Just wrapped up a 5 week session full of awesome work, major steps toward goals and above all else, empowering individuals with a group dynamic to believe and follow their goals. With this session being one week longer than normal, there was ample opportunity to make significant ground on goals. And significant ground was made, by so many including the two award winners this month. Their journey didn’t start this session nor did it end, but they have emerged as definite leaders in their respective classes, that so many look to them for inspiration, motivation, and a kick in the ass.
Black Tshirt Winner
Nikki is a little powerhouse, lifting heavy going hard and leaving it all on the mat, every single day. In bootcamp, Nikki cranks out burpees like no one in our entire program, then turns around and deadlifts over 220 pounds, flips a 475 pound tire, and performs a 20kg (44 pound) kettlebell snatch. Phenomenal numbers considering she is only 130 pounds. Nikki, a Wall of Fame member of our program knows what it takes to achieve awesome results and has walked the walk. In 3 weeks she will take her efforts to the next level by participating in the Tough Mudder event with 36 other of her fellow bootcampers. No doubt another opportunity to shine. Congratulations Nikki, way to show everyone how its done.
Camper of the Month
Melissa is a machine. There really is no other way to put it. She will workout in bootcamp then run 10 miles. She is close to achieving her Black Belt and recently taking on swimming. Fitness is in her blood and it is very evident with her efforts in class. Very quiet, Melissa leads by example with her intense focus and determination she brings with every workout pours over into her classmates effort. Melissa too is participating in the Tough Mudder with our team in 3 weeks and I have no doubt she will continue those very efforts that recognize her as a leader in bootcamp to the course and teammates at this incredible event.
Our annual transformation contest is in full swing and the contestants have had some awesome results so far. We are just over the halfway point in the contest and had measurement updates last night and took halfway pictures. To say these ladies are killing it is an understatement. They are getting stronger (two are on the deadlift board hitting 205- Amanda, and 237- Kim), and getting leaner as you will see in the pictures and measurements below. Check out these amazing results so far:
Kim Before Kim Halfway
Theresa Before Theresa Halfway
Amanda Before Amanda Halfway
Andrea Before Andrea Halfway
And the measurements…:
20 pounds lost
5.3% body fat lost
8.25 inches lost
22 pounds lost
7.1% body fat lost
5.75 inches lost
10 pounds lost
4.7% body fat lost
.75 inches lost
12.5 pounds lost
5% body fat lost
7.5 inches lost
In about 40 days a large group of bootcampers and myself will be participating in the Tough Mudder in Mount Snow Vermont. This is a first for many of us participating in an event like this, so there are are a lot of nerves to say the least. I personally see it as a fun event with some exercise thrown in. We will soon see if that is an accurate way of thinking or not
In an event like this there are a lot of variables that you must train for. When I designed the program I referred back to when I trained a mixed martial artist in thinking that they had to train for a lot of variables. Sure there were major differences between the program design of the two events/sports, but my thought was I had to prepare the athlete for anything.
For this extreme event in particular there did have to be a few specific things needed to make the program effective: time, pulling movements, running, and oxygen restriction. Knowing those things were necessary, I could build a very effective program around them. Some movements could combine more than one requirement and I did that often in the program design of Tough Mudder training. Exercises such as Sled Drags, Tire Flips, Bear Crawls, Rope Climbs, and Plate Pushes are prevelant in the program.
In order to maintain a similar feel to the Tough Mudder course, we made workouts an hour, reps on the low end for stationary movements (to mimic obstacles) and any traveling movements we made a bit longer to build strength with endurance to help with the latter part of the course. As we progress closer to the event, we will be incorporating many more items such as hill runs, more variations of pulling movements as well as getting out in the elements more to prepare for that ‘unknown’. Here’s a couple videos of some of the action. In both of these videos, there doesnt’ look like a lot of people participating but we had stations outdoors, and when I was filming these, most of them were outside in the dark:
I was thinking of this today as I was getting in my 20 minute workout.
I’m not a runner, I tried a few years ago, but my career was very short lived. I have come to the conclusion that my body was not made for running, but I still wanted to enhance my cardiovascular endurance to become more well rounded with my fitness. So, alas, I had to find other ways.
I did some research on this topic as I had been told by so many and read in many references that running was the best to build your endurance, in fact, it wasn’t just better, it was far superior to anything else. I dug deeper; the exercise science background, and logic in me were non-believers and I just knew there would be something at least comparable to running for effectiveness in training endurance even fat loss.
In the end I did find a few references that said kettlebell swings and snatches did produce twice the amount of calories burned per minute to running. I was elated to discover that, then I also took my ‘theory’ to believe that burpees and other movements that required more muscle involvement also burned more calories than did running. I looked at it as running involving the lungs and legs primarily. Sure the upperbody was an assistor in the process, but not nearly as involved as it is with kettlebell swings or burpees for example.
Another reason for my ‘research’ is that I get bored easy, and running is definately something I got bored with quick, so changing it up is in my blood, and if it is in yours too, then I have a great treat for you. I’ve comprised a list of 25 different ways to train cardiovascular endurance without compromising results and without getting bored with your program. Now when I refer to ‘cardiovascular endurance’ I should explain that I’m referring to 20 minutes of training or performing long interval style workouts (2 minutes on 2 minutes off). I hope this list stirs your mind to try new things and change it up for your body and minds sake. What you won’t see on this list is the other typical means of cardio like biking or swimming, because that would be too easy . Also when I refer to long intervals or 20 minutes continuous training, I don’t mean its leisurely, its at a moderate pace, so you are pushing it but not maximizing your speed.
25 Different Ways to Boost your Cardiovascular Endurance OTHER than Running
1. Snowshoeing- one of my favorites
3. Stair Sprints
4. Turkish Get ups
5. Kettlebell Swings
6. Speed Hiking (not leisurely)
8. Bear Crawls
9. Speed Kayaking
10. Sled Pulls/Sled Pushes
11. Hill Sprints
12. Kettlebell Snatches
13. Light Weight Dumbbell Complexes
14. Light Weight Kettlebell Complexes
15. Light Weight Barbell Complexes
16. Gorilla Crawls
17. Hill Climbers
18. High Knees (running in place- different than actual running)
19. Light to Moderate Tire Flips
20. Step ups (bodyweight only or light weight if performing for 2 minute intervals)
21. Lateral Shuffles
22. Gorilla Cleans (2 minute intervals)
23. Sandbag Carries (Bear Hug Style)
24. Resistance Band Punches
25. Resistance Band Squat Rows
Those are my top 25, and there are many more that could be added to the list. Remember that variety is key and your body appreciates it. It reduces the risk of overuse injuries, prevents mental boredom, and will elicit better results as you become more rounded with your training.
Every February has turned out some of the best sessions effort and results wise every year of our existence. This session was no different as we had some amazing effort individually as well as a whole. New records in the deadlift, new lows in body fat and new goals reached every day.
To say it was a hard choice to choose two winners this session for Camper of the Month and Black TShirt is an understatement. I literally made the final decision two minutes before my deadline. Awesome efforts, and great leaders perfectly describe these two individuals. They have been voted by their peers each and every month and this month was their crowning moment. Congratulations Bob Jenks and Sylvie Corriveau!
Black Tshirt Winner
Sylvie has had an amazing transformation to say the least. She lifts her class to a new level when she attends. Her consistency has led her to the amazing results she has achieved. Being in a small class, that is no small feat. She made a small class of 4-6 people feel like 24-26, always pushing her limits and shouting encouragement to the masses.
Her efforts are measured in time. She has had ups and downs along her journey but one thing has remained constant: she has never taken her eyes off her goal, and that one major detail has taken her to this point! Amazing job Sylvie, thank you for working so hard and inspiring your classmates to push harder while you strive full steam ahead toward your goals.
Camper of the Month
Bob has the perfect blend of smile and personality and hard work and determination. He brings a light attitude to every class and makes anyone and everyone feel comfortable. The other side of Bob is just as pleasant…well as an instructor it certainly is He has a determination and will that never quits. Dealing with some knee issues, Bob has been limited with some exercises and what he can do with them, but that hasn’t stopped him from being very consistent with his attendance and doing our specialty classes back to back (ABS and Warrior) for over 4 months. Bob is truly a member of our program that new members look to for inspiration and a friendly face that will joke with you and take you under his wing, but also show you what it takes to be successful.