Love the 100% Humidity – working out in HK

Posted: October 17, 2014 in fitness
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I love Hong Kong’s weather. The 100% humidity factor makes my outdoor workouts gut wrenching. HK has an abundance of parks with playground and workout attachments for a proper body weight workout. The park by my apartment has the foot massage attachment to induce proper circulation post workout and speed recovery.  It’s October and the weather is starting to cool.

My workout schedule involves Muay Thai on Mondays and Wednesdays, hiking on Saturdays and strength training on Fridays and Sundays.  For strength training I stick to playground exercises using solely body weight as resistance, circuits mimicking animal movements, skip rope, burpees, pistol squats and pullups.  To utilize the outdoors will involve more planning than going to the gym.  Morning workouts are great to jump start the metabolism and kick off the day.  Night workouts take advantage of the cooler air as mornings are hot.  The only negative of night workouts is the inability to sleep as the adrenaline takes time to wear off.  I find mornings the best and the 1 hr before sundown the most ideal.

2014-09-26 20.09.40

found a real muay thai gym where the athletes compete in tournaments without shin guards and head gear.

The act of walking around outside is a lesson in perspiration.  My shirt is constantly in a state of wet.  White dress shirts become see through and most people smell like musty funk – sweat mixed with wet clothes.  The weather conditions during the summer is not conducive to looking put together.  It’s impossible to acclimatize, if you are indoors the aircon will freeze you, if you step outside the weather will cause you to sweat.  Your body is in a constant state of flux.  HK is quite small and you will find most things in close proximity to each other.  You can walk to more destinations with relative ease.

HK has designated playgrounds and workout areas for one to take advantage of the fresh China air.  The bare minimum to allow your creativity in designing workouts to shine.  Stairs are everywhere.  It can be as simple as walking up the stairs rather than taking the elevator.  I had a membership at California Fitness and hated the place – they sold me on the fact they had a wide range of kettlebells and the heaviest weight was 5kg, steamrooms and saunas are a mess and gets too crowded.  I also did not like the air conditioned environment and lack of real gym equipment.  If you have never worked out at the gym in Asia, go on a tour through the locker rooms.  You’ll see things never thought possible.  Hair dryers replacing gold bond.  The machines are nice and great on the eyes but at the end of the day I only need an open area and a pull up bar to do everything.

Once you embrace the weather and enjoy the outdoors, you will love bodyweight exercises – returning your body to its ability to use the full range of motion, mobility and functional strength.  If I have a lazy sunday afternoon (you’re going to need 1.5 hrs of spare time), this workout always shocks my system:

  1. 3 rounds of 3 min skip rope as warm up.
  2. Burpees (set 1: 10 reps, 5, 2; set 2: 10, 5, 3; set 3: 10, 5, 4 and set 4: 10, 5, 5)
  3. inbetween each set of burpees alternate between pullups and chinups for set 1, animal circuits (spidermans, duckwalks, frog jumps, bear walks etc) for set 2, 3 and 4
  4. warm down with sun salutations (5 sets holding 30 sec each pose)

If your shirt is not drenched  by the end of the workout, I’ll take you out for beers.

2014-09-13 14.14.04

you should look like this after a workout, barely able to keep your eyes open and requiring a massage.


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