Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Workout for Wednesday, April 1

As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:

5 burpees (yes, burpees--get over it--they're good for you!)
10 dumbbell swings
15 squats

I've put up a video of dumbbell swings with the other videos. Hard to find good videos, but this will give you the idea. Try to use at least a 10 lb. dumbbell. Form is important, so if your back starts to round, stop!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Workout for Tuesday, March 31

Run Away!

I know we just ran in our class on Monday. However, we did do this workout exactly 4 weeks ago, so I will go ahead and put it up for you. I have an alternate below if you just cannot face running 2 days in a row.

Run away from home for 4 minutes
Stop and do 30 squats
Run back home
Do 30 more squats

Record total time. See if you got further than you did the last time we did this.

Alternate workout:

3 rounds for time:

30 squats
30 mountain climbers--that is 30 EACH leg (see video to the right)
30 walking lunges

Ah...I can almost feel my backside soreness already!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Workout for Monday, March 30

We'll try to do 400m sprints again, but this will depend upon the weather.

4x400m sprint

Rest as needed between sprints

We'll run around the church block, which is close to 400m.

Planks--front plank and side planks (each side) for time

Alternate workout:

100 jumping jacks
75 squats
50 sit ups
25 push ups

For time

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Challenge for April

Everyone has been so enthusiastic about our "3000 push ups in March" challenge, I think we should have a challenge for the month of April. Our challenge for April will be 50/50.

50 sit ups
50 squats

Every day

The "twist" to this challenge will be to post the day you can do either one of these without stopping. Yes, I want you to continue for the entire month doing 50/50 sit ups and squats each day, but the first goal will be to get through all 50 without stopping as early in the month as possible. If you can do this already, increase the number to 75, or 100...or whatever provides a challenge.

I would like for you to continue doing at least a few push ups every day. You really don't want to lose the strength you gained during March!

Performance Based vs. Appearance Based--an opinion

What is your underlying reason to work out? Lately I’ve been thinking about my reason. For nearly two years I have been working out at a gym several times a week. I’m pretty certain that my original motivation to “get in shape” was appearance based. At some point, very early on in the process, that changed. I don’t know if it was my trainer, Jason, or if it was just the general CrossFit attitude, but regardless of my own personal intentions, the focus of the workouts was always to improve. To progress. Was this attitude of progress focused on improving appearance? No. The improvement was focused on everything BUT appearance, i.e. better overall health, increased strength, stamina, flexibility, coordination, and endurance. In other words, what you do in the gym should transfer to all other areas of your life. And guess what? Improved appearance just kind of happens.

I believe that focusing your efforts on performance instead of appearance is much healthier. While both endeavors have seemingly no end, the focus on appearance is so defeating. For instance, I will never have long legs or be curvy, and I am never going to get any younger. Chasing appearance could truly take over hours that are of much better use otherwise. Basing my workouts on performance, however, forces my body to become its best. To continually improve performance, my body has to become leaner, stronger, and more flexible. We come in all different shapes and sizes and all have different areas of strengths and weaknesses, but by doing workouts that routinely challenge your body in constantly varied ways, your body will just naturally attempt to adapt itself to perform better. Your body will become the best that it can be, and I believe this will make your appearance the best that it can be.

So, if your reason for working out is strictly for appearance, I encourage you to redirect your efforts towards performance. Most of our workouts are totally measurable. That is why we keep track of past efforts. You can improve your time, the amount of weight lifted, the distance you ran and the number of reps you completed. You can improve by going from counter-top push-ups to knee push-ups to regular push-ups. You will want your performance to improve because you will want to jump higher, run faster, lift more. You will want to be able to climb that mountain with your family and feel great, you will want to work in your garden and not get sore legs from all the up and down, you will want to go skiing for the first time in 10 years and not want to quit after ½ a day. The workouts you do in the gym should carry over to the “workout” that is the rest of your life! I don’t think that watching yourself in the mirror performing bicep curls (a strictly appearance based exercise) will have that kind of carry over.

I can almost guarantee you that if you are pushing toward better performance, you will naturally want to improve your diet. You may see improvements in the beginning without changing your diet, but to continue getting the “high” you feel from improving performance, you’ll have to clean up your diet. Again, you are not changing your diet necessarily for appearance reasons, you are changing your diet for performance reasons. To me, this is a much healthier direction of efforts. We all know the perils that can come of eating (or not eating) to improve appearance. However, if you are eating to perform better, you will be eating a diet that is healthy for your body. You know that you feel better during workouts if you have been eating a healthy diet. You know that eating junk makes you feel terrible during workouts…so, you’ll start wanting to eat healthier. Obviously, there is a carry over into the rest of your life. Your body functions better for workouts, yes. But it also functions better for life. Among other things, you will be sick less frequently and you will have much more energy. For me, everything just feels clearer. I enjoy things more. I believe that much of your outward appearance is a reflection of your inward feeling.

So you see, chasing performance will give you the best of everything. Your body will become a healthier and more efficient vessel, and improved appearance cannot help but follow.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Workout for Saturday, March 28

You say Tabata...

Today, we're going to combine push ups, sit ups and squats in one nice 12 minute Tabata. Tabata Push ups, Sit ups, and Squats

Push ups for 8 intervals (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest), then sit ups for 8 intervals, then squats for 8 intervals, moving from one to the next with only the 10 second rest. For your scoring, keep track of your TOTAL push ups, your TOTAL sit ups, and your TOTAL squats.

Be afraid...be very afraid
I'm posting a new challenge for April on Sunday!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Workout for Friday, March 27

For time:

100 jumping jacks
10 sit ups
80 jumping jacks
20 sit ups
60 jumping jacks
30 sit ups
40 jumping jacks
40 sit ups
20 jumping jacks
50 sit ups

Use an Abmat or pillow for lower back support on the sit ups. Have someone hold your feet and get after it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Workout for Wednesday, March 25

Tabata Squats

Remember Tabata? That is 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest for 8 intervals. Count your squats for each interval. Your score is the LOWEST number of squats in any of the 8 intervals.

Well, for today's class, we did the following workouts:

Bottom to Bottom Tabata Squats--I know you guys LOVED this one!
Sit ups with Medicine ball throws--25
Turkish Get up--5-3-3-1-1-1

Watch this video for quite a Turkish Get Up--


Monday, March 23, 2009

Workout for Tuesday, March 24

50 burpees for time

Watch the video if you have forgotten how to do these. There are other videos of "less perfect" burpees on the page with the video I have linked. These look more like real people burpees. You can do the push up portion from your knees.

A friend of mine sent me this e-mail forward. I thought it was too good not to share...
Dear Diary, For my birthday this year, my Husband (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
MONDAY: Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god - with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week-!!
TUESDAY: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT-!! It's a whole new life for me.
WEDNESDAY: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other shit too.
THURSDAY: Asshole was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late - it took me that long to tie my shoes. He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny bitch to find me. Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.
FRIDAY: I hate that bastard Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little aerobic instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it. Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
SATURDAY: Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.
SUNDAY: I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun -- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Workout for Monday, March 23

4x400m sprint

Rest as needed between sprints

Tabata sit ups

We'll run around the church block, which is close to 400m.

Because of the INCREDIBLE wind, we didn't do this workout today. Instead, we did:


Dumbbell Thrusters
Wall Ball shots

For time

Cardio vs. Weight Training--Final Part

And for the third and final part of the excerpts from the article in Women's Health, April 2009:

Start Pumping
Begin with three weight-training sessions each week, recommends Joe Dowdell, founder and co-owner of the New York City gym Peak Performance. For the greatest calorie burn, aim for total body workouts that target your arms, abs, legs, and back, and go for moves that will zap several different muscle groups at a time--for example, squats, which call on muscles in both the front and back of your legs, as opposed to leg extensions, which isolate the quads.

And remember to fuel your workout properly. Too many dieters make the fatal error of cutting back on crucial muscle-maintaining protein when they want to slash their overall calorie intake. The counter-productive result: They lose muscle along with any fat that might have melted away.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Workout for Saturday, March 21

4 rounds for time:

25 push ups
25 sit ups
25 squats
25 walking lunges
25 good mornings

Do the hardest level of push ups that you can for as long as you can before switching (from toes, knees, countertop or wall.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Workout for Friday, March 20

For Time:

Dumbbell push presses and squats

Use 5, 10, or 15 lb. dumbbells and do 50 push presses*, 50 air squats, 40 push presses, 40 air squats, etc. for time. Carefully choose your dumbbell weight. You want this to be a challenge, but this IS 150 total push presses.

*Push presses--See video. Feet shoulder distance apart, dumbbells on shoulders, then dip slightly at the knees and straighten knees as you push the weight above your head. Keep body weight in the heels and fully extend the arms above head.

The last time I posted this workout I did it with 15# dumbbells. Very tough. I definitely had to break the push presses in to groups because it was very heavy. I still did it in less than 10 minutes (barely). This is really not a workout to fly through. Make it pretty tough on yourself...you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cardio vs. Weight Training Part 2

Part 2 of the article from Women's Health, April 2009

Target Your Trouble Spots
If you've ever tried to ditch the saddlebags and ended up a bra size smaller instead, you know that where you lose is as important as how much. As great as it might be to see the numbers on the scale go down, when you're on a strict cardio-only program your victory is likely to be empty. A recent study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham compared dieters who lifted three times a week with those who did aerobic exercise for the same amount of time. Both groups ate the same number of calories, and both lost the same amount--26 pounds-but the lifters lost pure chub, while about 8 percent of the aerobicizers' drop came from valuable muscle. Researchers have also found that lifting weights is better than cardio at whittling intra-abdominal fat-the Buddha-belly kind that's associated with diseases from diabetes to cancer.

Just don't rely exclusively on the scale to track your progress in the battle of the bulge. Because muscle is denser than fat, it squeezes the same amount of weight into less space. "Often, our clients' scales won't drop as fast, but they'll fit into smaller jeans," says Rachel Cosgrove, owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. And it's the number on the tag inside your bootcuts you want to get lower, right?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dumbbell Push Press 3-3-3-3-3
PVC Overhead Squat and Burpees--21-15-9 for time

For dumbbell push press, work up to maximum weight, 5 sets of 3 each.

Overhead squats with PVC pipe and burpees. Do 21 overhead squats, 21 burpees. 15 overhead squats, 15 burpees. 9 overhead squats, 9 burpees. For time.

You can see a video of burpees to the right. Love those burpees!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Workout for Tuesday, March 17

Workout for today:

Push up ladder

With a stopwatch (or clock with a second hand), do 1 pushup in the first minute, 2 pushups in the second minute, 3 pushups in the third minute, etc. until you cannot do all the pushups within that minute. Push ups need to be ALL in one style (from the toes, knees, counter top or wall). If you start on your toes--do all of them that way. So, if you get to the minute with 8 pushups and you cannot get all 8 completed within that minute...you are finished. Record what round of pushups you were able to COMPLETE. I know that the first 3 minutes go by SO slowly. Believe me--you won't think the minutes go by slowly at about the 5 minute mark!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Workout for Monday, March 16

One month ago today, we did the following workout:

5 rounds (not for time)

5 dumbbell deadlifts
5 dumbbell cleans
5 dumbbell push press
5 dumbbell squats

Work up in weight to maximum.

Since we do not have class this week, if you don't have dumbbells, do the following:

Tabata push ups (this should help with your push ups for the day!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cardio vs. Weight Training

I read a great article from Women's Health (April 2009). I'm going to give excerpts of most of the article over the next few Sundays and Thursdays because I love it so much.

Part One:

Torch Calories 24/7
Though cardio burns more calories than strength training during those 30 sweaty minutes, pumping iron slashes more overall. A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than they did when they hadn't lifted weights. At three sessions a week, that's 15,000 calories a year, or about four and a half pounds of fat--without having to move a muscle.

What's more, increasing that afterburn is as easy as upping the weight on your bar. In a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, women burned nearly twice as many calories in the two hours after their workout when they lifted 85% of their max load for eight reps than when they did more reps (15) at a lower weight (45% of their max).

There's a longer term benefit to all that lifting, too: Muscle accounts for about a third of the average woman's weight, so it has a profound effect on her metabolism, says Kenneth Walsh, director of Boston University School of Medicine's Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute. Specifically, that effect is to burn calories, because muscle, unlike fat, is metabolically active. In English: Muscle chews up calories even when you're not in the gym. Replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of lean muscle and you'll burn an additional 25-50 calories a day without even trying.

Stay tuned for part 2 on Thursday...bottom line--lift some weight ladies!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Workout for Saturday, March 14


400 meter walking lunge for time--counting your steps

For me, 400 meters takes about 400 lunges. Use that as your guide if you don't have a good 1/4 mile route, or if you need to do it inside. Okay, so that is a lot of lunges. Just go until you are so wobbly that you can't go any further. This is very hard and you will definitely feel it over the next couple of days on your backside. Do it anyway. If you can't do 400, fine--do less. One of these days you will do them all.

As for form, please watch the video. It was really slow uploading for me. You can do a YouTube search on walking lunges and probably find a good video. Just make sure that the knee of your front leg stays over your heel. The knee of your trailing leg should almost touch the ground. Also, DO NOT put your hands on your thighs and lean into the lunges. You can put your hands on your waist, or leave them loosely on your sides.

This will take a long time. The fastest people can do this in about 12 or 13 minutes. I would say that typically it should be around 20-25 minutes for your first time.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Workout for Friday, March 13

13 x 13 on the 13th

For time:

13 squats
13 good mornings
13 sit ups
13 push ups
13 jumping jacks
13 squats
13 good mornings
13 sit ups
13 push ups
13 jumping jacks
13 squats
13 good mornings
13 sit ups

I have posted a demonstration video of how to do a good morning to the right. Do this with no weight and with your hands clasped behind your neck (elbows out). Do the push ups from toes if possible, or from the knees, counter top or wall. Good Luck!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Workout for Wednesday, March 11

Tabata Sit Ups

A tabata is eight 20 second intervals, with 10 seconds of rest in between. So...do sit ups for 20 seconds (counting them), rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of 8 times. Your "score" is the lowest number of sit ups in any of the intervals.

Bonus workout (because you all might need more of a challenge these days!)


-Jumps or step ups
-Good mornings (see video)

For the jumps or step ups, find a sturdy stair or box to jump or step up on to. Jumping is better, higher is better...be sure to note what you do, (i.e. 12" step ups.)

So, that would be 50 steps, 50 good mornings, 50 squats, 30 steps, 30 good mornings, 30 squats, 10 steps, 10 good mornings, 10 squats.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Workout for Tuesday, March 10


As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:

5 push ups
10 sit ups
15 squats

For the push ups: if you can't do them from your toes, do them from the knees, or counter top, or wall. Try to get full range of motion (chest to the floor.) The push ups will be the hardest part of this workout. See the video link on the right side of this page for correct push up form.

Remember...we had this workout on February 10. See how much improvement you've had over this month!

Remember to use good squatting form--watch the video! Roll a towel up or use a pillow for your back on the sit ups.Keep telling yourself--it's only 10 minutes...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Workout for Monday, March 9

So...it has been one month since we started! As promised, we will now begin repeating the workouts for the month. Let's see how much we have improved in just that little bit of time.

Double unders
Sit ups

If you can't do double unders, do 3x single unders. That would be 90 jump ropes, 30 sit ups; 60 jump ropes, 20 sit ups; 30 jump ropes, 10 sit ups.

Get Write to It!

Okay, corny title...can't help myself!

I had some travel time (riding in a car) this weekend and so that means...more magazines! I know that you have all heard it before, but journaling your food is an easy way to increase your weight loss chance of success.

From Shape, November 2008 (yes, I had some magazine catching up to do!)

Just because you don't have time to keep a proper food journal doesn't mean your slim-down efforts are doomed. According to researchers at Kaiser Permanente's center for Health Research, simply jotting down meals and snacks on a Post-it or texting yourself a list of what you eat encourages you to take in fewer calories by forcing you to reflect on how much you're consuming. "When you become more conscious of your choices, budgeting your calories gets easier," says Jack Hollis, Ph.D., a senior investigator. The researchers found that dieters who scribbled down what they ate for six months lost about 13 pounds--double the amount of those who didn't catalog their daily diet.

I know this has worked for me. I've even had the luxury of having to turn my journal over to another set of eyes. THAT will really make you think about what you eat! Now, I only journal my food for short periods of time if I feel that I am getting into bad eating habits again. I like the idea of just writing it on a Post-it or texting myself--just acknowledging what I have eaten in writing is the key. If you want extra accountability, have another person look at your food journal. Or do like Christi has and create a blog to record all of your food. Who knows how many people view her food journal! That is a lot of accountability!

Bottom line is that writing down what you consume works for weight loss/control. Take the time for this...it's the write thing to do!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Workout for Saturday, March 7

300 body weight squats for time (a.k.a. air squats)

Oh yes, you can! Just suck it up and get them done!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Workout for Friday, March 6

For time:

21 walking lunges
21 push ups
21 sit ups
18 walking lunges
18 push ups
18 sit ups
15 walking lunges
15 push ups
15 sit ups
12 walking lunges
12 push ups
12 sit ups
9 walking lunges
9 push ups
9 sit ups
6 walking lunges
6 push ups
6 sit ups

For those doing the 100 push ups per day challenge--this gets 81 of them in!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ever Wonder?

Did you ever wonder why push ups are soooo hard? My husband, David, found this answer to that in the March, 2009 issue of Men's Health--

Ever wonder how many pounds you're lifting when you do a push up? Calculate 75% of your body weight and you have the answer, according to research by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Push ups help you build healthy, stable shoulders by training your scapular muscles as well as your rotator-cuff muscles, says Indianapolis-based physical therapist Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S.

Another fact about push ups--30 is the number of push ups the U.S. Army requires men ages 27-31 to do in 2 minutes to graduate basic combat training.

I need to try timing 30 push ups sometime. I really think I could do 30 in 2 minutes. What about you? Of course, these stats are for real, from the toes, chest to the floor push ups. So, at 75% of my body weight, and since I am doing 100 push ups a day, I am pushing over 100 lbs each of those 100 reps each day! Pretty remarkable! The handstand push ups I've been doing each day are 100% of my body weight. That's a lot of weight to push up. You can see that by doing this for a month, you can really build up your muscle fast. So...if you aren't doing the push up challenge--WHY NOT!!! It won't take long to catch up. Plus, March has 31 days so that buys you an extra day. Just doing 50 a day will go a long way toward gaining some much needed upper body strength.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Workout for Wednesday, March 4

As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:

5 burpees
10 dumbbell swings
15 squats

I've put up a video of dumbbell swings with the other videos. Hard to find good videos, but this will give you the idea. Try to use at least a 10 lb. dumbbell. Form is important, so if your back starts to round, stop!

Also...for our class tonight--we will try to do our warm up in the FLC before we move to FH North.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Workout for Tuesday, March 3

Run Away!

It should be a nice day, so I think some fresh air running (or very fast walking) is in order. I also am trying to have some shoulder/arm/chest mercy on those who are doing the push up challenge!

Run away from your house for 4 minutes
Stop and do 30 squats
Run back home
Do another 30 squats

Record your total time

Embarrassed to squat in the middle of your neighborhood? Get over it! Do it faster and less people will see you.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Workout for Monday, March 2

We'll learn to do the Turkish Get Up and Windmill with dumbbells, then do a quick review of medicine ball cleans and wall balls, have a short workout and then a special treat:'

Laurie Cummings (Zumbafreak) is going to give us a short Zumba lesson! If you don't know what Zumba is, check it out...


Actual workouts today were:

Turkish Get Up--5 rounds of 3 for each arm, increasing weight of dumbbell each time.

Walking lunges (holding 5 or 10 lb. dumbbell in one hand overhead) for the length of the basketball court each hand, then 15 jumps on the FLC step (or step ups).

Zumba was lots of fun! Thanks Laurie for teaching us--we'll definitely want to do that again!