Resistance, training

I thought I was yoga and pilates girl through and through, until I found high intensity interval training and F45, that is. For the past month I have vented my frustrations and sweated it all out at Australia’s new It-thing, intensive training using bodyweight and weights (and dreadful ropes and chin up bars), alternating exercise sessions of cardio and resistance. I have truly enjoyed the team sparring mentality and post workout high fives, and the exhaustion too.

After the first week of feeling sore and wobbly, I got used to sore muscles, and not going to train just because I’m tired feels way worse than pushing myself through it. Group training comes with a price tree times higher than going to the gym on your own, though. One can either consider it as being an overpriced fad alike to crossfit, or then as an investment to one’s health. I am contemplating if I can afford it or not, though their 9 week challenge commencing next week would give me that extra little push to join. I haven’t noticed any changes in the past month (besides having trouble lifting heavy things the day after), but apparently there is something happening, as my co-worker who I hadn’t seen in a while asked me if I’d been going to crossfit because of “my guns” (her words, not mine). With this amount of push-ups, walking to the gym and shoveling food down my throat, I’d hope to see some results. Oh, and I stopped drinking too. Sorry Tinder, but there are other options than drinks for dates. At least if you meet the right people.

Apparently F45 costs as much as Ashtanga yoga, so I think I’ll skip the sun salutations and opt for solid 45 minutes of sweat and breathlessness. I would definitely be curious to see how long I can do this for, how many Saturday mornings I’d wake up after 6am to have a solid circuit session with a live dj before work. You either dance the night away on Friday at the club, or….

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Week END?

Constantly building something, view of Admiralty
Constantly building something, view of Admiralty

My last weekend in Hong Kong couldn’t have been better, even if it had been sunny instead of raining! On Friday we had a delicious, (almost vegan) dinner in one of the best Thai restaurants in Hong Kong (Cafe Siam).
The following day, I ventured to more art and explored an area I hadn’t been before; the industrial, artsy Chai Wan hosted Chai Wan Mei, a satellite event to the megalomane Art Basel.

Master chef at home
Master chef at home

Part of Chai Wan Mei included Bread Elements, a new – you guessed it – bakery. This company’s bread is not the pillows and other “breads” you find in the supermarkets; it is real, rustic artisan bread, hand-made from premium ingredients. I was lucky to visit the open days of the old factory premises, and talk to the master chef and cookbook authorGregoire Michaud, who previously worked for for example The Four Seasons hotel for several years!

Gluten-free raisin loaf, made with rice -, and tapioca flour
Gluten-free raisin loaf, made with rice -, and tapioca flour

It was truly inspiring to exchange ideas and opinions about the essence and quality, or the lack of quality bread, and the methods of making bread. We discussed the current gluten free trend and the reasons for the increase of gluten sensitivities (low quality, processed wheat was the chef’s suggestion). What comes to bread – it’s my Achilles heel. I think that bread should always be highest-possible quality, made without any additives or enhancers. At Bread Elements, I got to see the Mother of the breads, the sourdough starter, which makes yeast unnecessary. And I got to say, that oh man these French know how to bake a baguette!

Now Bread Elements only supplies to high end hotel chains and restaurants, but maybe soon Hong Kongers get to enjoy real bread from normal stores, too! Oh, yeah, there was other stuff than food in Chai Wan, too. Like 3,000 red-covered diaries from the Revolution era.

The Governor?
The Almighty Governor?

Saturday was topped off with some more art, wine, tapas, cocktails and dancing the night away in some of the fanciest clubs in the city with some rather interesting new friends.

Chilling at the gym
Chilling at the gym. Notice the mosquito-eaten legs!

Sunday dawned too cloudy to go to a beach, so I opted for a gym and rooftop pool instead. The sun even peaked out to say hello!

I could do this more than once!
I could do this more than once!

Summa summarum: the weekend definitely left a positive feeling and good memories about Hong Kong. Who knows, maybe this won’t be the end for me.

Guidance

I don’t know about Japan in general, but here in APU there is a guidance for everything. During the first 2 weeks before school started, we had guidances at least about the following topics: health, library (included 3 videos, one guide book, a lecture and a tour in the actual building), successful student life, clubs and activities and course registration. These guidances are of course rather important, but I think it is possible to go to the library, loan a book and get out unharmed even without watching the third video. Everyone here is very helpful about everything, and there is staff and students to assist lost people, so after the fifth guidance everything started to look a bit, ahem, goofy.

This is one of the things you cannot do in the gym. Beware.

In order to use the gym on campus, one must attend gym guidance. The first gym guidance session was held this week, so no I am finally able to go there (though I would have had much more time when I school hadn’t started yet…) We were told not to sleep during the guidance, since that would result in not getting the required gym membership card. 10 minute video explained the gym rules and the proper use of the machines, telling beginners what not to do (as if they would remember anything about techniques or the various ways they could harm themselves). One must always enter the gym in indoors shoes. You must sign in. You must sign the time you start using the treadmill. The list goes on. Of course there is a guard at the gym, who could assist people if needed.

After the video, we signed a card and so now I can finally go to the gym, since I got myself a brand new pair of (men’s) sneakers for 1980yen.