No pain, no gain.

I am sore all over today! Worked my Biceps and Triceps yesterday, and now it hurts to move my arms! And my abs, back and shoulders are still sore from the previous workouts, making laughter and sneezing painful activities. I am not a masochist, but I bear it because I know that in the long run I am training my body to be stronger and more resilient to all sorts of ailments. Some people think that training to the point that you’re sore is obsessive and unnatural, but if you understand the science behind muscle-building and the long term benefits then you start to realise that this is necessary for those aiming to be as healthy as they can possibly be.

My weight has fluctuated over the past few years. I have cycled between feeling fat and unhealthy to being hassled for being “too thin”. The irony is that my body fat was within the normal range, but I was underweight and had no muscle mass to speak of. I would go back to over-eating in an attempt to ward off criticisms regarding my skinny appearance, but then felt miserable and low in energy as a result.

My goal is to build lean muscle, so that I can be fit and strong without appearing emaciated. At the moment my body fat is not super low, which is fine with me. Muscle is what I’m after, so I’m not going to stress about body fat percentages for the time being (N.B. this doesn’t mean I think it’s okay to have too much body fat – I am well within the healthy range and since health is my priority it’s all good). Muscle is so metabolic (i.e. fat-burning) that people tend to find that when they focus on muscle-building their body fat naturally falls into a healthy range (provided they aren’t dining out at KFC every night).

Yesterday’s killer workout:

Bicep Curls (lying against a slightly inclined bench to ensure that momentum wasn’t doing the work for me) – Set 1: Right arm – 6 x 5kgs; Left arm – 5 x 6kgs (just couldn’t do that last rep) each arm; Set 2: 10 x3kgs each arm; Set 3: 10 x 4kgs

Overhead Triceps Extensions – Set 1: 10 x 3kgs each arm; Set 2: (switched to using 2 arms holding one dumbbell as the one-armed hurt my joints and was harder to control) 10 x 4kgs); Set 3: 10 x 5kgs

Hammer Curls – Set 1: 10 x 3kgs each arm; Set 2: 10 x 5kgs; Set 3: 10 x 5kgs

Triceps Kickbacks – Set 1: 10 x 4kgs; Set 2: 10 x 4kgs; Set 3: 10 x 4kgs

Triceps dips – Set 1: 10 reps; Set 2: 10 reps; Set 3: 10 reps

And today’s leg-training sesh:

Sumo Squats – Set 1: 10 x 7.5kgs; Set 2: 10 x 10kgs; Set 3: 10 x 12.5kgs

Stationary Dumbbell Lunges – Set 1: 10 x 5kgs each side; Set 2: 10 x 7.5kgs; Set 3: 10 x 7.5kgs

Quad Extensions – Set 1: 10 x 35kgs; Set 2: 8 x 35kgs; Set 3: 8 x 35kgs

Calf Raises – Set 1: 10 x 5kgs each side; Set 2: 12 x 7.5kgs; Set 3: 12 x 7.5kgs (all these sets were way too easy, so I’ll need to seriously increase my weight next week)

Hamstring Curls – Set 1: 10 x 10kgs; Set 2: 10 x 12.5kgs; Set 3: 8 x 12.5kgs

On the food front, some interesting creations:

Chocolate Protein Pudding

  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used vanilla whey)
  • ½ cup mashed sweet potato or pumpkin or a mixture of the two
  • ½ cup fat-free yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • ½ tsp each xantham and guar gum
  • 3-4 small ice cubes

  1. Chuck all the ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth.
  2. Tastes great with 1 tbsp peanut butter mixed in!

Post workout:

Chocolate Pumpkin Oatmeal

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • Tbsp wheat bran
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • About ¼ cup pumpkin
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
  • Big tbsp cocoa powder
  1. Cook everything except the pumpkin, protein powder and cocoa, then stir them in once the oatmeal is cooked. Add more water if necessary.
  2. I chucked it back in the MW for 30 seconds or so to reheat and make the cocoa powder melt (I know it’s better not to cook the protein powder but it tasted so much better).


A whole load of steamed mixed vegetables lightly mashed with 1 tsp olive oil and topped with 1 tin tuna cooked in ratatouille.

On a different note, we recorded strings on the album today! It’s so exciting to hear my songs with real strings and not synthesisers! I can’t wait to reveal the finished product!

Have a great evening and a healthful weekend!


2 responses to “No pain, no gain.

  • april

    I know it’s so weird because at my lowest weight, I looked “fatter” than I do now at a higher weight! Muscle is king!

    Mmm I love your easy recipes! The pudding sounds delish.. I used to be obsessed with chocolate pumpkin cookies!

  • themalikwhey

    Exactly! People can get so hung up on weight, and yet it’s totally irrelevant!

    And thanks, I’m glad you like the recipes! Chocolate and pumpkin is such a great (yet unlikely) combination!

    I also made your high protein pumpkin bread today, which was yummy – I’ll be writing about it in tomorrow’s post! Think I’m gonna try the bread pudding trick for breakfast…

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