Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Get Back in Shape - Part 1: my selfimposed challenge to lose 6 kgs in 30 days!

oh yeahh!!! that's where you're headed with that diet and laziness plan!
Have you ever put on some unwanted weight?
A sabbatical from work and gymming. A travel across a country that's over-run with delicious cuisines. And an addiction to KFC and MCD. I did it all together and what i got was a grand bonus of 10 kgs - that gradually replaced my six pack abs with what a friend refers to as THE MONO AB(classic in its reference to the amoeba :P). the ultimate ab. The family pack. Or as i simplyfy it - the FLAB.

At a godzilla size of 72 kgs, i've now begun this mission to bring it down to 62 kgs again. But i hate slow and steady. so i decided to go extreme and challenge myself - of that arises my Kamikaze challenge - to lose 6 kgs within 30 days!!!
I have done it before. but this time there's a major obstacle called the NEW YEAR EVE standing right between my 30 days! (and damn im gonna be in goaaaa!!!!!!)

So anyways, here's a step by step breakdown of my routine for this thirty days. (i'll be updating this very article from time to time in case of revisions to or failure of my routine.)

Step 1: Conditioning Workouts
rest assured, im gonna be putting my body through hell. and unlike women, i hate losing muscle mass when im losing weight - which is what typically happens if you follow an ONLY CARDIO (running, cycling, swimming, skipping, aerobics, spinning) routine to lose weight.
So what im doing is getting back to the basics of martial arts - using body conditioning workouts. these workouts are basic enought to be done anywhere, tough enough to maintain the muscle, and rigourous enough to burn the fat right back to hell!
You'll find a plethora of conditioning workouts on the web. but here is one that i highly recommend - do three repitions of this and then briskwalk/run 7 kms:

PS: the fastest ways to lose weight are skipping, swimming, running/briskwalking, cycling and aerobics/power yoga. though using only these techniques will result is loss of muscle mass - so you'll end up with a thinner but relatively shapeless body.

Step 2: Diet moderation
please note the word MODERATION. Never crash diet coz its the worst thing you could do to yourself. ofcourse crash diets work but they leave you unhealthy, weak and with dark circles under ur eyes. so its pointless to lose weight and look n feel like a zombie.
the trick to lose weight is knowing WHAT you eat. Proteins are your best friends when it comes to losing weight - coz your body CANNOT STORE protein. it uses what it needs and dumps the rest away. Plus, your body also needs more calories to process proteins than any other basic nutrient. And keep the follwing in mind:
1. eat whenever you are hungry. WHY? coz if your body knows that you are starving or not responding to hunger, it will start storing fat!!! you need to cheat you body. Chomp on carrot strips, oranges, cucumber, tomato, black gram and onion salad, lettuce, radish slices and 'sukha bhel' (if ur in india) everytime u feel hungry. Peel a lemon into it. Vitamin c is the best refresher :)
2. eat two proper meals a day coz your body needs nutrition and your tastebuds need satisfaction. BUT dont eat too much. eat 1/4th of the quantity, just enough to kill that temptation :)
3. evn in your proper meals - avoid oily stuff (in fact, run away from oily or deepfried stuff as much as possible)
4. non vegetarians can rejoice as their proper meals can be awesomely full of proteins. take any meat - roast it, grill it, boil it, microwave it - and you have ur low fat, high protein meal ready!
Bt pls note that if you are having a high protein diet when you are doing a weights intensive workout - you'll put on weight (muscle mass).
5. vegetarians can settle for more grams, dals, sprouts and an absolute abstainence from RICE! infact, salads are an awesome option for vegetarians. low fat salad reciepies are available all over the net - use them all!!! :D
6. drink a lot of water - or protein shakes. coz it kills hunger, keeps you feeling full, and flushes out toxins n clears your body. (bt in the later parts, when you want your abs to be visible, cut down on salt and water - coz water retention covers your abs/muscle definition and salt causes water and fat retention)

Step 3: Working Out
This is obviously the most crucial part. coz without pain, there is no gain. or loss in this scenario.
divide your workout into 6 sets. do one set per day.
set 1: conditioning workout + 3 mile run + Chest-Shoulder Tricep workout
set 2: LEG WORKOUT (yeah, no cardio here, coz a good legs workout will kill you anyway)
set 3: conditioning workout + 5 mile walk with weights in your hands + core-obliques workout
set 4: conditioning workout + Back and Bicep workout
set 5: 10 mile walk - forget the gym, just pack a bag with some water and some carrots and maybe a camera and go out n explore your city for 4-5 hours! :) take a friend along if they've got the stamina :)
set 6: 500 skips + full body stretches

REMEMBER:
- Train as heavy as you can. more muscle trauma = more quality weight loss.
- keep yourself well hydrated at all times.
- avoid machines, use more of free weights and dumbells and try to do as many excercises standing up as possible.

i'm myself at step one as of now. will start step 2 and 3 by day 6 of my routine :)
let me know if you following it. the more, the merrier :)
if you encounter any difficulties, let me know. i'll try to help out any way i can.

cheers!

PS: this is my progress chart:day 1 - 72 kgs
getting used to the gym after such a long time takes a lot of effort. i tire out within 3-4ks of running!

day 3 - 71.5 kgs

Unexpected deterrent - hospitalised for Typhoid! :(
got hospitalised for typhoid midway: hospitalisation was a bummer - it dropped my weight like crazy, but that weightloss was unhealthy weight loss - so i picked up that weight again as soon as i gt back frm hospital. now its back to low intensity cardio workouts and extremely low cal liquid diet (as im still on medication)

day 14 - 68 kgs
2 more kgs to go, to win my challenge to lose 6 kgs in 30 days :)
have to fight dehydration and weakness as i go along - to stay out of hospital and stay healthy!

day 21 - 69 kgs!!! - Piled on an extra KG!!!
as expected, piled on an extra kilo on the new year weekend!!! need a drastic change in plan to lose the gained kilo and keep up to the promised weight loss.
Back to low calorie diet for a week and Changing workout routine to alternate day UPPERBODY-LOWERBODY workouts:
day 1: 5 kms incline walk + 4 minutes of hell + upperbody
day 2: 3 kms run + 4 minutes of hell + lowerbody

Day 27 - 66.5 kgs! 3 days left and only 500 grams to go!
I could have very well lost that final 500 grams over the weekend with one extra session of cardio/kalaripayattu. But i chose to rehydrate, get some yummy food into the system and enjoy a bit - afterall, im doing this to be healthy, not to just flatten out right? :)
the last 500 grams are gonna be a cake walk with 3 days to go! :)
PS: my six pack.... is backkk!!!! :D

Day 30 - 65.8 kgs! VICTORY!!!!!!!!!
The last two days i pushed myself onto a low water, low salt, basic foods diet and worked out only martal arts work outs (majorly cardio and speed weights). And that did the trick. Quite like a finishing move in Mortal Combat! :P swung my weight right down to 65.8 kgs!!!!!!


to all those who said it aint possible - i've just done it again - A SECOND TIME!

Cheers!

PS: if you too undertake this regime, feel free to keep me updated on your resutls or ask about changes you can make to your regime to suit your bodytype/health :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 music videos that you've got to watch!

As a director, a commercial is too demanding. and a movie is often too expensive. So music videos become the perfect vent for their creativity. It's no wonder some of the best and most long lasting work in the film format has been in the form of music videos.

Here are just 10 of those music videos that i can never forget. some of them maybe outdated today, but when they had hit the screen - they reallly were something! check them out:

1. All is full of love - Bjork
the music video that became the seed for the movie i-robot. i'm yet to meet someone who has not been amazed by this video.

2. Frozen - Maddona
Gothic has never been so seductively classic and peaceful as in this video. right from the selection of the tone of the film to the graphics used for the elements in the film - simply perfect! It is the inspiration for countless commercials across the world even today!

3. OK go - this too shall pass
more than 2 million hits on you tube - this one took the domino effect to a new level. though in this case its a chicken and the egg scenario, coz this video draws its insipration from one of the most tediously made car commericals ever!
OK Go also had another smashing hit music video that made waves on youtube:
thorough their videos they've made one take videos quite an art form of this era!

4. Smells like teen spirit - Niravana
if ever there was proof that simplicity rocks - it was this video. no bizzare shit, no path breaking editing. just plain camera work and great music in sync with each other. Now that's a real ROCKING video! (which btw also explains why this has also been one of the best music video's ever - worldwide!)

5. Thriller - Michael Jackson
Michael dedicated his life to take music videos to another level. most of his videos have been path breaking for their time. none of his producers ever had to argue for budgets. and that shows in his videos - mostly in Thriller. which is the first time ever a MUSIC VIDEO, BECAME A MOVIE!
Rest in peace Michael. I wish i could do a video for you!

6. Only you - Portishead
Chris Cunningham left people confused and amazed with this masterpiece. The technique used for this video was later used for commercials by BMW most notably and about 5 to 6 different brands worldwide.

7. Smack My bitch up - Prodigy
the concept was so gripping for this video that it made first person camera shooting an art in itself. I'm yet to meet a person who's not gone 'oh my god!!!' at the end of this video!
Also worth a watch in the same category is this little piece:

8. Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy
a visually stunning piece of work especially in terms of editing by Director Mellissa Olson. using loads of stock footages and real time videos this classic piece of work was created. It's one of the best 'journey' videos i've ever seen.

9. Hero - Enrique
I really don't know if this video even desrves to be called just a music video. It is so well created that its a mini movie in itself. Complete with a story that moves you - shot in a way that compels you to FEEL the song.

10. Fireflies - Owl City
You know that one video which makes you feel damn!!! why didn't i think of this before!!! this one is it. and its made so simply and beautifully that it grows on you without a crinkle... just like the song.

SPECIAL MENTION:
The Lord of War - Life of a bullet
widely and highly acclaimed as the best movie credits sequence ever, this little piece of film cum music video is a sheer masterpiece of greatness! It's a case of a director's perspective turning over a common 'a day in the life of' essay, into a piece of art!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

6 things worth asking yourself everyday

6. Do you feel awesome enough?
if not - you ought to - do whatever it takes - go binge, pump up that music, jog, jump in a drum full of cold water, meet someone awesommer - do anything! it's what keeps your day alive! If you ain't feeling awesome, how'll you transfer the awesomeness to anyone else??? it's a chain, so don't break it :)


5. Have you done something KICK-ASS at work today?
if not, at least get working on it. everybody's a clone. if you want to be something, you gotto be running that extra mile! or the same mile, in for heck's sake, a style that's characteristically you!

4. Did you make someone believe that 'good exists'?
yeah it seems simple, but seriously, when was the last time you made an effort to make someone's day - without any strings attached. helping random strangers is definitely top-of-the-list in this case.
If you gotta KEEP the faith, you gotta BE the faith.

3. Did you push your boundaries/try something new/do something crazy today?
Imagine this. if you were to have a flashback of your life - what would it be full of? same old 'me too' events that are in every body's life? or a series of things so crazy that they can be only yours! Go ahead - Rock that boat!!! its your own anyways!
PS; but remember that its your own boat - don't puncture it with more holes than you can fill while you are rocking it. if you do, be prepared to drown or be stranded on a MAYBE not so awesome island neways :P

2. Have you hurt someone intentionally?
senti part. yes. its important to be a jerk yet not be an asshole. it's a fine line. if though you find yourself answering YES to this question, make it up to that person. or at least apologize honestly. it's the least you can do. It won't make you any better or worse. It's something you just gotto do.

1. Have you loved someone/anyone enough?
Life's short. Seriously. even if you ask someone who's lived a hundred and ten years, or someone who's dying of AIDS at age 10. And the one that has the capability to turn each moment into a piece of eternity, is love. It's all you've got against time. so make the most of it. Love - like crazy, like insane, like totally. and keep no expectations - it's not a trade. Tomorrow's a new day :)

cheers!
Pushkaraj Shirke

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

God of War 2: a peek into the future of Interactive cinema

There are Legends and Myths. There are Tales and Movies. And there are Games.And THEN, there is the GOD OF WAR series - especially GOD OF WAR 2 - that combines them all in a way that you just can't get enough of it!

Cory Barlog, the writer behind the game has so intricately woven the Greek mythos with his story that it is difficult to judge whether the two are the same or not! Given a person with a not so strong background in Greek mythos, one would actually believe the game to be the story of KRATOS. The gruellingly pleasurable experience that this game has offered my artistic senses needs to be etched out one piece of a time. So let the justice be done.

KRATOS: An anti-hero protagonist, a character artwork straight from hell!
He is powerful, ruthless, power hungry and relentless. Yet you find yourself feeling empathetic towards him. You get drawn into his character. In fact, the character has been so well developed that in spite of his evils, it’s his humane strain that calls out to you through all the layers. EFFORTLESSLY.

Kratos, the son of Zeus in Greek mythology, and his most obedient servant in reality takes on a total turn in the game. Here he is absolutely resentful of the gods, against zeus and will rebel against all forms of authority. But this shift has been brought around with so much conviction through the story – that it becomes the new truth for you.
You are dragged into his evils, to feel his betrayals. You join him on his merciless journey of vengeance to avenge the wrongs done to him. You feel the need for ruthlessness as you step into his ungodly, ash covered skin in the game.
That’s character creation. And what an amazing example of one – Kratos.


God of War – The graphic art of the movie making you can interact with!

You watch a movie – its one way. You read a book - its one way. You watch a piece of art – its one way. BUT WHEN YOU PLAY THIS GAME – its an overwhelming interactive experience!You are the story – you are the movie – you are the character – you are the action.
YOU ARE THE GAME. THE GAME IS YOU.

It doesn’t stop there. The art of the game makes it even more engrossing. An absolute audio-visual treat. Simply check out the range of detailing and imagination that has gone into each one of these scenes and characters, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

After Max Payne, God of War seems like the next big thing to have raised games to the level of a new art form to me. And maybe if we keep our fingers crossed and our hopes high, this’ll soon be the norm.

Entertainers, are you listening?????

A trailer of GOD OF WAR 3 - a preview to the awesomeness that it is:

A Compilation of My Fitness Photography Work

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