Click here to watch the video – MUSCLED GUY’s ADVENTURE IN THAILAND & DUBAI.
So, what do I do to LIMIT the “damage” to the fit looking body during a holiday break for cross-continent adventures?
First, the breaks I preach here should never be done more than twice a year…perfect time would be when you take a break between the phases (building/cutting).
And never longer than 14 days at a time (absolute max, preferably only 7 days if you want to limit “damage”).
This is definitely not applicable to competing athletes. For them such breaks would be way to long and inflicting waaaay to much damage.
So, I am talking here to guys that do a fitness lifestyle simply for the benefit of looking great and being healthy…aka “me”.
So, for guys like us, a break is exactly what it says…a break. This means no weightlifting or intense training. Remember…that body is not young anymore and you have been punishing the tendons and joints during the previous months. For us older folks this is time to recover, strengthen and get a new lust for life.
But this does NOT mean lying with your feet in the water the whole day. This means you must keep up activity – lots of walking, diving, snorkeling, volleyball, tennis, golf and the likes. Keep activity levels high during break periods. This is critical to help keeping tendons supple and help speed up joint repair.
Not what about the eating/drinking habits during such a break?
Well, for that break period I am going to tell you to put the lid on the diet book…but don’t lock it away!
The few rules you must apply:
- No more than 2 glasses wine or two beers per day!
- No soft drinks containing sugar.
- Try and cut out carbs as best as you can (bread, rice, pasta).
- Eating no more than 3 times a day.
- NEVER EVER stuff yourself at a meal.
- BUT (!) if you want to treat yourself to something (talking here about a dessert or something similar)…do it! Once every day is max!.
This is meant to be a break that helps the body heal and to give you vigor and lust for life again. Thus a few rules must be broken. You don’t have (!) too, but believe me having a balance in the whole fitness/living life approach would bring many dividends and allow you to keep climbing the transformation ladder for life rather than being too focussed and falling down and having te restart from scratch over and over. Doing something balanced means you will stand a much better change of reaching eventual success and beyond. For all your hard work the previous months/years…this is the price. So, you are meant to enjoy it!
Now off course there will be damage to the body. You will NOT come back looking better than when you left…although this might actually happen if you had a very strict cutting phase and this break happened directly after you ended with the cutting and do not go away for more than 7 days…then you might actually look better than before you went! But believe me that does NOT happen often. So, accept that there will be damage. But so, what! You know the recipe to success. You have done it and when back you will pick up rope and start climbing to the next level of success again – this time with more vigor and lust for life than ever. Never work so hard that you forget to LIVE!
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So, this was my break…yip just a tad too long according to the rule but mind you I paid the penalty! But what a break and what new lust for life I have. Every moment worth it and now fully back at gym and training harder than ever!
Here a rundown of my break…Phuket, Phi Phi islands and Dubai.
So, what I was looking forward to the most
- Thai curries
- Exotic scenery
- Dubai architecture
- Exotic cars abundance Dubai
- My dream watch
Let’s see if the trip made the grade.
First you need to realize being from South Africa mean that you will be limited by the weak Rand. Thus, unless you are very, very rich some of the experiences would just not be possible to do. So, I know there might be MUCH more, but this is what we chose.
Of course, I am also limited due to family obligations. Adventurous wife and 12 y/o son.
The flight was good albeit long! We flew Emirates. Love the headrests, entertainment systems and the food were good. Tried to upgrade our tickets to business class just for one flight but the upgrade price was that of a good 2ndhand motor vehicle. Just simply crazy. So, we made due with good old economy class. 15 hours flight total from Cape Town to Thailand with connecting flight at Dubai.
It is winter in Cape Town and we know we going to suffer with the warm weather at our destinations.
Arriving in Phuket…people, people and people. A total culture shock. South Africa is open spaces. In Phuket…crazy! Immediately off to our hotel to get book in. Centara Karon, 4 star hotel. Neat and clean and functional but not impressive. Food and service good though. Just be prepared, few people in Thailand understand English even in the touristy regions…you are going to struggle!
First night we immediately venture into the streets. Directly from the hotel all the small side streets are buzzing with bars, restaurants, massage parlors and clothing and craft type stores. They have secret rooms in some shops where they sell all the biggest brand name clothing illegally (I think, why would they be hidden?) and for very cheap. But even in many of the normal clothing stores you can find great clothing for very cheap. I made use of every opportunity to get as many Thai curries as possible. It really, really is good. Obviously some better than other…I had about 2 that blew me away!
Just don’t think you going to get a glass of wine anywhere…it is only for the very rich. Wine is crazy expensive in Thailand. But their local beer is abound and not to bad either – CHANG. Pity I am not a beer drinker. Had a few though, especially in the middle of the days when it was crazy hot! Just be careful of the scams. We lost a 1000 baht in one scam. Do not use just any money machine to pull cash from your credit card – choose safe ones in up class shops. Some of them has been altered to just deduct the money from your account but not to give out any money. The money lid has actually been welded shut. So, using one of them you will lose all the money you pull. Alas, lesson quickly learned!
Wife and son did the Thai massage…very popular. They like it although wife said they hurt her. I refused to let a Thai girl touch me. I am waaay to private. Me and wife did the fish foot massage where you put your feet into a fish tank and small fish nibble your feet clean. Wonder how many dirty feet was in that tank!
We did 2 excursions in Phuket. One was too FANTASIA and the other John Gray sea adventures.
First Fantasia – hmmm, well-advertised and I believe the local and Eastern people enjoy it. We did not. Too many people and well, not up the standard we are used to with shows. It consists of a fairly large theme park (games, shopping, elephant rides), buffet dinner and huge theater show with seats on top of each other! These people leave no space for nothing! Darn I lost my “Jesus Culture” sweatshirt there! Anyway…it was an experience and that was what we came for…I will just not recommend the show for westerners.
Then the John Gray sea adventures. Now guys and girls this was simply outstanding and REALLY worth the money. You go on a fairly big and stable boat for about a 2-hour ride in the direction of the magnitude of small islands around the south of Phuket. Then you climb into inflatable canoes (max 2 people). But you just relax and take photos, you have a 3rdperson doing the paddling and everything. You enter a few different small islands via the canoe through caves. Some of the caves are so tight that I had to lie down in the boat and even then, my nose still scratches the roof off the cave. They had to deflate my wife’s canoe a little because her boobs were too big to pass into the cave…she made it after they deflated a bit. These caves lead to incredible still water bodies in the middle of the small islands…totally secluded, beautiful and very interesting.
Some of the caves are filled with bats and some has a specific plankton organism in the dark waters that lights up as the canoe move through them or if you stir the water…yes, it is as incredible as it sounds. You are welcome to swim in the ocean around the boat. A good seafood meal is served on boat…would have loved it if it was served on land at one of the small islands. But this trip, although not cheap, comes highly recommended. This is a must to when in Phuket.
Our last day in Thailand we visited one of the big markets. Wow guys and girls…this another MUST do. Apart from many amazing cheap stuff (especially clothing) that you can buy, the food section of the market is simply crazy! Was a bit too scared to eat just anything there…think we ended up eating just coconut pancakes, which was VERY good. I was very sick in 2017 and nearly died when drinking dirty water…much more careful now.
Ok so off to Phi-Phi islands.
Took one of their standard charter tourist boats. While on boat we heard the previous day one of these boats turned over in rough seas and more than 20 tourists died because they could not get out of the boat. Then I realized what they mean…the inside of the boat is a deathtrap…no windows that open just seats upon seats…we immediately upgraded to First Class where there is at least one window that open. I sat next to it – lol! The ride was not pleasant. The sea was rough! But we had some great views along the way with some good photo opportunities.
Off course we were in Thailand in the middle of monsoon season…so we had some bad weather moments and a lot of rain! At Phi-Phi islands we stayed at the ZEVEOLA resort. This time a 5-star resort. Hmmm…the 5-star was evident in all the prices. Anything you want to do or eat or drink, dude that is going to cost you money. The resort was nice though. Old school traditional Thai cottages in between a tropical forest on a beautiful warm water island. Cannot ask for much more. But dude…the mosquitos! They chowed me and son…like crazy. Son had to even get antibiotics. The mosquitoes are foreign to us and each bite resulted in a bad infection. There is one that bites during day and a different one biting during night. Even on the mainland in Phuket this started to be a problem. Any we came prepared…DEET and everything we could use to deter mosquitos. It is just as if nothing worked! The mosquito part of Thailand and Phi-Phi islands I did NOT enjoy. Anyway, at the resort we did some snorkeling…not the best but we saw some nice fish. Little bit of swimming also. The food was good but expensive compared to Phuket. Had some good breakfasts though!
Again, wine is crazy, crazy expensive. One wine they had on their list is about $3 US in South Africa and at Zaevola resort it cost more than $100 US. Just for the rich. Luckily me and wife brought 4 bottles wine in our suitcases, so we saved some money with that. Even the corkage for you own wine was about $20 US. One of the nicest experiences at Zaevela was sitting at the bar drinking a beer with your feet in the sand and the waves next to you.
The off we went to Dubai. The boat ride from Phi-Phi islands was BAD. Rough (!) seas had a few people throwing up! I took a pill to prevent seasick but even with that it was challenging. Again, making sure I was sitting at the First-Class section next to the window. You can upgrade in the boat to first class. It cost and extra 300 Baht per person…acceptable amount for your safety and a bit more luxury.
Again, flying Emirates from Phuket to Dubai.
It was HOT in Thailand but man o man…it was crazy HOT in Dubai!
Nobody there is on the street…. everyone is either in an aircon Toyota or building. Yes Toyota! I was so disappointed. I was expecting Bugatti’s, Ferrari’s, Lambo’s and Bentley’s and brother everywhere and I mean everywhere it was just Toyota, Toyota and more Toyota’s I think I saw one Porsche and that was it. Man, even in Cape Town we have waaaaay more exotic cars. So, this was a BIG downer for me. I spoke to some locals and they said we should have visited a certain street in Dubai where all the vehicles were. But I was in main city center quite a few times and for me that is where you should see them. Anyway, Cape Town with the car scene beats Dubai hands down!
But I must admit, I was in awe of the architecture. Even our 4-star hotel, Grand Excelsior was an impressive building. But driving down main road city center was simply incredible. Hard to believe this is planet earth – lol! We did 3 excursions in Dubai. Visit Dubai Mall, went up the Burj Khalifa and went on the dune bashing experience. All 3 worth it with the dune bashing one the most adventure filled. Dubai Mall will take you 3 days to walk through. Immense place with many awe filled aspects. In the middle a HUGE aquarium with exotic sea creatures. And I am talking huge here. Not a cheap place though. Food is off the scale expensive, well for a South African. About 5 times the prices we pay in South Africa. We had to live on eggs and soup when eating out! We simply did not have that kind of spending money for food. Again, wine is even more expensive in Dubai than in Thailand. I really enjoyed the awe of the Dubai Mall although spending was severely limited. Electronics (and probably jewelry) is slightly cheaper than in South Africa but that’s about it. Admittingly my son got a S9+ cellphone for half the price he would have paid for in South Africa…so not too shabby. I bought myself my dream watch. The Casio MT-G. Just love the look and ruggedness…so me – lol!
The fruit in both Thailand and Dubai was pretty tasteless. We were happy to see South Africa fruit being put on display in both countries because I absolutely agree, our fruit taste amazing in comparison.
Outside the Dubai Mall next to the burj Khalifa is a huge man-made lake which is used for a water show on the half hour to the theme song of the movie Skyfall. Now man-o-man this was the absolute highlight of Dubai…I think this water show was incredible. Done very artistically and the music fits perfectly over massive high-end audio system. The climax is done with water cannons that spouts easily 15 stories’ high into the air. When they activate it slams you in the chest with pure power. This is a must-see.
The Burj Khalifa just another huge building…but really, really tall. Think now the 2ndtallest in the world? Anyway, you pay to go up to the 125thfloor and look through glass windows. Worthwhile.
The dune bashing trip was a bit more adventure.
First you MUST drink seasick pill. Many, many people threw up due to the aggressive dune driving. We got stuck 3 times…our driver was less experienced. And it is not fun when you have to get out of the aircon car into 42 degrees Celsius on desert sand you cannot touch so hot it is!
In the middle of the desert we were given some sandboarding opportunity. Some tried sand surfing, but I was not in the mood to fall face down into 42 degrees Celsius sand! So, I choose the sandboarding option. Fun getting down the dune…not so much fun getting up!
Back into the car and off to a Bedouin camp. Not a real one you can see it is created purely for tourists. But still a nice experience. There we went camel riding (damn miss my Subaru – this thing is uncomfortable!), wife had some Henna done. She asked for a cross on her wrist…they had no idea what she was talking about until one of them snap and said, “O u mean Christian cross?” – lol!
We were dressed up in traditional clothing…think I make a good Sheik! I chose wife to be my first wife in my harem! Darn but these clothing is hot. But then again, I do not think they were a 2ndset of clothing underneath.
We were served some average food at the camp and treated to some belly dancing and strangely enough a guy dancing as well?
When that excursion was over we were relieved…it was the hottest day we experienced in our lives and think we sweat quite a couple of liters of water!
Nice but never again…but was it worth it…yes.
Well then, our trip ended…and back to good old Cape Town. You know after we landed and drove back to Table view and saw the amazing view, sunset and open spaces I realized that we are so blessed. This is one amazing place to live in. Un equaled beauty coupled with the African open spaces and friendly people…living in paradise. Only problem being the violance by the wrong elements in society that is a disturbing trend in South Africa and the reason many have left…
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So guys and girls, take that break and live life and well, then climb a step higher to the next level of your transformation.
Wish you all happy training!