Monday, 28 February 2011

First 3 weeks

I didn't have an exercise journal for the first 3 weeks I started exercising so I'll leave out the first 3 weeks. But basically I started really really small with my first 20 pushups. And every day I would add 10 more till I did 60 in a day. I would do them in sets like 20, 10, 10, 10.

The second week I added stomach crunches to my workout again starting with 20 and adding 10 each day till I could do 60 in a day.

And the third week, I added squats to my workout. Again starting with 20 and adding 10 each day till i could do 60 in a day.

This was basically me breaking myself into the exercise mindset. And now when I'm writing about this 6 weeks into my exercise I think it works better than maxing yourself out physically on your first workout session. If you're like me and haven't been working out for a long time, imagine how your body would complain at suddenly being made to do so much more work. Then imagine how it translates to your brain when your brain realises,"what!? You're gonna make us go through this 5 days a week for the next few months!?"

So work yourself in slowly, maybe you don't need to go as slowly as me. But do it at your own pace and don't rush it. =)


What would I do without my trusty iPhone4! Well anyway, for exercise, I use a free app that can be downloaded from the App Store called "gymboss interval timer", it's great for me as I've used it for exercises like the tabata protocol and isometric pushups. Some of you might like to listen to music while you workout, so and iPhone would work well for you too. Available in Singapore at M1 shops from $0 onwards.

Spoga Dumbbells

My Spoga Dumbbells, good for weights training as the weight can be adjusted lighter or heavier as you require, however, I do recommend getting dumbbells with rubber covering the weights especially if you have wooden flooring at home like me. However I only got one as I only use my dumbbells for bicep curls.


When I was looking at it I thought it'd be really warm but after wearing it, it's surprisingly cool to the skin, the wind just seems to blow right through it. For those of you who are curious, LS is long sleeved. Zoot has the same top available in a SS (short sleeved) version. It is a bit of a struggle to wear initially cuz its way tighter than my normal clothes. The trick to wearing Zoot's LS top is to get your wrist through the sleeves first and adjust the seam that is supposed to run along your arm to the correct position, then its just a matter of putting your head through and you're done! Just so you guys know, going by the measurements on Zoot's website. I'm a size 2 but when I went down to the outlet to try size 2 on, it wasn't tight enough. Size 1 was just nice, but size 0 was way too tight, and I ended up looking like a freaky scarecrow (couldn't get the top past my shoulders). The difference between the active and the recovery set is that the recovery set is way tighter.

It's really comfortable to wear and I'm writing this post while wearing my Zoot compression top. After exercising while wearing it I have found that its way cooler than wearing my usual tshirt. And that I could do my routine more easily as well. It's definitely not a miracle muscle suit but it did make it a lot easier. Although this isn't meant for recovery, wearing it has made my muscles feel less sore than it normally does with my usual routine. On the whole, although I don't do running or cycling, this top is definitely a worthwhile buy.

Available in Singapore at Running Lab at SGD119.40 (promotional price, originally SGD199.00).

Tabata Protocol

How to do Tabata Protocol:

• 20 seconds all out intensity.

• 10 seconds rest.

• repeat 8 times.

This protocol was initially researched with cycling (cardio) as the exercise used. And its a type of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) but much more of a killer in my opinion. So for me, I use Hindu Squats (cardio) for this workout. Some other people recommend doing a few different exercises in one tabata session, I don't think this is right, why are we all so fascinated with the tabata protocol? Because of the results! It was done with a leg exercise (cycling) and for each of the 8 sets the exercise was the same (still more cycling). So if you want the same results and gains that those in the test had, then quite simply you should follow their test as closely as possible. I substitute cycling for hindu squats which is a whole lower body exercise, but I do hindu squats throughout all 8 sets. Don't listen to people that tell you to do a few exercises for one tabata session. You have to target the exact same muscles in every single one of those 8 sets to get the same results as the test.

The Tabata Protocol is amazing, it takes just 14 minutes of your time if you include the 5 minutes for warm up and 5 minutes to cool down. With the Tabata Protocol I save lots of time while having aerobic and anaerobic gains.

In a nutshell, Tabata Protocol if done for a period of time for the legs, will help you be able to maintain a start stop motion at your maximum speed for a longer period of time. This protocol like all the other exercises mentioned on xRealisticFitness help with real day to day stuff. Imagine dashing through the crowd to catch your bus, you'll need to be able to maintain your speed and endurance while experiencing a lot of starts and stops dodging people.

Do stretch and warm up before trying this and consult a doctor as this exercise will bring you close to your maximum heart rate if done correctly. If you experience any chest pains immediately stop the exercise and proceed to cool down while seeking medical attention, do not sit or lie down.

Thigh-Tap Pushups

How to do Thigh- Tap Pushups:

• Start in standard pushup position.

• Lower yourself till nearly touching the ground.

• Push yourself up till back to starting position and touch your left hand to the outer side of your left thigh, then bring it back to starting position.

• Lower yourself till nearly touching the ground again.

• Push yourself up till back to starting position and touch your right hand to the outer side of your right thigh, then bring it back to starting position. That's 1 rep.

• Inhale when going up, exhale when going down.

These are a good variation of the standard pushup. It even helps you with balance.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga Mat

Standard Pushups

How to do Standard Pushups:

• Begin with hands on the ground shoulder width apart.

• Get up on the balls of your feet so that you are balanced on your hands and on the balls of your feet. Don't get on the tips of your toes, you might injure your toes.

• Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe. Do not arch or hunch your back. And guys, please, keep your hips aligned with the rest of your body, you don't wanna look like you're humping the floor.

• Exhale while lowering yourself toward the ground, as you lower yourself, keep your core tight so your body stays straight. Do not touch the ground and try not to let your elbows move away from your body.

• Then push yourself upwards and inhale while keeping the body straight and at the top of the push up do not lock your elbows. That's 1 rep.

The standard pushup is a great overall upper body exercise.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga Mat

Wide Arm Pushups

How to do Wide Arm Pushups:

• Begin in standard pushup position.

• Move hands so that they are further than shoulder width apart.

• Lower yourself to the ground while keeping body straight.

• Push yourself up while keeping body straight back to starting position. That is 1 rep.

• Exhale when going down, inhale when going up.

This is a great chest exercise for those of you who don't have a gym. Its essentially a bench press except that you're lifting yourself. Some might argue that its not as efficient as a bench press for building the chest but its great for working that chest for endurance.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga Mat

Diamond Pushups

How to do Diamond Pushups:

• Start in standard pushup position.

• Move your hands infront of your chest with the finger tips touching the finger tips of the other hand and your thumbs touching as well. The shape inbetween should resemble a diamond or triangle.

• Lower body till almost touching the ground.

• Push body upwards back to starting position. That's 1 rep.

• Exhale while going down, inhale while going up.

Diamond pushups are great for the triceps, the muscles that are at the back of your upper arm.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga Mat

Stomach Vacuums

How to do Stomach Vacuums:

• Stand straight with feet shoulder width apart and hands on hips.

• Inhale deeply.

• Exhale while contracting your stomach muscles so that it looks like your navel is trying to touch your spine. Hold this position for 5 seconds while exhaling. That is 1 rep.

I find this exercise is great for making my stomach flatter, and it only takes a few seconds. Some people recommend exhaling completely before holding the position for a few seconds, I advise against it as a lack of oxygen to the brain isn't exactly very healthy. This exercise is great because you can do it anywhere, just make sure you practice in front of a mirror first so you don't look like you're constipated.

Equipment I use for this exercise: None

Lower Abs

How to target your Lower Abs:

• Lie flat on your back face up on the ground.

• Keep your knees and feet together.

• With your arms straight beside your body and your palms flat on the ground, lift your legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the ground and your calves are 135 degrees from your thighs. Use your arms to support/ stabilise yourself.

• Keep your head on the ground throughout the exercise.

• Begin by lowering your legs toward the ground but do not go past the point where your lower back will arch off the floor.

• Then raise your legs till your thighs are perpendicular to the ground. That is 1 rep.

• Exhale when lifting legs, inhale when lowering legs.

Remember not to straighten your legs as you will end up using your hip flexor muscles instead. This is a great lower ab exercise, but if you're looking at weight loss and therefore calorie burning, this exercise targets a small group of muscles and therefore would not burn many calories.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga Mat

Hip Lifts

How to do Hip Lifts:

• Lie flat on the ground face up with arms straight beside you palms down and feet flat on the ground and tucked close to your butt.

• Head remains on the ground throughout the exercise. Inhale.

• Exhale and raise your hips in an upwards motion till your chest, abs and thighs are in a straight line.

• Then lift your right leg off the ground and straighten it, both thighs should be at the same height. Hold for 5 seconds.

• Lower right leg so that your right foot is flat on the ground with your hips still up. Then lower your back to starting position while inhaling. That is 1 rep.

• Repeat a few reps with the right leg then start the exercise again with your left leg.

This exercise is great for the glutes. If your have difficulties doing this however then do not lift your feet off the ground. Use your arms to stabilise yourself when necessary by pressing into the ground with your palms. This exercise helps with balance to a limited extent.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga Mat

Staggered Pushups

How to do Staggered Pushups:

• In standard pushup position, move your left arm directly under the left shoulder. Inhale.

• Exhale while lowering yourself but do not touch the ground.

• Inhale while pushing yourself up back to starting position. That is 1 rep.

• Remember to switch arms after each set to workout both arms equally.

This is a great pushup variation.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga Mat

Bicep Curls

How to do Bicep Curls:

• Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and keep your knees relaxed.

• Hold a dumbbell/barbell with an underhand grip (palms facing upwards).

• Start the exercise with your arm almost fully extended (do not lock your elbows) at thigh level in front of you.

• Bend your arm from the elbows and bring the weight upwards to shoulder level.

• Lower the weight back to starting position. That is 1 rep.

• Exhale when lifting up, inhale when bring weight downwards.

• Remember to keep good posture and lift the correct weight for your strength. Do not arch your body backwards to swing the weight up.

I like the bicep curl to work out on my biceps, I use a 10kg weight and lift it with both arms.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga MatSpoga Dumbbell

Bicycle Crunches

How to do Bicycle Crunches:

• Lie flat on the floor on your back.

• Place hands with finger tips touching your ears. And arms spread out to the sides.

• Bend your legs at your knees so that your calves are at a 90degree angle to your thighs and your knees are perpendicular to the ground.

• Start the exercise by straightening your left leg while simultaneously lifting and twisting your upper body so your left elbow touches your right knee which stays bent.

• Then pull in your left leg to starting position while straightening your right leg and lifting and twisting your upper body so that your right elbow touches your left knee which stays bent. That is 1 rep.

• Exhale when moving elbow to knee, inhale when moving elbow away from knee.

Remember that even if you do tonnes of ab exercises you won't see a six pack unless you have a low body fat percentage. However, ab exercises are important to have a strong core that will help you in daily activities. Bicycle crunches are an overall good ab workout and include the obliques as well.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga Mat


A little about myself, I love food and I smoke, a combination that even I would assume would make a person really out of shape. But now with the exercises listed in the Home Workouts section, I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and smoking doesn't affect my stamina as much as it used to.

All the exercises listed in the Home Workouts section are exercises I do myself. And you'll be able to see how many I do daily from my Fitness Log. And similarly, the products I use are listed as well in the Products section.

I started working out so I could look reasonably good and feel good about myself while still maintaining the other aspects of my life. And I started this blog cuz when I was searching for fitness blogs, I noticed lots of exercise blogs out there, yet people don't post their exact routine daily, nor do they post their own photo. I wanted a blog where I could see what the guy looked like based on what he did daily and follow the workout if I wanted to look like that.

Basically, I wanted the blog to be real. Where exercises are achievable in terms of difficulty and time constraints, where diet-ing is about eating like the average person and where equipment is affordable.

I'm still experimenting with the exercises that I do and the frequency of training so do bear with me. =)

Who would this blog be beneficial to? People who are looking to lose fat, generally get in shape or to build lean muscle while losing fat. If you're into body building with big muscles, this blog probably won't work for you.

xRealisticFitness recommends you consult a doctor before you start any workout mentioned on this blog. Neither Nicholas nor anyone associated with xRealisticFitness will be held accountable, responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at your gym, home or elsewhere, nor from following any lifestyle topic mentioned. 

Nike Yoga Mat

My Nike Yoga Mat, great for exercising on as its thin enough for me to feel the ground for stability yet provides a little cushioning for my tailbone when necessary, and plus the anti-slip feature helps a lot for people like me with sweaty palms and feet. Available in Singapore Nike outlets at SGD49.90.

Hindu Squats

How to do Hindu Squats:

• Start by placing your feet shoulder's width apart with your toes on both feet pointing forward. Hands should be pulled in to your chest. Squat by bending from the knee but keep the back straight. As you squat, bring your arms downwards and behind you.

• As you near the bottom of your squat, begin to lift your heels off the ground, balancing on the balls of your feet while maintaining a straight posture for your back.

• Push off at the bottom of the squat with the balls of your feet while swinging your arms forward.

• Continue rising till you are back in the standing position, with your arms moving upwards as well. That is 1 rep.

• Exhale on the way down and inhale on the way up.

Hindu Squats are meant to be done continuously and smoothly, not in sets as its considered a cardiovascular exercise. To get the most gain from hindu squats I do mine with the tabata protocol. I find hindu squats to be a good overall lower body workout and plus it helps you with balance as coming up on your toes at the bottom might not be so easy when you start.

Equipment I use for this exercise: Nike Yoga Mat

New Kid on the Blog

hmm.. my first blog ever.. still trying to figure out how to use this.. guess I would not consider myself to be a tech pro.. will be back with more stuff once I figure out how all this works..