Tuesday, 08 July 2014 00:00

Who to avoid - - and who to emulate!

Judging from the reader feedback I've gotten so far, a LOT of you seem to enjoy my posts describing my workouts (and sometimes, life in general) in Southern China, and for those of you that enjoy that sort of thing, this note will be right up your alley.

For those that don't - - well, you might want to read it anyway - - if just for yet another reminder to avoid doing "bunny curls" at the gym, and so forth, hehe.

Anyway, I've been noticing a strange guy wheedling around the park on one of those "one wheeled cycles" that seem to be the rage for some people these days (though for the life of me I can't figure out why).

This guy looks like the epitome of the "roid crazed" bodybuilder I talk so much about - - shirt stretched tight over "puffed up (to the max)" pecs, huge arms, a broad upper back and legs that. . . well, legs that look rather like chicken legs compared to the rest of his "physique".

(and given that the bulk of the work they get is holding him up on the motorized tool he so proudly struts around on, music playing to the max, that isn't surprising, is it?)

Anyway, this dude whizzes around the local park quite a bit, and I've noticed him often after returning from my daily climb, usually just before I start part #2 of my workout. And a couple of days back, this dude stopped right by the monkey bars (where I was working out) and parked himself on a bench nearby, flexing his "massive" biceps as he did so, hoping to catch the passerby's attention with every pose he struck.

And catch their attention he did - - though not for the reasons he'd want. With his sunglasses, shaved head, massive upper body and stork like legs and music that blared nonstop through his phone - - and of course, his "one wheeled cycle", he WAS the center of attraction, but again, not for the reasons he'd want.

I mean, it was one of the ONLY times where I can remember breaking down laughing during a workout - - but more on that later.

Anyway, I noticed the dude "sizing" me up from a distance, and he was soon at the monkey bars, music in tow, preparing to do a set of pull-ups.

He grabbed the bars, and hung for a second or so, or what seemed like it.

And then, he proceeded to emit a set of curious sounds.

"UGGH! GRR!! MMMPPFFF" (all this before the actual pull-ups, mind you).

And then, he "jumped" up to the monkey bars, chest flopping around as he did so, and held himself there for a minute, furiously grunting and moaning as if he was trying to lift King Kong on his back.

(and just so you know, the sunglasses stayed on while he was "exercising").

Down a few inches, and up again. Down, and up. Down, and up. And then I heard a loud thud, as the "man mountain" fell down to the ground, much like the figurative ton of bricks, and furiously started flexing his biceps, and wiping imaginary sweat off his brow.

(and that, my friend, is saying a lot considering that the humidity levels here are over 90% - - not to mention the actual temperatures themselves - - I seem to start to drip with sweat even after a mild walk - - let alone a vigorous workout!)

Actually, I'm exaggerating when I say a "few inches". Those "massive arms" could barely go up and down more than TWO inches, if that, and that was the extent of his pull-ups before he moved on to the dipping bars.

The strange grunts emanated from him again, and he jumped up to the "top" position of the dip, and furiously held himself there, contorting his face, looking every bit like a gorilla that has bitten off more than it can chew.

But he never did a single dip.
A few seconds later, the contortions were replaced by a wide grin, and the dude  starts to "pedal" on the dipping bars, moving his legs slowly around, much like a dowager slowly cycling through the neighborhood market.

No - - I'm NOT kidding you - - that was his version of the "dip", and it was at that point that I burst out laughing - - hey, some things are too much for even yours truly to ignore, and laughter is good for health anyway!

After that he looked around, grinned at all the onlookers snickering behind him, and made his way down the path again, ruffling his "hair" (though he had none), and ogling all the women as he did so.

Sanity returned to the place for a while - - or at least until  he showed up again - - but that's a different story altogether!

Anyway, now that you guys have choked on your morning coffee (or evening brew of choice, hehe), here's something else I saw. Something that might inspire you - - at least, it did me.

A couple of afternoons ago, I was completing my daily stretches at the top of the hill, when a couple of ladies came over by me, one dressed in semi-formal office wear, and the other dressed smartly in a tank top, shorts and sports shoes. Green sports shoes, if I recall correctly. . .

I was going through my daily stretches - - the sort I described a few emails ago (visit http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/blog/item/172-reader-q-and-as for more details on the exact stretch) - - and the lady (the one in the sports attire) started her own routine.

And it was a simple enough routine, yet the ease with which this lady did it literally FLUMMOXED me - - and I mean every word of that sentence.

She stretched the way I mention in the above link - - but she did it while throwing her leg at least five inches or so above head height, and doing so as casually as you might pop a can of beer, for example.

And the stretches she did after that - - well, let me just say that I attempted to follow along and despite my many years of experience in this field, and a fit body, I fell flat on my arse the first time I attempted to do what she did.

"Ta Hen Chuang (Mandarin Chinese for "you are very strong")", I found myself saying, as the two ladies giggled at the foreigner trying to do what they were doing, and not really succeeding, to say the least.

"Bu Shi. Yi Dian Dian", giggled the sports "girl" (Not really. Just a little).

A little, my rear end, I thought, as she then walked over to a wall nearby and every so casually walked backwards down it, ending in a perfect gymnastic bridge.

And THEN -  - she walked away from the wall - - BACKWARDS and on all fours, at that, so she was in the bridge position without any support - - and then she placed her entire weight on her forehead, much like what is done in a wrestler's bridge.

(For those that are wondering, the "bridge" is a fantastic exercise for the back, and I talk about it in Fast and Furious Fitness).

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture here. Can we say SUPER FIT!!!?
Now, judging by this description, you might think this lady looks like the Chinese version of Jane Fonda - - and I wouldn't blame you for thinking that way - - but amazingly enough, she DOESN'T.

She was NOT one of the "toned and lean" sorts you hear about so often - - and neither did she have "rippling muscles" (or muscles that showed at all, for that matter).

Oh, that's fine, some of you might say. She's probably young and flexible, and...

Hold on, hold on. Hold "yer horses" as they say - - this lady was - - get this - - 35 years of age, and the mother of a four year old child!

And again, she looked normal - - in fact, some might even say she had a bit of extra "padding" in the wrong areas - - but the things she can do with her own body would put many a trained gymnast (and certainly our pal on the one wheeled cycle) to shame within a matter of minutes.

I got to talking to her a bit, and though my very limited Chinese prevented anything in the way of advanced communication, I did learn that she grew up working in the fields. Hard, manual labor from an young age and an interest in sports led to the inevitable, and today, she doesn't even need a warm up before jumping into a serious stretch (well, not much of a warmup, at any rate).

So that's the other "story" - - always best to showcase both sides of the coin, hehe. I'm sure those of you that work out in gyms have similar stories to share - - and if you do - - well - - send 'em over, and I'll try and publish as many of them here as I can.

As for who to emulate - - well, I don't think that one needs to be addressed, to be honest!

All for now - - Stay tuned for more "blasts from the present" (if I might use the term, hehe) in terms of the madness (as well as some amazingly GOOD stuff) I see going on around me as I slog through my daily workout routine.

Hasta la vista - - and if you work out today  - - make it the BEST one - - and avoid "them" one wheeled motorized cycles while exercising, hehe.

Best regards,

P.S.: - Our facebook page is a wonderful way to stay up to date with "what is going on at Fast and Furious HQ's" - - https://www.facebook.com/fastandfuriousfitness