28 April 2009

B-day minus one

There has always been much debate about whether abdominal exercises should be done immediately after a cardio workout or within the weights training workout.

Arguments supporting Abs after cardio, before weights training include: You feel fresher after right after cardio and still have core strength to crunch, lift and bend etc.

Arguments against this say that you might weaken the core muscles which are needed for the heavy weights training. You'd be surprised how much of your core muscles are needed for the squats exercise alone. This is a safety argument more than anything.

For me personally, January I have started running a lot on the treadmill, three times a week. I have worked up an endurance that lasts me through 45 minutes of running at 10km/hr at 0.5 degrees incline. This totally burns me out and I sweat buckets as well as lose about 600+ calories and I feel great after it. In fact, sometimes, I wanna just keep on running but I know I still have my weights training to do and don't want to end up staying the gym all night! So I step off to stretch. I enjoy running and the more I see my body fat go down the more I want to run.

The same goes for abdominal workouts. Since Feb, I have been doing a much more intense workout for my midriff. 30 reps of standard crunches, 30 reps of bicycle legs, 30 leg raises - rest - 20 seated leg raises - rest - then 20 reverse crunches and 20-30 l/r crunches with bicycle of legs to finish off. The first month I found it quite difficult to complete all this, but in the past 2-3 weeks I have managed to finish it off and still had energy to repeat some of them. I do see the end product of thinner layer of fat mixed with strong ab muscles. The results please me. However, as with most exercises, after a while the body will start to adapt to the movements and you will not get the great gains you once had at the start.

The above exercise I would do three times a week at the gym. On the off-days I wouldn't do any training, as to allow my body to rest from the beating I give it every other day. However, as I turn 26 tomorrow, I think it is time for another change. This time last year the milestone of turning a quarter of a Century, gave me the chance to consider what I wanted in life. How I want my life to be from then on. I decided I did not want to waste any more time and actually make a start in pursuing my dream career of being a driving instructor. One year down the line, I am near 80% completion of my driving instruction course, having passed two of the three examinations and working towards my final examination hopefully around July/ August time. I don't think the course could have gone any faster as I am holding a full time job at the same time, so can only meet my instructor week day evenings and/ or Sat mornings and I need to study in-between meeting him. I am quite pleased with my own progress thus far and look forward to the completion by end of summer.

This year, well, part of me wants to change. I want to look more professional. It might mean I look older though. What do I mean professional? For me, it would mean the likes of not wearing t-shirts, of having a smart appearence, looking professional and confident to people. Not just in general but mainly start looking like a driving instructor. However, what does a driving instructor look like? Yes, the stereotype may be an "older" man (women, don't get offended here!), in trousers and a shirt. Would I suit that look? Or how about polo shirts then? Jeans and polo shirt, with the collar standing up of course. Just to add to the "young" look. Haha! I dunno man... Changing my appearance is one thing I wanna analyse. The next is my exercising. I'll keep my current weights program, but will tweak wee bits to get better gains, but the biggest change will be I want to start doing abs exercises every day now. I usually gym on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, which will leaves me Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays to do abs at home first thing in the morning before my morning shower. Might not do a lot to start with. Might even take the Sunday off to "rest" on the Sabbath. But will definitely make a point of getting up on time (no lying in) and getting down on the floor to work on my core. I hope to start this as of Friday 1st May so it would be easier to track how long I've been at it etc. Hopefully after a month or so I will see better definition than what I already have. :)


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