Archives for January 2012

Tabata Intervals – My First Encounter

tabata intervalsI’ve done high intensity interval training (HIIT) before, but Wednesday was the first day I tried Tabata intervals.

I just want to say I understand why they are so effective – the experience was pretty intensive! 🙂


Tabata intervals are named after the Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata who first used the protocol. In the Tabata protocol,  you first exercise for 20 seconds at high intensity level (8/9 out of 10), followed by 10 seconds of low intensity exercise (4/10). This cycle is repeated 8 times without rest, so that the whole workout takes only 4 minutes.

The chosen exercise can be almost anything: running, jump roping, jumping jacks, burpees but also laying down cycles or donkey kicks will do.

High intensity interval training is the most effective way to improve aerobic (and anaerobic) fitness, and it’s presumably the most effective way to burn body fat. [Read more…]

Healthy Lifestyle Stress?

healthy lifestyle stress

Is your lifestyle making your life better?

Reading Lauren Brooks’ recent blog post titled “I’m Only Human” brought to my mind my own struggles with healthy living.

Supposedly we strive for a healthier lifestyle in order to make our lives better, but often we get the opposite effect.

If you’re interested in healthy living and weight loss (and aren’t living under a rock ), you must have noticed there are numerous healthy lifestyles to choose from these days: vegan, low carb/slow carb, raw food, paleo, primal, low fat, no-grain,  gluten free …. you name it!

Ain’t it cool: dozens of ways to make yourself lean and optimally healthy (if you just follow the dictates of the lifestyle).

Or alternatively, they can make your life miserable.


I have never suffered from an eating disorder, but I’m certainly prone to obsessing about food and health. If I happen to read a book about the advantages of a specific healthy lifestyle [Read more…]

How to Do Push Ups for Desk Jockeys

This post could also be named “How To Do a Push Up Without a 7-Day Headache!” 🙂

I’ve rarely seen it discussed anywhere, but I know I’m not the only one who suffers from this problem. I’m talking about how difficult it is to increase your upper body strength – in my case by training for military push ups – without igniting a week-long headache in the process.

I have had the same problem for ages and it has prevented me from effectively increasing my upper body strength. It was a big problem when I was still doing ashtanga yoga – I couldn’t stay long in downward dog (flexibility was no problem), not to speak of chaturangas – without my upper back neck and neck muscles knotting up in agony.

I suppose this is mainly a problem for desk jockeys who typically have tight pectorals and weak upper back muscles (and no core control).

In my case, every time I do push ups, the muscles in my upper neck tighten painfully and in the worst case, cause headaches or migraines. I perused my anatomy books yesterday and came to the conclusion that the culprit is probably the upper trapezius muscle that attaches to the skull – though why it gets overworked when I try to do push ups is a beyond me. [Read more…]

Fitness Goal Setting Tip – Don’t Fly Blind!

Photo credit: Flickr / stevenharris

I just learned a lesson in fitness goal setting.

For some reason I had forgotten how important it’s to track your progress toward your goal – and got reminded of it this week.

Like some of you may know, last October I set myself a goal of being able to do 10 consecutive military push ups by 31st May, 2012. I even had a plan on what I was going to do to reach my goal, but for some reason I forgot it’s equally important to track your progress toward the goal. (A really basic mistake!).

Because I had a rough few months at the end of the year, I had basically let my goal slide. – I did make several attempts to start training for the push ups last fall but I never seemed to get my act together. I think part of the problem was that I hated admitting I wasn’t doing very well, so every time I thought about having to do my push ups I just felt reluctant and a bit disgusted at myself. [Read more…]

Satu’s Official Full-Body-Licious Review

Flavia's Full-Body-Licious Fitness ProgramThis is my official review on Flavia’s Full-Body-Licious fitness program.

I purchased Flavia’s program in June because I liked the fact that it is specifically designed for women (There are plenty of fitness programs presumably meant for both sexes, but I think they are usually targeted for men rather than women).

The other reason for getting the program is Flavia’s well-sculpted but feminine body (the kind I wouldn’t mind having myself) and likeable personality. (I hope likeable is a real word….).

Like the name says, Flavia’s program is a full-body fitness program that consists of five weekly workouts. Each workout lasts about an hour, and you can either do the workouts in the gym using gym equipment (probably easier) or you can do them at home. If you do the program at home, you need at least the following equipment:

1.    resistance band (with handles)
2.    set of dumbbells
3.    an exercise ball
4.    piece of sturdy furniture you can step up on.

Flavia’s Full-Body-Licious Program – An Inside Peek

I made a short desktop video to show you what you get if you purchase Flavia’s program. There are a couple of short peeks into actual workouts.


My Experience with Flavia’s Program

Time for the pros and cons!

I did like Flavia’s program, but there was one thing that made it frustrating: my fitness level just wasn’t high enough. Even though I tried my best and modified the program to suit my level, I got tired of struggling with the workouts.

Eventually I called it quits and decided to get back to the program after my fitness level has improved– that’s probably after I’ve reached my 10 military push ups goal. 🙂

What I did like about Flavia’s program is that it’s well-rounded: it exercises every body part and you’re unlikely to get bored because each workout is different. Also, there were plenty of new movements I haven’t seen anywhere else. My favorite was the “dumbbell curtsy” aka Reverse Lunge Cross with DB Raise.

* Also,I love the fact that even though Flavia’s program is designed for women in mind it doesn’t mean it’s some easy peasy program for folks who just want to lie on the  floor and take it easy. *

In a nutshell:  Do you want a kick-butt workout that gives you a well-sculpted but feminine body? Click here to get Flavia’s program.