High Intensity Leg Workout – Home or Gym

RoutineExerciseRepsSetsComments
A1Jump Squat and hold90 secs3Jump Squat 5 times, hold at bottom for 5 seconds and repeat for 15 reps
A2Step ups with weight90 secs3Push through lead foot, keep chest proud and lift up onto step
A3Static lunges90 secs3With or without weights
A4Snap Jumps90 secs3Hands shoulder width apart – Jumping in and out
B1Goblet Squats90 secs3Keep chest proud, holding weight close to chest
B2Bench cross over90 secs3Face a bench and step up and down with one foot stable on the bench while the other crosses over each side then switch sides. Bench should be around knee height
B33 variation Bulgarian Squats10-8-5
90 secs
310 Bulgarian Squats with weight, drop weights keeping position then pulse at Bulgarian squat position for 8, then 5 Bulgarian Squat jumps
B4High knees on platformAim for 10-15 reps on each leg in 90 secs3Chest proud, knees aim to chest

Comments: Complete each exercise until 90 seconds is up. Consecutively from A1-A4 for 3 sets. Repeat for B1-B4.

One routine is added up to 6 mins. 1 min rest between one cycle. Keep hydrated.

Belly Fat and Asian Women

As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, Asians have been shown to have lower BMI’s yet higher body fat percentage. In addition to that, studies have strongly shown that there is a correlation between the types of fat we store that affects Asians to develop serious health concerns in comparison to others.

Firstly, I would like to explain the differences in two types of fat we have. There is subcutaneous fat, that is the visible and jiggly fat around your trunk. This type of fat is usually harmless and not a risk factor for health issues. Then there is visceral fat. This type of is the fat that is stored around a number of vital organs such as your liver in your abdomen area. Healthy levels of visceral fat help protect your organs and play a role in your immune function. However, having too much visceral fat plays a dangerous role with increased risk of health problems such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Obesity is usually thought of what you can see in the mirror. The real issue is what you can’t see. A study in 2015 has found that those with greater amounts of visceral fat were more likely at risk of death than those with more subcutaneous fat. In fact, evidence shows subcutaneous fat can actually protect the health of those with more visceral fat.

How can you measure visceral fat?

Other than getting scans done, the best way to measure how much visceral fat is with a tape measure. Measuring the waistline starting from your belly button. A woman with 89cm or more is more likely to have excess visceral fat. Also, Harvard health states that 10% of your body fat will be visceral fat.

What’s the solution?

  • Stress is a big factor when it comes to visceral fat! This is because when you are stressed you release cortisol hormones which increase the amount of visceral fat someone can hold. Relaxation and meditation is recommended.
  • Low carb, high protein diet change
  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) – Perfect balance between resistance and aerobic training. Studies have shown a change in lifestyle for weightloss will in fact burn visceral fat, helping you shed what matters.

3 Simple exercises to get rid of visceral fat

  1. Rowing

Not only does rowing get rid of visceral fat, it also strengthens your upper arms and your spine and helps the formation of your abs which is key for Asian women.

2. Running

When we focus on visceral fat, running is one of the best options. Visceral fat will surely reduce as it also targets the hidden fat in your abdomen. Running for beginners can start with brisk walks 2-3 times a week, then to slow jogs to progress to higher intensity and extended runs.

3. Squats

Squatting is the best way to focus on visceral fat when it comes to strength training. As it helps your heart to pump and as you sweat more the fat tissues in your upper legs and abdomen start to burn. Beginners should be guided with a Personal Trainer for proper form as injuries may occur if performed incorrectly.

Physical Activity Levels Lower in Asians

The purpose of this post today is to inform you that your understanding and knowledge of what ever your fitness purpose is, must change!

A minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity is recommended in Australia, and just under half of Australians are reaching this at 48%.

What does this look like for Asians?

Now, there’s not enough research in Australia that breaks down physical activity by ethnicity but I came across a Physical Activity Health study done in the UK 2019… And the number of Asians in the UK that are physically active are the lowest among other ethnics at 55% and the highest in inactivity at 31%.

On a larger scale, this has been proven as well. Research done by the World Health Organisation highlights that South-East Asian come second, after America (39%) when it comes to insufficient physical activity among adults (30.5%).

So what are the barriers? Culture.

Exercise has never been a part of my family’s life – let alone, a structured exercise lifestyle? It’s deemed to be irrelevant, undervalued and a very low priority. Instead of suggestions from my parents to “go for a run” or participate in any sport, I did fuck all. There was this study done in Taiwan where 50% of Taiwanese people admitted that they did absolutely no physical activity and only 18.9% of them were currently doing some sort of exercise.

All I knew was: I want to be skinny. If you want to lose weight, don’t eat. Losing weight and exercise? I was just not conditioned to put those two things together.

I used this method for close to a year and was told I had malnutrition. This is the reason why Asians are “fat-skinny” or why we are more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes and other health risks. Our culture doesn’t inform us with the foundation, so how would we know?

Looks Can Be Decieving

Everyone has heard about the benefits of regular exercise. This is just based off the Department of Health Australia.

  1. Maintains body fat percentage
  2. Prevents type 2 diabetes
  3. Prevents hypertension
  4. Cardiovascular disease
  5. Prevents obesity related cancers

This is no coincidence that the top 5 risks of inactivity impacts Asians far more seriously.

When you look at the Asian population the average Asian person may look slim. But that’s just on the surface. Studies have shown Asians actually have lower BMI’s yet higher body fat percentages compared to other ethnics. Asians have more visceral fat and have different fat distributitons to other ethnics which explains the health complications they are more prone to in comparison to others.

Obesity is mainly measured through your Body Mass Index (BMI), which I’m sure everyone has heard of. If your BMI ranges from 25.0 – <30 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30.0 and over you are considered obese. It’s a simple formula using your height and weight and doesn’t account for your body fat percentage, bone density, and overall body composition and therefore is irrelevant to Asians.

When it comes to Type 2 diabetes Asians have double the risk of developing this condition. There was a study done in the US where 78,000 women were tracked for weight gain and development of diabetes to see if there were any difference by ethnic groups. After 20 years into the study they gathered women with the same BMI and found that Asians were more than double the likely of developing Type 2 diabetes in comparison to other ethnics.

Not only that, Asians women put together with the same BMIs are more likely to develop hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and obesity related cancers. It is also proven that an increase in weight in Asians overtime is more harmful in comparison to other ethnics.

I believe that there are two main causes of why Asians are more prone to health conditions which I will cover over my next posts…

Asian Women Object to Strength Training

This isn’t just specific to Asian women but a lot of my female clients. Many believe lifting weights will make them “buff” and seem “masculine”. I mean sure, if you’re lifting heavy, training hard and eating the right food to have the goal of muscle mass then yes, it’s possible. But it takes years of very hard work to achieve this.

There are three types of body types – Mesomorph, and Endomorph Ecomorph. Those with Mesomorph body types can gain muscle easier than those with Edomorph or Ecomorph body types. The idea is majority of Asian women are Ecomorphs with higher body fat percentage (will explain this in another post). This is why Asian women should embrace strength training in their exercise routine rather than being afraid of it as strength training is proved to elevate your metablism for longer.