Archive for September, 2017
In my last post I talked about using the Kaizen method to form good habits. I used some examples that were shockingly small.
But research has shown there is a way to pack 45 minutes of exercise into 1 minute. It sounds like a product that you would see on late night TV with 8 Minute Abs and something that makes Ramen Noodles cook EVEN faster.
Researchers compared a group of young men who were to perform moderate cardiovascular exercise versus a group of young men who would perform High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The wanted to see if there were changes in aerobic fitness, how well they could control blood sugar, and muscle function at the cell level.
The first group did a 2-minute warm-up, rode 45 minutes on a stationary bike, and then did a 3-minute cool down. The other group warmed up for 2 minutes, went as hard as they could for 20 seconds, went 2 minutes very slowly, and then repeated that sequence for a total of 3 sets in 10 minutes. Both groups exercised 3 days per week.
Both groups ended up with:
-20% increase in cardiovascular endurance
-improved insulin resistance
-great increases in cells that produce energy and oxygen in the muscles
Would you rather exercise for 27 hours or 6 hours (with only 36 minutes being hard) to get the same benefit? That’s a pretty easy choice for me.
But, there is always a but, HIIT is not easy! It is also not the only way I recommend you exercise. There are some days you are just not in the mood for intense exercise. Going for a long run, hike, swim, bike ride, etc… at a leisurely pace is still great for your body as well as your mind.
In my next post I will put up a HIIT workout similar to what we do in our boot camp classes.
Bigger is better. We do not like things to be small. When we make changes, they need to be huge and life changing RIGHT AWAY!
And that is where most of us fail.
-I need to quit smoking, I'm going cold turkey.
-2017 is going to be the year I will workout EVERY day.
-Time to clean up the old diet! Get out of here pizza and pasta, get in here broccoli and beets. Salads and water until I lose 40 pounds and get back into those Jordache jeans from 6th grade.
Those scenarios usually end up like you think they would. Our brains are hardwired to make change difficult.
This is a great quote from Robert Maurer's book One Small Step Can Change Your Life, The Kaizen Way:
“All changes, even positive ones, are scary. Attempts to reach goals through radical or revolutionary means often fail because they heighten fear. But the small steps of kaizen disarm the brain’s fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play.”
Kaizen is the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady steps. It is about getting 1% better every day by doing things that seem so tiny they should be irrelevant.
Two examples of this are:
Eating just one less bite of food every meal. Then a month later, you eat two less bites.
Start an exercise program by just standing on a treadmill for one minute a day.
Those seem like such tiny things, but you don't stop there. You continue to slowly make progress, build confidence, and stick to the program.
Where are you stuck? What is it that you can not seem to accomplish? Are you willing to try something new?
It will take patience, but if you are willing to persist the Kaizen method may be just the thing you need to finally succeed.
In study published in BMC Public Health, researchers wanted to know why some women exercised and others did not. The women were asked:
-what their physical activity levels were
-what they thought about exercise
-what made them feel happy and successful
-what a perfect day looked like for them
-if they considered exercise a priority
All the women in the study had 4 main things that made them happy:
1. Connecting with others
2. Being of service to others
3. Participating in leisure activities and hobbies
4. Feeling relaxed and free from daily pressures
To feel successful the women in the study wanted to contribute to the success of others, accomplish goals, and professional achievements.
Those were the things they could agree on. But when it came to views on physical activity, there was a stark difference.
The “low active” women thought exercise:
-was selfish and took time away from their family
-created stress in their life
-required too much commitment/intense effort
-this intense effort was taking away their need to relax
The “high active” group held the opposite viewpoint on exercise.
Exercise is not punishment! It is not something you do because you had birthday cake at the office or a couple of glasses of wine the night before.
Exercise is a reward to your body! It can make you a better mom, sister, wife, grandmother, employee, and boss.
It can get rid of the stress you are feeling.
It does not take 2 hours a day every day to get in shape. You can see results in whatever time you can fit in, if you are willing to try. I guarantee you have the time, but sometimes you have to make the time if it is not already there.
You do not have to deadlift 500 pounds, do burpees all day, or anything else that seems too intense for you. What do you enjoy doing? Do that!
When you exercise regularly, you are able to relax better. When you relax better, you can sleep better at night. When you get more quality sleep you get more energy. It is a rewarding cycle, not one that decreases your quality of life.
Our boot camps use these principles successfully. It is a place where women can go to connect with others, help each other out, accomplish goals, and get rid of stress at their pace and individual fitness level. For at least that one hour, they can sweat, smile, laugh, and be with their friends in a stress free and positive environment.
That one hour pays dividends throughout the day. These are moms, sisters, wives, grandmothers, employees, and bosses who are better equipped to do the things they need to do during the day. They are stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally because of exercise not in spite of it.
This study did not mention one thing about the physical difference in these women. It only mentioned one thing, their attitudes. And that is great news, because that is what you have complete control over.
So if you consider yourself “low activity” it is time to change how you look at exercise. Find a way to move that makes you feel good and do that! Regular exercise will pay dividends across all areas of your life.
Give it a shot. There are women just like you, who change their lives every day by starting with just one exercise session. Why not you?
The other day I was all excited about my workout. I couldn’t wait to take a trip to Muscleville, population me.
I’m just a few sets in to my very first exercise and it happens. Stinking back spasms.
Not sure if you have ever had back spasms before but they are not much fun. The bad part is that is was completely my own fault that I got them.
If you were making a formula to give yourself back spasms, I came up with a pretty good one. First you get about 4 hours of sleep the night before, then, you drink lots of coffee to make up for that, do NOT rehydrate with water, eat not so great foods, sit a lot working on a project, rush through your warm-up, and then go too heavy too fast doing squats.
That will pretty much do it if you are looking to experience some sympathy back spasms with me. And I knew not to do all of these things, but I still did them. Do you ever get yourself in those situations where you know better, but do it any way?
The first lesson here is to always prepare for your workouts. If you are tired, dehydrated, your nutrition has been terrible, you’ve been sitting all day, and you halfway go through your warm-up chances are good you could injure yourself.
The second lesson was what I did after I got the back spasms. I obviously was finished with my heavy squats and deadlifts for the day, but that did not mean my workout was finished. I found some things I could do (wall sits, bodyweight squats, rear foot elevated squats) and not be completely miserable. Then the next day, I found upper body exercises I could still do.
When you have an injury, you can choose to give up or adapt. I always choose to adapt and you should too. It’s not time to throw in the towel because you are uncomfortable or it’s too hard. What CAN you do? Put the focus there.
Maybe it is time to clean up your nutrition, decrease your stress levels, or improve your sleep quality. If your lower body, upper body, or core is injured find what you can still work on and do that! Studies show doing something works 100% better than feeling sorry for yourself.
If you need help on finding what exercises you can still do, some lifestyle changes you can make, or anything else feel free to reach out to me. Don’t give in, awesomeness is still attainable at all levels of life.
One of the gifts I got my wife for her 40th birthday was a ticket to the Moon Over Three Caves Dance. We’ve been trying to go for years and I am so glad we went because it was awesome!
They had one of our favorite bands, Juice, playing. They actually played at our wedding, so my wife was really excited to see them.
On special occasions, I will take my unique talents to the dance floor. I give the gift of dance to all who are around me because I am a giver. I am familiar with most of the popular line dances, but they all tend to kind of run together for me until I find my way.
Juice played The Wobble at one point and I found myself in a familiar position of knowing just enough to be dangerous. I knew all of The Wobble steps, but I may or may have not had the correct order.
The dance floor was in a state of confusion. There were several people who were thrown off by the slightly different rendition of The Wobble. Some were thrown off by the fact they had no idea what was happening. And others might have been thrown off by the glare on my head.
Somebody needed to do something! They needed guidance. They needed a hero.
They needed a ginger.
So I went all in. I did things big, I did things on the 4 count. I did all the steps you’re supposed to do. I have no idea if it was in the right order, but I did it with gusto.
A funny thing happened. People started following my lead and doing the same flawed moves. It was like that dance scene in Can’t Buy Me Love if you’ve ever seen that.
There are a few lessons to take away from this.
1. You have control over two things in life: attitude and effort.
This is something we preach to our 11 and 12-year old football players all the time. You don’t have control over how fast or big you are, but you do have control over how hard you work and your positivity.
The same thing applies to your exercise program. You can’t control genetics, your schedule, and hundreds of other things. You do have control of how much effort you put into it and whether or not you are going to stick with it. Go hard.
2. Psychology trumps physiology.
One of the top guys in the fitness world, Alwyn Cosgrove says this. That just means there is a lot you can overcome going all in with the help of others. You don’t have to have the perfect exercise program to get results. Don’t overthink what exercises to do, how many times, how many days, etc… A group atmosphere has been proven to help you increase your intensity, overcome fatigue, and get you better results.
3. Be careful who you follow, they probably have no idea what they are doing.
Especially when it comes to dancing.
Retired Admiral William H. McRaven did a commencement speech at his alma mater the University of Texas. The speech ended up going viral, so chances are good that if you didn’t see it you probably heard about it.
The speech was called Change The World By Making Your Bed. What does making your bed have to do with changing the world? I hate making my bed, I’m just going to sleep in it in a few hours!
There are several reasons for making your bed, the first being that it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Gives you a little pride to start your day and that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Inspiring you to do another task, then another task.
Making your bed shows you that the little things matter. You can never do the big things, if you can’t first do the little things. Then if nothing else when you come home and you have had a terrible day you have a nicely made bed waiting for you at home. And that gives you hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
I just finished reading Admiral McRaven’s book “Make Your Bed: Little things that can change your life...and maybe the world.” Great, short read if you are looking for a book. And it motivated me to “make my bed”. I just have one problem.
There is still someone sleeping in my bed when I get up at 4am.
So I’ve started waking up and immediately doing 5 minutes as hard as I can go on a VersaClimber. Wakes me up, I get in a little cardio training, and no matter how busy the rest of my day gets I have at least done 5 minutes of exercise that day.
What can you do to “make your bed” each morning? What can set the tone for the day and get you off on the right foot? Find what works best for you! Find that thing that no matter how bad your day goes, you will always have that one positive thing to look at as proof that this day was not a waste.
Fall is here! This is my favorite time of year. It is football season AND I don’t feel like I’m going to spontaneously burst into flames from the heat. Two of my favorite things.
In a few short weeks it will also be time for that polarizing invention called Fall Break. Our classes are normally 4 weeks at a time, but the break falls right on our 4th week.
So we are going to offer a special 3-week September Slim Down Special Camp. 3 weeks of fun and energizing sessions to get you in shape at your pace and on your level.
And as a bonus we are including a free copy of our 21-Day Detox Challenge. This detox is a great way to lose weight, have more energy, and tone up. Just in time for that trip to the beach over fall break.
Save your spot at our web site here --->Slim Down Special