Sunday, December 14, 2014

[Random Perspectives]: Dealing with Undesireable Circumstances(SHIT) in In Life

Enlisting into the army for national service was pretty hard on me psychologically & emotionally. I looked around me and compared how my fellow recruits dealt with the transition with how I was dealing with it. It seemed as though everyone transitioned with ease in relation to how much I hated the change in freedom and lifestyle.

Without a doubt I knew it was because I am more introverted in nature and that required me to have more alone time/wind down periods to recharge before feeling ready for challenges again - something army certainly does not give you enough of. Despite knowing why it felt particularly harder for me to adjust to army life, I began finding this adjustment to army life, or that of any undesirable/uncomfortable situations/circumstances in life be it anything from any form of loss to accepting hard truths, a very interesting process that could be further studied so that I could identify what I need to work on to help me transit better in future.

Fast forward 4 months, I just received my vocational posting which was a shock of my life. Probably the last place I want to be posted to and I mean it literally and not as a speech of expression. And I'm glad I thought out the process of adjustment because now, dealing with this horrible posting, I know how to make myself adjust better and more importantly, I'm aware that I'm adjusting and am in the early phases that's why it sucks so bad psychologically and emotionally but it won't last forever.

The 5 phases I've discovered are:
1. Rejection Phase
2. Passive Adjustment Phase
3. Acceptance Phase
4. Active Adjustment Phase
5. Comfortable Living Phase
6. End transition

Before I share what these self-discovered phases are, let me get into how I believe they work as a whole from person to person.

I believe that no matter who you are and what personality or characteristics you have, you go through all 5 phases. For example, you cannot possibly not go through a rejection phase because if you do not have a rejection phase, it means you are not dealing with an undesirable situation. You're merely dealing with a change of situation.

How bad one's transition is, is directly related to how long one lasts in any of the phases. Each phase has a different level of impact on the difficulty of transition. The longer you're stuck in the earlier phases would make it harder as compared to if you were stuck longer in the later phases. For instance, 1 week in rejection phase will make you suffer more than 1 week in active adjustment phase.

Let's now talk about the different phases

1. Rejection Phase
The most painful of all phases and quite self explanatory. This is where you reject your reality. All that goes through your mind is wondering why this happened to you, what it would be like to be in someone else's shoes and is this really happening? The harsh reality that hit you is having serious problems sinking in that your focus isn't dealing with the reality per se, but rather you deal with it so indirectly by rejecting it and it takes awhile before you realise this shit is real.

2. Passive Adjustment Phase
You've still yet to accept reality and this is where you start adjusting passively. And by passively I don't mean not physically but rather unconsciously, if you will. For instance in army, you will just, no matter what, start adjusting to the lifestyle of waking up at 5 every morning and doing some form of PT. Even though you've not accepted this as your reality, you adapt to it regardless and that's why it's passive adjustment.

3. Acceptance Phase
This is the phase you start talking yourself into accepting this as your reality. You try to see the positive sides to things and basically come to terms with reality. You are only able to reach this phase because of sufficient passive adjustment that shortens the gap between where you wish you were to how you feel about where you are in now. Thus the wider the original gap between the 2, the longer your passive adjustment phase will take to shorten the gap close enough for you to began accepting reality. Of course the speed of adjustment place a huge role too.

4. Active Adjustment Phase
After you've accepted your reality, now you began to consciously adjust to your new reality. Be it a change of mindset on how you view your situation or sleeping earlier so that you won't feel as tired the next morning. You actively and consciously try to help adjust yourself better to the life.

5. Comfortable Living Phase
Take this as an active adjustment phase 2.0 if you will. This is where you make even more changes to your situation but this time it's not in the name of adjustment but rather finding a comfortable way to live life. Whereas in the previous phases, you dealt with the situation as a temporary thing, in this phase you transit to dealing with it as a permanent change. For example, in previous phases, it is where I would not have continued my training as a bodybuilder simply because I perceived my situation as temporary and I've yet to be comfortable enough to began making it a lifestyle rather than a phase or to focus on "luxuries". Other examples may include, anxiety towards events/book ins, etc disappearing.. Or even waking up in the morning. When I had to fall in in the past, I would wake up 30-45 mins before hand to ready myself physically and mentally. Now as I reach comfortable living phase, I wake up 5 mins before fall in.

6. End Transition
Really nothing to be said here!

All that said, I have found that usually more extroverted people adjust better to situations because of many reasons - probably another topic for another day. Their rejection phase could last anywhere from 3 mins to 24 hours while mine could last weeks. Most importantly for now, is that we understand the different phases and always bring ourselves back to this big picture whenever we feel horrible about our situation because then we remind ourselves that this is only a phase we are going through and it will not last forever and we can then remain rationale, rather than losing ourselves to emotions towards our undesired outcome.

Over and Out.

Like MuscleCeption for more of such posts in the future!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Introducing [Random Perspectives]

Welcome to my new blog series Random Perspectives. The focus of this series will be away from bodybuilding but instead on just about any random topic under the sun - from life to death.

What to expect from this series I don't quite know myself. I'm just going to sit in front of whatever device I type from with a bunch of perspectives and see what happens. It may be answers to questions I've had in the past, or questions to answers I've had. Or just ideas and perspectives I feel the need to share. Although what I often write on this blog can sometimes be described as random already, the difference between this series of posts and other posts is this will be a lot less conclusive, a lot more of provoking reader thought rather than influencing thought and a lot more personal(sharing of thought processes of current experiences rather past). Oh and of course, nothing to do with bodybuilding as a sport but rather at the very most, bodybuilding as an agent in my life.

I've decided to start writing this series because I've been having fruitful conversations with like-minded individuals in my time NS and it reignited the desire to express and share perspectives and thoughts.

This series isn't intended as a series like how you would imagine a TV series. I call this a series because it's a personal project of mine for self development - hence a series of blog posts. I have found that though sitting in a quiet room or outfield staring at the grass and reflecting is the only way I derive at deep thoughts and unique perspectives, this sometimes led to more questions than it did to answers.

What I found recently is that answering these questions were possible when conversing with other like-minded people. The answers need not necessarily come from them, but when expressing one's view on a particular subject, one tends to understand it better and answer one's own questions. Or sometimes, one is prompted with the right questions that forces oneself to realise he has the answer all along. Thus as I aim to express them here, perhaps I'll find my answers. If not, hopefully find more perspectives out there from readers.

Last but not least, this is a means for me to stay productive(if I'm not already) in NS, thus helping time pass. And of course, keep my English in check because the English in army really quite jialat lah!

Till next time.
-Ashley Foo

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why bodybuilding competitions can be for everyone

Recently I read an article from T-nation saying that competitive bodybuilding is not for everyone. It was titled '5 Reasons Why You Should Not Compete' and I can't help but disagree.

To summarize the article from T-nation, the 5 reasons are:
1. You're not ripped.
2. You just don't have enough muscle.
3. Your calves suck.
4. You have a bad structure.
5. Your skin is ugly.



If you're a bodybuilder or bodybuilding fan, you must have been in a cave if you've never seen this photo before. Even if you're not, you probably have stumbled upon it before.

Lots of trolling and insults has been made with this picture and to the obviously out of shape man. And if you're in this industry you know that such trolling is everywhere; this just happens to be one of the more infamous ones.

I don't have an issue with the trolling or insults, stepping onstage the man should've been prepared for it. What I am against is the people who say these people have no business being on stage. Even T-nation using this exact picture and writing an article saying such people do not belong on stage.

I don't think anyone has a right to say who has business being on stage and who doesn't without at least knowing the person.

Why? Who knows the story of these people? What if this man used to be twice the size he is right now, suffering from high blood pressure and all sorts of medical conditions with his life at risk? What if his motivation to change things was an idol of his who is a bodybuilder and he decides he wants to make a change so he signs up for this bodybuilding contest as the first step to changing his life.

Same goes for the people who "had not enough muscle". What if they used to be obese? Or maybe they used to be even skinnier?

And if you're thinking that they already got into shape why not withdraw from the competition because they are not "ready", I say you're seeing things on the surface. There's something to be said about following through with your own plans, words and decisions. If you said you will compete in ABC 2015, do it whether you are in shape or not. If you don't, it will be engrained into your character that your decisions and words mean nothing and such character never gets anyone anywhere.

Bodybuilding is just like any other competition. Do you tell a slow runner he has no business trying to complete a marathon? Even amputated people run races. Bodybuilding competitions or competitions of any sort on the amateur level is not about pleasing the crowd, entertaining spectators or even winning as much as it is a self-fulfilling experience along with the journey that came before in order to prepare for it to the best of the individual's ability. Amateur events are not about winning, especially where the lowest level is concerned. The personal development one can achieve from the journey is worth so much more than a piece of plastic trophy.

Granted, it is still a competition where people compete against one another. But if we join competitions only if we think we can actually win it, the Mr Olympia will only have 5 competitors. Or less. In the same train of thought, it doesn't matter if you have bad genetics, bad structure, no chance of winning, not ripped, not enough muscle, bodybuilding competitions can be for everyone.

I say "can" be for everyone and not is for everyone because there is only one time I believe an individual does not belong on stage. Only 1 reason why you should not compete. That is if you did not put in your best effort. If you didn't give your best for your preparation, don't step on stage. There is no reason for you to step on stage, even if you look good. This covers the trolls who of course did not put in any effort and even seasoned bodybuilders. It is not annoying seeing out of shape people on stage. It is annoying seeing a bodybuilder who's on stage and his physique and attitude clearly shows he did not put in his best and is not where he is capable of being. In other words, he half-fucked his prep for whatever reason. And I'm not referring to guys who miss their mark and come in a little off but are still posing their ass off and you can feel their fighting spirit, I mean guys who clearly did not put in their best. That's the only time the audience will bored and annoyed - even if they can place high.

Think.

Like MuscleCeption on Facebook for more of such posts

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NS and Bodybuilding: Experience and Transformation

As promised long ago, I'll write this post to hopefully let the young bodybuilders of Singapore know what to expect from National Service. What I hope to achieve with this post is remove any sense of fear/worry and help others make informed decisions before enlisting.

First and foremost I will be focusing on the psychological aspect and physical(body) aspect. I will not be focusing on what is actually done in the army because of how sensitive they have proven to me they are.

To start off, I would say the worst part about NS really is before NS. The pre-enlistment is the sucky part. That feeling of fear of losing your gains, the feeling of everything you gain you'll lose, etc. For me, I've had no issues getting smaller while in NS. You would think that you'll feel depressed looking at your body deteriorate week by week but actually, I hardly thought about my body at all.

In fact, it's like I detached myself from being a bodybuilder. As if there's a switch to just flip and I turned off the bodybuilder in me. Suddenly I don't feel small anymore, I don't feel the need to get bigger, didn't matter what size my arms are or my conditioning. All that matter was all that mattered to any other recruit - what time to fall in, what to bring, what to wear, etc.

I can't say that will be the same for everyone. I guess it is largely dependant how much an individual draws his sense of identity from his physical stature. If all your sense of self-worth is tied up in how big and ripped you are - which I think is bad - I'm guessing the switch will be hard to flip and NS will be a lot harder to deal with psychologically. If you are able to remain detached from your physical development, as much as you hate losing your gains, it wouldn't be an issue at all.

A big part that I guess most will fail to consider before going in is that recruit life gives you very little time to yourself. So you really don't have the time to sit down and sweat over losing your gains. Once training is over, you go back to your bunk, rush to bathe and settle miscellaneous stuff and then you're forced to be asleep. You don't get to stand in front of the mirror for one hour like you would outside to decide if your biceps and chest look a little less full today. You really kinda just get "sucked" into army life.

Let's talk physical now. As for performance and training in camp, as a bodybuilder everything should be pretty easy unless you always skip cardio and are into that whole didn't even do a minute of cardio but can get ripped mentality. Getting push ups for punishment is actually quite a happy moment because you don't get to workout so yea. And if you've been the 1 hour of cardio twice daily bodybuilder, I think you would actually benefit largely because route marching for long distances really feel like long cardio sessions, except really uncomfortably.

As for training out of camp aka bodybuilding training, you would have time on weekends to squeeze in 2 or even 3 sessions and if you're really obsessed with maintaining your body you would have enough energy. But if you're like me and you can let go of your body, you wouldn't really crave working out because you'll be shag enough from training in camp and rather rest on weekends and go back in refreshed rather than aching especially since you do not know what's going to happen on Monday when you go back and what activities are lined up so for me I would rather be prepared than be aching all over. That said, I've not trained at all since enlistment, so that's 7 weeks of not training - important to note for my next point.

Now comes the part about how your body changes. I guess it is likely to be dependant on genetics but assuming you're a natural and don't make any effort to maintain your size(don't train on weekends, don't bother eating more during meals or drinking protein shakes), then you'll probably experience similar results as I have. After 7 weeks, I've lost almost 7kg and definitely can tell I'm much smaller with just one look. Here's a pic of me before enlistment and now(7 weeks into BMT):
Now I realize how big I actually was!!(follow me on instagram: afnsa)


Okay first note the angle is not exactly the same and actually benefits the before more than the after.

Also important to note that I was down with dengue and still recovering from it even till now. It affected my appetite greatly so I really hardly ate anything for a good 3-4 days which probably contributed to lost gainz of a kilo or so. So the transformation you see is really the worst you could get - no effort made to maintain size and made even worse with dengue and poor angle lol!

Anyway, this is only life in BMT as a recruit. Life will change and will be greatly determined on where you posted to after BMT. Life should improve as you enter units with more time to focus on your body.

Hope this helps! Do share this with any friends who have yet to gone through NS

PS: I completely forgot what it feels like to have a good training session...

Like MuscleCeption on Facebook to stay updated

Monday, July 28, 2014

STOP!!! Read this BEFORE switching to a new diet!


So you've been trying to shred some body fat, get lean and look great. You hop onto whatever diet you heard about from your friends, the latest hyped up diet or whichever diet sounded the best to you.

You've been on your diet anywhere from 2-6(or even 20) weeks and you're not seeing any - or your desired - results. If you're on a moderate carb & low fat diet, you've drawn the conclusion that your body is carb sensitive and doesn't respond well with carbs in your diet. You think a keto or atkins diet is going to be your magical solution in that case and you want to switch over.

Likewise if you're on basic low carb diet and not seeing results, you think your body responds well to fasting and now you want to hop onto intermittent fasting. If you're doing IIFYM and not seeing results, you think your body is unique and cannot handle any form of "unclean foods" and you switch over to a clean eating style diet. And so on...

You get idea. Well, I've go news for you....

ALL. DIETS. WORK.

Yes, all diets work. That is on the philosophical/methodological level at least. No matter what body type you are, what your genetics and how advanced you are, all diets work. Well.. unless of course you're trying some mambo jumbo diet that's unheard of and marketed by some business man or complete idiot.

I may not be a fan of many diets out there; diets that I will never even consider trying in this given lifetime. But I bet my ass that if I go on those diets and adopt their philosophy, I can get just as lean.

My point? You are not getting as lean as you want to be because of one or more of the 9248247 possible reasons and not your diet. You may not be implementing your diet right. You may not have understood your diet properly. You may have abused the philosophy behind your diet. You might not be getting enough sleep. You might not be training hard enough. You might not have the right mindset. You might not believe in yourself. You might not be following your diet strictly. You might not be drinking enough water. Who knows!

The reason behind switching diets must never be in the hopes of going from no/poor results to great results. Switching diets should be about finding the more OPTIMAL way to getting results. Optimal could mean one of two things. Either you THINK you'll get the same results faster or better results in the same period of time. It should never be about going from no results to great results. It should be from good results to better results. Maybe you'll a tad leaner.. or you'll hold on to a tad more muscle - that's it!

Preference is another reason to switch diet. But switching diets in hope of magically obtaining results is NOT the way to go. Why?

Such an act only goes to show you're putting the blame on external factors rather than yourself. Things you can't control per se like whether a diet actually works or blaming your genetics by telling yourself some bullsh*t story about how your body doesn't respond to carbs.

That said, on the rare occasion, switching diet may actually help achieve SOME level of results when the former diet failed to do so. The reason behind this isn't because your hypothesis about the ineffective diet and mystical genetics you have is true but because certain diets are so called fail safe. For example a keto diet. Anyone that goes from carbs to no carbs is going to see a difference.

That said, it still does not solve the problem because your inability to achieve results with a diet that actually works shows you are lacking somewhere. Switching to a fail safe diet gets you SOME results, but not the results you want and certainly not the optimal results. The reason being your short comings are still present - whatever it may be. It will carry on to whichever diet you hop onto.



So stop switching diets and think. If you find that this applies to you, stick to your diet and keep working towards the results you want. Find out what really went wrong and fix it. Get your desired results THEN decide if next time you want to use a different dieting approach.

Think.

Do like MuscleCeption on Facebook!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why I LOVE dieting!!!!

I'm not sure I know of anyone that loves dieting. Whether you're a casual lifter, someone who just wants to shred some pounds to fit into your clothing or a bodybuilder - especially bodybuilders! - you probably hate dieting. Well.. I LOVE IT.

Before I go on to tell you what is it about dieting that makes me love it, I would like to first say that some of my reasons are specific to my style of dieting. What style is that? Well let's just say the kind that eats clean, eats every 3 hours and all self prepped meals(and yea I do count macros).



Let's get straight to it! Here's why:

Getting lean.

Or should I say shredded! Okay this is a no brainer but its still significant to why I love dieting. Don't you just hate all the blurred lines during the offseason? You're gaining muscle but you don't really look any better because it's all covered up. Dieting is the time you finally reveal all the gains you've made!

Progress.

Or should I say faster progress. Shredding is definitely faster than building muscle and thus you can actually look forward to VISIBLE changes every 1-2 weeks! Heck, some days I wake up and look so much better than the previous! If that doesn't excite you and get you pumped up... I don't know what will!

FOOD!!

Wait what? Food??? Hell yeah. If you understand life you understand that depriving yourself of anything makes that thing so much better. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

This is proven by economics. The supply and demand concept is proof that the less the availability of something, the more its worth and likewise if there's a greater demand. When you diet, you've both!!! Less supply of awesome food and a sickening demand for it. So why does this make me love dieting?

Cheat meals! The way I designed my cheat meals isn't to just stray off the diet a little and try to hold back. Nonono. I make it a point to EAT. It is my refeed, my metabolism boost and my tiny little bit of sanity. So I eat whatever I want and in whatever amounts I want - as long as it sends my daily calories sky high.

Awesome food on a diet taste 378% better than when not on a diet. Another 492% if you're on a clean diet and eating chicken breast all day. That's not all; you won't have to feel the slightest bit guilty because it's part of the plan! Heck, you'll feel even better because you know you're doing something that adds towards your goal, you'll look better after or the next day because your muscles are full again and your metabolism is bumped up! Only with dieting will you ever experience this!

Oh, and dieting grew my love for food. I used to take eating as a chore but now I appreciate every bit of "normal" food I eat when I'm offseason!

The GRIND.

This is probably what I love MOST about dieting. I believe however that this is very specific to my style of dieting and even then, it is only truly felt when done with my Psychological Conditioning techniques.

If you don't know what the grind is.. forget all your awesome food, late night partying and sleeping in on weekends - you've not experienced life yet. I don't know if there's any proper way to define the grind but if I have to I'll say it's a zone that you enter physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually when you are working very hard. You will change immediately when you enter the grind. Every aspect of your life will be improved(unless it is compromised by what you are grinding for).

Personally, I will be more alert(until my diet starts messing with me). I will be more efficient. I operate so much better. I wake up on 5 hours of sleep with ease. I will be more discipline and organised in my life. I feel purposeful everyday. And so on!!

Best of all, when you get off the grind, you retain a good amount of these positive effects from it. Maybe I should just write an entire post on this!

So then, if I love dieting so much why not just live that lifestyle forever? Well, the beauty of it lies in the fact that it is temporary. That's what makes it so much more intense and purposeful. And if you understand life and the dualism theory or yin and yang, you can't stay on any one point/lifestyle/direction forever. Life and everything in it in cyclical. You've your highs but you must also have your lows.

I LOVE DIETING!

Think.


Like MuscleCeption on Facebook to stay updated and show support!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Disorders in bodybuilding & fitness

Before I begin I would like to make clear that I'm no psychologist. Nor do I proclaim to be an expert. I would, though, declare that I've an interest in psychology that I'm only beginning to discover.

As many may know, I'm a big fan of clean eating - for reasons beyond science. Not the kind of clean eating where you think you're going to get in shape just because you're eating clean but the kind that counts macros and believes in eating clean. The definition of clean is subjective to every individual - but that's is another topic for another day.

What many may not know is that I believe there is a place for IIFYM/Flexible dieting as well. Not the kind you literally fit your macros without any regard for general health or micro-nutrients, but the kind that gives you more flexibility than a strict clean diet will. What very few know is that I'm currently incorporating flexible dieting principles in my diet to a large extent(not fully) but I sure am hell not eating clean at the moment.

I tell you this because I want you to know I take no sides; just in case of any misunderstanding.

Now we get into the substance of this article. Many claim the reason behind their decision to adopt IIFYM methodology is because eating clean has caused them eating disorders and made them obsessive when it comes to food.

Well, nothing wrong with that. I would agree that the "old school" way requires a certain level of obsession that many cannot handle before it breaks them. I believe that a certain level of obsession is necessary to become the very best we can be. Now, I don't mean obsession with food per se but obsession with food that originates from the obsession to becoming the best possible. Again, another debatable topic and probably best left for another post.

The point I'm really leading to is this: I've seen a ton of IIFYM guys trashing eating clean with the argument of eating disorders. Even when it comes not to trashing but when they reflect, they are always so happy they got out of their "disorder".

The first thing that comes to mind when I see such posts is: What about your image disorder? As I've mentioned at the beginning I'm no psychologist but from what knowledge I have, eating disorder isn't the root to the problem, image disorder is. You were not obsessed with eating clean, you were obsessed with your image. The fear associated with the disorder is not the fear of obsessive eating clean but the fear that if you don't, you will become fat. The root to the problem is the image disorder, while eating clean is just throwing wood to the flame and making the symptoms obvious.



Here's my challenge to anyone on IIFYM who truly seeks a journey of being free from so called "disorders". Get fat. Don't fit your macros - it's still an obsession. Eat freely. Live as anyone free of disorders would(and have no desire for becoming jacked - or fit - as hell)

Once you're fat enough or by society's standard, normal, live with it for awhile. Only then do you come back and fit your macros, eat clean, whatever.

I'm no god. I'm not immune to developing an image disorder either. Which is why, for my Instagram followers, you saw me post a tonnnnnnnnn of food pics post contest after MW2014. I was not satisfying cravings. I was eating freely with the intent to lose my definition. Yes, I did enjoy it but believe me, it was actually hard. After eating clean and very strictly for more than a year, it is much easier to just live in the pattern I've developed. I've engraved the habit so deep it was easier to automatically eat my chicken breast and brown rice than to eat freely.

Nuff' said.

Think.
 =======================
For Online Coaching information, Click Here

Like MuscleCeption on Facebook to stay updated with more articles!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

My most potent ingredient for building muscle

I’ve shared many uncommon perspectives with each post I’ve written that challenged many norms. In fact, every post of mine challenges a norm. I mean.. why would I bother writing an article just to tell you to keep doing what you’re doing for the reasons you already know? I won’t even feel a need to share such information. Okay okay, minimal ranting. I promise.

In light of my recent posts on Dirty Bulking and Protein Shakes, I was questioned about my logic. I’m glad I was questioned because I’m sure few of you might feel the same way and this will be my opportunity to explain to you as well as share my secret ingredient for building muscle.

I was asked why I would intentionally make things difficult for myself when muscle building is hard enough. Why not just focus on building muscle?

This question is significant because its answer also reinforces what MuscleCeption stands for.

All too often I’ve witness individuals caught up with scientific questions when they are not even performing close to where they should be for the amount of scientific knowledge they possess at present. So clearly something is holding them back besides scientific knowledge. Yet the problem is they always put the blame on a lack of knowledge and thinking what they do is not working rather than how well it’s done that’s the problem.

Sometimes what these many individuals need are not more scientifically right answers, but THE right answer. Not the answer that satisfies science, but the answer that addresses their problem. Now, it’s not always a problem because problems are specific and I will have no business sharing it as a general perspective here. The reason I share it here is because as much as what I say it directed to answering their questions, it’s not so much what I said in the post per se that’s important, but the message it sends and the idea it represents is aimed at encouraging a broadened perspective for everyone. And this perspective can help anyone even if there is no “problem” to begin with.

Pardon my lengthy explanations – for my brief ones always lead to misunderstandings.

So what is this perspective I’m sharing? What is MuscleCeption’s message? What is this secret ingredient to building muscle?

Simply put, you need character. And sometimes the steps to building one’s character will not only seem useless in building muscle because of how indirect it is but it also seem impractical or even go against science, on the surface level. But as you will come to realise if you have not already, it helps you in the long run and not the short.

You see, by simply making the decision that focuses on building character and going against science, you’ve built character already. You’ve learnt to be patient and not seek immediate gratification but instead learn to see things in the long run through a bigger picture.

Character; you build it and it benefits you for the rest of your life. It’s like a multiplier to your score. Focusing on the scientifically right answer is like focusing on the score itself. In other words, the strategy to get the highest score is to get the multiplier the earliest, then start earning scores.

That is why you would notice I discourage the use of protein shakes when starting out, or if you’ve already started then for a while and not permanently. As with dirty bulking I offered the idea of doing it once to build the character, not to do it forever.

My most potent ingredient for building muscle is character.

Think.
=================
Like MuscleCeption on Facebook to stay updated with more of such articles!

Monday, July 7, 2014

CHALLENGING THE NORM - How society responds

Here's how society operates:

Should you decide to do something unconventional, you will encounter some resistance or negative feedback. Yeah, nothing surprising here.

Now when it comes to judgement day, whatever it may be, if your unconventional method fails, everyone will call you out for being an idiot. They would talk about how clear it was that it would never have worked; even those who remained silent/neutral before. They wonder how stupid you must have been to even try it in the first place.

If however, you succeed, suddenly you are a genius and people respect you for trying something different and believing it would work. Suddenly what you do makes perfect sense to everyone. Although you know yourself that had the result been otherwise, even if it's the result of other factors, people would have called you out for idiocy.

The question is what is the difference? In both cases, the sentiments are the same: You had an idea you believed in and went with it. If you're thinking that the result is a reflection of the person's calibre, you are right to some extent but wrong too.

Even the intelligent will do something unconventional and fail. If you're someone who tries unconventional approaches, you WILL encounter failure - even if you had or will eventually encounter the success that people will respect. So to say it's a measure of intelligence or calibre isn't too right.

Take my approach for Muscle War 2014(MW2014) for example. I chose to diet 25 weeks - a rather unconventional length for a straight diet. At the beginning I received some feedback that it's too long. No major objection but some feedback and some people did think I didn't know what I was doing.

Now for me, this penned out in the success route. And suddenly the 25 weeks becomes something people respect me for. Now people suddenly think 25 weeks or at least the idea it stands for - a slow diet - is a sensible and logical approach.

Before


After


I could've imagined that had I failed, even if it's not because of the length of the diet, people would've gone: "Man what was he thinking? Why is he so dumb? Clearly 25 weeks is too long. You'll lose too much muscle."

Here's my point. It's easy to sit back, follow the norm in comfort, even if you're in the trenches working on your dream, you're at the comfort of not being called an idiot but instead, do it to others. Credit has to go to those who aren't afraid of trying what they believe in and aren't afraid to challenge the norm and be criticized.

Even MuscleCeption is unconventional in nature and most of the posts here challenge the norm. I mean hey, if you're not happy with normal results, stop doing normal things.

Don't be afraid to challenge the norm.

Think.

----------------------------------------------

Like MuscleCeption to stay updated for more of such posts!


EQ & Awareness

When it comes to being aware of what's happening around you I've always been very intrigued by one little puzzle: If you think you are aware of everything that's going on around you, how can you be sure?

You see, there are 3 levels of awareness: aware, aware you are unaware and unaware you are unaware. In other words, you would either think you are aware of your surroundings, or you would think you are unaware and always in your own world. But if you think you are aware, how do you know for sure? Sometimes you don't know what you don't know.

We all know people who are very aware of everything that's going on and display a very high EQ. These people are aware.

We also know people with not so high EQ and have no idea what's going on around them in social terms(what people think of them etc). But they sort of know it themselves aka they are aware they are unaware.

Finally, we all know of a few people, or even just that one person, who are not aware of what is going on around them but seems to think they are. They are unaware that they are unaware.

So if you think you are aware, are you sure you are aware?

Unlike most MuscleCeption posts, I do not have a solution here. Would love to hear from anyone if they have a solution/conclusion. If not, just sharing my thoughts as always and this post is for those who think they are aware to question themselves and for everyone to just ponder for a moment.

Think.

If you want to stay updated with more of such thought provoking posts, LIKE MuscleCeption on Facebook at the top right of this post!

Share this post on FB etc so that the unaware of being unaware will read this!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Why you SHOULD dirty bulk

Dirty bulking.

Every bodybuilder no matter what body type, what age, what level or even how informed you are; you will have at some point in time or another fell into the temptation and dilemma on whether or not to dirty bulk. I mean, isn't it just awesome? Eat whatever you want, however much you want and make gains? Watch the scale climb week after week, feel SWOLE. Is that not a dream come true for any bodybuilder? - The eat big get big mentality. And if you're an ectomorph, dirty bulk seems like the cure to your "curse".

When the dilemma comes, most turn to science for an answer. And for the unaware, science will tell you that dirty bulking is a no go. The excess calories will just turn into fat and do nothing for muscle growth, higher fat percentages mean your hormones will be less optimal thus gaining less muscle and even more fat and this becomes a cycle causing a "downward spiral".

No matter how aware you are of this, you are still tempted. The dilemma still stands. You are out to find a reason that you should still dirty bulk. Well, ladies and gentlemen(although I'm guessing only the gents would be thinking of dirty bulking), I have the reason you've been looking for.

As a former dirty bulker myself... wait wait you don't believe me???




AS I was saying... as a former dirty bulker myself, I can tell you one thing dirty bulking has done for me and I believe many others as well; without their knowledge. You see every time I see an IFBB Pro talk about how he used to dirty bulk, eat crap, didn't know better and will never do it again, I can't help but see a trend that so many Pros have all done it.

As I thought a little further about what is it about dirty bulking that makes great bodybuilders, I found my answer:

You will get fat. Really fat. What happens then? You're going have to bust your ass like never before just to lose all that fat and in so doing, you learn what hard work really is(or at least come closer to realizing), you discover a you you've never discovered before and you become a much stronger person mentally - almost like a new you.

These benefits transcend to other aspects of bodybuilding(and life too) and now when it's "offseason" you know what hard work is and you do it. When it comes to dieting, you're almost an expert not just because of how hard you work but because of your experience of dropping body fat at just about every fat percentage level. You've plateaued a million times at different fat percentages and you know how to overcome them.

You will become a stronger version of yourself. Just be prepared to work hard and not stay fat forever.

To stay updated with the latest posts, like MuscleCeption on Facebook on the top right sidebar of this page and follow me on Instagram(afnsa)

=============================
Contact info
Email: ahmadalifoo@Hotmail.com
Kik: afnsa
Facebook: Ashley Foo

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Number 1 Reason Some Can NEVER Stick To Their Plans. Is this you?


In my bodybuilding and fitness journey in Singapore I’ve always witnessed individuals who for some reason or another can never reach their goal. And I’m not talking about lazy people who never get started nor am I talking about over ambitious people whose goals are unrealistic. I’m talking about people who should be reaching their goal but never do because they always end up screwing their plans over or every time they are halfway through or close, something will just go wrong. Something… And this applies not only to bodybuilding and fitness but life.

Does this sound familiar to you? Or is this you? Someone who hops on a new diet or training plan, everything goes well and suddenly, you screw yourself over and eat crap or miss training. Suddenly you are injured or school/work is really requiring your attention.

This is what I call Psychological Sabotage. The thing about Psychological Sabotage is that most people who suffer from it are unaware of it – that’s what makes it lethal.

So what exactly is this Psychological Sabotage? It is a psychological condition whereby an individual is afraid of success for what it may or will imply. “What do you mean afraid of success? I want to lose weight what is there to be afraid of?!” – I hear you.

There are so many reasons one could be afraid of success and most of the time it remains buried so deep in your emotions that it is engraved into your behaviour but yet never manifest into an actual thought. Thus it affects you without your being conscious of it.

What could you be afraid of? Only you know. For losing weight, success may imply you’ve to keep doing what you’re doing for the rest of your life to keep it that way. For studying hard it might imply you doing well in exams and going to the school you know you want to go to but going to that school implies you can’t follow your friends who intend to go to another school which you would follow if you are unable to enter the school you know you want to go to. Success might mean others will look up to you and you are afraid of taking on such a big responsibility. So on..

You get the point. These fears evade your conscious mind and affect your psychology without your knowledge. Every time you get close to reaching your goal you will sabotage yourself without realising it.

I’m not immune either. I’ve been suffering from psychological sabotage as well. As my national service enlistment approaches I’ve been afraid of progressing in bodybuilding because it only implies I’ll have to lose more while serving.

How do we overcome psychological sabotage? The very first step is to become aware of such a thing – which you have just. Next you’ve to know that you are suffering from it. Are you sure you are not suffering from it? Spend time reflecting, do some personal soul searching, study yourself from time to time.

Discovering the condition is the solution because when we are aware of it, we can learn to talk ourselves out of the fear, learn to face the fear and be more mindful each time we are about to self-sabotage. Of course for every individual fear there is a different set of solutions as for how you will face it or remove it.

Found this post useful? Share it with a friend whom you think might be suffering from Psychological Sabotage or post it online by clicking the share buttons below!

To stay updated for more of such posts, like MuscleCeption on Facebook at the top right of this post.

===================================
Need help getting in shape or building muscle? I'm offering online coaching services in Singapore and overseas. Make an enquiry right now at
Email: ahmadalifoo@hotmail.com
Kik: afnsa
Facebook: Ashley Foo 

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Future of Bodybuilding and Fitness in Singapore – An Interview with former Mr Singapore, Bodybuilding Singapore President and Fitness Movement Chairman, Kevin Chiak

Bodybuilding and fitness in Singapore has been and is still going through a period of evolution.

On the positive side, the rise of Instagram and other social media platforms have connected the fitness community and bodybuilders alike like never before. We've also seen a rise in popularity of the sport both as a hobby and on the competitive level, as witnessed at the Muscle & Fitness War 2014 (MFW2014). There has also been a rise in popularity of physique categories/competitions not just in Singapore but around the world as well.

On the not so positive side, we've witness many changes in the organisations and officials of the sport. Unlike the past where there was only one organization, because of various reasons, there are now 4 for bodybuilding and 1 focusing solely on fitness/physique.

As a result, the sport is growing as a community and as a competitive sport but unable to progress as a nation. Thankfully we have a prominent leader for bodybuilding now - Bodybuilding Singapore (organiser of MFW2014 and more) - where most athletes have chosen to place their faith in. The hopes for all of us is that one day bodybuilding in Singapore will be led by one organisation chosen unanimously by the community and the sport can progress from there.

Bodybuilding Singapore


To help us understand the situation better and make informed decisions, we've interviewed former Mr Singapore, Bodybuilding Singapore President and Fitness Movement Chairman, Kevin Chiak.

Kevin Chiak


The interview is as follows:

 
Ashley: Kevin, before we get serious, I’m sure readers want to hear from the man himself a little about becoming a Mr Singapore. Tell us: What was the greatest challenge you faced on your journey to earning the title and how you overcame it?

Kevin: Well, every training year leading towards my eventual win for the overall title of Mr Singapore 2010 was a challenge. I took on the challenge as a growing experience as an athlete. I First won the National Champion in my category and landed a top 3 position in the Mr Singapore round for a few years and slowly moved closer to the target.

In the process other challenges include the diet that required tweaking and training to achieve the best of my physique possible at that point. It was a great journey of learning new things and learning how my body responses to training and diet, making the challenges worthwhile and rewarding. I strongly encourage anyone reading this to be able to take any loss as another step of achieving better if not the top position. And I rate every attempt as a success as long as my physique improves every time, and the steady progress itself constitute a victory.         

Ashley: Very inspirational and I especially like the final part about how you rate an attempt as successful or not. Sounds like the kind of thing I would write on my blog!

Okayokay just one more question before we REALLY get serious, do you like this blog??

Kevin: Yes I really like this blog. Not just because it contains a lot of usable information but more so because it is written with a lot passion in the sport of bodybuilding and training. It becomes believable when any athlete writes and explore what he is trying to achieve and more so when the writer is a young competitive bodybuilder.  I believe his personal experience and pain and sweat in the sport made the article more realistic and in depth.

Ashley: Why thank you sir!

Okay on to the important things. In the past decade there have been many changes in the sport of bodybuilding in Singapore. As a result, up and coming athletes and even some fairly seasoned ones are getting confused. Although there has been a blog post covering the outline of the situation ,we would like to hear from you.

Tell us what prompted you to establish Bodybuilding Singapore?

Kevin: Bodybuilding Singapore was first known as SBPF, however we changed it because we reckoned  that there are too many bodybuilding organisations using acronyms that are just too similar and also we felt that since we are a newer, younger (a lot of the committee members comprises of the younger generation) and modern organisation, a cool short and sharp name like Bodybuilding Singapore would be befitting thus the new name, and if I may mention that even Singapore Sports Council has changed their name to “Sports Singapore”, how timely can it get.

So Bodybuilding Singapore formation and existence has very much to do with the dissatisfaction of many officials from the previous federation. Following that motion, I was invited to lead this new organisation and I took up the challenge.

So far I am very proud to say we have done well. The following events we have conducted warrant our success, namely;  the National Championship in 2013 - crowning the Mr Singapore 2013, NUS Health and Fitness Club for the Muscle and Fitness War in 2013 and 2014, both achieve astounding success. We also partnered HomeTeamNs for the HomeTeam Bodybuilding championship 2013.
In a nutshell, Bodybuilding Singapore is here today to help local bodybuilders by providing a fair, competitive and exciting platform.    

Overall top 3 at the SBPF Nationals 2013(Mr Singapore 2013). Photo credits to Fabodylous

 


Muscle & Fitness War 2014 Open Category. Look at the no. of competitors! I'm in this category and I couldn't even fit into the photo!

 

 

Ashley: We’ve all heard of Bodybuilding Singapore, but only a few are familiar with Fitness Movement Singapore. Can you tell us more about this organisation and why you established it?

Kevin: There were a couple of reasons which led to the separation of Fitness Movement Singapore from Bodybuilding Singapore.

Fitness Movement Singapore organises the Singapore Fitness Model Search, a platform for competitors to compete in a Fitness Physique competition, here an athlete will score better when they have more aesthetics above muscularity whereas bodybuilding competition scores a competitor based on his/her muscularity and vascularity above aesthetics. 

To date around the world , fitness physique competitions has gained more popularity, with that trend we reasoned that it could also serve as a bridge for more talents to compete from a person working out in the gym, to competing in a fitness physique competition and possibly a step further into hardcore bodybuilding.  All said one may opt to continue refining their body aesthetics and continue competing in the fitness physique competition.

In our context, we brand the fitness physique with a fitness model search and we will be organising the first National championship for fitness physique called “Singapore Fitness Model Search 2014”. This is to make the competition more appealing to attract more commercial sponsors, besides a lot of overseas fitness physique athletes are also fitness models.  

Ashley: Why did you keep the two organisations separate?


Kevin: As this is rather new in Singapore, we are separating the 2 entities otherwise it will caused confusion to many. People will think that fitness physique is like hardcore bodybuilding.  Therefore setting them apart would segregate the “criteria” and motion.

Besides providing the clarity of the competition nature, Fitness Movement Singapore want to use its platform as another platform for exercising and getting fit. Fitness physique is definitely more achievable than that of a hardcore bodybuilder physique so using this characteristic to encourage and inspire more people to exercise and workout would be a better bet, therefore this mission and a fitness movement was established, and our tagline is “Better Bodies Better Nation”.

With all that in line, we like to use this wonderful platform and winners to act like fitness role models to inspire more people to take up fitness regimes and engaging in exercises. Additionally our athletes will pen down their fitness journey stories highlighting their reasons for exercising, how they have changed other people lives and more importantly also how getting fit has changed their lives etc.      


Ashley: Tell us about the interaction of the two organizations (Bodybuilding Singapore and Fitness Movement Singapore)?

Kevin: We started with the wish of doing both competitions separately, and as we anticipated, the applications received to compete in “Singapore Fitness Model Search 2014” has been overwhelming. So much so that instead of a small stage in a random place, we have gone ahead and plan to hold it at the University Cultural Centre theatre hall, a more appropriate stage and setting, and with that we can safely say our first step has been achieved. 

Ashley: What are your long term plans for both organisations in terms of events, affiliations, etc.?

Kevin: As a matter of fact we are in the planning for bigger things to come for Singapore Fitness Model Search next year, however we can’t reveal that much. As far as affiliation, both will remain independent as organisations will focus on the local competitions and nurture the athletes better.

Ashley: We’ve heard about the collaboration of Bodybuilding Singapore and SFBF (Singapore Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness). For those who are unaware or unsure, can you summarize and clarify what it is and what it means to athletes?

Kevin: In short, local athletes will compete and be Bodybuilding Singapore and if any athletes is ready for competing regionally or internationally, we will send them to SFBF and represent Singapore in those competitions by IFBB.
 
Ashley: I think some athletes are refraining from competing at all because they are afraid of having to choose a side, ending up with the wrong organisation and being stuck there. Do you have any advice for these athletes?


Kevin: I can’t advice but would like to urge local physique to compete in our competitions or those who partnered and supported by us. So far Bodybuilding Singapore along with Fitness Movement Singapore are the main local organisers for most of the local competitions, in this we are also referring to competitions with partners like NUS and HometeamNS just to name a few. We are also the only organisation that organises the National competition this year . So to validate any standard benchmark, our competitions would fit that bill.    

Ashley: One last question. Describe where you see the entire bodybuilding seen in Singapore 10 years from now.

Kevin: I see glory, that said the physique athletes must be more down to earth and be patient. Compete where their level of competency is and not be too ambitious by competing in any overseas competitions beyond their level. Glory comes in proper calibrations and planning.


Ashley: We hope your vision plays out. Thank you for your time Kevin and we wish you and your organisation all the best.

------------------------------------------------------------End--------------------------------------------------------------
To find out more about the organisations visit them at:

Bodybuilding Singapore - www.bodybuildingSingapore.sg

Fitness Movement Singapore - www.fitnessmodelsearch.sg

To sign up for the Bodybuilding Singapore's upcoming National Bodybuilding and Physique Championship 2014 in September, Click Here

To stay updated with the latest interviews, posts and news, like MuscleCeption on Facebook by clicking on the Like button on top right of this post.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

NS and Bodybuilding Series: The pre-enlistment phase

Some have been wondering if I'm preparing for Nationals in September - Well, no I can't compete in September. I think most people would already know that I'm enlisting soon, in about a month's time.

Recently I realised that there are many others out there like me who are concerned about losing their gains while serving the nation. Especially those who are still months or years away from enlistment and are worried about what will happen to your body and if you should.. find a way around.

I've decided to start a blog series "NS and bodybuilding" to share everything there is - my personal opinion, my experience and experiences to come and my advice. What I hope this will do for younger bodybuilders is first and foremost, help you stop worrying. The reason you worry is not because you are going to lose your gains but because you don't know if you will. You don't know what its like for a bodybuilder inside. Uncertainty is what makes us worry and fear. I hope to be able to remove this area of uncertainty for you.

I also hope to help you make informed choices, as there are choices to made in NS, and even before - if you know what I mean. And for those who have served, enjoy the read and let it be a reminder for you to appreciate your freedom to bodybuild and not worry about losing your gains - its yours to keep.

The pre-enlistment phase

In this first part, I will cover all there is to know about the pre-enlistment phase where bodybuilders are concerned.

Medical Check-Up

We begin with the pre-medical check up. Most bodybuilders are overweight when it comes to BMI so the very first decision you will have to make is whether you should try to "make weight" as we call it in bodybuilding and other weight classed sports.

I strongly suggest you do, as the BMI limit is quite high(around 27) I think, which even I was able to clear. My medical check-up and NAPFA were at 6 weeks out from Muscle War, thus my body was in prime condition to perform and clear weight(barely by a few decimal points). This is also where you should decide if there's anything you want to you know... declare. Clearing your BMI means that you only need to serve 9 weeks instead of I think around double the length.

Constant Reminder

Now comes the part I really want to focus on. The psychological aspect of a pre-enlistee. The very first thing you will physically experience is everyone around you who knows you are going to enlist will be eager to tell you in a very serious manner that you will lose size in NS. Yea, as if we didn't worry about that since day 1 right? I've worried about it since 2010 and people are telling me now as if I think I'll go in and continue training 5 days a week, eating 6 meals a day and over 3500 calories. Right.

You get the point. It'll come to a point you will be annoyed because of the constant reminder and the way people think you don't know anything.  If they knew what we did to maintain our bodies, they would know we know we will lose size. It'll be fine when people say it as a way of relating to you or a conversation but it becomes annoying when someone really thinks you don't already know and tells you seriously.

Motivation

That's the least of your problems. Your first milestone in experiencing the next step of psychological change is usually when school ends and you're waiting for your letter and basically waiting to enlist. Because now your next thing in life is NS. So inevitably you feel it drawing closer. It's good if you are a competitive athlete and can join a contest very close to NS. It will divert all your focus to the contest and will not be affected psychologically as a pre-enlistee.

During this time to the time you receive your enlistment letter, your motivation in the will still be alright and you will not suffer from what I call "Psychological Sabotage"(I will be doing a blog post on this topic). However, you will likely experience a dip in motivation and your worries will build by the day.

The final milestone before enlistment is receiving your enlistment letter. Once you get the date of your enlistment, things change. You realise "shit, this is really happening". You start to wonder what you will look like after shrinking, how heavy your warm up is going to feel later on and so on.

3 months. 2 months. 1 month. The 3 check-points you will face. As far as motivation to train goes for me, I'm fine still. Eager to get back into gym. However the motivation to progress is lacking and thus workouts may sometimes feel different and less exciting. Every time you are about to progress you will think to yourself: "everything I gain now is just temporary". You will likely experience Psychological Sabotage to quite a degree depending on individuality.

Dilemma

You will also face a dilemma of what you should do with your body prior to enlistment to come out the best after NS. Should you bulk up and get fat? Hopefully that will help you keep size during NS and preserve muscle. Should you diet and get lean? That will help you perform better inside.

I think it's very important to take into account the psychological aspect and you have to be very in tuned with your mind. You've to know if you will feel better psychologically knowing that you've fat to preserve your muscle, keep it on you. If you know you will feel better psychologically if you're lean and look good and not be affected as you see it disappear, diet. Forget about the science of which is better from a scientific point of view. Look after your mind and your body will follow.

Solutions

The 2 things that will really help during the pre-enlistment phase is firstly, always tell yourself that NS will already be taking so much of your time away, don't let it take more away from you psychologically. People will ask you why you are still training since you're going to lose everything, well tell them just that - Why let it eat up even more of your time?

The second is to remember to love what you do and do it because you love it. Keep training because that is what you love to do. If you're like me and bodybuilding always came first in your priorities and mind, learn to give it a backseat. This will help with transitioning and also help take your mind off it. Set new goals and do different things like... writing a blog!

The last would be to let go. It helps a lot psychologically if you don't try too hard to maintain, keeping the stress at bay. Accept the fact you will shrink and don't try to fight it. This is not to say don't do anything to keep size at all but mentally, let it go.

Hope this helps my fellow lifters. My next post with regards to this topic should be after my enlistment. I will likely be sharing progress pictures before and during my journey to give you an idea how your body will change during NS.

To stay updated, head over to the sidebar on the right and like MuscleCeption on Facebook.

Help share this with fellow young lifters who may need this. Click on the various share buttons at the bottom of this post.

Note to current and future clients: Online coaching is still available and will go on as usual even after my enlistment.

 ===============================
Online coaching enquiries:
Email: ahmadalifoo@Hotmail.com
kik: afnsa
Facebook: Ashley Foo

What's up with MuscleCeption??

Some are new to this site and must be wondering what's MuscleCeption all about. Others who are familiar must be wondering why the sudden influx of posts.

I created MuscleCeption in 2013 for the purpose of sharing my thoughts/perspectives/opinions/ideas on many different many topics. Why a blog for that? These things I share aren't just simple opinions on matters. They are often unusual and though I hate using this word but it's the only way I can think to describe it - deep.

The original design of MuscleCeption

The second design of MuscleCeption


They often question the basic conventions we are accustomed to by looking from a deeper or alternate perspective. Needless to say with many such thoughts I can't possibly be bombarding my friends with these stuff yet the urge to express what few have thought of is strong.

Hence the birth of MuscleCeption. I started with a small pool of very supportive readers who were all friends - which I am grateful for because the whole idea is to express and it helps knowing that someone is actually reading what I write. I felt heard. These readers have always given positive feedback about what I write and even engaged me in discussions about my posts. I then realised that there are people who find this blog interesting.

A week ago, I had an urge to share a very big topic. One I'm in the midst of working on now - the Psychological Conditioning series. As I begin writing that, my passion for writing was sparked greater than ever and I decided that I want to do something with MuscleCeption. I want to share with others all the thoughts that I've kept in my head for years and new ones I'm getting every other day. I want MuscleCeption to serve a purpose.

So I've decided to grow MuscleCeption. My goal now for MuscleCeption is to entertain readers, encourage more thinking in the area of bodybuilding and fitness, keep the bodybuilding community spirit alive and help others.

Of course the main goal will never be compromised and that will be remaining an avenue for me to express. I will not hold back any opinions or thoughts in the name of growing this site. So be prepared to be challenged in terms of opinion and thinking, be ready to share your side - because I'm ready to be wrong.

So stay tuned for more interesting posts!

That's all for now until next time(very soon), keep thinking!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The most powerful and underrated tool for building muscle & burning fat: Chapter 3

The most underrated tool for building muscle and burning fat
The exception to science and the way I achieved my body

If you've missed Chapter 1: The Tool - What is it?, Click Here
If you've missed chapter 2: Understanding "Psychological Factors", Click Here


 
Chapter 3: Maximizing your psychological condition: Daily Activities(Part 1)
Now comes the part we focus on maximizing your psychological condition. Let’s begin with maximizing through daily activities.
Daily activity factors are critical because it’s something we repeat day in, day out. Its impact on our psychology will be compounded daily amounting to something very significant. There are 3 ways this can be done:
a)      Rituals & Rules
b)      Attention to Details
c)       Good habits
Rituals & Rules are things you would do to improve your psychological condition that you otherwise would not have done. These are extra things you implement in your day that sends a specific message to your mind every time you do it.
For example: eating every 3 hours. As mentioned in Chapter 1, staying in the “zone” long after you set out to achieve your goal is something most are unable to do and something psychological conditioning can help achieve.
The problem with staying in the “zone” is that the natural inclination of any human being is to choose to path with less resistance. This translates to trying to accomplish our goal while having the minimum number of restrictions and rules to follow and least amount of things to do. This results in us losing attention from our goal and as a result, we lose the “feel” a.k.a. we fall out of the “zone”. This is where these rituals and rules come into play.
By eating every 3 hours, whether you believe in it scientifically or render it useless but by implementing such a system in your daily schedule, it forces you to repeatedly do something throughout the course of the day that will keep your attention on your goal. It makes your entire day revolve around your goal, keeping your attention on it. Note: It doesn’t have to be 3. It can be 2 or 4 or any number but 3 is the number I’ve found that keeps you in the zone without obstructing your day too much.
Another example I personally practice is remaining covered up when I’m out -Either wearing long sleeved t-shirts or preferably, a hoodie on. The initial reason behind such a practice was the psychological effect resulting from the comments of others when I dieted previously. “You lost weight” or “you became smaller” or even "you look bigger" and "you look the same" can really screw with your mind and cause you to deviate from your plan or question yourself – something you don’t want to be doing because you’ve to have conviction in what you’re doing to do it well. Upon implementing this practice, I discovered the other psychological benefits behind it. It became another constant message I send to myself whenever I was out, reminding myself of my goal and helping me stay in the zone wherever I am. It also helped with visualization and avoiding shitty lighting and mirrors.
Let’s talk visualization first. When you’re covered up, especially in a hoodie, any mirror or reflection you walk pass, or even when you look down at your arms, you are left to your imagination for what lies under. This becomes the perfect opportunity to visualize. To constantly imagine that underneath that hoodie, lays your perfect body. And trust me, visualization itself is a tool for psychological conditioning. I personally visualize everything -How my body will turn out, my workouts, my lifts, my day, everything.
Now let’s talk about shitty lighting and mirrors, or not even shitty, but great too. You see you’re probably accustomed to the lighting in your room and in your gym - these are your reference points. When you go out and encounter various lightings and reflections and also dressed in various clothing, it can differ quite a lot from what you are used to. A lighting or outfit that’s too good and you start to think you progress when you didn’t. When it’s horrible? Needless to say you are just going to feel hopeless where your goals are concerned. So remaining covered up prevents such things from happening.
Due to the length of this chapter I've split it into two parts. The second half of this chapter will be posted soon. My apologies for splitting so much but its necessary if not this post will just go on for too long with too many words. Stay tuned!

Want to read the next part and following chapters? Do you like this post, find it entertaining or interesting? Help me and show your support by spreading this information so I can continue to share. Share this post with your friends or on FB/twitter/etc by clicking the icons at the bottom of this post or sharing this URL.

Add me on Facebook(Ashley Foo), follow me on twitter(afnsa) and instagram(afnsa) to stay updated.
==========================
Online coaching enquiries:
Email: ahmadalifoo@Hotmail.com
kik: afnsa