Chapter 8 – Focus on your goal

Date: 6th November 2016
Weight: 54.3kg
Weeks out: 5 months and 29 days out
Comp date: 7th May 2017, Sunday (ANB or INBA)

Comp date is finally out and both ANB and INBA are holding their Melbourne comps on the same day. I am yet to decide which comp to enter, at the moment I am leaning more towards ANB. Regardless, D day is 7th May and I have approximately 6 months to prep.

This whole time, I have been working towards April 2017 deadline upon finding out the comp dates, I am kinda relief that I have more time to work on lean bulking and shredding.

lean bulking female

At the moment, I am on track with macro counting keeping my calories within 1800 – 1900 daily (lean bulking diet). I am also slowly making sure my sleeping hours are adjusted to waking up earlier so when I commence my morning cardio routine (likely to start in December), it will be less painful. So far, I am still struggling with the sleeping earlier routine, I am just a night owl through and through.

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Shoulders
  • Back, cardio
  • Bis, tris, cardio
  • Abs, cadio
  • Quads, hamstrings, glutes

cardio session

Managed to smash out 3 x cardio session this week and I am pretty happy with that. Shall continue a bare minimum of 3 cardio sessions a week leading up to shredding season.

Physique update:

front pose female

Front – Full bulk mode is evident when not only you can see muscles definition being fuller, I can feel fuller as well.

back post female

Back – Probably the only place I can see muscle definition left is my back… barely any at that too.

side post female

Side – Side hammies are slowly popping out though.

Changes this week:

  • In other thoughts, I am thinking of starting to measure my body parts & body fat % come December so I can track my progress. At the moment I am only weighing myself without putting too much thoughts into it. I’ve definitely gained in size in the past month or so with my bulking diet.
  • I got accepted as part of ATP TRIBE this week. Can’t wait to share more about what this is all about. So happy!

lululemon review

  • New gym gear (Lululemon – favourite for leggings and Lorna Jane – fav for sports bra) always give me more motivation to gym. So when you are feeling less motivated, this retail therapy trick might help. (really any excuse to get new activewear, YAS!)

jefit app review

  • I’ve been using this app – JEFIT when I first started lifting because it gave me simple, clear and quick instructions of exercises and how-to use equipments at the gym. This was extremely helpful for me because most of my exercise routines are self taught. I could pick by body parts I wanted to work on and it helps for me to mix up my exercise routine to keep things fresh as well. It’s free to download too, how good is that?


  • Been incorporating ATP Infared (drink during workout) to my workout session this week and I’m loving it since I don’t take BCAA as I find most of them are either too sweet/spikes my insulin level with the sugar free component and what not. ATP Infrared doesn’t mess up with my gut and doesn’t leave me bloated. LOVE IT!

female comp prep

  • Incorporated workout and food intake along with my hormonal cycle. Shall blog abit more about it on a separate post around – follicular, ovulation and luteal phase which all impact females and their weighting game. Train smart and hard!!

cheat meal dirty bulking

Cheat meals this week. Yikes! 

See you next week!

Read all about my weekly progress here:

Week 1, Week  2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7


Keune Refreshing Spray

keune blend

8 brownie points for Keune Refreshing Spray’s packaging. Let’s face it, a dry shampoo is a dry shampoo they all are kinda same same but different to me. The key difference are mostly the mist texture (fine or ultra fine), scent, finish (shiny, matte). Hence it is why so important to win in the packaging department to really stand out!

Keune Refreshing Spray is essentially a dry shampoo with super fine mist that refreshes roots, absorbs oil with a semi matte finish.

keune dry shampoo

It leaves my hair feeling somewhat clean feeling (although nothing beats proper shampooed hair) and smelling great. However, it does leave my roots with white specks that needs to be combed out thoroughly before stepping out the door. Just be sure to thoroughly shake the can before blitzing hair all over with a dry shampoo and use a really fine tooth comb to tease out any white specks.

keune refreshing spray

Overall, whilst it is slightly more expensive than your average dry shampoo, packaging, scent and the finish of this dry shampoo certainly rank in the “better ones” category.

RRP AUD$29.95
Available through


Chapter 7 – Get on with it

Date: 30th October 2016
Weight: 54.4 kg
Weeks out: 6 months
Comp date: April 2017, TBC – ANB or INBA

PS: This is my second time writing this post as the first time around I didn’t save my draft. FML, so here goes again. 

This week marks the end of October and I am officially approximately 6 months away from comp. It is time to get a bit more serious.

My goals in November is to clean up my eating pattern, start macro counting and work towards sleeping earlier instead of hitting the sack 1-3am daily. Let’s see by the end of this month, how many of those goals will be followed through.

ponikuta fitness

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Shoulders
  • Abs, Back, Cardio
  • Bis, Tris
  • Abs, Hamstrings, glutes
  • Quads, glutes

Feels good to get back to 5 days of workout per week. With the start of a new month, I intend to start reintroducing some low intensity steady state cardio into my workout routine. I’m also pushing for heavier lift days and aiming for new PRs at the moment to ensure I am maximizing my surplus calories into muscle mass growth.


New Lululemon pants, love them they fit like a glove and they are the best! May or may not have bought a pair or two or leggings this week to gym motivation. >.<

Physique update:

I apologise in advance with the quality of physique progress shots this week. As my photographer was not here to take pictures for me, I had to film this in a video and take screengrabs of these progress shot hence the slightly blurry and pixelated finish. No filter or colour correction was applied in any of these pics.


Front – I’m currently weighing in at the heaviest I’ve ever been in the past one and a half years. Whilst I trust the process and isn’t too worries about numbers on the scale, I do feel heavier and bulkier than ever before.

ponikuta comp prep

Back – I think my back is slowly leaning out, albeit very slowly.

ponikuta progress shot

Side – Not much of a progress here…. Nothing to see, move along.


Changes this week: 

  • I’ve contacted and decided who I will be going with to custom my posing suit – I think I have made a decision on what colour to go with as well!
  • Researched my comp heels – by the looks of it, I’m definitely picking one with ankle straps.


  • Read a whole heap about hormones and how to train with it not against it. I’m thinking of summarizing what I’ve learn in a separate blog post or I might document it in my next few week’s of updates.

atp science infrared review

  • Replenished some of my regular supplements, I did purchased ATP Science Infrared and T432 Plus to give them a go too. I am not sponsored or affiliated with ATP Science, I am just documenting what works for me here on the blog.
  • I’ve tested Infrared (drink during workout mixed with 700ml of water) a couple of sessions and I love it, the taste doesn’t taste sickening sweet like so many BCAA does and it doesn’t leave this yucky aftertaste in my mouth either. Best of all it doesn’t break me out like BCAA does.
  • As for the T432 Plus, I am waiting to finish my Alpha Venus (quarter of a bottle left) so I can get onto this. Apparently this helps to kick start metabolism and fat burning in a natural sense. Can’t wait!


  • I have to admit, I’ve eaten a lot of junk this week, I am not proud of it but I am also reminding myself this is it, the last “cheat” before the tidying up of diet and amping up of routine commence.


See you next week!

Read all about my weekly progress here: Week 1, Week  2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6


Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

Imagine a serum that can double up as a moisturiser too. This oil based serum is currently in my go-to skincare kit. To give you a bit of a context, I am not a big fan of oil based skincare products. Not in serum, oil form or moisturiser but this one made it into my approved list of oil based product (which probably only features two other products mainly cleansing oil and SKII facial treatment oil).

paula's choice

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum contains retinol hence it has a boost of antioxidant in it, however I believe the retinol level is pretty low resulting in this serum is suitable for both day and night use. ( I do however only use this only at night.)


Great for normal to dry skin, this non-irritating serum (contains anti-inflammatory ingredients) is not only designed to fight signs of ageing but also provides the hydration my skin needs.

oil serum

Overall, if you are in the market looking for an all rounder, easy to use and single step skincare solution, why not give this a go especially since most people are time poor these days.

Available to purchase online via their website 


Date: 23rd October 2016
Weight: 52.5kg
Weeks out: 6 months 1 week
Comp date: April 2017, TBC – ANB or INBA

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Quads, Glutes
  • Shoulders, Tricep, Abs
  • Back, Bis
  • Hamstrings, quads, glutes, abs

progress shot

As you can see, I haven’t been doing any cardio exercise this week. There’s no real reason behind this apart from “trialling something different” and also focusing in retaining energy for heavier lifting sessions. I am also very happy that I managed to squeeze in 2 x legs sessions despite a busy schedule this week.

Technically I went shopping for a solid 5-6 hours on Saturday so that counted as cardio right?

glute pose

Despite training my legs and glutes quite extensively; I find myself loving shoulders and biceps session more and more. I used to hate training biceps because it generally makes me feel weak. However, that’s completely changed now. You can say I am totes having a shoulder & bis moment.

Physique update:
ponikuta bodybuilding

Front – When will my quads decides to make an appearance? Not a fan of Nike Pro shorts, they always make me look like I’ve got love handles!!!

ponikuta fitness

Back – Where are my calves and hammies? Time to get my comp heels and to work on my posing routine.

ponikuta bikini

Side Profile – I was actually in mid conversation when this was taken. I believe I was in the middle of trying to flex and laughing at the same time. 🙂

Changes this week:

  1. I drank alcohol AND soft drinks this week.  Aim to cut alcohol & soft drinks out of my diet by November. Whilst it was moderated amount and in small doses, I still felt that they are still unnecessary calories and I don’t need the additional bloat from carbonated drinks.
  2. Started to research for my comp suit and heels. Deciding on bikini colour at the moment and I’m thinking of either purple, green or blue.
  3. I’m kinda torn between wanting to do more videos to capture my workout routine and wanting to focus on my actual workout without having to worry about fiddling with camera. I’ll aim to capture at least one session a week. I find these helpful to look at my posture and forms to ensure I am doing the right thing since I mostly train by myself.
  4. My gym membership expired this week. I found out about it by taking a full serve of preworkout and finding myself locked out of the gym on Tuesday night. With a mixture of jittery rage, I drove to good old Doherty’s in CBD to smash out my Tuesday session. All I have to say is that I’m glad Doherty’s is so close to home.
  5. Surprise, surprise I’ve unintentionally and subconsciously started ordering healthier food when I’m out having meals. Whilst I did had some chow kuey teow (half serve), dumplings and korean bbq – complete with pork belly when I was out this week; I’ve balanced it out with some healthier green options too.

crux and co

Think this was the vegetarian breakfast from Crux and Co.

smak eating house

Baked eggs from SMAK

lune macca saca

Naughty pastries from Lune.

See you next week!

Read all about my weekly progress here: Week 1, Week  2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5


Chapter 5 – Lean machine

Date: 16th October 2016
Weight: 53.3kg (Highest I have been in the last 16 months!)
Weeks out: 6 months 2 weeks
Comp date: April 2017, TBC – ANB or INBA

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Shoulders – heavy day
  • Back, bis, abs, 20 mins cardio

I did a grand total of two workout sessions this week. Not only have my motivation and energy level dropped to an all time low; I’ve been a little caught up with work and life. I’m still determined to power through and make sure this is not a regular recurrence.

ponikuta fitness

Haven’t train legs this week due to my heavy leg day last Sunday! The soreness in my hamstrings, lower back, glutes and (at one point) shins lasted for a good 6 days. I am also listening to my body and train only when it is fit for it. I was legit crawling for an entire week with those sore hamstrings.

Lifting wise, I am back on the pre-workout bandwagon but mostly taking half of what is recommended to take. Additionally, I am also lifting heavier than before. I am guessing this has to be contributed by my current bulking diet.

Physique update:

physique update

Bulking = softer, fuller muscles. I am gaining significant CMs on my quads, glutes and arms. Abs are almost non existent at this stage.

bikini physique

Back – nothing much to update here aside from bulking season = zero definitions.

side chest pose

Side profile – at least one thing is popping up more, hamstrings! Makes all the heavy lifting and painful DOMs worth it I guess!



meal prep

I eat a fair bit of natto (fermented soy bean), wasabi (in oil, rice toppers aka furikake and seaweed in my daily meal prep. I love the taste and they adds flavour to my otherwise pretty plain and dull meals.

Here I mixed some sesame dressing with hot water and wasabi oil as my spinach udon noodles. So good!

comp prep

Most days, my dinner look like this. Brown rice, fish, vege and egg + egg whites. Topped with wasabi furikake of course!

cheat meal

My cheat meals – I take pictures of them to document what I’ve eaten this week that was naughty. Well, try to take pictures of all of them anyways. Sushi is no doubt my number one weakness.

Changes this week:

  1. Tried out this new pre workout (brand name: EXTREME) and it gave me such an intense focused session. I think I might get onto that once my current pre workout runs out.
  2. I can barely fit into most of my cotton leggings as quite a few of them are too tight around the thigh and glutes area; but too loose around the waist area. That squat booty lyfe though!
  3. Been consuming quite a bit of carbs – (brown rice, gluten free egg pasta, protein bread) and I am focusing on good quality carbs as much as I can.
  4. Surprise, surprise, I actually don’t have much of a cravings this week. I don’t crave for bad food, epic cheat meals and also find that my appetite have dropped quite a fair bit lately. Wonder if it’s just hormonal or if it’s because I haven’t been at the gym as much this week.
  5. Oh and my gym membership expired today, gotta get it renewed tomorrow!


See you next week!

Read all about other weeks here: Week 1, Week  2, Week 3, Week 4



Source: Ivy Muse

I love greenery but I am no green thumb.

So for the longest time I have limited myself to terrariums and fake plants when it comes to green plants around home. Having said that, I’ve been experimenting with more live plants recently in hope that I could give it a go at taking care of live, breathing things.

Today, I would like to share some of my favourite go-to places when I am plant hunting and I love nothing more than shopping for planters and plants on my weekend. You can say they are my happy places!

Here are some of my favourite nurseries around Melbourne:

  • Miniscape, Brunswick – I got my very first large terrarium from here and it is technically my go-to place for terrarium gifts for my closest and dearest. They have a variety of small, medium and large terrariums to choose from and because their terrariums are made in store, you can custom make your own and if you ask nicely, they could even swap and put plants in to your liking on the spot.
  • Loose Leaf, Collingwood – You can find a good variety of plants here and they regularly features a good selection of planters too. Terrarium wise, they mostly have big, centrepiece types from Lulu & Angel.
  • In Full Bloom, South Melbourne – This is my local go-to place for floral, succulent and they have been growing their selection of terrariums and indoor plants. Whilst they may be a little pricey but the quality is no doubt one of the better, premium looking ones. This place will always have a place in my heart; not to mention they deck out the shop in such a beautiful and whimsical way.
  • South Melbourne Market/Bunnings – You’ll be surprise what you can find here, plants, succulents, air plants, planters, etc.
  • The Garden of Eden Nursery, Albert Park – I can’t believe I’ve been driving past this place for years and have only discovered this hidden gem recently. They sell everything insta worthy from geometric mugs, marbles everything, gorgeous (and expensive too!) planters, seedlings and a HUGE variety of plants both indoors and outdoors to choose from. Let’s just say it is one of those places you can pop in and easily find a good and tasteful gift for friends.
  • Glasshaus, Cremone – They specialise in mostly indoor plants (various sizes), event plant hire, flowers and is such a lush and beautiful place to step into.
  • Lunar Store, Prahran – Technically, this is not a nursery but boy do they have a small selection of cute succulent mix and a great variety of planters. Love, love, love this quirky store.
  • Little Lands, Olinda – I haven’t been to this store as it is super far away, however I’ve been to their pop up store. Whilst they have an extensive variety of terrariums – large and small but you need to really look hard for unique pieces. They specialises in cute little figurines that lives in their terrariums and also regularly carry “trendy” pieces like – marimo balls, marbled planters, etc.
  • Ivy Muse, Armadale – Gorgeous selection of planters, stands and cute plants. I especially love their unique and signature stands.

best terrarium

Most of these stores do not list their products on their website/instagram because it is impossible to, so I highly recommend to make a trip down to each shop to check them out yourself. There’s something about keeping indoor greens that gives me a satisfying accomplishment.

I am sure I have barely covered most of the nurseries in Melbourne, however here is my next go-to list to explore.

  • Nature Boy Nrth, Fitzroy North
  • Plant by Packwood, Fitzroy
  • Ceres nursery, Brunswick East
  • Mr Kitly, Brunswick
  • Acorn nursery, Surrey Hills

In addition, I am going to The Finders Keepers Market this weekend, I can’t wait to go as there will be so many cute things to discover.


Chapter 4 – Some is better than none

Date: 9th October 2016
Weight: 52.8kg [ time of the month, water retention weight is of expected]
Weeks out: 6 months 3 weeks
Comp date: April 2017, TBC – ANB or INBA

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Shoulders, abs + 30 mins cardio
  • Quads, glutes, abs
  • Bis, tris + 30 mins cardio
  • Hamstrings, glutes, abs

Pretty sure I have hit an all time low – in terms of motivation and energy to physically get myself into the gym. Especially when I had to commit to the cardio sessions. I have also noticed that I tend to lack energy, motivation and discipline the week before period, damn those hormones.

ponikuta progress shot

Train yo calves!

Having said that though, I still try my best to stick to a minimum of four gym sessions a week and to convince myself that a shitty gym session is better than no gym sesh at all.

ponikuta bodybuilding comp

Sometimes I find motivation in the form of fitness athletes on YouTube videos and instagram videos to get inspiration to trial out new workouts to spice things up.

Physique update:

ponikuta fitness bunny

Back & hamstring muscles, where you at?

fit bunny

Overall, I feel softer and fuller this week; no thanks it being time of the month (Day 2 when this was taken), having said that I am glad that I’ve squeezed in the minimum four gym sessions this week.

ponikuta side pose

Can you tell I’m working on the posing? All I can say is that I’m no natural when it comes to pose down.

Changes this week:

alpine bread

  1. I discovered Alpine Bread that is high in protein (YAS!) & a butter alternative – Nuttelex. Such a great combo for pre-workout snack and I’ve had it with a layer of peanut butter too. So, so good!
  2. Train smart not hard – I am currently limiting my weight lifting sessions to a maximum of an hour for one body part at a time.
  3. Listening to my body. If I have a craving bad and I know I’ve worked hard for it, I don’t deprive myself from it. If I needed a nap, I take a nap. I always pay attention and document my body needs to ensure I am not overworking myself.

Some of my cheat meals this week:

heirloom melbourne

Heirloom, Melbourne

DOC Albert Park

D.O.C. Albert Park

higher ground

Higher Ground, CBD

See you next week!

Read all about other weeks here: Week 1, Week  2, Week 3.