Do pullups!

My progress pic as of 21sep11. Now I'm aiming to do wide pullups and some different variations. Pullups do not only give you wider shoulders but also a good measurement about how slim you are.

People who shy away from pullups are usually over-weighted and with weak back. With stronger shoulder, you will have better posture and better look.

If you cannot do single pullup, please start with this vid. 

I know pullups are hard. But if you practice for 6 months along with good nutrition, you can do it. 

If you're a man and young, perhaps in 3 months or less.

Pullups are really fun!


Protein rich simple meal


Just another protein rich simple meal. I used oil canned tuna. If you use water canned tuna and less chickpea, it will lesser in calorie but anyway.

200g of cooked Chickpea, 1 oil canned tuna and a dash of blackpepper.

617kcal Protein 31%, Carb 36%, Fat 33%

Two lessens I have learned recently.

On leg day, keep clear the way to toilet before workout cuz you will have to crawl later.

On shoulder day, prepare post workout meal or drink before workout cuz you arms will be so sore that you cannot cook.

Bon appetit and fun workout!


Wind Shield Wiper!!! 14sep11

I was stuck with my fitness progress and wasn't really happy lately.

My short term goal is to do clean pullup 10 reps 3 sets. But I always get stuck after 6-7 reps and it looks I can never make it.

But then, when I tried wind shield wiper last night, and found I can easily lift myself and twist.

I'm still very jerky and the form is awful but it's always a pleasure to see myself making some progress. Unfortunately my arms get tired before hitting abs effectively but I  guess with some practice, I can overcome.

Please watch Scooby's complete guide if you want to try. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZeOqM7zt3U

I did leg raise the other day and I was still jerky but I believe I'm getting stronger little by little.

It's sooo slow and frustrating but strength and muscles will accumulate eventually.

Even for senior people like myself, LOL!


My review of Fighters Diet Newbie pack

Pauline Nordin is one of few female fitness trainers I personally think trustworthy in this industry.

Because many people in fitness industry do not share honest stories. None of them really talk about how they got great shape without being paid, or even with being paid.

I think it is perfectly okay about charging some fee for answering questions.  And we should be paying some money!

They have worked so hard to gain the body, so why should they share the secret for free?

I think we would make fitness industry much better place to live, if everyone would agree to pay for every question we ask to every fitness model, so that fitness models don't have to depend on supplement companies' patronage.

We pay to attorney, medical doctor, so why not to fitness trainer or model???

That being said, I love Fighter Diet Newbie pack. I bought this cuz I am really interested in Pauline's diet philosophy. Yen is so strong against dollar at this moment. And she said she would provide free diet support for a limited time.


I will not go into very details of Pauline's diet plan cuz that is a violation of copyright. Pauline already has good summary of Fighter Diet, so please read this first.

But let me venture to make MY little summary. LOL!

1. Very plant based diet with allowance to some artificial things like diet coke, stevia, chewing gum.

2. No calorie counting but eat whenever you like. But with healthy green veggies. So you're always welcome to BINGE on healthy green veggie.

3. Sugar or carb is highly restricted like any other diet but she does provide good workaround.

4. This is 365 day diet plan for those who want to look good seriously. So it's NOT EASY.  But Pauline or her team would be happy to assist you at reasonable cost.

5. Newbie pack comes with food pyramid to know what you can eat, and a week meal plan.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who want to look good and need solid assistance.

Now I have bought FD Newbie pack, will I follow its suggestion?

No, cuz I just wanted to know Pauline's philosophy. I need to buy her whole book to really understand but that's not really my scope as of now.

I'm already in good shape with Scooby1961 suggestions, and would stick to his.

What is Scooby suggestion? Eat with moderation and healthy food! 

My scope of healthy moderation eating is around 450kcal meal x 6 a day according to his calculator.  I'm female, 46 y/o, 159cm, 52kg, more than 7hour workout per week and want to gain muscle and lose weight.

But I'm not really counting calories, I just eat more than 6 times a day, and eat till my hunger is appeased, not till its satisfaction or belly bloating.  So I guess I'm exceeding my calorie budge but I don't really care.  And I DO EAT CHEAT MEALS 2 or 3 times a week???

What do I eat exactly??? Please look here. http://kuradon.web.fc2.com/carbo_cycle_2011/carbo_cycling.html

This is how I look as of today. Maybe not impressive, but I have made huge progress from last year and I'm proud of myself. 

I would like to gain more muscle and probably FD newbie pack wasn't a right choice for me. I should have bought muscle booster or other appropriate stuffs.

But anyway, I would definitely recommend to look for Pauline's assistance if you need a solid guidance on how to eat and how to workout.  Especially for women. She charges you but at very reasonable price.

And I mostly agree with Scooby's philosophy. But one thing. Caliper is also very inaccurate device for measuring body fat. It takes some experience and very subjective. If you really want to know your body fat percentage, go DXA, not caliper. But DXA scan is so expensive in Japan, I won't be able to try it for sometime. But I must say caliper is not so reliable until you have gained some experience.

It's like choosing operation system. If you're really knowledgeable in system and can help yourself, you can do very well with freebie stuffs on internet.

If not, why not buy from Microsoft? Or Google? Freebie is actually VERY EXPENSIVE!


How to cook brown rice in microwave

Brown rice and UMEBOSHI
A bowl of boiled brown rice and home made UMEBOSHI, or picked plum.

Personally, I think it's a lot easier and tastier to cook rice or brown rice in rice cooker or pressure cooker.

Because rice or beans require long hour simmering, Especially brown rice. But there's always some workaround. Oh, I'm only writing this cuz a boy with only microwave asked how he can cook brown rice. Usually I cook brow rice with equipment above.

Unfortunately, using microwave does not shorten the cooking time. But it works and it tastes fine. And there's really nothing to clean afterwards. Cool! I think I'll stick to this!

What you need,
1 cup of brown rice, 2cups of tap water,
screw top zip lock container, microwave, a watch

1.Put rice into container and wash couple of times with tap water.
Soak rice for, Spring or Summer 2-3 hours, Autumn or Winter 4-6 hours.
Before soaking

After soaking

3. Put the container in microwave with lid slightly screwed. Don't lock tightly but leave a little space so that steam can escape. CONTAINER MAY EXPLODE!!!

4. Microwave 3-5min till water is boiling and rice is dancing. Let it dance for 1min then please turn off.

You can see my laundries but kindly ignore, LOL!

5. Let it cook itself 10-20min.

6. Check if rice is absorbing water and getting bigger. And microwave again till water is boiling, 1-2min.

5. Let it cook itself 10-20min, with lid closed.

Check if the rice fully cooked. If still too hard to eat, add some water and microwave till boiling, maybe 30sec, and let it cook for another 10min.

Please use a container or pot that has lid. Rice require some pressure. for cooking.

Some web page recommends longer cooking in microwave but that's not necessary. Just microwave till boiling and let it cook itself. Over boiling with microwave only makes rice harder and inedible.

Bon Appetit!


Calorie and Calorie break down counting

May not work for everybody.... BUT Honestly I will say, 6 meals a day, and eat till 60% of fullness is enough solution for losing weight.

Even you eat McDonald or chocolate or greasy fried chicken, eat just to enough to appease your hunger. Don't eat till you're fully satisfied or your stomach is full or bloating.

With this strategy, I lost 15% of body fat, from 33% to 17% in four months. I did one hour brisk walking everyday and some strength workout every other day along with this. But eating small portion meals is the key for me.

I know there's a lot of controversies around 6 meals day but I'm just talking about my experience, Okay?

However, when you're very obese or have a sweet tooth to extreme point you cannot control the portion with will power.  Like every time you eat, you tend to eat till you're completely full, YOU MAY NEED DIFFERENT STRATEGY.

It's a little cumbersome, but please try to learn your ideal meal size by understanding your ideal calorie intake.

This page will help you how.

But applying your ideal calorie and nutrient ratio to real food is really difficult. I've found a good site that does all for you.

fat secrete web is another diet site but this counts every food you input and generate total calorie and macro nutrient ratio.

This is my favorite dish, Steamed Quinoa with mix veggie, mushroom, shirataki and Egg white omelette. It's very easy to cook, rich in fiber and protein. But how do I tell its calorie and macro nutrient ratio.

When you keep diary at fat secrete web, they have a menu that let you select food, stuck them and they will count the calorie and macro nutrient ratio.

So one serving of my favorite dish has, 157kcal, Protein 30%, Carb 59%, Fat 11%.

Cool, I like protein strong food! This dish helps me gain muscles!

You can register your favorite dish or favorite mix of protein shake, and check daily intake, whether you're meeting calorie budget and hitting the good macro nutrient ratio.

You do not need to do this every time. But please try to check your favorite food you often eat, so that you know your portion.

fat secrete web user interface is rather strange but you will get used to it if you register couple of meals. It's much easier than excel spreadsheet.

Happy Cooking!


How much you should eat a day for losing weight?

First please read this site, http://scoobysworkshop.com/caloriecalculator.htm

Scooby1961 has all answers you need. But here's my little summary.
Please know your ideal meal portion size or daily calorie intake and plan your nutrition well!

1. Please calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR), BMR is a calorie size just to keep you alive. You do nothing all day long, just breath, sleep.

Male: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight) + ( 5 x height ) - ( 6.8 x age)
Female: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight ) + ( 1.8 x height ) - ( 4.7 x age)

I use metric here. Scooby has a calculator that accepts imperial and metric.

My BMR is 1224kcal, I need to eat at least 1224kcal to stay alive!


2. Please calculate your ideal meal calorie based on your activity level.

Activity level is your total hours or fitness exercises. It doesn't matter cardio or lifting. Just total hours of fitness workouts. Intensity of exercise is out of scope in this calculation.

  1. 1-3hours BMR x 1.3
  2. 3-5hours BMR x 1.5
  3. 6-7hours BMR x 1.7
  4. more than 7hours BMR x 1.9

I do 1 hour cardio everyday, 30min strength workout 4 times a week,  so 7 hour cardio and 2 hour strength workout, total is 9hours. My activity level is  4 (1.9).

So my ideal calorie with fitness activity is, 1244kcal x 1.9 =2326 kcal

This is Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). With 2326kcal, I have enough energy to stay alive and do workouts.

3. To lose weight, I need to take away few calorie from TDEE so that my body will start to use the extra fat on my belly to stay alive and do workout!

Ideal weight loss plan is 10-20%. If you take away 25%, it's dangerous and not recommended.

TDEE(2326kcal) x  20% = 456kcal  TDEE(2326kcal)-456kcal=1860kcal

So with 9hour of workout and 0.4kg weight loss projection per week, I can eat 1860kcal.

Don't worry. Scooby's fat loss calculator does all this calculation. I'm just showing you what it's doing behind.

Now I know my daily calorie intake,  let's divide by number of meals per day.

I stick to 6 meals a day, so I divide by 6. If you take more meals or less meals, just adjust so.

1860kcal divided by 6 = 310kcal  My one meal must have 310kcal.

Now how many protein/carb/fat can I have? This is a difficult question to answer as everyone react differently to protein/carb/fat ratio. This is called macro nutrient ratio.

General recommended ratio is protein 20%, carb 60%, fat 20%. Try with this ratio first.

So my meal will be;

Daily intake 1860kcal, protein 372kcal(93g), carb 1116kcal(279g), fat 372kcal(41g)

Per meal 310kal, protein 62kcal(15g), carb 186kcal(46g), fat 62kcal(6g)

A very important fact for calculation, 
One gram of pure protein and carb have 4kcal, fat has 9kcal.

Now let's translate these number to real food. THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART!

I will eat oatmeal and drink non fat milk for my meal, here's how I calculate. You know your numbers. Now read the nutrition label and check if the food is meeting your numbers.


I'm just using Kroger oatmeal as sample. Just check the nutrition label of whatever food you're planning to eat.

This oatmeal one serving has 140 Calories (Protein3g/Carbs26g/Fat2.5g), but I will eat 2 servings  280kcal (Protein6g/Carbs52g/Fat5g).

I'm above carb (ideal 46g / actual 52g) , below fat(ideal 6g /actual 5g). But these are tiny, so let's not bother.

But I definitely need more protein,  this oatmeal has only 6g but I need 15g! Where will I get extra protein??? Protein is really important for me.

How about this?

1 cup of Nonfat milk has 80kcal, protein 8.35g, carb 11.86g, fat 0.44g. 

Two serving of Kroger oat meal has,  280kcal, protein 6g, carbs 52g, fat 5g.

Combining these, 360kcal, protein 14.5g, carb 63g, fat 5.44g.

My ideal meal is 310kal, protein 62kcal(15g), carb 186kcal(46g), fat 62kcal(6g).

So I'm over budget on calorie (ideal 310kcal / actual 360kcal),  carb (ideal 46g / actual 63g). But I'm very good with protein (ideal 15g / actual 14.5g) and fat (ideal 6g / actual 5g)

Perhaps you can drink lesser calorie protein shake, or decrease the amount of non fat milk.
Please do not try to do this perfectly. YOU WILL GO CRAZY!!!

As long as you're not exceeding calorie budget too much, and meeting protein budget, it is not a big deal.

This is a very tedious process and very brain crunching. But please do this several times so that you know what your ideal portion is.

Scooby's fat loss calculator gives your ideal calorie intake and macro nutrient size. You either follow his meal plan faithfully, chicken, broccoli, brown rice, flax oil.

Or do the tedious process I am showing here.

When a persona trainer or a dietitian make a plan for you, they just do this calculation and modify according to your personal needs or difference.

Now, would you like to pay 100US$ for this? Or would you rather do this by yourself?

I would definitely do this myself. It's complicated but I would rather keep the money for something nicer.

And Scooby has much easier plan for you, just go 1-2-3 plan.

My suggestion is to divide your current meals into six. And eat one meal just enough to appease hunger, not till you're full, maybe 60%-80% of fullness.

Actually, I don't really count calories and I've got my abs with 60% fullness plan, not from calorie counting.

I hope this will be helpful for you. Thanks for reading a long document.

Calculation used in this page are based on Harris-Benedict equation. Please read the details here.


Exercising with elbow pain!

I had a tennis elbow on this June(2011) from climbing over hang walls. I tried same climbing problem again and again, and developed a sharp pain in my elbows.

I went to see a doctor and he said, "It's a typical tennis elbow. Just stay away from climbing or bodybuilding, and try to rest your arms as much as possible".

And yes, I did rest my arms for 2 months. It was boring but no other choice.

Is that all you can do when you have elbow pain???

Elbow pain is caused by over-use, or over-training of your elbow. So don't try to work out more, pain will get worse and worse.

Some folks may think making your elbow strong but that is totally wrong.


Then, what can we do instead? Please look from different angle.

Scooby1961 has a lot of nice videos that show you how to make your arms bigger without harming your elbows.

If you want bigger arms, do triceps workout, not biceps. Triceps are bigger muscles than biceps. And biceps workouts like dumbbell curls is very isolated movement with small muscle group, so that it will put more tension on your elbow and, VOILA, tennis elbow!

So what can you do?

Triceps kickback. This exercise does not put stress on your elbow but trains your triceps well.

Skull Crusher with EZ bar works your triceps well and very shoulder elbow friendly. EZ bar does rid of extra tension from wrists and elbows. Please think of getting one. 

Side raise may not give you enough pump if you are used to doing dumbbell fly or lateral raise. But holding your elbows tight does not put tension on elbows. Good exercise when you have elbow pain. This will give you bigger arms and shoulders!

There are other good tips from Scooby, so please check his Working Around Injury.

So although I rested my elbows for 2 months, I did my workouts with Scooby's advice. No muscle loss but more on arms and shoulders :-)

Dumbbell curl is a good workout but don't over do it. Don't be a curl monkey!  Over training causes injury and muscle loss.

And, when you workout, try to train related muscle group evenly. Like train your biceps and triceps, or quad and hamstring.  For the health of muscles, it is important to keep all the muscles in balance. Having huge quads and spindly little hamstrings is a recipe for knee problems. Same applies to other muscles. 

Injury is very demoralizing, physically and mentally painful. So before working out, please learn and relearn the workout program, try to imitate good forms, and listen well to your teacher.

And even when you are injured, there's always a workaround. 

If doctor tells you no workout at all, you can still read books and internet to workout your brain :-)

Actually brain is the BIGGEST muscle. Please train more! 


Skinfold caliper measurement for women

Scooby has a video and web page of skinfold caliper body fat measurement for men but not for women yet.

So in the meantime, please refer the video below.

You can also use tape measure for body fat calculation at the this site but it's very less accurate.

What are the guidelines for percentage of body fat loss?

Please read the detail at www.acefitness.org/

BodyRock TV Zazuna also has a web page of her measurement.

How do we look like at what body fat%?

I guess women look best around 18-20%. But as we get older, we need more muscles and less fat, so that our skin is tight enough. So for me, 17-15% is ideal.

My measurement is Tricep 12cm, Suprailiac 10cm, Thigh 17cm.

I am 46 years old now, 52kg(114lbs). 159cm(5.21ft) and 17.92% as of 03sep11

Some thoughts on aerobic vs anaerobic...

It amazes me always that so many folks dislike moderate cardio and easily jump to "Super intense 3min workout".

I thought you want to lose weight, lose fat, get ripped. What on earth are you doing?

I never liked long tedious cardio before I started Scooby's home workouts. But now I love moderate cardio better than anything. In fact, I like it better than lifting or climbing!

Anaerobic exercises like lifting cause lactic acid buildup and really make you tired. This is a good fatigue for muscle growth.

Aerobic exercises, or cardio is a moderate workout that does not cause lactic acid buildup and you can workout longer. The purpose of cardio is not strength building but to make heart stronger.

With bigger heart, you take in greater amounts of oxygen and deliver it more deeply in the body.

We rely on aerobic metabolism to fuel almost all our body's needs for energy when we are sleeping, working in office, studying or doing everyday activities. With oxygen rich body, you can expect better aerobic metabolism, or better afterburn effect.

But if you choose too intense cardio, you may get a good lactic acid buildup, feel good fatigue and FEEL LIKE YOU'VE DONE A GREAT EXECISE but actually it's just another anaerobic exercises.

Then do more lifting! Burpees do not give you bigger muscles!

High Intense cardio does have its benefits but please keep heart beat rate in 50-85%. And please study why this is so important!

You want bigger muscles? Do lifting!
Bigger heart that burns more fat? Do moderate cardio!


Leg raises with chairs,,,

I borrowed Scooby's chair dip idea and do leg raises. It's a very effective exercise for lower abs.

A little advanced but very good exercise you can do at home!


No time to do cardio???

I like doing cardio outside, walking or jump rope. But sometimes I have to do it at home, like when it rains or too windy or too busy....

What do I do? After my usual strength workouts, I just step up and down on a small stool for 20min. I'm already warmed up enough from my strength workouts, so my heart beat rate is elevated enough and I just keep it in 50-85% of maximum, aka fat burning zone.  

Please refer what good cardio is at scoobyworkshop.com.


My carb cycling experiment 17jul11 to 23jul11

I tried Scooby's carb cycling from 17jul11-23jul11 and here is my result.


I just tried 1 cycle, 3 low carb day and 1 hi carb day and I was seeing a huge drop in my body fat, so I stopped.

I'm pretty happy around 17% and do not wish to go any lower. I guess women's 17% is equivalent to men's 7%.

Anyway, as for me, Scooby's carb cycling did rip fat like a knife and I will do this again when I'm competing or some photo shooting.

But this diet requires very thorough planning. You have to make sure you can prepare all the meals beforehand and every meal has to meet your daily calorie/macro nutrient budget.

It's not easy and not suitable for beginners, especially those who just want to lose weight and just be healthy.

If you just want to lose extra fat around your belly, please start with Scooby's 1-2-3 plan.


My goals for 2011

Here are my goals for 2011:
    1. Better obliques and valleys on my abs
    2. On sight climbing at 5.11
    3. Red point at 5.12
    4. Get another woman to BF less than 20%
    5. Make self-introduction in Russian language

Introduce more of Scooby's fitness program and philosophy in Japan :-)