Fab by 40 – Adding a Little Adventure

As my personal training sessions with SAFRA EnergyOne starts shifting into high gear, I begin to feel the limitations of a stamina deficit. Breath recovery in-between sets lasts an ice age and my fortitude to tahan the lactic burn is in the pits.

As we engage in strenuous exercises, lactic acid builds up in the muscles and causes a burning sensation (known as lactic acidosis). This condition is caused by muscles receiving too little oxygen when being worked and one of the ways to minimize lactic acidosis is to increase oxygen flow to the muscles through regular cardiovascular activities such as jogging, cycling and swimming.

Having a spin at SAFRA Toa Payoh’s EnergyOne gym has the added advantage of looking out to a beautiful pool. For the purpose of strength training, adjust the bicycle’s seat such that it is lower than the handle bar. This way, your legs won’t be extended fully during each downward paddle and that keeps the quadriceps constantly engaged. It also works the lower abs at the same time. Hopefully I can wave goodbye to my chicken legs and get ripped abs soon!

Hence, the better our endurance, the less pain our muscles will feel during workouts; which means we can lift longer and heavier! Being able to lift heavier weights more frequently equates to bigger muscles so don’t neglect the importance of improving endurance while bodybuilding.

So in a bid to spice up my fitness routine and increase my endurance, I went on a long distance cycling trip over the weekend to add a little adventure. The bicycle tour starts from Sungai Rengit (a seaside village in the Johorian township of Pengerang) all the way to Desaru and back. A total distance of about 70km!

I attempted this cycling ‘feat’ earlier in March but failed to reach Desaru (you can read about it here) and I’ve been itching to try it again ever since. So for 2 days, I left the gym behind for the great outdoors and pushed the limits of my endurance and will.

But will I succeed in reaching my intended destination this time round?

After an hour’s bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal, we arrived at Pengerang via Tanjong Pengelih Ferry Terminal. I’m ready to conquer the seemingly endless road from Sungai Rengit to Desaru!

Car fuels up with petrol, bicycle fuels up with Red Bull! Love the newly launched reduced sugar Red Bull as it has the same flavor but not so sweet.

The long ride cuts through the countryside lined with acres upon acres of plantations. There’s something meditative about facing the endless road with just my thoughts. That is until I come to an upslope. Then the tranquil frame of mind becomes clogged with swear words. But the tiresome uphill paddles provide a really good workout to pump those legs… It’s a love-hate thing.

Although traffic is sparse, a moment’s carelessness can be fatal. Stationary cycling in a gym doesn’t feel so boring after all.

My ride was entertained by a changing backdrop of the scenic countryside.

One of the rewards on the road trip was close encounters with animals we have to pay money to see back in Singapore.

I was thrilled to come across these two ponies grazing by the road side. This fella even allowed me to pet its snout! I shall name it Seabiscuit! LOL.

Then there was this docile cow at a small fishing village along the coast. It must feel that I’m such a 牛sance following it around with my phone camera. Heh heh.

The great thing with a bicycle tour is that I can stop wherever that catches my eye and whenever I want. Discovered this interesting gallery of rocks at Batu Layar while exploring a trail off the beaten track.

Finally, after almost 5 hours of cycling, I made it to Desaru this time! This beach is in front of Desaru Damai Beach Resort where I spent a night before cycling back to Sungai Rengit the next day. The hotel room cost RM130 a night but it felt ready to fall apart.

Mission accomplished! The cycling duration took much longer than expected and by the end of it, my legs felt like jelly. However, this second attempt didn’t feel as draining as the first. Maybe the gym sessions with Wandi are helping!

Endurance is one of the key indicators of one’s fitness level and cycling is a great way to build it up. Outdoor cycling is not as monotonous as doing laps in a pool and has a lower impact on the knees and ankles compared to running.

If you’re taking part in a marathon such as the upcoming Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon, cycling is a good complement in training for the run. Cycling is low impact so it doesn’t place too much stress on the joints if you haven’t been running for a while. It also helps to strengthen muscles surrounding the knees, which supports  ligaments in that area and minimize injuries during prolonged running.

After conquering 70km, I look forward to go further and perhaps even tour another country on bicycle! That will take quite a bit of research and planning. For now, I’ll train up with my favourite stationary bike at EnergyOne Toa Payoh!

Getting fit need not be boring. With a sense of adventure and making your body work during your next holiday, you just might arrive at your destination stronger than before!

Related Posts :

A Cycling Tour from Sungai Rengit to Desaru (March 2013)

2nd Attempt at Bicycle Tour from Sungai Rengit to Desaru (July 2013)

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