Friday, August 29, 2008

Some Health related links to share..

Happy Independence Day Malaysia!! the 51st!

Long weekend ahead, I thought to put some readings for you.

Here it goes:

That shall keep you busy - don't also forget to follow the links from each of those pages.
btw - if any of the links is broken - pls drop me a line.. (i can't always monitor if the sites are active/valid anymore).


Sher Khan.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Exercises..

This month I've been talking a lot on exercises/workout. I'm not saying that whatever I've done is the best or perfect for you, but what I'm doing so far is to share exactly of what I've been doing - so that you have an idea what I've done (that's the main objective of me having this blog)

Whichever you think it's useful - by all means, please go ahead an use it. Like I said many times, I've tried a couple out there, and have read a LOT of websites, and bought some books as well. Whatever I've shared is from my personal experience, and I'm sharing it to the world.

Here's the link again:
Exercise? - Part I
Exercise? - Part II
Exercise? - Part III
Exercise? - Part IV
Exercise? - Part V

This is not ALL of it that I've to say about exercises - but I've covered some major points of how I do my exercises. Follow some of the links I've provided, and hopefully you'll find the most suitable regime/programs for you. (oh btw, there's one more topic I wanted to comment wrt exercises - our internal cell powerhouse - the mitochondrial function, an important reason why we need to exercise - I'll do that in my upcoming post).

Whatever exercises do you, my advices are:
1. please be consistent - don't expect you'll lose weight by doing just once or twice a week - strive for at least 3 times a week. I used to do 6 times a week during my initial days.
2. start slow, and keep note on it - i used to have a log of what kind/type of exercises I do, and what have i achieved .ie. running - 2km, 5mph, 45mins. etc.
3. the most important - is progression. a little a day goes a long way... today you walk at 2mph, then 3mph, later 5mph, after that you run at 5.5mph, or today you bench at 10kg, then 15kg, later 30kg!
4. your nutrition - if your intention to lose weight - exercise alone is not enough. You need to take care of your eating habits.. focus on eating healthily - drop the junk food please.

Here's some of my posts with regards to how I do my nutrition:
Now I know your secret.. you don't eat rice..!
To Loose Weight, You Don't Have To Starve..!
Stay Good at 90% of the Time
What do you drink?
What Kind of Diet are You On?
What's Your Typical Breakfast?
What's my typical lunch/dinner?
Counting Calories..
What's Natural Real Whole Food?

Hope that helps!

Sher Khan.

Exercise? Part V - why Interval training is better..

...continuation from my previous post on Exercises at Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

I told you about my personal trainer Mike Greary right? in my Part 4

Take a look at his latest comments.. I agreed 100% to his words (see my comments in earlier posting). Putting it here for your enjoyment... (thanks Mike!)

Well, after watching the Olympics for the last couple of weeks, I think I've found the Olympian with the absolute BEST six pack abs...

The winner by a landslide is:

Usain Bolt!

If you've seen a couple of the times he's pulled his shirt up a little, you'll see that he easily has one of the best sets of ripped abs in the world.

This is not a surprise, as 100 and 200-meter sprinters usually have some of the most impressive bodies in the world. Compare those strong healthy muscular physiques of world-class sprinters with the typically skinny, weak frail-looking physiques of marathoners.

That's one reason why distance running will NEVER be in my exercise repertoire!

Another is the fact that distance running at the same basic steady pace only trains your heart rate in one specific range the entire time instead of a hugely wide range such as in sprinting. A sprinters heart is always going to be stronger than a marathoners heart (unless the marathoner trains in higher intensity ranges as well for at least some training).

And the 3rd reason that distance running will never be in my exercise repertoire is the fact that it is BRUTAL on your joints pounding the pavement (or the treadmill) on a daily basis. I'll stick to sprinting on grass fields or hill sprinting, which will actually strengthen instead of tear-down the joints, when done properly.

As you can see from the incredibly ripped abs of Usain Bolt, there is a reason that sprints (and hill sprints) are included as some of the most important factors that I talk about in my Truth about Six Pack Abs program.
If you want lean, sexy, ripped abs... stop crunching and start sprinting!

Mike Greary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal TrainerFounder -


In the meantime, watch this simple bodyweight core workout.. simple.. no need special equipment.. everyone should do it. My extreme fav.. I do this almost every other day.. in the morning and at night! (quick one before I hit the shower!)

Easy right? what are you waiting for?


My other posts on nutrition:
Now I know your secret.. you don't eat rice..!
To Loose Weight, You Don't Have To Starve..!
Stay Good at 90% of the Time
What do you drink?
What Kind of Diet are You On?
What's Your Typical Breakfast?
What's my typical lunch/dinner?

Sher Khan.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Exercise? - Part IV - Interval and Strength training

...continuation from Part I, II, III

In the last Part III, I touch so much on the Interval Training. Like I said, I'm a true believer of this type of training - mainly due to it's effectiveness in burning the fats, in a very short period of time.
The most common excuses you'll hear all around you with regards to exercise is.. "I've no time..".. "I'm too busy".. etc. etc. etc.. and choosing the type of exercises that doesn't requires a lot of time is very important criteria for me.. and for you too! (so no more excuses!).

Well, if you're really thinking of losing the fats (I bet you are - that's why you're here reading my blog) - you need to include exercise in whatever 'diet' program you're in. We need to use our body more! ok try this, while reading this, I want you to stand up - but without any support to the armchair or desk you're sitting - just stand up using both of your feet. Try now.

That's an example of a squat. One of my fav exercise - coz in a single move, it uses multiple muscles group - we called it compound exercises. That's the key of choosing what exercises to choose, some more example of compound exercises - deadlift, lunges, push-ups, bench press, dumbell row, etc. The more muscles you work on, the more energy it needs and the more calories it burns!

Another key tips - Cardio workouts will torch calories, but resistance/strength training is a big part of the equation if you want to burn fat. Boosting your muscle mass increases your metabolism, so you burn more calories all the time, even when you're not working out.
Check this report on the Darkside of Cardio by my fav trainer - Craig

On a typical workday, I normally do my strength workout for about 20-30mins, and then followed by Interval Training for another 15-20mins. I've read somewhere about that strength training shall creates some kind of hormones in your body, and when you followed with high intensity cardio, it shall burns the fats at a faster rate... I don't know if it's true, but believe me, I've tried quite a few variations/series, and I've found that this combination is the fastest way to blow-torch my fats!

Infact, Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training(TT) is based on this concept. I've tried a couple of exercises out there, and by far, TT's is my fav. To this very day, I still uses his techniques in most of my bodyweight exercises. The bodyweight training is so practical and easy to do, and you can do just about anywhere - at home or in a hotel room.. with quick routine for blasting the fat.. even if I've only 10-15 mins.... so no excuses of not exercing... Thanks Craig!

See here some great tips from Craig (10mins workout)

No excuse of no time to exercise huh? ;)
Since I've found Craig's workout routine - on YouTube, you can find many others. YouTube has been my valuable resource on learning the many variations of working-outs etc - just make sure you search properly ;)

Other great trainers of mine (they're my trainers because I've been following their programs as well) :-
  • Mike Geary (I love his nutritional insights, and simple exercises that focus on the core training) - don't forget to subscribe to his newsletter - excellent dose of health insights!
  • Vince DelMolte (his no-nonsense tips is excellent - I love the fact that this guy don't believe in any of the body building miracle powder out there.. focusing on natural whole food). He has some great free videos on YouTube.. check it out please!

also, please do check out Men's Health Belly Off program. Don't miss this one (btw, most of this is from Craig's methods - but you get to see great videos.. like spiderman push-ups etc) - download and print this workout guide.. awesome!

while you're at it, do try the No-Gym Required program.. it looks simple, but boy, it leave you breathless!

Check them out - I'm sure you'll find something you'll like.
continue Exercise? - Part V

Don't miss my other posts on Exercise
Exercise? - Part I
Exercise? - Part II
Exercise? - Part III

have you exercise today?

Sher Khan.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What's my typical lunch/dinner?

Some friends commented that whatever I mentioned here doesn't typically applies to our typical diet here in Malaysia (most of my reference are based on western recipes etc).
So instead of talking/writing about it, I decided to take the picture of some of my typical lunches and dinner... some while at work, and at home. So you'll get the idea what I eat, and my portions.


At lunch, generous portion of veggies (bit hungry that day), and fish (not sure what recipe is that, but as long as it's not deep-fried, or loaded with heavy cream or oily recipes, I'm ok).

at lunch, 2 veggies, and was looking for my protein portion, none available, had to choose a stir-fried tofu (could hv been better - so stick with smaller portion).

Dinner - veggies soup with tofu, brown rice with quinoa.. yummy!

One of typical dinner at home (my dear wife cooks!). Some brown rice (carbs), roasted chicken (protein & fats) ,stir-fry veggies (carbs). That yellowish bits ontop of the rice is some roasted garlic.

I was having lunch at an indian restaurant. 2 dishes of veggies, and curry fish (minus the gravy).

This is at another lunch, the Tandoori chicken, and some veggies.

Big lunch - grills fish head (terubuk!!), and some veggies (raw & stir-fry)

At lunch again, stumbled into a banana-leaf restaurant - not a good option, they don't have much choices for me. I finally decided on capati, fish curry, and some veggies. I don't recommend to take this often though (i didnt indulge on the cucumber yogurt thing or the curry gravy tough) - got no better choice that day - I was out for a meeting, and found this place. Choice could hv been better.

Get the idea?

Refer to my other post:
Now I know your secret.. you don't eat rice..!
To Loose Weight, You Don't Have To Starve..!
Stay Good at 90% of the Time
What do you drink?
What Kind of Diet are You On?
What's Your Typical Breakfast?

Hope that is helpful to you! let me know if you've any questions.

What have you been eating today?

Sher Khan.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Counting Calories..

If you have been following my stories so far, you shall realised one thing - I've never count my calories... input or output. Why?

Why not? I never need to.. to start with, counting calories are just too complicated, and not practical. To make things worse, we, living in Malaysia, the government doesn't put any strict rules for our food manufacturer to list the 'nutrition labels' in every food they released in the market (unlike in USA market, you can actually rely on their food ingredient list, and food nutrition list). Yes, there are some local manufacturer provides those labels, but only to those who has the ISO certification. The rest? I don't trust them.. hence, I don't rely on any of this inaccurate information to do my judgement..not anymore.

Having said that, like I've mentioned many times, focus on real whole food diet - in other words, if the food has a label, most of the times, it's not whole/real. So, best to put it back on the shelf. As Dr. Hyman had put it - Everytime you're not sure if the food is real or processed, ask yourself this question "did my great grandmother eat this back then?", if the answer is no, again, put it back on the shelf, you're better off without it.

It's true that the basic rules of losing weight is to understand the input & the output of calories. How much coming in (input), and how much it's being used (output). Simple-losing-weight-math says, if the output is greater than the input, thus it creates a caloric deficit in your body, the result? you will loose weight. That's for sure.

My problem with counting calories is.. the counting. Typical adult male needed about 1800-2000 calories a day (enough energy to get through his normal day - checkout BMR), and to loose weight, you need to be below that - around 1600 or less kilojoules only, and maintain that throughout. On days where you've exercised slightly more (the output), then you perhaps can take in (input) extra calories... well, after a gruesome 5km run, having an extra cheeseburger doesn't hurt right?.. right?

If you've been big, and trying to loose weight, still trying to achieve that set goals... then that is wrong for you. After running for 5km, you've created a caloric deficit environment in your body, what you should be doing instead is to gobble up on nutritious food to nourish your damage cells/muscles for a full recovery, and enhance your metabolism further, and quickly recover for the next run! i.e Eat lean chicken or fish or eggs, with dark leafy or cruciferous veggies, some brown rice, and fruits on the sides - btw, drinks only plain water please! That cheeseburger is nothing but loaded with high saturated fat (the burger meats), trans-fat (the meats was deep-fried?, slathered with thick layer of mayonnaise), and refined-carbs (in the buns) - all of the ingredients to keep you.. fat.

Get my drift?

Sher Khan.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Exercise? - Part III

...continuation from Part II...

I've talked about Interval Training earlier in the Part II - I'm a true believer of this type of exercise... especially if you're thinking to burn the excess fat in your body.. FAST!. You see, the LSD method is ok, but the problem with that exercise is - the moment you stop exercising, you practically stop burning calories (but still better than not exercising at all) per say... I mean.. not as effective as what Interval Training shall gives you (they called it the 'afterburner effect'). Doing Interval Training, especially the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), you shall only do 15-20mins max, however, the after effect of the exercise (that's another 23 hours or so), you shall still burning calories - yep, while you're resting, driving, or even sleeping... for the entire day!!!

There's too many references on the web can proof you that point. Go ahead and search Mr. Google. or click here to see Dr. Mercola's comment on it.

Why should you waste your time pounding on the pavement or threadmill or bicycle or rowing or stepper, etc etc for hours while you can do it at 30mins or less. Heck, personally, I only do my Interval Training exercises for exactly 16mins everytime... !!

So, you're wondering, what the heck is Interval Training?

A simple definition of Interval Training is: short, high-intensity exercise periods alternated with periods of rest. These higher and lower intensity periods are repeated several times to form a complete workout . Here’s a basic example: walk for 5 minutes at 3.5 MPH, walk for 1 minute at 4.2 MPH and then repeat this sequence several times. Most people spend their workout time only performing continuous training exercises. These are exercises where the intensity level is basically constant throughout. An example of this is walking at 3.5 MPH, at 0% incline for 30 minutes.

See this excellent YouTube video by one of my #1 personal trainer - Craig Ballantyne.(great trainer! love his bodyweight workouts and the circuits)

Sounds simple right? It is!

Go ahead and try it. This should be your main cardio exercise method - and boy, you shall see the fats melt away!

In my experience, as mentioned in the Part II, I've started with the traditional LSD method, and the result was too slow, and requires longer duration (these days, we don't have that luxury - especially on weekdays). Interval Training is the answer - and since I've started, I've never look back. To me these days, walking is not enough anymore - since I've lost 50+ kilos, I need to change my routine even harder, else I'll hit the plateau. I've experienced this myself, where my weight chart was almost flat for at least a month, until I've changed my routine for higher intensity, then I've broken the plateau. I now ran at 9.2mph for each minute, and doing active rest at 4.4mph. I did at least 5 burst...everytime.

So, what are you waiting for?

Sher Khan.

continue to Exercise? - Part IV

See also Exercise - Part I and Exercise - Part II

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fruit Juice is Way Over Hyped

I like this article so much by Dr Mercola, that I want to share it here.. pls go to the full article - see his comments on Fruit Juice.

If you love fruit juices - this is A MUST READ!!

see my comments on water.

thanks Dr. Mercola!

Sher Khan.

Exercise? - Part II - LSD, Cardio, Walking

... continuation from the Part 1 ...

My immediate thought was to quickly sign-up with a local gym, and perhaps hire a personal trainer... time is really running out. I need to loose this fat within the 3-months that I've set, whatever I do, I need to decide fast... take action now!

The problem with me going to the gym was that, I've to be away from home.. I figured, is it worth for me to achieve my goals while leaving my beloved kids and wife at home?, and me pounding on the threadmill/irons for 1-2 hours daily going back and forth to the gym?

Not worth it, and I don't think it's for a long run.

But then again, for me to jog around the housing estate at around 7:30pm to 8:30pm daily sounded a bit scary... knowing the fact that there's a lot of hungry-stray dogs and worst.. mad-man on the street!

That's when I decided to buy a cardio machine at home. Made-up my mind to get a elliptical trainer, for it's low-impact workout - remember i was still at 133.7kg at that time. At the store, to my surprised, none of the elliptical machine (aka cross trainer) able to support my weight!!!! most of the affordable models has a max limit of 120kg!! (unless i get a gym-grade equipment which will cost me more than RM8000!!).

I tell you, that alone killed my enthusiasm big time. I almost give-up, called my wife and chatted for a long time on how dissapointed I am (while I was still at the store). After the call, I was ready to leave the store, and that's when the salesperson offered me to get a good-ol-fashion threadmill.. which was on sale, and a last display unit.. at a very special discount.. and doesn't have limits on max-weights!

I hate running, let alone to jog by myself in the living room... but looking at my options in-hand... I don't have a choice! and I still would like to achieve my set goals!

I went home proudly showed the paid invoice to my wife, expecting a delivery within a couple of days. I'm excited, at the same time, worried, coz I've no clue how the hell I'm going to fully maximise the use of the equipment... can it assist me in my goals? i don't know..

While waiting for the machine to arrive, I've made an extensive readings through Mr. Google on how best I can maximise the use of my new toy. In my mind, I shall only use the machine to do a good walking exercise only (because I hate running, period). That's when I learnt about fat burning zone, target heart rate, maximum heart rate (MHR). Excellent article here on the Truth About the Fat Burning Zone.

Here's the most recent picture (2-Aug-2008) taken of my threadmill. Been having it for 1+ years already - one of the most used/useful investment I've made to myself.

You need to learn on how to maximise your time in the workout, by doing exercises at the intensity that gives you the most effective results. You shall learn about target heart rate & MHR, or a more simple method using the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion: (see below)
Level 1: I'm watching TV and eating muruku
Level 2: I'm comfortable and could maintain this pace all day long
Level 3: I'm still comfortable, but am breathing a bit harder
Level 4: I'm sweating a little, but feel good and can carry on a conversation effortlessly
Level 5: I'm just above comfortable, am sweating more and can still talk easily
Level 6: I can still talk, but am slightly breathless
Level 7: I can still talk, but I don't really want to. I'm sweating like a pig
Level 8: I can grunt in response to your questions and can only keep this pace for a short time period
Level 9: I am probably going to die
Level 10: I am dead

You have to target your workout at level 6-7 to be in the 'fat burning zone', to achieve the best results. (I tell you later that I've discovered that this is one of the biggest myth in doing your cardio workouts).

I started my walking workouts for at least 2-3 months (tried running, but hell it's too much for me), based on the general knowledge in cardio (i know now it's a myth!!!), I did what they used to call it LSD - Long, Slow, Distance. I walk for as many hours I can on it, at Level 6-7, as far as I can. On weekends, I even did some hours in the morning, and later some more at night (to clock-in more hours in my workout charts).

Yes, I did see some results, but boy, very slow, too slow infact, excruciating loooong hours ... not to mention dead boring routines!!

(Not until I've discovered the science of Interval Training, and later High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), circuit training, & supersets training. That's the key in my workouts of blow-torching the fat. It provides shorter time of workouts (max 20mins cardio), many variations (interesting routines), and excellent results - yes!).

Still, the LSD seems the only knowledge I've at that point in enthusiasm still at the highest.

Let's continue to part III later - I'll share with you what I've learn from my personal trainers... yup.. with an 's'... coz I've a few of them, and I follow closely their advises... stay tune.

In the meantime, if you want to read more, try this good light reading from WebMD:

Sher Khan.

continue to Exercise? - Part III


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