.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sloth, One Of the Seven Deadly Sins

These lazy hazy days of summer. Air quality begins to deteriorate yet again; I guess we have our neighbours to blame, it's always them anyway. That there are vehicles on our roads spouting thick billows of dark smoke is secondary. It's always the neighbours' fault. With the enveloping smog, the excuses not to exercise also increase.

Nevertheless, I managed to get myself to the gym for the usual body pump class, with YI, who this time had less running commentary in between tracks, and managed to complete 10 tracks in 55 minutes. (it's a 45 minute class, with a 10 minute buffer with the next) The class seems to be getting more crowded actually, though when I first arrived, about 4.30pm, there was only one other board set up. As I looked around, I realised I know almost half the class, by name. Not a bad assortment of tracks, voodoo child, summer rain, carwash..... with my elbow still not properly healed, shoulder track is an easy track for me now that I only carry donuts.

Now, why I really felt like a sloth was the fact that after the class, EVERYONE I knew there proceed for further exercise, either on the treadmills, or the following body jam class (incidentally, bumped into young wolf), or the step machine....some form of cardio. I used to do this during the days of Lisa Jones, ie, cycle after body pump. But that was a whole year ago, and I am a whole lot closer to 40 now....anyway, with mp3 player in tow, (not i-pod, cant afford those), I head down to the treadmill, bumped into YI who says, "what? you're going to the treadmill"? That is like telling a person standing on the edge of the cliff, "yar, here, jump, let me give you a slight nudge". I was tempted to say, "actually, no, you've made me realise how much I don't want to do this".

I'm not sure if those calorie counters on the treadmill are accurate, or even remotely so. Anyway, at a 15% incline, (the max), at 6 kph, one can burn 810 calories in an hour. So, there I was, at that incline and speed, and had reached 100 over calories in 10 minutes, and I noticed the guy next to me, who was jogging on a flat, at 8kph, had only burnt 140 calories in 24 minutes. Hey, let me climb every mountain.....

Now, it seems that the bestowing of HK matinee idol title, plus nickname, plus pimping on Shades site, has really boosted his popularity. (His as in "Leon Lai Ming") Got a text informing me that his subang combat class, at 9.45 pm, was packed!!!! 30 ppl. Last week was only 12!!! Also his Curve class on Saturday, which I missed, was also packed!!! So, looks like regardless of the photo that shades put up, Leon's popularity seems to have soared....Do you hear the People Sing???

Monday, August 07, 2006

Gymless Weekend & The Pimping Of Shades

Kept missing all my favourite classes, one after another. On Friday, I was hoping to go for Richelle's pump class, but had to meet a client late in the evening, and by the time I was done, it was too late. Yhsmom had cautioned me not to go home after the meeting to sit on massage chair, as the last time I did that, I fell asleep and also missed the class.

On Saturday, well, I kinda figured that I wouldn't be able to attend matinee idol's combat in the curve, as I was hosting a farewell dinner for good friend who was going home to America after being here for 3 odd years. But still, hoping against all hopes, I managed to get dessert out of the way by about 2.30, which actually left me plenty of time to go for combat, but i figured by the time I get back from combat, it would be a bit rush to cook the main meal, which consisted of roast leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic, with a honey mustard glaze, zuchinni and mushroom pie, creamy potato and leek soup, fajitas, and a salad. So I opted instead for a massage. Got back about 5.30 and managed to get everything done by 8pm.

On Sunday, again, was targetting to go for 2nd FSI's step class, but after church, had lunch invite at sister's place, which was so filling I felt like a python who'd swallowed a chicken. Next up was a tea party at friend's place, and I had volunteered to make scones, so more baking. Grabbed a quick nap after the baking, and headed for the tea party. Then had a wedding dinner to go to, but 3 exerciseless days was beginning to irritate and stress me, so I managed to squeeze in a 40 minute aerobic workout, (following the Aussie Fit VCD), so at least managed a decent sweat.

Later that night, got a call from FCI who had returned from Penang and wanted to deliver something. Despite my adamant insistence NOT to buy me anything, which was conveyed to FCI's gf, he still dropped this off.

Bless the dear boy. So sweet of him.

On a separate topic, since Matinee Idol has been recently pimped by Shades, (and coincidentally saw a sharp rise in attendance in his saturday evening class, apparently), yhsmom and I thought we'd give Shades his lucky break. Turns out, he DOES bear a startling resemblance to a hong kong (or wah lai toi, to be exact) movie star, called Wong Hei. Hold your breathe, and be prepared to be startled by the STRIKING resemblance.....

A snippet of info from yhs mom:
"This guy is called Wong Hei. He appears quite regularly on Wah Lai Toi Hong Kong drama series and specialises in playing characters who wear uniforms i.e. policeman, fireman, customs officer etc, etc.
Actually these are some of his more "decent" shots, he has appeared completely nude before in a pictorial book shot in the Mongolian desert!"

The Original Shades

This shot of Wong Hei is ESPECIALLY uncanny. Even the dressing....

Friday, August 04, 2006


I love the choreography for the Venus song, in Body Step. By the same token, the choreo for Absolutely Everybody seems a bit lame, just like YMCA in Body anti climax, afterall, those songs are so famous. So when doing the Absolutely Everybody track, all I could think of was Astro, Starworld, as they used it as their theme song awhile back.

As usual, FSI made it a point to announce, looking in my general direction, that there will be less squats today. It literally went in one ear and out the other. And for good reason too....but I didn't mind squats yesterday coz I had rested fully on Wednesday and was rearing to go. Another recent discovery I made was how comfortable the Fitness First Free T Shirts are. (the ones they give you as standard issue when you sign up). For two years, I had resisted wearing it, hating to appear uniform in any circumstance. For some reason, I picked it up last week, for rough use, and discovered the material is really very soft and comfortable, esp for workout. Now, if they sold T Shirts like that, without the endorsement, and tacky tag line at the back, (what does it say now??? See, I see it everyday, yet it doesnt sink in.... something about being better....Get better soon? What was it? ARRRGH)

There's a general lack of testosterone in these lunchtime classes. If estrogen was contagious, I'd be a 38D by now....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Legal At Last

For 5 consecutive weeks, I think I've been an illegal immigrant in FCI's class, coz I could never get onto the registration despite coming early. Anyway, yesterday, I managed to put myself down on number 37 or 38....Cerebus had an assistant to jot down the names while she made a mental photograph of each registrant. Being registered gives you a certain sense of liberty, it allows you to leave the studio, and go downstairs to stretch, etc, without fear of not being able to get in. Whereas if you hadn't made the list, it would be safer just to mill around outside the studio until the gates open.

As I entered the studio, I gleefully told Cerebus, I'm legal, and she flashed a grin, and said, Yes, I know, I saw you..... FCI's class wasn't as packed as it usually was, notable absentees where the left flank girls, (the one who's into Jam now, and her sidekick who adds lots of zest to the class with her enthusiasm), the tall guy, (who's disappeared for a while now)....

Apart from the fact there seem to be too many breaks, twas as usual a great workout. Lionheart has his nosed pressed against the glass panes, and you could feel that he tempted to join in one of the tracks. Don't know why he didn't.

On Monday, had gone to YI's body pump class as usual. I coulda sworn he said he was saving the pushups for last, and even at the beginning of triceps, he said no pushups in triceps coz he was saving it for the last track, then suddenly, it was get down on your knees or toes. Huh? He's getting better at completing 10 tracks in that 45 minute slot, and hardly encroached into the body jam class. Could do with a bit less commentary though, hint hint.

Meanwhile, on another topic, a debate rages whether my Saturday Matinee Idol combat instructor looks more like Leon Lai, or Lee Hom. Frankly, I have no idea who these people are. He (combat instructor) was bestowed the Lai Ming (Leon) nick by yhsmom and Lionheart. I've never even HEARD of Lee Hom. You be the judge, who does he resemble most. For pictures of the man himself, go to the blog where he was recently pimped.