Laying it out there – my workouts

As mentioned in my last post, I still haven’t found any real sense of direction, style or purpose for this blog, so I’ve sat back and thought a bit about what might be valuable or interesting to other readers (because I know that a kind of exercise and food “diary” along the lines of what I have posted to date will hardly capture anyone’s interest for long).

So instead, I’m going to start posting the workout routines systematically and in sufficient detail for anyone of any fitness level to join me on this journey!

All workouts are named after fictional characters from movies and TV shows who exhibit exceptional physical fitness/toughness and a readiness to keep their heads down and just get the job done. They are loosely grouped by level of difficulty (from white belt to black belt), but make no mistake about it, if you push yourself to perform each workout as fast as possible, every one of them can and will be intense, regardless of your fitness level.

Ready? 🙂

Important note: Please keep my disclaimer in mind, especially:

Before starting any new diet and exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease

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Planning the Journey – The Roadmap

Right, so I’ve laid out some fairly lofty goals in my opening post. Basically, I intend to do no less than reverse the tide of time and become 18 again (in physical terms, mentally I quite like where I currently am, thank you very much…). So where and how would I start going about that?

Strength and Conditioning

As a family man with a full time job, time is of these essence. So there isn’t time for extended 5 hour cycling tours or 2 hours in the gym pumping iron, I need efficiency. Therefore, my major training modus operandi will be high intensity (interval) training, commonly known as HIT or HIIT. I will mainly put my own workouts together, and tinker and change them up until they are the perfect blend of efficiency, effectiveness and (yes, also) fun.

Flexibility/Mobility

My background in martial arts has equipped me with an above average flexibility, however I have not given flexibility the focus it deserves in recent years. My weapon of choice to remedy this is Yoga. I am a complete newbie at this and will thus strictly follow the instructions of my (virtual) instructor: Tara Stiles.

My joint mobility deficiency is mainly concentrated around my ankle area (according to my own self-diagnosis), so in addition to practicing yoga, I’ll try and focus specifically on improving the range of motion of my ankle joints.

Nutrition

I have zero intention of going on any fad diets, or any diet at all. Rather, I just want to be more selective about the things that go into my body, to eat and drink clean. Don’t expect any calorie counting or such practices here, just as you won’t find me condemning fat, or carbs, or XYZ, but do expect to find out why I do eat what I do, and then judge for yourself!

Ok, so this is the outline of how I want to go about this lofty goal, you can call this my map to the destination Fit2Function-Ville. Let’s see if it will lead me there!

What is the Journey about?

I like to think of myself as having been a relatively active teenager: a black belt in TaeKwon-Do, captain of my school’s swimming team, and also a member of various other school teams such as football and volleyball (with varying degrees of success). I’ve always liked good food, and there is no better place for such than Singapore, so even in those days I was hardly carved out like your average Greek statue, but fit and content with my abilities and the level I could perform at.

Fast forward 15 years, and a few things have changed. It’s been close to 10 years since I last practiced TaeKwon-Do with any seriousness. It’s been almost 8 years since I started working a desk job. And it’s soon coming to two years that I became a father…so the only thing that hasn’t changed is that I still love good food.

As much as I have tried to stem the tide (I haven’t gone full couch potato), this gradual lifestyle shift has left its marks. I’m a good 5-7kg above ideal weight, I can’t run for longer than 10-15 minutes without my knees yelling at me to stop, I’ve lost significant mobility and flexibility across multiple joints and planes of motion…the list goes on.

I could throw in the towel and accept that life’s priorities have changed – or that leaving bum prints on my couch for the next generation is the more worthy goal to pursue – but that’s not my style. Instead, I intend to tackle the problem(s) head on:

  1. Lose some (dead) weight
  2. Regain previously lost levels of flexibility and joint mobility
  3. Work out any issues that prevent me from moving as I wish (e.g. knee pain on jogging)
  4. Increase endurance, resilience, balance and coordination, speed, strength and overall energy levels
  5. Eat right, eat clean

Simply losing weight is easy, just bring a good book and hit the cardio equipment for literally hours, several times a week. That would be a fairly lame journey to document!

The combination of all five goals however will require a more holistic and also individualistic approach. So that is what you will find here: my trials and errors, using myself as the guinea pig, on my path to reversing the effects of the last 15 years and attaining peak “everyday fitness”, and through this journey becoming fit to function.

The Jack Reacher

Like the man who can seemingly solve all problems, Jack Reacher, this workout targets various big muscle groups and gives you an excellent quick workout if you have limited time and space.

  • Level: Yellow Belt
  • Focus: Strength
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
25 Burpees 25 Burpees 25 Burpees 25 Burpees
10 Pullups 10 Pullups 10 Pullups 10 Pullups
20 Pushups 20 Pushups 20 Pushups 20 Pushups
30 Squats 30 Squats 30 Squats 30 Squats
REST: Take 20 deep breaths REST: Take 20 deep breaths REST: Take 20 deep breaths REST: Take 20 deep breaths

Try it out and let me know what you thought/felt!

The Frank Dux

Like Bloodsport’s Frank Dux, this workout looks like a nice guy on the outside, but is a real tough son of a gun on the inside. Power through all three rounds at full steam ahead and you’re ready to take on the Kumite!

  • Level: Green Belt
  • Focus: Strength, Speed, Resilience
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
15 Pullups 15 Pullups 15 Pullups
20 Burpees 20 Burpees 20 Burpees
50 Situps 50 Situps 50 Situps
15 Pushups 15 Pushups 15 Pushups
20 Burpees 20 Burpees 20 Burpees
2x 30m Shuttle Run 2x 30m Shuttle Run 2x 30m Shuttle Run
REST: Take 20 deep breaths REST: Take 20 deep breaths

Try it out and post your feedback!

The Sarah Connor

Like Terminator’s Sarah Connor, this workout is as tough as they get, especially when performed without any breaks and at relentless pace as if chased by the T800 itself!

  • Level: Yellow Belt
  • Focus: Endurance, Resilience, Core Strength
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
40 Jumping Jacks 40 Jumping Jacks 40 Jumping Jacks 40 Jumping Jacks 40 Jumping Jacks
30 Knee Kicks 30 Knee Kicks 30 Knee Kicks 30 Knee Kicks 30 Knee Kicks
20 Mountain Climbers 20 Mountain Climbers 20 Mountain Climbers 20 Mountain Climbers 20 Mountain Climbers
10 Roll Ups 10 Roll Ups 10 Roll Ups 10 Roll Ups 10 Roll Ups
Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 Round 10
40 Jumping Jacks 40 Jumping Jacks 40 Jumping Jacks 40 Jumping Jacks 40 Jumping Jacks
30 Knee Kicks 30 Knee Kicks 30 Knee Kicks 30 Knee Kicks 30 Knee Kicks
20 Mountain Climbers 20 Mountain Climbers 20 Mountain Climbers 20 Mountain Climbers 20 Mountain Climbers
10 Roll Ups 10 Roll Ups 10 Roll Ups 10 Roll Ups 10 Roll Ups

That’s right, 10 rounds! Are you ready? 🙂

The John Mason

Like the former British SAS soldier John Mason in The Rock, this workout might not look very tough, but don’t be fooled, treat this without the due respect and it will bring you to your knees. Make sure you have a good, even surface with sufficient space at both ends of your 30m sprint straight, so that you can go directly into the pushups after your dash without wasting time!

  • Level: White Belt
  • Focus: Endurance, Speed, Explosive Power
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
10 Tuck Jumps 10 Tuck Jumps 10 Tuck Jumps 10 Tuck Jumps
30m Sprint 30m Sprint 30m Sprint 30m Sprint
20 Pushups 20 Pushups 20 Pushups 20 Pushups
20 Jumping Lunges 20 Jumping Lunges 20 Jumping Lunges 20 Jumping Lunges
REST: Take 20 deep breaths REST: Take 20 deep breaths REST: Take 20 deep breaths

Try it out and let me know your time and thoughts!

The Jack Ryan

Done right, this workout can prepare you for anything, just as you would need to be if you were a deskbound CIA analyst suddenly thrown into the deep end of the spy world! All of the major muscle groups are targeted, and the short rest at the end of each round allows you to recover your composure and go all out time after time again!

  • Level: White Belt
  • Focus: Strength Endurance and Speed
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6
5 Pullups 5 Pullups 5 Pullups 5 Pullups 5 Pullups 5 Pullups
10 Pushups 10 Pushups 10 Pushups 10 Pushups 10 Pushups 10 Pushups
15 Situps 15 Situps 15 Situps 15 Situps 15 Situps 15 Situps
20 Squats 20 Squats 20 Squats 20 Squats 20 Squats 20 Squats
25 Knee Kicks 25 Knee Kicks 25 Knee Kicks 25 Knee Kicks 25 Knee Kicks 25 Knee Kicks
REST: Take 15 deep breaths REST: Take 15 deep breaths REST: Take 15 deep breaths REST: Take 15 deep breaths REST: Take 15 deep breaths REST: Take 15 deep breaths

Give it a try and tell me what you think!

The John Creasy

Like Man on Fire’s John Creasy, this workout can be gentle and mellow (excellently suited for a quick warmup before the real deal), or if necessary or desired, one tough SOB. If – and only if – you are properly warmed up, perform each round of jumping jacks as fast as possible (sub 30 seconds, anyone?), and not only will your heart go racing, but your shoulders will also remind you of a good session done the next day!

  • Level: White Belt
  • Focus: Endurance, Speed
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
50 Jumping Jacks 50 Jumping Jacks 50 Jumping Jacks 50 Jumping Jacks 50 Jumping Jacks
100m Sprint 200m Sprint 400m Sprint 200m Sprint 100m Sprint
REST: Take 10 deep breaths REST: Take 10 deep breaths REST: Take 10 deep breaths REST: Take 10 deep breaths REST: Take 10 deep breaths

Give it a go and let us know your time and feedback!