Updated: Jun 3, 2020

Dear friend, with the extension of the MCO, I’d like to do something that’s outside of work and just trying to get by day to day.

Inspired by the iconic, “Everybody’s Free to Wear Suncreen” -

I feel the urge to make something. I’m not trying to change the world or anything. But you know me, I believe in the magic of collaboration.

I’m going to keep it simple -

Details :

Step 1 : This is the song I’m going to use "The Rain Came As She Went" by Nick Davis -

Step 2 : I need you to answer 2 out of 5 questions (limiting to a 150 to 200 characters, like a tweet). Anything related to how you are feeling with this world Covid19 pandemic, the MCO in Malaysia : our new normal. (Click here for the questions!)

Step 3 : If you have pictures, short video clips (5 to 10 secs max) that you don’t mind sharing, that relates to your answers, do upload it to this link.

*WARNING: The pictures and footage in this link may or may not be used in the final video. Do note that anyone with this link can have access to these pictures. But I will kill the access to this link by the deadline below. 

Step 4 : Deadline , end of this Wednesday, 12 midnight on 29 Apr.

No obligations, but I sincerely hope to get something from you!

  • Michael Chen

Are you going crazy yet? Things are surreal with our leaders giving silly medical advice, perpetuating gender stereotypes and people shouting at our frontliners who are just trying to do their jobs as well. #StaySane people.

No doubt, things are surreal. Ministers telling us drinking 'warm water' can keep the virus at bay (it seems that he has since all but disappeared from the public eye, or is it just me not seeing him anymore?) and just yesterday we have our own ministry of women, family and community development perpetuating sexist stereotypes (and pulling poor old Doraemon into the mix).

I think reports of people losing their shit and shouting at the frontliners is a clear indication that things could get a whole lot worse. To me, this is a natural evolution from the Penangite cardiologist who was arguing for his right to go to the park and exercise during the early days of the MCO in my previous post.

For those of us fortunate enough to be able to work comfortably from home, spare a thought for those who are struggling to make ends meet, who will no doubt suffer even more in the months to come, even if the MCO is lifted on April 14th! In this regard, I try my best to share the positive stuff that's going on as well.

In times like this, if you are starting to feel helpless and despondent about the world. Pay attention to that. Do not ignore it. My close friends know I like to say, "Do what you can, when you can, if you can." Which basically means, if you can help yourself, then you will be able to help others too.

Exercise : Focusing on reps of 100, 200, 300, 400...

Something that has been keeping me sane, aside from being able to focus on work, is exercising. If you feel like you don't know what you're doing and now that you can't go to the gym or hire a personal trainer to help you - don't fret.

Remember the movie 300? I read that these guys would be working out everyday on location before, during and after a shoot day for the entire production period. They shot for about 60 days.

I also followed 'Spartacus' the series, in which most of the gladiator cast also followed strict workout regimes.

Which would mean, for roughly 5 to 6 days a week, over a period of 2 to 3 months. These guys would be doing at least 300 reps of intense exercise made up of all types of regimes : bodyweight, strength and resistance training etc. All this, on top of the physically gruelling 6 to 8 (maybe even 12) hour daily shooting for the series itself.

How can us regular folk do it?

Now try and break that down to something more reasonable to us regular folk. I challenged myself to workout at least 2 to 3 times a week. In the early days, circa 2008, I try to make sure I do at least 100 reps of relatively easy exercises. That progressed to 200 and 300 reps very quickly. Then I learnt to do more physically challenging exercises and mixed things up. To be honest, that's all I have been doing over the years. I believe everyone can do this.

If you are not trying to develop a physique and look of the actors who get paid to look the way that they do. And all you want is to be physically fit and healthy, even more important these days with the unseen enemy of the #Covid19 virus. Then really, this is all you need to do. And oh, be reasonable with your general diet too!

Here are some videos of routines that I've personally done that you can try and follow.

Around 300 reps - Bodyweight Only - Beginner

300 reps at home with an injured leg (I'm sure anyone can do this!)

If you want something slightly more challenging, here's something I've done recently with bodyweight and dumbbells, at home -

You can check out a whole other playlist of videos I've made myself at this link. Or check out these other channels I like to follow : Redefining Strength, Jeff Nippard's Technique Tuesday (more weights related stuff) and Michael Vasquez (quite challenging stuff but I like his routines).

Finally, #StayHome #StaySane, don't spread #FakeNews (subscribe to social media feeds from trusted sources : I've found Malaysiakini and Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia's Telegram to be quite reliable.

  • Michael Chen

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

We are under a 'Restricted Movement Order' or 'Movement Control Order' till 31st March 2020. It's the end of Day 4 as I am typing this. So far, things are going reasonably well for me and the wife. I am thankful that work and family matters are all in order and life is still going on.

More than that, I am beyond grateful that despite the state of our politics, our frontliners at the hospitals, NGO's, volunteers are all out there doing what needs to be done.

The least the rest of us can do is to #StayHome and help them help us, #FlattenTheCurve. Here's some good advice from an expert (video by Vox) -

I just read about the Penangite Consultant Cardiologist arguing about that the MCO is not a 'confinement order'. That we all have the right to go out and exercise, in fact, for our own good.

While I get where he is coming from, I do not agree with his actions. We are in a state of a worldwide pandemic and I always go back to that statement in 'Men In Black' -

If you think you're a smart person, good for you. But bear in mind that dumb, panicky, dangerous 'people' are going to see one 'smart person' out in the park and think that they can go out too. Which will lead to crowding and will lead to higher risk of infections.

Dear friends, while it might be hard, try and stay sane. Don't spread nonsense 'forwarded' messages you are getting on whatsapp without checking it's validity. Remember, 'people are dumb' and easily triggered right now. I'm personally subscribed to the following so that I know I'm getting truly verified news & updates -

Lastly, let's try and put some good positive energy out there. Check out #KitaJagaKita and see if you can help others at this link. We could all do with some spreading of positive vibes instead.

#michaelcsmfitness : Exercises you can do too!

So, if you're looking for a routine that you can do at home, here's something I've put together.

If you feel like doing some my other conditioning exercises, you can check out some of these videos. You can replace any of the more difficult exercises with simpler variations. For example, the skip rope warm-ups can be replaced with star-jumps or jogging on the spot etc. Anything that has weights like dumbbells or the longbar, you can replace with some kind of weight/resistance replacement (like DIY mineral water bottles etc).

250 reps - Bodyweight & Longbar - Low Intermediate

300 reps - Bodyweight & Dumbbells - Low Intermediate

Around 300 reps - Bodyweight Only - Beginner

Take care of yourselves and each other out there folks. Stay sane and spread positive vibes.


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