Do Simulated Workouts Give Real Life Results?

quote-Thomas-A.-Edison-there-is-no-substitute-for-hard-work-854

“HARD WORK, DEDICATION”! “HARD WORK, DEDICATION”! “HARD WORK, DEDICATION”! If you have ever seen training camp footage of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, you know that “hard work, dedication” is his mantra. “Hard work, dedication” is not only the mantra for The Money Team (TMT) it is also the mantra for any and all successful people! Everyone from successful entrepreneurs to SuperBowl Champions, all the way down to anyone who has ever achieved a worthy goal, all successful people have uttered the words, “hard work and dedication”. This is because there is no other way to succeed. In fact I am willing to go out on a limb by declaring that it is impossible to succeed without both hard work and dedication.

But how do you measure hard work? Well in the physics world, work is defined as the amount of force required to move an object a given distance.

Work = Force x distance

So to get more work you would either need to increase the amount of force used, or travel a further distance. But there is also another more important factor to consider and that is, time. Time is a limited resource, so a better measurement is to determine how much work has been done is a set amount of time. Well going back to the physics world, this is defined as Power, which is the ultimate measurement of performance. The more work you do in a given amount of time the higher the power output, which equals better performance.

Time is our most valuable resource

Time is our most valuable resource

Power = work/time

These physics definitions translate very well to the fitness world. However,to make this more relatable (using fitness terms), I would like to substitute the word PRODUCTIVITY for the word POWER and the word INTENSITY for the word WORK. We then have the fitness success equation:

Productivity = Intensity/time

This means:

For a given workout (time), the higher the intensity (work), the more productive (power) the workout.  And we all know the more productive you are the faster you will achieve your goals. It is SCIENCE!

Get you some!

Get you some!

 

This proves that the intensity of a workout is directly related to the effectiveness, but BEWARE, intensity can be “simulated” and you might be a victim and not even know it…

I’ve never been skydiving, however I have had the sensation of skydiving. About 6 years ago I found myself inside a vertical wind tunnel. This tunnel blasts air, upwards, at 120-mph, which is also known as terminal velocity (constant free fall speed of an object). This powerful upward draft of air allows you to “float” in mid-air giving the sensation of a real life free fall (about 2-mins of flying). I had an absolute blast and I even felt like it was a fairly good simulation of what it would be like to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. But here’s the catch, it was a simulation, there was no airplane, no parachute strapped to my back, there was no danger of injury or death, the atmosphere was low key, and I only needed a 15-min course. So while the skydive simulation was awesome, by no means do I think my wind tunnel experience was equivalent to the real thing. I understand that it was just a “lazy man’s” sky dive experience. However in the fitness world many people still confuse the “simulation” experience with the real thing.

There are workouts that specialize in giving you the sensation of an intense workout, obviously these workouts are better than doing nothing, however, just like indoor skydiving, these “simulation workouts” pale in comparison to the real thing. But let’s fist define what an intense workout looks/feels like.  The two biggest indicators of a very intense workout are increased body temperature and feeling “the burn” in your muscles.

Motivational-Fitness-Pictures-7

Hard work, dedication

Increased body temperature:  The signs of body temperature rising are sweating, shortness of breath (suffocating feeling), increased thirst, and an elevated heart rate.  In other words, you feel uncomfortably HOT! That’s why I always say, “got to get hot to be hot”! 😉 .  It is true, sweating and feeling hot is one of the best indicators for a highly effective workout.

Sweat = Hard Work = Success!

There are two ways to raise your body temperature, you can raise it internally by doing work or you can raise it externally by cranking up the heat in a room. Hot Yoga anyone? “It’s like yoga, but hot”. By cranking up the heat to 104 degrees and adding about 40% humidity hot yoga has recreated the sensation of increased intensity.  If you have ever done hot yoga you know that it doesn’t take long before you start sweating, breathing becomes harder, and heart rate starts to increase. Now they (yogis) claim this is not their intention, they say they are heating up the room to recreate the conditions of India or something like that. But coincidence or not, Hot Yoga “tricks” your mind by giving you the exact same feeling of a intense workout but with much less effort required. It really is simple, it takes more effort (greater intensity) to raise your body temperature internally then is does walking into a hot room. When you walk into a hot room your body temperature raises automatically, you could just lay there and you would start to sweat. It is not the same thing! By this logic, every one living in Phoenix, Arizona should be shredded. Heat alone is not enough, it matters how the heat is generated (internally or externally).

Yoga

Without yoga there would be no yoga pants…

Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying yoga (hot or not) is bad, I am just calling a spade a spade. Yoga is about stretching, and meditation, it is not intended to be an intense workout. Again don’t take this the wrong way, I am also not saying yoga is easy, in fact it can take years of dedication to become a yoga master. I am just saying that no matter which way you slice and dice it yoga is not a power producing workout. Hell even the State of Washington (among many other states) agrees with me and we all know how greedy States are when it comes to collecting taxes. According to the Washington State Department of revenue, yoga is classified as more mental/spiritual than physical. Yes, the intensity of yoga is so low that they pay almost 50% less in state taxes compared to any other gym.

“Yoga, is definitely not an aerobic exercise.” – Anne Phyfe Palmer, owner of 8 Limbs Yoga centers in Seattle

Feeling “the burn”: Have you ever ran hill sprints? I am talking about running as fast as you possibility can up the steepest hill you can find. If you have then you know that they are absolutely brutal, once that lactic acid builds up, your muscles begin to burn. After just a few sprints the pain/burning sensation becomes so bad that the only thing that keeps you going is your determination.  After about 10 of these sprints, all of a sudden your legs are made out of jello and you have a hard time walking properly for hours afterwards. An experience like this leaves no doubt in your mind that you got an amazing workout.

barre

Now hold this position for a few minutes till you feel the burn

But this too can be simulated and there maybe no better workout for simulating that lactic acid burning sensation than Barre. How? By doing workouts I would show my 85 year old grandma. “Here grandma, grab this bar so you don’t fall and give me some squats and calf raises.” Honestly I am not trying to pick on Barre classes, I just want to point out that the power produced is very small. Back to physics – work is measured by the amount of force required to move and object. And Barre classes specialize in muscle isolation and tend to use very little if any weight. Light weight means less force is required to move the object and muscle isolation means, just that, isolating muscles, and when muscles are isolated, less force is needed to complete the job.

Let me give you an example. Calf raises (isolation exercise -one major muscle group involved) vs. Squats (nearly all major muscle groups involved). In a set amount of time which exercise (calf raises or squats) do you think will require more work and produce more productivity (power)? If you said squats congratulations, you know more then most mainstream fitness instructors know about fitness. We haven’t even discussed weight and distance, now imagine how much more work is required to squat 200-lbs (in addition to your own body weight)and moving this weight 2 to 4 feet (depending on squat depth). Compare this to a calf raises, just your body weight moving a maximum 6-inches. Again it is simple, the more force required, the further distance traveled, and the more muscles involved at one time the better the workout.

Barre 2

Wear all the make-up you want. We won’t be working that hard.

Barre takes the quantity over quality approach which means they do a shit ton of reps with little to no weight and isolates as many muscles as possible. This means you get to feel that burning sensation and even experience that jello feeling in your arms, legs and core all without even breaking a sweat. But here is the key, a muscle burning sensation alone doesn’t translate to an effective workout. Back in my collage days, I took so many notes that my hand would often cramp/burn on many occasions, but that doesn’t mean I got a great workout taking notes. Everyone has heard this, even though most of you choose to ignore it; “you can spot reduce”! Our body works as one unit and if you really want that firm ass or flat sexy stomach you have to burn fat and build muscle. And the only way to burn fat and build muscle is…

Look I understand, Barre allows you to “play” fitness model for the day; you get wear the latest Lululemon gear, you get to wear make-up, you get to style your hair, you get to experience your muscles burning/cramping in a safe/low key environment, and you don’t have to worry about sweating so you can still go get brunch with your friends afterwards.


looking-good

So if you have been a victim of fitness simulation I hope you don’t get discouraged. We have a saying at my gym, “you are lapping everyone on the couch”. This means there is no such thing as a bad workout and anything you do is better than staying home watching Judge Judy. So if you like yoga or you like Barre, I encourage you to do whatever makes you happy (Always happy, never satisfied) and whatever keeps you moving. My goal for this post is to just make you aware that not all exercises are created equal and if you are serious about wanting that flat stomach and firm ass at some point you will need to increase your intensity, at some point you will need to be dripping in sweat (heat generated internally), with your muscles on fire. There is no shortcut and there is no magic pill. If you want head turning results you better get used to saying HARD WORK, DEDICATION!

I am Confused about Muscle Confusion?

*Note – This is a blog from the summer of 2012. It has been slightly updated/revised. I mentioned this, because some of the scenarios are referring to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Have you heard about the 10,000 hour rule? This rule, states that it takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert at a particular craft. In other words, it can takes years of dedication and years of hard work to become really, really, really good at whatever “craft” it is you choose. It doesn’t matter if it is playing a musical instrument, basketball, painting, martial arts, wood working, archery, or crochet. In order to become really great at something you must do that “something” as much and as often as you can. And the world of fitness is no different. If you want to become physically fit you must workout as much and as often as you can.

10000-hours-rule1

But what does it mean to “workout”? Are all workouts created equal? Or better yet, what type of training produces the best results, focused training or random training? Is it better to “mix-up” and randomize your workouts or is it better to have a more focused/structured approach? Is it better to have a plan or be confused? Well in my opinion the answer is simple, focused training is the best! You see random training leads to random results. Think of it like this, the best/quickest way to reach a destination is to have a map and a planned route. How likely are you to reach the same destination if you just start driving, no map, no GSP, no directions scribbled on a napkin, no nothing, just you, your car and a “gut feeling” ? Sure maybe the “lets just go with the flow” approach will eventually get you there (highly unlikely) but it will take you a hell of a lot longer and the journey will be much harder.

When it comes to travel, a structured approach is a no-brainier, but when it comes to developing the body of your dreams, structured approaches are slowly being replaced by the lazy “randomized” training method. Yes, instead of sticking with a particular method for a good amount of time (earning our 10,000 hours) we have been tricked by slick marketing that random or “muscle confusion” is the new “black”. That’s right, P90X, CrossFit, and Groupon  have convinced many of us that confusion is not only a good thing, it is the best way to reach our desired fitness destination!

Brilliant!!!

Brilliant!!!

I run a specialty gym, which means we specialize in a very specific type of focused training (Kickboxing). Because of this focus/specialization, I often get asked,“So all you do is kickboxing?” After I explain that while class routines can and do vary a lot, at the end of the day, we will most likely be punching and kicking a bag. This answer usually produces a confused looked on the person, which then leads to the next question is, “but I though you are supposed to confuse your muscles, keep them (your muscles) guessing, or else you will stop making progress, correct”?

Ok, it is time to finally drive that wooded stake right through the heart of this fitness myth and kill it once and for all!

First lets discuss where the idea of muscle confusion actually came from. As I mentioned earlier all credit goes to P90X and CrossFit for at least popularizing the term “muscle confusion”. While there is some truth to this idea (I will explain), however, it is mostly a marketing gimmick and even a recipe for less than stellar results.The idea behind “muscle confusion” is that over time your muscles will adapt to certain movements, thus becoming extremely efficient at these movements, and once this happens you will cease any and all improvements (hitting that dreaded fitness plateau). How do you prevent this? By constantly changing your workouts, which means to doing different (random) exercises, changing the order in which you complete the exercises, and changing the amount of reps/sets all in an effort to trick your muscles into getting stronger.

muscle-confusion

There are two real problem with the muscle confusion myth:

  1. It can actually hamper progress – From a scientific standpoint muscle confusion adds too many variables to the equation. You don’t know what is working and what is not and it is very hard to track your progress. Also you never really spend enough time on a particular aspect so you never really get good at anything. I know because I have been a victim many times. Let me give you an example: If your goal is to do 10 pull-ups before Christmas you better add pull-ups to your training plan. I guarantee you won’t improve at pull-ups unless you practice them all the time.
  2. It leads to injury – Workout, rest, recover! In its simplest form, that is the recipe for fitness success. You workout, your muscle “breaks down”, you then rest and your muscles rebuild slightly stronger than before. The problem with “muscle confusion” you are not allowed to plan for the future, when do you rest? What days do you train the lower body? What days do you train the upper body? Is it a hard training week or a light training week? If you can’t answer these questions your workouts are random, and randomness leads to chaos, chaos leads to disaster, and disaster usually mean injury.

So yes, it is true your muscles do adapt over time. If you ran a 5K every day at the same speed, on the same route, your muscles would eventually adapt. This means you would see very little physical improvement despite running everyday. Same goes with lifting, if you lift the same weight for the exact same amount of sets and reps you will never get any stronger. So, as promised I will explain my version on “muscle confusion”.

First, let me say you can’t confuse your muscles, you either use your muscles or you don’t. You can’t tell you leg muscles to take the day off because you are just going to train your upper body today and then quickly run over to the squat rack and start doing squats hoping to catch your legs by surprise. With that said, you “confuse” your muscle by changing the volume load, or the speed/power of the exercise, not the exercise itself. It is like they say in triathlons “it never gets easier, you just go faster”, the same is true for kickboxing you can always punch/kick faster or harder, you can always improve your form thus leading to a more fluid like movement, you can always sprint faster, you can do more push-ups or  jumping lunges in a set amount of time. I am sure you are getting the point. Not to mention we are always adding variety to the classes with different instructors (all have a different style), conducting different cross-training movements and changing up the combinations

Right now as I write this the Olympics are in full swing. The Olympics are a spectacle of athletic achievement and the athletes are always pushing the limits of what we think is humanly possible, it is a beautiful thing! These athletes are just about as close to super humans as one can get. Not to mention the majority of these athletes have phenomenal bodies. So while every athlete has different training needs and methods (different sports require different training plans) the one thing they all have in common is that they do not “confuse” their muscles!

Let’s take the 100-meter sprint. Could you imagine training for that event without a proper plan? Let’s look at a mock scenario: You show up to the track one day to train

Swimming?!?! You must be out your damn mind!

Swimming?!?! You must be out your damn mind!

Coach “We are not running today we are swimming.”

You say, “But I am not a swimmer, plus the race is just a few months away and I feel like I still need more work.”

Your coach says, “Exactly you thought you were going to run today but we need to trick your muscles, your muscles were not expecting to swim so we got them right where we want them”.

Well after all he is your coach so you agree to go swimming and it turns out to be a good workout after all so you are not too mad. Then the next day you show up to the track and while you are lacing up your track shoes the coach says we are also not going to run today.

You, “why not? What are we doing”?

Coach, “rock climbing.”

You, “what the hell does rock climbing have to do with the 100-meter sprints”?!

Coach, “Ah now you are learning we can’t let your muscles get used to sprinting we need to confuse them”.

Let’s now assume this scenario goes on for the next few months where you only actually are doing proper sprint training once or twice a week. How do you think you would fair at the race?  If you guessed poorly, you guessed right!

His muscles look confused

What about a real life story using Michael Phelps. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know the Michael Phelps story but please bear with me as his story really helps my point. Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete ever and some would even argue the best Olympic athlete of all time. His dedication to training is awe-inspiring. In fact he was on record saying that he swam 6 days a week for nearly six hours a day for the 3.5 years leading up to the Olympics in Beijing (2008) and it did not matter if his training days fell on his birthday or Christmas morning he went swimming.  What was his training plan? Swimming, swimming, and more swimming. Sure he did some cross training but it was always done in a calculated manner. So obviously I am not suggesting that you train like Michael Phelps, unless you actually want to swim in the Olympics, then you better start swimming now, I am also not suggesting that you need to workout for 6-hours a day to get a great body. I am just using him as an example that training in a very specific way (no “muscle confusion”) will not lead to a fitness plateau. Not to mention he has the 6 pack abs, and low body fat giving him the lean “ripped” look that most of us want.

I am not saying that you can’t do any other workouts other than kickboxing. I am a big fan of cross-training. In fact I can show you a great strength training workout that perfectly compliments the kickboxing classes. I am just helping you navigate through this crazy world of fitness! Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is results! So before you think you need to mix it up (again), find a good gym, find a good trainer, and dedicate at least 1-year to a more structured program and see what happens. But be careful you might actually succeed 😉

Hey “New Guy”, Shut-up and Listen!

Have you ever been the “new guy”? I bet you have. Remember when you started that new job, what about when you joined a new soccer team, or remember trying that new hobby/activity for the first time. At some point we have all been there, we have all been the “new guy” and unless you are scared of leaving your precious comfort zone, there is a very good chance that at some point in the near future you will once again be the “new guy”. Being the “new guy” is actually a great experience, it can be very exciting and at the same time very humbling. Humbling experiences teach us a great deal about ourselves. But at the same time being the new guy is no easy task and it can be very stressful because everyone is “sizing you up”. Everyone is making predictions on your performance. Right or wrong everyone makes snap judgments about the “new guy”. “Is this person the real deal or are they a faker”? “Is this person in it for the long haul or are they going to quit once it gets hard? 

New guy

Like it or not, these snap judgments are in-bedded in our DNA. It is based on a survival mechanism that our ancestors used all the time.  “Is that a lion or a bush”? “Does that river look safe to cross”? “Should I drink/eat that”? “Does this tribe seem friendly or hostile”? “That brightly colored snake looks creepy, better stay away”! In fact one can argue that without these snap judgments, the human species may have gone extinct a long time ago. However, at this current point in our evolution we have yet to out grow our profiling instincts, sorry to break it to you but we haven’t yet reached that perfect “judgment free” hippy utopia. So instead of arguing whether snap judgments are right or wrong you should be-aware that they in fact do exist, and you should try to use these judgments to your advantage or at the very least learn how to not let these snap judgments be your down fall.        

The worst mistake many people make when being the “new guy” is they don’t stop talking. Let’s use soccer as an example since I played on the same adult team for 11-years! Over those years I saw countless players come and go and the most annoying/disappointing players were always the once that kept talking, they talked about how good they were, they talked about playing in college, they talked about how awesome their old team was, they gave their opinions about our players, they gave their opinions about our team strategy and many times this was even before they played one game with our team…

Let your actions do your talking

Let your actions do your talking

Here’s the thing…no one cares about what you have to say (at least not on day one), we only care about performance! If you are actually good, guess what, people will notice. Hell when it came to soccer I could tell if someone was “all that” after just a few touches on the ball. This means that when you are the new guy, stop talking and let your actions do all the talking for you and if you are actually as good as you think you are, it won’t take long till people notice. Once you have proven yourself people will ask/want to hear your opinions, they will eventually ask about your story. But until someone asks, just shut-up, listen and perform.

Listening

I have to give you one more example because it is just too good. A few months ago we were hiring for the front desk position. One of our stipulations is that you must take at least 3-classes before we start the formal interview process. Why? Because we are a specialty gym, if you don’t like our workout, or our “gym culture” you will not be a good fit. It is worth noting that these classes were free of charge and it was also made very clear that they (the job applicants) were not being “graded” on technique, stamina, strength or any other physical attribute, we just want to make sure that;  1) they can follow directions, and 2) that they liked our gym. The plan was to just treat them like any other new person that walks through our doors.  Think of it like this, would you work at a taco stand if you hated tacos? I sure hope not because if you do you are crazy.

But when the applicants step through our doors it is amazing how many of them talk themselves out of a job within the first 5-mins. Why? Because instead of listening to what we have to say they keep talking. Is it a coincidence that we have 2-ears and one mouth?  Here is true story:

  • Random hipster girl applying for job – (Arrives 10-mins late)  “Hi, I am applying for the front desk job, I am here to take my first class.”
  • MeGreat! Please fill out this wavier and then I will introduce you to the instructor for your orientation. 
  • Random hipster girl applying for job – “Oh, I don’t need to warm-up, I rode my bike here”
  • Me – “That’s great (rolling my eyes)! However, all new people must do an orientation before taking a class, it is a safety issue and class is starting in 10-mins, so let’s get going” 
  • Random hipster girl applying for job – (At this point she doing downward dog) “Well I don’t do anything till I stretch first…”
  • Me – “We will stretch you out as part of the warm-up but you need to get an orientation of the basic strikes before taking a class, it is a requirement for everyone”
  • Random hipster girl applying for job – (Transitioning to warrior-one pose and holding for a good 5-secs) “Ok I am ready now”

Sadly this was not a one time occurrence. We had about 6 applicants come take the class, all but one (the person who got the job) kept talking. They told us about their martial arts experience, they told us how they were taught to throw punches, they told us this and they told us that but never once did they actually listen to what we had to say.

wise men

 

This got me thinking there are definitely times in life where the best thing to do is just shut-up and listen and being the “new guy” is definitely one of those time for a few reasons:

  1. No one cares about what you did in the past – Life is a game of what have you done for me lately. How many people used to be in shape? How many people used to own a business? The world is full of used-to-could’s. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong about discussing your past but remember it doesn’t matter what you used to be able to do, the only thing that counts is what you are doing now! You can tell your boss that you are always on time but that statement has no value until you prove to him/her that you are in fact always on time. Let your actions do the talking.
  2. You may actually learn something – What a crazy concept! Wait you mean to tell me that I could learn something from someone who has more experience then me? Yes but I am also telling you that you could actually learn something from someone that even has less experience than you! It is true! In fact the majority of successful people will tell you that you can learn something from anyone in just about any situation. Maybe you get a different perspective or maybe you realize how annoying a certain mannerism can be. If you have an open mind and you are willing to analyze yourself there is something to be learned from every situation you encounter.
  3. You don’t want to over promise and under deliver – This goes for job interviews or just being the new guy in a “tight knit group”. Stop telling everyone how good you are and instead show everyone. Here is the crazy thing, if you are actually good people will notice very quickly. The more you talk the higher you are raising your own bar and the higher the bar the more likely you will fail to reach this bar. If I had a dollar for every time an employee told me they are never late, and their only flaw is that they work too hard and care too much… Well we know how this story usually ends don’t we. Don’t get me wrong I am not telling you to lower your standards I am telling you to instead under promise and over deliver. To be successful in life you must do more than is asked of you and if you tell me you can do something, I am going to believe you and that “belief” now becomes my new expectation of your performance.

Being the “new guy” is awesome, it means you are expanding your horizons, it means you are stepping out of your comfort zone. But never forget that it is human nature to judge and analyze the “new guy” so I challenge you to stop talking about yourself, and instead practice laying low, practice being humble, listen to the rules, learn about the group dynamics and most importantly show up and give 100% effort on a consistent basis. If you practice this I guarantee the group will accept you quicker and before you know it, they will ask you all about your past experiences. Once this happens–You can start talking 😉

 

 

 

 

 

10-Week Challenge Success Story (Kathy Lange)

It was a real pleasure training Kathy. She came to me at the end of 2013 and told me she was ready for change, she told me she wanted to become stronger and healthier version of herself. Not only that, she also told me she had a 10-day Hawaiian vacation planned in 10-weeks and wanted/needed to look her absolute best. I loved the fact that she had a goal and a timeline associated with that goal. We wasted no time and got right to work!

What could you accomplish in 10-weeks?

4.75-inches off her waist! What could you accomplish in 10-weeks?

Our first session was definitely a shock to Kathy, I almost thought she was going to quit, but she showed up again the next day and pushed even harder. Kathy will tell you herself that it was hard, the diet was hard, the workouts were hard, the 10-week commitment was hard, but she realized that nothing was harder or scarier than not being able to keep pace with her grand-kids.

Kathy made great progress in 10-weeks and the best part, after her 10-day vacation she came right back to the gym and picked up right were she left off. Her days of starting and stopping a healthy lifestyle are over, she has made the healthy lifestyle transformation. So I would like to personally congratulate Kathy Lange for making health a big priority in her life! Below are her results for 10-weeks:

fgh

Not only did she lose inches, she also improved her posture!

Body measurements:

  • Total inches lost in 10-weeks = 15.25 inches (including 4.75 inches off waist)
  • Total weight lost in 10-weeks = 22-lbs!

Fitness Test Results:

  • 1-min push-up = +11
  • 1-min Squat = + 12
  • 1-min sit-ups (crunches) = + 10
  • 300 yard shuttle run = – 1:06 (ran faster)
  • Plank = + 1:16 (longer)
  • Wall sit = + 1:07 (longer)

 

Written by Kathy Lange:

About four months ago I started to realize that I had a really hard time getting out of my car after work.  I am a hair stylist, been doing it for years, and this type of work requires me to stand for many hours. After standing all day at work my knees, back and hips would stiffen up during my short 15 min drive home. To say the least, this really scared me, at 59 years old I realized that I had become a physical “train wreck”. I started to notice that my whole body would “always” hurt and in fact I was so sore and still that I stopped taking my regular walks around the neighborhood. This got me thinking about my future. What kind of a grandmother will I be?  Scary thoughts. At this moment I decided I was going to FINALLY make a change. See in the past I have started and stopped more diets and exercise programs  than I would like to admit. I don’t know if there is some record for starting and stopping but if there is, I bet I am in the top 10 (sadly).

Kathy working out next to her daughter Dayna :)

Kathy working out next to her daughter Dayna 🙂

My niece  has been a CKO member for a while and absolutely loves it. She got my daughter to come and they decided my sister and I could manage this work out. It is so funny, we were scared but we (my sister and I) came and we joined. I really can’t explain what it is about kickboxing that I like, I would never want to hit anybody, but I like hitting the bag. The CKO group is pretty special too, everyone is so friendly and so positive, it’s a good place to be.

I notice at the end of 2013 that there has been a few 10-week challenges in the past. It just so happened that in 10-weeks I would be in Hawaii. I talked to Garett
and he put together a program for me. I agreed to the program and payed my money, now I’m in. Of course I could quit if it got to hard, remember I may hold a record at that. It was hard. I kept telling Garett that I am a delicate flower, but he didn’t care. Thank goodness, I made it with great results. I am a work in progress, lots left to do, but I am getting stronger everyday. The Paleo diet is great for me, I don’t even miss the grains. I do still struggle with sugar but I’m working on it. I feel like this is a lifestyle that will work for me the rest of my life.

Kathy did 40 workouts in 40 days. How did you start 2014?

Kathy did 40 workouts in 40 days. How did you start 2014?

This journey has made me realize that I am responsible for my health and everything I do, good or bad has consequences. I realized that I had created my unhealthy body, so if I wanted to change I had to CHANGE my habits.  The 10-week challenge definitely made me a stronger person both physically and mentally.

Thank you Garett and CKO!

~Kathy Lange

Get to Know a Member (Mike Schindler)

Mike Schindler was been a staple at the 6-am class for about 9-months now! He is known for going hard on the bag, posting great motivational quotes on Facebook and talking trash to both Erin (6am instructor) and Kristina (CKO Member). In fact he challenged both Erin and Kristina to a 6-min plank back in February. I was lucky enough to witness this amazing challenge, and while Erin, Mike, and Kristina all lasted the entire 6-mins, it was Kristina who got the last laugh by going 6:30 😉

You can read more about Mike below.

Working while others are still sleeping!

Working while others are still sleeping!

The Mike Schindler interview:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job? CEO of Operation Military Family – a government consulting and technology company that assists Veterans and their families with transition-related issues.

Doing what he does best. Helping our Service members

Doing what he does best. Helping our Service members

Do you have any hobbies? Soccer is a lifelong hobby – as is reading countless stories on heroic figures

How did you first learn of CKO?   Via the web – then a conversation with Jessica…and once I found out she was “Navy” – I was sold…since that is my old “alma mater”

What are some of your fitness goals? See below 😉

Photoshop? I don't even know what that is?

Photoshop? I don’t even know what that is?

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?   Love the “family” aspect (even though I don’t know half the names of those in the 0600 class); the group workout that encourages and provides the platform to push myself individually.

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? Habit now. Being mid-40s staying healthy and fit is a personal desire…not to mention having the best abs at family summer events.

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?  “Sally.” I have a problem with Sally. Don’t like her…and when Erin says, “Up….DOOOOOOOWN. Hold it,” and proceeds to give me the Evil Eye…I struggle with that Lol.

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?  You are great at providing options. I need to place more value in hitting my goal (to become a Spartan-like figure) so I commit both time and money.

Kristina (near), Mike (middle), and Mike's co-worker doing the 6-min plank!

Kristina (near), Mike’s co-worker (middle), Mike (far), and Erin (not shown) doing the 6-min plank!

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)! Hmmm…published author, spent many months on the military’s speaking circuit talking about pre and post deployment issues, never liked avocados until Erin convinced me sea salt was the missing ingredient, walked into CKO 8 months ago and struggled to do a 30 second plank…in FEB 2014 was able to do a 6:12 plank – dropped 12 pounds…and love working out…which I didn’t before CKO.

Stop, You Will Ruin Your Dinner!

“Don’t eat that, it will ruin your dinner”  – My Mom

Greek yogurt, Almonds, Smoothies, Raisins, Cheese, Dates, Almond Butter, Paleo jerky, and a Paleo version of  (insert baked good here _______), what do all these foods have in common? Um, they are great healthy snacks, right? Well, yeah, I mean no! I mean yes, they are definitely healthy snacks, but these same “healthy” snacks, are  most likely preventing you from reaching your ideal body image. Wait,… what?! Yes, there is a really good chance that snacking is not only ruining your appetite for dinner it is also ruining your waistline!

eat-for-your-long-term-goals

Really?! Yes, eating a snack, be it a healthy snack or an unhealthy snack, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that if you eat a snack before dinner there is a 100% chance you will eat less dinner. Wait, are you saying this is a bad thing? I sure am! Please don’t tell me you were you expecting me to say, “eating a healthy snack right before dinner, is a great idea, it will curb your appetite, thus helping you consume less calories, because calories in – calories out, blah, blah, blah”. Well, I am not going to tell you that, I haven’t sold out (yet 😉 ). I am not a corporate spokesman trainer like Julian Michaels or Bob Harper, I am not just going to read you the party line, instead I am going to tell you the truth. And the truth is?…

Say what!

Well if it is good enough for her…

The truth is that you are not 5, you are not a child and you should be able to go for many hours without needing food, even while doing strenuous work. I don’t know about you, but I am a grown ass man! And in-case ya’ll must’ve forgot, “MAN” is the baddest, most capable, animal on planet Earth!  So the truth is, a grown-ass man, or a grown-ass woman, is more than capable of working many hours without the needing a paleo muffin.

But If I go more than 3 hours without food, I get lightheaded, I get tired, and I get angry.”

Talk about 1st world problems! Come on! We are better than this! You! Yes, you reading this, you are better than this, you are stronger than this! Are you really that weak? Are you really that dependent on food that you can’t function normally if you don’t eat something every few hours? How long would you last in the zombie apocalypse, if you didn’t have immediate access to a granola bar, or a banana? Remember the human body is capable of amazing feats of strength, endurance and stamina, the body is designed for work, the body is designed for efficiency, I think you can go a few hours without “needing” greek yogurt…

Do you think I should bring 2 or 3 granola bars for our Saber Tooth Tiger hunt?

Do you think I should bring 2 or 3 granola bars for our Saber Tooth Tiger hunt?

But before we go any further we must discuss why people snack. There are usually 3 reasons why:

  1. You are actually hungry – This is the best case scenario. You are healthy, you are not a slave to food, but you need a few extra calories due to an increased work load. But believe it or not, most people are not at this “level”. To be at this level you must have a healthy relationship with food. So most people snack for one of the next two reasons…
  2. You are metabolically broken – In other words you are a sugar burner. You eat way too much sugar and way too many processed carbohydrates, you eat so much that your body has literally “forgotten” how to burn fat (your bodies preferred source) for fuel . So the result is, spikes and crashes of blood sugar that happen every few hours. So tell me how long can you go without eating before you get lighted headed…If this sounds familiar, you need to understand that your diet is completely out of whack! This is no way to live and you should be serious about changing your relationship with food.
  3. You are bored – While reason #2 is bad, this reason maybe worse, because you are not even hungry you are just looking to kill a little time. I am not perfect, I have been guilty of doing this in the past, especially when I had my “office space” type job. The job was dull and monotonous which created the perfect storm for boredom. So what did I do? I would walk to the snack bar. I knew I could kill 15-mins, going to the snack bar and buying a Kit-Kat. I also knew, that I could kill another 45-mins feeling sorry for myself after eating said Kit-Kat. I got no enjoyment from this, I wasn’t even hungry I just wanted something to do, and the candy bar filled a void in my uninspiring job. Are you guilty of this? I bet you are. So the next time you think you want a snack, ask yourself, am I hungry or do I just need to get a new job (bored)?
Man I am bored. I wonder what there is to eat around here...

Man I am bored! I wonder what there is to eat around here…

So while, Greek yogurt, Almonds, Smoothies, Raisins, Cheese, Almond Butter, are definitely great healthy snacks, they are not the “healthiest” foods in the world, they don’t represent a broad spectrum of necessary nutrients. So if you need a snack these are definitely the “go to” choices but when compared nutritionally to a balanced dinner there is no comparison. A healthy dinner– Grassfed ribeye steak, grilled organic asparagus, fresh house salad and a good glass of red wine (I am a grown-ass man 😉 ) is a COMPLETE meal, it contains healthy fats, lots of protein, healthy carbs, tons of vitamins and minerals. This type of a meal is much healthier than a handful of almonds, a piece of cheese, and a paleo muffin. But instead of having complete meal, you are “wasting calories” filling up on sub-par foods, you are filling up on the “C-Students” of the healthy food world. Remember you get out what you put in and eating average foods, will get you average results. I don’t know about you but nothing scares me more than being average!

Motivated by the fear of being average

Motivated by the fear of being average

Do you allow too many average foods in your diet? Are you a chronic snacker? If your answer is yes, don’t worry you can always change, but you must first realize that you have a problem. Then you must be willing to change, remember the definition of insanity…

So welcome to snacker’s anonymous. You first duty is to recognize that you are GROWN, you must recognize that you and you alone are responsible for your actions. Second, you need to “man” up, you need to take charge of your overall health, you need to tell your body, “I am strong”, you need to tell your body that “I am not a slave to food”. You need to realize, that you have more than enough energy to get through the day, without needing to eat every few hours. Remember your body is the most amazing “vehicle” on the planet and like all vehicles, it needs fuel and the better the fuel the better the performance. So eat the best foods possible at all times and keep the snacking to a minimum. Snack less, eat more!