Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Testimonial : Promoting Fitness for Life!

We received a heart warming testimonial from Sally before she left Penang and she encourages us to share it with everyone. Thank you Sally, WBC is proud to have made an impact in your life, we wish you all the best and keep up the fitness routine :)



I would like to thank Warrior Bootcamp and all of its coaches for encouraging me over the past two years and helping me meet my fitness goals. I am definitely “fitter, faster, tougher, stronger” than when I started, and I plan to continue pursuing a healthy lifestyle back in Texas!

Warrior Bootcamp can proudly boast many satisfied customers, largely due to the wonderful coaches that lead the sessions. Each coach is very fit themselves, shows up prepared and on time, and is a skilled motivator, encouraging participants to work hard and never give up. (I always run a little faster when I pass one of them!) All have had training in injury prevention and CPR, and some specialize in sports medicine and nutrition. Safety is top priority: participants are encouraged to use proper form when doing exercises, and rest/recovery periods are built in to each workout. Coaches also regularly share advice on topics related to overall health, such as sleep, proper diet, and mental resilience. Additionally, they offer regular fitness assessments to record each individual's progress. It’s fun to challenge myself to do a little better each time!

Being a Warrior, I’ve accomplished things I never thought I’d do. I ran my first 10km (and a 12km a month later!), fought hard and had fun in the Warrior Games, participated in the Round Island relay, carried 5kg in a rucksack up Pearl Hill, and even achieved Warrior of the Month! My fitness has drastically improved over the past two years; I’ve lost 4-5 kg, significantly reduced my body fat %, and am as fit as I’ve ever been as an adult. I sleep well at night, feel energetic and healthy, am more mentally tough and resilient, and am motivated to continue a lifestyle of proper diet, sleep, and exercise.

Of course, I’ve had a lot of fun as well! I've met people from all over the world, and there’s nothing that unites like sweating along with someone else in the hot sun! Whatever fitness level, members encourage others in their progress and receive encouragement to keep going and never give up. We enjoy a variety of games, are playfully competitive, work as a team to win relays, and sometimes get dirty. One of my favorite sessions involved rolling through the mud in the rain!

Warrior Bootcamp Penang is united as a team by the spirit of fitness and fun, and the color red. I am always proud to stretch out my hand at the end of each session, declaring and believing I really am a "Warrior!"

- Sally Dewhirst

Thursday, July 23, 2015

12 Deadly Workout Sins

Not seeing results with your workout? Maybe you're committing one of these workout sins

Sin #1: Too much, too soon
"If women want their arms smaller, their abs smaller, or their thighs smaller, they typically will work those muscles every time they work out," says Melyssa St. Michael, a personal trainer and director of UltraFit Human Performance. But you need 72 hours to go through one metabolic cycle, which promotes healing of the tissue that was torn during your workouts. If you’re training the same muscle group every day, your body won’t have a chance to recover, slowing progress and leaving yourself open to injury. If you’re a beginner, train your full body two to three times per week. Once you can do this with no soreness, train your upper body one day, your lower body on the second day, and take a day off on the third day.

Sin #2: Going cold
Going into your workout cold is a big no-no. Warming up lubricates the joints by thinning the synovial fluid that buffers them, which will give you a better range of motion and put you at a lower risk of injury. Brad Schoenfeld, a personal trainer and author of Look Great Naked and Look Great Sleeveless, suggests warming up with five to 10 minutes of a cardiovascular exercise at 50 to 60 percent of your maximal heart rate. If you’re weight training, you can warm up by doing one to two lighter sets of each exercise before piling on the weights.

Sin #3: Not getting enough Z’s
When you sleep your body releases growth hormones and repairs the trauma done to the muscles during the day. If you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t go into the repair and renew cycle that your body hits at its third to fourth hour of slumber. Everyone’s a little different, but you should log in a minimum of six hours of snooze time per night. To get the best sleep, keep your room dark and cool, and use a noise generator, such as a fan, if your environment is noisy. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

Sin #4: Eating like a bird
Many women starve themselves and over exercise, according to St. Michael. But if you don’t eat enough during the day, your body goes into starvation mode and slows down its metabolism, making it even harder to lose weight.

When you exercise intensely, your metabolism revs up for up to 46 hours after you’ve finished exercising—and this is when the greatest fat-burning effect takes place. But if you don’t get enough calories for fuel, you can’t exercise intensely enough to make this happen. 

Sin #5: Skipping the stretch
As we get older our muscles lose some of their elasticity, and as a result we lose flexibility. "That can cause postural problems and cause us to be more prone to straining a muscle," says Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. Stretching twice during your workout is optimal. By stretching after your warm-up you can prepare your muscles for exercise. And by stretching following your workout, while the muscles are warm, you’ll improve your flexibility. For best results, hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds.

Sin #6: Ignoring the negativeIf you focus on lifting a weight—the concentric or positive component—and then just let it fall back into place, your sin is in neglecting the negative. The process of letting the weight back down is called the eccentric component, and it’s at least as important as the concentric component for stimulating muscular development. Ignore it and you’ll only get half the results. In addition, there’s a much greater probability of injury when you let gravity pull the weight down—this places the joints at a high potential for pulls and tears. Schoenfeld suggests lowering the weight twice as slowly as you lift it.

Sin #7: Not understanding your exercises
Admit it—sometimes you see someone doing an exercise you’ve never seen and say to yourself, "That looks cool! I think I’ll try it." But not understanding the exercises you’re doing is one of our deadly workout sins.

"It’s important to understand what your goal is, and how the exercises are going to get you to that goal," St. Michael says. For example, many do leg presses hoping to make their legs smaller. However, leg presses are a multi-joint exercise that tends to be a mass-builder for legs. On the other hand, single-joint movements such as leg extensions and leg curls concentrate on smaller muscle groups and lend themselves to a smaller, leaner look.

Sin #8: Having an "all or nothing" mentality
Your New Year’s resolution is to start an exercise program, and you begin with a bang, working out like a demon every day. But then life happens—you catch a cold, or things get crazy at work, or you go on a vacation—and you miss a few days or weeks at the gym.

That’s not the sin. The sin is having the attitude that because you let your exercise regimen slide, you may as well give it up for good. After all, exercise is only good if you keep at it, and if you skip it you’ve lost everything you’ve worked for, right?

"That’s really not the case," St. Michael says. "Something is better than nothing, and even if you only exercise once a week for a month because you’re on vacation, that’s still four days of exercising. Keep in mind that this is a long term goal."

Sin #9: Getting stuck in a rut
When it comes to exercise, variety is the spice of life. "When you do, say, a shoulder exercise, you’re training many of the fibers of the shoulder muscles, but not all of them," Schoenfeld says. "To work out all of the fibers in a muscle, you need to use different movements—using different angles or even just changing your grip on the weights."

This goes for cardio as well as weight training. "When you use the same exercise over and over, it’s a repetitive motion task, just like typing at your keyboard, which can produce carpal tunnel syndrome," Schoenfeld says. So falling into a cardio rut ups your chances for injury.

Mixing up your workout also combats boredom—always a handy excuse for skipping the gym. Schoenfeld likes to change his routine from session to session, but he suggests giving your routine an overhaul at least once every six weeks.

Sin #10: Swinging weights
The ABCs of lifting weights are "Always Be in Control." When you use momentum to swing the weights around, you’re not targeting the muscle that the exercise is meant for. Worse, Schoenfeld says, you’re increasing your chances of injury. To squash this sin, make sure your lower back is tight and the only thing that’s moving is the joint (or joints) related to the exercise you’re doing.

Sin #11: Being too lightweight
You may think that if you lift too much weight, you’ll bulk up to Schwarzeneggerian proportions. But it just isn’t so. "Women don’t have anywhere near enough testosterone to produce significant muscle growth," Schoenfeld says. If you want to get a good workout, you need to tax your muscles. "You should not be at the end of a set able to do five more reps," Schoenfeld says. According to Bryant, if you’re using the right amount of weight, you should be able to perorm at least eight reps, but not more than 15, before your muscles are fatigued.

Sin #12: Nixing the H2O
When you exercise, you increase your metabolism and create heat. "If you don’t consume sufficient amounts of fluids to maintain your hydration status, your body will conserve fluids, so you won’t sweat as soon or as much," Bryant says. "As a result, you won’t dissipate adequate amounts of that heat."

Do you want to drink water before, during or after exercise? The answer is all of the above. Down 16 ounces before working out, 4 to 6 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout, and then top it off with even more water after you’re done exercising.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Two Most Important Things You Can Do Before a Workout

There is a ton of information out there addressing things like training, supplementation and best practices, in terms of what you should do before a workout. It can be overwhelming trying to sift through it all and figure out what works best for you. Each of us has unique needs and what works for me may not work for you. Here’s what the latest research says about two of the most important things you can do before a workout: hydration and fuel. 

Did you now that performance decrements can be apparent with just a 1 percent loss of body fluid? As a result, going into a workout dehydrated decreases your time to exhaustion and inhibits performance. As the percent of water loss increases, the severity of symptoms increases and time to exhaustion decreases. Water is necessary for a number of bodily functions, including thermoregulation. Make it a point to stay hydrated before you head out for your next training bout. 

There is a long-standing debate about whether it’s best to perform cardio after a fast or after fueling. Although fasted cardio can help tap into fat stores (because glycogen stores are low or depleted), this doesn’t necessarily translate into the best or most intense workout. If you think about it from a physiology standpoint, the body’s main source of energy is carbohydrate, which it can use during high-intensity exercise because it requires less oxygen to metabolize. Training at greater intensities helps increase post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which makes it possible to continue to burn fat beyond a workout. Conversely, when you exercise at lower intensities (using fat as a fuel source), your body will not be able to burn energy at the same rate as it did when exercising using carbohydrates as the primary fuel source. 

What are the best fuel sources to consume before a strenuous session? Simple carbohydrates are quickly digested and absorbed into the muscles via the bloodstream. This provides the muscles with energy, which allows you to train harder, faster and longer. Fruits and liquid carbohydrate solutions are both good options that can allow you to go into a workout feeling fueled, but not overly full. 

The next question to answer is how much fuel you need and how soon before a workout you should consume it. This will be different for every person. Some people can eat right before exercising, while others need more time to digest their food. And how much food you need will depend on the duration and intensity of your workout. Figure out what works best for you and always be sure to drink enough water before your workouts.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


WBC has just completed its first Nutrition and Weight Management programme, OPERATION WARRIOR TRANSFORMATION, over the period 13 April to 8 June.

Operation Warrior Transformation (Op WT) is an 8 week programme focusing on healthy diet, nutrition, exercise and attitude. It is a group programme designed to help people;

   Lose weight or gain weight, if necessary,
   Gain knowledge on diet, nutrition, and exercise,
   Learn mental skills to change thoughts and behaviour,
   Receive support from the group setting,
   Identify unhealthful habits in their lifestyles, adapt or eliminate these and replace them with more healthful habits,
   Improve mental health through an increase in self-efficacy and self esteem,
   Learn about the effects their current lifestyle has upon their bodies and their wellbeing,
   Compare their results from after the programme with the beginning of the programme, and to
   Encourage membership & participation at Warrior Bootcamp.

The programme is not just for those who want or need to lose weight. It is also for those who are significantly underweight and need to gain extra healthyweight, and for those who want to improve their physical performance by being lighter and leaner, which reduces the chance of injuries and can assist with speed. The programme is also for those who want to learn more about good nutrition and review their current eating habits.

44 participants started the programme, with 40 finishing the entire 8 weeks. From the 40 who completed the programme, a total of 144.1kg was lost, with weight being gained by those who participated with the goal of gaining weight. In addition to this massive weight loss, from those who completed the final measurements, a total of 549.5cm was lost from their circumferences - this is a massive total of 5 metres of body fat!

The participants of the programme were a fantastic group and really assisted and supported each other throughout the programme. This group support made the programme successful, and the attitude displayed by the participants was inspiring and motivating - everyone wanted to succeed, and they (mostly) did! Some were new to both Warrior and exercise, and others were members of the Warrior family already. The diversity of the group added to the success.

As the Lead Coach on the programme, I found the results of the participants incredible, but despite the fantastic physical results, it is the changes I noticed in peoples mental health that I enjoyed the most. The move towards physical health and fitness has a significant and noticeable effect on peoples attitudes and mood, and, as a psychologist, it is incredibly inspiring for me to see people bloom both physically and mentally. The changes I noticed  in people included more energy, greater self-esteem, a higher self-efficacy and belief that their goals can be achieved, more positive moods, and of course, a massive reduction in body size.

Another Operation Warrior Transformation will run in September/ October (dates to be confirmed), so if you want to experience the same positive results as those above, watch this space!

Thanks to all those who participated in the programme - you made the programme successful! May you continue with your healthy habits throughout life.


Mariane Wray
WBC Coach