Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Making Gains with Optimum Nutrition (supplements)

Athletes train hard and therefore their bodies are put through a lot more stress than a person who doesn't train at all. For the record, supplements are NOT just for those who lift weights. Supplements are for all athletes which includes marathon runners, bikers, all kinds of endurance athletes, swimmers, sprinters, basketball , football, rugby players.. etc.

Supplements are important. BUT eating REAL food is more important. ALWAYS get your nutrients from real food and then supplements comes to play after. I have been supplementing my body ever since I start lifting weights 11 years ago. In the past 11 years, I had my seasons when I took on long distance running (marathons) and road biking. Never did I once stop supplementing my body with the extra needs. 

I strongly believe that supplements are used to create the perfect environment for changes to take place in your body.

There are so many brands on the market but I have always been using Optimum Nutrition Supplements(even before I joined the ON team as a sponsored athlete.) as they are second to none when it come to the quality of their products. They wouldn't be ranked number 1 on for years if they didn't deliver top quality products.

Team ON.
( From left:Steve Cook, Desmond Khoo, Charles Glass, Me, Jennifer Rankin)

There are so many amazing products from Optimum Nutrition but I do not use everything they have on the market. I supplement my body according to my needs and goals

Remember this: The more focused your performance goals become, the more critical your understanding and use of nutrition becomes. 

Here is a list of supplements that I use:

  1. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100%Whey
  2. Hydro Whey
  3. Pro Complex
  4. Gold Standard 100% Casein / Platinum Tri- Celle Casein
  5. Opti- Women
  6. BCAA caps
  7. Glutamine Powder
  8. Creatine caps
  9. Amino Energy
  10. HMB 

I even have a mini extra stack in school... 

So like I said earlier, the supplements that you take should be based on your goals and needs. Not everyone uses the same stack of supplements. But if someone wanted me to recommend a basic stack it would be:

  1. Gold Standard 100% Whey
  2. Casein
  3. BCAAs
  4. Creatine
  5. Glutamine
  6. Multi Vitamins

OK so BRACE yourself people. Here comes the theoretical parts of what the different supplements are and how they are going to benefit you. I am going to try my best to explain them in layman's terms. 

Let's start with the basics.

Protein. Protein is one of the most important macro nutrient an athlete needs. Protein is also known as THE muscle building macro nutrient. 

Unfortunately, unlike fats and carbohydrates, which can be stored as triglycerides and glycogen, the body maintains only a very small pool of amino acids. If one or more of the essential amino acids in this pool is low, what happens is the body will not be able to synthesize any of the proteins calling for these amino acids. However, this can be prevented with a well balanced diet containing adequate amounts of high quality protein from a variety of sources. 

Let's dive into these sources.

FIRST, let's talk about the difference between ISOLATE and CONCENTRATE.

Whey protein exists in three main forms: isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate (where whey isolate undergoes additional processing.) 

Whey isolate and concentrate both contain whey protein. 
Whey isolate, which is made from whey concentrate, undergoes further processing which yields an end product with more protein per unit than whey concentrate. In other words, isolate is a 'refined' version of concentrate.

Whey concentrates contain significant amounts of lactose therefore anyone with lactose intolerance should avoid them. Since whey isolates undergo more processing, they are more expensive but contain a higher amount of protein per serving. They are also great for those who are lactose intolerant (Example: HydroWhey)

I hope this clears up the confusion between whey concentrate and whey isolate because many of you have given me feedback that these terms have gotten your head in a swirl. 

Well, the answer is THERE IS NO BEST PROTEIN TYPE. 

There are different protein for different needs. It's about identifying your needs and then choosing the type of protein to fulfill that need. 

Making Gains 

Gold Standard 100% Whey 

Whey protein is digested rapidly by the body and is a rich source of amino acids for muscle recovery. Whey protein isolates are the purest form of whey and the primary ingredient in the ON's Gold Standard 100% whey protein powder.

  • 120kcal
  • 3gm
  • 24gm of protein per serving
  • provides multiple whey proteins
  • > 5gm BCAAs
  • < 4 gm glutamine 

When to take this: First thing in the morning, post workout, in between meals.

Platinum HydroWhey

Platinum HydroWhey is the most advanced whey protein in the market. Hydrolyzing means breaking down whey protein isolates into even smaller pieces. By doing so these ultra pure whey isolates are able to get into your system even faster, thus enabling your muscles to start feeding on these bad boys. 

  • 130kcal
  • 30gm of hydrolyzed whey protein isolates
  • 2gm carbs
  • ActiTOR peptides which help promote efficient utilization of amino acids from food sources and help support muscle synthesis.
  • 8.8gm of BCAAs 
  • Perfect for those who are lactose intolerant
When to take this: First thing in the morning, post workout, in between meals.

Performance Whey

Performance Whey is a whey protein blend made up of hydrolyzed and concentrated whey protein, hydrolyzed whey protein isolates, pure whey protein isolates and concentrated whey protein. 

  • 160kcal
  • 22gm protein
  • 9gm carbs

When to take this: Post workout, in between meals.

Pro Complex

Pro Complex is great for athletes who push themselves harder training and competing and thus have greater protein needs. I personally love using this for bulking. 

  • 270kcal
  • 60gm protein which contains: whey protein isolates, egg albumenm hydrolyzed whey peptides, glutamine peptides
  • 5gm carbs
  • < 14g BCAAS
  • 10.5gm glutamine
  • vitamins & minerals

When to take this: Post workout, in between meals.

Pro Complex Gainer

Unlike typical weight gain formulas, Pro Complex Gainers derives a much higher percentage of calories from protein. This impressive formula also contains complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. It's a great supplement for those who are 'hard gainers' and looking to pack on more muscle mass.

  • 650kcal
  • 60gm blended protein
  • 85gm carbs
  • protease and lactase enzymes

When to take this: In between meals or anytime you need to fulfill your daily macros for your goals

Gold Standard 100% Casein &
Platinum Tri- Celle Casein

Casein is the perfect slow digestion protein that can be taken right before bed or between meals. When I was an endurance athlete, I would take Casein before my training to ensure that my body is provided with a steady release of amino acids. This provides anti- catabolic muscle support. 

Gold Standard 100% Casein
  • 120kcal 
  • 24gm micellar casein
  • 2gm carbs
  • rich and thick formula satisfy hunger
  • loaded with BCAAs and Glutamine

Tri- celle Casein

  • 150kcal
  • 30gm micellar casein
  • 4gm carbs
  • L theanine and Lactium to combat the negative effects of stress
  • rich and thick formula satisfy hunger
  • loaded with BCAAs and Glutamine
When to take this: In between meals or before bed.

Platinum Hydro Builder

The hydrobuilder is an all in one protein blend. It contains fast and slow digestion profiles such as hydrolyzed whey protein isolates, CreaPep nutrient delivery peptides, egg albumin, micellar casein and ultrafiltered whey protein concentrate.  It has strength and recovery supporting nutrients such as creatine, carnitine, taurine, alanine and betaine. There are 4 stages to which how the Hydrobuilder works.

Stage 1: Creapep is a patent pending peptide that is specifically designed to enhance nutrient delivery to muscles

Stage 2: Hydrolyzed Whey and Egg Proteins are fast acting and supports muscle rebuilding almost immediately.

Stage 3: Ultrafiltered Whey protein is intact protein that requires a longer time to process but are highly digestable and provide BCAAs

Stage 4: Casein is slow digested and provides sustained amino acids for up to 7 hours after consumption.

  • 180kcal
  • 30gm protein
  • 8gm carbs

This rounds up my section on protein. There are many other protein blends but these are the basics and also the most commonly used and asked about. 

Let's move on to AMINO ENERGY..

Amino Energy is a blend of free form Amino Cids, Arginine, Beta-alanine and natural caffeine sources to fuel workouts and recovery. 

  • 10kcal per serving
  • 5gm of micronised free form amino acids to help rebuild muscles and ignite protein sysnthesis
  • beta alanine which enables longer and stronger training sessions
  • BCAAs
  • Green tea, EGCG and green coffee extracts to energize workouts and delay fatigue
  • micronised arginine and citrulline which supports nitric oxide production (perfect for pre and during workouts)
  • no sugar, fat or cholesterol
When to take this: In the mornings, pre workout, during workout or post workout. As there is caffeine in it, try not to take it at night if you are caffeine sensitive.

Amino Acids 

BCAAs- The building blocks of muscles

Dude, if you're not taking BCAAs, you better start right now. So what are BCAAs and why are they so freaking important??

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are the "Building Blocks" of the body. BCAAs are among the nine essential amino acids for humans. 

An essential amino acid or indispensable amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized by the body. Essential amino acids are "essential" because they are important for protein synthesis or general homeostasis than the others, and also because the body does not produce them. If they are not taken through diet, they will not be available for protein synthesis. YES, this means you are compromising your muscle gains if you do not meet the basic requirement your body needs. 

So BCAAs make up 35% of your muscle mass and must be present for molecular growth and development to take place. Besides building cells and repairing tissue, they form antibodies, they are part of the enzyme & hormonal system; they build RNA and DNA and they carry oxygen throughout the body.

Personally I am a BCAA addict. I take them in the mornings, pre workout, post workout and before I go to bed at night. 

  • Optimum Nutrition BCAAs are made entirely with free form amino acids
  • 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine: Isoleucine : Valine

Glutamine (Powder and caps)

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. It comprises of more than 60% of the free amino acid pool in skeletal muscle amd greater than 20% of the total circulating amino acids.

  • Made with pure L glutamine
  • available in high potency pills and powders
  • supports muscle recovery

Glutamine is another MUST have for my supplement list. I take caps post workout and I add the powder form into my amino energy during workouts. I also take a serving of the capsules before I go to bed at night. I believe in taking glutamine and my bcaas right before bed because it's when your body is at rest that muscle recovery and growth takes place. I want to make sure that the environment within my body is created to make the perfect place for changes to take place.

HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate)

HMB is short for beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate. It has been embraced by the fitness industry as one of the most effective muscle building and natural anabolic supplements on the market. HMB is derived from the amino acid leucine which is a BCAA. 

HMB's primary benefits include: increased protein synthesis, fat burning capabilities, and helps maintain a highly anabolic environment in the body in conjunction with an exercise routine.

If you are one who jumps at every opportunity to make muscle gains, you should consider taking HMB as part of your supplement stack. Studies have shown that it increases both muscular hypertrophy and strength.

It is recommended that one serving of HMB be taken with every meal. And in that meal, a source of protein has to be present. 

Creatine- The Sovereign muscle building supplement

Creatine is actually an organic acid found naturally in food, and it exists in significant quantities in meats like beef and fish. Creatine is nitrogenous, which means it's nitrogen-containing, and is made from a combination of 3 amino acids (the building blocks of protein): glycine, methionine and arginine.
In humans, approximately 95% of creatine is stored in skeletal muscle where it exists as creatine phosphate and can donate its phosphate molecule during certain metabolic processes. 
Creatine supplements are commonly used by athletes because of its effectiveness in high-intensity training. Creatine is primarily for people who are looking to maximize muscle, strength, and/or performance gains.
People take creatine because it allows the body to produce more energy, and with more energy you will be able to push your body much harder with more intensity. So, if you're trying to get bigger, stronger, and maybe even lift longer and heavier, creatine can help.
Each serving of Optimum Nutrition Creatine contains:
  • 5gm of 99.9% pure Creapure brand Creatine Monohydrate
  • it is tasteless and odorless (powder) and can be stack with protein shakes or Amino energy.
  • NO fillers or addictives 

Dr Layne Norton recommended stacking creatine with both beta-alanine and HMB as it has been shown to work synergistically. So users who want to maximize creatine's benefits should consider supplementing with those products as well.

Some people argue that creatine should only be taken post workout. Personally I take them pre and post workout. Dr Jim Stoppani also recommended that they be taken before and after a workout. 

Multi Vitamins: Opti-Men and Opti- Women

Multi Vitamins are the most basic and most important supplement that everyone NEEDS to take. Multi Vitamins are the foundation of a supplement program. If you want to build a house, you need to make sure that you have a strong foundation right? Well, making sure you take a high potency multivitamin formula is the foundation to building that body. A good multi vitamin will help ensure the presence of those essential nutrients necessary for thousands of metabolic reactions. 
For the human body to complete all the tasks it has in a normal day, it must be given a wide and complex variety of vital nutrients. Becoming deficient in any one of these essential vitamins or minerals causes breakdown of the metabolic pathway that produces optimum efficiency and performance goes down quick. This will obviously NOT benefit you in anyway and only compromise any gains that you are striving to make.
Bodybuilders, athletes, and people that lead active lifestyles need even more nutrients than the average non-active person. 
Not only is the multi vitamin the foundation of a great supplement strategy, it should be the first thing you take care of. First thing when you get up in the morning, take your multi vitamins. If you are in serious training, then you'll find support for faster recovery by taking your multi vitamins as soon as you finish working out.
Men and women need different nutrients for their bodies to do what they need to do every day. Therefore, men and women's multivitamins are going to have differences.

Opti-Men is a comprehensive Nutrient Optimization System providing 75+ active ingredients in 4 blends specifically designed to support the nutrient needs of active men. Each serving includes free form amino acids, antioxidant vitamins, essential minerals and botanical extracts in foundational amounts that can be built upon through consumption of a healthy balanced diet

Opti-Women combines 23 Vitamins and Essential Minerals with 17 specialty ingredients to create a comprehensive multivitamin for the active woman. Each serving of wide-reaching nutrient support is delivered in Vegetarian Society approved Vcaps.


I believe that some of you must be thinking "what the heck! There are so many supplements to take, how does she do it?"

Yes I will admit this, sometimes I do find it a chore to have to consume so many supplements. But because I am serious about this lifestyle, I am committed to making as much gains as possible, I am determine to become the better than I was yesterday, I will do what is necessary to improve my body.

Ask any of your favourite athletes/ bodybuilders and they will tell you that supplements are extremely important in building your body. 

A lot of people think that they can get all the performance supporting nutrition from food alone. But in reality, most of us don't eat as well as we think we do in terms of fulfilling our needs. Also it is not possible to derive ALL the supporting nutrition we need from food. That is why we need supplements.

So if you are serious about taking your fitness goals to a whole new level, take some time to evaluate your needs and start stacking on the necessary supplements to help you reach your goals.

I hope this little write up helped you understand a little more about supplements. I'm not an expert, but I do know some of the basics that are vital in helping me achieve my goals. 

Let the GAINS begin. 

Ps: please be weary of fake products. There are many imitations on the market these days.

For those who are based in Singapore , Optimum Nutrition (Glanbia) only supplies to 2 suppliers. ( click  HERE to purchase) and GNC stores.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Goodbye 2013. Hello 2014.

 It has become a habit that at the end of every year, I write a summary of the events that impacted my life. 2013 was not an easy year. I was sick for half the year, something that I do not wish to talk about right now. I lost my cousin to this sickness 2 months ago and just last week, I said goodbye to my aunt on Christmas day as she lost her 13 years battle to cancer. #fuckyoucancer. Even though the pain is still very raw, I know that my loved ones are in a better place. They are with Jesus now. Our separation is temporary and our reunion will be for eternal.

   I wrote on Instagram  and Facebook that my fitness goals for 2013 is to do a human flag, deadlift 315 lbs in my high school uniform and improve on my back, delts and abs. Well.... I did them all. #byHisGrace

Preparing to deadlift 315lbs.

Top left was taken in the beginning of 2012. Bottom 2 pics were taken recently.

Despite facing so many challenges this year, I have lots to be thankful for as well. I'm not someone who likes to dwell on the negative. It has truly been an eventful year, there were so many unmerited blessings and favor from the Lord Jesus.

My boyfriend proposed to me and we will be getting married in 2015. 

I was picked up by Rocktape as a sponsored athlete.

I did 2 TV interviews with Channel News Asia. Click here for the online link. One was aired in Aug and the other will be aired in Jan 2014. 

I also did an interview on Razor TV about overcoming eating disorders. Click here for the link. Did a few interviews with some awesome websites and had 5 features on It was pretty dope. Features
and the 5th and most recent one...

Chinese News Paper Wan Bao

I didn't expect all these media attention and even though I had haters sending me hate emails after I went on air, I also had emails from girls all over the world who shared their story with me. It was really heart warming and those letter brought tears to my eyes. 

So do I regret sharing my history with bulimia and binge eating? NO. Not one bit. I'm not even sorry. One MAJOR thing I've learnt in 2013 is that no matter what I do, there will always be people who won't approve of it. There will always be those "black heart-ed" trolls sneaking around hating on me.  

Whether I'm fat, or skinny, or muscular, or tan. Someone will find a reason to hate me.

So it is entirely my choice to decide if I'm going to allow anyone to make me feel bad about myself. So what do I choose?

I choose to live by choice, not by chance; to make changes, not excuses, to be useful, not used. I choose self esteem, not self pity. I choose to listen to my inner voice, not the random opinion of others.  

I choose my path, my destiny, my future. I set my own goals and pursue them. It doesn't matter how much people try to take me down or crush my dreams. In this world where negative people try to post their useless opinions on others, it is natural that I will face negative feedback. It is my choice to either allow these naysayers to project their insecurities upon me or continue pursuing what I want to achieve. 

The REAL question is 'who am I doing this for?' It's MY journey. It's MY body. I run this shit, NOT anyone else. I don't need to prove anything to anyone. I am not a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a lady should be. So I dedicate this to anyone out there who has been put down, ridiculed or insulted because of their lifestyle choices, remember this: Your body, spirit and mind are your domain. Your self worth is not measured by what others perceive of you. The truth is you can never please everyone. So don't bother doing so and don't expect others to please you. Be who you are and love who you are.

Bring it on 2014

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 
-Romans 8:37

I'm really excited for 2014 to come forth. For those who have been following me on Instagram and Facebook, you'll know that I'm going to start my contest prep in March. I will be competing in LA in Sept in my first physique competition. I'm excited and super scared at the same time. But I know that as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, everything will fall in place. He will take care of me. He will supply my every needs. 

I will write another entry soon on my competition journey. I wanna wish everyone who's reading this a blessed New Year. May goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life. 



Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Help Philippines. (Typhoon Haiyan)

I'm deeply sadden by the News on Typhoon Haiyan.

At least 10,000 people are feared to have been killed. More than nine million people have been affected in the Philippines. Many are now struggling to survive without food, shelter or clean drinking water.
Let us keep them in prayers and do whatever we can to help them in this time of darkness. 

If any of you would like to help those in the Philippines hit by the typhoon, pls consider the info below.

LBC Express, a Filipino courier company has offered to ship items from Singapore to Philippines for free to aid those in need.

They are looking for, canned goods, medicine, first aid, bottled water/juices, blankets, mosquito nets, detergents, soap, and clothing (including clean undergarments).

Any of the above items will help. If you are interested, simply bring the items down to Lucky Plaza #03-46. Their phone number is +65 800 101 2708. They are open every day from 9am to 5pm and will be accepting donations until Nov 30.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Paying It Forward (Free 6 weeks diet plan)

I believe in paying it forward. Because it proves that you don't need much to change the entire world for the better. You can start with the world you've got. An extension of kindness to another is never wasted, for it always resides in the hearts of all involved in a chain of love.

I have been thinking of how I can do my part in giving back to the fitness community. I would love to be part of any organisation that lends support to patients with eating disorders and if anyone want to approach me to share my story at an event and how i overcome, I would love to be there. PLEASE feel free to contact me. I will make time for it. OK I'm digressing... 

So, while having dinner last night, this idea popped into my head. As I have said many times on my Facebook and Instagram account, I don't do online training. This is because I prefer to work with clients face to face. However I have decided that I am going to pick 1 person and work with him/her for 6 weeks. No charge. 

This 6 weeks program is a diet plan according to the winner's fitness goal. It can be a bulking or cutting diet plan. It can even be something as ordinary as eating right as a lifestyle. I will not be writing a workout plan but I will definitely guide the winner along. The main focus of this 6 week's challenge is all in the diet. 

Anyone can apply for this. There are no strings attached. I do not expect anything except 100% dedication and honesty. Please bear in mind that I have a FULL TIME job as a teacher. Time is a luxury for me so I do not want to work with someone who is not ready to be dedicated. If you think you're not ready, don't waste my time and your time.

So if you're interested in working with me for 6 weeks, these are the things you must do:

1) You need to be following me on Instagram Click here to go to my account. and Facebook (Click here for link)

2) Take a picture of yourself so that I can put a face to your name. It doesn't matter what kind of picture. It has to be a current picture. Don't use a picture that was taken 10 years ago.

3) Post it on Instagram and TAG me so that I can see it. Also hashtag #ByHisGraceMSW. Your profile must not be private or I won't be able to view your picture.

4) You also need to upload that picture and post it on my Facebook athlete page ( the athlete page, NOT my personal page because you won't be able to post on my personal page)

5) The most important part is tell me why I should pick you

Write that in your post when you put the picture up on Instagram and Facebook. Be as detailed as possible. I will be picking the winner based on this. 

Do not send me emails asking me about this because I will not entertain them. It is not fair to the other participant. 

6) Closing date 23:59hr 10th Nov (GMT+8)

I will pick the winner by 10th November and we will start the 6 weeks challenge on 18th November. This is because I need about a week to get to know the winner before planning the diet plan. I will work closely with the winner through email and I may need to Skype with him/her as well.

7) I will collate the names of applicants at the end of every week and I will post it on Facebook and Instagram. This is to ensure that you know that I have seen your profile.

Start posting!