Personal Trainer in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, PJ, KLCC, TTDI, Damansara

20 October 2010

Fitness Rant | Sits-Ups and Cardio

I decided to start what  I call Fitness Rant. And no, I'm not ranting angrily or loudly, but just taking opportunity to blog and reeducate people about exercise science. I get questions that are associated with fitness myth(s) too often, thus I decided I'll rant about it.

I started going to the gym for the past 2 months. I have a trainer and my trainer told me to do chest press, leg press, bicep curls etc etc (she demonstrated a few other exercises that she did not know what were they called) . But when I told my friend about my exercises that I am doing, my friend laughed at me and said If I want to lose fat, I should be doing Sit-Ups and Cardio, that would be enough. Is my trainer doing the right thing?

My answer: 
What your trainer is asking you to do is good. Chest Press and Leg Press, these are compound movements working on your major muscle group, and is very important to be done if you are looking into losing fat. When you lift weights, microscopic tear takes place in our muscle fibers. And our body response to the microscopic tear is by building more muscles, which depends on calories (food you eat) to be built and maintained. When you grow muscles, you will lose fat, provided you eat the right food that helps in building muscle and losing fat.

The person who says that it would be enough for you to be doing sit-ups and cardio certainly do not have any exercise science knowledge at all. Cardio is good, but too much of cardio alone will effect your body's ability to lose body fat due to the body's adaptation. While Sit-up has it's own fitness myth related to what we call spot reduction. Spot reduction is a believe that if we want to lose fat of a particular area in the body, all we need is to work on that area. Sit-up for instance, should be done if you want to lose stomach fat. This is totally untrue. Fat lost takes place only when there is calorie deficit, that means there must be more calorie expenditure to calorie intake. If you want to lose fat, regardless of which area, it has to happen as a whole, rather than just a particular area.

Besides, if sit-ups are enough to lose fat, why are there still so many fat people around despite doing an accumulated thousands of sit-ups?

My recommendations:
Do compound resistance exercises, combined interval cardio such as HIIT or Tabata. According to studies, long-steady cardio such as running on the treadmill for 1 hour straight is said to be less effective compared to interval cardio.

09 October 2010

Coming Out of Retirement

I'm trying to make myself sound like some big superstar athlete who came out of retirement. Oh yeah!

Just few hours ago, I landed a silver medal from MAPCU Taekwondo Tournament, contributing to today's 1 Gold and 3 Silvers for UCSI University Taekwondo team.

I never thought I would be competing in Taekwondo anymore since my knee surgery ( ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair ) in 2005 after snapping them during a District Level Taekwondo Tournament, and re-snapped 3 months later for rushing into training ( yes, I had two surgeries on the same knee within 3 months).

Despite not training Taekwondo specifically at all since my knee surgery, I am pretty proud to say I lost in the final 7-8, missing the Gold medal by a point - which I personally think I should have scored at least 10 points for having more than 3 kicks (which lands properly) on the opponent's head.

Would I start competing actively in Taekwondo again? Hell yeah!

Take home message? 
Never be too fast to write off anything. With desire, right knowledge and action plan, you can achieve what you want to achieve. In my case, what made it worked was a strong desire from me to compete, combined with right sports and exercise science knowledge, I planned a safe and appropriate physical conditioning training to prepare for this competition.

03 October 2010

Public Talk at WELcafeTurningPoint

I gave a talk on Fitness Within You ... Anywhere, Anytime at Turning Point Welcafe a few hours ago. The talk basically covers that to be successful in something you do, there must be a desire, knowledge and action plan. That includes fitness.

Then followed by bodyweight exercises that participants could do anywhere and anytime without the need of equipments. The talk ended with Q&A session - where many, and I mean it, many interesting questions were asked. I would try to recall as many questions as possible and share it here.

Meanwhile, I'm sorry that I did not prepare the exercise list and instructions handout for the participants. But would be emailed to them later.