So I was like,
“Hey Kevin! Congratulations on your Mr Singapore win man!”
“*gasping for air* Thanks a lot Wee Kiat. *gasp gasp* How may I help you?”
“Can I drop by your gym and get some training and competition tips from you?”
“Sure. Call me *breathes* before you drop by.”
“Thanks man! Err… Are you alright?”
“Yea. *gasp* I’m… doing *gasp* cardio.”
So at six weeks out from Mr Kuala Lumpur, I took bus 151 to Kevin’s gym, Fitness Force.
There’s Marcus Fam, the most muscular physical education teacher you can find in Singapore.
“Pretty boy” Max Lin, junior champ.
Ibrahim bin Sihat. Still very sihat (sihat means healthy, my dear non-Malay speaking readers).
And Singapore’s very own Mr Universe, Azman Abdullah!
So, as this post continues, I’ll be writing lessons and tips that I’ve learnt from training with Kevin and include some photos in between too.
Lesson #1 Know Your Weaknesses
From the words of Mr Singapore, Kevin Chiak, “Your upper chest is your weakness. If you focus on building your upper chest to balance your lower chest, you’ll be able to train it harder as a whole later.” What does he mean? You’re only as strong as your weakest point. So, for example, if I want to improve my bench press, I must improve my upper chest which has limited my ability to bench. Plus, a better upper chest could help me improve the look of my “cleavage”.
Instead of the normal straight sets, Kevin made me do ten half reps at the bottom of the range of motion and then five full reps. That’s a killer set! I was merely benching 50kg instead of my usual 90kg and it felt more intense!
Lesson #2 Target Effective Ranges
For every exercise, there’s a part of the range of motion which stimulates more muscle fibres, and the right ones too. For the machine bench press, it’s the bottom half. Do this to stimulate pectoral muscles and limit triceps involvement.
Next, we moved on to Smith Machine Decline Bench Press. Again, Kevin put me through ten half reps at the bottom of the range of motion followed by five full reps.
Lesson #3 Decline Dumbbell Flys
Decline dumbbell flys can be real good chest stretchers. So,
Warning: Start With Light Dumbbells!
How should you do it? Lower the dumbbell like normal flys, but let it go back, more towards your head and away from the body. The light weights also allows you to go low to really stretch the chest. So, get low, get low, get low!
After that, it’s time for cable crossovers!
I was very honest with Kevin, cause if the exercise was not done right, I’m just wasting my time. And at first, I didn’t feel the effects of the cable crossovers in my chest. I told Kevin about it. And Kevin helped me fix the problem.
O wait, that counts as a lesson.
Lesson #4 Be Honest With Your Personal Trainer
If you can’t feel the stress of the exercise on the right muscles, then it’s best to fix it right from the start. If you’re not training under a personal trainer, ask someone who is experienced in weight training. E.g. Fabodylous. 🙂
Next, we move on to another body part which I wanted to improve – biceps! We started with dumbbell hammer curls.
I found out what I have been doing wrong all this time – range of motion. So, let’s learn
Lesson #5 Biceps Training
When doing curls, bring your elbows forward at the end of the movement so that you could lift the weights higher and give your biceps a fuller range of motion and stronger contraction at the end.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done hammer curls. Should have added it in my routine. The hammer curls trains the brachialis, which is this muscle and it really makes your arms look damn good from the side.
We move on to spider curls. When Kevin said that we’ll be doing spider curls, I was like, “What?! But this exercise is uncomfortable and feels weird.”
And he replied,
Lesson #6 Comfort
“Good. Then the more reasons we should do it. When training, the less comfortable you feel with an exercise, the more it’ll stimulate your muscles with an unknown stress. So come, get ready for discomfort!”
“What the dumbbell?! Fine fine. Let’s do it.”
Then, we move on to overhead cable curls. This one did not pump much lactic acid into my muscles (that’s the reason for the pain you feel when you weight train, guys), but it did stimulate every fibre in my biceps until I could barely inch the weight.
Lesson #7 High Reps
And just in case you’re wondering, Kevin put me through sets of fifteen reps. Pretty high. But it was a killer! The next day, I had problems changing clothes cause my chest hurt like a fat lady danced on it. Had to take several servings of Xtend to help me recover. So don’t think that only heavy, low-rep training stimulates muscle growth. Follow a high rep routine and other lessons from this post, and feel the pain the next day!
Ok, so we’re done with the training session. After a discussion with Kevin about my Mr Kuala Lumpur preparation, what do we do next? Camwhore!!
Anyway, the workout with Kevin zapped so much energy from me.
P.s. Let me introduce you to the “Share on Facebook” button, which you can find at the end of every post. I just added it. What it does is by clicking it, you can share that post/article on your Facebook wall with your friends. So if you think that a post is worth sharing with your friends, please do.