The World’s Best Cardio Workout P27 MALAYSIA JUNE 2016
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39T CROSSFIT EASY TIPS TO HAVE PERFECT HEALTH
ARE YOU FIT TO BE A FATHER? GET IN SUPERDAD SHAPE ON P100
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Rich The Froning four-time CrossFit champion on what it takes to be “The Fittest Man in the World”
THE SECRET TO SCORE
1 CHICKEN, 4 QUICK &
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COVER STORIES ________
27 THE WORLD’S BEST CARDIO WORKOUT
Work your entire body so hard that your other workouts will seem like rest days.
68 RICH FRONING
“The Fittest Man in the World” shares his deceivingly simple Workout Of The Day. The catch? He does it every day.
34 74 BUILD A BEACH BODY GET CROSSFIT You don’t need a gym to look like a Greek god – just these six workouts and 30 minutes.
Train like three of the world’s best CrossFit athletes; no box necessary.
50 1 CHICKEN, 4 MEALS 88 39 EASY TIPS TO HAVE Simple recipes for delicious, healthy meals – and not a colonel in sight.
57 SCORE MORE DATES
The secret weapon to impressing ladies was, is and always will be confidence. We’ll teach you how to have it in abundance.
63 BEAT THE HEAT
Find out how NASA technology is keeping you dry when you exercise.
68 6 JUNE 2016
Prevent disease and illness with these idiot-proof, costeffective methods.
100 ARE YOU FIT TO BE A FATHER?
All the info you need to become a bona fide DILF.
110 SIGN UP FOR THE
The second leg of the Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality is on 30 July! So register now!
06.16 MORE USEFUL STUFF! 32
62 THE BEST FRAGRANCES FOR ANY OCCASION
Let your good scents show, whether at a job interview, a wedding, a golf course or a first date.
82 THE BEST BEACHES IN ASIA
Don’t click on that “book” button before reading our travel guide, Men’s Health-style.
22 THE NEW WHEY TO GET ABS
Drink the right shake to burn belly fat.
32 KICK YOUR OWN ASS Gain glorious glutes, and be stronger than ever.
FOOD & NUTRITION
52 IS FISH OIL REALLY THAT GREAT?
Why supplements aren’t all they’re hyped up to be.
54 THE HEALTH SNOB’S 94
Essential reading before you try to get a tan at the beach.
Award-winning chefs teach you how to cook up the best – and healthiest – outdoor food.
44 DONATE TO CHARITY NOW Because your health will reap the rewards too. 8 JUNE 2016
Elegant watches that will last a long time.
ON THE COVER RICH FRONING PHOTOGRAPH EDU GARCÍA
GUIDE TO VEGANISM
Never be afraid of tofu, jackfruit and seitan ever again.
104 DRESS TO IMPRESS
Rich Froning wears Reebok CrossFit Super Nasty Tactical Board Short Built With Kevlar
BARBEQUE PARTY 2.0
The reporting in Men’s Health is meant to increase your knowledge of current developments in health. Because everyone is different, the ideas expressed by researchers cannot be used to diagnose or treat individual health problems. A doctor can best guide you.
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This magazine is published by Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd (580051-K) under license from Rodale Inc, publisher of Men’s Health in the United States. All rights reserved. Title and trademark Men’s Health©Rodale Inc. The views expressed in the articles, features and listings are not necessarily those of Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd (580051-K) or Rodale Inc. While every reasonable care is taken in compiling the magazine, the publisher shall not be held responsible for any omission, error, or inaccuracy. Please notify the publisher in writing of any such omission, error or inaccuracy. Editorial contributions are welcome but unsolicited materials are submitted at the sender’s risk. The publisher cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage. No part of this publication can be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s permission in writing.
DR JAMEELA SATHAR MD, MRCP, Senior Consultant Haemotologist, Ampang Hospital
JERRICAN TAN CSCS, ACE, Director, Fitness Innovations Malaysia (FITM)
DR MOHD HUSNI ADMAD MBBS (Mal), M.S. ORL, Head and Neck Consultant, Gleneagles Hospital DR GEORGE LEE MA MB BChir FRCS (Urol), Clinical Associate Professor at Monash University, Sunway Campus DR IRENE LEE CHEW KEK Consultant Dermatologist Pantai Hospital Cheras
10 J U N E 2 0 1 6
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Production BHS Book Printing Sdn. Bhd. Lot 17-22 & 17-23, Jalan Satu, Bersatu Industrial Park, Cheras Jaya, Balakong 43200 Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
THOMAS LING Certified Sommelier, UK, Certified Specialist of Wine and Spirits, US, Certified Sake Professional –Sake Education Council, Japan DR HARJEET SINGH MBBS (India), MS Ortho (UKM), MRCS (Edinburgh), Consultant Orthopaedic and Sports Injury Specialist, Columbia Asia Hospital YEOH EE LING Dietitian, ACE Personal Trainer Fitness Innovations Malaysia (FITM) A/P DR CHRISTOPHER HO CHEE KONG MD, MS, MRCSEd, MBU (Cert), MFSTEd, AM, FICS (USA), FRCS (Urol) (Glasg), FECSM, FRCSEd Consultant Urologist & Sexual Medicine Physician , Dept of Surgery, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre
DR YAP YEE GUAN BMedSci (Nottm), MBBS (Nottm), MD (Lond), CCT (UK) (Cardiology & Int Medicine), Eur Cardiol (Europe), Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Prince Court Medical Centre DR MARTHA LEE DHS (US), Clinical Sexologist, Eros Coaching DR EUGENE WONG MBBS, MS Ortho (Mal) DipSurgAnat (Melb) AM (Mal), Adult and Pediatric Spine and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Pantai Hospital DR SAM HUNTER Mtech Chiro (RSA), Consultant Chiropractor, Clinic Director, TAGS, Spine and Joint Specialist Clinics, Ampang and Penang
FROM THE EDITOR
It’s amazing how so much has changed in the world of health, fitness and nutrition – yet so much has stayed the same. In the 1930s and ’40s, there was a series of comicstrip advertisements featuring a scrawny teenage boy, out on a date at the beach, being bullied by an antagonistic ruffian. As this comic progresses, the youngster decides to subscribe to Charles Atlas’ 32page illustrated book, which Atlas said will transform the “97-pound weakling” into “The World’s Most Perfectly Developed Man” (a title Atlas legitimately won after defeating 775 other men in a contest). Soon, the young lad packs on muscle, punches the same bully he confronted at the beach, and earns the praise of everybody on the beach. His date even bequeaths the honorific of “real man” upon him. Sound familiar? Atlas, who lived from 1892 to 1972, knew that men wanted “the Greek God type of physique that women rave about at the beach, the kind that makes other fellows green with envy”. So, he devised what he called “Dynamic Tension” methods that would help subscribers (who paid a grand total of 10 cents
plus postage) get “Broader Chest and Shoulders”, “Ironhard Stomach Muscles”, “More Energy and Stamina”, “More Magnetic Personality”, and loads of other benefits. These programmes, Atlas declared, would turn the customer into “a new man”. Yes, I see the déjà vu too. All this goes to show that people who call it a “renaissance of health and fitness”, “trend of staying fit and healthy” or “rise of the spornosexual” are wrong – because we’ve always wanted to look good, be fit and have our fair share of acclaim. Charles Atlas knew it then, and we know it now. I’m not suggesting that there’s only one benchmark that determines what does or doesn’t qualify as a “beach body”. But I am saying that you should feel great about yourself, inside and out. Men’s Health has and always will be dedicated to helping you feel that way – because nobody should be bullying you, whether at the beach or beyond.
Eugene Phua Editor
Men’s Health Malaysia 12 J U N E 2 0 1 6
PHOTOGRAPH KAHMUN/MYTH STUDIO GROOMING KF BONG
No More Sand in Your Face
SPEAKING UP ISN’T CAVING IN. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
I’m not feeling too clever. How do I know if I need to see a therapist? – ROBIN
Unfortunately, there’s no RDA for happiness; you can’t rely on a traffic light label here. But the most obvious sign is feeling like you are losing control of your life, and that’s where a professional can help you take back the helm. “The word I use is ‘stuck’,” says Dr Joel Wong, professor of counselling psychology. “Most of my male clients come to me when they feel caught in a rut.” If that sounds like you, then start with your GP, explaining that you want to explore your concerns with a specialist. Too many doctors instantly reach for the prescription pad – one in 11 UK adults are now thought to be on antidepressants – but combining therapy and drugs is often a more nuanced approach. First, your GP will put you in touch with a counsellor, who 14 J U N E 2 0 1 6
may then refer you to a psychologist – for diagnosing and treating illness – or a psychiatrist, who can prescribe different meds, if it’s deemed necessary. If psychology leaves you acronymblind and you’re concerned about selecting the wrong therapeutic discipline – CBT, NLP and so on – then relax. “Having rapport with a therapist is more important than the specific technique,” says Dr David Wexler, executive director of the Relationship Training Institute. In short, if you feel like you want to speak to someone, that’s when you know you should. And if full-blown confessionals aren’t your style, that’s fine too: the Journal of Affective Disorders found online therapy is as effective as face-to-face sessions. Start at www.psychiatry-malaysia.org
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM? “It’s possible we could talk through everything in one session,” says Dr Fredric Rabinowitz. It’s likely you’ll need a few months of weekly visits, but studies show the first couple of sessions are the most impactful. I’M STILL WORRIED MY ISSUES ARE TOO TRIVIAL You’re not on trial here. The agenda is looser than you might expect, explains Wexler: a good therapist will allow you to speak on your own terms. Your problems are as important as anyone’s.
WO R DS ALEX HARRIS P H OTO G R A P H MICHAEL HEDGE I L LU ST R AT I O N S ALCONIC
WOULDN’T IT BE EASIER JUST TO POP A PILL? Antidepressants can be useful for many people, but they’re not M&Ms. A recent study revealed 70% of people taking them didn’t meet the full criteria for clinical depression. “Pills don’t teach skills,” Wong says.
Is downing two litres of water a day really necessary for good hydration? – RICCARDO
A mineral habit certainly has its merits: a recent University of Illinois study found those who increased their water intake by a couple of glasses a day consumed up to 205 fewer calories, without making a concerted effort to do so. But we can’t all be the kind of guy who’s never knowingly without his bottle of Spritzer. Fortunately, it seems ‘tap or bottled’ are far from your only options. It turns out eating your water could be a more effective way to hydrate. According to Dr Howard Murad, a professor of medicine at the University of California, eating water-rich foods such as fruit and veg helps us to absorb the H2O at a steadier pace, for improved hydration without becoming a permanent installation in the men’s room. As the weather warms up, a large side salad will counterbalance your pub-garden pint.
Can I work out late without feeling wired all night?
My trainer’s ‘ketogenic’ diet is fat, fat and more fat – and he’s ripped! Should I give it a go?
You’re stumbling into a murky area of dietary science here. In a fat-rich nutshell, ketosis is the state your body enters when deprived of carbs, causing it to burn fat instead of sugar. In other words, you begin chewing through flab for energy. Advocates believe ketosis can wipe out pre-cancerous cells; opponents warn of kidney stones and high cholesterol. If you’re curious, start with the modified Atkins diet. High-fat foods such as eggs and cheese are encouraged but, unlike strict ketogenic diets, protein isn’t held back, so chicken is still on the menu. Then all you’ve left to do is minimise fruit and maximise green veg. Trial it for a month. Your body will tell you if it’s working.
I’m bored stiff of sweet potatoes. What else is out there? – DEAN
First up, what’s with the tater hate? Yes, sweet potatoes have a stellar nutrient profile, but regular spuds are no duds. Just one large potato in its skin provides half your RDA 16 J U N E 2 0 1 6
Firstly, bin any pre-workout supplements with multiple Xs in the branding – they’re likely sending your caffeine levels stratospheric. When you’re back to earth, you need to learn how to exercise your right to a restful night. Different workouts affect sleep quality in different ways, say researchers at Appalachian State University. Their studies found that aerobic workouts earlier in the day help you nod off faster, while weight training later will help you stay asleep once the lights are out. But if you’re often tempted by a post-work spin session, make sure it starts no later than 7.30pm, lest all that adrenaline, cortisol and instructor-whooping play havoc of vitamin B6, which converts the carb load into fuel and helps you metabolise protein and fat, says nutrition advisor Alan Aragon. Plus, according to a study in Advances in Nutrition, whiteys supply you with more potassium than almost any other veg, as well as being a good source of magnesium. We’re calling it the full metal jacket.
with your brain come bedtime. Of course, any form of physical activity will improve shuteye quality in the long run because “it can clear the stress hormones from your body,” says study author Dr Scott Collier. You just need to take the right dose at the right time.
SUBSTITUTE SIDES Comfort carbs don’t begin and end with french fries. Start widening your veg box repertoire
CELERIAC Lean man’s mash Kcal per serve: 42 Energy:
SQUASH Guilt-free roasties Kcal per serve: 82 Energy:
CAULIFLOWER Carb avoidance Kcal per serve: 14 Energy:
garlic and butter
roast with spices
for hipster points
••••• ••••• ••••• Nutrients: ••••• Nutrients: ••••• Nutrients: ••••• Use it Roast whole Use it Puree with Use it Cube, then
The latest news on fitness, health, nutrition, sex and style
WORDS MARYGRACE TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPH ISTOCKPHOTO
Overeating causes more than shame and indigestion. You’ll also gain plenty of leftover health issues
THE RIDICULOUS GLUTTON DIET
Six guys spent a week eating 6,000 calories a day – with shocking results. An average active guy should consume 2,600 to 2,800 cal ories a day, according to USDA recommendations. So what happened when men gobbled more than double that for a week while lying around? Some seriously scary stuff, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine.
18 J U N E 2 0 1 6
1/ They Packed On Pounds The average weight gain was 3.6kg, and nearly all of it was fat! Of course, you don’t have to gorge to gain weight: “Consistently eating even 10 percent more calories than you need qualifies as overeating,” says sports dietitian Marie Spano, M.S., R.D.
2/ They Courted Diabetes After two days, all the men developed insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. Their bodies were unable to use insulin effectively, leading to glucose building up in their blood instead of making its way into their cells to be used for energy or stored.
3/ They Swelled Up The guy’s urine samples showed markers of oxidative stress – as in, they contained lots of free radicals, which trigger inflammation and damage cells. These pop up when your body has to work hard to process extra fuel, says study coauthor Salim Merali, Ph.D.
BULLETINS The fun way to throw fat to the fire
a few t u c g to should ss n i k u e e loo sco, yo on fitn r ’ u e If yo os al fr w spin kil n a ne o take
Research shows reserving willpower for the weekend is key for keeping the kilos off. But to resist downtime temptation, you need a plan FRIDAY 8PM DRINK WITH DINNER Boozing before you eat delays fullness, so drink while you feast. (Appetite Journal)
LOVE ME DOUGH Air-popped popcorn
This movie munchie is a notorious diet saboteur. But skip the slathers of butter, and you have a healthy snack. Nutrition Journal found it boosts satiety, plus three cups packs the same calorie count as just nine chips. 20 J U N E 2 0 1 6
University of Copenhagen on the physical demands of Ultimate Frisbee found the focus on high-intensity sprints results in greater cardiovascular loading than most ball sports. An analysis of an hour-long game found that players spent almost half of it at 90% of their maximum heart rate. Meanwhile, further research found this kind of exercise is especially good for growing fast-twitch muscle fibres – essential for explosive energy. We’re aware there may be an image issue to contend with here. Perhaps you feel a frisbee in hand doesn’t exude the same virility as a ball at your feet. Might we suggest you look in the mirror and let your newfound leanness do the talking?
Carbs are unfairly maligned as a food group. Although some deserve to be blacklisted, others can expedite weight-loss
Swap your apple a day for a slice of this tropical fruit and don’t fret about the sugar hit. Oklahoma State University found mango is effective in balancing blood glucose, while also helping to reduce your percentage of body fat.
Think that just because your slice is brown you can get away with toast for breakfast and a BLT at lunch? Harvard Uni rates brown and white bread as equals on the glycaemic index. It’s just as likely to cause fat gain.
If you often fuel your day with a hit of fluoro fizz, you might not realise that your can of pep is also packed with nearly 30g of carbs, matching half a large portion of fries. The only wings it will give you are of the bingo variety.
A 30sec freeze post-run can melt an extra 400 calories. (PLOS ONE)
9PM SCARE YOURSELF SLIM
A fright-night-in can burn up to 184 extra calories. Just drop the Doritos. (Uni of Westminster)
SUNDAY 9AM YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE
Sleep in: it curbs levels of ghrelin, the hormone that controls appetite. (Annals of Internal Med)
3PM SWITCH OFF YOUR TV
Enjoying Sunday lunch in front of the TV makes overdoing it on junk food more likely. (University of Illinois)
6PM A STRONGER FINISH Crush your weekend in the gym. It’ll keep your metabolism up overnight. (Sport Nutrition)
WO R DS T E D L A N E I L LU ST R AT I O N S P E T E R C R OW T H E R
In a few months’ time, tennis courts will be awash with men dusting off their racquets, having contracted a fleeting bout of Wimbledon fever. Five-a-side leagues will be inundated with emails from couch potatoes who’ve spent the previous fortnight drinking their way through the Euros. But for those of us who are serious about coaxing our six-pack abs out of hibernation, there’s a far more effective, albeit unlikely, park sport worthy of your attention: Ultimate Frisbee. That’s right, swap your shin pads and Ronaldo top for a plastic disc available from all good toy stores and you can get the workout you need to flick your fitness into overdrive. A first-of-its-kind study by the
SATURDAY 10AM TAKE A COLD SHOWER
BULLETINS THE FAST FIX FOR A HOLE IN THE WALL
4 steps to make sure no one ever notices
Sculpting Abs The New Whey
Surely you’d never punch a wall. But let’s say a hole appears – from a doorknob, okay? You’ll want to fix that before your wife or girlfriend notices. This repair takes less than an hour, claims Jonathan Scott, a co-host of HGTV’s Property Brothers and co-author of Dream Home, a homeimprovement book that’s out now.
Whey protein is a bona fide Men’s Health all-star. Despite the recent rise of hipster vegan proteins (they’re the ones that taste like the inside of a dirty fish tank), whey remains the most popular, and effective, muscle-building supplement. Of course, you know all this. What you might not know, however, is that a chug on a shake is a useful ally when you’re looking to shred too. New research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that men who went against the standard protocol of protein plus carbs for muscle recovery, and
HOW TO PULL UP YOUR PB
01/ Y DO MORE
Y-raises will help strengthen your shoulders for the initial lift. Lie face down on an incline bench and lift dumbbells to make a ‘Y’ above you.
22 J U N E 2 0 1 6
instead opted for pure whey, not only built new muscle, but also burned more fat than their comrades. Crucially, the study authors observed that shake- induced fat loss was most significant around the mid-section. This has twofold benefits: the news that a pot belly is more dangerous
than overall obesity means protein supps could be a boon to your health; the fact that there’s a more defined six-pack in the post is just a bonus. So whether you’re looking to grow or shrink, where there’s a will to change your body shape, there’s a whey.
Behold the new pull-up world record: 5,862 in 24 hours. Inspired? Follow Brett Durney of Soho Fitness Lab’s plan and master this classic move
02/ HOLD STILL A simple test: jump up and hold on mid-rep until failure. Repeat three times. This puts your muscles under max strain and ups strength.
03/ BE NEGATIVE
Most men are 30% stronger in the lowering phase of the move. Skip the hard bit and focus on lowering under control from the top of the rep.
04/ USE BANDS
Every now and then, take a load off with assisted pull-ups. This ensures you can lift under control and complete a full range of motion.
05/ HANG OUT
Rest for 3-5min between weighted sets – recovery is key. Rep in the 4-6 range to increase pure strength until you’re Personal Best-ready.
Do More Damage Rough edges need to be cleaned up. Use a utility knife to cut around the busted spot until you have a square just a little larger than the original hole. Secure Supplies Buy drywall joint compound (900g), a putty knife, sandpaper, mesh tape, a piece of plywood longer than the hole is tall, and four drywall screws. Build Up Support Insert the wood strip into the hole and pull it flush against the drywall. Secure it with two screws drilled into the wall. (Countersink them below the wall’s surface.)
Patch It Up Cut a square of dry wall to fit the gap. Secure it to the wood with two screws. Tape and spackle the seams. Wait 20 minutes; then sand smooth. Paint to match.
WO R DS T E D L A N E I L LU ST R AT I O N S P E T E R C R OW T H E R S I D E BA R WO R DS M I C H E L L E M A L I A S I D E BA R I L LU ST R AT I O N S ST E V E SA N FO R D
Yes, protein supps build bulk, but your favourite training v partner just added a fat-burning flavour to its mix
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BULLETINS Drain your glass, not your brain
73% The proportion of people who don’t know the symptoms of a stroke and wouldn’t call 999 if they had them. Look out for arm weakness, slurred speech and trouble smiling. (But best check you’re not just drunk first.)
Despite what killjoys say, new research suggests a tipple after work is what the doctor ordered Anyone who has bewilderedly checked their WhatsApp the morning after the night before can testify to alcohol’s potentially deleterious – and socially speaking, fairly dangerous – effect on memory. And now, with new British Department of Health guidelines reducing men’s recommended weekly limit by a third, you could be forgiven for thinking boozers need their heads tested. But such puritanical talk is enough to give a man a thirst. Despite government bods beginning to distance themselves from previously cited links between
alcohol and improved health, scientists at the University of Copenhagen beg to differ. They have discovered that drinking a glass of wine a day appears to lower your risk of death from Alzheimer’s by 77%. Researchers are unsure whether the plonk itself has a protective effect or if it’s simply the fact that people who drink moderately tend to have stronger social networks, and therefore improved brain function. To which our response is: frankly, who cares? Alzheimer’s is a bigger deal than ever, with many experts predicting that incidence in men will likely double every 20 years. In other words, protecting your grey matter has never been more important. So take a bottle home tonight to enjoy with your dinner – it might be the smartest thing you do all day. Great minds drink alike.
MULTIVITS FOR MULTITASKS
24 J U N E 2 0 1 6
Smart drugs may be on the rise in the UK, but nootropics such as modafinil can result in a class-A comedown. If you’re after a mental edge, whether in the boardroom or during a pub quiz, Northumbria
University found that a simple multivitamin, taken regularly, is enough to reduce mental fatigue while boosting cognition. Add one to your morning routine and watch your brain gains multiply.
THE BEST FOOD YOU’RE NOT EATING
WHAT? A nutrient-packed, health shop staple that looks and smells a bit like fish food but, according to new research, holds the key to curing your hayfever. WHY? With 18 million Brits now suffering from hayfever every year, a daily dose of spirulina suppresses your immune response to pollen by 34%, easing symptoms. Nothing to be sniffed at. HOW? Bin the Benadryl and invest in spirulina powder. Take two scoops daily. Not a fan of the taste? Mix it into your whey shake – each serving has 3.2g of protein.
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The World’s Best Cardio Workout
Try a long-forgotten training method to rocket yourself into the best shape of your life
YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER
WORDS MICHAEL EASTER PHOTOGRAPHS AMY LOMBARD
Pull here for fitness: After two minutes of intense rowing, you’ll be in a sea of sweat
heard of John Patrick O’Shea. Google him and you may read about how he survived a 18-metre fall into Mount St. Helens—and not about how he created one of the world’s most effective workouts. That workout originated in 1987, when O’Shea, a competitive weightlifter and an exercise scientist at Oregon State Uni, wrote in a journal about a training method he’d spent most of the previous two decades developing. He called it “interval weight training”, a high-intensity routine combining strength and cardio that’s done at a blistering pace. At first ,the regimen attracted little attention, but it eventually gained a cult following among a handful of strength and conditioning coaches. www.mens-health.com.my 27
HOW TO DO IT Select a total-body lift (section 1), a cardio trial (section 2), and a body-weight finisher (section 3). Do 10 reps of the lift; then immediately do 2 minutes of the cardio trial, attempting to reach the suggested distance or numeric goal. Then do all your reps of the body-weight finisher. Rest 2 minutes. That’s the first round. Complete 3 rounds. All of that is 1 cycle. Now rest for 5 minutes – you will definitely need it! Then pick three different exercises and complete another cycle.
A single high-intensity interval session per week is enough for most men.
The manmaker combines five different exercises. The result: serious muscle
1A/ Goblet Squat
1C/ Push Press
1D/ Clean and Squat
Stand with your feet slightly beyond shoulder width. Cup the top end of a vertical dumbbell with both hands or grasp a kettlebell by its “horns” (the sides of the handle). Hold the weight in front of your chest, your elbows pointing down. Keeping your back straight, push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat. Pause; push back up. That’s 1 rep.
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your hips and knees and squat, placing the dumbbells on the floor. Continue to grip the dumbbells as you kick your legs backward into a push-up position. Now row each dumbbell to your chest, one at a time. Do a push-up. Jump your feet forward and stand, pushing the dumbbells overhead as you do. That’s 1 rep.
Hold a pair of dumbbells next to your shoulders, your elbows bent and close to your sides. Brace your abs as you dip your knees so you’re in a quarter squat. Now explosively push up with your legs as you thrust the dumbbells overhead. Pause at the top. Slowly lower the dumbbells, and then return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Stand with a kettlebell or dumbbell on the floor in front of you. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and grab the weight with one hand. Thrust your hips forward, straighten your legs, and pull the weight in close to your chest. Perform a squat; then push back up to standing. Reverse the move and repeat. Do half your reps on one hand and then switch.
32kg dumbbell or kettlebell
28 J U N E 2 0 1 6
24kg dumbbell or kettlebell
GROOMING JESSI BUTTERFIELD/KEVIN MURPHY HAIR CARE AND TALIKA/EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS MANAGEMENT LOCATION COURTESY PRECISION ATHLETE, NYC ILLUSTRATIONS JOEL KIMMEL
That’s how the founders of Gym Jones, a Salt Lake City, Utah, fitness facility, first discovered it. “We got our hands on a copy of that paper,” says Rob MacDonald, the gym’s general manager. “Then we started sharing the method with our clients, and it soon became the answer for anyone who needed to build endurance, strength and power in as little time as possible.” In the Gym Jones interval weight-training workout, you select three exercises: a lift that works every muscle in your body; a fast-paced cardio exercise; and a high-rep body-weight finisher. You do three all-out circuits of the big lift and the endurance exercise, and then cap those off with the finisher. Then you choose three new exercises and repeat. It’s simple, but done right, it’s devastatingly effective. Of course, as with any workout, intensity is the most important factor. In other words, the harder you work, the greater the benefit. That’s why Gym Jones has its clients aim for a specific distance or number of repetitions in each of the intense two-minute cardio bouts. “That holds you accountable,” MacDonald says. “You know how hard you went because there’s that unbiased, unapologetic number staring you right in the face after you’re finished.” Twenty-nine years later, interval weight training remains arguably the single most effective way to build world-class endurance, strength, and power in the shortest time possible. We show you how, here and on the next page. Prepare to push yourself, and reap the rewards.
Go Hard, but Not Too Hard
Body-weight finishers, like the pull-up, are big-time challenges – but they’ll give your muscles an even bigger pump
2D/ Rev Up
Set the timer on your rowing machine for a 2-minute countdown. Row as far as you can. Goal: 575 metres
On a fan or stationary bike, burn as many calories as you can in 2 minutes. Goal: 60 calories
Fire up a treadmill and run as far as you can in 2 minutes. (Or run outside.) Goal: 600 metres
Do as many burpees as you can in 2 minutes. Try to power through the reps. Goal: 30 reps
Don’t try to reach failure in your sets. Instead, stop 3 to 5 reps short of failure every time. Reps: 50 to 100
At the bottom, your knees should be bent at least 90 degrees. Reps: 75 to 150
Split this up into sets of 3 to 5 reps. If pullups are too difficult, you can swap in inverted rows. Reps: 25 to 50
Break your reps up into sets of 10 to 20. Reps: 50 to 100, splitting the reps between legs
High-intensity interval training – also known as HIIT – is another kind of extreme effort you can use to hone your fitness. Think sprinting away from a hungry lion – it may sound odd, but that’s exactly how your body interprets those heartrate-jacking workouts. You’ve heard of fight-or-flight, the reaction forged by evolution that kicks in to save your butt in stressful situations. When you do HIIT, that response fires up—your brain has no idea whether you’re sprinting on a treadmill in Fitness First or running from rhinos on a savanna. That’s stressful, so you release stress hormones. In the short term, these hormones burn fat and help you build muscle. They build up during HIIT and slowly decrease as you recover. They can also mitigate inflammation, guarding against heart disease and diabetes. But there’s a catch. As with wine and women, too much of a good thing can be bad. Your body can deal with only so much stress at once, whether it’s from HIIT, work, poor sleep, or your other workouts. Overdoing HIIT floods your body with stress hormones, so they stay elevated 24/7 and have no time to recede. Combining too much HIIT with other training and a stressful lifestyle may have an additive effect. In that overstressed environment, your body releases chronically high levels of cortisol, a hormone that causes you to lose muscle, retain fat, and lower your guard against illness and injury. The fix: do just one HIIT session a week. That’s enough for most guys, especially if you’re already lifting weights. And do what you can to de-stress your life – through any means you want. That’ll make all your workouts more effective.
MH fitness advisor Bill Hartman explains why too many intense training sessions can actually leave you in worse shape.
Fitness BELLY OFF CLUB
Muhamad Shukry Al-Hafiz Bin Dzulkarnain was faced with a choice: give up being comfortable with his size, or sacrifice his health and love for clothes. The smart lad chose the former and came out tops in the recent Fit for Fashion challenge. Here’s how he did it and what he learnt along the way
TWO YEARS AGO, MUHAMAD
Shukry Al-Hafiz Bin Dzulkarnain saw nothing wrong with being overweight. He had no problem walking down the street with his head held high. “I used to think that people should accept me for who I am. My body shape and size defined my personality,” Shukry says. That way of thinking came to an abrupt halt for Shukry in February 2014 when he learnt that heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure run in his family. The grim realisation led to a complete lifestyle overhaul that recently culminated in his first place finish in the Fit for Fashion challenge, where he represented Fitness First Paradigm Mall. “Apart from the unholy trinity in 30 J U N E 2 0 1 6
my bloodline, my body size stood in the way of my love for fashion. I couldn’t fit into most of the clothes that I saw in retail stores,” Shukry recalls. “My friends’ teasing really got to me as well. I had a huge, bulging tummy that ruined the hang of clothes.” Dieting may be a challenge for some, but Shukry was determined to improve his nutrition. “I started finding healthier substitutes for the food that I love without jeopardising the taste, such as grilled chicken, vegetables and sweet potatoes,” he says, before adding that he doesn’t take supplements because whole food is all that he consumes nowadays. He counts his macronutrients religiously, consuming only 1,800
calories a day. “I bake for a living, so I’m familiar with portion control and replacing ingredients with healthier options,” Shukry comments. He suggests, for example, using honey as a sugar substitute. Once in a while, you will see him wolfing down burgers and cookies, but that’s only when he allows himself a cheat day. “I don’t usually eat snacks in the afternoon, but when I do, I’ll have a scoop of ice cream,” he confesses. Shukry hates running because it hurt his knees when he was heavier, but, “Now, my legs are my strongest asset and it’s where I see most change.” “Doing Zumba is livelier than running, and I get to move and sweat to music,” he continues. He enjoys weightlifting as well. He wants to build his body, and at the same time, be a good dancer. “Most men with huge muscles can’t dance. I want to break that barrier. I idolise Eric Tai. He’s a rugby player, a body builder and a dancer,” Shukry says. His next fitness goal is to decrease his body fat to 15 percent, by adding more muscle to his frame. “I’m currently doing squats, deadlifts and bench presses with more than 100kg of weights. After that, I’m thinking of joining obstacle challenges such as the Spartan Race or the Viper Challenge. “I trained with Edgar Sagim, Fitness First’s Master Trainer, for the Fit for Fashion challenge. I was shocked but relieved at the same time, knowing that all my hard work paid off. My partner [in the contest] and I went against very strong competitors, but we were both very confident,” Shukry says of winning first place in the challenge. “Always start with small changes and work your way up. You’ve come this far so don’t throw away your hard work. Always aim for higher goals after reaching your target.”
Workout Routine Shukry does Zumba as his main cardio exercise. Back then, he had issues with his knees, but now, working on his legs is his main priority. MONDAY
Squat, Leg Press, Leg Extension, Leg Curl (using the Abductor and Adductor machines), Zumba TUESDAY
Chest Press, Flat Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, Dumbbell Press, Cable Fly, core exercises, Zumba WEDNESDAY
Barbell Overhead Press, Dumbbell Press, Rear Fly, Face Pull THURSDAY
Core exercises, HIIT, Zumba FRIDAY
Rest day SATURDAY
Barbell Row, Pull-up, Lat Pull Down, Bicep Curl, Triceps Extension SUNDAY
Shukry counts the macronutrients of his daily food intake, and consumes no more than 1,800 calories a day. He eats small portions four times a day, but once in a while, rewards himself with a scoop of ice cream. BREAKFAST:
Overnight oats, chia seed pudding or scrambled egg whites MID-MORNING SNACK:
An apple or almonds LUNCH:
Grilled chicken breast or beef, rice or sweet potatoes, and vegetables DINNER:
Roast chicken or beef, baked potato wedges and vegetables
NAME: MUHAMAD SHUKRY AL-HAFIZ BIN DZULKARNAIN AGE: 26 HEIGHT: 168CM TIME TO REACH GOAL: TWO YEARS
WORDS PATRICK LOH PHOTOGRAPH DANIEL CHAN LOCATION FITNESS FIRST PARADIGM MALL
Fitting In The Right Way
Fitness 7 REASONS EVERY MAN SHOULD DO YOGA
Science confirms that the ancient practice benefits your mind, body, and heart. MORE STRENGTH People in a Colorado State University study who did eight weeks of yoga were able to pull 13 percent more weight in the deadlift. GREATER STAMINA People who practised yoga for 12 weeks improved their VO2 max by 5 percent more than folks who didn’t take up the discipline, according to a Chinese study. REDUCED PAIN Low-back-pain sufferers who took a four-week yoga class (and practised at home) experienced a nearly 20 percent greater reduction in pain than a group assigned to do general back and ab exercises, researchers in India found. THE MUSCLE GUY
Friends, women, co-workers... they’re going to love watching you leave
More-muscular glutes make you stronger and leaner all over. In fact, a great rear can even reduce your risk of injury. Want to seem taller? Tighten your butt, stand up straight, and amaze all your followers. Bonus: you just fixed your posture too. Bulk up your backside – fast – with these three moves.
K ET T L E B E L L SW I N G
ST E P- U P
This move teaches you to generate power from your hips instead of your lower back – the key to avoiding lifting injuries. Knock off 10 to 20 reps as a warm-up before squats or deadlifts. Or do 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 20 reps with a heavy barbell. Be sure to tighten your glutes with every thrust.
The swing is a total-body move that melts fat and trains you to activate your glutes. My favorite way to do it: pick a goal number of reps – say, 500 – and complete them over the course of a day. Do 50 swings every hour. Or try a 25-minute workout of 20 swings every minute, on the minute.
A step-up is a natural movement that can help balance and improve the strength and mobility in your legs while you build strong glutes. I often end my workouts with 10 minutes of continuous alternating stepups. That helps bulletproof my knees and builds killer lower-body stamina.
32 J U N E 2 0 1 6
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE Folks with prehypertension who did yoga and adopted a healthy diet and exercise routine for 12 weeks reduced their blood pressure more than the group who skipped yoga, a recent study from India found. DEEPER SLEEP Scientists at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital found that older people who did yoga three times a week slept longer and reported better sleep quality. BETTER IMMUNE FUNCTION In research from Korea, people who practised yoga showed reduced stresshormone levels and higher immune function.
WORDS BJ GADDOUR, MEN'S HEALTH FITNESS DIRECTOR ILLUSTRATIONS STEVE SANFORD, MICHAEL BRANDON MYERS (SIDEBAR)
Kick Your Own Ass
BETTER MOOD Just 10 days of yoga helped reduce anxiety and depression in people suffering from mood disorders, say scientists in Italy.
The 30-Minute No-Equipment Total Body Shred WORKOUT A
Beach season is just around the corner. Make sure you’re ready to strut your stuff with this time-saving, do-it-anywhere, fat-destroying workout programme. And you won’t even need a bench or a barbell
Jerrican Tan, C.S.C.S., Director of FIT Malaysia
Building muscle and burning fat.
EXERCISES B B
WORKOUT B: Power Push to Squat Frog Leap Burpees
1/ Plyo Split Jumps
[A] Get into a lunge position with your right foot forward. Bend both hands forwards at your elbows, with palms facing each other. [B] Jump up and switch legs in mid-air. [C] Land in a lunge with your left foot forward. Complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. 34 J U N E 2 0 1 6
2/ Push-up to Leg Press
[A] Get into a standard push-up position. Then press down into [B]. [C] Push your hips back towards your feet by bending your knees and fully extending your arms. Reverse the motion into [B] to complete 1 rep. Complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.
Do this workout three times a week. Perform all of the exercises listed as a circuit, moving from one to the next with no rest time. Start with three circuits of Workout A. Perform active rest (e.g. a brisk walk) for 3-5 minutes before moving on to Workout B, also three circuits. Feeling tough? Reduce your rest time to 60 seconds (or even 45 seconds).
WORDS ANIS TAUFIK PHOTOGRAPHS CHEE MINH GEH MODEL AARON CHEW LOCATION FIT MALAYSIA
WORKOUT A: Plyo Split Jumps Push-up to Leg Press Stationary Run
1/ Power Push to Squat 3/ Stationary Run
[A] Step up with your right foot and swing your left arm up. [B] Alternate sides by switching to your left foot and swinging your right arm up. Do this as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
[A] Get into a standard push-up position and lower yourself to the ground. [B] Push yourself up and leap forward. [C] Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart. [D] Lower yourself into a half-squat and raise both hands in front of you. [E] Slam down explosively into a push-up position, straightening your arms and lifting both feet of the ground as you land. Complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.
B A A
2/ Frog Leap
[A] Get into a squat and place your hands on the ground in front of you. [B] Walk your hands one step forward. [C] Plant both hands firmly on the ground and kick your legs up into the air. Complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.
[A] Get into a standard push-up position. [B] Bring your feet and knees forward. Lift yourself up and brace into a squat position. [C] Leap as high as you can and raise both hands over your head. Complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. www.mens-health.com.my 35
The Power of a Personal Touch Having a personal trainer guiding you every step of the way on your fitness journey is like having your very own Yoda turning you from Skywalker to Jedi. But what if your love of your coach went beyond reps and sets? This is the story of how the love of Hope Beel’s life inspired a new love in her life, and made her love life more than ever
36 J U N E 2 0 1 6
“From then on, I became extremely passionate, not only about my personal results, but also about helping others. I started teaching myself about the lifestyle of training and healthy eating, as well as educating myself about the health and fitness industry.
THE FITTEST WOMEN ON
USERNAME @hopebeel OCCUPATION Business owner & personal trainer FOLLOWERS 300,000 SPECIALITY Body sculpting
WORDS EUGENE PHUA PHOTOGRAPHS MATT BLUM / @BLUMPHOTOGRAPHY
“FOUR YEARS AGO, I MET MY
better half – who is a personal trainer – and I became really intrigued by the gym and weight training. I was always an avid athlete, but never took my results to the next level, because I wasn’t educated on the subject. At that time, I just wanted to be healthy overall, because I used to struggle with a terrible diet. I ate fast food three times a day, my digestive system was off track, and my skin was horrible. Of course, now, I cook at home and eat whole foods with barely anything processed, my skin is way better, and my digestion is back on track. “When I started my health and fitness journey, I really felt the difference and I then became obsessed with seeing my body and overall health transform. I just felt better mentally, my overall energy levels were way better, and I felt more confident. I just feel great, I never get sick, and I’m always full of energy. “Not long after that beginning, my better half encouraged me to compete in a bikini fitness event; but I had no clue what I was doing during my first show! Still, I got my body to the best level that I could, and I felt so confident even though I had no clue what I was doing. I think that showed through to the judges, and I ended up placing second in the largest bikini fitness show in Texas!
HOPE’S TOP TIP “Support your lady! My better half always pushes me to my limits and I love that, because I’m constantly working harder to become better. When you’re in a pushpush relationship, things stay interesting and you actually get stuff done!”
“It’s become a lifestyle for me. I don’t go a day without doing something active or without having the intention of eating clean. And now that I’m a public figure, I feel a bit of pressure to always maintain my physique and to set a standard for my followers. It definitely motivates me to stay in shape and to be aware of what I’m putting out there. It’s crazy how much you can influence someone with one post! “The biggest challenge for me is being okay with my body fluctuating – sometimes, I’ll be shredded and, other times, not so much. I’ve learnt to accept the changes and just know that it’s part of the journey. Everyone has his or her own personal journey, and it’s never fast for anyone. You can’t drastically change your body in 30
days; it’s a combination of time and staying consistent. It’s so easy to want realistic results fast, but then people give up too quickly. The process takes time – a lot of time – so you have to stay consistent. It’s been four years now for me, and I’m still working on creating my best physique. “Now that I’m educated on the health and fitness industry, I see what a healthy lifestyle can do to someone’s life. So many people don’t understand the importance of health, fitness and nutrition. If I can impact someone’s life in a positive way by inspiring them, then I’m one step closer to my goal – and I always ask myself if my actions are in line with my goals. “You only have one body, so treat it the right way, and you’ll live a great and healthy life.”
At Home with Hope
Stuck indoors with no means of escape? That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to burn mega calories and chisel your body with a bodyweight workout. Try Hope Beel’s simple, quick and challenging total body programme, which you will be able to crank out pretty much anywhere. Grab a pair of dumbbells to increase the difficulty and burn even more fat. Do three sets of 12-15 reps each for every workout; rest for 15 seconds between sets, and 30 seconds between workouts.
1/ Side Plank with Side Crunch
Get into a side plank position, resting on your right elbow and right knee. Extend your left arm above your head, with left foot straight out. Bring your left elbow towards your left knee, both bending at 90 degrees. Pause, return to starting position, and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.
2/ Split-stance Lateral Raise with Side Lunge and Folding Arms Raise Stand with feet as wide apart as you can, and arms perpendicular to your torso. Shift your bodyweight to your right leg, and bend your right knee until your thighs are parallel to the floor. At the same time, bend both elbows until your hands touch, keeping your arms perpendicular. Pause, return to starting position, and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.
3/ High Plank with Frontal Raise
Start from a push-up position, with your palms directly underneath your shoulders. Raise your left hand until it’s straight in front of you. Pause, return to starting position, and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.
4/ Bridge with Fly
Lie on the floor, with knees bent and feet flat. Bend your arms so that your hands face the ceiling. Then, as you bring both hands together, squeeze your glutes and raise your torso upwards until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Pause and slowly lower yourself down. That’s one rep.
ARE YOU A
MAN WITH A PLAN?
Because your plan might just land you on the cover of Men’s Health! 20 Ways to Become More Independent P72 MALAYSIA AUGUST 2015
MALAYSIA’S NO.1 MEN’S LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE AUGUST 2015
This could be you!
The Ultimate Shirt-off Workout
THE WORLD’S LARGEST MEN’S MAGAZINE
WINNER MATT PYNE shed 20kg and turned his life around P78
MADE EASY BLAST YOUR GUT IN 30 MINUTES A DAY!
LOOK GREAT NOW! 7 SIMPLE
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10 SUPERFOODS THAT MAKE YOU SMARTER P56
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The Dark Side of the Sun
You think it’s smiling down at you all day? Sure it is – like a psychopathic serial killer I’M NOT AN OVERLY VAIN MAN.
WORDS ADAM COOKE PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCKPHOTO
At least that’s what I used to think until today, as I watch my dermatologist, Stephen Voget, M.D., grab his scalpel and point it toward my forehead. “Of course, you could go to a plastic surgeon, who would do a neater job,” he says. But I’m not about to stop him. I have skin cancer. Let me rephrase that: I have skin cancer! And I want it gone. A month ago I was in for my regular check-up. I stripped down to my undies and Dr. Voget looked at me through his magnifying glass, as he’d done so many times •
Dumb Questions, Answered Just in case you need a quick refresher course. What is a sunburn, really?
Besides your penalty for falling asleep at the beach? It’s an injury: when your skin is penetrated by UVA and UVB radiation from the sun, it sustains cell damage, says Tanya Kormeili, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA. As a result, blood vessels in your skin expand and begin leaking plasma and other fluids rife with inflammatory compounds. In fact, inflammation is the reason your skin becomes red, puffy, and painful to touch. That’s why your sunburn is at its worst 24 hours after the sun exposure – the inflammation takes that long to reach full force.
What determines skin colour?
It comes down to melanin, a dark natural pigment that’s concentrated in your hair and skin. Melanin blocks UV light before it can harm your epidermis – the skin’s outer layer – so having more melanin makes you simultaneously darker and better protected from sun damage. Some extremely fair-skinned people produce virtually zero melanin; instead, they’re genetically programmed to create a lighter pigment, called pheomelanin. That’s why they always seem to burn rather than tan, explains Delphine Lee, M.D., Ph.D., of the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California.
What is SPF?
Sun protection factor is the FDAregulated number that sunscreen makers use to define how well their creams protect against sun damage. To determine it, researchers rub people down with sunscreen, beam UV light on them, and measure how long the skin takes to turn red. The higher the SPF, the slower the burn rate. But instead of stressing out about the number (SPF 30 works nearly as well as SPF 50, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation), focus on proper use, says Dr. Lee. Spread a shot glass’s worth over your entire body every two hours you’re outdoors. —AMY RUSHLOW 40 J U N E 2 0 1 6
before, scanning my skin with the trained eyes of a hunter. He stared straight into my third eye, squinting at the spot on my noggin. “What’s that?” Eh, small scar. Nothing. “How did you get it?” Well, I scratched my forehead. It was itching pretty badly, and I guess I must have drawn blood. That’s what’s left. “How long did it take to heal?” A few weeks. (Okay, full disclosure: It was a really irritating little scab that would form and fall off and form again. In the end, it left that little dent.) “I don’t like the look of this. I’m going to take a biopsy.” So he did, and three days later, the news came back from the lab: basal cell carcinoma. I had been diagnosed with the most common type of cancer in the world. MAKE NO MISTAKE: WHEN IT
comes to skin cancer, everyone is a target. Melanoma, its deadliest form, kills more than twice as many men as women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 46,870 new melanoma cases will be diagnosed in men this year; approximately 6,750 will die from it. “We have a very complete understanding of skin cancer,” Dr. Voget says. “Just like the link between smoking and lung cancer. If you smoke, chances are you will get lung cancer. If you do not wear a shirt or a hat or sunscreen, chances are you will get skin cancer. It’s a bit like not wearing a seatbelt – you can make that choice, but why take the risk?” He tells me about the Fitzpatrick Skin Type, a six-point scale created in 1975. Dermatologists still use it today to classify skin colour.
Number one is a very light-skinned person, like an Irishman with red hair. I’m a two – light skin, green eyes. I sunburn easily and never really tan. And I have freckles. Millions of them. They called me Frecklehead in primary school, and the standing joke was that all my freckles would join up one day to turn my pasty skin a nice, nutty brown. If only. If that had happened, I might not be in the predicament I’m in today. “The darkest-skinned people in the world don’t suffer from skin cancer as much as lighterskinned people do,” Dr. Voget says. That’s because melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour, also naturally protects against sunburn. It’s a dense polymer that is able to absorb, scatter, and reflect light of different wavelengths. But that doesn’t mean darkskinned people are immune. Areas of paler skin on their bodies, like lips, palms, and soles of the feet, are still vulnerable. Guys with dark skin can indeed die of skin cancer; they tend to be diagnosed at a later stage. Exhibit A: Bob Marley, who died of a malignant melanoma that started under his toenail. I blame football for my skin cancer. I used to play every day when I was young, spending hours at a time outdoors without any sunscreen. I also took quite a few roastings during summer vacations at the beach. As it turns out, experiencing just one blistering sunburn as a child increases your risk of developing melanoma by a terrifying 71 percent. All that exposure created a profound change in my epidermis, altering the metabolism, structure, and functioning of my skin cells. Over
time, these damaged skin cells grew and began to invade and destroy the tissue around them – and voilà, skin cancer. And I’m one of the lucky ones. At least I don’t have melanoma – well, not yet, anyway. My parents, like many people of their generation, didn’t understand the consequences of sun damage. They used “suntan lotion” from a bottle with a cute picture of a little girl and a doggy on it. Putting it on was like buttering a roll so that it would brown more evenly when you stuck it in the oven. My father developed skin cancer when he was in his 70s, but my own issues began when I was much younger. I was in my late 30s when I discovered dry, flaky patches on my arms and nose, and strangely coloured spots on my hands. And now here I am, a mere 45 years old, applying sunscreen to my
The Australian actor posted this picture online after doctors removed a cancerous growth – his fifth – from his skin. His goal: to encourage guys like you to wear sunscreen and schedule regular checkups with a dermatologist. So don’t let Hugh down!
face every single morning, rain or shine, winter or summer. Actually, you should too. We all should, regardless of our age or family history of cancer. Why? For one thing, we seem to be exposed to more UV radiation now than our parents were back then, according to Dr. Voget. “The number of cases is clearly on the rise – the rate of skin cancer has increased greatly, and I see it in my practice every day,” he says. His patients are younger too, and he’s increasingly having to prescribe fluorouracil cream. Sold under the brand names Efudex, Carac, and Fluoroplex, the cream is essentially a chemotherapy that you rub on your skin. Cancer cells replicate quickly, and the drug has the ability to target and kill the new ones while they’re still in their infancy.
Dr. Voget told me that I should apply the fluorouracil cream for 21 days straight – “if,” he added ominously, “you can take the pain for that long.” The first week was a breeze. If this was pain, I was laughing at it. I applied the cream each evening, and nothing happened. The second week, I started noticing red blotches and slight itchiness. I could deal with that, I figured. But by the start of week three, the cream had taken hold and begun eating away at my flesh like a badtempered amoebic alien. The blurb on the box warns you to wash your hands immediately after applying it. But it doesn’t mention anything about the stuff being the devil’s cream. It attacks sun-damaged skin with a virulence that makes you want to scratch your eyes out.
I did make it the full 21 days. But by the end, my face was a raw and suppurating wound; layers of skin had peeled off. I couldn’t touch it, not even with water, and shaving was impossible. Co-workers would walk past me and avert their eyes, unsure of what to say to the man who looked like he’d shoved his face into a pot of boiling battery acid. The dramatic increase in skin cancer cases in recent decades makes you wonder: is the sun getting stronger, or are our defenses getting weaker? The answer: yes. According to NASA, the sun is getting brighter. Its brightness is increasing by about six percent every billion years, slow enough that you probably won’t need to upgrade to thicker sunglasses anytime in the next few millennia. But as we also know, the planet’s UV-dampening
ozone layer has been damaged. But also, skin cancer may be one of the side effects of an increasingly mobile world population. People indigenous to areas near the equator – where UV concentrations are high – have darker skin. The reverse is true toward the poles. That’s because skin color evolves naturally over generations to allow just the right amount of ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) into the body. Our bodies use UVB to produce vitamin D, which we need in order to stay healthy. Without it: rickets! Weak bones, bowed legs. At the equator, sun and UVB are abundant; hence the darker skin tones. Arctic populations have little pigmentation so their skin can soak up as much UVB as possible. This is why, for example, a Nigerian who moves to New York is at high risk for www.mens-health.com.my 41
A New Role for Hugh Jackman: Cancer Survivor
Can You Identify Each Type of Skin Cancer? Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) BCCs are lesions in the skin’s basal cells, at the bottom of the epidermis. They’re so common that docs don’t even report them to cancer registries.
a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D not only is essential for building strong bones but also plays a critical role in our immune response, in cell proliferation, and in functioning of the brain, heart and pancreas. Research suggests that major changes in pigmentation may happen in as few as 200 generations. That’s fast, evolutionarily speaking. Here’s the rub: we don’t stay put anymore. “The majority of the world’s people now experience solar extremes unlike those under which their ancestors evolved,” says Nina Jablonski, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology at Penn State Uni. “The health-related penalties associated with these remarkable changes in location and lifestyle are poorly understood and underappreciated.” If there is good news, it’s this: our bodies will adapt to our lifestyles, says Stephen Stearns, Ph.D., a professor of evolutionary biology at Yale University. Most often, a child’s skin colour will lie somewhere between his mother’s and father’s. In other words, thanks to globalisation, highspeed travel, and racial mixing, we may all look like Brazilians at some point in the future. A perpetual tan. The boy from Ipanema. I look forward to it.
THREE SURPRISING WAYS YOU SPIKE YOUR SKIN CANCER RISK
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Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) This uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells starts in the squamous cells, which make up the thickest layer of your epidermis.
Melanoma This develops when DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations that lead skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumours.
Actinic Keratosis (AK), or Solar Keratosis Technically, AK isn’t cancer; it’s a scaly, crusty patch that might turn into cancer if you ignore it.
LOOKS LIKE An open sore, red patch, pink growth, shiny or pearly bump, or scar. DANGER FACTOR BCCs grow slowly, and fewer than 1 percent spread, says Evan Rieder, M.D. But they should be treated promptly: the longer you wait to visit your doctor, the more likely the growth is to invade bone or local tissues, or cause bad scarring.
LOOKS LIKE A red bump or rough, scaly patch, sore, wart, or elevated growth with a central depression. May scab or bleed. DANGER FACTOR In the past three decades, SCCs have spiked by as much as 200 percent in the United States. Untreated, they can spread and turn deadly. The risk is highest for sun-exposed areas like your head and neck.
LOOKS LIKE A black or brown spot, that often looks like a mole; some actually develop from moles. It can also be skin-coloured, pink, red, purple, blue, or white. DANGER FACTOR Melanoma accounts for less than two percent of skin cancers but the majority of deaths – 6,640 men in the U.S. last year. It’s curable, but you need to detect it early.
LOOKS LIKE An elevated, rough area that can resemble a wart and appear on a sun-exposed part of the body. Most become red, but some are tan or pink. DANGER FACTOR High enough to warrant immediate action: If left untreated, up to 10 percent of AK cases develop into SCC, the second most common form of skin cancer.
Wealthier people are more likely to get skin cancer, according to a study from the New York State Cancer Registry. The researchers analysed cancer incidence data from 16 states and found that melanoma had the strongest association with wealthy neighborhoods. Why? People who can afford to spend free time on the beach or golf course tend to do so, says MH dermatology advisor Adnan Nasir, M.D., Ph.D.
“People who drive have a higher risk of developing skin cancer,” Dr. Nasir says, “especially on their hands.” Why? Although the lamination on your windshield blocks cancer-causing radiation, side windows usually aren’t laminated and do allow UVA light through. So it’s no surprise that St. Louis University researchers found that 74% of malignant melanomas occur on the left side of the body.
Drugs that have the side effect of increasing your vulnerability to UV light are called photosensitisers. They include certain cardiovascular meds and anti-microbials, like the acne-treating antibiotic tetracycline. In a Dartmouth Uni study of over 5,000 people, those who took any of these pills for at least six months were 50 percent more likely than those not on the pills to develop basal cell carcinoma before 50.
You Earn a Massive Promotion
You Have a Long Commute
You Take Prescription Meds
What Happens When I’m Charitable?
Altruism is a noble quality on which civilised society depends. But hey, did you know about the health kickbacks? Follow our guide to selfish philanthropy 01
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WORDS BOB MAKELA ILLUSTRATION PETER GRUNDY
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Binge-watching ER could end up landing you in a real one
The Crime Scene Your couch The Victim You Yes, TV can kill: in an American Journal of Preventive Medicine study, people who watched three to four hours of it a day were 15 percent more likely to die over the 14-year study period than those who watched little to none. The Verdict No need to deliberate: inactivity for long periods isn’t healthy. The evidence is below. (We’re not sure what’s behind the suicide connection, but it almost certainly has something to do with Keeping Up with the Kardashians.)
Diabetes Suicide Parkinson’s disease Liver disease COPD Influenza/pneumonia Heart disease Cancer
% RISE IN RISK PER 2 HOURS OF TV A DAY 56 43 35 33 28 24 23 7
Every crowd needs a leader, so make like the Wedding Crashers and start a dance at your buddy’s big day!
Rise to the Occasion
Stay smooth and succeed in these potentially sticky situations. On Your First Day at a New Job Don’t feel you have to amaze one and all. Spend very little time at your desk and meet people on their turf to make a friendly first impression. Ask questions more than give answers, be cordial to everyone, and avoid talking about how your old company did it – because nobody cares, says Michael Watkins, Ph.D., author of The First 90 Days. Show that you want to be a team player; your workaholic Machiavellian side can come out later.
At Your Buddy’s Wedding Every crowd needs a leader. Be the first for everything – to find your table, to shush the crew for the toasts, to hit the dance floor, suggests Holly Lefevre, author of The Everything Wedding Etiquette Book. The couple will appreciate your initiative. Remember to congratulate both sets of parents; this fosters positive feelings about the merger of families and friends. Your selfless play guarantees that the happy couple will let you crash in their guest room in the future.
As an Overnight Houseguest Pack as if it’s a regular trip; anything your hosts provide beyond a bed and a towel is a bonus. Include a small gift – say, a book by their favourite author. Tell them when you’ll arrive and leave, and announce up front that you’d like to take them out to dinner or a movie, says Cynthia Lett, author of That’s So Annoying. Best time to leave: midmorning, when feelings are still positive and their day is still intact. Mail (don’t email) a thank-you note; three lines is plenty.
RULE I LIVE BY
Reboot Your Day Every Afternoon “I’ve started carrying a jump rope around, and when my energy flags, I bang out a minute of jumping. It gets my blood flowing, literally and figuratively. I also check my posture. As my energy drops, my posture usually follows suit, and sometimes just a quick realignment reminds me to stand tall and finish the day strong. I’m also not afraid of an espresso or some black tea for a little antioxidant-and-caffeine pick-me-up.” —MH advisor Travis Stork, M.D., host of TV’s The Doctors
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With a Friend Who’s Lost a Parent A week later, text “Dinner Friday?” It’s better than a vague “Anything I can do?” When you meet, repeat your condolences, which makes bringing up the topic easier for him, says Val Walker, author of The Art of Comforting. Ask specific questions – “How are you handling all those calls?” and not “How are you doing?” Then let him lead. If he talks, just listen. Don’t give advice, change the subject, or finish his sentences. He has the floor. —STEVE CALECHMAN
PHOTOGRAPH FROM TOP: ISTOCKPHOTO; JONATHON KAMBOURIS PROP STYLING JOJO LI/HELLO ARTISTS; STEVE SANFORD
CAUSE OF DEATH
EVENTS & PROMOTIONS
Check out our website at mens-health.com.my for the latest event and promotion updates.
FUELLING HAPPY ON PETRON’S BLAZE 100 ROAD TRIP
Men’s Health Malaysia recently joined Petron’s Blaze 100 Road Trip to Puteri Harbour, Johor Bahru, to experience the Blaze 100 Euro 4M. The only gasoline in Malaysia with a Research Octane Number (RON) of 100 ensures less engine knocking while improving engine responsiveness and acceleration. The Blaze 100 also comes with a fully synthetic detergent additive that cleans engines better, giving you peace of mind when it comes to engine protection and fuel economy. www.petron.com.my
DYSON PURE COOL LINK
MR. BURBERRY EAU DE TOILETTE FRAGRANCE
Grapefruit is no doubt the leading note in fragrances this year, and it’s not left out in the new Mr. Burberry as well. Designed by acclaimed perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, the fragrance opens with a splash of tarragon, cardamom and, of course, grapefruit. Then, birch leaf, nutmeg oil and cedarwood awaits you at its heart. Finally, vetiver, guaiac wood and sandalwood lies at its base, all of which will give you a masculine finish and a Mr. Burberry attitude. RM450 (150ml); my.burberry.com
Dyson will be your life-saver in this mercury-bubbling climate and when your air-conditioning unit is misbehaving. When air is sucked in through the Dyson Pure Cool Link’s 360-degree Glass HEPA filter, the “hoop” at the top goes into high speeds, channelled by its inbuilt air-foiled ramp, thus creating a flow of purified air to you. The Cool Link can also detect the air quality in your home, purify pollutants away, and give you a full report via the Dyson Link App on your phone. RM2,799; dyson.my
Food & Nutrition
Skip the Shake, Refuel with Food PHOTOGRAPH SAM KAPLAN FOOD STYLING BRETT KURZWEIL/ART DEPARTMENT
Tired of recovery drinks that taste like cardboard? Build muscle with spicy shrimp tacos instead
FEEDING YOUR MUSCLES HAS
never been tastier. You need just 3 minutes and a few ingredients. In a hot, oiled skillet, cook 500g of peeled, deveined shrimp with 1 tsp smoked paprika, a dash of ground cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Now warm 2 corn tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for about 90 seconds. Pop the shrimp on the tortillas and top with avocado slices, sliced red cabbage, cilantro, a gob of Greek yogurt, and a squirt of fresh lime. www.mens-health.com.my 49
Food & Nutrition
One Rotisserie Chicken, 4 Quick & Healthy Meals
The Word on the Bird
Per kilo, roast chicken packs around 100 grams of protein and 56 grams of fat. Sound like a lot of fat? Fear not: studies show that dietary fat and cholesterol arenâ€™t the heart saboteurs we once thought they were.
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PHOTOGRAPHS SAM KAPLAN FOOD STYLING BRETT KURZWEIL/ART DEPARTMENT
Stop at the supermarket, grab an organic pre-cooked bird, and feast on the beast all week long
1 BBQ Chicken & Slaw Sandwich Remove one of the breast halves and shred the meat with a fork. In a saucepan on medium heat, mix the chicken with a glug of your favorite barbecue sauce, and stir until it’s heated through, a minute or two. Pile everything on a whole wheat bun and top with thinly sliced red onion and coleslaw. Like it spicy? Add a palmful of sliced pickled jalapeños for a hit of heat and tang.
2 Prep time 9 minutes Feeds 1 Per serving 364 calories, 31g protein, 35g carbs (3g fibre), 11g fat
3 Thai Curry Soup In a large saucepan, combine a big spoonful of Thai red curry paste with 2 cups of low-sodium chicken stock, a few squirts of fish sauce, a glug of coconut milk, and the juice of a lime. Bring it all to a boil; then lower to a simmer. Add a big handful of chicken, season to taste, and remove from heat. Serve with sliced serrano peppers, torn mint leaves, and a squiggle of sriracha.
Quick Chicken Caesar Salad Tear a romaine heart into bite-size pieces. Toss in some whole wheat bread crumbs and 1 cup of chopped chicken. In a blender, whiz up a handful of grated Parmesan, ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, 2 garlic cloves, and about 6 dashes of Worcestershire. Pour some over the salad; toss. Add more to taste if you want, and toss again. Top with more grated cheese and dig in.
Prep time 13 minutes Feeds 2 Per serving 547 calories, 30g protein, 6g carbs (1g fibre), 46g fat
4 Prep time 11 minutes Feeds 1 Per serving 341 calories, 42g protein, 9g carbs (0g fibre), 15g fat
Green Quesadilla Sauté a handful of shredded chicken with a chopped plum tomato in enough salsa verde to coat. When the mixture is warmed through, scoop it onto a large whole wheat tortilla; cover with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, add another tor tilla, and heat your quesadilla in a dry skillet until the cheese is gooey. Slice and top with sour cream, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, and hot sauce.
Prep time 8 minutes Feeds 2 Per serving 380 calories, 33g protein, 39g carbs (7g fibre), 12g fat
Food & Nutrition
Is Fish Oil the New Snake Oil? Those omega-3 fatty acid supplements may not deliver on their promise of life-extending health benefits. Here’s your new prescription
A HEALTHY HISTORY
The Bible has anecdotes of people using fish gallbladders to treat blindness. The Spaniards believed fish bile cured madness. And when your grandpa was a pup, he probably had to swallow cod-liver oil to prevent rickets, a bone disorder caused by vitamin deficiency. Research into the protective health effects of oily fish began around the 1970s, when scientists homed in on polyunsaturated fat intake. That’s when a landmark study from Denmark revealed low rates of coronary artery disease and diabetes among indigenous Greenlanders with a fish-rich diet. From that point on, the scientific community quickly began building a case for the link between fish consumption and good health. 52 J U N E 2 0 1 6
Later research identified the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, primarily) as the beneficial silver bullet; these are found in high concentrations in such oily fish as sardines, mackerel, and herring. The findings implied that omega-3s from fish lowered blood levels of triglycerides, potentially reducing the risk of conditions like heart disease and cancer. Additional data over the ensuing decades appeared to support these claims, and by the mid-1990s, the American Heart Association was all in. In 1994, it staged a conference about the therapeutic benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Supplement companies took notice.
THE GREAT SUPPLEMENT SHORTCUT
Americans really don’t do oily fish. Average intake of omega-3-rich fish among U.S. men is a measly 40g a week, a 2014 Nutrition Journal study found. Some guys may not like the taste; others might think fish is too expensive, too smelly, or too complicated to cook. So the supplement industry, sensing an untapped market, decided to address those concerns. The result:
a convenient capsule that delivered the goods in one easy swallow. Later, the formula was refined to eliminate the fish burps of early omega-3 supplements. Supplement producers started sending out fleets of warship-sized trawlers to harvest omega-3-rich fish. They brought in lobbyists to push legislation that would codify the benefits of fish oil into federal product labeling guidance. Those efforts proved so successful that by 2004, the FDA allowed dietary fish oil supplement labels to state that the capsules may reduce coronary heart disease risk. The government’s optimism remained guarded, however; the FDA stated that the research was “not conclusive”. But that disclaimer did little to stem the tide of American consumers hungry for omega-3s in a capsule – or companies that were eager to deliver it to them.
WHAT THE ORIGINAL RESEARCH MISSED
When you look at the entirety of omega-3 research, one thing sticks out: most of the data on the benefits of omega-3s came from studies that looked at consumption of fish, not
fish oil supplements. Only recently have the supplements been studied in a more comprehensive way, and the results raise worrisome questions. One concern is that over-thecounter supplements may not deliver the fish oil dosage promised on the label. In fact, of 32 commercially available supplements analysed by researchers in Australia and New Zealand in 2014, only three had levels of EPA and DHA equal to or greater than those advertised on the label. What’s more, two-thirds of the research samples contained less than 67 percent of the EPA and DHA advertised. So how does this happen? Scientists speculate that in the production process, fish oil may become exposed to the air. This exposure can result in oxidisation, reducing the total EPA and DHA concentration of the oil. In fact, some liquid gels contain additional flavourings meant to mask the telltale rancid odor of oxidised fish oil, according to a 2014 report published by Consumer Lab. “Fish oils, like any nutritional supplement, are not regulated by the FDA the way prescription drugs are, so you can never be quite sure of what
WORDS ROBIN GOLDSTEIN SMALL PHOTOGRAPHS THE VOORHES
MAYBE WE HAVEN’T STRUCK
oil after all. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements were thought to deliver the same cancer-fighting, heartsaving, brain-preserving benefits as real fish – but without the stinky hassle. That’s why, when these dietary supplements hit the market, we were immediately hooked. Today, in fact, studies found that fish oil outranks herbal supplements in popularity among men. Unfortunately, there may now be a catch. Although research in the 1990s initially suggested benefits from dietary fish oil supplementation, new studies – including several highprofile reviews published in trusted journals – no longer support many of the original health claims.
4 Unsung Omega-3 Sources
Savour these healthy fish dishes from Chip Flanagan, chef of Ralph’s on the Park in New Orleans
Buy a bag, scrub them in water, and then dump them into a big pot along with some dry white wine, herbs, shallots, garlic, and tomatoes. Steam them until the shells open.
Buy it scaled, under 3kg. Rub the skin with olive oil; salt and pepper the cavity. Then stuff it with herbs, onions, leeks and citrus slices. Roast whole until the flesh is flaky.
Caviar is great on top of raw oysters (double the omega-3s!), but fish eggs also work well mixed into scrambled eggs or atop sea scallops seared in browned butter. How regal!
Marinate for 15 minutes in lemon or lime juice and soy sauce. Pop it skin side down in a preheated cast-iron skillet and roast at 400°F (or 200°C) till flaky. Spoon on marinade after 5 minutes.
you’re getting,” says James Stein, M.D., a professor of cardiovascular research at the University of Wisconsin. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re dangerous; it just means you might not be getting all you’ve paid for. “These labels can be confusing,” says R. Preston Mason, Ph.D., who researches omega-3s at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “They make it sound as though dietary fish oil supplements are some sort of approved omega-3 fatty acid medication, but they’re not. They’re not intended to prevent or treat disease.” The FDA has approved highdose prescription omega-3 fatty acid products for reducing very high triglyceride levels in adults. “Dietary supplement fish oils are not equivalent to nor should they be used in lieu of prescription omega-3 fatty acid products,” Mason adds. And even if your supplement does deliver the right dose, you may not be receiving all the promised health benefits. Yes, some smaller studies have revealed heart health benefits, but the bulk of the research has yet to prove that non-prescription supplements can reduce the risk of cardiovascular-related death, delay cognitive decline, ease depression, or prevent prostate cancer – four of the most promising claims regarding omega-3s. “Many of fish oil’s earlier touted benefits have not been replicated in large randomised controlled clinical trials,” says MH advisor P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. “The hype exceeds the science.”
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NOW?
More long-term research is needed to see if over-the-counter omega-3 supplementation can live up to the buzz. For now, if you want the preventive benefits of omega-3s, especially for your heart, your best bet is to eat real fish. “Studies show that generally healthy people who eat more fish and have good blood levels of omega-3s have a lower risk of fatal heart
Fish has tons of health benefits. Fish oil supplements? Maybe not
disease,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. Omega-3 effects in controlled trials include several benefits: improved heart rate, enhanced blood vessel function, and greater oxygen flow to the heart itself. Plus, fish is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and it’s lower in calories than many other protein-rich foods. “Fish is more than just omega-3s,” Dr. Mozaffarian says. “It also contains zinc, important amino acids, and vitamin D.” Still not biting because of the taste or smell? The good news is that you don’t have to subsist entirely on anchovies and sardines. A variety of fish species, with diverse flavour profiles, pack a wallop of omega-3s. (Check out “9 Omega-3 Powerhouses” in the box above.) And don’t let concerns about mercury in seafood dissuade you from eating it. A JAMA review found that the heart health benefits of fish outweigh the risks associated with consuming toxins found in some fish. If you’re still worried, eat smaller seafood (try shrimp or sardines), which don’t carry the toxin load of larger swimmers (like swordfish), says Men’s Health nutrition expert Mike Roussell. So here’s the bottom line for the average guy: eat at least two servings of fish that are high in omega-3s each
9 Omega-3 Powerhouses Nix the oil-filled capsule and give these fish a try.
OMEGA-3 CONTENT PER 85G COOKED ATLANTIC HERRING
WILD COHO SALMON
week and cook them in a healthy way to avoid loading up on excess calories. (Sorry, fish-and-chips lovers.) If you just can’t stomach a fishforward diet, ask your doctor if you might need a prescription for omega-3s to make up for the lack of seafood on your plate. But that should be a last resort. Also be aware that fish oil supplements, both in prescription and over-the-counter forms, have the ability to thin your blood and increase your risk of bleeding and bruising. “If you regularly eat fatty fish, supplementation isn’t necessary,” says Alan Aragon, M.S., author of The Lean Muscle Diet. In even simpler terms, go fish. www.mens-health.com.my 53
Food & Nutrition
The Health Snob’s Guide to
Veganism A beasting in the gym doesn’t always warrant a pound of flesh for lunch. MH spills the beans on how a plant-based feast can provide the gains you’re hunting for, gatherer style
ALTERNATIVE POWER PLANTS Let’s be clear: we’ve got no beef with meat. But seeing as scientists have linked voracious, carnivorous appetites to bowel cancer, we could do with culling consumption a tad. “Proteins such as tofu and tempeh contain all the essential amino acids,” says nutritionist Christine Bailey. “They’re also packed with phytonutrients, and are easier to digest.” This is how to pig out (so to speak) and scoff extra benefits.
Consider this curdled soymilk an edible sponge (stay with us), soaking up the flavour of whatever juices and spices you cook it in. Not only does tofu have a 3:1 protein-to-carb ratio, but it’s also linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer, according to US scientists. Can sausages do that?
This fermented bean ‘cake’ is usually made with soy but, unlike tofu, uses the whole bean, rather than just the milk. It’s denser and mineral-rich, and packs extra fibre too. The fermentation process also makes its plant proteins more digestible.
Its devilish name may seem apt to paleo types: seitan is gluten. But with as much protein per calorie as chicken breast, it’s also a top source of muscle fuel. Textured and robust, it’s the ‘meatiest’ of the meatless, says award-winning vegan chef and author Tony Bishop-Weston.
High in energising vitamin C and blood sugar-levelling manganese, this huge green fruit looks like a mango-lychee hybrid. But, cooked, it bears an uncanny likeness to pulled pork. Fresh from your nearby pasar malam or from a tin are both fine.
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02 BECOME A TOFU TOFF A favourite among the soy polloi, tofu can be a hard sell to carnivores. But it’s because they’re doing it wrong. For a start, leaving open packets in the fridge will lead to shrivelled bean curd. “Place tofu in a tub with water and refrigerate,” Bailey says. (Seitan is best in veg broth.) You need a sharp knife, or soft tofu will crumble; a crinkle-cut blade will serve you well. Use a non-stick pan evenly misted with oil from a sprayer, and try not to stir too much. “For a crispier texture, toss tofu in ground almonds,” Bailey says. If you’re serious, invest in a tofu press to drain excess water. You’re saving the world, man – don’t count beans.
GREEN FEED, CLEAN PLATES Vegan cooking 101: don’t treat your plant protein like it’s a hunk of beef. “This is about finding healthier alternatives: different, but still delicious,” Bishop-Weston says. Although meat typically requires a long cooking time to tenderise, plant-based foods do not. “Their cell structure breaks down quickly, so add them to the dish last.” Got that? Then get stuck into these recipes.
HOW TO MAKE AN OMELETTE...
…Without breaking eggs, by nutritionist Christine Bailey
i/ LEAN TEMPEH WRAPS SERVES 2 • Tempeh slices, 4 • Coconut oil, dash • Marmite, 2tsp • Wholemeal wraps, 2 • An avocado, sliced • Rocket or other greens, 2 handfuls • Sundried tomatoes, 6
SERVES 2 • Gram (a.k.a. chickpea) flour, 125g • Garlic powder, ½tsp • Salt and pepper to taste • Nutritional yeast, 2tbsp • Bicarbonate of soda, ½tsp • Coconut oil, 1tbsp • Mushrooms, chopped • Spring onions, finely chopped
METHOD Fry the tempeh slices in coconut oil for 15 minutes, browning both sides; then spread a little Marmite over the inside of your tortilla wraps. As well as multiple B vitamins, Marmite also adds a “rich, meaty flavour”, BishopWeston says. Divide the other ingredients, along with your rashers of tempeh, and assemble your wraps. Swap out the odd BLT and it might just save your bacon.
ii/ TOFU AND OLIVE BOLOGNESE SERVES 4 • Firm tofu, 400g pack • Smoked paprika, 1tsp • Marmite, dessert spoon • Red onion, chopped • Garlic clove, crushed • Tinned tomatoes, 400g • Black olives, 30g, stoned • Greens (spinach, basil, rocket), 120g, chopped • Buckwheat pasta, 300g
METHOD Crumble the tofu (like you would feta cheese) into a bowl with the paprika and Marmite. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes to give it extra bite. Fry the onion and garlic together, then simmer with the tomatoes, olives and greens for 15 minutes. Add the baked tofu, season and simmer for a further five minutes. Serve with pasta, cooked to pack instructions. No more mincing about.
WORDS SCARLETT WRENCH PHOTOGRAPHS LOUISA PARRY FOOD STYLIST VAL MCARTHUR SEE VEGANSOCIETY.COM FOR INFO VEGANSOCIETY.COM
STEP 1 First, combine all of your dry ingredients in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 200-250ml water to form a batter. STEP 2 Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the mushrooms and onions until soft. Remove from the pan, then pour in half the batter, like you’re making pancakes. STEP 3 Sprinkle over half the shrooms and onion, and flip when browned. Repeat with the other half of your ingredients.
iii/ SEITAN AND WALNUT PIE
iv/ CRISPY JACKFRUIT TACOS
SERVES 4 • Seitan, 350g, chopped into chunks • Wild mushrooms, 100g • Walnuts, 100g, bashed • Red onion, chopped • Tomatoes, 400g, chopped • Marmite, 2tsp • Pack of puff pastry (butter-free) • Hemp seeds, sprinkle
SERVES 2 • Jackfruit, 250g, tinned • Ginger, 1tsp • Smoked paprika, 1tsp • Garlic clove, crushed • Barbecue sauce, 1tbsp • Coconut oil, 1tsp • Tacos, 4 small • Lettuce, shredded • Black beans, 160g cooked
METHOD In a saucepan, simmer everything but the pastry and hemp seeds for 20 minutes. Roll out the block of pastry to roughly double its size, then cut into triangles. Bake for 20 minutes at 200°C until risen and golden. Serve the seitan stew topped with a hunk of the pastry; sprinkle with the hemp seeds for omega-3. Pair with roast spuds, curly kale and a glass of (biodynamic) pinot noir.
METHOD Get your jackfruit, grab two forks and rip into it. Combine the pulled fruit with the spices and sauce, then leave it to marinate for 10 minutes. Bake in a 180°C oven for 30 minutes, then fry in coconut oil to finish it off. Serve stuffed into tacos with the lettuce and black beans, the latter of which will provide a handy extra 7g protein. Meat-free Monday can’t come soon enough. www.mens-health.com.my 55
SEX & RELATIONSHIPS
WORDS MARKHAM HEID ILLUSTRATION & PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCKPHOTO
Self-assurance will get you noticed – at the bar, in the boardroom, and in the bedroom. Use these easy moves to supercharge your swagger
A confident man lands dates and conducts meetings with authority. (Think Bruce Wayne.) An insecure man seems to whisper, “Just ignore me – I make no impact.” A confident man knows what he’s really worth and fearlessly negotiates his salary until an extra zero appears in his paycheck. An insecure man considers each monthly deposit a minor miracle. Every man has the potential to be either type of guy, and we highly recommend the former. “Confidence lets us project the assets we possess – competence, income, ambition – that people can’t see,” says evolutionary psychologist Sean Murphy, Ph.D. These signals can be subtle and subconscious; you don’t always realise you’re sending them. But even if you don’t naturally exude alpha qualities, a rapidly growing body of research is revealing how you can trick yourself into seeming invincible. Turn the page and elevate your superpower with our three-step plan.
Dress to Stand Out
Shy guys play it safe, and that’s a one-way ticket to mediocrity. Defy your style regulator by taking small risks, says Karen Pine, Ph.D., author of Mind What You Wear. As the compliments roll in (and they will), you’ll get the lift you need to express yourself in more dramatic ways.
Outclass the Competition
Dress one notch above the other guys. Clothes that verge on the formal side – like a suit for a regular team meeting – get you noticed. Attire is also associated with power, a recent California State University study found. And because power is linked to leadership and confidence, dressing up can instill those same traits in you, says study author Abraham Rutchick, Ph.D.
Finish with a Detail
Small touches – nothing too flashy – show that you know how to take care of yourself. Cuff links are too ubiquitous to garner a second look, says celebrity stylist Jacqui Stafford, author of The Wow Factor. For a nice date, add a modern touch instead, like monk strap shoes (we like Aldo and To Boot) or a cool pocket square.
Find Your Uniform
A recent PLOS One study concluded that joining clubs that are meaningful to you comes with a privilege: a shot of self-esteem. Whether it’s your alumni association or a local running crew, being part of a community with shared beliefs gives you a sense of belonging, meaning and purpose, all of which bolster self-worth.
Give Her a Whiff
Wearing a scented deodorant can help boost your body image and self-assurance, a 2015 U.K. study suggests. The same goes for colognes and fragranced body sprays. “Pleasant aromas help you tune out negative self-image,” says study author Jorien van Paasschen, Ph.D. Just remember: stick to no more than a spritz or two; a scent should accompany you, not precede you.
Show Your Badass Side
People feel stronger when they wear a Superman T-shirt, and have better focus when they put on a white lab coat, research has found. We subconsciously take on characteristics we associate with our clothes. So, buy and wear a good leather jacket or boots. Whether you’re outgoing or low-key doesn’t matter; the classic association of leather and toughness will come across. 58 J U N E 2 0 1 6
Make the Right Moves
Power is linked to leadership and confidence, so dressing up can instill those same traits in you.
Even the world’s finest clothing won’t conceal the signals your body is sending, says Eliot Hoppe, the author of Everyone’s Guide to Body Language. Use this checklist to show you’re in total control.
suggests you’re unsure about what you’re saying or that you’re being dishonest. On the other hand, nodding while listening – not like a bobblehead but every now and then – signals empathy and agreement, according to Hoppe.
Assume a Positive Posture
Make Yourself at Home
When standing or walking, keep your shoulders back and chin slightly up, says Hoppe. Face others directly; keep your arms open and expressive. When sitting, crossing your legs with one ankle atop the opposing thigh can make you feel more powerful, say Northwestern University researchers.
Strike This Pose
If you feel your poise starting to waver, assume a high-power pose: it can boost testosterone and lower stress hormone levels, a study from Columbia University and Harvard found. These may supply the lift you need to appear in control. Stand for a minute with your feet apart and hands on your hips. This expansive, open stance can buck you up and juice your courage. Try it now.
Be the Man in Motion
Gesturing shows conviction, says executive coach Bonnie Marcus, author of The Politics of Promotion. Just don’t point. That comes off as aggressive and can be seen as a sign of insecurity. Also, avoid fidgeting or touching your face, especially your lips or mouth, which
Trying to impress a co-worker? Just as relaxed, open body language signals confidence when you’re standing, spreading your stuff out on the table at a meeting sends the message that you feel in control. One caveat: don’t put your phone, coffee, and notepad directly in front of you. Moving items inward suggests you’re setting up a barrier because you’re anxious, Hoppe says. Instead, use the table’s real estate, creating a clear open line between you and others.
Perfect Your Handshake
Firmness is subjective. A good handshake is really about following the other person’s lead, Hoppe says, and this is especially true when it’s time to meet her old man. “People give you the same pressure they expect in return,” he explains. It’s also important to extend your hand vertically – not palm up or down, he says, which can be interpreted as submissive or dominant, respectively.
Do a Pre-Date Workout
Exercising on a regular basis makes you feel great about your body, a University of Florida meta-analysis suggests. So use
4 Confidence Killers Don’t let these universal mistakes start to undermine your command.
1/ Hunching Over Your Cellphone
By forcing your chin down and shoulders inward, slouching over a phone or tablet can cause you to act less assertively, according to Harvard Business School research. To counteract this, make sure to put your cell phone away before going into a meeting.
that shot of post-workout confidence to your advantage by going for a run or hitting the gym the afternoon before your evening date. You’ll be that much happier with your body, and with any luck, your companion will too.
Speak Her Language
Specific words, and the way you say them, signal confidence. Use these cues to make your subtitles scream that you’re a winner.
Talk Yourself Up
Nervous? Give yourself a pep talk. In a U.K. study of male cyclists, those who engaged in motivational self-talk cut their 10km time by four percent, or 42 seconds on average. Thinking about your strengths and speaking to yourself using positive words can make formidable challenges seem less daunting, the study authors say. When you do it, use your name or the pronoun “you,” not the first-person “I.” As in, “You’re going to walk right over there and ask her to dinner.” Ditching firstperson pronouns strengthens the force of your self-talk, which can better help
2/ Scoping Friends on Social Media
Facebook may compel you to compare yourself to others, which can drive lower self-esteem. To battle back, utilise the “hide” feature to distance yourself from those who bring you down . . . and anyone who repeatedly posts pictures of their dinner or of their pet cat.
you handle stressful situations, research shows. Pro tip: don’t give your pep talk at a decibel level loud enough for the woman to actually hear you.
Trim Your Hedges
Whether you’re speaking or writing, starting a statement with a disclaimer is a no-no, says Georgetown University linguist Deborah Tannen, Ph.D. Examples: “Maybe you already thought of this, but...” or “I know this is obvious, but...” You might as well begin with “I’m totally inept, so just tune me out.” It’s fine – necessary, in fact – to add “just” or “only” in a phrase like “I’m just emailing to check in,” but avoid those words in a more serious context. “It’s just an idea” invites others to dismiss your suggestion. “Here’s an idea” will instantly carry more weight. Also, the more quickly and clearly you respond to questions, the more confident you sound.
Say You’re Sorry and Move On
Some men think apologising is a sign of weakness. But other people generally don’t see it that way. In fact, if you’re clearly wrong, a lack of contrition can be seen as a sign of insecurity, Tannen says. So if you’re late for a date or you’ve somehow irked the waiter, don’t be afraid to fess up. Make it quick, say it confidently, and then – here’s the most important part – move on. Nothing looks more pathetic than a man who apologises endlessly.
3/ Hanging On to Poisonous Pals
Donnie Downers who belittle your success turn your mood sour. Pessimism may signal personal discontent, says Jay Heinrichs, author of Thank You for Arguing. Ask him if everything is okay with him. If he opens up, great. But if he keeps ragging, unfriend him.
4/ Wearing the Wrong Size
Men tend to go a size too big, says Karen Pine, Ph.D., author of Mind What You Wear. Stores like Uniqlo now offer onsite alterations; take advantage. When clothes fit properly, you look instantly slimmer and more stylish, which affects the way you carry yourself. —M.H.
ASK US NOW Email our regular contributor Elise Low your questions on women, love, dating and sex at email@example.com
My girlfriend wants to tattoo my name on the back of her neck, but I don’t want my name stamped on her skin. How do I talk her out of this? – SUDESH
Perhaps the question you should really be asking is: why don’t you want your name stamped there? Is it because you’re not sure if this relationship is going anywhere? Is it because you’re worried that she’ll expect you to do the same and get her name tattooed on your skin? Your girlfriend seems pretty sure that you’re in it for the long haul, or she wouldn’t be getting inked. Now you need to figure out if you feel the same. My ex- unfriended me on Facebook, but she’s been checking on me through a mutual friend. She texts me and seems upset that I’m not hurting. I am, but I don’t show it online. How do I handle this?
It sounds like you’re handling it in the best way possible. We’ve all been tempted to go on Facebook and rant about a relationship, but that kind of digital hissy fit will stick around and come back to haunt you one day, because the Internet is a bottomless pit of things we wish we’d never have shared online. Tell your ex- that you need space and that you’re not ready to talk yet. When you finally do talk, it certainly shouldn’t be through a passive aggressive status update. 60 J U N E 2 0 1 6
I’m dating a girl My parents like my who’s a lot taller than missus so much that me. There’s a she’s been added to connection, but she’s our family WhatsApp unsure because of group. We both feel my height. Is a rom-com awkward about this, but my happy ending possible? folks will be offended if she – ARVIN exited. Help! As a girl who is noticeably taller than her boyfriend, I’m happy to tell you that yes, a rom-com ending is possible. But it depends on whether height is a deal-breaker for her. If she’s not physically attracted to you, then that’s a problem. But if she’s just a little unsure because she’s dated insecure guys in the past, or because it makes her feel less feminine, you can work through that with your warm personality, amazing sex technique, and all those other great things about you. I’m rooting for you.
The politics of WhatsApp groups are so complex that they require a United Nations level of diplomacy. There’s basically no way that your girlfriend can exit the group now. But if it’s a new relationship, then the information overload from your family could freak her out. Why don’t you start a new “family only” WhatsApp group? Hopefully, the original one will dwindle to funny videos and random chain messages, thus keeping your girlfriend out of the more serious family stuff for now.
If making babies is on your agenda these days, beware: mental stress can torpedo your sperm quality. So try a new position – a yoga position. According to geneticist Rima Dada, Ph.D., yoga can make your sperm healthier. Men in her study who did yoga five days a week saw a significant reduction in oxidative stress after just 15 days, and DNA damage in their sperm improved after six months, increasing their odds of being virile. Bonus: you’ll both appreciate the flexibility factor.
My new girlfriend calls me “daddy” during sex. It’s a real turn-off for me. Could we meet halfway?
Sex is weird, isn’t it? We might think we know someone, but in between the sheets, we find out so much more about them. Who knows? Maybe something you did or said was offputting for her too. You’ve just got to have that awkward conversation: find out what each of you like and what each of you don’t. Then, give it a few more tries – after all, sex should get better the better you know someone.
PHOTOGRAPH ISTOCKPHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS RAMI NIEMI
GIRL NEXT DOOR
Trying to Get Her Pregnant? Do This for Two Weeks First
Super Soakers REST & RELAX
Turns out you don’t need to travel miles to find a beach offering water sports. Here are four thrilling options in the Klang Valley guaranteed to make your weekend a wet and wild one
Wakeboarding at Mines Wonderland
You can now wakeboard on this huge lake in what was once Selangor’s biggest tin mine. Despite its decidedly inland location, Mines Wonderland offers plenty of water sports and other related activities, such as waterskiing, banana boat rides and a water slalom course. All equipment is provided, but always make a reservation to avoid disappointment. You’ll also find amusement rides, a winter house (yes, with fake snow) and plenty of restaurants in the vicinity. When the sun sets, don’t leave just yet, as you’ll be able to enjoy glittering floats parading on the lake as lasers light up the night sky. RM55 (weekdays), RM70 (weekends); Jalan Dulang, Mines Wellness City, Seri Kembangan; mineswonderland.com.my
Flying Fish-ing at Asian Water Sports Village
Have a blast with the only Flying Fish in the Klang Valley, at the 200-acre Prima Lake in Puchong. Before venturing anywhere near the water, professional riders will brief you on all the safety measures as well as the “Water Confidence Initiation Rite”. You will be very well taken care of, even if you can’t swim. Apart from that, get bragging rights for aqua flying, turbo blasting, jet skiing and drifting, and lake swimming. For something more relaxing, go kayaking or fishing, or construct your own sandcastle. A barbeque dinner and entertainment in the form of a “live” band are also available upon request. RM125 (coaching & equipment); Jalan TPT1, Taman Puchong Tekali, Puchong; asianwatersportsvillage.com
HOW I REST & RELAX By JC Chee, actor and star of Ola Bola
Not only do I enjoy cooking, I also like buying ingredients in the wet market when I’m free.
Fly boarding is a thrilling water sport that you can do in the sleepy city of Putrajaya. Not to be confused with wakeboarding, this requires your feet to be strapped to high-pressure jets, after which you’ll soar into the air when water shoots out from below. Professional instructors will accompany you the entire time. Before you get into the water, you’ll be briefed on how the motors work and how to avoid injuries. The 40-minute session teaches you the basics of fly boarding, before you learn to flip and execute other tricks. RM350–RM650 (including training); Jalan P5/5, Presint 5, Putrajaya; facebook.com/flyboardmy
Fishing at Kolam Pancing Sekyen 24 Shah Alam
Looking to take it easy? Head to Kolam Pancing in Seksyen 24, Shah Alam, and hook big fish – hopefully. But don’t look up fish recipes just yet: you’re not allowed to bring anything home, as this 24-hour pond practises a “catch and release” policy. However, the entrance fee includes a spot for jackpot; all you have to do is weigh your catch and enter the results on the jackpot board. Depending on the game and the weight, you might walk home with something exciting. Hungry? There’s a restaurant nearby to placate rumbling stomachs. RM35 ( for 12 hours including jackpot and fishing rod); Sekyen 24, Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya
I can spend time alone and yet I can get some exercise through sports.
It’s a great way to spend my time with friends.
SPENDING TIME WITH FAMILY MEMBERS
Most of my weekends are spent hanging out with my family.
Whenever I have any leisure time, and also before going to bed, I like to read. www.mens-health.com.my 61
MAIN WORDS PATRICK LOH JC CHEE'S OUTFIT H&M
Fly Boarding at Putrajaya Flyboard Malaysia
Sniffing Out The Right Scent GROOMING
Take the guesswork out of smelling great, no matter what the occasion THE FRAGRANCE YOU CHOOSE SAYS AS MUCH ABOUT YOU AS THE
ON A FIRST DATE
clothes you wear or the car you drive. So, don’t let your deodorant or body wash be the first thing people smell. An appropriate scent shows you pay attention to the details and have good taste. Wear the wrong one – or spray too much of it – and you’ll seem out of touch, if not downright smelly. Depending on where you’re headed – and what kind of guy you are – your fragrance will vary, but when in doubt, opt for lighter fragrances. “Scent is a subtle way of conveying your personality,” says Barney Bishop, writer behind the website Fragrant Moments. “The last thing you want to do is overpower people.” Here are five ways to send the right message before you even open your mouth.
Le Labo Santal 26 You only have one chance to make the right impression. Lucky for you, smell is the scent tied closest to memory. This woody blend of sandalwood and cardamom is both manly and mysterious. It might not land you a second date, but it’ll certainly help your chances. Price N/A, lelabofragrances.com
TO A DINNER PARTY
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt This crisp scent is a great everyday fragrance because it’s light and bracing. Notes of lemon and sea salt are ideal for summer, but work all year round too, Bishop says. Apply one spray to warm areas such as the neck and chest to help diffuse the scent. RM979, jomalone.com
TO A JOB INTERVIEW
Zegna Acqua di Bergamotto Potential job opportunities call for a fragrance that has robust citrus notes. They’re a fresh, invigorating way to make an impression. “Your competition will likely be overdoing it,” Bishop says. So stick with the zesty, sophisticated smell of bergamot that goes great with a suit. RM427, zegna.com
TO THE GOLF COURSE
Commes de Garçons Amazingreen Fresh, invigorating ingredients like green pepper, grassy vetiver, and smoky gunpowder accord come together for a scent that’s sporty and totally unmistakable. Wear this one all year, and you’re guaranteed to have a signature scent you won’t smell anywhere else. RM340, comme-des-garcons-parfum.com
TO A WEDDING
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The Fragrance Formula
Don’t ignore those foreign phrases on each bottle. Those French names refer to the level of essential oils inside. The less oil it has, the more often you need to reapply. Here’s how the terms break down—no French required.
EAU DE COLOGNE
EAU DE TOILETTE
EAU DE PARFUM
WORDS DAN MICHEL
Ralph Lauren Polo Supreme Leather Formal occasions call for a more buttoned-up scent, Bishop says. The luxe notes of saffron and honey flanked by rich leather accord will give you a warm, inviting air that will last until the final dance. RM485, ralphlauren.com
Beat the Heat STYLE
Even if you’ve got the body for it, exercising outdoors without wearing a shirt is inefficient. Here’s how NASA technology can help you forget about the distractions of sweat
WORDS EUGENE PHUA
IT’S A BLAZINGLY HOT AFTERNOON
in Tanjung Tokong, Penang, and there are a group of sane Malaysians enjoying their run by the marina in Straits Quay Marina Mall. Shocking, we know. But they’re smiling despite their profuse sweating because they’re wearing Under Armour’s latest affront to excessive heat and perspiration called CoolSwitch. The technology works in three parts: firstly, it reacts to your sweat by helping to cool your body; then, the apparel pulls heat energy away from your skin; finally, using fabric imprint tech from NASA spacesuits, it absorbs and stores heat energy from your hardworking body. Put all of this together, and you’ve got clothes that will make you forget you’re even sweating. “When we were running just now, it was hot – but I didn’t think about the T-shirt,” says Adrian Chai, Chief Marketing Officer of Triple Pte Ltd, the exclusive distributor of Under Armour in Southeast Asia, after the run concludes. “Usually, clothes get sticky when you exercise in hot conditions, but I wasn’t distracted.
It’s the Dyneema Print on the inside of the fabric: it wicks sweat away from the body and creates a cooling sensation.” Under Armour’s apparel technology works so well that it leaves some of the experienced fitness professionals in the group flabbergasted. “I felt the cooling effect, but I didn’t know if it was me and in my head, or if it was actually the technology!” exclaims Hansen Lee, yoga teacher and movement training specialist. Men’s Health is part of the group of runners, and we are impressed with the sweat-wicking properties of CoolSwitch. It’s lightweight and stays light even after a run along the marina, punctuated with several bodyweight drills conducted by personal trainers from Orient Fitness gym. We’ve since worn the CoolSwitch T-shirt for various other fitness activities, as well as put it through several washing machine cycles, and it consistently does its cool job (pardon the pun) well. Our only gripe is a matter of aesthetics, because certain colours (i.e. the one MH has) make sweat stains very obvious.
HANSEN LEE’S TOP THREE TIPS
For fantastic fitness and impressive health
PUT THE “WORK” IN “WORKING OUT”
“If you’re gonna train, you have to put in the discipline. You can’t train for a day, and then not train for a week. You have to put in the work every day. Lately, I’ve had to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to train, simply because I have so much work to do during the day. And that’s six days a week.”
TUNE YOUR BODY UP TO TUNE INTO LIFE
Funnily enough, it’s the only evidence we had that we were sweating. The Under Armour Heat Gear CoolSwitch Compression Shirt retails for RM199; the Under Armour CoolSwitch Run T-shirt also retails for RM199; and the Under Armour CoolSwitch Run Capri Tights retail for RM279. For more information, visit www.underarmour.com.my
“Your body is an instrument. You can use it to specialise in, say, yoga or dance; but if you’re a generalist, like most of us are, then you just want it to be fit and healthy to experience life. If you want to climb a mountain, you can go climb it; if you want to go surfing, you can surf. Research has shown that the more you move, the more the brain and the central nervous system fire up. Thus, your brain stays young and, effectively, your body stays young too.”
GET IN #FORMATION AND HAVE #SQUAD #FITNESS #GOALS
“Unless you’re an athlete, most of us exercise for overall health. You need a support system, and it comes from your community. But because we live in the city, with a fragmented way of life, it can be difficult to find that sense of community. So find avenues, like Under Armour’s free ‘Armour in the Park’ sessions.” www.mens-health.com.my 63
PETROLHEAD Qhalis Najmi, our regular motoring contributor, is an experienced automotive journalist and photographer.
Holiday Road Trippin’ Staycations are becoming increasingly popular, as more and more of us choose to discover Malaysia by car. However, you don’t want your vacation to end before it’s even begun. Here is MH’s guide to ensuring that you reach your destination without a hitch
THE WALK-AROUND INSPECTION
Just like pre-flight checks, you want to conduct a quick walk-around 64 J U N E 2 0 1 6
to see if your hardware shows any visible signs of damage or wearand-tear. The main things that you should look out for are as follows: • Tyres: Examine the condition of your current set. Vet for any damage like bulges caused by hard impacts that may have affected the inner tyre belt, and cuts or leaks from stray stones or screws on the road. We also suggest bringing an additional spare tyre just in case. • Wiper Blades: Inspect their physical appearance. If hardened, they won’t be able to sweep across your windscreen efficiently. A new set could cost as little as RM25. A must for any journey! • Lights: Test your headlights, signal lights and brake lights. If they aren’t working, it could cause a lot of disruption during your trip and make your ride unsafe. Get a friend to help you. It costs less than RM10 to replace a normal bulb at your local accessories store.
THE UNDER HOOD INSPECTION
Once you’re done with the exterior, it’s time to scrutinise your car’s mechanical functions. You need to pay attention to several key areas, as they’re crucial to the safety and the performance of your vehicle. Don’t miss any out! • Belts and Hoses: Your engine bay is filled with multiple belts and hoses that are crucial to the operation of your car. Ensure that they are properly fitted, and examine for leaks, brittleness, loose clamps and softness where they bend. • Fluid levels: Check the level of your engine oil, brake fluid and radiator coolant. Top up if necessary to keep your journey trouble-free. If you’ve serviced your car recently, your mechanic would have taken care of these preliminary items, but it’s still worth having a cursory look just in case.
Before leaving on your road trip, ensure that your car’s tool kit is complete, your spare tyre is properly inflated in case of a puncture, and your jack is in good working condition. Prepare an emergency kit and store it in your car boot. It should contain the following basics: • Fire extinguisher • Reflective triangle/roadside flares • Tyre pressure gauge • Tyre pump kit • Flashlight • Battery jumper cable • First aid kit Remember to save the hotline number of your insurance company on speed-dial, because they’ll hook you up with a free towing service should you need one. As fun as road trips can be, mishaps can sometimes occur. If you’re prepared, however, you won’t get stuck or see your plans disrupted. Take care of your car, and your car will take care of you!
WITH SUMMER JUST AROUND THE
corner, it’s time to make holiday plans with family and friends. While some of you will be flying to a fancy beach destination, there are also others who might think, “Why bother taking a plane when there are roads to be conquered?” You, sir, are on the right track! Personally, I enjoy taking trips by car – the combination of roads, scenery, hidden food gems, and even getting lost is all part of the adventure. But as important as your swimming trunks and GoPro camera are, your most important travel accessory is your vehicle, and the last thing that you want to deal with is mechanical failure. We at Men’s Health understand your concerns, so this month, we’ve decided to present a quick guide on how to prep for your journey.
HOW MITCH CHILSON STAYS IN GREAT SHAPE CHUG H20
Drink at least two litres of water a day, three if you’re active. “Drink water throughout the day and during your workouts. Drink less at night to avoid sleep disruption,” he advises. Note that beverages such as coffee, tea and juices don’t count as part of the recommended three litres.
From The Shadows To The Spotlight Mitch Chilson has come a long way. From his start as a personal trainer to his role in reality TV series Fit for Fashion by way of MMA, find out more about his career trajectory that began when he was only six years old
EAT A CLEAN BUT HEALTHY DIET
Start your day with a mug of coffee, two eggs and some steamed broccoli. “Eat whole eggs. Don’t believe the cholesterol bullshit. Yolks contain a lot of nutrients that are good for you,” Chilson says. Have a chicken salad for lunch, and red meat with green vegetables for dinner. FAST IF YOU CONSUME TOO
WORDS PATRICK LOH PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FITNESS FIRST
If you’ve had too much dairy, fat and carbs, switch to fast mode and let your body process all the junk. Chilson recommends that you “do it only once or twice a week for 16 hours straight, 24 hours at the most.” Remember to stay hydrated throughout the entire process. TRAVEL WITHOUT FALLING OFF THE DIET WAGON
Stay on track by adopting a diet built around easy basics. “You can get chicken salads anywhere in the world. You get eggs at any hotel breakfast buffet. All it takes is discipline,” Chilson says.
AS THEY SAY, PRACTICE MAKES
perfect, and for Mitch Chilson, there’s no better way to describe his journey from camera-shy action hero wannabe to his current gig as a trainer and host for the hit TV series Fit for Fashion, now in its second season. But before we get into all that, let’s start from the beginning. Chilson’s athleticism was evident from a young age, when he started competing in karate and kendo from the age of six. “I hated it because the coach would beat the crap out of me,” he recalls. “But I always dreamt of being like Jean-Claude Van Damme.” He then picked up weightlifting in college and was a personal trainer by the time he was 19. “I wanted to learn more about getting in shape, so I went for a fitness certification in 1998,” Chilson says. In 2006, he found himself in Singapore where he worked for California Fitness, but quit after a year.
As he mulled over what his next steps should be, he fell into modelling, which turned out to be a successful and lucrative diversion for two years. “I’d get cast in commercial shoots about three or four times a month. It was good money,” he says. “I then hosted TV travel shows, but I sucked at it. I was terrible. I couldn’t talk in front of the camera. I just couldn’t seem to express my excitement for the place that I was visiting.” Then Evolve MMA entered his life, and everything changed. It allowed Chilson to build his confidence from teaching classes and hosting events, before eventually becoming a full-fledged fighter. “I got really good at talking because of all the hosting at Evolve MMA,” he says. “Eventually, when I started winning championships, the gym brought me to fight in Thailand professionally in front of millions of people.”
His success landed him a place on the Evolve Fight Team. “It took me places. I was doing seminars and talks. In fact, I was conducting a seminar when a student complained about knee pain. I showed him a few healing techniques and they worked,” he recalls of the massages and reflexology taught to him by his mother at the age of 10. The student then mentioned Chilson to his girlfriend who was a casting agent, and that’s when Fit for Fashion came knocking. It might have taken years of hard work and perseverance for Chilson to turn his passion into a flourishing career, but it’s paying off in spades. “When you find the confidence within, you find yourself stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things that you never thought possible,” he says. “The most important thing is to stay true to yourself, and the rest will fall in place.” www.mens-health.com.my 65
A Walk On the Wild Side TRAVEL
Sabah’s Mount Trusmadi is the second highest peak in the land, but it’s certainly not second best
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central Sabah, in the form of the 2,642-metre-high Mount Trusmadi, the second highest peak in both Borneo and Malaysia. Climbing to the summit of Mount Kinabalu is something of a rite of passage for any adventurous Malaysian. After all, at a step short of 4,100 metres high, and with its dazzling, mist-shrouded good looks and heart full of soul, it’s by far the most majestic mountain south of the Himalayas. Trusmadi, on the other hand, stands way shorter than its big brother on the measuring scale, yet, arguably, it’s a much wilder, more mysterious, and possibly, more
challenging peak to conquer. On the dense, jungle-clad slopes of Trusmadi, there is no superhighway to the summit, there is no plush and heated rest house serving hot Milo and mee goreng, and pretty much nothing else either – which includes other climbers. Climbing to the summit is an oldschool Borneo adventure. Steep, slippery and diced with wildness, this is the true adventurer’s alternative to the Kinabalu experience. All in, it’s a long, two-day scramble to the summit and back, with an overnight camp in the wilds, followed by a knee-jarring slide
back down to ground level. Without a doubt, this is one of the best treks in the entire region – but not one to be underestimated. Take a walk on the wild side and leave the hordes behind; you will not regret taking on the challenge of Trusmadi.
THE ONLY WAY IS UP
Trusmadi lies between Tambunan and Keningau, just behind the Croker Range, which is the backbone of this region of Sabah. From KK, it’s a 1.5-hour drive to the village of Tambunan; from
WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHS STEVE THOMAS
IT’S QUITE PROBABLE THAT YOU’VE
heard of Mount Trusmadi – or Gunung Trus Madi as it’s known locally – but how much more do you know of this anonymous beast of Borneo? Since the tragedy on Mount Kinabalu, the well-trodden highway to the summit has been closed for a rebuild, and it’s scheduled to re-open to climbers in early December, which could leave many an adventurer booked and ticketed to Sabah and looking for an alternative challenge. Look no further, as the answer lies deep in the jungle behind the Croker Range of mountains in
the top; so if it’s dry, it is worth doing when you arrive, and again in the morning. The top of the mountain is overgrown, and you’ll find many unique pitcher plants, as well as get the best view ever of Kinabalu. The trek down the mountain takes almost as long, especially if it’s wet.
there, you take a two-hour 4x4 drive into the jungle, and onto the park HQ, which is the starting point of the trail to the summit of Trusmadi. There are three trails that lead to the top of the mountain, all starting at different places. The trail that begins here is the most popular, though you are unlikely to see anybody else along the way. All in, it’s 4.9km from the HQ to the summit, which takes five to six hours of strenuous climbing. Your overnight accommodation is spent either at a small camp clearing beneath the summit, or in the concrete shelter nearby. It’s only a short trek from here to
The trail leading from Tambunan to the trailhead makes for a great but long, single-day hike, or a tough, half-day mountain bike ride. If you have the time, you could factor this in, and then camp at the starting point of the climb. There are some nice hiking and biking trails out of Tambunan, and also a couple of basic hotels and the TVRC lodge.
WHEN TO GO
You can climb Trusmadi at any time, though it’s best done during a dry spell. With climatic variations, these spells can be hard to predict;
however, October is usually the wettest month, and March the driest. ESSENTIALS
WHERE TO STAY
This is ideally done as a drive-in from KK; if you want to take longer and spend time in the wilds, then there are a few basic options in Tambunan, and many more in Keningau. On the mountain, there is a basic electricity- and door-free rest house, though camping is perhaps preferential. All of this needs to be arranged in advance, along with permits – which will determine your sleeping options.
Getting to KK is a breeze, thanks to the almost hourly flights to and from KL and elsewhere during the day. It’s wise to spend a night in KK to prepare, and then take an organised trip to Trusmadi, which means all transport, permits and guides are taken care of.
Local guides and permits are essential for this climb up Trusmadi. By far, the best option is to book an inclusive package, though it’s feasible to attain a permit in KK and hire a guide on arrival – but do not rely on this. Being such a remote trek also means few people take it on; thus, costs for small groups can be similar to climbing Kinabalu. This is a tough climb, so be prepared. You will need good boots or trail shoes, bug repellent, first aid provisions, and food and water to last the duration. Your guides should arrange all of this, but be prepared for a real adventure. There is no electricity on the mountain, so be sure to have spare batteries for your camera. Mobile signals can be occasionally found near the summit (Digi). There are a couple of water stations, but do not rely on them being operational. Use a reputable and safe local agent; check out and contact www.borneoadventure.com www.mens-health.com.my 67
WORDS JULIO CÉSAR ORTEGA PHOTOGRAPHS EDU GARCÍA STYLING GERARD SOLÉ HAIR AND MAKE-UP NATALIA BELDA (TALENTS) FOR CHANEL AND REDKEN PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT FERNANDO HUERGO RICH FRONING WEARS REEBOK
WHAT IS THE
FITTEST MAN IN THE WORLD HIDING? Rich Froning is to CrossFit what Michael Phelps is to swimming: a living legend. Among his skills, of which there are many, the most outstanding is not his strength, but his ability to make us believe that anything is possible with effort
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HERE IS NO WEIGHT THAT CAN’T BE LIFTED. THERE IS NO OBSTACLE THAT CAN’T BE OVERCOME.” THESE MAY NOT BE HIS WORDS, BUT IT’S CERTAINLY WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU SEE RICH FRONING (BORN: MOUNT CLEMENS, MICHIGAN, 1987) MOVING AMONG KETTLEBELLS, RINGS, CLIMBING ROPES, POWER BAGS AND OLYMPIC BARS. ONE CAN ALMOST IMAGINE HIM DOING BURPEES BEFORE LEARNING HOW TO WALK. 70 J U N E 2 0 1 6
But nothing could be further from the truth: CrossFit wasn’t a part of his life until 2009. At the time, Froning was studying at Tennessee Technological University while working as a fireman in Cookieville, a small city in the southern US state, where he still resides. At his former high school, he is remembered as the guy who played baseball for an entire year with a sprained shoulder in his throwing arm, which eventually had to be operated on. It was the first sign of his willingness to suffer for his sport, which has been the key to his success in CrossFit. “My university
professor, Chip Pugh, introduced me to it. So my cousin and I decided to try it out at the gym,” he recalls. The following year, in 2010, Froning was already competing in the regionals, and from there, he finished second at the CrossFit Games. In 2011, he was crowned “the fittest man in the world”, a title that he didn’t relinquish until 2014, when he decided to retire from individual competition and concentrate on team competition, which he won in 2015. “Each category has its benefits,” he replies when asked whether he prefers to compete alone or in a team. “I really enjoyed competing
individually, but it is less stressful for me to be part of a team. Well, maybe, I wouldn’t say less stressful, but it’s a different kind of stress. Plus, all the attention isn’t on me.” Parenthood had a lot to do with Froning’s decision to switch categories, though he says becoming a father hasn’t hindered his training. “It’s true that it is time consuming, but I’ve also learnt to manage my time better: I don’t sit down or look at my phone between rounds. I usually have a stopwatch to stay focused, because what I want to do is finish, leave and be with my daughter. She is incredible,” he gushes proudly.
FACTS AND FIGURES 258
The number of kilos that he lifted during the deadlift competition at the last Reebok CrossFit Games in Los Angeles.
SI X TO EIGHT
The number of hours that he dedicates to training each day in the build-up to the Reebok CrossFit Games.
The positive quality most cited by his teammates. Many of his achievements are due to his ability to keep cool under pressure.
G A L AT I A N S 6 :14
The Bible verse thatâ€™s tattooed on his right arm.
The CrossFit exercise that Froning finds most challenging.
The number of rounds that Froning suggests for each CrossFit training.
His age. He started playing baseball at 14 and quit after four years. He made his CrossFit debut at 22.
The number of people that he follows on Instagram, which is his wife, Hillary. He has 719,000 followers and counting.
His current weight. He was 83kg when he first participated in the Reebok CrossFit Games in 2010.
WITH THE FITTEST MAN IN THE WORLD
“I usually train on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, because if there is a lot of food in my stomach, I don’t feel great.”
MUSCLE CORE, LEGS GOAL INCREASES CARDIO Improves your coordination and aids fat loss. Tighten buttocks and core, tuck your feet together under your hips, and jump. Try to bounce on your metatarsal bones. B OX J U M P
MUSCLE CORE, LEGS GOAL EXPLOSIVE POWER Stand in front of a box that’s no higher than your knees. Jump with both feet at the same time, keeping your back straight. Once on top, straighten your hips. Jump down, and repeat. BURPEE 10
MUSCLE ENTIRE BODY GOAL FAT LOSS Begin in a push-up position. Stand up in one movement, with your hands on the floor. Straighten your hips, and jump while lifting your arms.
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FRONING’S WOD Each round consists of three exercises with the following repetitions. Do five rounds; rest for one minute between each one. Double Unders 100-80-60-40-20 Box Jumps 50-40-30-20-10 Burpees 50-40-30-20-10
“It would be a complete lie to say that everyone can train as hard as they like”
4 PALEO FOODS
Stock up on these energy sources to ace CrossFit like Rich
All types of meat and fish (except processed food) is paleo. Salmon is a great source of omega-3.
Rich in healthy fats that protect the cardiovascular system; also helps to fight ageing.
One look at Froning’s achievements, and you’ll definitely be curious about his diet and fitness regime, if you want to try to emulate his achievements. These
Contains vitamin A and natural sugar (approximately 24 percent), which is good for hypoglycaemia.
Packed with folic acid and betacarotene; steam them to retain more nutrients.
are probably the questions that he is most frequently asked in interviews. And his reply is almost always the same: “I train as many days as my schedule allows, so that’s usually
seven days a week,” before adding that he doesn’t really consider it to be an effort on his part. “If I travel, I may take a day off, but for the most part, it’s seven days a week,” he continues. “I feel better when I move. Even those days when I don’t feel like doing anything, I feel better if I do something. That’s why I don’t take rest days.” What does he eat to ensure that his energy level is always at its optimum best? “My nutrition programme isn’t that great,” he admits with a smile. “I don’t like to eat before a workout, actually. I usually train on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, because if there’s a lot of food in my stomach, I don’t feel great. Locally, I rely on a company called Paleo Works, which supplies me with paleo meals. So I’ve been eating clean and trying to eat a little more throughout the day, but there’s no strict diet. When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m thirsty, I drink. There’s really no other explanation for what I do, or why I do it.”
Winner of five consecutive Reebok CrossFit Games, strong enough to lift hundreds of kilos, tireless sportsman – does it really all boil down to hard work, or does natural talent come into play? “It would be a complete lie to say that everyone can train as hard as they like when it comes to the CrossFit Games,” Froning says, blowing out of the water the popular coaching mantra that preaches if you want, you can. “I think it’s a mix of both good genes and hard work. Some people have good genes and just get by, without doing much. But when it comes to sport, or anything else that you want to be good at for that matter, you need natural talent. However, you also have to put in the time and the hard work.” Where will he go from here, now that he has won everything? “I’d like to win four Reebok CrossFit Games as part of a team, so I have three more to go. Once that’s done, I really won’t know what else to do.” www.mens-health.com.my 73
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WORDS ANDREW HEFFERNAN, C.S.C.S. PHOTOGRAPHS PETER BOHLER
GET CROSSFIT STRONG
Three CrossFit champs share their favourite workouts for losing fat, building muscle, and getting ripped – in no time. Are you ready for Beast Mode?
CROSSFIT IS LIKE MARMITE:
you either love it or hate it. Detractors say it’s risky, dangerous, and overly focused on extreme moves that do nothing to build long-term fitness. Devotees laud the community spirit, and then lift their shirts to show off their results. What’s undeniable is that CrossFit’s ethic of “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement” is motivating more people to get fit. It’s now the go-to training program for average Joes seeking strength, stamina, and athleticism. CrossFit gyms (called “boxes”) are popping up all over, and it’s spawned an increasingly popular sport, too, with 200,000 athletes competing in the CrossFit Games Open, a qualifier for the CrossFit Games, which is televised on ESPN and YouTube. On the following pages, you’ll meet these three top CrossFit competitors and learn the workouts of the day (WODs) that got them into the best shape of their lives. Use their strategies to get fit fast and stay lean for life. No box necessary.
“CrossFit forges a ‘never die’ attitude. You’re not invincible, but you’re prepared for anything.”
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Build Strength and Stamina
No one messes with Deputy Sheriff Jon Pera when he’s doing rounds at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. Pera’s physique commands respect, and the fact that he’s a four-time qualifier for the CrossFit Games doesn’t hurt either. He can deadlift 227kg and squat 215. “The inmates recognise me from ESPN
now,” says Pera. “They ask me for workout advice.” Pera’s CrossFit journey began in 2009, when a fellow deputy introduced him to the concept of mixing movements from different disciplines, including gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, and track and field. Fitting in these workouts is tough, given his full-time job and three
STYLING CALVY CLICK LOCATION TROJAN CROSSFIT AND DOWNTOWN L.A. WEIGHTLIFTING INSET: COURTESY CROSSFIT, INC. ILLUSTRATIONS TODD DETWILER
kids. “Everything is scheduled to the minute,” he says. “I do a morning and an evening session. My goal is to win it all,” he says. “But there’s a lot that’s out of your control.” Part of the challenge, he explains, is that in the Games, events are a mystery until shortly before the competition. “You have to prepare for anything.”
Begin at any station and do as many reps as possible in 1 minute. Keep at it until you’ve done 1 minute per station. That’s 1 circuit. Do 3 circuits, resting 1 minute between them.
BEST FIGHTGONE-BAD SCORE
Grab a 35kg barbell using a shoulderwidth grip and lift it to shoulder height. Bend your legs; explode up, pushing the bar overhead. Lower it back to shoulder height and repeat.
1 Play to your strengths, says Ben Bergeron, owner of CrossFit New England. “Start with your strongest move and push hard for the full minute.” 2 Conserve energy on the first two rows; they require the most effort per point. 3 On wall balls, catch the ball as you’re descending. 4 Make sure your legs do most of the work on the push press.
Wall Ball Shot Sumo Deadlift to High Pull Box Jump Push Press
You get 1 point per rep; 1 point per calorie on the rower. Goal: 250.
Stand behind a 35kg barbell. Squat and grab it using an overhand, shoulder-width grip; then stand explosively, pulling the bar to shoulder height. Return it to the floor and repeat.
Assume an athletic stance behind a 50cm-high box. Squat and jump onto it. Stand up. Step down; repeat.
1 Form trumps everything. Focus on it, not your total score. 2 Don’t burn out: choose a goal number of reps for each move and try to hit that every round. 3 When you hit your target, move on to the next station, even if you have time left. 4 On the wall ball shots, catch, hold, and release the ball above your shoulders to save energy.
Stand facing a wall that’s 1.5m to 3m away. Hold a 10kg medicine ball at shoulder height. Keeping your back straight and torso as upright as possible, squat. (Try to lower yourself until your hips are below your knees). Explode out of the squat and throw the ball upward so it strikes the wall (ideally at a 3m-high marker). Catch and repeat.
Sit on the seat of a rowing machine, place your feet in the footholds, and hold the handle with an overhand grip. Keeping your lower back flat, extend your arms and slide forward. Then push through your feet, drive your hips back, and pull the handle toward your belly button. Your mantra: legs, then hips, then arms. Sumo Deadlift to High Pull
Wall Ball Shot
Pera’s CrossFit Workout: Fight Gone Bad Designed to mimic an MMA contest, Fight Gone Bad is a frantic 17-minute gut check.
Pera juggles a full-time job, a family, and two workouts a day.
J U LI A N ALCA R A Z
Sculpt Your Back and Core and Alcaraz sought out her gym. His first WOD involved overhead squats. “Even though I was strong, I didn’t have the mobility to do the exercise,” he says. But the lesson he gleaned is how CrossFit can establish a foundation for functional movement. He worked out daily and in just three years qualified for the 2015 Games.
Alcaraz’s CrossFit Workout: Fran Three back-to-back sets of thrusters (squat to presses) and pull-ups. “It’s a killer metabolic workout that’s also the cardio equivalent of a max-effort, halfmile run,” says Douglas Chapman, a coach certified in weightlifting and CrossFit. “It’s the worst of both worlds.”
Using an overhand, shoulder-width grip, grab a 45kg barbell from a rack at shoulder height. Keep your elbows up and do a squat. Explode up and press the bar overhead. Lower the bar to shoulder height and repeat. Pull-up
Alternate between thrusters and pull-ups for 3 sets, minimal rest. Set 1: 21 reps Set 2: 15 reps Set 3: 9 reps
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Stand under a pull-up bar, jump up, and grab the bar using an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder width. Pull up until your chin clears the bar. Then lower yourself until your arms are fully extended. Repeat.
Now he coaches at CrossFit Training Yard in North Hollywood, California. He’s inspired every day by the progress he witnesses in his students. One of his favorites is a grandmother in her 60s. She taught him the importance of being patient in the process. “All it takes is a willingness to learn and a desire to be stronger,” he says.
1 Use a PVC pipe instead of an Olympic bar for the thrusters your first few times; then gradually add weight as you develop strength. 2 While performing thrusters, elevate your heels on 5kg plates to make the squat easier. 3 Practise the two parts of the thruster – the front squat and the push press – separately until you’re comfortable with each phase. 4 Increase your pull-up power by securing a thick workout band to the bar and putting a knee through the loop. 5 Can’t pull off all the pull-ups? Do inverted rows instead so you can build up your back strength.
1 For thrusters, don’t just lower the bar after you’ve pressed it, Alcaraz says. “Pull it down actively to increase your speed.” 2 Perform the second set of the two moves in segments – say, 3 sets of 5 – gulping air deeply between mini-sets. If possible, don’t drop the bar during these brief rest periods. 3 For thrusters, push your head forward – through the “window” formed by your arms and the bar – once the bar is overhead for maximal efficiency on the lift. 4 “Kip” on the pullups – i.e., swing your body forward and back, using momentum to propel yourself.
Alcaraz thought he was tough. Then came CrossFit. AGE
BEST FR AN TIME (MIN : SEC)
4 Tips for the CrossFit Rookie Find a box that prioritises you “If the coach tells you to attend a group class before he knows you, your history, and your goals, stay away,” says Douglas Chapman of CrossFit Ann Arbor. Think low trajectory “Form and frequency always come before intensity,” says coach Ben Bergeron. Attend class three days a week for at least five weeks before even thinking about adding weight. Scale down the WOD Don’t be too proud to do an easier version of an exercise in your WOD. That’s how you improve. If you’re not sure a move is right for you, use this rule: If it causes dull pain in your muscles, go. Sharp pain in your joints? Skip. Boost your mobility hygiene Practising mobility should be like brushing your teeth, says Kelly Starrett, D.P.T. “Do it daily.” His 10-minute drills are available at Mobility WOD on YouTube.
COURTESY CROSSFIT, INC.
Humbled – that’s how Julian Alcaraz felt during his CrossFit baptism. Alcaraz was teaching military-style fitness boot camps in Los Angeles when he watched the 2011 CrossFit Games live and was inspired by the athletes who swam in the ocean, walked on their hands, and swung across monkey bars. Becca Voigt placed third,
“Pullquote goes ium et que cus nes aliae vero ipicto dolut earcius faciis quo di volupta.”
“CrossFit may look intimidating, but it’s simply about improving day to day and becoming more efficient.
“Pullquote goes ium et que cus nes aliae vero ipicto dolut earcius faciis quo di volupta.”
“Find what it takes to get there; then don’t stray. There’s no magic pill – just a whole lot of hard work.”
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DA N BAILEY
Forge Speed and Power He’s known as Danny Broflex. His résumé reads, “Go so hard!” His skills are “Being strong and having a hairless body.” This popular YouTube personality – a 2016 reincarnation of Hans and Franz, but with real muscles – captures the true spirit of CrossFit. Danny’s real name is Dan Bailey, a former Ohio University track
star who’s been a trainer with the U.S. Department of Defense and is an ambassador for supplement company Progenex. Bailey built a career from his success at the Games, and his achievements in and out of competition loom large. He can clean-and-jerk 154kg and run 400 meters in less than 50 seconds. He has finished in the
Helen looks harmless. The run distance is a warm-up for serious runners, and the swings and pull-ups are doable for gym rats. Don’t be fooled: it’s a vicious speed-stamina test that will floor you. DO IT
Complete this circuit 3 times. 400-metre Run 21 Kettlebell Swings 12 Pull-ups SCORE
INSET COURTESY REEBOK
Time to completion. Aim for 10 minutes.
Pull-up Run around a track once or on a treadmill for 400m. Remember: to complete Helen, you’ll be doing three laps total, so pace yourself. For most men, that’s the pace they can maintain for a 3km run, says track coach Adam St. Pierre of astpcoaching.com. Don’t flail: drive your elbows straight back from your shoulder, and don’t let them come too far forward.
Bailey’s CrossFit Workout: Helen
top 10 in all five of his CrossFit Games appearances. But Bailey has goals beyond his biceps. Last summer he gave USD20,000 to fund the construction of a school in Kenya. It was a major investment for Bailey, whose fourth-place Games finish last year netted him USD38,000. “I want to have a positive global impact,” he says.
Kettlebell Swing Using an overhand grip, grab a 24 kg kettlebell with both hands and stand with your feet wide, toes pointed slightly out. Keeping your back and arms straight, bend at the hips and swing the bell back between your legs. Then push your hips explosively forward, swinging the bell up to shoulder level (or overhead if you’re competing) as you rise to standing. That’s 1 rep.
Stand under a pull-up bar, jump up, and grab it using an overhand grip that’s slightly beyond shoulder width. Pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. Lower yourself until your arms are fully extended. Repeat. If you’re having trouble finishing the set, you can improve by doing negative chin-ups three times a week: jump to the top position and lower your body back down slowly. Try to finish 3 sets of 12 reps.
Bailey’s bulk doesn’t keep him from clocking sub-50 in the 400. AGE
BEST HELEN TIME (MIN : SEC)
1 Your first mission with Helen, coach Bergeron says, is to complete it without resting. That means finding a challenging pace on the runs that still allows you to complete the lifts without a break between sets. 2 Improve your time in the 400m by sprinting shorter distances. “Do a few workouts where you perform 100s, 200s, and 300s, taking a full rest between efforts,” says Bailey. 3 If the kettlebell swings are slowing you down or forcing you to rest, then reduce the weight. 4 If 3 sets of 12 pullups feels too tough, do band-assisted pull-ups or inverted rows.
1 Tune up your aerobic engine with a few sessions of “overdistance” runs: 600, 800, and 1,000 metres, resting long enough to catch your breath between them. Better fitness speeds your recovery between rounds, Bergeron says. 2 Improve your time in the 400 metres by sprinting shorter distances; 2 or 3 sessions of seven 200m sprints with 1 minute of rest will do the trick. 3 Each rep of the kettlebell swing ends with elbows locked out directly overhead, but you can swing faster by letting your arms bend slightly at the top of each rep. “You’ll shorten the distance the kettlebell travels,” Bergeron says.
Life’s a Beach
BEACHES MEAN DIFFERENT
things to different people. For some, they’re a chance to escape the rat race and chill out with a cocktail or two, while others flock to the sand for action sports such as kite-surfing and parasailing. Even more head 82 J U N E 2 0 1 6
into the water to commune with nature, taking on the waves by surfing or paddle-boarding. And while some love the convenience of having roving vendors supply them with everything from a sun hat to a massage, others seek solitude on a
deserted stretch of sand. Then there’s the raucous Full Moon Parties, and their antitheses, the detox retreats. In essence, there’s a beach to suit all tastes. We’re fortunate that here, in Southeast Asia, we’re surrounded by some of the best beaches in the world,
which are easily accessible by car or a short flight; so it really depends on what you want to get out of your time there. Want to be active? Rejuvenate and detox? Eat and drink? Meet someone? Be seen? Read on for our guide to your ideal beach.
WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHS SIMON N. OSTHEIMER
So you’ve finally managed to achieve that perfect beach body; now, where’s the best place to show it off? Join MH as we discover the region’s best beaches for all occasions
BEST BEACHES TO... BE ACTIVE
WINNER: SURFERS PARADISE, GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA
Really, the name of this legendary beach says it all. Since the ’20s, this iconic stretch of sand on the east coast of Australia – known as the home of good times – has been drawing visitors to ride its amazing surf. But there’s a lot more action in Surfers than just the waves, with kayak tours, stand-up paddle adventures, jet-ski safaris, scuba-diving trips, gyms, and a beachfront boardwalk full of cyclists and skateboarders. Then there are the adrenaline-pumping annual sporting events, such as the Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercars race, surf life-saving competitions, and even an indoor skydiving centre (ifly.com.au).
FIRST RUNNER-UP: MŨI NÉ, VIETNAM
The strong and consistent wind conditions found in Mũi Né, a seaside town some five hours drive east of Saigon, make it a popular destination for water sports such as surfing, sailing, windsurfing, and particularly kitesurfing, with the kites filling the sky above.
SECOND RUNNER-UP: SIPADAN, SABAH, MALAYSIA
Granted, you’ll be spending most of your time underwater, but this Malaysian jewel is regularly ranked as the world’s best scuba-diving spot, with the crystal-clear waters of this oceanic island filled with grazing sea turtles, manta rays, and hammerhead and whale sharks.
THIRD RUNNER-UP: PIHA, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
To the west of New Zealand’s largest city lies a rugged and wild coast known for its huge surf and black sand beaches. The most famous of these is Piha (piha.co.nz), which is home to a hardy community of 600, a number that swells to thousands during the summer.
Packing: Be Prepared
Don’t leave it until the last-minute; instead, pack early for your date with the beach. First off, you’ll need your passport and currency for your destination (unless it’s a really obscure country, you’ll always be better off changing money beforehand) – and be sure to check if you require a visa. Next, you’ll need either a suitcase or a backpack, depending on how you’re travelling, and then your choice of beachwear – you can’t go wrong with tees, vests, shorts and flip-flops, plus a polo shirt or two in case you need to impress someone over dinner.
BEST BEACHES TO... RECHARGE
WINNER: WELLIGAMA BEACH, SRI LANKA
ILYACZ / FLICKR
Located about as far south as it’s possible to get on this teardrop-shaped island, the beach at Welligama faces out onto a horseshoe-shaped bay, and the vast, empty Indian Ocean beyond. Less than an hour’s drive southeast of Galle, one of Sri Lanka’s most renowned wellness centres, Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort (barberynresorts.com), is also found on this beautiful beach. In short, Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of medicine native to South Asia, and uses holistic treatments to expunge toxins and balance your energy, covering everything from serious illness and weight loss to just making you feel better.
FIRST RUNNER-UP: LAEM SOR, KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
Far from the madding crowds found on the north shore, on the rural south coast of Samui, is a sleepy, little beach and the Samahita Retreat (samahitaretreat.com), the island’s top wellness centre, with a full range of yoga, detox and de-stress treatments.
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The hippies that once flocked to this beach have long moved further up the coast, but the chilled-out vibe that they helped to create can still be found here in the form of the Yoga Magic Eco Retreat (yogamagic.net), with its organic menu, solar power and tented lodges.
MEL PATTERSON /FLICKR
SECOND RUNNER-UP: ANJUNA, GOA, INDIA
THIRD RUNNER-UP: SEMINYAK, BALI, INDONESIA
This upmarket town north of Kuta is home to Bali’s most fashionable beach, with a range of luxury hotels, boutiques and fancy restaurants, including Ku Dé Ta, as well as the personalised wellness treatments at Peppers Resort (peppersseminyak.com).
BEST BEACHES TO... DINE WINNER: REPULSE BAY, HONG KONG
It often comes as a surprise to visitors that Hong Kong has beaches, let alone an array of amazing restaurants to go with them. Top of the list is picturesque Repulse Bay, a crescent-shaped stretch of sand on the south coast of Hong Kong Island, supposedly named after a longgone British Royal Navy ship. The colonialinfluenced Verandah (therepulsebay.com) is a popular place for classic afternoon tea, but foodies should make a beeline for The Pulse (thepulse.com.hk), which includes chic bistro Classified, ‘60s-styled Californian cafe Hotshot, Bali-inspired Tri and the stylish rooftop bar Cabana.
(C) 2016 CONRAD HOTELS & RESORTS
FIRST RUNNER-UP: RANGALI ISLAND, MALDIVES
There’s no denying the stunning beauty of the Maldives beaches, with their picture-postcard white sand backed by swaying palm trees, but the real reason to come to this atoll is to dine in the jaw-dropping environs of Ithaa, the world’s first underwater restaurant.
SECOND RUNNER-UP: SILOSO, SENTOSA, SINGAPORE
Although the beaches of the Lion City may not be the most exotic, the range of beachside dining options found on Sentosa, and specifically Siloso, has a lot to offer, from the burgers at Coastes to the bites at Bikini Bar and the French halal fusion cuisine at Ivy.
With a climate similar to that found in Hawaii to the east, Jeju has long been a favoured honeymoon destination for Korean newlyweds. Although it’s by no means the best beach on the island, Iho scores here for its proximity to amazing seafood restaurants like Haejin.
THIRD RUNNER-UP: IHO, JEJU, SOUTH KOREA
BEST BEACHES TO... HOOK UP
WINNER: HAAD RIN, KOH PHANGAN, THAILAND
FIRST RUNNER-UP: WHITE BEACH, BORACAY, PHILIPPINES
Often voted one of the world’s best islands, White Beach stretches along the west coast of Boracay. Accordingly, tourists come from all around the world to chill, enjoy amazing food at the slew of restaurants, and meet that special someone for the summer.
In 1985, a small gathering – drawing a few dozen travellers – was held on a quiet beach on Koh Phangan, celebrating that a full moon was overhead. Fast-forward three decades, and the island’s monthly Full Moon Parties have become the stuff of legend, drawing crowds of up to 30,000 to dance all night long to the reggae, techno and R&B blasted out by competing sound systems, to jump fire ropes, and to meet people from all over the world. Like with any party, we advise that if you do go, make sensible decisions: choose bottles over buckets, wear good footwear and take precautions. You know what we mean.
SECOND RUNNER-UP: OTRES BEACH, SIHANOUKVILLE, CAMBODIA
THIRD RUNNER-UP: NGAPALI BEACH, MYANMAR
Located a 30-minute flight northwest of the capital Yangon, Ngapali is Myanmar’s premier stretch of beach, and the increasingly popular choice of adventurous travellers looking for that last slice of paradise. Sound like you? Then you may just meet your soulmate here. 86 J U N E 2 0 1 6
Slowly catching up with its busy counterparts in neighbouring Thailand, this tree-lined beachfront is home to both boutique hotels and bungalows, meaning you can chill at your own price – and when it’s time to party, it is just a 15-minute taxi ride to the clubs of Sihanoukville.
BEST BEACHES TO... BE SEEN
WINNER: KAMALA, PHUKET, THAILAND
Just a stone’s throw from some of the island’s most exclusive hotels – such as Andara and Paresa – and down the road from Millionaires’ Mile, where the island’s wealthiest live in huge mansions perched precariously on the hillside, is Phuket’s most stylish beach: Kamala. Last year, a governmentinitiated clean-up saw the removal of all loungers and umbrellas, the banning of many vendors, and the relocation of restaurants from the sand, restoring the beach and the ocean views to their pristine natural state, last glimpsed in the ’80s. The result? It’s more popular than ever among the island’s rich and famous.
SECOND RUNNER-UP: NUSA DUA, BALI, INDONESIA
FIRST RUNNER-UP: SHEK O, HONG KONG
Of Hong Kong’s hundreds of beaches – the city has more than 200 islands – South Bay is the most exclusive. It has the location (end of a quiet road on the south side of Hong Kong Island), it has the residents (well-heeled locals and expats), and it has the amazing sunsets.
Instagram: 5 Top Tips
THIRD RUNNER-UP: LAAMU ATOLL, MALDIVES
SIX SENSES HOTELS RESORTS SPAS
Everyone has their own preferred filter, but you can easily improve your Instagram shots with these easy tips. 1. It may sound obvious, but clean your lens regularly. 2. Experiment with your phone’s capabilities beforehand. For instance, the iPhone offers burst and HDR settings; plus, you can use the volume buttons as shutter controls, allowing for much better stability when shooting. 3. Focus on your subject by touching the screen, allowing for incredible depth of field. 4. Use popular or trending hashtags to reach the most people, but don’t overdo it. 5. Be creative! The only real limitation on a great photo is your imagination.
Home to many of the island’s best hotels, this enclave in the southeast corner of Bali is so exclusive it can only be accessed through three gates. So, as long as you can afford it, check into one of the district’s five-star resorts, and live the high life on this paradise isle.
There may only be one place to stay on the Laamu Atoll, but the jaw-dropping beauty of its beaches make a holiday at the Six Senses Laamu not only desirable, but also mandatory. There’s also the added bonuses of swimming with dolphins, and being treated like a celebrity. www.mens-health.com.my 87
FIRST BLOOD On the battlefield of health, too often we let our enemies deal the first blow. But rather than waiting for illness to attack, experts are beginning to think like army generals. If we start issuing pre-emptive strikes, they say, we can start reversing the march of infirmity altogether
YOUR FIELD GUIDE TO PERFECT HEALTH
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WORDS MARK BAILEY PHOTOGRAPHS HEARST STUDIOS ILLUSTRATIONS SON OF ALAN
1- 3 9
n the neon-lit corridors of power at the UK’s top hospitals, calls for change are growing. Specifically, a change from the incurious, soporific, Brave New World culture of pill-popping and symptom-pacifying, to a potent and pro-active system of “preventive healthcare”. Experts believe that switching from reactively treating illnesses to actively preventing them through simple daily lifestyle and dietary changes could save lives – and save the NHS GBP5bil per year in the process. It’s elementary when you think about it. Why sit and wait for pain, sickness and discomfort to come to you before resolving to do anything about it? Far better to forestall an
attack and devitalise the enemy at source. “Heart disease, diabetes and obesity are devastating in terms of their contribution to global mortality, but they also create a huge strain on the resources of an already stretched healthcare system,” explains Dr Richard Pulsford, who lectures in preventive medicine at the University of Exeter. “Promoting healthy lifestyle modifications, which may reduce people’s risk of developing these diseases – rather than simply waiting for them to get ill and treating them – potentially benefits everyone.” Indeed, the research shows 50% of all deaths can be attributed to preventable behaviour – as seemingly
innocuous as lazy habits or sugary snacks – proving your life really is in your hands. So why not do something with it? While the lab bods are focused on delivering a preventive wallop to cancer and heart disease, there are plenty of micro sucker punches you can issue on a daily basis to help keep malady at bay. Kick start your front-foot healthcare campaign today with our complete blueprint of daily boosters, designed to ward off disease, and help you live longer. These simple adjustments will have a major impact on your health, so you can smash illness before it advances.
04 SAY CHEERS TO SKELETAL STRENGTH
GIVE THE REAPER A RYE SMILE
01 LEFT-SWIPE NECK PAIN
Peering down at your mobile piles weight on your neck – a whopping 27kg (the weight of an eight-year-old child),
02 BE A FIDGET
Yes, desk jobs are bad for your heart, but there’s no need to quit just yet. British research showed fidgeting at your desk torches 50% more energy than sitting still. Irritating for workmates, sure, but good for you.
reports Surgery Technology journal. To combat this, raise your phone to your face instead. You’ll dodge around 1,400 hours of neck strain per year. And a few lampposts in the process.
US research has proved lowering your calorie intake by just 10% works to cut age-related disease by a third. Just swap your normal toast at breakfast for some appetitecrushing rye bread: the Nutrition Journal says rye-eaters get fewer cravings from 9am-4pm so eat less over the course of the day.
Glug a post-work drink for sturdier bones. Oregon State Uni says moderate drinkers have higher bone densities than non-drinkers because alcohol slows the rate at which bones shed old cells. Stick to 3-4 units, though, so you don’t break any on the way home.
FIRST BLOOD 08
05 FISH FOR LONGER LIFE A single weekly serving of oily fish like salmon has been proven to halve your dementia risk, but the benefits don’t end there: studies have shown doubling that to two servings a week will also cut your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression. One small change, one big shoal of benefits. 06 FILE AWAY DISEASE
Turns out your mum was right: keeping your room – or even your desk – tidy could save your life. Duke University found that well organised, conscientious types enjoy knock-on improvements in diet and exercise, with 27% fewer health problems, lower cholesterol and less gum disease. Time to banish illness to your out tray.
07 DON’T OVER-RIPEN
The grooming industry will be worth USD6.5m by 2018. Save your wages while profiting from a smooth complexion by chopping a kiwi into your porridge. The Journal of Cell Physiology found it doubles the synthesis of collagen – a key skin protein – to keep you looking as fresh and as smooth as a newborn.
DIAL UP THE HEAT ON ARTHRITIS Avoid creaking joints in old age by asking for extra wasabi with your sushi. A Spanish study has confirmed that wasabi has antiinflammatory properties that protect your joints and fight arthritis. It has also been shown to prevent osteoporosis. Mouth burn has never felt so good.
09 TURN OVER A NEW LEAF ON ODOUR If you’re dousing yourself in deodorant to mask odour before a big date, you’ve left it too late (and, if anything, might be making it worse). Better to add spinach to your sandwich at lunch: Oregon State University proved chlorophyll in greens works as an internal deodorant to reduce the stench that emerges through sweat.
10 STEM THE FLOW OF TROUBLE DOWN BELOW Face the hard truth: erectile dysfunction haunts 40% of men by the time they hit 40. To ensure you stay firmly in the lucky majority, give your buddy a workout by interrupting your urine flow for five-second bursts every time you go to the loo. It helps 75% of men avoid floppiness by strengthening the muscles used for pitching your tent.
11 PILLOW-FIGHT AGAINST BACTERIA You can scrub your hands like Lady Macbeth, but your pillows – the actual pillows, not just the cases – are “wet sponges” harbouring bacteria such as the E.coli foodpoisoning bug, reports St Bart’s Hospital. Wash synthetic pillows every three months at 60ºC to save time in cubicle No. 2.
13 MAKE LIKE A FLAMINGO
Next time you’re styling your hair or buttoning up your shirt, do it with one foot off the ground. A study from Japan revealed that standing on one leg for just 20 seconds tests brain health and is linked to a lower risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
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12 BE FLEXIBLE TO PRE-EMPT EXHAUSTION
Stretching banishes post-lunch slumps before they happen. A NASA study showed pilots who did standing stretches – try quad and side stretches – for seven minutes every hour displayed less theta activity (the brain waves linked to daydreaming) and increased alertness.
14 SWEAT YOUR ASSETS Bolting a sauna onto your gym workout burns away heart disease. A Finnish study proved that 19-minute saunas improve your endothelial function – your blood vessels’ ability to widen and constrict – slashing your risk by 50%. Not bad for sitting on your backside in a towel.
19 BRUSH OFF ALZHEIMER’S
15 GET TO THE CORE OF YOUR CANCER RISK
Try holding your toothbrush with your non-dominant hand – Australian research shows mentally challenging tasks stimulate cognitive pathways and reduce your Alzheimer’s risk by 50%. Well worth that dollop of Colgate in your hair.
Eating fibre does more than just move your bowels; it also decreases your risk of bowel cancer by 10% for every 10g you eat per day, according to the British Medical Journal. Snack on an apple after lunch, add oats to your protein shake, and prep a baked potato for dinner – you’ll be 20% safer.
16 BREAK THE BAD NEWS CYCLE News flash: dark and depressing stories outweigh good ones in the media by 17:1. It gets worse: a review in Trends in Cognitive Sciences proved a pessimistic daily outlook significantly cranks up your risk of heart disease. So spend less of your time obsessing over mysterious plane crashes and the global terror threat to create some good news for your heart.
17 FORCE POOR RHYTHM TO TAKE THE FLAX Slash your chances of a heart attack by sprinkling a tablespoon of flaxseed on your morning porridge. It contains alpha-linolenic acid, which Canadian research proves can cut your risk of dying suddenly from heart rhythm abnormalities. Also useful if you just found out your girlfriend’s pregnant.
18 PLAY IT SAFE WITH MEAT AND ONE VEG Red meat has a bad rep, but The American Institute for Cancer Research says marinating your steak (try lemon juice and 2tbsp olive oil) reduces its carcinogenic chemicals. Serve it with some broccoli to pick off stealthy extra carcinogens.
TAKE CONTROL OF SICK DAYS Pumping yourself full of bacteria doesn’t sound like the smartest way to avoid flu, but the British Journal of Nutrition has proved that consuming yoghurts full of healthy bacteria cuts work absences by 56%. So you’ll only take sick days when it damn well suits you.
21 DON’T LOSE THE PLOT If you struggle to unwind at the end of the day, scour your bookshelf for a well-thumbed novel. While anxiety triples your risk of heart attack, the American
University in Washington says re-reading an old book promotes therapeutic self-reflection to slash stress. Just six minutes of reading anything lowers anxiety by 68%. Your final chapter remains a long way off. www.mens-health.com.my 91
FIRST BLOOD 25 DEFEAT FLU WITH FLOWER POWER
22 HIT REFRESH ON YOUR BREATH
Echinacea may be a species of daisy, but it has a heavyweight impact on flu. A review by the Cochrane Library showed that taking three daily doses can reduce the number of recurrent infections by 59%. As soon as your colleagues start to sniffle, get floral.
Gum has its merits, but tackling halitosis isn’t one of them – you’re masking the smell, not stopping it. Chew on an apple instead: Dental Research journal says this helps to remove food particles, while adding cinnamon nukes bacteria.
26 WALK OFF YOUR DIABETES RISK
23 CHILL OUT TO REST EASY Bad sleep can cause depression and crank up your risk of heart disease by 48%. Up your dozing by turning 92 J U N E 2 0 1 6
down the thermostat. Research by Sport Sleep Coach reveals the optimum bedroom temperature is 16-18ºC, rather than the toasty 20ºC most people aim during a heat wave. You gotta pay up to be cool.
EAT YOUR GREENS, KEEP YOUR GAINS Pairing your meat with a side of kale fights muscle wastage. Although meat may be rich in protein, it also creates acids that eat muscle tissue over time, reports Osteoporosis International. Kale contains potassium and magnesium to buffer these acids and stop your guns withering with age. Consider this a green light for steak night.
Take a stroll after dinner to blast away your chance of developing diabetes. Walking for just 15 minutes after eating reduces daily blood sugar surges, according to a Diabetes Care study. Just so long as you don’t stroll to the mamak.
27 GIVE STRESS THE COLD SHOULDER Stress accelerates ageing – the University of Dundee proved it even makes you uglier – so galvanise your mind with cold showers twice a week. A German study showed the shock boosts your ability to tolerate everyday angst, so you stay ice-cool under pressure.
28 VISIT THE GUM CLINIC AFTER LUNCH Giving in to your daily sugar hit ups your risk of type 2 diabetes 11-fold, according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Give your willpower some backup by chewing gum after lunch – it cuts sugar cravings by 10%. Sweet news.
29 AVOID TOOTHLESS EXERCISES Deadlifting may be good for your posture, but it’s a killer for your teeth. Scandinavian research found exercise curbs saliva, damaging the enamel. Arm yourself by brushing before you train and swilling water in the gym to appease both doctor and dentist.
FIRST BLOOD 30 GRAB A PEAR FOR YOUR LUNGS
Choose wisely next time you’re in the supermarket fruit aisle. The International Journal of Cancer showed a huge decrease in lung cancer cases among those who gobbled fruit from the Rosaceae family, such as peaches, plums and pears. Buy one, get cancer-free.
31 CLENCH TO DODGE DOUGH
32 DECLARE WAR ON BAD VISION Load up Call of Duty to save your peepers from age-related decline. The University of Rochester proved CoD and other shoot-’em-ups boost your contrast sensitivity function – the ability to discern brightness in an image – which is one of the first visual skills to fade with age. It’s a fair bit cheaper than 40 years of contact lenses too. 33 GO TO THE PUB, LIVE LONGER
Next time you crave fatty snacks – which an Italian study (and basic common sense) has linked to obesity and early death – clench your fist for 30 seconds. The Journal of Consumer Research found this simple action helped people to control their impulses. Just make sure there isn’t a pie in your hand at the time.
Ignoring that text from your mate inviting you to the pub could kill you. A German study showed hanging out with other men cuts stress hormones, while an Aussie study found men with close friends outlive loners by 22%. Pick up the next round – your life depends on it.
34 J O G O N FO R A M A R AT H O N M E M O RY Fight age-related memory loss with an hour-long weekend run. As your body learns to fuel long runs, it also fuels the neurons needed for forming memories, say Californian scientists. That’s not to say you won’t get lost, though.
PUT BLOOD PRESSURE ON HOLD The sound of your ringtone spikes blood pressure by seven points, found Italian researchers, taking you above the healthy norm of 120/80 at various points throughout the day. Put your phone on silent mode (and turn off vibrate) so heart disease and dementia don’t come calling.
36 RUN BY THE CLOCK, SAVE YOUR TICKER It’s hardly news that going for a jog is good for your heart, but in the fight against disease, timing is everything. Appalachian State University has shown morning jogs three times a week are 10% more effective at lowering blood pressure than lunchtime or post-work runs. Long life is worth getting out of bed for.
37 CLEAN YOUR JUNK WITH JUICE Swap your morning orange juice for a glass of cranberry juice to prevent painful urinary tract infections. Research in Phytochemistry proved that proanthocyanidins – the polyphenols found in cranberries – stop bacteria sticking to the urinary tract. Never again will you have to pee liquid fire.
38 METABOLISE THIS, BELLY FAT Visceral belly fat doesn’t just wreck your beach bod – it also causes heart disease and high cholesterol. Stay ahead by supplementing with L-carnitine – research in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology proves this compound helps torch fat when you exercise, so you look better and live longer.
39 B E N D OVE R FO R YO U R BAC K
Yoga is your double-barrelled shotgun to blast away desk-induced back pain. Doing stretches like the sphinx and pigeon pose twice a week cuts aches by 42%, according to the journal Spine. It also alleviates muscle-tightening anxiety. Your life will now be a lot less painful. www.mens-health.com.my 93
BBQ A GUIDE TO
WORDS TED LANE PHOTOGRAPHS DAN MATTHEWS ILLUSTRATIONS BEN MOUNSEY
HEALTH-CONSCIOUS CHEF Your default meat-and-flame combo comes with carcinogenic risks that guests won’t thank you for. Leave the cover on the grill and prepare a healthier, tastier garden banquet
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A ND CHICKTEN O TAT OB6, P E E W S H IN V IT A R E R ICH COMB AT S W HIC -H A R MING HE A R T CYS T EINE HOMO
IT H A B A S T E YWBR A NCH. R A M ROSE ER B B O O S T S T HE H Y, W HICH IS MEMORY ONCE T HE H A N D E S TA R T S W IN W ING FLO
SPIN CHICKEN METHOD Don’t balk at the need for a barrel; spend a little bit on eBay and you’re set. Cut it in half lengthways to make a tray. Stack breeze blocks at either end and flatten the curved barrel edge with a hammer. Rest it on your bricks to stop the hot barrel scorching your lawn (1). Lay your logs in the barrel, light them, and let them burn down to embers. Avoid charcoal – the smoke packs the same carcinogens as you find in cigarettes. Using wood will stub out the risk. Skewer the chicken (2) and lay across the top. Turn every few minutes for 90 minutes. Rather busy yourself with the merlot? Buy a motorised kit. For the baste, mix molten butter with mustard ketchup; apply to the meat as you turn. To finish, bury your spuds in the embers (3). Remove when soft, peel off the skins and stir in the baste for luxuriant mash.
†MICHELIN-TRAINED CHEF AND RESTAURANT CONSULTANT
YOU WILL NEED
(SERVES 4) • CLEAN OIL BARREL • BREEZE BLOCKS • BRICKS • METAL SPIT • FIREWOOD • WHOLE CHICKEN • BUTTER, 250G • MUSTARD KETCHUP, 2TBSP • SWEET POTATOES, 4 MEDIUM • ROSEMARY, BRANCH
FOR PERFECT POULTRY, BUILD YOUR OWN BACKYARD ROTISSERIE WITH CHEF ROSS CLARKE†
A ND P IG OU TE W EIGH T. S S T IL L LAOS 60 F E W ER P OR K HS P ER SER V E K C A L S TA N D A R D T H A N BUR GER S BEEF
CRUCIFY HUNGER BY COOKING ON AN ARGENTINE IRON CROSS, SAYS FOOD WRITER TIM HAYWARD †
METHOD Binding a whole pig to a metal crucifix sounds ritualistic, but splaying out your meat over a fire cooks it evenly, and is the source of perfect pulled pork. Strap two stainless steel poles together with cord to create a crucifix (1). Build a large fire (stack logs to knee height), then let it burn down until glowing. Tie the pig’s trotters to the crossbar and secure its belly to the shaft. Place it, ribs-down, at a 30-degree angle over the embers for five hours (2); flip it over for a final hour. Slowcooking softens the toughest cuts. Use a probe thermometer to check it; aim for 65°C (3). “At 63°C you’ve killed bacteria but at 75°C you’ve killed the pork,” Hayward warns. Now start pulling away the melt-in-the-mouth meat – remember there’s enough to share.
YOU WILL NEED
(SERVES 20) • STAINLESS STEEL POLES, 2 • METAL CORD • A WHOLE PIG, BUTCHERED • A LARGE GARDEN
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DR Y A P P LY AA P R IK A RUB OFNPUGR EEK T O A ND F E E TA B OL ISM R A ISE CMA L M P O S TA ND A R T B UR N P IG HE
ONE POT WONDER
heating meat in a pot cuts the cancer risks linked to flame-cooking. Grab a few timbers from your local TURN YOUR CAMPFIRE INTO AN hardware store (or the OUTDOOR STOVE WITH CLARKE’S jungle), upend them, and cut SIMPLE SWEDISH TORCH halfway down to create eight united segments. Stuff the METHOD gaps with newspaper, light A stewpot, logs and a handful them, and let it catch (1). of healthy ingredients – this Once the wood is glowing, rudimentary method is Scandi place a heavy-based pan on simplicity at its best. Plus, top; keep a few pre-prepped
logs to one side. Each one should last 30 minutes (2). Add oil to the pan, throw in the steak – trimmings pack less fat and more flavour than mince – before adding your spices. Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, beans and scotch bonnet sauce (3). Simmer for an hour, stirring it once in a while. Keep the sour cream handy, because that sauce has a real kick.
AS A S W ELGL FAT, BUR NIN S A ICIN IN T HE C AIPT OR CHE S L IL C H P R O S TAT E YOUR ER R ISK C A NC
FOOD STYLIST JACK SARGESON †FOOD WRITER FOR THE FINANCIAL TIMES, GUARDIAN AND OBSERVER FOOD MONTHLY
YOU WILL NEED
(SERVES 8) • BIG LOGS • CHAINSAW OR HAND AXE • NEWSPAPER • HEAVY-BASED SAUCEPAN • STEAK TRIMMINGS, 1.5KG • PAPRIKA AND CHILLI POWDER, 4TSP EACH • SOUR CREAM • ONIONS, 4, CHOPPED • GARLIC, 4 CLOVES • CHOPPED TOMATOES, 4 TINS • KIDNEY BEANS, 2 TINS • SCOTCH BONNET SAUCE, 200ML
BE A NS K IDNE YK ED W IT H C A R E PAT E, W HICH F OL A S DO W N BR ING D S OF A YOUR OTDAT TA CK HE A R
OOK ING SL O W-CT E S T HE NEG A IC C A NCER AT PA NCR EA S S OCIAT ED R ISK W EL L-DONE W IT H -ED ME AT BBQ
YOU WILL NEED
(SERVES 4) • SPADE • GOLF-BALL SIZED STONES • FIREWOOD • LAMB SHOULDER • COLD WATER, 5L • SALT, 450G • FRESH THYME, 100G • ROSEMARY, 60G • BLACK PEPPERCORNS, 10G • BUTTER, 55G • FLOUR, 125G
GROUND PIT-COOKING TAKES SOME ELBOW GREASE, BUT THIS LAMB DISH IS WORTH IT, SAYS ROSIE HAZLETON†
METHOD Grill a big hunk of lamb and you’ll get scorched skin and a raw centre. For succulent protein, you need to put your
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N OF A P OR TOIO N TA INSC C B M A L OUR Z IN 1/3 OF YK EEP YOUR R DA T OUN Y A ND IMM V EITL S UP T-L E
back into it. Dig a hole 1-metre wide and 0.5-metre deep and fill the base with half your stones (1). Lay a wood fire on these, piling the rest of the stones on top. Let them heat for two hours. While you wait, soak the lamb in a brine of water, salt, thyme, rosemary and pepper. Pit-cooking meat ensures an even heat, but it’s hard to monitor progress; soaking
stops it from toughening. Make a dough with flour, 40ml water and butter; wrap it around the meat (2). This helps the meat cook in its juices and protects it – and you – from harmful ash. Use heatproof gloves to lie the meat on a bed of stones (3). Cover with the rest of your hot rocks. Let the meat cook for four hours, then dig in, break the bread and unearth the best lamb you’ve tasted.
ENIUM T HE SELA MIN E IN A ND V ITN COMBINE S A L MOMB AT SK IN T O CO . EN JOY A L C A NCERR E S CO F
BLOW SUPERMARKET SALMON OUT OF THE WATER BY SMOKING IT AT HOME, HAYWARD SAYS
METHOD A few garage essentials and 24 hours are all you need to delicately (and healthily) prep a perfect starter. Rub the fish with a 50/50 mix of salt and sugar (1), wrap in clingfilm, and leave in the fridge overnight. Dry-brining pulls fluid out of the fish, so it won’t be slimy. The next morning, fill a tin with sawdust, punch a hole in the bottom and insert a soldering iron (2). Supermarket fillets are often sprayed with liquid smoke to cut corners. Your guess as to what’s in the stuff is as good as ours. Upend your pipe over the can and hang the fillets inside from a spindle (3). Switch on the soldering iron and cover the whole contraption with a bin lid and a couple of bricks to keep cats, dogs and other pests out. Leave to smoulder for 24 hours, lift the lid and reel in the results.
YOU WILL NEED
(SERVES 6) • CERAMIC DRAINAGE PIPE • WOODEN SPINDLE • FISHING HOOKS • FOOD TIN, EMPTY • SAWDUST • SOLDERING IRON • WHOLE SALMON FILLETS, 2 • SUGAR, 150G • SALT, 150G
†ARCHEOLOGIST AND EXPERT IN PREHISTORIC COOKING
(2) E T T HE DON’T LA R K E T S M R E P SU U. S H O P F OOL YO JEC T ED F ISH ISBRININE F OR W IT H R A W EIGH T EXT
MH QUIZ: PATERNITY
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Men with a waist size over ___ have 22% less sperm than their slimmer counterparts: 32” A
Men who work out for 15 hours a week produce how much more sperm than men who don’t work out at all?
B If you won’t hit the gym for yourself, do it for your bloodline. According to a Mount Sinai Hospital study, men with waists 40 inches or larger produce 22% less sperm on average. Here’s the good news: exercising once a week and getting your stomach down to 37 inches or below will result in more potency. And less sweating.
How does having a baby affect your earning capacity? WORDS NICKY WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHS HEARST STUDIOS, ANDREW JOHN SIMPSON, DAVID NEWTON, JOHANNA PARKIN, LOUISA PARRY, ISTOCKPHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS GUILHERME HENRIQUE
A Increases it B Decreases it C Nothing A It might not feel like it after shelling out for a fancy stroller, but having a baby can actually make you wealthier. An Institute for Public Policy Research study found that new fathers’ pay increases by around 19% compared to their childless colleagues.
Smoking weed does what to your sperm? A Gets them stoned B Warps them C Makes them stronger
B Mutant turtles are cool, but mutant sperm? A study in Human Reproduction says men smoking weed just twice a month double their chances of deformed sperm.
75% B Exercise can help boost your sperm production in three ways, according to Harvard researchers: it encourages the body to produce more testosterone; works to keep your fat levels low; and helps your body transport and utilise antioxidants, which halt free radicals before they can damage sperm cells. As if you needed any more reasons to work out.
/ Q5 How much more
involved with the child-rearing will you be than your own dad? A
Watching how many hours of TV a week will lower your sperm count?
C The Equal Opportunities Commission found dads today are eight times more involved in child-rearing than their fathers were 30 years ago. More contact is proven to increase kids’ long-term mental health.
C Harvard University found men watching 20 hours a week had sperm counts 44% lower than those who turned off. Best press pause on your boxset habit. www.mens-health.com.my 101
/ Q7 A diet rich in vitamin
/ Q8 What’s the healthiest
C can reduce sperm damage by how much? B
age to have a baby?
A A Fertility and Sterility study found that men with a vitamin C-rich diet suffered 20% less DNA-damaged sperm. Chow down on half a yellow pepper: it contains twice your vit C RDA.
A Before 25 B 26-29 C 30-40 C Men who have kids young are at higher risk of death in middle age, reports Epidemiology & Community Health, while waiting until age 30 can lengthen your lifespan.
Switching from briefs to boxers can up your sperm count by how much?
/ Q9 Biologically
speaking, who has the best swimmers?
How many oysters do you need to eat to lift your sperm count by 74%?
A Tobey Maguire B Jon Hamm C Arnold Schwarzenegger
A Research by the Centre of Evolutionary Biology found that men with narrow, feminine faces tended to have higher quality sperm. Scientists say humans can’t be both ultra-potent and manly.
20 C Men with fertility issues who take in an extra 66mg of zinc a day produce 74% more sperm, reports Fertility and Sterility. A large oyster harbours 11mg of the stuff.
Should you or your partner be getting out of bed to do the night feeds? A You
B She should. Sleep deprivation is worse for men than for women, according to The Endocrine Society. Which means you’ll suffer the effects of a sleepless night for longer than she will. This is probably one to keep to yourself, though...
50% B Wearing loose-fitting boxers increases sperm production by 24%, found the Uni of Manchester. An analysis of 2,249 men from fertility clinics across the UK showed that men with poor quality sperm were 1.3 times more likely to wear tight underwear. Co-author of the study Dr Allan Pacey suggests that would-be fathers who are fans of Y-fronts switch to looser pants for a few months.
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/ Q13 Listen very carefully… Do men with very lowpitched voices have higher or lower than average sperm counts? A Higher
B Lower B Men who had lower voices were rated sexier by women in a University of Western Australia study, but tended to have lower than average sperm counts. One theory is that they have excess testosterone, which can halt sperm production.
Who is better when it comes to doing baby talk – mums or dads?
/ Q15 Eating which nuts is most likely to help your, er, nuts? A Pecans
B Just a handful of walnuts per day helps get your sperm into tip-top condition, according to the journal Biology of Reproduction. They are a rich source of vitamin A, which helps shape sperm, and omega-3, which keeps them supple.
You’ve heard of the “dad bod”, but how much weight does the average man put on after the birth of his first child?
Dad A & B Washington State University scientists found that while women are better at the ‘goo goo gaga’ style chat that babies respond best to, men tend to keep their voices steady. Lead researcher Professor Mark VanDam thinks this is no bad thing; in fact, it prepares the child for everyday life. He claims it helps them deal with unfamiliar speech patterns and to better acquire language as they grow up.
/ Q17 How long do sperm have to
reach the egg after ejaculation? A 35min B 14 hours
C 3 days
B The NHS says that an egg is only viable for 14 hours after release, so help your guys to be quick: store your phone in your bag. Cleveland Clinic found electromagnetic waves from devices slow sperm motility.
How did you score?
A Northwestern Medicine found that the average man put on 2kg after his first child was born. This is down to the testosterone drop that men experience and is also linked to lifestyle changes – nights in, poor sleep and take-away food.
/ Q18 Once your baby is born, your
testosterone levels drop by...
C 35% B 90%
C Northwestern Uni found that a new father’s levels drop by 35%. Research says this curbed aggression and sexual urges in our caveman ancestors.
True or false: your baby will look like you. A True
A Mammals share more of their DNA with their fathers than their mothers, a University of North Carolina study revealed. Which is why your little bundle of joy has inherited your unfortunate nose.
0-9 WHO’S THE DADDY?
10-14 GO DADDIO
15+ DADDY COOL
There’s still hope – seven out of 10 mums believe their kids’ fathers are as good a parents as they are, says the Fatherhood Institute. Improve your confidence by seeking advice: a Uni of Chicago study found fathers who sought help sharply increased their abilities.
You’re doing well, but here’s a sweet tip: play computer games with your girls. A Brigham Young University study found it’s the best way to bond with daughters, increasing their self-esteem. Rough-and-tumble play with boys is shown to help them manage stress as adults.
You’ve nailed this quiz, but here’s one more question: what makes men happier – being a dad or having a good career? That’s right: while 75% of men in a Uni of Nebraska-Lincoln study said being a good father is key, just 48% said their career made them happy. www.mens-health.com.my 103
LEFT TO RIGHT: IWC PORTOFINO AUTOMATIC Self-winding mechanical movement. Stainless steel 40mm case. Date display. Alligator leather strap. RM15,500 CORUM ADMIRAL’S CUP LEGEND 42 CHRONOGRAPH COSC-certified chronograph movement. Dodecagonal stainless steel 42mm case. Small-seconds, chronograph and date indicators. Crocodile leather strap. RM20,988 104 J U N E 2 0 1 6
PHOTOGRAPHS XERXES/AWESOME IMAGE STUDIO STYLING SUYEN
An old TV advertisement used to champion the values of “style, quality, excellence”. Any of these fine watches will bestow those characteristics upon you effortlessly and flawlessly
LEFT TO RIGHT: BELL & ROSS VINTAGE BR 123 GOLDEN HERITAGE Automatic mechanical movement. Polished steel 43mm case. Smallseconds and date indicator. Gold calfskin strap. RM12,900 JAEGER-LECOULTRE REVERSO GRANDE TAILLE Hand-wound mechanical movement. Stainless steel 42.2 x 26mm case. Small-seconds indicator. Alligator leather strap. RM25,700
MIDO MULTIFORT CALIBER 80 CHRONOMETER Automatic mechanical movement. PVD-treated steel 42mm case. Day and date indicators. Calf leather strap. RM4,530
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LEFT TO RIGHT: RADO DIAMASTER AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH Automatic mechanical movement. Plasma high-tech ceramic 45mm case. Small-seconds and date indicators. Leather strap. RM15,930 LONGINES MASTER COLLECTION Self-winding mechanical chronograph moon-phase movement. Stainless steel 40mm case. Small-seconds and 24-hour indicators; date indicated by half-moon central hand; moonphase display with 12-hour indicator; 30-minute indicator with day and month display. Alligator leather strap. RM12,800 www.mens-health.com.my 107
LEFT TO RIGHT: FREDERIQUE CONSTANT CLASSICS MOONPHASE Automatic mechanical movement. Yellow-gold plated 40mm steel case. Date pointer hand and moon-phase display. Window revealing the watch’s “heart beat” (balance wheel, balance spring and escapement). Leather strap. RM8,300 HERMÈS ARCEAU AUTOMATIQUE Mechanical self-winding movement. 316L steel 40mm case. Date indicator. Alligator leather strap. RM23,500
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LEFT TO RIGHT: MAURICE LACROIX LES CLASSIQUES CHRONOGRAPHE Automatic mechanical movement. Stainless steel 41mm case. Smallseconds and date indicators. Calfskin strap. RM9,858 GIRARD-PERREGAUX 1966 Self-winding mechanical movement. Steel 40mm case. Date indicator. Leather strap. RM26,700 www.mens-health.com.my 109
2 April 2016 / Queensbay Mall, Penang
Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality in Penang
We made history on 2 April 2016 when the very first Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality (#MHWHNightRun) flagged off in Queensbay Mall, Penang. Drawing in a fantastic crowd of over 6,000 runners and guests, the event didn’t just offer health enthusiasts an opportunity to participate in the inaugural race’s various categories; everyone also got to join in the Race Village’s festivities with celebrity DJs, live music and food trucks. Organised by Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd, the #MHWHNightRun is made successful with the support from title sponsor AIA Vitality 110 J U N E 2 0 1 6
2 April 2016 / Queensbay Mall, Penang
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and gold sponsors including Skechers Performance and Ultron. The event’s silver sponsor is Petron; while the bronze sponsors are Adidas (official timer), Fitness First, GoPro and Optimax Eye Specialist. Official partners include Appeton Essentials, Grab, Lucozade, OtterBox, Philips and Tender Soft. It is supported by Couldn’t join us in Penang? Asian Tigers, Bros, Sign up for the Putrajaya leg of Clear, Jen Hotel Men’s Health Women’s Health and Queensbay Night Run by AIA Vitality, Mall. The official happening on 30 July 2016. media partner for For more info, visit the event is Time www.mens-health.com.my/ Out Penang. nightrun THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS AND PARTNERS EVENT ORGANISER
When the shit hits the man, the man must march on
WHAT IF YOU ACTUALLY...
PEOPLE – OKAY, WOMEN – COMPLAIN
about my chronic griping. Work. Computer crashes. Global warming. WTF? But here’s an idea: what if I quit bitching cold turkey? Would the world suddenly go all rainbows and unicorns? On a recent Sunday night, I resolved to find out. I vowed not to complain for an entire week. And I was pretty sure it was going to suck. You know, if I were still complaining... By 10 a.m. Monday, my dog had peed on my floor and my supervisor stuck me with two months’ worth of work to do in two weeks. I couldn’t take it. I needed a loophole or I was going to explode. 114 J U N E 2 0 1 6
My fix: write down my beef and email it to myself. But as my wife and I watched TV before bed, I was still catching up on those emails. She eyed me suspiciously. “Who do you keep writing to?” she asked, in a tone that made it clear she suspected an affair. The next day, some assface in a Hyundai cut me off as I drove my daughter to daycare. I had to fight the urge to honk and give him the finger. On Wednesday afternoon, some millennial dominated the lat pulldown machine for 3 sets of 20 without even checking behind him. That seemed ridiculous, but I smiled and whispered, “Namaste.” My true proving ground for
politeness came on Thursday night, at a party with some former colleagues. There I spotted a guy who’d fired me a few years ago. Despite having an obscenity-laden speech memorised for this very moment, I kept my distance and continued the clichéd small talk. My reward? My wife told me that my newfound restraint was oddly charming. And I was starting to feel that way too. Especially after Saturday morning, when she woke me up for a quickie. Sure, life seemed good... that is, until I found out that my hijinks might be killing me. Researchers in Germany have discovered that people who repress
their feelings may have a higher risk of developing such ills as hypertension and cancer. “You pay a price for squelching your dissatisfaction,” says psychologist Guy Winch, Ph.D., author of The Squeaky Wheel, a book about complaining smarter. Turns out my instinct was right: Emailing beefs to yourself instead of vocalising them is a coping technique that Winch recommends. Ultimately, the act takes just enough time that I may learn to let the small stuff go. Besides, it tends to trigger screen ads about stuff that annoys you, so you automatically become more selective about your grumblings. Who can be bummed about that?
E D I T E D COREY LEVITAN
Stopped Complaining for a Week?