Tallahassee Boot Camp

Flying By the Seat of My Pants Workouts

I’m in my 3rd week of working out again and I must say, I’ve never felt better. I’m still dealing with a few physical problems but mentally, I am stronger than ever.

I’ve put aside all of the strength goals I’ve had in the past year and I’ve just decided to be more intuitive with my workouts. Normally I wouldn’t recommend just “winging it” but for right now, it’s working. It’s been a long time since I haven’t had a goal. For the past few years my workouts have centered around getting my RKC, (check), getting my RKC 2, (check), achieving the Iron Maiden (no) and various other strength goals.

I’ve always had a workout that I HAD to do taped to the wall at the gym. I had to do specific workouts on specific days and I stuck to it no matter whether I wanted to or not. Some days I dreaded going to the gym. I would get so stressed out about my upcoming workout, that I would be covered in sweat before I ever got out of my car. I did whatever workout was scheduled and planned for the day no matter how I felt. There were quite a few times that I don’t even remembering working out. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and yet I pushed through. I was going through the motions. My motivation was gone and so was my strength. I was in pain and yet I stuck to my workout plan because I had a goal to reach and had a date to reach it by.

You know the rest.

This afternoon, I met a friend for a workout. I planned what we were going to do on my way to the gym. How crazy is that?

The great thing about Ricky is that he is game for anything. The crazier the better. We decided on doing 100 rope slams and then carrying 1 heavy chunk of concrete from the back of my gym about 100 yards and setting it down. We did 100 more rope slams and carried another chunk of concrete. We repeated this until all the slabs of concrete were stacked on the other side of the parking lot. We repeated this over and over until all of the concrete was stacked back up behind the gym again.

We didn’t set out to do this as fast as we could or do it in a certain amount of time. We just went until we were done. We talked, we laughed and I even managed to bust out a few of my old school dance moves. Fifty minutes later I was covered in dirt, sweat, bruises and cuts. My butt was kicked and I was in heaven!

Writing this, I realized why working out like this appealed to me. I was doing the kind of stuff I did as a kid. I was outside, picking up heavy stuff, carrying it around and putting it down. Even though the workout was hard, it was exhilarating. It was spontaneous.

I knew I was going to do some sort of hard workout and I had a general idea of what I wanted to do but it wasn’t set in stone….actually, I guess it was, just in that I was picking them up and carrying them.

Driving to the gym, the trail or the stadium is now filled with anticipation and excitement rather than dread.

I know I’m not going to work out like this forever. Eventually, I’m going to set some goals, and to reach those goals I will need a plan. Just for now though, I am going to be spontaneous. I am going to work out because I can. I am going to do things that excite me and that are fun. I am going to think outside of the box. I don’t need treadmills, ellipticals or dumbbells to workout. I can carry heavy rocks, climb hills, flip a tire, swing a bell, lift some logs, walk my dog, run with friends and so much more.

I’d love to hear about your experience with tossing the plans and schedules and being more intuitive and spontaneous. I have a feeling it’s going to help me come back stronger.

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!!



I’d like to introduce you to Nastasha

Today marked my 3rd workout post cast.

One of the things I’ve been struggling with besides getting started again is having a plan of action for my workouts. I have goals of course, but unless I couple that with action, my goals remain just a dream. I think that is a famous quote because it sounds familiar.

I have to set myself up for success and one of the ways I have done that is to make plans to meet someone for workouts twice a week. My friend and boot camp client, Joe is training for The Jemez Mountain Trail Runs in New Mexico. I agreed to come up with several workouts to help him train for the steep terrain and the ever increasing elevation that he will be running.

Because we live in Florida, our options for elevation training are pretty limited. We decided one day a week will be workouts at Doak Campbell stadium, the other day will be running the hills next to Trinity Catholic School. Joe had never been on those hills and I had been a regular, pre-injury.

I told him that these were some of the steepest roads in Tallahassee and are at least a mile long. I was a little embarassed when Joe told me that he drove the hill and it was a mere quarter mile. It seems like a mile

On Tuesday Joe ran the hills while I patiently walked. Even when I was working out on a regular basis, these hills were challenging. Walking them for the first time in months was tougher than I’d like to admit.

After walking the quarter mile hill several times I decided to try a little bit of running. There are several cut through streets between the hills that are about 40 yards in length. I jogged those. My inner 20 year old, kept goading me into running up the hills. I tried hard to resist but ended up running some of the downhill portions. I felt fine but forced myself to stop while I still had energy. It felt great to workout again.

Today I met Joe at the stadium. Earlier in the day, I emailed him several hellish workouts designed for the stadium and the ramps. I told him to cut them up, fold them and open one when he got there. Doing that will help keep the workouts interesting and help him prepare for the unknown. He ended up with a ladder workout of the stadium steps and the ramps. The workout was one trip to the top of the steps and 1 run up the ramps. He added to the ramps while continuing to run one set of steps in between until he was running up the ramps 5 times. While he did this, I started walking up the steps. I watched Joe run past me several times. I had to force myself to stick to my plan of going slow, resting as needed and stretching throughout.

I went in to walk up the ramps that lead to the upper levels of the stadium and that is when Natasha appeared. I’ve decided to name my inner 20 year (that is trying to kill me), Natasha. The name conjures up the imagine of a raven haired assassin. As the new, smarter me was focusing on gradually building an endurance base while continuing to baby my newly healed foot, Natasha was whispering in my ear, mocking me.

I began to run. It was a constant battle. I ran up one level to shut her up and walked up one level to satisfy the new, smarter me. My big compromise was to stop even though I felt I could do a little more. I do have to admit though, my legs were shaking and I was beginning to feel a bit nauseous.

I left feeling on top of the world and with lots of energy to spare.

One of my goals for tomorrow is to write down my workout plan for the next couple of weeks. I am still being treated for shoulder pain so any upper body work is out. I am going to start adding squats, deadlifts and swings a couple of times a week in addition to meeting Joe for hill and stadium workouts.

The prospect of getting back into a regular routine is exciting. I just have to keep an eye out for Natasha.

 

 

It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll

I am free!! I am cast free, boot free and dorky walking shoe free. It’s been since late November that I have been able to wear matching shoes. Today I gathered up all of my right shoes that have been strewn around the house and paired them back up with long forgotten left shoes.

The only thing holding me back now are my painful shoulders which I just started a new treatment for and a pesky hamstring that I re-injured trying to deadlift in a cast.

Other than that, I am good to go.

Tonight was my first workout. I was giddy with excitement all day. I met a friend at Doak Campbell stadium to do the steps. As usual my inner 20 year old, that is trying to kill me, wanted to take off and run to the top but my new smarter 49 year old shut her down.

I walked to the top. I was very cautious with my newly healed foot, making sure I planted my feet firmly on each step. I was able to the top 3 and a half times. I could have done more but why risk it? From now on I am taking care of this body of mine. It’s the only one I have and the only one I will ever have. From now on I will train smart. I will do adequate movement prep and joint mobility before every workout. I will not train in pain. I will not train when exhausted. I will properly fuel my body and give it adequate nourishment. Last but not least, I will take rest days.

One of the things I thought about during my short little workout was that there are so many people who can’t train. I thought about a new friend I met on Facebook, named Nancy who is a trainer and an RKC in CA. Nancy has been on bed rest and crutches for 16 weeks due to major foot problems, foot surgeries and non healing surgical wounds. She is so positive and is always looking at the bright side.

Tonight’s 3 and a half trips to the top of  stadium was for her.

Heal fast my friend!

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.

 

But Officer, I swear, it’s Only 1 Rep

Tonight’s workout was a good one especially if you like to go heavy. I watched my Kettlebell clients try some new lifts and set personal records. I had to lift vicariously through them since I am still on my self imposed workout restriction. I think I have one more week left, although I will do whatever my Dr. recommends during my follow up appointment next week.

I named this workout for one of my clients, Jerritt who is a police officer.

“Officer I Swear, it’s Only 1 Rep”

We started with unweighted Windmills and Turkish Get Ups for our movement prep and then performed 1 heavy repetition of a

Windmill
Turkish Get Up
Barbell or Kettlebell Deadlift
Double Front Squat
Double Military Press
Renegade Row or rows with 1 hand on bench
Single Leg Deadlift
Pull Up (with weight if you can)

Repeat for 8-10 sets.

If you don’t have a Kettlebell or know how to use Kettlebells don’t worry, you can use dumbbells. Whatever you choose as your weapon, make sure it’s heavy enough to challenge yourself. Our class is 30 minutes. You can do less sets if you don’t have time or even break it up into 2 sessions during the day.