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!

The John Wick

Like Keanu Reeves, this workout is one for all occasions and goes well with anything: as a quick warmup or a nice session ending cool down workout, as a quick time filler in between, or if performed at the highest intensity, even as a standalone workout itself. You can even upgrade it by going for alternating lunge jumps instead of regular lunges, for even more heartpumping fun!

  • Level: White Belt
  • Focus: Endurance, Speed
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
10 Burpees 20 Burpees 10 Burpees
10 Situps 20 Situps 10 Situps
10 Lunges 20 Lunges 10 Lunges

Give it a try and post your time and comments!

The Kyle Reese

Five rounds with only a small number of repetitions in each round let you go all out as if your life (or that of all mankind, as in the case of Terminator’s Kyle Reese) depends on it. So seize the moment, use your rest periods well and come out guns ablaze in every round!

  • Level: White Belt
  • Main Focus: Endurance, Speed
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
7 Pushups 7 Pushups 7 Pushups 7 Pushups 7 Pushups
7 Squats 7 Squats 7 Squats 7 Squats 7 Squats
7 Situps 7 Situps 7 Situps 7 Situps 7 Situps
2x 20m Shuttle Run 2x 20m Shuttle Run 2x 20m Shuttle Run 2x 20m Shuttle Run 2x 20m Shuttle Run
REST: 20 deep breaths REST: 20 deep breaths REST: 20 deep breaths REST: 20 deep breaths

Try it and post your time and feedback in the comments!

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.