Archive for November, 2011

The importance of big picture and small picture in fitness

Lately, I’ve noticed that many people have been debating whether the basics/ fundamentals of fitness stuff is more important than small details. In my honest opinion, the answer is simply the ever popular “it depends.” Both are important and I strongly believe that both has it’s own place as long as a specific protocol is applied at the right time and place(context). It is simply stupid to compare the two because both surely has helped many people reached their fitness goal by using both the basics and small details about fitness stuff be it training or nutrition variables. Let me cite some examples of basic fitness stuff and some small details:


1.) Eat big, Lift heavy for hypertrophy goal

2.) Eat less, eat adequate protein, eat EFAs(Essential Fatty Acids) then the rest are “details” for fat loss goal

3.) Eat healthy, do some exercise and get adequate sleep for general fitness goal

DETAILS (more detailed version from the BASICS examples above)

1.) Eat some calorie surplus while applying progressive overload using tension overload(intensity) and muscle fatigue(volume = number of sets and reps)

2.) A calorie deficit must be applied, fix the macronutrients composition, when we eat a specific nutrient, etc.

3.) Eating healthy could mean many things, the type of exercise done, what is “adequate” sleep anyway?

You still didn’t get the point didn’t you?

Take a quick look at these pictures below:


If we look at it from the bigger picture, there is a tiny object scattered on the ground. Some might think that it’s just a dirt or a thrash but we couldn’t really figure what this object is until we look at it more carefully.


If we look closely enough, from this perspective, we can easily tell that this object was actually a piece of popcorn because from this angle, we can clearly see the small details.

My point is, both big and small pictures are important. We look at the big picture in order for us to oversee our fitness goal in a wider perspective because it aids us to establish the baseline of our training/ nutrition protocol. On the other hand, by looking at the small details, we can easily identify an object, distinguish it’s shape, size, color, etc. In the context of fitness, details can help us identify the flaw(s) or anything that needs to be adjusted/ be tweaked in order for us to improve our “results” from the basics(big picture) because sometimes, it’s inevitable to experience fitness plateau or our diet/ training stops working on providing the desired fitness results.

I am not by any means underestimating the importance of the basics and fundamentals of fitness. Just like what I mentioned above, everything starts from the big picture. However, many people simply have no clue on when and where they should apply a basic protocol or a small detailing appropriately because it always boil down on realizing the proper context of application. For example, a noob obese/ overweight person whose goal is fat loss doesn’t need to worry about nutrient timing nor an advance training program simply because he/ she can see drastic results by just applying the basics.

On the other hand, an intermediate dieted down person whose body fat is lets say 12% who has stalled in his fat loss goal may need to apply some details in order for him to achieve further leanness. People have varying physiological structure(fat distribution pattern, insulin sensitivity, p-ratio, etc.) and of course, different lifestyle. Some people can easily achieve their desired fitness results just by doing simply lifestyle changes while some may need a more extensive methods. It’s so easy for some people to oversimplify a complex matter simply because they only see themselves as an example and they automatically assume that what applies to them should be the general law for everyone. This is an example of a brogical fallacy called hasty generalization .

There’s nothing wrong on simplifying things to minimize the hassle. We all have other important things to do in life outside fitness but it is also incorrect to oversimplify things that we really don’t understand because more often than not, it leads to disastrous events.

My sub zero project

As I have posted in my Facebook status a few days ago, I said that I will be making my own sub zero costume from Mortal Kombat. I know that Halloween is already over but since that I really wanted to dress up as Subby for Halloween, I listened to my gut feeling to create my own version of sub zero costume. Here’s a photo of me wearing the costume that I created:





So far, my sub zero project is only about 80% complete because I still need to do some minor detailing done. The costume as it is on the pictures above costed me $103. I still need to buy a few more things before my costume gets fully completed. Many people are asking me if how did I made the costume so I’ll enumerate the materials that I used as well as the procedures. Note that this Subby costume that I designed was based on my own concept and does not necessarily reflect/ portray any of the Mortal Kombat franchises. I basically combined Sub zero’s suit from MK 3 and MK 4 then I just modified everything according to my standards.


I bought a Raptor type paintball mask shield, cut it then I painted it blue using a glossy spray paint for plastic.


I used a wool-like fabric from a local fabric store to create Subby’s sash then I just cut it and sewed it on by hands. I don’t have a sewing machine at home so it took me longer to create Sub zero’s sash.


I also bought a cheap adult-size soccer shin guards from Walmart then I just painted it with the blue spray paint that I used in my mask.



I also bought a Balaclava face mask from a sporting goods store. For my bottoms, I only used a thermal pants that can also be bought from a sporting goods shop. The shoes that I was wearing is a Nike free +2. I also bought a pair of Rydell(TM) armpads from Walmart then I painted the padded part with blue to compliment my outfit.

Here’s the picture of my finished sub zero costume


To finish the detailing, I painted the visible holes in my shin guard using a silver nail polish that I also bought from Walmart. Overall, it costed me $118 as the final cost + 10 hrs. of sewing, spray painting and conceptualization of the final part.

Staying lean isn’t just reserved on special occasion

Finally, Halloween is already over therefore, it’s time for me to readjust my diet again which is geared towards more on maintenance calorie intake versus fat loss mode. As I’ve written in this blog, I redesigned my diet because I needed to drop a few pounds within a month period while maintaining my pre existing lean body mass(muscles) and luckily, I was able to drop 3 lbs. of body fat. It’s not a result of luck but because I strategically manipulated by daily calorie and macronutrient intake as well as my timing of consumption if time permits due to my hectic work schedule.

I really like playing video games in fact, I even created a video gamer’s diet and that’s also the reason why I decided to dress up as Ryu for the Halloween trick or treating. I have 3 kids so I want them to feel the spirit of Halloween that’s why my wife and I also wore a costume.

Here’s my Ryu pose


And my Hadouken pose


Ryu charging his Hadouken


I even changed my hairstyle so I could mimic Ryu’s messy hair look. Many people who have seen me had mistaken me for being Karate kid probably because Street fighter game is unknown to them. I was really planning to dress up as Sub zero but I couldn’t find any pre made Sub zero costume that I like. Honestly, I was more of a Ken street fighter player but Ryu suits me better because I’m also from Asian descent. For some reasons, I don’t know why the Ryu’s graphic illustrators make him appear overly muscular but if we’d only check Ryu’s biography, he only weighs 150 lbs. but based on what he look like in video games, he’d instantly weigh more than 200 lbs. with single-digit body fat levels. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to reach that level of muscularity while maintaining such level of leanness but normally, those people who can achieve that levels are either using anabolic drugs or those who are extremely lucky in the genetics department.

Staying lean

My whole point of writing this blog for is to indicate the reason(s) why one should stay lean all year round. Take note that being lean by this definition doesn’t mean being on a specific level of leanness(6%, 8,%, 12% or what have you) because those are simply numbers which doesn’t mean anything cos what matters more is how we feel and how we look in the mirror. Personally, I go by my strength levels and I gauge my leanness according to my muscular tone by mirror and by pictures. Staying lean year round will also flatter you in pictures.

I know many people around me who only worries about their weight/ body image when a special event/ occasion is coming be it a wedding day, their birthday, new year and so forth. People thinks that way because many people are so misinformed about proper dieting. I have a coworker who refuses to diet down despite of suffering from central obesity syndrome thus she wants to improve her appearance but she’s not really doing any effort to do some lifestyle changes. She frequently asks me for some advice but she always gives me the faulty reason that she likes to eat. Dieting to lose weight/ body fat doesn’t mean that you’re going to give up eating or the foods that we like to eat because there’s such a thing called moderation. I even explained in this blog the proper context of application when and where a person might be better off avoiding specific type(s) of foods in order for him/ her to be more compliant to his/ her diet. However, not everyone needs to be that restrictive in their diets to promote weight/ fat loss. Normally, simple dietary changes can wield huge results.

Many people still thinks that just because they have failed many times in their previous diet attempts to lose weight or to keep that weight that has been lost means that they are going to be committing the same mistakes again. Well, it just depends because if your previous diet has failed you then you should take a lesson from it. Reassess your diet or behavior whether that specific diet suits you or not. If not, then find another dieting strategy that you can comply to. I can totally understand that many people are afraid to diet down because they’re afraid to be hungry that’s why I wrote this blog to outline some strategies to curb hunger during a calorie restriction.

Staying lean year round can lessen the hassles, worries and unnecessary cramming to reach a specific target weight/ body composition within a specific timeframe. We have our family, work and other things to think about other than diet 🙂 Dieting on and off is so old school because even a dieted down person can maintain long-term leanness once you start becoming aware then adapt to our environmental changes. Of course, crash dieting can be applied on specific scenario to induce fast fat loss but we need to know(be aware) on when and how it should be applied.