Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Malaysian Challenge - 08/12/09

So I used the weekend to recover and kicked back into the regime yesterday. The run has been good, we're doing 12 sets now, and finish off the ab excersises in the park as well. Sweating buckets would be an understatement in this weather.

One thing that has suffered though is my weights. Spending the morning on the run and ab sets, and especially since I am using the rest of the time with mates and family has meant I've not done any weights since getting in. Need to remedy that at some point this week.

But what about the key point, the eating you say? Well here is how the day is typically panning out:

Breakfast : Weetabix with low fat milk. You are able to have any wholegrain cereal with low fat milk and always double check the sugar content. A lot of the cereals in Malaysia are sugar heavy, even stuff like the shredded wheat which tends to be the American variety which has a lotta corn syrup.

Snack 1: Dried fruit, nuts, green tea etc. This is stuff that is not hard to find, is cheap and you can have on the go or in the office.

Lunch: Challenge starts here. I have been able to tackle this by always just ordering meat and veg, even when at a mamak, which gets me odd looks but hey, who cares. If you're an office rat, you could always pack a meal rather than go out and eat. You both save dosh and can control what you have.

Other options can be getting just some char siew (roast pork) and some vegetables, sashimi, or even KFC and have it with the skins off.

If you really need to have rice, try and score some brown rice.

Snack 2: Fruit, fruit, fruit. There is no excuse in Malaysia, there is an abundance of fruit.

Dinner: Most people have this at home on a weekday so really you can prep something healthy no issue. I've been having a lotta stuff like egg, chicken or lean beef.

Snack 3: Green tea.

So yeah, let's see how the rest of the week pans out.


Saturday, 5 December 2009

Stopped In My Tracks

SO there I was, all excited about kicking off the regime, and I found myself falling sick. Could be the sudden change in climate, or the KL air (not the cleanest, though never thought it could be worse than London's, guess it is), what it's meant is me taking the weekend off to sort out the jet lag and feel better.

I am however sticking to the eating regime fine (had a lotta raisins, seafood, green tea and water yesterday) and today have had eggs for breakfast, smoked salmon and fat trimmed bacon pan fried with no oil for lunch. In between has been spent on snacking on nuts and dried fruit.

Monday will see me getting back to the regime as per normal, and also making more of an effort to prove that you can eat well even when faced with typical Malaysian food.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Malaysian Challenge - Day 1

After wrapping up the 6 week challenge, and seeing the amazing effects it had, I mused with Samantha about the viability of doing the same thing if one was in Malaysia, our hometown. Like most Asian countries, the diet is carb heavy and people tend to eat out A LOT. Eating healthy can often times mean a higher shopping budget, or expensive meals out.

So I told Sam I would try and prove that it could be done ( of course with the person making certain lifestyle choices, figured one would if one had a goal in mind) on normal Malaysian food and without the need for resorting to expensive options as much as one would think.

I will also be keeping to the 6 day a week exercise regime as per usual.

I'm out here for almost 4 weeks, so here it goes:

Weetabix x 2 with low fat milk
Green tea

Grilled chicken breast with prawns and garden vegetables.

Green Tea

Dried apricots
Green tea

2 pork ribs
Baby kailan with garlic
Sweet potato leaves with garlic
Yam basket chicken pieces
2 tablespoons of noodles with pork

Green tea.

Friday, 20 November 2009

12 Weeks In

Arivind: So it's looking like after 12 weeks of keeping to the regime, but with an increased interval run, I've maintained what I achieved after 6 weeks. Sam however, who's been a little more lax with the routine and fully returned to eating all kind of carbs has noticed a bit of side blubber returning.

So really now, the question is FHM, how and what do we increase to stop the development from hitting this plateau?

Friday, 30 October 2009


Hey all,

So we've been keeping up with it, of course with the added intervals in the run and soon we're gonna add a further 2 intervals, thus taking the run to 12 minutes.

Diet wise, we're sticking to it. It's funny, the rare occasion in the last few weeks that we've had anything with white carb or loaded with sugar, it's not been as great as we used to remember. I had a chocolate brownie sundae the other day as a treat and I could not get to the end of it.

Plus, protein just fills you up real well, keeps you going. White carbs just seems to get us hungrier faster. Guess that's proof.

I'll have another comparision photo up soon as I think there's been further progress, but we'll see what you all think when we load em' up.

Till then, keep on working!


Thursday, 22 October 2009

What's new?

Arivind: Well since wrapping up on the 6 weeks, we've kept going really. We're introduced 2 more sets of sprint/jog into the run, meaning it totals 11 minutes now. I am still keeping rigidly to the eating pattern though Sam is a little more relaxed about it.

I guess we'll probably post the progress with another picture come another 6 weeks or so.

The next challenge will be in December when we are both on holiday in Malaysia. The diet and food there is all about carbs, I will be keeping a food diary and blogging daily to prove that you can keep a pretty carb-free diet in an Asian country and run the challenge there as well!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Week 6, Day 6 : AND WE'RE DONE! :)

So here you go, un-Photoshopped pictures of us today, on the last day of the challenge, and what we looked like 6 weeks before:



Verdict: We are both noticeably leaner, fitter and more toned, whoop! HOWEVER, we are definitely not anywhere near marble-carved statue dude in the article who, if you remember, looks like this:

So FHM, sorry but whilst we are thrilled that you have made us both more sculpted you are still found officially guilty of exaggeration in the name of catchy headlines. Bad, bad mag! *slaps you on wrist*

In our humble opinion, the plan is actually a good one but 6 weeks is a severe underestimation of the time it takes to truly change your physique. Even at 5 times a week, 6 weeks means only a grand total of 30 workout sessions- does anyone out there really believe that a 6-pack, which you never possessed before, will suddenly pop out like an alien growth out of your middle after you exercise 30 times? Not unless you're on a hardcore course of protein supplements and/or steroids it won't. Sure, the pair of us are already seeing some very encouraging ab definition, but we believe it will take at least a couple of hundred sessions more before Arivind gets so dramatically cut he can pass for an Indian Ken doll. Perhaps "6 months + 6 steps = 6 pack", or even 1 year, would have been closer to the truth.

Furthermore, the article does not specify what physical condition it assumes you to be in when you start- we are both young, pretty fit, have previous experience with jumping about and know a thing or two about what's nutritious or not, and even then the results have been far subtler than claimed. What if the reader taking on this challenge had been a naive beer-gutted porker with a fondness for doughnuts whose idea of exercise is walking to the fridge? Yes, the public should be smarter than that, but we're guessing FHM's (and most magazines') headlines are aimed at the stupid ones. Tsk tsk, the shame!

Having said that, we both love the results thus far and fully intend to carry on beyond these 6 weeks (Sam: I am AGHAST at how dumpy I looked in my Before picture now that I have something to compare to, check out the saddlebags! Arivind: In all the time I spent in the gym prior to this challenge, I never saw improvement as rapid as I have seen on my core in the 6 weeks just past). There will be no more tedious business of a daily food diary, but at least one of us will blog roughly on a weekly basis so we can see how things pan out in 6 months time. We will also up the difficulty of the exercises and give a go at doubling the interval training (40 seconds sprint, 20 seconds jog etc), so that our progress doesn't plateau.

Most amusingly, our Before/After pictures have been impressive enough to convince Arivind's younger brother Rohan (who spent the last 6 weeks poking fun at our dietary restrictions and rigid workout schedule) to join us! He is a bit beer-gutted and doughnut loving himself, so it will be interesting to see how long he sticks to it :)

To FHM- we'd love to hear your thoughts, even if it's to find fault in how we interpreted/executed your plan. Do we get any sort of reward for our efforts? :)

Sam & Arivind

Final Day Meal Plan

Breakfast (7.35am):
Half an orange
1 piece of wholemeal toast, lightly buttered
1 small glass orange juice*

11.20am: 1 cup decaf green tea

Lunch (1.30pm):
2 slices of wholemeal bread
6 thin slices of German sausage
1 tbsp non-fat cottage cheese
Homemade chilli paste
Handful of almonds
1 glass orange juice*
2 squares of dark chocolate

Snack (4.30pm):

6.50pm: 1 cup decaf green tea

Dinner (7.40pm):
3 chargrilled chicken drumsticks, skinless
Carrots, broccoli and cauliflower


Breakfast (11.40am):
Sip of orange juice*
1 egg, bit of brown rice and 3 thin slices of German sausage

Lunch (1.00pm):
2 rye crispbreads
1 baby avocado and bits of smoked salmon
1 mango

Snack (3.15pm):

Handful of almonds
1 apple
1 small slice of wholemeal bread with bits of smoked salmon

Dinner (7.40pm):
1 cup decaf green tea
3 chargrilled chicken drumsticks
Carrots, broccoli and cauliflower

9.45pm: 1 cup decaf green tea

*All juices are 100% not-from-concentrate, no sugar added.