Spartan Races Galore in Thailand — 2020!

I’m sitting in front of an executive at one of the biggest banks in Thailand and abruptly he says, “registration opens tomorrow!” It was a random comment at the time since we had been discussing the ever-so-annoying-coronavirus, but I shifted my attention to him and said: “huh?”

He said, “Spartan Race Thailand!”

I was in disbelief. I was in awe. I didn’t know what to say. Should I ask him where? How? When? What? Who said? What’s happening? I told him, “get the hell outa here! Show me!” He quickly went to his phone and there it was, three spectacularly magnificent dates of the race here in Thailand this year.

After going on a one year hiatus after the Spartan Trifecta in Hua Hin, people rambled about it having poor reviews, complaints, etc. I thought it was perfectly placed, but the mountains and going through 13km of hills was a daunting task for my joints.

2019 it was crickets. I had already opted out of races for the subsequent year because that 2018 ripped the soul out of me. I just felt, “man, f*** that! That was just soul-crushing. I damn near died!” Not only me, but another massive trainer (bodybuilder) by the name of Vishal, who works at the lab, was found by me….crouching over, eyes red beyond comprehension and gasping for life during the bucket carry towards the end of the Spartan Beast. However, that was a resurgence and gave me a ton of energy to finish because I said, “wow, I’m not in this condition and have about 25% of the muscle!”

I finished, stopped doing Spartan Races, then flirted with the potential of doing one in Vietnam this year (as a matter of fact, tomorrow).

I said, “man, I just don’t have it in me. I just don’t wanna do it. What are you trying to prove, Arsenio?”

Until I saw dates at Chiang Mai (not interested), but the ultra-gorgeous Krabi (beach camp) and a forest camp in GORGEOUS Songkhla!

I HAD TO!

Next Vacation & Spartan Race: Taiwan!

You read it correctly. Your main man, who goes by the name of Arsenio Buck, is reentering Spartan after a bit of a hiatus.

When I was trekking through the foothills in Hua Hin, sucking in dust particles like it was oxygen, I told myself: “man, FUCK THIS!” I said I would never do it again. However, after listening to my body and feeling how strong I’ve become, my body is craving that immense pain once again!

I made an oath to myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to take a year off from Spartan races because the Beast in Hua Hin last year was just so unbelievably demoralizing. However, after sorting out my visa situation here in Thailand, micro trips to Malaysia and Singapore are NO MORE!

I can’t let just a few assholes at Immigration in Hong Kong determine the outcome of me traveling everywhere. Yes, Taiwan will be another very difficult country I need to acclimate with, but because I will be be the “not-so-thumb-sticking-out,” that means I won’t have a problem recording and documenting my stories. Will the Spartan Super go as planned? I have no idea. I will need to adapt very quickly and once I land in Taoyuan International Airport, I’ll know what I’m up against.

Fun & Hobbies: Goals for 2019!

Here we go! This is the first of the 8-part series that I’m launching in conjunction with what I did towards the end of last year.  I’m super excited with what’s happening and what has already happened, but I first need to go back to the beginning of the year and see what I said back in my previous blog post (one year ago).

What I said at the end of last year….

For Sures 

  1. Indonesia
  2. Malaysia (possibly this month
  3. Kazakhstan + Kyrgyzstan

Potentials

  1. Australia (high chance)
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Taiwan
  4. Morocco (Tedx)

On-The-Ropes

  1. American Samoa
  2. Japan

Well, i got to Hong Kong, but not sure why I thought about going to Japan.  Australia was a high chance, but then with the visa problems and having to leave all the time this year, everything was completely destroyed.

  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Laos

To be honest, 7 countries in a year was phenomenal.  However, were these real holidays? No.  Aside from the forgettable Hong Kong trip, Malaysia (both times) were the only legitimate holidays.  Singapore was fun both times, but I still didn’t venture out and do activities like I wanted to.  Was it because of budget problems? No, I simply didn’t want to treat it like a holiday at that time.  I was scared because I wasn’t sure where my income was coming from when I got back.

Now with 2019 on the horizon, I know not to overshoot what I plan on doing.

One of my goals, that coordinates with my career, is making more money in less time, and I’m establishing that at this moment in my life.  Building the connections and having big bankers all around Bangkok, on top of ex-teachers getting in contact with me in regards to big money work, will be game-changing.

I want to really dedicate more time to me. I’m sick of working past 6pm at a regular job, unless I’m getting paid over 100$ an hour to do so.  I don’t want to work long hours on weekend anymore, only to make a wage I’ve been making the last three years ON THE SAME WEEKEND.  I would much rather focus on my projects and FUN TIME.

New Activities? No Way! Spartans!

Aside from going to the zoo in Melbourne, Australia in late February (very close to booking this trip) and a few other things, Spartan races are still my fun and hobbies, although related to health.  Yes, I would love to do whitewater rafting and still go snowboarding in the snowfields of Hokkaido, but right now, that’s a bit on hold.  Mongolia/Egypt is surely on board.  I would like to take 2-3 massive trips this year and of course, my inaugural mini trips to Singapore, Malaysia, and the small resort island Bali, which is in Indonesia.

Listen to “Fun & Hobbies: Goals for 2019!” on Spreaker.

Interviewee #22 – Jonathan Darling – Personal Trainer and Ultra Marathon Runner

This is a man that’s an ordinary guy trying to make an extraordinary impact on the world.  After starting his fitness journey playing football and wrestling in high school, he began studying exercise science in college.  This propelled him into the world of bodybuilding, powerlifting, and competing for several years.  8 months ago, he decided to compete in his first ever endurance race, a 50k ultra trail race.  That is only the beginning…..

Get in touch with Jonathan Darling

Links:

 

Things we discussed:

  • How do you start in the fitness industry?
  • What the differences between powerlifting and bodybuilding.
  • Bodybuilders vs Crossfitters
  • Injecting positivity in the community.
  • The reasons why people love and are attracted to crossfit.
  • Empathy.
  • Why the interviewee became a reader?
  • The reasons why the guest signed up for a race.
  • Failure.
  • How do you develop the mental capacity to shutdown negative talk?
  • Believing in yourself.
  • How to deal with mediocrity?
  • Driving force.
  • How you demolish fear and follow your dreams.
  • Failure is better than success.
  • Goals for 2019.

Listen to “Interviewee #22 – Jonathan Darling – Personal Trainer and Ultra Marathon Runner” on Spreaker.

 

Thank you for listening!

 

Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. Please do write down some feedback and comments. Please do share this podcast to your social media.

 

Links:

 

Ramble of Positivity: Episode XXVII – Trifecta & 2018 Health Goal is Here!

Man, on the eve of one of the greatest runs I will ever experience, here I am bringing a long tradition back.  if you guys are unsure what this is about, the Ramble of Positivity is about stating all the great things that are happening in your present life.  It’s about writing your list of gratitude down below, so here’s my!

  • I’m so happy and grateful that this year has turned into the most successful year of my life.
  • I’m so thankful for the people I’ve attracted into my life.
  • I’m truly grateful for the hardships that ultimately turning into the greatest success of my life.
  • WIth all my heart, I’m unbelievably grateful for attracting the best situations that have set me up to make a massive splash in 2019.

2019 — a number that is lingering large — remains anonymous for everyone.  Those people who were shouting those phrases, “2018 is going to be my b****” ended up doing the same thing for 2018 because they weren’t able to destroy those beliefs and negative conditioning.  This is one of the biggest problems for everyone out there.  However, where I was at the beginning of this year, trying to get out of one of the most toxic working environments imaginable; to where I am now, forming a mastermind group, podcasts, job opportunities, ebooks, webinars — is short of magnificent.  Just unbelievably amazed how I’ve come this far, and this is why I just need to soak this in.

Now, back to the main topic at hand.  Trifecta glory.  Wait, let’s just go back to my blog at the beginning of the year.  I’m laughing hysterically because I never had the opportunity to go to Bishkek, and I never did the Spartan Sprint in Hong Kong (thank the UNIVERSE FOR THAT!).  Even with the massive Beast in Bright, Australia, I had a fall out with a friend and didn’t really trust her after the situation had gone soar.  So, there was a Malaysian Sprint, a VERY-VERY-TERRIBLE Spartan Super in an egregious part of Thailand, and then the exceptional Beast which is approaching in 27 hours.

But let’s dig even deeper into those blogs, which I’ll probably review in full very soon.  I think the amazing part of my shortcomings was that I never gave up.  Going back to my personal development blog, I felt a Very-Scared-Arsenio writing.  Being at that job, having those chest pains, and anxiety, is unbelievable.  It’s like “why did you put up with it for so long?” However, I was already on my way out when I made it up in my mind just a couple months before.  That was a super difficult couple of months.  Not knowing what the future held for me, but with patience and knowing that I was too good not to have a job, it all came because of hustle.  That’s what I’m so grateful for today.  Being grateful for the magnificent overcoming of who I was back in the grit.  I knew that there was something out there willing to give me something…and it happened.

Now, I’m at the cusp of one of the biggest races of my life, and it’s time to establish myself as one of the greats (in my own mind).

Podcast

Spartan Bag for The Beast

On the dawn of the monster, let’s take a look at what’s important for a Spartan Beast!

Essentials

Hydration Pack

Energy Gels

Protein Bar

Two pairs of socks

Arm sleeve of some kind to protect you

Sunscreen

Compression (shirt and shorts)

Distance running shoes

Waist belt

  • The hydration pack, given the distance, is absolutely essential.  Because I’m running in such a sweltering and humidity-filled climate, dehydration, especially during the beast, will lead to a lot of problems on the course.  Yes, water stations will be scattered, but that won’t be good enough to defeat a course that’s 21km long. I bought one of these packs recently and I’m super excited to use it. Option: run with a bottle, but I totally wouldn’t recommend it.
  • Energy gels made their debut when I first ran the Spartan in KL, a very memorable monster I had to defeat and befriended a Malaysian entrepreneur during the process.  In a 13km race, I probably took one around the 5-7km mark and maybe towards the end (not even needed).  In a sprint, it’s not needed at all.  However, the Beast is an entire new beast, and it’s absolutely needed for the beating your body will take.  I did a Tough Mudder three years ago, and that I didn’t have ANYTHING to help me through the entire course.  The climate wasn’t suffocating, though.  Coll temperatures (around 15 degrees celcius and maybe went up to about 20-25) made it the most enjoyable race (maybe not the best — Bali’s Tough Mudder was pure heaven). Thailand, on the other hand, isn’t like that.  Stack yourself with gels.
  • Any form of food during the race will work.  Getting some food, protein, carbs or anything that has energy in you will significantly reduce all the negative effects that will take place during the race.  However, having a melted protein bar will do you no good, so stash a bar or two in the refrigerator (or even the freezer for an x amount of time) to have it nice and cold before race time.  1-2 hours in, it’s a edible bar.
  • Doubling up on socks reduces the chances of having to take off your shoes over, and over, and over during the race, smacking it against the ground to get those imaginary (what it seems like during the race) and microscopic rocks out of your shoes.
  • Arm sleeves and gloves are your best friend! Honestly, don’t be the big-tough-guy-bonehead that says “gloves are for __________.”  Carrying, dragging, holding buckets, etc will get increasingly difficult after the 10km mark, so please, don’t be the idiot.  Your arms will look like Freddy Kruger got a hold of you after the race.  Keep those arms looking gorgeous and protect yourself.
  • The waist belt I bought a couple years ago is still durable and still works.  This has gone through about 3-4 Spartan races and plenty of city runs.  Having this enables me to carry my protein bars and gels; and even if I have to crawl, I can rotate it to the back so it doesn’t get ruined.  SMART!

One of the biggest problems I had with running shoes back in 2015 had to be the only pair I had at the time.  I bought a pair of under armour shoes that I KNEW wouldn’t survive during the race, but didn’t want to use the other ones (in the video down below) instead.  I decided to wear them and probably halfway through the race, I was limping because it was painful and I had a pinching sensation on the outer portion of my right knee.  Problematic to say the least.  Test your shoes, in the grit, and see if they hold up.

Fitness Entrepreneurs Pod #1: Conditioning + Spartan Training Tips

Boy! This was an exciting podcast.  Moustafo and Hakeem, two podcasters (in their own right) and fitness entrepreneurs who live in Malaysia, joined me this morning to talk about conditioning and Spartan training.  I’m amazed how much knowledge these young individuals have in the health spectrum of everything.  Because this will be a 2-3 weekly type of podcast, I do want you guys to send your questions in.  The next podcast will be on Crossfit, so anything crossfit related would be great!

Get in touch with Fitness entrepreneurs

– The art of conditioning and Spartan training.

Links:

Hakeem Khan

 

Moustafa Sano

 

Things we discussed:

  • Introduction given by the host and his guests.
  • The differences between cardio and conditioning.
  • How the guests condition their bodies?
  • The length of their training.
  • Building of death leaps and squad.
  • Understand what your goals for training are.
  • Talking about trying marathon.
  • Moustafo shared his Rugby story.
  • Sharing about unfortunate accidents and injuries.
  • What are the basics of conditioning training?
  • Sharing about running and marathon.
  • Final thoughts by the guests.

 

Thank you for listening!

 

Thank you so much for joining me for this podcast. Please do write down some feedbacks and comments. Please do share this podcast to your social media.

 

Links:

Podcast

 

Pre-Workout: Amino Energy Review

You guys don’t know, but two days ago had to be the most terrifying moment of my life.  After sucking down two cups of coffee (1pm and 4pm), I decided to “test” out my new pre-workout, Amino Energy, at 6pm.

Yeah.  Bonehead move.  There was no effects at the moment, but I while I was walking to my bus stop after work, I got super lightheaded.  Why? Maybe too much of a surplus in caffeine.

I tried sleeping around 9:30, and everytime I closed my eyes and went into a stage of sleep before I actually fell asleep, everything felt like it was moving and I would get a jolt of warm energy from my elbows to my hands.  This ensued to 11pm, 1am, 3am….I had enough.  I was down near on a 24-hour stint and I headed to the clinic to get some medication to fall asleep.  Disclaimer: do this only during worse case scenarios…never on a regular basis because these drugs are terrible and they can affect your kidney.

I went to sleep around 4:30 am, woke up once to call in sick, and slept again until 11:30 am.  I felt so groggy and completely fatigue, but it was because of the excess caffeine.

Judgement Day

So, I was scared when I woke up.  I looked at my pre-workout and it looked at me.  I said, “should I, “and ‘it’ said, “should.”  I took only a half-a-scoop and off I went to the gym.  Now, there were no tingling effects or anything, but what I felt was an extreme amount of focus.  In this class had 4 other women and a guy.  The women I like to call “fair-weather” because some days they say good morning, other days they completely ignore you.  Didn’t matter, but it was motivation on top of the focus.

When the workout started, I was zoned it COMPLETELY.  This reminded me of the day I took Jack 3D back in 2012 and my energy was bouncing off the walls.  I didn’t give up once.  I kept it rolling for a full hour, which is unheard of.  Even during breaks, I kneeled and remained focus….normally I would chat it up or try throwing some conversation gambits out there for bait (lol).

Now, is this as good as Stimul, my absolute favorite pre-workout? Well, Stimul never gave me insomnia.  All will tell later on tonight if I can sleep or not.

Nonetheless, the ingredients, reviews and everything I saw online made me purchase this two days ago, and it surely didn’t disappoint.

  • Strength – Check
  • Quality – Check
  • Consistency – Check

 

Spartan Beast Malaysia = Cancelled; Now What? Spartan Beast Australia!

I went from booking a ticket, thinking that my Spartan Beast in Malaysia was on a Saturday, to cancelling a plane ticket and realizing that plane tickets on other days were at extortionate prices.  YIKES!

What a disaster.  What seemed like a sure Spartan Beast and trifecta claiming weekend turned into a nightmare whereas I almost lost out on $167 dollars.

So, Arsenio….your health goals of 2018 have suffered a minor hiccup.  What are you going to do now?

Well, there were three options.  First, I’m grateful I don’t have to fly back to Malaysia at this point because I’m so sick of the garbage airlines (Malindo Air & Air Asia) that are ALWAYS late.  I’m sick of almost getting in mid-air collisions (on Malindo) and Air Asia) and terrible service — along with cardboard box seats.

So, got it.  “It’s a low-budget airline.”  Well, no more!

I’d much rather take some time off from these low-budget airlines than deal with lunacy of them always being late.

Well, I’m first very grateful for having experiences both airlines, but it’s time to spend a tad more and fly reputable airlines from a better airline that’s connected to the rail link, which is connected to the city.

Anywho, let’s focus on the matter…my Spartan Beast has been stopped, momentarily, and now it’s either the Beast in Thailand, Australia, or Malaysia (lol) in December (in the Malaysian/Singaporean border town of Johor Bahru). What will I choose?

 

Why You Need To Eat Slowly – Barbell Nations’ Hakeem Khan

I was sitting across from this awesome individual who I had the special privilege of doing a podcast with in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia while sucking down some Nandos, and he told me about eating slowly can help reduce binging.  While this could’ve been true, I was very apprehensive until I saw the stats.  I couldn’t BELIEVE that this was actually true.  Here’s a breakdown from his blog, which I provided in the link down below.

Most of the research on this topic suggests that eating slowly helps you to eat less. That’s especially useful information if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight.

  • When eating quickly the women consumed 646 calories in 9 minutes.
  • When eating slowly the women consumed 579 calories in 29 minutes.

That is 67 less calories in 20 more minutes!

Now you will say that 67 calories is not that much? Imagine if you eat 4 meals a day. That is 268 calories!

What you want to do now?

You want to practice eating slowly and mindfully. Start small, in a day choose one meal, and spend 20 minutes to finish that meal. Practice this until it become your habit.

  • Sit down to eat in a calm environment with minimal distractions. Don’t eat while driving, while watching TV, while texting, etc. Pay attention to your food.
  • Choose high-fiber foods that take more time to chew, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Put down your utensils between bites. Take a moment. Breathe. If you’re eating with other people, enjoy making witty conversation for a few minutes.
  • Try setting a minimum number of chews per bite. This will feel strange at first, but give it a try and see what you discover.
  • Use smaller plates or different utensils (such as chopsticks).
  • If you find yourself rushing, that’s OK. Put your utensils down and take a minute to re-focus. If slow eating isn’t habitual for you, this will take practice.
  • Find another slow eater and pace yourselves to them. Picky little kids and chatty dinner companions who hardly stop talking long enough to take a bite are often ideal for this.
  • Set aside time to eat – at least 20-30 minutes for each meal, and preferably even longer at dinner. Don’t just eat “whenever you get around to it” or treat it as an inconvenience. You’re fueling your body and maybe spending quality time with friends and family. That’s important. It deserves an appointment.

Hakeem Khan’s Links

1) YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVZnrSCZIVEWFnhTUCHenQA

2) Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hakeeemkhan/?hl=en

3) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbellnationmy/

4) Website: http://barbellnation.com.my/

Article: http://barbellnation.com.my/why-you-need-to-eat-slowly/