superstrongnana

Super Strong Nana is Sticking to a Plan

Yes, it’s worthy of a headline. If you read my last post, you have learned that I have exercise ADD. I spend a lot of time on the internet and I spend a lot of time reading about other people’s workouts and accomplishments. I get distracted and off track. I then end up starting a whole new workout program which may or may not be in synch with MY goals. Part of my problem is that I like to see if I can do something that someone else has done. There are a lot of strong women out there and I aspire to be one of them. My problem is that in the past, I just tried to incorporate random stuff into my workouts and have found that I haven’t improved on my own goals.

That all changed a couple of weeks ago when I made a decision to stick to a plan to help me reach my goals.

I’m entering my 2nd week of sticking to a workout plan. I have to admit, the hardest part is not getting distracted and not adding to it. I can already see improvements in my strength. My max one time Deadlift was 175. I did that once last month. Most of the workout days call for 2 sets of 5 reps so I’ve been using 135 pounds. I know that doesn’t sound like much but for me, it’s pretty tough. I have found that by the middle of the 2nd week, my 135 pound effort does not take as much effort. It’s getting easier. Pressing is still hard for me as well as the pull ups. I did notice strength I did not have before. I have been trying to climb our 12 foot wall with the rope but without using the foot holds. I’ve never been able to do this with just the rope. While doing a demo of wall climbing for our last Adventure Race Camp, I climbed up the wall..without the foot holds! My intent was just to show those who could, how to do it with just the rope and before I knew it, I was at the top of the wall, much to my surprise. So even though, I didn’t think I was making much progress in my pull ups, I was making some serious progress.

Although I am getting bored of doing the same thing, I love that the workouts are quick. The best part is that since I am not maxing out every time, I have energy left over to work on practicing some of the skills I need for strongman competitions.

If you find that your workouts and goals are all over the place, you owe it to yourself to check out Easy Strength.

Since I have energy after all of my workouts, I get to end with some fun skill work.

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A Strong Week

It’s not even Friday and I must say, I’ve had a pretty good week of working out.

A couple of milestones for me this week was getting out and doing things on my own. I do love having a workout partner especially for the tough workouts but this week, Jerritt, my workout partner for the most hideous of workouts, was busy with his job. At least that’s what he told me.

Easter Sunday, I got out for a trail run with Peyton, my wonderful, beautiful, sweet pup. We walked and ran for just over 3 miles. It was a beautiful day. Instead of beating myself up for walking more than I wanted to, I decided to absorb the moment and enjoy the day. I even went without my music and instead, really tuned into the beauty around me.

Monday, Jane and I went to my gym for a 30 min circuit training with Ropes, Kettlebells and TRX.

Tuesday, Jane and I went to Piney Z for a run. I love this trail! There is nothing quite like running while dodging snakes, seeing alligators and relocating turtles. This doesn’t happen on every run, but just the thought of the adventures we might come across make the run more exciting.

I like to use my Nike + GPS app on my iphone for my runs. It tracks distance, times, pace (which is depressing) AND it connects to Facebook so that when my friends, “like” my “I just started a Run with Nike +” post, I hear cheering through my headphones. Not sure how that works, but it’s pretty motivating and fun.

On the Nike app, you can choose from several options, one of which is time. You choose the time and it will tell you your half way point. That is when we turn around. The most we have done is 45 mins with a turn around time of half that.

I had my phone strapped to my arm so I asked Jane to push the 45 min option. Since Jane is also pushing 50 and can’t see anymore, she ended up pressing the 60 minute option. I didn’t find that out until we got done with our run.

Since we didn’t get a 22 minute notice to turn around, we kept running further and further up the trail. We ended up going into unchartered (for us) territory. It was wonderful. I kept wondering how anyone could possibly spend their running time pounding away the miles on the streets or sidewalks, inhaling fumes, listening to and dodging traffic when we have such incredible trails available.

We ended up turning around because we weren’t sure how much further the trail would take us. We ended up running 57 minutes. We didn’t walk much and I actually ran longer without stopping than I have in a very long time. It was a huge confidence booster.

Wednesday was my Joe day. We went to the stadium for ramps and swings. I love workouts like this. Doak Campbell has a 5 level ramp system that leads to the top of the stadium. Here is what we did.

Run up and back first ramp level
Do 100 Kettlebell Swings
Run up and back 2 levels
80 Swings
Run up and back 3 levels
60 Swings
Run up and back 4 levels
40 Swings
Run up and back all 5 levels
20 Swings.
Repeat the 5th and work you way back down the ladder.

You can do this workout on a hill or even a straight road. Just add laps each time.

Thursday is my tire day. I actually started sweating about this workout on Wednesday night. I had nightmares about it.
I dreaded it because I knew I had to do it alone. I had to depend on myself to push me through a workout that is just plain horrendous. I thought of every reason to put it off but finally decided to suck it up and do it.

My goal was to do 5 sets of 5 flips for a total of 25. I wasn’t worried about time because I know I’m going to slow down half way through the work out.

I really worked on my form so that I could get by with as few bruises as possible. I consulted with my “tire coach”,
Bud Jeffries about the bruising and he assured me as my form and strength improve it will get better. He also said that I will adapt. I haven’t posted pictures because I know my mom will freak out a little and begin questioning my sanity. Come to think of it, it won’t be the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last, so here is the picture. Sorry mom!!

My first few flips I was able to avoid setting the tire on my thigh for the transition, as I get tired, it became hard to avoid.

I managed 4 sets of 5 flips and then 1 set of 3. It took just over 25 minutes. I had to rest longer between sets and reps towards the end. I was exhausted but it felt great to get through half of my goal with 9 weeks left for my 50 flips for my 50th birthday goal.

This is the first exercise that I have found that works every muscle, head to toe. I know it’s not for everyone; actually, I know it’s not for most people but there is something about flipping tires that appeals to me. I think it must because it’s something I can do that requires everything I have mentally and physically. To set a goal of doing 50 for my 50th birthday is part insane and part awesome.

I have to admit, I am researching World Records and unorthodox feats of strength done by women. There isn’t much info out there. Maybe, just maybe, I will trail blaze this area of strength.

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My Latest Gadget

Those who know me know I love gadgets. The more bells and whistles the better. I feel naked if I don’t have my heart rate monitor, iphone, super duper headphones, iphone case for running, the perfect shoes, socks etc.

On Monday my new Blendtec blender arrived. This thing cost me a small fortune but it will replace the other 5 blenders I have sitting around. This came with an extra jar and lid. Score!!

I automatically assume if I just had all the right gadgets, my workouts will be better, my eating will be cleaner and the extra body fat will just fall off.

I spent a couple of weeks researching blenders. I’ve been through every brand from cheap to what I considered expensive (until this purchase). It never fails, after a few months, the blender will start to leak. I always find out when blending something that is super sticky. I’ve had to clean out too many cabinets and drawers from gooey, sticky messes caused by blender failure.

It was between the Blendtec and the Vitamix. Reviews for both were great. It was a tough decision but in the end I went with the Blendtec because it was shorter and would fit under the cabinet but mainly because it had cooler features such as buttons for blending different things. The blender actually will speed up and slow down depending on what you are blending. Clean up is as simple as adding a drop of dish soap and pressing the pulse button for a few seconds and then rinsing.

I really love the idea of making smoothies for a meal or two during the day. I want to get into making green smoothies and cramming as much healthy stuff into one cup as possible. I am not one who will sit down and eat a meal for lunch. I prefer to blend something and drink it. I like to keep things simple.

My latest smoothies are made with Amasai, 1/2 packet of Advocare Meal Replacement, 1 packet of Advocare Fiber Drink, 2 scoops of Advocare Muscle Gain, 1/2 packet of frozen fruit and ice.

It tastes great and is really filling. Today I added a bit of Spinach and it still tastes good.

Do you make smoothies? What are your favorite recipes?

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Because Someone Said it Would Take 2 girls

The second I heard that this size tire would be good for 1 guy or 2 girls to flip, I knew I would have to do it.

After a workout of

5 Heavy Kettlebell Deadlifts
15 20k Swings
20 Rope Slams
4 Heavy Tire Flips repeated 5 times. I gave the big tire a try.

Super Strong Nana is making a comeback!!



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The Alternative Transformation Challenge

Several times a year we hold a transformation challenge at boot camp. I’ve been involved in these challenges as both a trainer and as a participant. In the past, the challenges I’ve been involved in have been based on weight loss. Ninety day challenges are everywhere and are very successful…during that 90 days. I think that most of us could exercise our butts off and restrict our food intake for 90 days. Problem is that most of us (me) gain it back within half the time.

I didn’t want to do a typical weight loss challenge with my clients but I did want them to get involved in something that would motivate them to buckle down and get serious about changing. So we are doing a transformation challenge based on a point system AND fat loss/weight loss.

I got this idea a couple of years ago from the Iron Tamer, Dave Whitley. I changed a few things but it’s pretty much based on the same principles, which is changing behavior.

Points are awarded daily based on completing the behaviors that lead to change. The focus becomes on doing the right things. There are just 5 things to do. Yes, changing is that simple.

First everyone must come in for baseline measurements which include weight, body fat, waist measurement and a before picture. Next everyone must write down their 8-12 week goal. The goal or goals must be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. You can’t just say, “I want to lose some weight” or “I want to run a 5k”. That would be like saying you are going to take a trip without a map. Not very SMART is it?

Everyday our peeps must log into our secret forum and post their daily goals. It’s these daily goals and behaviors that lead to achieving weekly goals, monthly goals and….you guessed it, the BIG goal. I like to go one step further. They must go back online in the evening and post whether or not they reached their daily goal. Accountability makes or breaks most people’s success.

Each day they earn points for drinking 8 glasses of water, keeping a very detailed food journal, exercising and posting their daily goals. Once a week they turn in food journals and points sheets, take a picture and weigh in. Again, it’s all about being responsible and accountable.

The kicker is that on Sunday nights I post my special challenge. It’s a doozy and worth 5 points a day for complying. First week was no sugar. This coming week is weighing and measuring most of their daily food.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say that they are doing everything right. They are logging food, exercising and making healthy choices but just can’t seem to lose weight. My question is, how do you know how many calories you are eating if you are just guessing at amounts?

I don’t know about you, but most of the time I end up underestimating the calories I’ve eaten. It became clear to me the day I poured my “healthy” Quaker Oat Squares into my bowl. Before I added milk I thought I would measure it. A serving is 1 cup and is 210 calories BEFORE the milk. I figured my breakfast was 300 calories with my skim milk. It would have been had I not been filling my bowl with more than 2 cups. So my breakfast ended up being around 550 calories. That was almost half of my calorie requirement for the entire day.

Warning: weighing and measuring your food my cause extreme shock coupled with uncontrollable emotional outbursts, which may lead to temporary depression.

Couple that with thinking that your exercise burns more calories than it does and you have a recipe for a weight loss plateau.

The beauty of this type of challenge is that you do not need to be one of my clients (although that would be awesome) to take this challenge. You can do this on your own, with your co-workers, friends or family.

My good friend and fellow fitness blogger Healthy Heather has been known to keep a chart and give herself gold stars for completing healthy goals. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy earning gold stars!

Here is the Transformation Challenge Score Sheet we use. Print out 8 sheets and join us in transforming your life. You may already have your favorite food journals, the ones I love and use are Lose It and My Fitness Pal. Both have a huge data base but even better, you can scan bar codes and add them right to your food journal. I just love technology!

I know your dying to find out what kind of goals Super Strong Nana has. As some of you know in less than 4 months I will be landing in Paris on the day of my 50th birthday. It’s a shopper’s paradise. I don’t want to be just a hot 50 year old, I want to be a smoking hot 50 year old!! I want to look better, feel better and be smarter, wiser and more successful than I have even been.

Where do you want to be in 8 weeks? How are you going to get there? Keep me posted on your progress.

 

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Now is the Time to Start Living

I’m writing this blog from the Tallahassee Marathon Expo and packet pick up. Most people are just running in, grabbing their race bib, bag of swag and leaving. I am enjoying the people watching. Runners of all different shapes, sizes and ages have passed through the doors today.

Some will be running their first distance race, while many are marathon and half marathon veterans. I really admire these people. I hate running and can’t imagine doing it for hours at a time. Actually, I shouldn’t say I hate running. I actually enjoy running short distances on the trails with my best friend, Jane and my dog, Peyton.

For me running isn’t about time, distance or setting PRs. It’s a time to socialize with my friend, exercise for me and my dog and enjoying nature. It wasn’t always like this.

I started running 7 years ago with my friend, Sandra. She had the crazy idea of doing the Disney Half Marathon. I was crazy enough to let her talk me into it. We were pretty clueless on training and the only running we did was on the treadmills at the gym.

Our first run was a couple of miles. We felt like rockstars. We gradually increased our milage. Our first 4 mile non stop run was reason to celebrate. Only 9 more miles to add and we would be marathon ready. Seemed easy enough.

Being novices, we had to learn about proper footwear, dry fit socks, stretching, hydration and fueling the hard way. I also had a problem with staying upright while running. I fell…a lot. I fell so much that I clearly remember getting up from a fall and looking at a motivational sign in front of the school I fell in front of that said, Fall down 7 Times, Get Up 8. I think I was on my 8th fall. I kept scraped up knees and bruised palms for months.

I remember the day we ran 6 miles. We left the gym and ran downtown, to the mall and back. I was amazed that I just ran a route and distance that I commonly drive. I actually ran that far! Sandra fell in love with running, I did not. I did love the gadgets though and bought everything a runner could possible need or want. The more gadgets I had the more I could focus on something besides running. I had ipods, special earphones, fuel belt, key pockets for my shoe laces, runner’s gloves, dry fit clothes, cushioned socks, cutting edge running shoes and my favorite, my Polar heart rate monitor. I loved seeing how many calories I was burning and how high my heart rate was getting.

We were burning so many calories that we were sure we were finally going to lose some weight. Come marathon day, we both had actually gained weight. Too much carb loading (even for our mile runs), too many days thinking that we could eat whatever we wanted since we were running all added up. It was depressing.

After several more races, another half marathon and a lot more gadgets, I finally decided that I just didn’t like to run long distances as a matter of fact, I hated it. It just wasn’t for me. I have nothing against running; some of my best friends are distance runners.

I just wanted to find a way to run that I enjoyed. I love sprinting and found that I’m built for it. I love sprinting up hills. I love going all out for sets of short distances over and over until I’m sick. I love running up stairs. I love running on the trails. For me, running is no longer about pounding the pavement or punishing myself for eating too much. It’s about being able to move, being capable of running if I had to, it’s about enjoying time with friends, it’s about exercising my dog, and last but not least, it’s about the gadgets.

I really admire those people who take up running later in life or who continue running well into their golden years.

Since I write as slow as I run, I can now share info about the finishers of the Tallahassee Marathon. The Male Grandmaster, Alex Steverson age 51 finished the marathon in 3 hours and 19 minutes. The Male Senior Grandmaster, Denji Durden finished in 3 hours and 33 minutes.

Two guys, Bill Larsen and Dan Bowser age 70 and 71 both finished in under 6 hours!!

The ladies were well represented as well. Phyllis Sizemore, Perha Varley and Diana Burton ages 66, 67 and 66 all finished the 26.2 miles in under 6 hours as well.

The half marathon results are equally impressive. Many runners in the age groups from 55 and up ran incredibly fast. The oldest finisher male runner, Bob Keller is 78 years young! The oldest female runners are in their mid 60s.

Even though I am not much of a runner, I am fascinated with the ages of the finishers. I’ve noticed that a lot of runners seem to get faster with age. Just like with many things in my own life, I think it can be attributed to more time.

I spent most of my life taking care of my kids and at least half of that in the car taking them somewhere and dropping them off. My training time and my “me” time was limited to tiny bits of time when they didn’t need me first. Add a full time job on top of kid responsibilities and you can see how many people give up.

Now that my youngest is 17 and driving, I don’t hear from him anymore, unless he needs money. I don’t feel like he will die of starvation if I am not home to cook. I am finding that I have a ton of time for me.

Getting older comes with so many freedoms. This is the perfect time to take up exercise, train for a race or other event, learn a new skill, find a new hobby, learn to play an instrument, learn a new language, travel. The possibilities are endless.

This is the time to put yourself first and start really living.

I would love to hear what you’ve done or what you plan to do.

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