Saturday, 18 September 2010

Ninja cats & floor mats

Hello Ninjarettes.

Busy week? Lots of gym session though huh? DO say yes. Gym Ninja will be terribly disappointed if you are all just sitting in front of the 'puter eating biscuits and growing chubby.

Today Gym Ninja again skipped her usually Saturday Slaughter Session. But this will be the last time as the tattoo (aka Sistene Chapel) is almost done with healing. So it'll be back on it as of next week full force and then some! Hopefully the 2 weeks of pared down almost non-existent workouts will have kick started Gym Ninja's body into a new growth spurt? Uhh. Horrid word spurt.  But you know what GN means.

Having woken early courtesy of a Ninja cat taking a short cut across GN's torso, Gym Ninja decided to do something a little different. Pre-breakfast cardio. Some are  great believers in this, others not so. Gym Ninja falls into the latter camp. The body has been in a state of catabolism overnight so to ask it to perform at a decent level & not expect some damage to the muscle tissue as the body rips into it for fuel is inevitable. However, having popped some insurance policy pills (BCAAs) Gym Ninja thought she'd try it. Just this once mind!

Thus followed 30 mins of indoor jump rope. Now Gym Ninja's cats take a great interest in any house-based exercise Gym Ninja partakes in. Floor work is seen as an invitation to come close and curl up in the most inconvenient place. Skipping is viewed from afar (usually through the gap in the bannisters). All done with a feline look of derision. Today Gym Ninja decided to watch some TV whilst working out. Luckily the World Rally Championships was on, so that distracted GN enough to forget that the Ninja cats were shooting her bemused looks (until one took a casual stroll in front of Gym Ninja, throwing a 'FFS' look over his furry shoulder as he did so).

With the cardio complete, Gym Ninja feasted (after a fashion) on mushroom and egg white omelettes with a smattering of coconut oil, before showering, getting dressed and then...heading to the gym! Old habits die hard.  Once at the gym, it was time to get down to business (well, no not THAT), and hit the free weights. Upper Body Day!!!!

Gym Ninja was getting along quite nicely with her workout and so far had suffered few distractions when a girl decided to take a mat, and plonk it in the path of the fixed cable machine. Now Gym Ninja was setting the cable up to do lateral raises for her side delts yet the girl, unaware of anything other than her need to lie flat on the floor and flail around a bit, decided that the rest of the vacant floor space would not be adequate, and instead chose Gym Ninja's piece of floor.


Apart from being immensely annoying and discourteous, lying in the immediate area of someone using weights is a health & safety risk people! There are plenty of areas in every gym in which to do floor work. Never think it is a good idea to lie on the floor where someone can drop a dumbbell or barbell on your head. Even if you do not get injured, you may inadvertently trip someone up who is carrying weights. One final rant: when lying on the floor in the gym, be doing so for a REASON! There is NO SUCH THING as 'sleepy time' in the gym, ok?

Also causing distraction were two girls who decided to face each other and copy each exercise. Portable Mirrors (albeit with a slight size discrepancy).  Once they had finished mimicking  each other they sat on the floor (GET OFF THE GODDAM FLOOR EVERYONE) and sat SO close they were virtually intertwined. How very odd. Gym Ninja checked to see if a stray limb was conjoined to the other girl in some way? Surely this is the only explanation for such closeness? Any other explanation needs taking out of the gym and straight home please!

The final distraction was a portly lady who was sauntering on the treadmill. When you use a treadmill you switch it on and it begins at a snails pace, yes? Well this was the speed selected by Portly lady, and she was holding on to the rail too.  Oh dear. Perhaps Portly Lady had read somewhere about the 'fat burning zone'? The zone of lower intensity that burns more fat as fuel? Well yes, in a way it does, however the faster you move the more calories you burn, and a calorie is a calorie when it comes to creating a deficit and reducing body fat.  If Portly lady hoped to do some serious damage to her fat cells at that speed then she'd be needing to saunter to the moon and back to burn off any decent amount.  Just to recap...if you are walking on a treadmill slower than you would around Tesco then you are WASTING YOUR TIME. It is not a magical piece of equipment. It doesn't incinerate fat just because you pootle on the belt for 20 minutes holding on.  This also follows regarding weight training. If you have been training with weights for a fair amount of time and yet have seen no discernible change in your body composition and shape, then you are doing something wrong ok? Whether it is your technique, intensity, choice of exercise, rest/sleep or what happens in the kitchen at home, you need to find out what's not working and fix it. There is no reason why you cannot have the physique you aspire to have if you work hard, get the basics right and watch your diet.  Yes, work hard. Nothing worth having ever came easy, but then knowing you have achieved what you set out to achieve despite the hard work is a feeling you need to experience, as it's sensational!

Right. Gym Ninja needs to go now. Stuff to do. On a lighter note, GN discovered that she has been short-listed for a Fitness Model competition she entered in the summer. Surprising yet very welcome news. Gym Ninja plans to set herself some serious physique goals next year with a view to competing, so news like this has given Gym Ninja and added push in the right direction.  Now off you all pop and go set yourself some've gotta be in it to win it as they say... ;-)

Gym Ninja x

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Hmm, somebody or something sabotaged Gym Ninja today.  Not sure why, or when they did it, yet it became apparent that something was going on as the gym session today wore on....

Firstly, Gym Ninja nearly didn't make it to today. No, for last night a spider the size of a rhino thundered across the floor, towards the zebra print rug (& Hamish the cat), stopping dead, one leg on the rug, 7 legs on the tiled floor when Gym Ninja started to move (in panic).

*Mexican Spider Stand Off*

Now what? Would Hamish leap into action & wrestle the rhino spider to the floor, chewing off it's legs one by one leaving a currant sized dot?

No. Hamish would join in with the Mexican Spider Stand Off. Everyone/thing was still. So Gym Ninja started to walk towards the rhino spider, only for it to dart away towards the sofa (at this point Hamish had shown an interest), before back tracking and scurrying under the coffee table. Hamish decided this may be fun to follow, and did simply that, keeping a 'safe 'distance. Great. The rhino spider then scuttled back from under the table, and towards the hallway door. Hamish, again, trotted behind it, creating some sort of spidercat trial akin to sheepdog trials.  Uhhhr! Why no kill?  In the end, Gym Ninja, bored of this game and not wanting rhino spider to disappear, grow bigger and strangle Gym Ninja in her sleep, trod on it.

THERE! A rhino spider sized splat on the floor. Job done.

Braving the weather Gym Ninja headed to the gym. On route she received a text from a client who had trained two days earlier with GN. It had rude words in it about leg soreness. Aww, how terribly rewarding it is training clients? Marvelous stuff. With a smile on her face, Gym Ninja went to get changed ready for some low intensity cardio (tattoo still not quite healed) & some upper body work.

Annoyingly, there are women out there who see the A frame (the A shaped rack where the dumbbells are stored) as a friend. They do not wish to move too far away from The A Frame for fear of losing the friendship of the A Frame, or indeed buckling under the weight of a 2kg dumbbell & not having the strength to make it back to the rack. Therefore they select their cotton bud sized dumbbells and then move 3cm away from The A Frame, before performing a few bad lateral raises/biceps cursl/general comedy swings. Now the problem with this is that Gym Ninja needs to gain access to The A Frame herself. This becomes nigh impossible if a few of you have congregated around it and are flinging weights about. This happened today and caused Gym Ninja much annoyance.

As the workout progressed, Gym Ninja was struck by that horrid feeling again. The pinging sensation from a few blog posts ago?


Aka Sports Bra Suicide.  Yep, the rascal had given up the ghost and pinged a strap. Mid chest workout too! hindsight maybe this was in some way linked to the area Gym Ninja was working? However surely they are made of sterner stuff? So now what? Carry on, without correct support and feeling a bit 'wrong'? Uuuh, no. So with that Gym Ninja had to return to the changing rooms and do a rudimentary repair job. With The Twins firmly restrained, it was then back up to the gym to continue with the weights session.   Within 10 minutes...PING!


This time it was the other strap committing suicide. Now who (or what) had meddled with Gym Ninja's clothing? This is surely not normal behaviour? Hmm, can rhino spiders do stuff like this? Are they known for their dextrous legs? Had a relative of the now splatted rhino spider sneaked into Gym Ninja's sports bag and started meddling with the stitching as an act of revenge? Pffft!

Gym Ninja, now realising how fruitless another repair job would be, had to then struggle through the rest of the session incorrectly restrained!  This just wasn't respectable!

Once finished, Gym Ninja gathered her locker key and sweat towel and headed back out of the gym area, passing a wall smeared in orange stripes. Ahh, the Fake Tan Stretching Wall.  You'd think someone would get a cloth and clean it once in a while huh?

Gym Ninja walked to her locker, grabbed the lanyard that her key was attached to and....


Where the HELL was the key??????  NOW what had that Goddam spider done? Gnawed through the metal so that the key would slip off? Gym  Ninja hoped she wasn't now being haunted by the ghost of rhino spider? So, with The Twins loose (so to speak) Gym Ninja had to then re-trace her steps. Twice GN did this before eventually finding the key in the changing rooms! Uhhr!

On route from the changing rooms, Gym Ninja was hollared by a woman who had asked GN about her protein quaffing a few weeks ago. The woman had been interested as to why GN was drinking it as it was something she said her sons drank, and would it help her gain some muscle definition if she drank it? At the time, Gym Ninja had given the woman a crash course in protein supplementation and recommended Maximuscle (as this is GN's beverage of choice!).   Anyhow, the woman came over to Gym Ninja...

"I went to buy some of that protein the other day" She said. "I went to a small shop locally and explained to the old guy there what I wanted and he said it wasn't for me". 

At this, the woman looked forlorn. 

"Really? Why on earth did he say that?" Questioned Gym Ninja, astonished. Surely in this day and age guys don't still think girls can't take protein supplements? 

"He said it would make me fat and that it would make me bigger and not help me!"  

OMG. Well it appears that there still ARE indeed some misinformed people out there.  So with that, Gym Ninja explained that the Promax protein she'd recommended was low calorie and low carb and that it would support lean muscle growth and not make her fat. Yes perhaps some cheaper less effective brands loaded with sugar and high in calories may add weight, but not in this case. So Gym Ninja made the woman promise to bypass the store and instead go and buy some from Tesco instead. The woman nodded and off she went. 

So just to remind any new readers out there, protein alone won't turn you into some sort of musclebound man/woman. You only need to look around your gym to notice how few of those exist! But what it will do is give your body the fuel and nutrients it needs to repair post-workout, and by repairing it can then reshape and grow stronger.  When choosing a brand, each to their own. Gym Ninja pays extra (when compared to a lot of the brands out there) to use Maximuscle as this is the brand she has seen greatest improvements using herself and it tastes pretty amazing too.  Remember like everything in life, you get what you pay for. Send off for samples if a supplement company offer them and see what you like? There's no point saving money by buying a cheaper brand it if tastes like dishwater and you won't drink it. On the flip side, tasting great isn't always an indicator of a quality supplement, so do your research, compare ingredients and choose what's best for you. As a general and sweeping statement, go for the well-known brands such as Maximuscle, CNP, MuscleTech, PhD, EAS etc, and avoid cheap and cheerful makes like 'Holland & Barrett' or 'Body Fortress'. 

There you go. You all just got the woman's rapid protein lesson too! 

On that note, Gym Ninja shall leave you all to it and allow you to all begin your homework of googling various supplement brands and doing your own product comparison.

Toodle pip!
Gym Ninja (& the ghost of rhino spider) x

Monday, 13 September 2010

Cuddly Toysville Ninja

Gym Ninja plans on cobbling together a gym-based blog post today. Out of nowhere. LUCKY you.

Well, as you all know, Gym Ninja has been resting up, or 'De-Loading' (which is what a period of planned rest from the gym/fitness regime is called) for about a week. It can be hard to do when you love training, yet there are many benefits (not just those related to tattoo healing!). You come back well rested and this in turn allows the body to go on to become stronger, leaner, faster, or whatever it is your particular goals may be? Sounds wonderful to a non-addict. Rest up and don't exercise and you get fitter? Well, yes, but you need to be in a regular routine in order to see a benefit. Those Couch Potatoes aren't just biding their time until the Olympics you know!

However a downside is that if you, like Gym Ninja, are an endorphin junkie and miss the high, post workout, or if you, like Gym Ninja, use the gym as a way of releasing stress, then you really DO get cranky when you cannot train. Gym Ninja's last workout had been Monday of last week. By Sunday Gym Ninja was bouncing off the the point where enough was enough. It was time to work out a way of getting some cardio in that wouldn't affect the tattoo healing yet would save millions of innocent yet annoying people from the wrath of a non-training Ninja.  What did Gym Ninja come up with?  Skipping. Or Jump Rope to you Yanks.  Yep, if Gym Ninja did some skipping in the privacy of her own home, this would mean she would merrily box off a cardio session sans workout wear. The lycra would rub on the tattoo you Sunday, that HOLY day of the week, saw Gym Ninja in nowt but her underwear skipping for 30 minutes in her lounge.


Despite curdling all of your brains with that image, the PLUS side was that Gym Ninja got her endorphin hit. So today, Monday, saw another sneaky workout but this time for the upper body. Weights! Mmmm, how Gym Ninja loves her weight training.........

But what did Gym Ninja see when she went to the gym? Dear GOD! Has it become some sort of child play area since she was here last? Now at the gym Gym Ninja trains at, are lockers that you use with your own padlock. All of the lockers are individually numbered. Not that you need bother to memorise the number as usually you kind of DO recall the area you stuffed your clothes in. Occasionally you may stuff your key into someone elses lock, but you're usually only 1 or 2 doors down from the right one. So WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY do people need to have something like THIS attached to their padlock????

So an individually numbered locker isn't enough for you? You actually require a toy dog hanging off your padlock in order to remember where your clothes are? Your memory is THAT bad? 

Gym Ninja turned away and went to another area of the changing rooms. Somewhere a little less 'childish'.  


SERIOUSLY? What the hell is this? 
A horrid evil looking floppy butterfly? Who'd even WANT other people to know that this was your locker and floppy butterfly? Look at it's freaky antenna. Euurh. It was no good, Gym Ninja couldn't get changed here. This is worse than the dog. Right, there's no other thing for the far side of the locker room.....

As Gym Ninja rounded the corner, the sight that filled her eyes was hideous.... Not content with a toy dog. NOT content with a floppy butterfly. Some gym user had gone one stage further in the memory-nudging locker technique.....THIS ladies & gentleman, met Gym Ninja's eyes.....

WHERE The HELL do you even BUY one of these? Who buys an ET keyring? WHO buys ET wearing a hoodie??????????????????? Is this some sort of sick joke? 

Gym Ninja almost had her workout ruined because of Cuddly Toysville.  Had Gym Ninja not partaken in semi-naked jump rope the day before then quite possibly lives would have been lost.  People. GET A GRIP! Memorise the number of your locker. It's not hard.  if you don't then Gym Ninja will personally go out and buy identical toys and hang them on the lock a few doors away from yours. THEN what use is it? Huh? You go back to the changing rom and there are 17 ETs all in a row. Buggered! Now GET BACK to remembering the number and dispense with these silly silly things.


Needless to say, the gym session went well as GN had much anger to vent thanks to Cuddly Toysville. Basic compound moves and a few isolation moves to finish with and Gym Ninja was rewarded with quite a good post-workout pump. Good stuff!

So, there is your cobbled together gym based blog post. There would have been more to the actual workout part yet Gym Ninja was too enraged with the kerings to remember what else had occurred. Hmmm, wait. Maybe these things ARE useful as a memory aid? Gym Ninja could hang them off every person she wanted to blog about......?

Right, enough is enough of this silly blog post today. Get back here tomorrow. There may well be a piece on motivation and hot buttons if you're good.....

Toodle pip

Gym Ninja x

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Tattoo Ninja

Dear GOD!
Another non-gym blog post in the Gym Blog.  If this is tiresome for you Ninjarettes then merely log out quickly and check back for the next post when it's up as that may well be a meaty gym blog of correct gym-related observations. However if you are, as Gym Ninja assumes you to be, a tad nosy/bored/too lazy to close the window, then carry on reading...........

So.........  Gym Ninja was tattooed on Tuesday.  Of course Gym Ninja has already twice before been doodled upon by a Tattoo Artist, and as this third tattoo is technically a 'bolt on' to what she already has, does it mean it is in fact 2b?  OK, let us call it Tattoo 2b.  It was a year almost to the day part 2a was completed and Gym Ninja always wanted to add to it. Every now & then she'd mull over what to do and then get distracted by a nice cup of tea/shoes/disaster....yet for some reason last week, Gym Ninja found herself wandering into the Tattoo Emporium, having a bit of a consultation with Mr Tattoo, and then oopsie, found herself booked into a cancellation slot for 3 days later.  Golly!

Now a downside of being tattooed is the time off training. For a gym junkie such as Gym Ninja, this is most traumatic part and is also why you are now suffering from not having a gym blog post. Sweat is pushing out toxins from the body and as the tattoo is in fact a wound until healed, you do not want to go flooding the area with toxins until it is healed. After it is healed? Hell yeh, go cockahoop with your toxin floods. So Gym Ninja carefully constructed a workout programme  to follow over the next week or so that will allow some work (such as abs and upper body) yet avoid the lower body and cardio (the lower body being avoided as this is where the tattoo resides). Again it's best not to overtly work/stretch/have clothing such as lycra rub on the tattoo whilst it is in it's healing period for fear of knocking off the scab and taking with it some of the design.

Enjoying the scab/sweat talk so far? Betcha glad you decided to read on? OK, deep breath and carry on.

1pm was soon to come around and in trotted Gym Ninja for her 2 hour slot. Mr Tattoo Man had already drawn up the part of the additional design that was to be 'Tattoo 2b', and once that was positioned, he went a tad 'creative' with his special marker pen, to freehand the rest of the design so it would all tie in. At this point is was fair to say Gym Ninja felt a bit like a notepad next to the telephone that you doodle on?

"Would you mind if I take a snap of the ink & tattoo needle before you begin?" Asked Gym Ninja, her cute face in place.

Mr Tattoo Man looked unimpressed and scowled a bit as Gym Ninja leaned over and took a snap.  Dear GOD. Do not p*ss off your tattooist before he starts. BAD idea! Anyhow, here it is. Looks like a kids painting area!

Originally when Tattoo 2a was inked a year ago, Gym Ninja had wondered if it was a tad too large? Now here she was, doubling the size of it. Greedy Gym Ninja!  But the design looked great so Gym Ninja took up her position on the tattoo bed, iPhone glued into her hand, and waited for him to begin.

Bless Mr Tattoo Man for having to get that close to Gym Ninja's semi naked body and make small talk at the same time. However Gym Ninja was delighted to see that, 12 months on from her last visit, Mr Tattoo Man had seen the light and become one of the Apple Elite. Yes, he too now owned an iPhone. SPLENDID! Thus followed some App swapping whilst Mr Tattoo Man tore into Gym Ninja's flesh with his needle.
OK, so maybe not 'tore into'....
Gym Ninja is being dramatic for the readers enjoyment. Tattoos are friendly gentle things that merely dance across the body, scattering their inky deposits TO THE BONE!  OK OK,so no, not really to the bone. There is that drama again. Gym Ninja enjoys the tattooing experience to be fair and if it hadn't been for Mr Tattoo Man holding Gym Ninja in conversation as he inked her skin then she'd most likely have fallen asleep. This is the thing with Gym Ninja. Put her in a lying position and she'll most likely fall asleep within 3 minutes unless you speak to her.

It was quite interesting to swap App suggestions with a Tattoo Artist. Would this be the day that Mr Tattoo Man was to learn about 'Talking Carl'? the App that repeats what you say in a cartoon voice? Er....nope. Maybe not. Laughing Tattoo Artists are not desirable when they are in the middle of inking an outline. However Gym Ninja did share TV Catch Up and WhatsApp with Mr Tattoo Man and he returned the favour by showing her a free movie site to view on the iPhone, plus an App that allowed him to link his guitar through his phone like an amp.


After the App swapping session, Gym Ninja decided to ask Mr Tattoo Man some probing tattoo-related questions, and examples of a few of these are below.

GN: "So, do you prefer the outline bit or colouring in bit the most?"

Mr Tattoo Man: "You make it sound like crayons!"

GN: "Bet you hate it when people want a horse tattoo as they are SO hard to draw?"

Mr Tattoo Man: "Er, I had to do a tattoo of a horses face recently. It turned out OK".

GN: "Do you ever feel like tattooing in a hidden message on football club tattoos?"

Mr Tattoo Man:  "No, not unless I want to be a the bottom of a river wearing concrete boots!"

Gym Ninja learned a lot that day.  It's always interesting meeting people like Mr Tattoo Man, as he also deals with the public day in day out, & shares similar characteristics to Gym Ninja when it comes to 'debriefing' at the end of the day, so to speak.  The thing with meeting people every hour of the day and adapting your small talk to suit the person, is that it can be very tiring mentally. So when you get home, all you wan to do is close the door and not talk to anyone.  Turns out Mr Tattoo Man is also a kindred spirit when it comes to not answering the front door if you're not expecting anyone! After all, if you've not invited them then there cannot possibly be any requirement for them to be at your door huh?

After about 2 hours, Gym Ninja's new tattoo was complete.  There was a bit of an awkward moment when Mr Tattoo Man, roll of cling film in hand, couldn't quite figure out how he would wrap up the area, but with some assistance from Gym Ninja and a bit of apologising from Mr Tattoo Man for 'manhandling' Gym Ninja, the area was covered and 'aftercare' instructions doled out.

So now Gym Ninja is allowing the tattoo to heal. At the point of posting this blog, it is technically Day 6 (if you count the actual day) and bits of skin are flaking off (in the colours inked which is rather pretty) and the tattoo is healing nicely. All the same, Gym Ninja is erring on the side of caution and has only just done some cardio today in the form of 30 mins jump rope (well, Gym Ninja maybe should wait a bit longer, however was going insane without her endorphins).  How do people NOT exercise? They must feel lousy!

OK, non-gym post complete. Now be off with you all. Just because Gym Ninja isn't at 100% workout intensity that's no reason for you all to slack off now is it? ;)

Gym Ninja x

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Nutrition Ninja & the Polyester Boys

Today Gym Ninja attended a course entitled 'Advanced Nutrition of Physical Performance'. It was a 1 day course that would cover nutritional information and sports supplementation to, well, enhance physical performance (hence the  name of the course).  Running late, Gym Ninja hot-footed it into the venue location. No need for fitness gear today as it was merely a series of lectures, so Gym Ninja dressed as a 'girl' in a little cute black dress and knee boots.

The course tutor turned out to be one of Gym Ninja's Personal Trainer examiners. He greeted Gym Ninja warmly and then announced that everyone on the course should follow him to the classroom. Gym Ninja stood did just two others.


Only 3 on the course?

Not only that, but the other two were male, and dressed head to toe in ghetto fabulous shellsuits. EEEK! Polyester sportswear at it's very worst! Gym Ninja looked down at her girl dress and boots, and looked back at the men in their Polyester clothes. Why, Gym Ninja was some sort of chameleon surely the way she manages to blend into every crowd wherever she goes....ahem.  

The two Polyester Boys stared at Gym Ninja, horrified that a girl was in their midsts. How could this be? A GIRL interested in sports nutrition and supplementation?   In total silence all three trailed after the tutor to the classroom and Gym Ninja, first into the classroom, headed towards a seat and sat down. The Polyester Boys followed Gym Ninja, and then sat next to each other, leaving a very noticeable gap between themselves and Gym Ninja in her natural fabrics.  Mixing well so far!!!!!

The tutor decided the class (such that it was) needed to introduce themselves. Polyester Boy 1 (PB1) began. He was some sort of coach for a 2nd division football team.  PB1 seemed impressed at his own status and wore his logo'd  football club polyester with apparent pride.   Polyester Boy 2 (PB2) then introduced himself. He was a Personal Trainer locally. At least, that's what Gym Ninja THINKS he said? His accent was so guttural she may have misinterpreted him clearing out a build up of phlegm? His physique certainly didn't indicate he was a PT, but hey, it takes all sorts eh?   Then it was Gym Ninja's turn. She introduced herself as a Personal Trainer, and was then interrupted by the tutor who explained to The Polyester Boys that GN was a graduate and 'One of the best Personal Trainers we saw'.

Gym Ninja glowed with pride at this comment, secretly taking it to be a coded message and in fact meaning that she was in fact THE BEST PT they'd ever had,  and smiled at the Polyester Boys and tutor. The Polyester Boys, noticing that Gym Ninja had made eye contact with them, quickly looked at the surface of the desk.  Great.

And so the course began. The first lecture was Physiological Pathways behind Optimal Energy and was basically a bit of a chemistry lesson covering such conversational gems as Glycolysis, Kreb's Cycle, Oxidative Phosphorylation, Amino Acid Breakdown, Beta Oxidation and the ATP-PC system.  This was where Gym Ninja and the Polyester Boys learned that Lactic Acid is our friend and trying to help us prevent extreme acidosis.  Aww, Lactic Acid you sweetie you!

Following a break where Gym Ninja & The Polyester Boys parted company in total silence, the group returned for the next lecture before lunch: Nutrient Needs For Maximal Performance'. In a nut shell this involved a structured lecture of proposed macronutrient percentages, with a disclaimer saying that it actually does vary from individual to individual.  This threw up such informative gems as:

Females are better adapted at using fat as fuel than men.

Runners on a low fat diet will reduce their performance & are better on a medium to high fat diet.

Carb loading over 4 days (60-75% carbs) before exercise only saw any discernible benefit in performance at over 85% of VO2 Max in men, and ABSOLUTELY ZERO benefit in women, thus leading them to the statement that Carb Loading is a waste of time. 

Wow. That last fact was actually extremely interesting! No more binges whilst pretending you are carb-loading people!  Another myth blown out of the water is that there is a particular ideal one macronutrient (such as carbs only or protein only) pre-workout meal to have? In fact studies show that all 3 macronutrients in ideally a 40:40:20 ratio (with protein being 20%) is the best option.

Then the lecture moved on to specific macronutrients, and all too soon protein was brought up. PB1 interjected with a question. He asked the tutor about pre-football protein ingestion, as according to a rep from CNP who came to chat with him and the team, it was beneficial if they all down  6 of the test-tube style protein shots EACH prior to a game.

Gym Ninja looked at PB1. Do not say it Gym Ninja. Do not point it out. PB1 has obviously lived with his naivety for years, so why ruin it now?

"Er, do you think maybe he was saying that as he is a sales rep & trying to get you to buy the product?"

AHHHR! Gym Ninja said it! PB1 turned to look at Gym Ninja, remembered she was a GIRL, quickly looked away and then nodded, the slow dawning realisation creeping over him. Yep. That'd be it. It was a sales pitch.

Meanwhile PB2 was casting sneaky sideways glances over at Gym Ninja. Gym Ninja turned to look back at him, only to see his head snap back in the opposite direction. This, ladies and gentlemen, was to happen CONTINUALLY for the duration of the day.

So, ending with the 'bomb shell' (hardly) that protein intake accounts for 12% of energy production, the intrepid three were allowed 45 minutes break for lunch. The three left the room in complete silence. JEEEZ it was like being in a library. If it hadn't have been for the rustle of polyester then Gym Ninja would have assumed she had gone deaf......

Gym Ninja left the building and headed out to track down some sushi. But what was this? Gym Ninja had stumbled upon some sort of Sheepdog Trial surely from the sound of the GODDAM WHISTLES that were being heard? Why? WHY whistle? Here's the question. What if Gym Ninja RESPONDED to your whistle? What if Gym Ninja stopped, turned around, smiled at you for whistling and the RAN AFTER YOU? Seriously, why???????

After lunch Gym Ninja returned to the classroom. The Polyester Boys were already seated and chatting quietly. As Gym Ninja walked into the room, the PBs stopped talking, looked at the desk and went quiet.


Once the tutor returned, the afternoon lectures on Legal Performance Aids (Sports Supplements) began. Now this was of real interest to Gym Ninja, and so the group learned about the differing types of whey protein manufacture and how ion exchange whey differs from Hydrolyzed Whey, how the manufacturers disguise the addition of MSG and 'other stories'.  At this point, Gym Ninja began to ask questions, such as the benefits of cold pressed whey. The two Polyester Boys looked alarmed. The GIRL was asking a question about protein! Then, when there  followed a conversation about brands, (and when the tutor asked if anyone took any protein supplements), the Polyester Boys virtually self-combusted when Gym Ninja said that she favoured the Maximuscle range.  The tutor seemed interested. He too liked the range but had favoured PhD. The Polyester Boys sat in silence (no surprise there then) as Gym Ninja and the tutor chatted about how marvelous Cyclone was, and flavours of protein (choc mint being the best).

Very soon the group moved on to Casein protein. This is a slower released protein that whey and is ideal for before bed as it almost drip-feeds protein into you.

"CNP do a Protein Pudding thats a mix of whey and casein" Said Gym Ninja when the tutor asked if anyone knew of any brands that offered casein. PB1 nearly collapsed on the table at this point.

Then, as the discussions progressed, the group covered Creatine supplementation (and how it is named from the Greek word KREAS That means flesh), and energy drinks and their benefits/pitfalls.  Gym Ninja also learned that Taurine had originally been discovered in 1827 in Ox Bile. Mmmmm, Ox bile! This is why Red Bull (containing Taurine) is so named apparently. A throwback private joke reference to the old Ox Bile.

By the end of the course, it came to the section whereby the tutor asked if anyone had any questions? The Polyester Boys looked at the desk. Well, to be truthful PB2 switched between surreptitious sideways glances at Gym Ninja (yep, Gym Ninja was STILL a girl PB2) and his desk. All in total silence. Hmm, maybe he DID have a build up of phlegm after all? Causing muteness? So Gym Ninja asked the tutor about BCAA supplementation before/during/after a workout, and also about supplementation with ZMA (a bit pointless apparently as calcium blocks the uptake of ZMA so you'd have to go without any calcium in order to benefit according to the tutor).  The Polyester Boys at this point were SO startled that smoke started to come out from their shell suits. Uh oh! Self combustion of man-made fabrics due to incredulity induced  'hot under the collar-itis'. Poor boys!!!!! Gym Ninja had better shut up.

The course wrapped up and off Gym Ninja went, out of the silence of the Polyester Clad World of the classroom and into the outdoor world of  natural fabrics and conversational chatter. Dear GOD, please let there be men of more conversational skills on the next course? PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

Gym Ninja x

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Busy Ninja

Gym Ninja has been a busy Ninja of late.  Meetings here and there and of course the essential Gym sessions. Heaven forbid that Gym Ninja become Chubby Ninja!
A few days ago, Gym Ninja had to hurtle across to a different city for a business meeting. 'Advice' would be given on how to source grants for the business, and then GN would be free to return to the place she loves the most. Failing the fact that she may not be able to get a last minute flight to Vegas,  Gym Ninja would instead then have to make do with the gym....

Gym Ninja decided that as the sun was shining she would 'girl it up' a bit for the meeting and donned a cute black dress. Heels were set at the standard 4" minimum heel height, perhaps not so practical for rail travel, yet Gym Ninja laughs in the face of public transport. Sauntering towards the train Gym Ninja passed a group of young lads, one of whom had his shirt off and was displaying what could only be likened to a pipe cleaner for a torso. Same colour too.

"Phwoah, she's well fit, I'd do her!" Snorted Pipe Cleaner Boy.

THIS Is why Gym Ninja does not do public transport. Generic ratings of hotness from random weedy men, plus no opportunity to point out that he would never get a chance to 'do' Gym Ninja.

Once at the venue for the meeting, Gym Ninja waited to be greeted. A short woman appeared from behind a door. Well, she was in a room behind the door, not just standing 'behind a door'. That'd just be weird.

"Oooh, I'm intimidated already!" Laughed the Small Woman, holding her hands up in mock terror as Gym Ninja walked towards her.

"You look lovely I mean!", She explained.

Pfft!  Gym Ninja must remember to never again wear the dress in public. It attracts too many random comments from strangers.  The meeting went well, apart from the  moment when Gym Ninja suggested that Small Woman may wish to hire her as her Personal Trainer? This time the pantomime hands of terror were genuine.  What did she think? That Gym Ninja would insist she drop and give her 20?  Gym Ninja would not do that. She'd start her on 10.

Later that evening Gym Ninja headed to the  gym (no last minute Vegas flights available). It would be GNs final decent gym session before she would be inked and so it needed to be a good one. Unfortunately the workout failed to start well as Gym Ninja had donned a new sports top and it was crushing Gym Ninja's 'Twins' with a vice like grip.

People take heed! Not all lycra has the same stretch factor! Some lycra tries to compress the breath out of you like a Boa Constrictor. 

So struggling to stay alive despite the best efforts of the killer lycra, Gym Ninja began her workout.

Well it wouldn't be a Ninja workout if the odd body folk didn't show up now would it?  Sure enough, Gym Ninja found herself swiftly checking through the window to double-check the Mother Ship wasn't hovering nearby? After all, what other explanation was there for such a mixed bag of faces at the gym today?????  No sign of a Mother Ship, so Gym Ninja checked the car park for corn circles just to be on the safe side (or tarmac circles as they would obviously be). Nope. Cannot possibly be an alien invasion after all........

Ignoring the woman with the overhanging browbone (Bride of Frankenstein)  Gym Ninja tried to get on with her workout. That was until......


Gym Ninja's eyes were bleeding! It was only HOT PANT COUGAR! An older woman who wears hot pants rather too 'hot'. Not only that, but she chooses to do her barbell Good Mornings in the middle of the gym, her 'business end' as it were, faced directly towards the men. That'd be the men with the wide eyes, gawping mouths and uncomfortable 'stance'.  Gym Ninja tried to look away, and yet the pull of Hot Pant Cougar was too much. Like a lycra clad black hole (ewww) it pulled anyone nearby towards it.


With great force, Gym Ninja managed to divert her eyes and look away, and just as she did so saw a poor innocent (well, not so much now) Teenager walking as if in a daze towards the direction of Hot Pant Cougar, his eyes wide, his walk unstable, his mouth slightly foaming. Oh no. This was NO time for Hot Pant Cougar to switch to the lying hamstring curl....

Luckily, Gym Ninja was swiftly distracted from the sight of Lamb To The Slaughter (the teen) being drawn towards the black hole that is Hot Pant Cougar, by a guy in a Rooney Shirt.


Right at this exact moment in time you want to walk around in a Rooney shirt huh? Now Gym Ninja had horrid thoughts of recent events in her mind, Quick...where was the Bride of Frankenstein when you needed a distraction eh????

Gym Ninja x

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Clumsy Ninja, Blind Snoopy and other stories.

Hello sweet little Ninjarettes and welcome back again. gym Ninja is surprised to see you after the previous' Open Ninja' post, as even she was bored by typing it! Bless you all.

Yep, Gym Ninja is known for her clumsy ways. Even Gym Ninja's cats are aware of this clumsiness. This is possibly due to the fact they are often on the receiving end of it. Imagine if you will the size of a tiny cat paw on the floor. It barely overhangs their little legs in terms of how far it protrudes no? Yet how is it that Gym Ninja manages to step on the paw so often (by accident of course)?

Off Gym Ninja went to the gym. Now recently Gym Ninja's gym bag had broken a zip or two. They'd just kind of 'burst' of their own accord, which meant that occasionally mid traipse across the car park or changing rooms, Gym Ninja's BCAA supplements would make a leap for freedom diving to the floor and making GN appear to be some sort of druggie.  Then of course there was the regular 'Crap! I spilled my protein powder all over the vanity area' clumsiness that further backed up the regular opinion that Gym Ninja was indeed some sort of junkie and was perhaps wanting to do a few lines post workout....?

Today, the Clumsies were bad though.Once Gym Ninja was warmed up, she'd headed to the treadmill to begin an interval session. Within 3 minutes she felt a ping.
Oh no.
Nothing worse than feeling something ping when running.  Nooooooooooo!

But fear not Ninjarettes, it wasn't a tendon or muscle. Oh no. It was the strap of Gym Ninja's Sports Bra. Having finally given up on the heavy duty task assigned to it, the strap had decided enough was enough and it just unpinged itself and started flailing around. What to do???? Gym Ninja could not possibly continue to run whilst incorrectly restrained. Gym Ninja does NOT wish to suffer from 'Blind Snoopy Syndrome'... (Gym Ninja will wait until all you innocents go and ask someone more worldy as to what a Blind Snoopy is, assuming you cannot guess?). There was no other thing for it. Gym Ninja would have to abort the run, try & fix up the suicidal sports bra and continue a lower-impact workout. Pfft!

Once the Sports Bra was temporarily repaired, Gym Ninja exited the changing rooms via the spiral staircase. Now protocol is that when about to use the spiral staircase from either below or above, one should scan the area. If another person is already ON the staircase, then the polite and sensible thing to do is to wait until they have ascended/descended & then begin your own trip. Gym Ninja did all the rudimentary checks. Scanning upwards, the stairway was clear. Gym Ninja began her ascent of the spiral staircase into the gym..

Half way up the staircase, it began to shake. No, it was not another sports bra snapping, but instead the lead-shod feet of a woman who had apparently not received the unspoken rule of spiral staircase etiquette and had begun her heavy-footed descent towards Gym Ninja.


This was a SPIRAL STAIRCASE for God's sake. Was Elephant Feet suicidal in her mission?

Apparently not.

Elephant Feet was instead a big staircase bully and immediately took the wide side, forcing Gym Ninja to take the risky narrow tippy-toe side that for some reason has NO handrail. Why no handrail on the most dangerous side of the spiral staircase? Was this a form of Survival of The Fittest? Only the thickos take the narrow side and therefore plunge to their death, thus weeding out the thickos and leaving a more sensible gene pool?   Well Gym Ninja was far from a thicko yet had two options. Take the tippy-toe side or be trampled under the rather well-upholstered woman that was Elephant Feet.   It was a close call. Gym Ninja felt her right foot slip into the chasm as Elephant Feet thundered past, yet quickly regained her balance and made it safely, albeit shaken, to the top.

As if in some way to make up for this trauma, The Gym Gods were now smiling down upon Gym Ninja and to her left she was offered the vision of a super-fit man performing burpees.  A rare sight indeed in Gym Ninja's gym. A fit man, let alone someone doing an exercise that involved a bit of effort. Now Gym Gods, if you would just sort it that Burpee Boy's clothes fall off then Gym Ninja will be eternally grateful.....

But no.

The Gym Gods are fickle in their nature. They decided that having widened Gym Ninja's pupils with the delightful sight of Burpee Boy, they  would then burn off the retinas by offering up a view of today's Hydropool. Gym Ninja is in the habit of looking down through the window to view the pool in order to help her decide whether to partake in a bit of communal bubbling? So it was without much thought that Gym Ninja cast her gaze towards the pool area.

Sweet Mary mother of Jesus! In the Hydropool was one of the world's greatest mysteries.

Big Foot!

Big Foot was there, in the Hydrpool, bubbling away, his fur all soggy and splaying out somewhat as the water foamed around him. Next to him was a naked pudgy man with his nose underlined. Or, as some may prefer to call it, 'a moustache'.

Opposite Big Foot and Pudgy were three teenage boys of about 15 or 16 years old. All gangly and hunched forwards, their hair cut to look like velcro. Gym Ninja was a bit concerned that should they hunch towards each other any more that their velcro hairstyles would lock together causing a Hydropool calamity!

HOW on EARTH was Gym Ninja supposed to don a bikini and step into that foamy selection of oddballs?  No, no no, this would NEVER do. What if Gym Ninja's Twins were hellbent on making a dash for freedom and not content in the failed Sports Bra Suicide mission, instead chose to burst forth in the Hydropool?   One of Big Foot's yeti hairs may slap itself onto Gym Nina's exposed flesh, and the commotion may cause all three of the Velcro Boys to curl so far forwards to see naked Ninja that they'd forever be in a headlock with each other? Not only that, but Gym Ninja could now see a woman  with what appeared to be a Mexican Wave ripple effect under her swimming costume now lowering herself into the water.  Really Gym Gods, is there any need for such a selection in one pool?

Gym Ninja instead decided to make do with her weight session, and despite a few clumsy yet now typical incidents, (such as walking into a barbell, slipping on an abandoned mat and  banging her head on a wayward cable attachment) left the gym without the Hydropool Experience....

Gym Ninja x

Friday, 3 September 2010

Open Ninja

Ok, so this isn't quite a ladylike blog title now is it?

Gym Ninja herself wasn't open. No. Gym Ninja had been invited to participate in a 'Ladies Only' Open Evening and it was an opportunity to promote GN's soon-to-be-launched PT business. It would cost Gym Ninja nothing, other than 2 hours of her time. What is that in the great scheme of things? Why it is an opportunity, that is what it is!

The Open Evening was to be held at a Showroom of a well-known car dealers locally. All their female existing and potential new buyers were invited to attend to view the girly range of cars and to stuff a few ill-chosen food-shaped nutrient free lumps into their mouths. As they circled the balloon adorned cars, they would also be able to mooch at the carefully chosen (for maximum stereotypical effect) businesses that may 'also appeal'. This included a Make Up Company, The Body Shop (high street products not the re-spray car repairs), a jeweller and yours truly, Gym Ninja. Alongside these girly companies were a representative of the RAC and the Police.


Betcha wish you had an invite huh? No need for Gym Ninja to tell you that the balloons were pink either really is there?

Now Gym Ninja had wangled an invite as Mum Ninja knew the organiser. It would cost nothing and who knows what may come of it? So Gym Ninja packed up some flyers, business cards and a file showing some Testimonials and off she went.

The Car Show room was nothing to write home about. A cute convertible prettied up with balloons and a few tables scattered around the edges for the various stereotypes to set their wares on. Gym Ninja was on the table next to the policeman and the RAC man who were both sat looking bored.

Within minutes a girl had cannon-balled over to Gym Ninja. An old school friend by all accounts. Apparently Gym Ninja has 'changed' (after much looking up & down of her body). This was the best opener that the old school chum could muster up.

Changed you say? From the school days over a decade ago? Fancy!

"Ha ha, can you get me a body like yours?" Laughed the school friend, nodding towards Gym Ninja.

"Yes'" Replied Gym Ninja.

The school friend looked taken aback, looked at her watch and then making her excuses, almost ran across the showroom from whence she came. Ahh, the fear of hard work had sent her scurrying off.

As the open event began to fill up, Gym Ninja couldn't help but notice that the moment the guests realised that there was a Personal Trainer in the room, that they cut out the corner where GN was. Usually this was done in an obvious manner. A couple of women would wander slowly past  the tables, mooching at the jewellery and make up, then turn around, see the Personal Trainer, recoil in horror, look down at their paper plate piled high with sausage rolls, sandwiches, crisps and a token cupcake, glance back at Gym Ninja, grasp the arm of their friend and quickly scuttle away.


Unfortunately for everyone, fitness is NOT contagious. What did these women think would happen? That Gym Ninja would leap over the table, wrestle their plate from their hands, stamp on it then force them to drop and give her 20?   Dear GOD people!

Eventually, a few interested (or merely confused?) ladies came over to Gym Ninja.

"Oooh, a Personal Trainer huh?" Said an older woman with white hair and bottle top glasses.  The woman gave Gym Ninja's body the once-over.

"Of course I assume there are age limitations?" She simpered, pushing a cake into her mouth.

Gym Ninja was having none of it! After a brief yet seemingly affective pep talk about age being no limit/use it or lose it and so on, Gym Ninja soon had the woman filling in her details and entering the prize draw to win a month of free torture at the very hands of Gym Ninja. Mwahahaha!

Within 10 minutes the policeman had wandered over for a chat. He was dressed in 'civvies' and was muttering about how many times he'd been asked to show a woman a car.

"They think I'm a bloody car salesman!" He muttered, scowling.

Gym Ninja nodded sympathetically.

"I'm simply here to talk to them about personal security. I mean, some of the have NO commons sense. If you're going to leave your handbag on the passenger seat of a car in a dodgy part of town then do not be surprised if it gets stolen." He shook his head with a 'would you believe it' look on his face.

One of the showroom staff walked past Gym Ninja's table with a tray of wine.

"Oooh aren't you good drinking water? Can you get me a body like yours?" She smiled, as she walked past Gym Ninja, her eyes telling a different story. The smile may have said 'good' yet the eyes said 'weirdo'. Gee thanks. The old 'body like yours' line again.

Meanwhile at the table opposite, the make up artist was attempting to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.  She was daubing on some industrial strength make up onto a woman who's eyebrows were blatantly a stranger to tweezers.  It was fascinating, as the more make up the woman added, the closer to Les Dawson the victim became.

A few more brave ladies eventually sauntered over to speak with Gym Ninja and marvel at the 'Before & After' testimonial file.   Would you readers care to guess the most popular comment that came from their lips? Yup!....

"Can you get me a body like yours?"  One of the ladies said, laughing and nudging her friends as she did so.
The friends also laughed.
"Yeh, I'd like a body like yours too. Can you get me a body like yours?"


"Yes". Replied Gym Ninja.

Again, their faces fell, terrified of being roped in to some hard work at the gym and then they swiftly moved on. Seriously, if you don't WANT a body like Gym Ninja's then don't ask the question.

After the sudden flurry of interest had passed, along came the RAC man.

"So, er, how much do you charge?" He enquired, whilst pretending to read a flyer. Had he only have realised the flyer in question was a price list then perhaps Gym Ninja needn't have given him one of her 'looks'?  However Gym Ninja should probably be grateful that HE didn't ask the 'Can I have a body like yours' line.

"I could probably do with this you know, as it's so hard when driving around all day." RAC man rolled his eyes whilst rubbing his substantial belly and stuffing another sandwich into his mouth. Gym Ninja nodded, told him to keep the price list and to give her a call if he wanted a consultation.  He would, of course, be required to leave the sandwich elsewhere should he decide to book in? Meanwhile, in the background, the policeman was busy explaining to a couple of elderly ladies that he wasn't actually a car salesman....they appeared confused.

As the evening wound down, the policeman came back over and handed Gym Ninja a pen.

"Here you go." He muttered. 'Have one of these.  You may think it's a normal pen, but I can assure you it's not. It's a Security marker. You can mark all your stuff with your post code. Shows up in a special light so  when it's found it can be returned to you. That's assuming it ever DOES get found of course..."

OMG the world's most pessimistic policeman!

After 2 hours the event wound up and everyone began to pack up and leave. More ladies trailed past Gym Ninja's table,  guiltily holding up their plates of junk food and glasses of wine and giving GN their best 'Ooops, ah well what can you do?' face, with the odd 'Can you get me a body like yours' comment chucked in for good measure.


Why ask? WHY ask? if you feel guilty and are at the stage when you know it's starting to be detrimental to your health, then why carry on when faced with an opportunity to ask for help and advice? Advice is free. Motivation is offered as standard.

But then Gym Ninja was completely distracted from this heartfelt soul searching when Les Dawson teetered past.......

Gym Ninja x