Thursday, November 29, 2007

What's up, Dog?

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"What's up, dog?"
Julius is now 4.5 months old. Oooh, time flies. He has grown much in these last 2 months. But one time remains unchanged - his "tham-jiak-ness". In fact, my family always commented that never had they seen a dog that behaves so "thamjiak" after which my mom would proclaimed that I should feed him more. But trust me, even if I tripled up his food intake, I strongly doubt that he would change this part of his character which is also somewhat endearing.

Ok, here are some more recent photos of little Julius.
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Acting cute....
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Julius with brother Caesar.
Julius visited brother Caesar at his home a few weeks back. From the pictures, one would think that it was a "sweet reunion" for the 2 brothers. But the truth was otherwise. Julius, being in Caesar's territory, "kena belasah" from Caesar! Ok la, it was not as bad as I put it, but Julius was basically at Caesar's mercy that day...hiaks....

This video is for my niece, Alison who wishes to see Julius "playing dead" at the sound of bang. Sorry dear, video was not so nicely shot but should suffice for the time being. ;-)

And this is Julius at meal time. Much better-behaved now after being trained as compared to his early days when he just about gobbles up his food in seconds!

Correction: He still finishes his food in record seconds, but at least he consumes in a more "acceptable" behaviour...*hiaks*

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Looks of a Guilty Puppy

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Julius playing in the garden prior to his first grooming.
Julius loves his play time in the garden. This is also the venue where he could turn into his cheekiest and naughtiest self.

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But he sure knows when he is in deep trouble. Master at deciphering the mood I am in by the tone of my voice, he would stand and freeze when my voice turns deep and angry (usually over something naughty that he did). Sometimes to the point of his back legs buckling under....
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His attempt to look innocent with his big round eyes while being scolded....

However, Julius has a sensitive soul. If I ignore him be after a harsh scolding period, he will creeps into his bed and wallows in his own self-pity, until I call him and reassure him that all's well and forgiven.
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Is he really a dog or a big rat in disguise?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Turning 3 months old....

Julius had barely just turned 3 months old, and yet I can't help but to feel that he is growing up too fast...
Some recent pictures of him.

This must be his least favourite activity - bath time!
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At each bath time, he turned into a real pathetic case. Appearance wise, he instantly looks like he had dropped 2/3 of his normal weight (with the wet fur). Not only that, he whimpers and whines and refused to stand and all fours. Instead he will insist on standing up right (so he could cling on tightly to my hand as if that is his life-saving line).
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Look how pitiful he looks during his bath time!

Remember when I mentioned that he turns into a monster at each meal time? Well, I am proud to say that I have successfully taught him some good table manners. He now sits patiently (although he must be really impatient to get to his food) starring at his food bowl until I give him the cue to have his food. *applause* *applause*

But he loves food so much (what can I say, he takes after his mistress...) that he often dreams about it even in his sleep! See what I mean by watching the video below (turn up the volume for some "special effect").

Ultimately, nothing is better than a good nap on his favourite pillow.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Julius' 1st Outing and A Reunion

Julius had his first outing recently. To a dinner gathering at a friend's place. Being at an unfamiliar surrounding, Julius was rather hesistant and shy....
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Checking out the unfamiliar territory from the safety of his carrier bag.
Especially when he was introduced to a new friend who was so much bigger in size than him. Meet his new friend and potential future girlfriend - Pebbles....

Aiyo, stop checking me out like that. I am shy la....

Later, his brother, Caesar came too. What a sweet reunion for the 2 brothers, except er..., they took no time in reverting back to their playful fighting mode. Pebbles didn't want to miss out the action as well so she self-appointed herself as the referee.

Fu-yoh....! The FIGHT CLUB!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

1st week at home....

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More pics of Julius during his first week in his new home. Getting bigger (and fatter) day-by-day, not to mention that he's also getting bolder and naughtier. Like his pedigree, Julius starts showing his stubborn (dominant) streak. Also widely inquisitive as seen here in his inquisitive stare.
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Aiyo, so cute hor....
Unfortunately, Julius tends to wake his mummy up in the middle of the night with his call to pee-pee, a habit I am trying to do something about, else my dark under-eye circles might just become permanent! That means no food and drink after 9pm. A tip I picked up from my sister-in-law to prevent the bed-wetting habit of one of my nephews.

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Last picture with little bro, Caesar before leaving for his new home.

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Look at his rump, I swear that it gets rounder every day....*lol* He just might need to go on a puppy diet soon...haha.

One of his all-time favourite past-time:
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Snooze pic #1: "Rock-a-bye baby, on a tree top...."

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Snooze pic #2: "Superman (superdog) pose"

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Snooze pic #3: Hmm..., he might just really be a lamb in disguise....

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Snooze pic #4: Dead to the world when he's sleeping...

Ok, till next time...
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Monday, August 27, 2007

Meet Julius Caesar

Meet my sweetie, Julius. A 7-week mini schnauzer (salt & pepper) . Totally adorable!
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He has a brother too, Caesar whose coloring is black & silver.
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Loves to sleep and cuddle with his little brother (who although smaller in size, is by no means meeker in character).
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And gorges on food during meal time like there's no tomorrow.
Note to self: Must, must teach him better table manners...!

Friday, August 3, 2007

This Explains All!

Sick of getting questions asking about my "still" singlehood status all the time, I think I would just make this chart into mini leaflets and distribute to every who asked!

manchart (Custom)

Having said that, there's till a 0.0009% chance of meeting my Mr. Right! ;-p

Friday, June 22, 2007

Les Mills Classes New Releases

Finally...! I think this time, my gym was the slowest in launching the new releases among the other gyms in the Klang Valley.

Here are my 2 cents about the new releases:

Music: Ok, not great but not too bad either. I like the songs for the warm-up (I Believe in Dreams) and chest (Rock This Party). As for the tracks, the "highlights" in this release must be the Triceps and the Lunges. I have been forewarned about these 2 and was expecting the worst. The first time doing it was always the hardest but it gets easier from then on. I went back to carrying 6kg per side for triceps since I started not feeling "so sore" from carrying the downloaded 5kg per side after a few tries. It is still one of the harder tracks but not the most difficult ones. Still, I like that it has interesting combinations of the usual extensions to pullovers and then the standing overhead extensions before finishing with 8 push-ups. Hmm..., I just hope that my arms won't turned too bulky from carrying the additional weight since 6kg is slowly turning into the norm for me now
Lunges: Again, started with lunges on the board (hmm...., seems to be a favourite in the recent BP releases) but it has something new. Backward power lunges with one foot on the step board. Although harder this way, I am not too concerned with power lunges. For some reason, I can take any form of power lunges rather well. *wink*
Others: I feel that the squats, chest, back and shoulders are on the easier side. Increased squats to 17.5kg per side and it was ok for this track Increased weights for back too to 9.5kg per side after a few classes and that was when it became more challenging. Biceps, although short (song was less than 4 mins) it wasn't as easy as I thought. For chest track, it gets challenging after the short break (but then I increased the weights to 8.5kg after the break). Shoulders not really difficult since we do not need to use the bar.

Overall impression: Feels that it is tougher than the previous release especially if the instructor goes by the book and plays the track without any breaks in between. The "star" is obviously the 5th track (interval track) with what feels like the longest ever 2-min time trail at the end. I got fooled by the instructor during the first class where the instructor lied (for her sake, she said it was "recommended" in the book) that it was only 1 minute instead of 2. So members were already pushing hard in that "1" minute which obviously stretched to 2. So at the end of it, I was barely able to breathe. From then on, I learned that the key to surviving this track is to pace yourself. Not too much too soon but yet at the same time, don't hold back too much. Track7 is also quite challenging with 5 mountain peaks.

OK music, I feel. Quite fun. Not overly challenging but still provides quite a good cardio workout. However, my mind always plays the late Anita Mui's "Cheong Ping San Pek Hoi" during the party track when the English version of this song plays. Believe it or not, this was the first time I heard the English version of this song.

I really like Track 6, the "samba" track. Very gaya leh.... The first 4 tracks are pretty alright too. Track 5 (body-conditioning) was rather tiring with what seems like endless push-ups throughout the entire track. Ouch...! But the climax (Track 9) was a bit of a let-down though. Not challenging enough.....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

TAGGED! What is on my dressing table?

I got tagged by chloe on this beauty-related tag. It was fun filling out the answers! ;)

What Five beauty products could you not live without?
Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. Totally worth every single rave among the millions out there for this winner product.

Olay Moisturiser (with SPF for day) either White Radiance or Total Effects range. Been using this brand since secondary school. I would like to think the compliments that I got for my face complexion is also attributed to this...
Blush. I love Benefit Benetint (liquid), Stila Convertible Color (cream), Nars or Stila (powder).
Lip Smackers Lip Balm. Totally dig those yummy flavours! And so good on dry lips.
L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. A must for my ultra dry hands.

What’s the worst beauty mistake you’ve made?
Can't really think of any (heh!heh! Fingers crossed!). Maybe over-plucked my eyebrow? Oh, maybe that time when I decided to go back to my "roots" and coloured my hair ebony black with horrifying results (imo).

What’s your skincare regime consist of?
Thank God that my skin is basically problem-free and rather low maintenance. My staples are my Cetaphil and Neutrogena cleansers and Olay moisturiser. :)

Cleanse with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Tone with Institute Arnaud's Gentle Toner
Moisturize with Olay White Radiance or Total Effects moisturiser (with SPF)
Cleanse with Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser (2in1 cleanser. Effective in removing light make-up)
Tone with Institute Arnaud's Gentle Toner
Dab on Institute Arnaud's Eye Contour care (for the eyes)
Serum: Thalgo Absolute Rehydrating Serum (or Olay's Total Effects Daily Serum is good too). Also like Biotherm Aquasource serum.
Moisturize with Institute Arnaud Optimum Hydration Daily Moisurizer or Decleor Delicate Soothing Emulsion

Favourite Beauty treat?
Spa! Body, face and hair. Total indulgence! But I don't really go for facials.

What’s your favourite beauty store?
None in particular. Usually go to Guardian for pharmacy brands and the usual departmental stores (e.g., Parkson, Isetan) for more exclusive brands. Occasionally hopped online.

Real favourites would be those in overseas (*sigh*) such as Sephora, Marionaud, Printemps, GLF (in Paris) and Bonjour & Sasa (in HK, not Sasa KL).

Favourite Budget brand(s)?
Olay, Neutrogena, Cetaphil and Palmer's Cocoa Butter (body lotion)

Favourite Premium brand(s)?
Biotherm, Sisley, Thalgo, Decleor (love the scents! Very soothing and calming!)

And what about Skin Care: Favourite Premium and Budget brands?
Premium - Biotherm, Thalgo, Sisley, Institute Arnaud (although considered budget in France(
Budget - Olay day moisturiser & Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (staples for >10 years)

And Hair Care?
Kerastase. Especially Kerastase Reflection Chroma Protect range for coloured hair.

What’s your ’every girl must own one’ item?
Sun protection. Either sun block or moisturiser with sun protection. Totally believe and agree that the sun is our skin worst enemy.

And finally, best beauty tip?
Water! The rule "drink like a fish" should apply here. lol.

Rather than tagging people, do feel free to participate in this tag if you like.

Friday, June 1, 2007

One of Those Days.....

Have you ever had one of those days where despite there is one million better things to do but all you wanna do is go home and sulk in your own bedroom?
One of those self-pity days where nothing seems to be going in a way that is good enough for you. Bummer....

Friday, April 20, 2007

Food Shopping from HK

HK, a haven for shopping, particularly for a shopaholic female. I was there recently for a short weekend business trip. Because it was a business trip, understandably I didn't have much time to shop which worked out fine for me because I am trying not to spend too much before my trip to Paris next week...

So instead of fashion items (although I scored a few irresitable buys), my shopping loot this time is made up of mainly "special" food items that are uncommon in KL.

First of all, baking stuff. I was delighted with the baking supplies section in C!tySuper supermarket. So many interesting baking stuff although it is not even a proper baking supplies shop.
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Among the stuff that I got was Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder, a combination of natural and dutch-processed (for some reason, Hershey's Cocoa Powder is no longer available in KL), Reese's Peanut Butter chips, Vanilla and Cafe extracts from Vahine (these were on mark-downs), "Ready-to-Decorate" Pink Icing with interchangeable nozzles from Wilton's, cupcake holders in 4 different pastel colours from Wilton (the colours are so sweet!), a bottle of 4 different sprinkles and a box of party candles. I was tempted to buy the pure vanilla paste but it's expensive at about RM80-99 for a rather small bottle. Wanted to splurge on Ghirardelli Cocoa Powder too but then I convinced myself that I would be happy with Hershey's Special Dark instead.

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Next, special edition confectioneries such as Red Bean KitKat (this is real good!), Honeycomb TimeOut, Dark Chocolate M&Ms and Hazelnut Truffle KitKat bar (not pictured, are these available in KL?) and a bar chocolate studded with miniature M&Ms (not pictured). Also pictured is a slice of Japanese Green Tea Castella cake (a type of sponge cake popular in Japan), and a packet of sugar-free mandarin orange tea.

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Japanese Green Tea Castella cake

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I also like this particular snacks. Wasabi-flavoured honey cuttlefish twists, they were pretty addictive.

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I am a fan of Diet Coke (to the horror of some of my friends) and there were a couple of Diet Coke in HK which I have never seen before.

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I also like this beer that a friend introduced me too. Very light and smooth.

Special mention has to go to MUJI (sorry, no pics). Their food (snacks) section is real good. I particularly love their mini custard puffs (these seems to be very popular), chocolate covered cereals, white chocolate covered strawberries, cheese cake bars and yuzu-flavoured hard candies. All are surprisingly tasty for a re-packed food. They have tons of other stuffs as well.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Down on Energy...

I ached.
I mean, my body ached. Or to be more precise, it feels like it's having a hard time staying in one piece.
I wasn't my usual self during Body Step and Body Pump. I was half-hearted and I had to "coerce" my body to jump higher and lift higher. It was as if there was a vacumn in my body and all the energy had been sucked out. I was even contemplating to cut short my gym session. But then, why am I still on the stepper?
Just tired.... Darn tired....Felt like I was coming down with something....
Or was I? Or just an excuse to skip gym?
Or was it the after effects from 2 nights before? A late night at Vintry followed by what was only 5 hours sleep which in turn made me cancelled my morning gym session and that was how I ended up going to the gym in the afternoon and joined Body Attack, Body Step plus a good 50 minutes worth of cardio-machine hours with nary a break in between? Gosh..., that's like at least 130 minutes of pure cardio work! And the fact that I have not had a break from gym for the past week or so (no, this is not the norm).

Maybe that's why...My body's way of telling me, enough is enough. Otherwise, I might just end up like the picture below
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*Touch wood!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"Riding the Waves"

What does the phrase "Riding the Waves" means? I am sure it has its own fair share of philosophical interpretations but for me, one good illustration of this phrase is....,

driving along the Federal Highway during/after a heavy downpour. *splish, splash!*(haha)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

How to Make the Gym Less Boring

Nick-naming - not a good habit, I know but it's fun and harmless as long as the person you secretly nick-named (and other gym-goers) are not aware of it.

What am I talking about? People at my gym. They are regulars at the gym that you see almost every week but do not know personally. Sometimes, an occassional nod or smile to acknowledge each other's presence (if he/she is not pretending that you are transparent). Then again, there are also some colourful characters among the regulars that kinda spice up the ambience at the gym. And I give these people nick-names (secretly).

Let me introduce you to two of them. There's this "Mr. Sexy Butt" a middle-age (upper age range) man that is always on the cross-trainer on my way to the ladies changing room and makes me mumble "oh my dear God, what could he be thinking" to myself each time I passed him. He loves to wear tight-fitting black top but what he loves even more is to wear tight-fighting black shorts so short that they barely covered his rather erm, "well-endowed buns". Sometimes they are so short that they ride up his "cheeks" and makes me gag whenever I see him (at which point the song "I am Too Sexy" will start playing in my head). One can be forgiven for thinking that this uncle is exercising in his underwear. That's "Mr. Sexy Butt" with his rather un-sexy habit.

Then there is a "Ms. Gym Freak" (aka Ms. Superhuman). Not kind I know, but that's what comes to mind whenever I see her. She's this superhuman machine that always seems as if she's going to work the stepper machine to death; think being in a sprinting race on the stepper (if she doesn't flood the gym with her sweat first). I always feel awed by the intensity of her workout whenever I see her. Petite with a rather "Lam Ah Chan" hairdo, very thin and bony (literally) body - she's quite a sight to behold. Nary to say, I don't think there's an ounce of fat on her so she's all"muscly" flesh covering bones or bones covering muscles or whatever... In short, she just comes across being truly scary to me. Maybe I should change her nick-name to Scary Girl instead.

Another one is "Ms. Showgirl", one very hot (but I suspect, not-so-young) babe. Each time I see her in the gym, she'll be in her super tight mid-riff baring tank top and tights (granted, she has quite a good bod), her long hair (rebonded of course) freely flowing and amazingly, with full make-up on. And not just any basic make-up, I am talking the "full monty" that reminds me of what one wears when one is preparing to go on-stage for a show (e.g., glittery eye make-up, black kohl, heavy mascara with what looks like sequins on false lashes). That's why I nick-named her "Ms. Showgirl".

Ok, I think I better stop now before you start thinking I am somekind of heartless 'b%&^*' (which I can assure you, I am not). But this nick-naming game sometimes help to create some fun at the gym and makes it less boring whenever one feels bored.

Hmmm...., now I wonder what others nick-named me at the gym....Maybe "Ms. @&*, The Terrible"? (hehe)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Why You Should Stop Drinking Green Tea and Start Drinking Coffee Instead

My colleague gave me some Nescafe coffee to try this morning. She told me her hubby got it from Philippines. Aptly named as Nescafe Protect , it supposedly contains thrice (yes, you read this correctly!) the amount of anti-oxidant than green tea. Wow, sounds too good to be true, you think?

Sniffing at the coffee granules, I was rather disappointed. No nice and strong whiff of coffee beans (try sniffing at Nescafe Gold to see what I mean, or just walk into any coffee joint).
I made myself a cuppa and was pleasantly surprised that it tasted better than I expected. I was expecting a puny cup of black liquid disguised as coffee but surprisingly, it wasn't bad at all (although it was no jaw-dropping, awesome coffee, ok). Add the fact that 1 cup gives you 3X the amount of antioxidant compared to green tea, one better start downing this coffee - hehe.
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Nescafe Protect protects you. Wow, a revolutionary revelation indeed..... ;-)

What On Earth Did They Do To Nescafe 3in1 RICH?

Nescafe 3in1 undergone a revamp not too long ago. Packaging was changed and taste wise, was changed too (supposedly for a new and "improved" taste).
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The new Nescafe 3in1

I do not know what they did to it but I couldn't taste any "improvement" in my favourite coffee premix, Nescafe 3in1 RICH. The new one has "this" scent to it which reminds me of the "Tongkat Ali Coffee Premix". Blech...! Not as good nor as rich as the old version although there's one "improvement" with the new version -it has fewer calories than the old one. *grin*

Give me back my old Nescafe3in1 RICH..............! boo..hoo...
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Nescafe 3in1 (previous version)

PS: I tasted the new Nescafe 3in1 ORIGINAL and I really think that the "old" one was better too.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Shiok Saturday's Marathon

Had another mini GX-class marathon on Saturday, last weekend. This time, I brought 2 friends as guests to The Curve. I used to "drop-by" The Curve on weekends occassionally. After all, it's nice to lounge around the mall after gym for some food and shopping. But then, traffic and parking over the festive holidays became unbearable and I just scrapped the habit altogether.

Anyway, we were there for RPM, BP and then BA. They looked like they enjoyed themselves although for awhile, they were slightly disoriented when the overly-enthusiastic members rushed into the studio for the popular BP class (but hey, isn't that part of this gym culture? *wink*) Kudos to them for finishing the classes though (2 classes for Ann and 2.75 for Danny - hehe).

But darn, why is the air-cond at the main studio so darn cold? Don't remember it being this cold before. And don't get me started on the water pressure in the showers. I was lucky I came out from the shower without blistering my skin from the cold/hot/bloody hot combination in the shower due to inconsistent water pressure.

Proceeded to Rojak Rojak for a cuppa after gym before heading home for family dinner. My SIL makes a mean popiah and boils a superbly good bird nest tonic. ;-)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Be Careful of What You Wished For, It Might Just Come True...

I have been lamenting of the cardio machines at WC forever, particularly the stepper (which is also the only machine that I use since I just do not like the rest). They have been around since the club first opened its doors. Over the years and heavy usage (and probably mis-use too) by members (DISCLAIMER: I am totally innocent with the latter) and the fact that there are only 6 miserable steppers in WC, they became "creaky" and "cranky". Sometimes, they can be embarassingly noisy. Not only that, they are also "literally" real steppers. Step on one and you will feel yourself being "lowered step-by-step" as opposed to one smooth motion, all the way down. Other times, the machine just had a mind of its own when it refused to co-operate with the control panel. *sigh* I lost count of the number of times I complained this to the management and was promised that there will be replacements soon in return (yeah, right..., dream on...)

So imagine my surprise when I literally smelled new machines when I entered the gym at WC last week and further delight when I discovered that there are spanking new cardio machines (i.e., treadmills and steppers) in the gym. The treadmills are similar to the ones at newer branches such as Summit, MA and etc (yes, WC was that "backward") but the steppers are something else. They are of a newer breed never seen before in other branches. With an impressive control panel and build, it looked very "canggih" indeed!

Since I am a fan of steppers, I wasted no time in trying them out. That's when I regretted what I wished for.
Complaint #1: The control panel is just too complicated. I prefer the older version where you could either choose your exercise by the quickstart, manual or pre-set tracks option. This newer ones have just too many mind-baffling buttons and options. And no, I am not a technical idiot.
Complaint #2: The build of the machine. The newer machines are of bigger and more solid build. For the "vertically-challenged" me (yes, it pains me to admit this), I find it uncomfortable to exercise properly on the stepper. The upper hand rest is slightly too high for me to hold on comfortably whereas the lower hand rest is also slightly too wide for me. Purists would say that the best way to utilize the machines is not to use the hand-rest at all, but come on, is one really expected to do that throughout a 40-60 minute workout session on the stepper? Probably yeah, if you turn down the intensity to "tortoise-pace". I am a competitive person when I am on the stepper, the higher the intensity, the better....

So, gone are my old qualms but in its place, is my new rant. Sigh, I am not an easy person to please, I know, but only when it comes to this matter (seriously!). I guess I just have to adapt to the new machines (hopefully, my limbs would somehow magically grow longer - haha). In the meantime, I can't help but to prefer going to other clubs since they have "nicer" and "older" steppers. I wonder what the management would say if I approach them to complain about the new machines and demand for the older ones back??? *duck and hide*

Oh, the irony of life sometimes....

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

G(X) New Release Review (BP61, BA56, BS67, RPM34)

Way overdue since this is the 2nd week (or is it the 3rd already) into the newly-launched tracks for G(X) classes. Here are my 2 cents on these new releases:

BodyPump 61
Despite being told that this launch is rather tough (probably just a scare tactic from the instructors), I don't really agree, at least not for all. I like the warm-up track, "Love Changes Everything", nice song although the new combi/repetitions (instead of the standard 4/6/8 could be a bit confusing. Squats track, not tough. It has been pre-warned that there are lots of singles and bottom halves but the bottom halves are just merely 2's and 4's. As for chest track, no push-ups (yay) but the "slow's" (4 repetitions) are tougher than I thought, particularly during the last round. As usual, 8 bottom-halves are rather taxing as well. Still, I managed to increase another 2kg during the last round (after the break). The song is pretty cool too (I'm Not Dead by Pink). Quite hillarious when I overheard some gung-ho's who find the track easy saying "I am not dead, just sleeping" (haha). Back track, 1 of my weakest track. No surprises here although the recently-introduced method of wide-hand-grip and pulling the bar towards the chest especially during the 7-rows are rather taxing. End that with 6 lifts at the end, I could really work out a sweat (particularly when I increased another 2kg for the last 6 lifts). Triceps are not tough but not so easy either thanks to the kick-backs (the singles and upper-half-pulses) but that's the climax. By the time you work with the bar, it's almost like cool-down already. Biceps: short track. Some people commented not liking the song (Original Fire) but strangely, it grew on me. Not very tough. Lots of bottom-halves. Control and good form are the key words here. I've seen a couple of guys loading up for this track (probably were foretold that it's gonna be easy) only to sway/swing their body a lot or to stop frequently during the track. What's the point? Showing off or working hard? Lunges: Step board is back again. Need I say more? Tip: If you find it difficult to balance yourself on the step board, I find that placing the mat over the board and standing on the mat helps. Shoulders: For once, it does not begin with push-ups but you get them at the end. No need to use the bar too. Deceptively easy. Yes, those "mac rise" could be quite a killer. However, those push-ups at the end are unexpectedly easy. Still, shoulders are rather sore after this workout. Abs: Not much comment
Overall: Ok. The new changes found in this release are pretty alright.
Current Weights (for BP61): SQ=32kg, CH=15-17kg, BK=17-19kg, TR=12kg, BI=10kg, LU=22kg (down from 24kg), SH= 2.5kg plates x 2 or 7lbs dumbell x2

BodyAttack 56
I still haven't decided whether I like this release or not. Compared to the previous release, I daresay that this is easier. Not much to say about track 1 and 2. Track 3 has lots of jumping jacks after the "superman" move. Track 4 (1st peak) mimics a volleyball court. I like the beginning of the song. Quite glad that it does not have any power lunges (not my favourite because it's very easy to get injury in power lunges due to the high impact it places on joints). The new "pendulum" move in track 6 is quite fun. Again, quite easy compared to the previous release. Not much to say about track 7, not my favourite. The last 2 power tracks can be pretty challenging. I remember track 8 not having real breaks in between intervals, and as for track 9, well let's just say the last bit with the high knee-ups will surely bring your heart rate to your desired maximum target heart rate zone.
Overall: Not as challenging as the previous release. But with the "right" instructor, all BA classes could be very challenging.

BodyStep 67
Music not bad for this release. I like track 4 and 6 for this release. Something different but yet work you out alright... Particularly track 6, when you thought you are done, there comes another "box step" repetition followed by series of single knee. Tiring! Other than that, track 8 (speed track) feels more like a "party" track with te "cha-chas". Track 9 (power track) is not very inspiring. The upper body conditioning track is rather cute (song: Oh Yeah). If you find this release too easy for you, I suggest adding in a jump whenever you can (and whenever the instructor allows it) and upping the step board level throughout.

I have to admit I don't quite like the songs in this track but the new (and not-so-new) twists added to this release are welcomed (such as the 2 hills in track 2 and the standing climb in track 6 - speed track). I like the song "Pretty Vegas" in track 5 though (did this before in one of the previous release of Body Attack); and the opening (warm-up) track "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" is quite cute too. Other than this, there is no other extremes found in this release. The most challenging being Track 5 (interval) followed by Track 7 (mountain) but these are not that difficult than say, Track 5 (Scream) from Release 32 or Track 7 from Release 30 (Going Insane), or "The Night Train" from Release 26 and another one by Ricky Martin (can't remember song title). Track 4 and 6 are ok if not a little dull, but can't be compared to my favaourites such as Bend and Break (Track 4) and Rise Again (Track 6) from release 32. Hmmm..., seems like I quite like release 32.

There you have it, my rather long review on the current new release.


Did I manage to do it? Yes, I did. Managed to attend all 3 classes (BodyAttack+BodyPump+BodyStep). Not a big deal actually, Body Attack was a shorter class of 45 minutes (where Track 8-Interval Training and Abs are excluded) so it felt more like a warm-up class for me. Continuing with my experiment with the TIMEX HRM, heart rate averaged at about 65-70% with a peak at about 85-89% towards the end of the last power track. The mediocre HR is also probably due to the fact that it was the 1st class of the evening so the studio was reasonably cold (I hate it when that gave me goosebumps). But darn, I kind of "mis-stepped" a little, causing a little sprain to the "bridge" of my left foot (the area between the arch and ball). That happened before and it could be quite a pain in the neck in the sense that it could be persistent and be a hassle when doing high-impact exercises (e.g., BodyAttack and BodyStep).

Next was BodyPump. Nothing extraordinary to mention. Average HR zone was in the 70-80% region (probably some were in the 60-70% region), highest was during the Back track, probably because I increased my weights during the last 6 lifts. Upper body felt a bit tired at the end of the track, particularly the shoulder.

Last, was BodyStep. By now, body was a little fatigued due the fact that muscles were already worked out during BodyPump. And true enough, the little "sprain" that occurred during the earlier BodyAttack class started to bother me a little but it remained hardly noticeable until the "gallopping" in the "Speed" track. Today's HR was not as high as the other day, although mostly was still in the 70-80% region with the max at about 169-172 bpm. But what I can conclude is not to underestimate BodyStep. It is easily on-par with "powerhouse" programs such as BodyAttack and RPM especially if you take on the challenge of increasing the step board to the highest level*.

Such a Nice Lazy Weather this morning

Fell asleep when watching my current favourite TV drama, Grey's Anatomy. Woke up at about 2-ish to discover that it was raining. Aaahhh..., my ultimate favourite weather for a good sleep. Surprisingly the rain lasted till mid-morning today, thus resulting in a nice, cool weather. The air-cond in my office makes the environment seems even cooler. I like it like this; it feels like I am overseas, in a foreign country during cooler (winter/autumn) season.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Marathon today?

Thinking of doing a marathon* today. Need to burn off some excess energy (fats). My plan is to do a BodyAttack/BodyPump/BodyAttack combo-class back-to-back today. Body feels fine (no aches or sprains) today so should be ok. Whether I can make it in time for the classes or not is another question. We shall see....

*My definition of marathon: Min. 3 back-to-back classes (2 cardio + 1 strenthening) of BodyAttack, Body Step, RPM(or Challenge) and BodyPump combo. Not to be done on a daily basis though....

Surprise! Surprise!

Hard-core RPMers and BodyAttackers will say that BodyStep does not have enough "oomph" (losely translated - easy). I would even daresay some kinda sneered at this class. I used to think so too (to a certain extent aka in certain tracks) once I figured out the routines (rather repetitive even with new track launches).

Recently I have been playing around with my Timex Ironman Triathlon HRM watch (ok, not mine but my brother's). I want to see my actual heart rate zone during the different classes that I participated in. Anyway, I measured my heart rate zone during Body Step class the other day. Was surprised to see that on average (even during the lower impact tracks), my HR zone stayed in the 70-80% zone with spikes in 85-90% in certain tracks (such as Track 4 and 6 in BODYSTEP® 67). And this is similar to a regular RPM class. So who said BodyStep is easy???

Oh, I should probably mention that I normally increase the step board to level 3 throughout the BodyStep class.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

What I Like...

So that you know, I am not just a "makan kaki" (foodie) but also a "gym kaki". Which works fine for my as a way of balancing my waistline (although it does not always work in the way that I wanted it to). My favourite gym programs are mainly LesMills classes or otherwise known as GX classes. And top of my list includes BodyPump, RPM. BodyAttack and BodyStep. Used to be a regular of BodyCombat and PowerYoga classes but had since stopped going (not so much time to go to all these classes lar...). Not a fan of BodyJam and BodyBalance though. As for cardio machines, I like the stepper but dislike everything else. Oh well, if there is no stepper, I might be persuaded to use the threadmill (really boring to me) or the "butt-buster" wave machine.


Needed another blog to post my thoughts on non-food/baking-related stuff....(yes, I have other things on my mind other than food you know).
So, here it is. A space to just talk about stuff, particularly my other interests in life - gym, shopping, and er...., stuff.