tallahassee gym

Super Strong Nana is Getting Stronger

Working out alone is getting easier, obviously the blogging is not. It’s not that I don’t have stuff to write, it’s just that I get lazy when it comes to writing. It’s really a lack of discipline. I’m finally getting more disciplined with my workouts but now I have to carry that over to my home and work life.

A lot has happened since my last blog. I have continued working with Brett Jones. We Facetime every couple of weeks and he sends me workouts based on my goals.

As I have mentioned before, my goals include completing the RKC Iron Maiden Challenge in the next year. That includes a pull up, press and pistol squat with a 24 kilo (53 pound) Kettlebell as well as a double body weight deadlift.

So far I have been doing weight ladders for Turkish Get Ups and pressing. It’s been 4-5 sets of 1 rep using different weights. I’ve also been doing single DL, Squats, pull ups and single leg DLs.

When I received my first workout, I was shocked to see a single get up with a 24 kilo bell. I was directed to just do it as far as I can. I was certain I couldn’t do it, so I chose a lighter weight the first time. The second time, I decided to use the 24k but just do the roll to press and see how that went. I felt pretty solid and I ended up doing a full TGU on both sides!

http://youtu.be/SzNZKej249c

One thing I had to learn about PRs (personal records) is that they are elusive. I just assumed that now I would always be able to do my Get Ups with a 24 kilo and my presses with a 20 kilo. Wrong!!

Some days I can’t even come close and once in a while I can do it with ease.

The next few weeks have me backing off on weight and focusing on reps. One important thing is that you should never train your max all the time. I used to do that and ended up getting hurt. I’m pretty confident that when I go back to the heavy singles, I will be much stronger and my PRs will become my normal.

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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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Everyone Needs a Joe

I am always amazed by people who are self motivated when it comes to working out. I can’t help but stare at people running alone and even more mind-boggling, without music and gadgets.

I admire people who do P90X alone in their living rooms or those who workout in garage gyms with equipment tucked between lawnmowers, paint cans and rusty tools.

Unfortunately, I am not that person. I have a home gym that rivals many commercial fitness studios. I have a top of the line Landice treadmill, a Precor elliptical and a fancy pants brand named recumbent bike. I have a Smith Machine, squat rack and a Hoist cable system. I have several sizes of Kettlebells and Dumbbells. I have plyo boxes, medicine balls, bands, balls and every other gadget you can think of. Best of all, it’s air conditioned.

Do I love it?? Yes! Do I use it?? No!

You are probably scratching your head about now wondering what the heck is wrong with me. I wonder that myself. I have an awesome home gym complete with a kicking air conditioning system and yet I get in my car and drive to my dirty, dusty, hot, mosquito filled gym to workout.

If you are one of those self motivated types, this makes no sense. You see, I admit, I am NOT self motivated. I hate working out alone and I don’t like working out at home. I’ve tried. I’ve schlepped my way up stairs, got on my treadmill, turned on the TV and started to run. It only takes a few minutes to realize I forgot my water. I get off the treadmill, go downstairs, grab my water see that there are dirty dishes in the sink. I quickly wash the dishes, grab my water and then decide while I’m here I might as well do a load of laundry. I grab my water, start heading up stairs and notice I have an email….oh and then I just have to check Facebook real quick. While I’m here, I might as well check Twitter….You can see where I’m going with this.

I just can’t workout at home. There are too many distractions. I get in my car and head to my work gym. I got my music and workout picked out and I’m raring to go. I put on some music and begin my joint mobility. I start looking around and realize the benches aren’t stacked on a straight line. It will just take a second to stack them and straighten them. I get back to my warm up and I can’t help but notice the Kettlebells aren’t in straight lines….This goes on and on and before I know it, clients are arriving for class.

I can’t fight it any longer. Call me what you will but I am not self motivated when it comes to exercise. I hate working out alone and when I do my workouts suffer. I don’t workout as hard as I could, I cut it short, I take long breaks, my mind wanders and I just end up finding something else to do.

I know me. I know how I operate. In order to be successful, I have to take who and what I am and make it work for me. I can’t just stand in an empty gym and will myself be self motivated. It’s not going to happen.

What I have done is to set myself up for success. I know I do better with a workout partner so I have workout partners. I have a lot of them! I have Jane, who likes, or rather dislikes running as much as I do. We go to the trails a couple of times a week and run. If needed, we walk and we don’t feel guilty about it. We don’t run for time, we run for exercise. We do have a running goal but if we don’t reach it, we really don’t care.

If you know me and you’ve been reading my blog, you know, I like to do some weird workouts. I like to do stuff that normal people would run from. These kind of workouts are just pure suckage. They must be shared with someone who likes to do things that suck. I have Jerritt or Ricky for that. Jerritt and I just started this new suck fest so I’ll see how long he lasts.

Last but not least are workouts that fall somewhere between social and suckage and that is where I have Joe.

My workouts with Joe are some of the training workouts for his May 50K run in the mountains of New Mexico. Joe runs. He runs far. He runs fast and he can do it alone if needed. Joe also has Megan for his ultra long distance training runs.

Joe and I meet once or twice a week for endurance training that doesn’t involve much running. In addition to stadium workouts, we meet once a week at Trinity Catholic School to run the hill and do Kettlebell swings. The running part is fun because it’s straight up hill. We are up to doing sets of a 100 Kettlebell swings alternated with 8 trips up the hill (Joe, not me). Running the hill gives him some hill experience while the Kettlebell swings gives him a ton of endurance training without adding more impact on his joints. The swings also strengthen his glutes, hamstrings and trunk.

Today we arranged to meet as soon as school got out. I was exhausted. I hadn’t slept much the night before and I had a very busy day. Last thing I wanted to do was workout but I couldn’t let Joe down. As I got closer to the school it started to rain. Secretly, I was glad. The hill is very steep and would be dangerous in the rain.

As soon as I pulled into the school, it started to pour. I called Joe, who was just pulling into the parking lot. We stayed in our cars talking on the phone trying decide whether or not to stay. I was trying to be reasonable and responsible but my real motivation was to get home and get my nap on.

Joe started telling me about his new running shoes. I couldn’t see him but I could tell by the excitement in his voice that he was not leaving until he took the shoes out for a trial run.

The rain let up just enough for us to grab our Kettlebells and get them under the overhang. The rain let up as we started on the hills. We were actually a little disappointed. I did 2 hills to his 8. I had to take it slow. Since I was wearing my Vibrams, I ran around the outer edge of the hill and down the path rather than running straight down hill.

We ran to our Kettlebells. He did 100 swings and I did 80 snatches. I can’t even remember the last time I did snatches. I was so happy!

Then came the torrential downpour. As Forrest Gump said, ” Little bitty stinging rain… and big od’ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath”. Water gushed into the overhang and rivers formed around our Kettlebells.

It started lightening. We looked at each other, paused and headed out for another lap. We were like little kids. We ran though puddles and mud. We dodged rivers and ducked with each thunder clap. It rained so hard that I couldn’t see where I was going.

Joe finished a total of 50 hill sprints and 500 Kettlebell Swings. I did 12 hill walks, just over 100 snatches and around 300 swings.

It was awesome!! No way I would have done that by myself. I would have left and I would have missed out on an incredible fun workout. And, that is why I have Joe.

Who is your Joe?

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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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Super Strong Weekend

I’ve taken 4 naps today and still don’t think I’ve fully recovered from this past weekend. Not sure where Monday and Tuesday went either.

Me and my gym, Boot Camp Fitness and Training hosted the Super Human Workshop with Bud Jeffries and Logan Christopher. It was a weekend of learning techniques to improve strength and endurance using some very unorthodox methods. Lectures were followed by hands on learning and I am pretty sure everyone in attendance set strength PRs.

Friday afternoon was spent preparing for the workshop and also the Strongman performance that was held Friday evening. Watching the process was both fascinating and alarming. Bud and Logan live across the country from each other so Friday afternoon was spent learning and practicing some new stunts. Let’s just say that Juggling Kettlebells of Death was aptly named.

I don’t want to go into a whole recap of the weekend. I am editing a video that will give you more information than you could possibly handle.

So, let’s talk about me!!

I threw most caution to the wind as I just had to try out some feats of strength. I am happy to report that I did hold back in certain areas due to my healing, but not much.

First thing I just had to try was taking a bowling ball to my stomach. I’m not sure how many people would watch that being done to someone and then immediately want to try it. It wasn’t that bad. I have some strong abs and it’s all about maximum contraction and trusting the person dropping the ball on your stomach. We started low and went higher. I didn’t get it on video but later that weekend, Logan took a few steps up the ladder and dropped the ball on me.

One of the things that I really wanted to be able to do was to bend a nail. I have tried several times in the past year and wasn’t even able to put a kink in it. I tried again on Friday and couldn’t do it. On Monday and under the careful instruction of Bud’s son, Noah, who can bend thick steel rods, I bent my first 3/16th nail! It wasn’t easy.

One of the great things about hosting the workshop was having access to so many experts. Everyone hung out at my house each day after the workshop. I talked to Bud about some ideas for celebrating my upcoming 50th birthday with some crazy feats of strength and insanity. We came up with a plan and he wrote me a workout.

My goal is to flip our 400 pound tire 50 times! But first, I had to learn the proper technique. Thanks to Bud, the tire goal seems reachable.

This weekend really helped get me excited about working out. Having a really cool, unique goal to achieve is the icing on the cake. Traditional workouts just don’t excite me and this workshop was just what I needed both physically and mentally to light my fire.

On Tuesday, I got with Noah one last time for a bending lesson. I bent 3 nails with ease. Since we didn’t have a thicker nail, Noah duct taped a 3/16 and a 1/8 together for me to try. That was tough and I had to use some different leverage to bend it but I did it. As you can see in this video, the 3/16 nail bend was easy. It was bent before I actually used all my strength.

Even though I set quite a few PRs this weekend and got to hang out with some very cool people including my girls in strength, Adrienne Harvey and Melody Schoenfeld. I also got to meet and learn from, Ryan Pitts of Stronger Grip. He makes the coolest grip and strength tools I’ve ever seen. I already have an order ready.

It was a great weekend but I must say, the best part was seeing my best girl, Ava..oh and finally getting the FSU Kettlebell that Ryan has been working on for months.

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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.

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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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