Monday, June 13, 2011

Did You Say You Didn't Have Time??

Fitness Mindset Strategy Post

Hey everyone! I hope you are having a good summer and staying cool as the heat has decided to visit us extra early this year.

I wanted to share an email I received a few days ago. It’s short and sweet:

I am unable to do boot camp because of my summer schedule... -XXXXX

This comes from a person who signed by for a $2 trial week, which is something you can tell your friends to do if they are on the fence about boot camp.

This person never attended any sessions. I have politely replied to them, but they haven’t responded. It is very difficult to help a person if they are unwilling to engage in conversation.....something I learned in relationships.

How can a person NOT make time to exercise effectively and efficiently while learning and then implementing the nutritional strategies needed to improves their body and health?

People seek me out either for fitness training or boot camp because they are either uncomfortable in their current skin or they have a pain they want to get rid of. This pain can be health related, self-confidence, the pain of looking at themselves in the mirror, the desire of getting their husband to look at them again, or any number of reasons.

If you tell yourself that your schedule doesn’t allow you to make time to exercise and eat right, you are doing the greatest disservice to the most important thing in the world you have, your body and your health!

I suggest three key things to help you reshape your thinking:

  1. Unless you are a primitive human who hunts their own food, build their own shelter, and does manual labor, exercise and nutrition is not an option, it is a MUST. You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth would you? (Don’t answer that!) Come to the conclusion that these items are a part of you and who you are.
  2.  Stop being perfect over all of this exercise and nutrition. I am known for my sensible and every person approach towards fitness. I am not a perfect specimen and I don’t follow the rules all the time perfectly. I don’t want to! I don’t expect you to either. I do ask that you put exercise and nutrition into your life. At times, let’s say goals are approaching, I do kick things into high gear and I am pretty strict with nutrition and bump up my training regimen. So the key here is to allow yourself to have error,establish some sort of routine and then slide it one way or another based on goals or if life gets crazy.
  3. Get with the group! Memphis Adventure Boot Camp is as much of a learning experience for me as it is with the awesome campers we have. It has become apparent that being in a group is so much more powerful for mindset than just one-on-one training. Campers are hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t experienced a situation like one they might be going through. We feed off of each other with great advice, suggestions, and expectation to be there for one another. Having a group of women cheer you on in good times and bad is the key element in our awesome success.

Stop with the excuses. You are over thinking this whole exercise and nutrition thing! You have time, if you make it something you have to do because you value your body and health. You want to rid the problem whether it is weight, self-confidence, or whatever. It’s here. It awaits.

Be Better! Have Some Adventure!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Massively Improve Fat Loss Results and Goals By Scheduling Your Workouts

This is a Must Read for Beginners and Experienced Campers!

I see it every other week. It’s a person’s first time coming to boot camp and they are all excited about finally losing those pounds they have so desperately wanted to lose for over a year now. They are seeing literally every camper getting results and they want in on it too! They make a pact to me that they are not going to not miss a single day of boot camp so they can “maximize their money’s worth.”
And it begins with Monday coming around and they show up, super exited to begin their transformation. The workout begins and they quickly realize that this camp ain’t no joke! The instructor doesn’t give breaks and they begin to ask themselves “is this guy for real with this squat thrust jump movement”? The class keeps going until it has everyone saying “it’s awesome” (our code for the muscles are burning like crazy and we really should stop the workouts soon). At the end of class, the instructor asks who in the camp just finished their first class?  So beat, the person barely raises their hand and everyone gives them a round of applause. That is awesome! Let’s continue...

Day 2 comes. The newbie comes in and can barely move, but for the sake of “getting their money’s worth” they come anyway. Today’s workout is different than yesterday’s workout, so new muscles are getting worked on in new ways, continuing this crazy muscle soreness. Day 3, the newbie comes in 10 minutes late and is barely able to move. The entire workout for the newbie is done in slow motion and every exercise we do, the arms, legs, abs, can barely take it. So beat, the newbie takes the rest of the week off, defeated in their efforts.
Periodization is a concept developed by the Russians in the 1950s and 60s for their Olympic athletes. Their method of training allowed them to dominate the games, embarrassing the United States and the rest of the world. Its concept is simple: change the focus of what you do at different periods of time. Usually this means doing generalized, all round conditioning and moving forward to a specific style of training to reach a goal of event and then regroup to the next goal. Also periodization uses the rules of progression and overload, both meaning doing more work than was asked the last cycle. Memphis Adventure Boot Camp is the only boot camp quite possibly in the world that uses the periodized approach to fitness within its boot camps. We begin with generalized workouts in the beginning of the month and we move to more focused body part or systems workouts at the end of the month, which is a superior method to any boot camp or workout system. Very Russian of us! How does this equate to what we were talking about?
When starting boot camp for the first time, it is better to start off with a schedule like this:

Weeks 1-2: Every other day, such as a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. If you want to exercise on the off days, walk for 20 minutes to 1 hour. This will help your delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and sweep some of the lactic acid out of the muscles.

Weeks 3-4: A fourth day can be added. Keep up with how your body responds physically and in appearance. Once again, you can walk on the off days. You can do a few sprints if you want to increase the intensity of your off days.

Weeks 5-8: You may try to do between 4-5 days a week. If injuries begin to creep up, modify movements to not further aggravate it to allow it to heal. If they persist, then you may need to move back to 3-4. Otherwise, keep it up! You may extend working out for 3-5 times a week for more weeks if your body (not your lazy mind) says it is best.

Weeks 9-12: You are a beast! You should be getting close to a short term goal. If you want during this time, give a 5-6 day a week effort! Are your weights giving you enough challenge? If you are throwing those 5 pound weights around like they are feathers then it is time to follow the rules of progression and overload and move up to 8 pound or even 10 pound weighs.

For my experienced readers, keep reading, beginners, look away!
While this is the basic program all beginners should abide by when starting out, experienced campers need to listen up too! Experienced campers should cycle their frequency of attendance, meaning, it is perfectly OK to go through this cycle of building up frequency as shown above. This allows your body to recover from injuries, creates a new stimulus (ever heard of muscle confusion?) and allows you to put focus on other things such as nutrition and living life! Also, move up in weights, try to beat previous repetitions, do things in less time. This allows you to follow the rules of progression and overload without overtaxing your body and allowing your body to respond.

Look at the major points within the year and create a training schedule around those major points. Are you going to be walking around in a two piece in July for a week vacation? Use the training cycle above to get you to that flat stomach and tight booty! The periodized schedule might need to be tweaked a few weeks, let’s say because you only have 8 weeks, but the principles are the same! Every six months or so, I give you permission to take up to one week off if you have been a dedicated trooper and haven't had a vacation up to that point! (Crazy I am saying that!)

The nutritional post that compliments this periodized workout schedule will be out soon!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Why Women Are Ditching The Gym And Making Their Way To Fitness Boot Camps

Gym rats are old news. Hitting the gym several times a week can get boring, and hiring a personal fitness trainer can be quite expensive. Furthermore, doing the same workouts at the gym time and time again might even result in the possibility that you aren't being challenged enough or even worse, you hit a plateau in your training goals.

So what are women doing to combat this boring, same old routine? They are taking advantage of fitness boot camps. If you are thinking about ditching the gym and finding a new way to get in shape and keep it that way, here is what you can expect by choosing a fitness boot camp.

1. More Than an Exercise Class: A good fitness boot camp will offer more than just an hard and awesome workout. You should be able to get the nutritional information you need and the motivational support you are looking for to accomplish any fitness goal. By getting an all around holistic fitness approach, you can succeed whether you are trying to lose weight, stay in shape, or simply get healthier. Many boot camps provide support through email, newsletters, and support groups as well as incentives such as contests and friendly competitions.

2. Flexibility: Many fitness boot camps have ongoing enrollment so you can start very soon when you are ready. Also, many have multiple times in the early morning of 5:30 AM, after dropping kids off from school, and after work. This should help you to find a session that works for you and your schedule. You should also be able to attend as many or as few of these sessions each month without penalty or feeling like you're being left behind.

3. Guaranteed to Work: You want to seek out a boot camp that is headed by a well qualified boot camp instructor who will provide you with a guarantee that if you work the program the way you are shown how to, you will see results. The instructors that truly believe in the power of their program will be more than willing to stand behind it. This doesn't mean that you won't have to put the work in, but it does mean that you can count on the support, education, and butt kicking that you need. Few offerings will do a guarantee like this.

4. Fun Exciting Way to Get Fit: An effective boot camp will afford you the opportunity have the most results-oriented and exciting boot camp experience, and to provide you with a sense of adventure and fun during each and every session. The activities should be challenging and interesting at the same time, without making you so sore that you don't want to show up for the next session. There is a lot to learn and accomplish from taking part in a fitness boot camp and it can actually change your entire life. In fact, you might even get a little addicted to it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Low Technology Fitness for High Impact Results

I was recently taken aback by a client’s statement. While discussing the option of reopening a permanent location, she informed me that when people go into a fitness studio, they have a minimum expectation of exercise equipment. However, as fitness knowledge has advanced we have learned that stationary equipment is not only unnecessary but can be a hindrance.

In the 1970s, Nautilus came out with their first exercise line of machinery. The intention was to use each piece of equipment for a specific type of training called HIT (High Intensity Training). The cams on the machine allowed bodybuilders to hold the static position safely. So, an example of HIT training using Nautilus equipment is the leg extension. You can extend the leg while sitting and hold that position statically for a period of time. Also, Nautilus figured out that they could make a profit by selling a whole line of equipment to gyms. This would, theoretically, allow clients who go to the gym exercise “safely” without the fear of dropping weights or getting injured.

The pinnacle of success for exercise machines occurred from the 1980s thru the 1990s. Every gym had to have at least one line of equipment in order to be considered a proper gym. However, around 2000, fitness experts began to come out and criticize the sole use of exercise machines. They had three main concerns: active injury, passive injury, and limited ability.

Since the machines are “stuck” using the same exact motion every time there is an increased chance for overuse injuries. Imagine a biceps curl machine moving up and down only. This could create an injury similar to tennis elbow since the tennis player must perfect the same exact stroke every time.

Because the person must sit in order to use the machine, the core muscles of the body are not activated (at least not very much!). The best example is the upright, seated chest press machine. The person pushes the weight in front of their chest while having a fairly relaxed core. The sitting position deactivates the hip flexors (the muscles in the front of the hips) and abdominal muscles. If the person is rounding their back, this can increase the chance for injury as well.

Life is full of movement and muscle isolation alone is not functional. Functional training is simply exercising in a way the body was meant to move, not force your body into unnatural positions. Machines can only work a few body parts at a time. When a person uses more functional equipment like dumbbells, bands, kettle-bells, etc. they are able to imitate real life movements and work on the kinetic chain of movement.

You can visualize the kinetic chain this way: imagine you want to lift a box and put it on a shelf above you. This requires you to reach above your head. You pick up the item from the floor and your legs and core are activated in order for you to lift. As you move to stand upright, muscle activation changes from your legs and core to your upper body and arms. When you begin to place the item over your head, the shoulder, arm, and core muscles are activated in order to allow you to complete your lift. This movement simply cannot be replicated with traditional resistance machines.

The observation of the obvious limitations in resistance machines has created a paradigm shift in the way we think of health and fitness. A return to “old school” techniques arose and post-modern functional training emerged. The beautiful thing about functional training is that you need very little equipment in order to achieve outstanding results. This equipment can be considered “low technology” because they are simple pieces of equipment, very similar to what the Greeks and Spartans might have used when preparing for battle or the Olympic games. Dumbbells, tires, jump ropes, stability balls, rubber tubing or ropes are really all a person needs to get into the best shape of their life! Plus, they are all easily stored or transported.

The paradigm shift takes the emphasis away from the machines and puts it towards the knowledge of functional movement. However, returning to my concerned client, since the masses have been exposed to the “machine era” of fitness they have been conditioned to think that only the machine will give them the desired result. I am here to tell you it is not the machine that will give you the desired result. All you need is simply the correct knowledge to transform your body and health! If you only have some free weights that challenge your body, you have the ability to do great things.

Be Better,