A few months ago three friends and I decided we would participate in an obstacle course race; The Barbarian Challenge. Our training for the event consisted of running, kettlebell, TRX and sandbags. We did a little bit of training with weights and machines too. Over 1,000 brave, fearless and yes CRAZY barbarians took the challenge! The course was rugged and included 4.25 miles of gut-wrenching mud, twisting trails, creek-crossings and a dozen man-made and sometimes nature-enhanced obstacles of tunnels, tires, walls and barbwire. I must say this was one of the most difficult races I have ever done. On the flip side is WAS THE MOST FUN races I have ever done. Our goal was to finish. After all this being our first Barbarian Challenge we would automatically get a PR. :) Soon into the race we realized this would not just be a physical event. We would at times have to team up to physically and mentally help each other! We had participated in races of this sort before but all agree the Barbarian Challenge was the most challenging! The mud was gross, the hills (mountains?) were rugged, the water was refreshing! Walls, junk cars, electrical shock run, tires, ropes and more were part of the course. Participants of all levels, ages and walks of life set out on a Saturday morning to experience what would become one heck of a fun time and a memory to last a lifetime! During the race at times, thoughts of making it through to live another came to mind. After crossing the finish line, enjoying a cold brew and talking about our day it was decided that NO WAY! This will not be a one and done... Barbarian Challenge, Gadsden AL we WILL see you next year!!
At 5:00 AM this morning I had a panic email from a previous client. She is spending a few weeks at the beach. Her goal was to tend to fitness and drop a few pounds while getting a little R & R. She is biking 20 miles every day and walking too. Eating lean protein and salads. It's been 3 weeks and she has lost 1lb. Needless to say she is very disheartened.
Do you see the error in her programming? Cycling and walking are for the biggest percentage cardio. It's great fun and good cardio but less helpful in building muscle. Because of the pounding walking will address increasing bone mass.
Considering 'Jill' is on vacation and doesn't want to spend time in a gym I suggested she do body weight exercises too. Pushups, squats, lunges, tricep dips and the like.Why? While cardio is generally associated more with burning fat than resistance training is, weight training plays a huge role in fat burning, as well as helping to increase muscle mass. The more muscle mass we have the higher our burn rate (aka increased metabolism).
So there you have it. The bottom line is we need to go the full monty in regards to our workouts. A good combo of cardio, strength training, stretching and good nutrition will help you reach your goals!
Have a great day!
ps...remember some salads can look healthy and be deadly!!!
As I sit eating my lunch which consists of baked chicken and catelope a thought crossed my mind.
Cheat meals.... Do you? Don't you?
In speaking for myself the response is no. I don't schedule cheat meals into my nutrition plans. The reason why is this. I try my best to stick to a healthy productive plan. If I allow myself a cheat meal what happens if an impromtu dinner 'out' comes along? If I have already used up my quota of 'cheat meal' what then? My thinking is this. If I was on track with my plan then the outing will not derail me very much. If it was my day to cheat meal my phyche is already negatively affected because my lunch was 'the cheat'. I add insult to injury by indulging again. What works for me isn't necessarily what would work for you.
My thinking is that there really isn't a right or wrong. The bottom line each of us with a goal needs to create a plan which helps us to reach our goal.
Remember- 'A goal without a plan is just a wish'.
Have a great day!
...attack the plan!
Most of the successful events of our lives were born from a simple idea or thought. It is the same for our fitness goals. After deciding on your goal it is helpful to put a plan into place. Doing so will help you achieve a positive outcome. Fitness is no different. It is good to quantify all aspects of your new goal(s). Exercise and nutrition both deserve equal attention when you begin to create your plan for success. How do you create a plan?
1) Decide on your long term goal and quantify it with numbers. Wrong: Lose weight, Right: lose 10 lbs
2) Back into those numbers by taking into consideration the time frame in which you will reach your goal. Wrong: 2014 Right January 1, 2014. There after quatify your goal with monthly or weekly goals. For Example; I will lose 2 lbs per week, 8 lbs per month.
3) By reaching your weekly goals your long range goal will be met!
4) Please don't just focus on weight loss. Muscle mass, body fat, proper training techniques should also be up front and center.
5) Sometimes it is helpful to share your goal with someone. Doing so will hold you accountable.
Our goals often change mid-stream. What then? Zig then zag... regroup and adjust your plan and move forward.
Find a 'slogan' to help motivate you.... One of mine is this: Plan The Attack - Attack The Plan.
January 2nd many people hit the ground running in regards to their New Years fitness goals. Are you still on track? Nearly two thirds of adults in the United States who make New Year's resolutions have set fitness goals as part of their resolution. Of those, 73 percent gave up before meeting their goal, according to a recent online study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Bodybuilding.com in November 2012.
Merely setting a resolution does not promise success. Some believe it is too difficult to follow good nutrition or adhere to their workout regimen. Others cannot get back on track once they have ‘fallen off the wagon’. Being unable to find the time is also high on the list. Without giving themselves a chance to reap the benefits of their resolutions nearly half give up within six weeks or less.
What to do now? You have the new gear and most likely a gym membership too. Don’t waste another day planning to get back on track. Pack your gym bag and make things happen! Look at your calendar for the week and schedule your fitness time. Going into a new environment is often a bit overwhelming but the truth is this. If you chose a gym, activity or class that peaked your interest you owe it to yourself to follow through. Chances are the environment is inviting and the people friendly. Some of my dearest friends are people I met at the gym. Please don’t let your fears hold you back. You owe it to yourself to give it one more try. What can you lose? By doing so there is a good chance you will make headway in reaching your goals and have some new buds too!!
Crunched for time? Try this bodyweight circuit for anywhere anytime workout!
A1 Jump Squats X10
A2 Pushups X 10
A3 Burpees X 10
A4 Plank (Hold most difficult plank as long as possible)
A5 Walking Lunges X10
Rest :30 – Repeat for a total of 5 circuits
Do you make a New Year’s Resolution which has a focus on good health and fitness?
To achieve success in your resolution keep these 3 things in mind.
1) Choose a realistic goal.
2) Create a plan/outline .
3) Have someone hold you accountable or partner up in your efforts.
A goal without a plan is just a wish- by following these 3 suggestions you will be on your way to being successful in your efforts!
With the beginning of a new year many of us will make exercise and fitness resolutions. Statistics show that approximately half of those who begin exercise programs drop out within the first six months.
Situations factors as well as personal factors will affect your exercise adherence and motivation. So how do you ensure you don’t set yourself up for failure?
By knowing the situations or environments in which you enjoy exercise, you can put yourself in those situations as often as possible. The following is a list of areas which must be addressed in order to maximize your exercise adherence:
Situation Factors Affecting Exercise Adherence & Motivation:
- Role Conflict
- Social Support
- Exercising With Others
- Physical Discomfort
Personal Factors Affecting Exercise Adherence & Motivation:
- Awareness of Personality
- Goal Setting
- Arousal Regulation and Concentration
Take a look at each of the factors that will affect your adherence and motivation. Then create another list that will discount the negative aspects of adherence with positive ones. Doing so will help alleviate the hurdles which may derail you from reaching your fitness goals.
Another tip is to create an exercise contract with yourself. Quantify realistic and specific goals. Date and sign the contract. A good idea is to have a witness sign your document. Hold yourself accountable and enjoy the rewards of reaching your fitness goals!
Holidays and special occasions are often difficult times to keep with your 'healthy eating' regime. The same goes for fitness professionals, which is the reason this topic came to mind. Recently some friends and I met for lunch. When the waiter asked for my order I felt all eyes on me. It was as though the world had stopped... waiting to hear what I was going to say. Needless to say I felt somewhat uncomfortable. Should I order what I had planned or should I order something they expected? I took a deep breath, thought a minute and placed the order. Was it 100% 'healthy'? No. Was it 100% 'Debbie’s fallen off the nutrition wagon'? No. The order consisted of a bowl of chicken-sausage gumbo and 1/2 of a turkey sandwich with Swiss cheese. One of the people at the table commented on my choice of food. They were surprised... hmmm. Before speaking I thought about what I was going to say to defend myself. My comment was such that I was not going to apologize for ordering something they thought was unusual for me. Was soup and ½ of a sandwich a deadly meal that and would throw me under the bus? No. Why not? Because 90% of the time good sound nutrition is my protocol. Eating clean is a priority for me. However on occasion I eat white bread instead of wheat or enjoy some great Cajun sausage chicken gumbo and I won’t apologize for doing so. (Insert smiley face here). I am now back on track working out regularly, eating clean and smiling all the while. Thanks for listening!
For the last 4 weeks I have had the opportunity to run another Urban Boot Camp. Urban Boot Camp (UBC) is held outdoors from 0430-0530, Monday thru Friday. We are outside unless rain or lightning becomes a safety issue. Programming is such that all fitness levels will be satisfied with the intensity. Each week the intensity escalates. The recruits have individual goals in regards to fitness and nutrition. Their goals are tracked and they receive feedback on a regular basis. By doing this not only do they learn about fitness but they often learn things about themselves. Things like internal strength and fortitude and how to help another recruit find their inner power.
Truthfully everything I have written in this blog is about me. The real reason I am writing it is to let you know how it affects me, their trainer. The deep felt reward I feel when I see them power through obstacles (both mental and physical) is amazing! To see them progress is 'just the best'!
My schedule is pretty full and adding an early morning workout can be a challenge. It's typical for my alarm to buzz at 0315. I have to be onsite before everyone else in order to set up for the workout. After all, what would it look like if I came rolling in and everyone was waiting on me! After the session I buzz onto my next class or personal training client. The day goes on...and it's a long day but I LOVE IT!
Helping my recruits reach their goals, learn about fitness and themselves is an amazing feeling for me. I am honored to have been apart of it! Most importantly I hope each one of 'my people' continue their journey!
In closing I say thank you Urban Boot Camp recruits! HOOAH!