Tag Archives: gainz

My First Video Post!

My friend introduced me to the SICKEST gym I’ve ever been to. Here are the highlights from my BACK/BIS workout.

1) Deadlift

2) Weighted pull-ups

3) Isolated barbell curls to dumbbell hammer curls (elevator on the last set)

4) Seated cable pull

5) Pushing weight a la NFL linebackers (don’t know the actual name)

 

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I Hate Leg Day

Fuck leg day. Fuck squats. Fuck lunges. Fuck calf raises.

But the habit has stuck. I do them shits anyway, rain or shine.

That’s the most important thing about lifting. Not training the body, but training the mind to prepare for training the body, day in, day out. The mental is much harder to conquer than the physical. But once you start showing up enough, you get used to showing up. Then it’s no longer a matter of “if,” but “what time tonight?” Because you’re gonna be there, just like I am, doing them shits, rain or shine.

YESTERDAY’S (1/27) TARGET: LEGS AND GLUTES

1) Squats: Problem when I go to 中正運動中心 is that the squat rack offers no support (bar on the lower end that you can rely on if you can’t push the weight back up). I also went alone tonight so there was nobody to spot me. Add that to the fact that this is the first time I’ve squatted in about 2 weeks (last week I was in Japan visiting my boo) and the decision was made beforehand: going on the lighter side tonight.

Warm-up set with the bar. Tack on 20kg on each side (60kg total). Then next set 30kg on each side (80kg). Next set 90kg total. This is where I stayed for the remainder of my squat sesh. Did 5 sets, till one rep before failure (failure on this squat rack would mean keeling over with 90kg on my back before being rushed to the hospital) before putting the weight back on the rack. Last set I did elevator downward (90kg, then 80kg, then 60kg).

2) Single leg bench lunges with barbell: A fucking BITCH to do right after squats. You set up like you’re gonna do squats. That is, standing with the barbell on that sweet spot on your neck. But maybe 3 or so feet behind you is a bench. Put your foot on top of the bench. (Make sure the bench will not move.) From there, you lunge forward with the isolated leg. Go down as far as you can without your knee touching the ground. Go back up and really get that butt flex going. Switch legs. You should be sweating balls by the end of each set. If squats ain’t the straw to break the camel’s back, this should be it.

I got up to 60kg total, and elevatored down to 40kg on my last set.

3) One-legged box squat: Not sure if this is the proper name, but it’s the best I can come up with. What you do is stand on the edge of a box with your outer leg hovering outward. Then you squat downward, doing your best to not let the outer leg touch the ground. Then push back up.

My legs were so sore after my first two lifs that I couldn’t go down all the way without cheating. Nevertheless, I kept on. 3 total sets.

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That’s all my legs and ass needed. As I write this, I’m sore as shit! You’d think I got buttfucked with no lube last night, the way I was sitting down on all them chairs today, concerted, meticulous effort and all. The best indicator of a fantastic workout.

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Crunches Are for Women

A visible 6-pack is less of an indicator of going hard at the gym, but instead going hard on your diet. This, of course, is bad news for most of us. Wouldn’t it be great to eat McDonald’s and ice cream and drink beer every day, and just offset these with tremendous workouts?

Unfortuntaely, it doesn’t work like this. One must be disciplined not only in how you lift, but also in how you eat. Recently I’ve gone off my diet mainly because I’ve started working full time and my shared apartment is so digusting as to be a health hazard if ever I were to cook here gain. Fortunately I am moving out of here sometime in February or March, and will dedicate myself to cooking daily afterward.

Until that time, it’s going to be more about maintenance.

TODAY’S TARGET: ABS

1. Superset — Woodchoppers into Weighted Planks (1 minute): Started out with a BITCH of a workout. First set warm-up like always. If you don’t know what woodchuckers are, please refer to the video below. Fantastic abdominal workout, especially for the obliques.

After a woodchuck set (no weight, 10kg, 15kg,  15kg, 17.5kg), I went right into minute-long planks (no weight, 10kg afterward). In conjunction these two workouts are lethal, and will help to build an exceptional core.

2. Superset — Hanging leg circles to weighted leg lifts to leg raises: Here the key is LOWER ABS. And no rest to boost the intensity. For the leg lifts, sit on a bench and put a dumbbell between your feet, then lean back (making sure to hold onto the bench for support–otherwise you’ll hurt your back because of the dumbbell weight), and lift your legs up. 10 reps with heavy weight. Drop the dumbbell then go immediately into leg lifts on the same bench, also 10 reps. After 4 sets your abs should be sufficiently tired.

3. Superset — Free-for-all: From here on out it was mostly a free-for-all, not by choice but because people kept stealing my machines! Below is the list of how I finished my workout:

-Ab roller

-25kg oblique crunch on that lower back apparatus (anybody know what that’s called?)

-Ab roller

-Superset — Russian twist with 10kg to Standing oblique crunch with 25 kg (2 sets)

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Polishing the Guns

LAST NIGHT’S (FRI 1/23) TARGET: Biceps, Back, and light Shoulders

1. Weighted pull-ups (alternating grip): One of my favorite workouts. An absolute MUST for a bigger, broader back.

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If you have a belt you can tie a plate around it. If you don’t have a belt like me, however, dumbbells work just as well. What you have to do is this: pull yourself up, then cross your legs. Have a friend put the dumbbell between your legs. The cross between your feet will hold the dumbbell up. Pull up until failure. Afterward, uncross your feet, let the dumbbell fall, and keep on with your now-unweighted pull-ups till failure. 5 sets.

2. Superset — Standing alternating bicep curls to Alternating shoulder flies: I always start with a warm-up set, light weight (15-20 pounds). Then I go heavy, such that I can only do 6 or 7 reps before reaching failure. Last night I curled 40 pounds, alternating to extend stamina. Immediately after, I did alternating shoulder flies, 20 pounds, 10 reps. How I do it is, I lean over the dumbbell rack and put one hand on a random top-shelf dumbbell for support. Then I do my flies, making sure to flex my shoulder on the way down. Switch hands after 10 reps. Rest a little bit, then it’s rinse, lather, repeat.

3. Superset — Lat pulldowns (narrow grip) to Dumbbell hammer curls: My motto is SUPERSET EVERYTHING (unless it’s a hardcore compound lift). 4 sets.

4. Alternating cable shoulder flies: 1 giant set till failure: Set the cable so the handle is on the ground. Pick it up with your left hand, then do as many flies as you can. Upon failure, switch and do the same amount of flies with your right hand. Without resting, go immediately back to the left hand, till failure once more. Then right hand. Do this a total of 4 times for each hand. Your shoulders should be burning afterward.

5. Dumbbell rows: I was tired by this point, so I only did 2 setes. 1st set 37.5kg (82.5lb), then 2nd set 35kg (77lb).

Overall good, solid workout. Stamina could’ve been better. Finished within 45 minutes.

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if someone can build taipei 101… then i can run for 20 minutes

I finished work at 8pm tonight. I left the office feeling droopy-eyed, listless, uninspired. Gym clothes were with me but my mind was elsewhere–specifically at home, where I wanted to be, where I planned to go directly from the office, even if that meant–ESPECIALLY IF THAT MEANT–skipping tonight’s workout.

That’s when I saw her. The behemoth of all behemoths: Taipei 101. 6th tallest building in the world. My office sits two football fields away from the beast. I exited the lobby’s front doors and there she was, like a rogue boner at a retirement home during nap time.

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You look up and any mind that respects remarkability says to himself, “I can’t believe someone built this. I can’t believe this wasn’t always here. Before there was nothing, just trivial space. Now there’s 101 floors of proof of the gut-wrenching genius that is mankind.”

I was supposed to skip tonight’s run at the track. But after the above thought cut through to me, I had the epiphany moment: if someone can build Taipei 101, then surely I can go to the track even while tired, and sprint for 20 minutes.

So I redirected my steps.

Today’s target: HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT). 

For those of you unfamiliar with HIIT, it’s intermittent quick intensity followed by quick rest, immediately followed with more quick intensity, and so on and so forth.

What that entailed for me today:

Sprint 70 meters as hard as you can. Then walk back to the start line. Then sprint 70 meters as hard as you can again. Then walk back to the start line once more.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done HIIT so I felt winded and pained immediately. Only completed 4 back-and-forths the first go around. Then rested for about 3 minutes. Then did 3 more back-and-forths. The Taipei cold cut my body, namely legs and breath, like a fucking machete. Never the matter. Did 4 more back-and-forths. My first time doing HIIT in months. Maybe I cut myself some slack tonight but the important thing is that I SHOWED UP. 11 back-and-forths was plenty for me today. I’m gonna be feeling it all over tomorrow.

My goal is HIIT every Thursday. What’s your goal? What kind of HIIT do you do?

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Just Another Day at the Office

I took a gainz break this past weekend while visiting my lovely lady in Japan. Had a great time, though I ate and drank like shit. Glad, then, that it was back to business tonight (Tuesday) at 中正運動中心. One can only break from his precious gainz for so long.

Today’s target: CHEST AND TRICEPS.

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One of my idols.

 

1. Dumbbell bench press (flat): Started with 27.5kg dumbbells. Upped the weight each set till I got to 37.5kg. Proceeded to do 3 sets till failure, which equated to 5, 4, and 3 reps respectively.

2. Superset — Straight-arm dumbbell pullover to Incline push-ups: It’s important to superset non-compound lifts (NCLs). Why? Because NCLs by nature are easier and less intense than their compound counterparts. Hence the superset, which guarantees a maintenance of high intensity requisite for a good workout.

The pullover is great to build a stacked upper chest. I used 27.5kg, then 30kg (4 sets). The key is, after the dumbbell has been lowered sufficiently behind your head, to extend the arms and pull straight back up while maintaining a hard flex. The upper chest gainz when pulling heavy weight on this one are surreal.

Anyway, I went right from a pullover set to 10 incline push-ups (feet on the bench, hands on the floor). Switch up the placement of your hands every now and then for variety and activation of different parts of the chest.

3. Dips: I can’t stress the importance of doing weighted dips. Unfortunately I didn’t have a workout partner today, and wasn’t up to the task of asking a TW guy to near my crotch with his face just to put weight in between my legs–and in Mandarin, no less. Wouldn’t have mattered much, because my arms felt like noodles for the duration of my non-weighted dips sesh. 4 sets of 10.

4. Butterflies: Cables are out of order, so I resorted to the butterfly machine. Just 1 set, 15 reps. Make sure to get a nice flex upon contracting.

OVERALL, solid workout. It’s easy to lose momentum after you’ve gone a few days without lifting. The important thing is to push all considerations aside and just go to the gym anyway. Hence my titling of this post “Just Another Day at the Office.” Make that shit like clockwork.

I know some of you are thinking, “That’s it? 4 exercises and he’s done?” Hold up, haters. I went heavy as shit today, pressing 37.5kg on each hand, which is the heaviest dumbbell in the CKS gym. After pullovers, push-ups, and dipping your own weight, I knew any other lifts would’ve been counterproductive. Better not to overtrain. My workout today spanned 45 minutes. Anything over an hour is too much. Just as important as working out hard, is working out smart.

Till next time, fellow Gainerz.

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“Let the GAINZ begin!”

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The two words I hate more than any others when said paired together: “You’re lucky.”

I hear it all the time at the gym. Fellow Taiwanese gym-goers, small and skinny by nature, approach the 77kg me and say, “I wish I’d been born with that body.”

If only they knew. If only they could see the whole picture.

I used to be just like them. One time when I took my shirt off at basketball practice, a fellow teammate said I looked like I’d just survived the Holocaust. My whole life, all I knew was that emaciated frame as seen below.

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Then in 2012 I moved to Taiwan. I picked up my first weight right after New Year’s, if only by default, as I’d learned early on in Taiwan that playing basketball with Asians (authentic) wasn’t viable if one wanted to keep his sanity.

At first the weights and I didn’t mesh. There was no seamlessness about my trying to slap 5kg onto the bench and press it up 10 times, 3 sets. Not with my 65kg frame. Who would’ve approached me in JAN 2012 and said those horrible words in conjunction, “You’re lucky”?

But I kept showing up. Four to five times a week. Four months in, I could already see some gainz. I was lifting more. I’d upped my weight a bit. My form was no longer atrocious.

I kept showing up some more. Four to five times a week. A year in, now I was seeing Gainz, capital “G.” From a 30kg-bench I’d spiraled up to 75kg. My weight had finally scraped the 70kg mark. I’d purchased my first tub of protein. I was starting to show hints of looking like a real gym-goer.

And still I kept showing up even more. Four to six times a week. A year and nine months in, now I was seeing GAINZ, all caps. From a 75kg-bench I’d willed my way to a 100kg press. I’d long ago confronted and extinguished my fear of squatting—and with good form to boot! My new favorite workout was the deadlift, an excercise I’d refused to touch my entire first year in the gym. I’d surpassed my 77kg goal, plateaued to a meaty 80kg, and dieted back down to a healthier, better-looking 77kg. I’d kept on with the protein, and also added creatine to the mix. Here’s when all the “You’re lucky’s” started pouring in.

They’d thought it was easy. They still do.

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This blog is for the GAINERZ. Not those that want to dream it up a pipe or say, “I want that” to a TV screen. There’s no other way around it, especially if you have Asian genetics: you’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to work smart.

Recently I’ve been getting approached by more and more Taiwanese guys that want me to give them tips, or even train them on my free time. I’d love to be a part-time trainer, if only for the fulfillment it’d bring me to help those that want to help themselves–those that look at big-time GAINERZ and refuse to acknowledge, not even for a second, the existence of those two terrible words: “You’re lucky.”

Fuck luck.

You accept right now you’re at the root of it all. Then we can start.

Or in other words, let the GAINZ begin!

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This man knows.

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