• Michael Chen

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

This is a MCO project that I made with a whole bunch of friends.

It feels like the world is literally on fire right now. With the pandemic as the overarching flame spreading like wildfire all over the world, other pre-existing issues for every country is coming out of the flames too. Just like how the virus is more dangerous to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, I feel like the virus is bringing out all of the pre-existing issues that has plagued all of the different humans of the world in the different countries.


From political instability, systemic racial issues to economical inequality - everything is being laid bare. It's hard to take it all in, keep a cool head and try to focus on what we can do about it sometimes. So that's why I did this project, "Wear a Mask". This is my small contribution to trying to spread some positive vibes to the world.


I launched myself into this project during the early stages of the Malaysian Movement Control Order (MCO), this was my first post about it. The concept is inspired by 'Wear Sunscreen', the successful spoken word song released in 1999 featuring Baz Luhrmann.


I compiled a bunch of questions, and sent it to all of my creative friends on my contact list. From actors, writers, directors, artists, singers and everyone in between, I asked them to give me short answers to -

  1. What do you fear?

  2. What do you love?

  3. What are you thankful for?

  4. What is your hope for the future?

  5. What is the one thing you'd like to say to all Malaysians?

Based on all the answers I received, I tried my best to summarise and actually include their exact words into the song, where possible.


I would like to say a big thank you to Nick Davis for letting me use his song and helping me to mix my VO recording to an adjusted version of his song. Do like his FB page, check out his music at bandcamp and also subscribe to his Youtube channel.


And to all my contributors who allowed me to give them a credit, I could not have written this without your contributions!


Ellyne Lamin | Ian Chow | Tapai | Alex Chua | Su San | Visshnu Varman | Anrie Too | Ling | 'WithloveMalaysia' | UiHua | Varun | Jasmine Kaar | Joseph Gonzales | Chi Hoe Mak | effadesa | yonlynn | Calvin Tan Han Jin | Juliana Ibrahim | Joel Wong | Chrystal Foo | Wendy Wong | Ho Lee Ching | Honey Ahmad | Chi Ho | Elvira Arul


Like I said in the video, reading all their answers made me feel less alone. Made me feel a little more hopeful so that I can redirect my energy towards things that I can do to get out of this better. Thank you.


For those of you who are willing to listen and share the video, thank you to you too. I hope our words made you feel a little bit better.


Here are a collection of pictures that the contributors submitted in response to the questions that they answered. The pictures helped me feel what they feel about family, friends and the world. Ultimately, I got a sneak peek into their fears, what they love & feel thankful for and a little bit about their hopes. These are the pictures they allowed me to share :



  • Michael Chen

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

Even before the pandemic hit the world, I was constantly trying to figure out ways to workout effectively with less.

Right after my first time training with the bands.

Half the battle to a healthier & fitter you is getting into a habit to exercise regularly. #HabitsAreHarderToBreak


I was always into developing routines with limited equipment that I could do at home. I already have a pair of 15kg dumbbells which are a lot of fun.


But what to do if I want more of a challenge besides buying more plates? Which takes up space and can be sometimes more expensive?


So, I've expanded my home arsenal to include resistance bands as well. This is entirely new to me and I thought I'd put down some of the things that I think would be helpful for anyone who may be thinking of picking this up too!


Check out this video:

James Grage came up in all of my online searches for resistance band training. I find his explanation of 'linear variable resistance' ie the more that you stretch a band, the harder it gets, very useful. Before I went shopping for bands, this was the most informative video I watched by far.


Here are some quick tips:

  1. Thickness = Resistance | The thicker it is, the harder it will be to workout with it. And you can adjust where you grip the band, when doing a particular exercise to create more resistance when necessary. Which creates a lot more range of weight that you can give yourself with lesser equipment VS getting a whole bunch of dumbbells, plates or kettlebells like you would have at a typical gym.

  2. Rule of thumb, for the smaller muscles, like biceps or triceps, use thinner bands.

  3. Rule of thumb, when engaging bigger muscle groups/movements, use the thicker bands.

  4. Get full fingered gloves. Something like James Grage is wearing in most of his videos. Unless you are comfortable getting blisters or calluses, in which case, knock yourself out!

  5. Lastly, get yourself at least 2 or 3 different sizes, ranging from thin to thicker. This is so that you can experiment for a full range of exercises using the various bands which provide different levels of resistance. You can see at the picture at the top of this post, that I have gotten 2. I regret not buying one more heavier/thicker band!


FYI:

  • Both my bands are roughly 6ft (2080mm) in length and 3mm in thickness.

  • Where they differ is in the width. The Green is 3.2cm in width and the Black is 2.1cm in width.

  • According to the seller that I bought this from, the black band can create anywhere between 25 to 50 lbs of resistance (ie 11 to 22 kg) and the green band between 75 to 100 lbs of resistance (ie 34 to 45 kg). Since I normally lift this sort of weight at the gym, I used this as a barometer of which band I should purchase.

  • *Personally, I feel that there's no way to be absolutely sure what weight you're pulling on the bands, so doing some form of regular routine where the last 2 to 3 reps become super tough, then you're putting yourself through a decent challenge. For example, if you're targeting to do 10 reps of a particular movement, the last 2 to 3 reps should feel close to impossible to do, but you just have enough to finish it!


My plan is to focus on full body routines when working with the bands and master a few variations of movement first before experimenting with other movements. For now, I'm following this particular routine (video below) which I've really enjoyed doing. I actually did it three times back to back at my first attempt. It's a cool combination of resistance training with very short periods of rest ie HIIT training.


That's it for my first time with the Resistance Bands. Hope you've found this little post useful. If you're taking it up and would like to ask any more questions or just share your own experience, just drop me a message. I would love to hear from you. Learning is a life-long process.


My Facebook Page

My Instagram

or on my Contact Page.


UPDATE: Here's my own 'follow-along' video -



64 views
  • Michael Chen

#EverybodysHomeMY : What do I fear? Some of you already know that I am doing personal project while we are all #StayingHome. Here's a video talking about it. At this moment, I have 16 people who have responded to my call out. Hope you can take the time to contribute something to this project too!



Go here https://forms.gle/ShPUZJoJgA44pFtb9 to answer the simple questions I've put together.


Or find out more about the project from my original blog post.


Featured music by Nick Davis ''The Rain Came As She Went" & "Homebound" - https://nickdavis.bandcamp.com/

What do you fear?

Comment below or DM me.

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