25 09 2011

Top 5 ways to objectively be a doongie at the gym

22 09 2011

Objectively [uhb-jek-tiv] (adj.):

existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.

Person A: 2+2 = 4. This is an objective fact.

Doongie [doong-ee] (noun):

An unattractive individual who, oblivious to his or her own perception, exhibits behavioral characteristics akin to someone with an unusually deficient Intelligence Quotent.

Person B: G’day mate, haya gan?

Person A: Please keep away from me and refrain from any sort of verbal communication with me, for you are a doongie.


Here is a list of things 5 to do if you want to be a doongie when working out at the gym:

5. Not bringing a towel.

One of the worst things in the world is the unwitting descent into the pool of sweat someone left on the machine they were last using. Newsflash. When you work out, you sweat. If you fail to clean it up, you are a doongie

4. Not being subtle

If you deem it necessary to check someone out at the gym, try not to be obvious about it. There is at least somebody else in the gym who will notice you doing this. It is rather amusing catching you stare at the butt of every female that walks past, however, you become a doongie.

3. Failing without a spotter

If you don’t have anyone to spot you, especially when bench pressing, either do one less rep, or take a lighter weight. No one is impressed by what you’re benching because, chances are, there is a larger, more samoan individual who is going to bench more than you when you’re done. Go 100%, but be humble and wise at the same time. If you are seen on a bench with a barbell sitting on your chest, faintly squealing ‘somebody help!’, you have achieved doongie status.

2. Dancing in between sets to the 80s techno music loudly emanating from your oversized headphones

Nothing to be said about this really, except that doongieness will be manifested in abundance.

1. Bad form

…especially when squatting. Not only are you probably going to ruin your back, but you have the even worse consequence of officially being a doongie. It’s best to get a gym trainer to demonstrate to you the right position and movement to do this exercise. And again, no one is impressed by a big weight if you aren’t doing it correctly, so you are only fooling yourself.

If you engage these things, you are well on your way to being a doongie!

Starvation myth (BURN)

13 09 2011

If I eat less, I will lose weight.

But you will put it back on very fast.

This is very, very basic stuff which most of us know

But some don’t.

This is not how our bodies work. Our bodies are intelligent engines. They are able to, based on our eating habits, forecast the amount of energy they will need to go about their business. So when I starve myself,  my body says:

Right, so I’m not getting much input for energy. I must go into a mode where I can store as much as I can and keep it for later.

Yes, my body will stockpile the energy. Stored energy in this instance is fat. So what happens when I go back to my normal eating habits? My body, in this mode, will store what I eat, and I put all the fat back on again.

So what do I do?

Eat more.

If we can convince our bodies that it does not need to hold onto energy and is in fact more benefited by burning it off, we will lose weight, the right way.

But wait, how the heck do I eat more and not put on weight?

If you’re asking this question it probably means you are not eating the right things, the right way.

So how do you do it?

Here are 3 simple things to start you off. Again, these are the sorts of things that you will hear time and time again from gym trainers, nutritionists, fitness bloggers and dietitians. Keep in mind also that the subject of diet and nutrition is extensive and there are entire books written on each of these points. Nevertheless these simple things will assist you on your way.

1. Complex carbohydrates.

These are slow burning sources of high energy. So eating these frequently throughout the day will indicate to your body that it doesn’t need to hold on to energy – it has just enough of it to burn at all times. These, as opposed to fast burning sources of energy (sugars, white bread etc) are what you need to be eating more of. Consult Google for a full list of complex carbs, but generally they can be found in brown/wholemeal breads, brown rice, fruits, oats and nuts, vegetables etc. Non/Less processed crap is a good start.

2. Frequent eating

Remember, we want to tell our bodies that it doesn’t need to hold on to energy. We don’t want to give it an excess amount, or it won’t be able to burn it off and instead it will be forced to store it. But we want to give our bodies a continual moderate supply of energy so it can get into the habit of burning energy rather than storing it. This is what people call increasing your metabolism. Frequent eating in conjunction with physical activity will promote a healthy energy intake and burning cycle, allowing your body to shed useless weight.

3. No carbs late

Your body burns energy when it does stuff. So if you do less stuff, your body will be burning less energy. Generally, you do less stuff at night, so your body doesn’t need the high energy input of carbohydrates. It ain’t gon burn it – so it gon’ store it! This why virtually every highly esteemed diet will discourage you from eating carbs after evening time. Yes, I’ll enjoy some burgerfuel! But for lunch. If it’s after 5, it’s a wrap. That’s my personal general rule.

If it’s after 5, it’s a wrap.

These three things combined with exercise will make a big difference to how you feel very early on. For me, I could feel the effects of (3) almost after a couple of nights. There are many other things that are complementary to good health as well, such as dietary fibre and protein intake. Those are well worth researching too.

Basically, our diets and our lifestyles need to match.

Many of us live low-energy-consumptive lifestyles with high-energy diets. Our bodies say well, what the heck am I gonna do with this? and just stores it as fat. Some people think the solution is to just drastically eat less, but this causes our bodies to say crap, I need to store what I get, cos I’m not sure if I’ll get more later. Both of these mistakes cause our bodies to store. But we needa burn. BURN!

In short, eat more good things, eat them more often, and become more active. Don’t starve!

Spot reduction myth

12 09 2011

Here Mike Chang and his associate have some interesting things to say about the idea of losing fat just from your belly, or just from any other area. This is also the reference for what I said in WORKOUT #2 about the benefits of heavy weights and low breaks between sets.

Extra for experts.

11 09 2011

In the summer of 08 to 09 (or was it 09 to ’10? I forget) I found myself doing an exorbitant amount of press ups.

Actually, I had been doing that for a while before that summer. Just not the right way.

The stupid way.

I used to blast out as many as I could as fast as I could, in an attempt to achieve the highest number possible, hence giving me infinite bragging rights in any given situation.

Oh, you got an A+ for Mathematical Modelling II did you? Well, can you do 70 press ups? Didn’t think so. Shame.

Yes, apparently you are legit if you can do 70 press ups.

But this basically did nothing for me. I found myself hitting a brick wall at around 70, gaining no real size nor definition to my chest in arms, and no increase in fitness.

The problem was of course, I paid no attention to form, or the benefits of slow, solid repetitions.


I had heard that those were fundamental to resistance training if one was to achieve maximal results. But up until that summer, I thought it was myth.

Gym trainers will tell you, if your form is crap, decrease the weight, slow it down, do it properly.

Eventually I decided to give it a go. Full form, chest to the ground, slow, agonizing repetitions.

And whaddya know – it worked. Heaps. I felt the flippin burn. It burned so bad.

Hey howsit going, haven’t seen you in a while! I would give you hug, but moving my arms currently results in excruciating pain.

But so good.

Instead of an impressive, hey-look-at-how-many-press-ups-I-can-do 70 reps, I could now only do 18-20. I worked on doing about 5 sets in the day, so approximately 100 full-form press ups every day of the week. Nearer the end of the summer I could do up to 26 reps at one time. Not a formidable number. I thought these press ups were supposed to work!!


Much to my surprise, however, upon going back to uni, I began to receive numerous flattering (and slightly embarrassing) comments from my peers about the apparently notable increase in girth of my chest.

“Bro, have you been like straight benching over the summer?”

“Dude, have you been working out?”

“Its actually ridiculous how large Hugh’s chest has gotten”

But what in horse’s name? I hadn’t been benching, I hadn’t even been using weights. Or taking protein. Or juicing. Or doing anything particularly drastic. Surely they’re just lying to me?

Lies. All lies.

But really, who am I to disagree with multiple independent attestation!? It worked.

So what can I learn from this?

If I want results, I need to let go of the vanity-induced aspiration for high rep numbers.

Get over yourself.

Pragmatically speaking, if you don’t go to a gym, get into press ups, sit ups, tricep dips, etc. Perhaps aim for something similar, like 80-100 a day. Do in sets of 10-20, or whatever you can. In the morning, during breaks at work (if you’re OK with looking like a douche), in the evening. Get the form right, take it slow, do it properly. Do it frequently and do it consistently. Be patient.

Patience is indeed a virtue. And a virtuous muscley person is better than a non virtuous one.

Perhaps this could be part of the solution to my tricep problem? I’ve started again doing diamond press ups in similar fashion.

Let’s see where I’m at in a couple of months time!

Mike Chang.

10 09 2011

REALLY digging this guy’s stuff right now!