Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shoulding All Over Myself

I should stop eating so much at all of these holiday gatherings.
I should work out more.
I should write a blogpost.
I should _______________ (fill in the blank)
Should.
Should.
Should.

I'm shoulding all over myself again.  Do you find yourself doing this?  We spend so much energy thinking about what we should be doing.

Who says we should?

That voice inside that wants us to be accepted, to be perfect, to be acknowledged by others.  Each of us has that voice telling us what we should be doing so that voice can be satisfied.

You know what?  It will never be satisfied.  All it wants to do is want.  Even if we were to do everything perfectly, the voice would not be satisfied.  It would tell us to strive for something else.

I'm learning to silence that voice so I can make choices that are the best ones for ME, not that crazy voice.  (Make no mistake, that voice IS crazy.  Listen to yours once and you'll realize it tells you all sorts of warped ideas.) 

When I listen to that crazy voice, I respond in an almost unconscious way because that's what I'm conditioned to do.  For example, here is a typical exchange I have quite often.  Notice my typical response:

Other PersonAmy, we really need someone to take care of this.  We would be so grateful if you would take the lead on this project.
Crazy Voice:  Ooooo!  Here's your chance to be appreciated for your skills.  Do it! Do it! Do it!
MeI'd love to oversee this project.  Thank you for thinking of me!  (How nice that Other Person has such faith in my abilities.)

Now, the crazy voice is happy for about 10 seconds.  Then I realize it's finals week and I have no time for another project.  Crap.  I just shoulded all over myself.

All to satisfy the crazy voice.  Yep.  That's crazy.

Every day I'm working to stop that need to satisfy the crazy voice.  I am getting better at enacting the two steps to breaking the stupid cycle:  1)stop and 2)pay attention before responding.  (See my post below for more details.)

Have I mastered it?  No. 
Am I better?  Absolutely.

Before long, I will be able to laugh at the crazy voice, pat it on the head, and say "You are a silly little bugger, aren't you?  I'm not falling for your insanity.  Bye now."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Words - Not Now

Just put some on the page.  Break the seal.  Let em flow.

It's strange how much I've changed over the past month.  I was so full of words they practically oozed out of my ears.  I couldn't stop the words from filling my head constantly.

Now-

I have fewer words filling my head, cluttering my existence.  Let me tell you - it's bringing a lot more peace to my life. 

How-

Do I shut down the incessant stream of words running, running, running through my brain?  It's pretty simple, actually.  I do two things:
1) Stop    2) Pay attention

1) Stop - This means I stop my unconscious reactions.  I've conducted some research into what responses are negative to me.  I also have had to uncover what triggers these responses.  Now that I know, when I find myself close to a negative response, I can stop.  I shut down my normal reaction. 

How?  By focusing on what I'm sensing at the moment.

2) Pay attention - This means that after I stop, I immediately focus on my physical being.  I pay attention to all of the automatic systems in my body - breathing, blood flow, movements, etc.  I also key into my emotions.  We experience our emotions through physical sensations.

Emotions are what they are.  I'm working on not judging myself for the emotions I am experiencing.  Instead I just pay attention to them.  It's like I'm just taking note of them.  When I pay attention to the physical experience of the emotion, it immediately shuts off the flow of words.  The words normally carry judgments.

Once I've stopped and paid attention I am then ready to act.  I have broken the ineffective cycle of negative thought and negative response.

Why -

Would I feel the need to shut off my thoughts?  Because those thoughts are destructive.  They keep me trapped in a vicious cycle of negative thoughts, negative reactions.  I'm like Pavlov's dog, salivating at every bell I've conditioned myself to respond to.  It's exhausting.

Actually, not so much any more.  I'm still a work in progress,

but,
every day
I'm
BETTER

at focusing on the NOW.  That is the only time frame I can impact.  I can't change the past, and I can't travel to the future.  Doing what is better for me at this moment will undoubtedly make my future better. 

I can only get to the future  (and reach my goals) one NOW at a time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Now - There Is Nothing Else

I attended a course on biopsychology taught by The Movement's Frankie Faires this past weekend.  It consisted of two days filled with with listening, absorbing, reflecting, testing, connecting, disconnecting, growing, learning, unlearning, and on and on.

Many lessons swirl around my head at different times, but the one aspect that is the recipient of my attention this week is the power of NOW.

NOW is the only entity we truly have.  Everything else is only a memory of what happened or anticipation of what's to come.  I cannot do anything about either of those.  The events of my past only live on in my memories and my associations to these memories. 

The future is uncertain, and focusing on it, worrying about it, only robs me of the one moment I am certain of - NOW.

What I've already found in a few short days since the biopsych course is that paying attention to the current moment and asking "What can I do now?" changes all my decisions, my actions, and my thoughts. 

How? 

By getting me to slow down my reaction times.  That one change changes the response, the outcome. 

How many times have you jumped to a conclusion about a person or their motives in a split second?  Every day?  Me too.  If you stop yourself from thinking about the past with that person and instead focus on the right now, your usual reaction will change.

Instead of remembering how that person has behaved in the past or how you feel about that person, focus on the moment you are in.  Pretend you've lost all memories of that person.  How does that change your reaction to him/her?

Memories can only hurt us now if we don't change our associations with them.

So, this is just a nugget of what I'm working on - focusing on right now, this moment.  LMK if you have thoughts or questions.

------------------------------------

After a full day of teaching and meetings today, I went to the gym.  I could have easily gone home.  Before starting my car in the parking lot, I asked myself, "Can I do this now?"  The answer - Yes.  I drove to the gym, changed clothes, and went into the training room.

I started testing movements.  Which movements could I do now?  DL, Swings, Burpees, Split Squats.  Cool.  The same drills I did last week. 

I did the same 350 reps workout as below.  Today, I moved the same weight, the same number of reps in 20 minutes, 10 seconds.  That's over 2 minutes faster than last time. 

Seeing a correlation?  I am.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Field of Dreams

"If you build it, they will come."

Actually -

If you move it, PRs will come. 

I'm blown away by how quickly I've made progress once I got my body moving.

I've added 20 lbs. to my deadlift in the past week.  I've been moving more weight and spending more time under load. 

I'm out there, Jerry, and I'm lovin' it!

Seeing the PRs on paper is so rewarding.  I'm glad I keep a log.  If you don't, you need to.  How else can you track your progress?  If you don't see progress, how can you stay motivated?

Here's what I did today.

350 Reps Workout
I did 7 movements, 50 reps of each, and timed how long it took me.  The next time I do this workout, I can see if I complete the 350 reps in less time.  When I do, I'll feel the satisfaction of being better.

Split Squat - Right - 24 kg
Split Squat - Left - 24 kg
Burpees with Jump Up
Sumo DL - 150 lbs.
Ab Chopper
Swing - Right - 24 kg
Swing - Left - 24 kg

Time to complete - 22 min. 20 seconds

I live in Iowa, a state covered in fields.  The most beautiful field, however, is the one I am cultivating, planting, and harvesting of my own.  It's called "Amy."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Twenty and Done

I absolutely love how biofeedback training allows me to focus in my training on exactly what my body needs.  Because of this, I don't waste time doing unnecessary drills. 
Today, I worked for a total of 20 minutes.  It took me about 5 minutes to test movements and determine which ones I would do today.  I also took about 5 minutes between circuits to get set up. 

Factor in the 5 minutes to change into my workout clothes and that's a whopping 35 minutes to train today.  Not much, is it? 

That efficiency is why I am able to train.  It would not be sustainable for me to workout an hour a day 5-6 days a week.  I'm interested in a lifestyle I can manage throughout my life.  Twenty and Done is definitely manageable!

Circuit #1 - 10 minutes
1. One-Arm Press - split stance, torso twist, 12 kg
Left - 16 reps, Right - 19 reps
2. Supergirl Squats
Left - 40 reps, Right - 40 reps

Circuit #2 - 10 minutes
1. Inverted Rows - TRX
50 reps
2. Mountain Climbers
120 reps each leg
3. One-Arm Clean - 20 kg
Left - 40 reps, Right - 40 reps

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Couple More

Here's a couple more training logs from this week.  Two good sessions so far!

Session #1

Circuit 1 - 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 5 rounds
1. Rows - 12 kg
75 Left, 75 Right
2. Suitcase Squats - 20 kg
75 Left, 75 Right

Circuit 2 - 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 rounds
1. Clean - 20 kg
52 Left, 52 Right
2. Windmills - 12 kg
32 Left, 32 Right

Circuit 3 - 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 rounds
1. Supergirl Squats
32 Left, 32 Right
2. Pushups
48 reps

Session #2

Circuit 1 - 11 min. 30 secs
1. Lunges - 48 kg
50 Left, 50 Right
2. Pushups
104 reps

Circuit 2 - 6 min. 30 secs
1. Sumo DL - 130 lbs.
52 reps
2. Burpees
48 reps

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Catch Up

Whew! It's been a busy week!  I've been training, but I haven't been blogging.  Sorry for the delay.

On Sunday, I met the Bootcamp Boys for an hour of fun.  We did lots of swings, clean & press, squats, sumo DL, burpees, body weight drills, and animal moves.  I got my sweat on, for sure!!

On Tuesday, I put in a quick, intense session (25 minutes of work).

Walking Overhead Lunges - both hands overhead w/ 10 lbs.
Pushups
Swings - 130 lbs.
Side Burpee to Knee Tuck
Sumo Squat w/ Torso Twist
Split Lunge w/ Kick

Tonight I got a massage.  Ahhhhhhhhh

I'm thinking a bath and bed are on the agenda for my immediate future.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kearney On

I snuck in a quick training session this afternoon.  Boy, did I need that!  Training helps me move my brain off an issue so I can think more clearly.  Move my body, move my brain.  Move better, think better. 

With lots piled up on my plate these days, it's easy to get tunnel vision.  As my fortune cookie read yesterday "It's impossible to see all the stars from the bottom of a well."  Sometimes it seems there is only one solution, or one course of action, or one perspective when we are stuck down in our own wells. 

If we move our bodies and climb out of the well, we can see all the options out there for us.  It is liberating.

In order to inspire me to move, I put on a little Mat Kearney - songs from Young Love like "Hey, Mama" and "Ships in the Night."  It's impossible NOT to move when I've got those in my ear! 

Two Drill Circuit - 10 minutes
1. Sumo DL - 130 lbs.
90 reps = 11,700 lbs.
2. Swings - 130 lbs.
72 reps = 9360 lbs.

That's a total of 21,060 lbs. in 10 minutes.

Inverted Rows - TRX - 7 min.
66 reps
Density PR

Now I'm better prepared for the rest of my evening.  Kearney on!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Training Log - October 3

Snatch - 12 kg - 7 min.
Left - 65
Right - 64
3354 lbs. = 480 lbs. / min
Density and Volume PR

Squat to One Arm Press - 12 kg - 3 min. 30 secs
Left - 18
Right - 18
936 lbs. = 267 lbs./ min.

Goblet Squat - 12 kg - 4 min.
50 reps
1300 lbs. = 325 lbs./min.

Animal Circuit
Bear Crawls - 60 yards
Bunny Hops - 60 yards
Crabs - 60 yards
Star Burpees - 20 reps

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How Amy Got Her Groove Back

I'm sitting here in front of a blank screen, wondering what to write.  I've been training, but it seems so boring to just post my training logs.  I'm pleased with my training - I'm hitting PRs every day in the gym. 

I'm moving more and more regularly.  I've increased my swing density, intensity, and volume.  I'm free of pain.  I'm finding my old groove again.

Or am I finding a new groove?  It's been quite obvious that I'm at a different point in my life.  My goals and motivations have changed.  What seemed so important a year or two ago seems insignificant now.  I have a clearer vision of who I am and what's important to me.

I know what energizes me and what drains me.  I do more of what moves me toward better and less of what tries to move me away from better.  I've developed a keener awareness of the activities and people that "test" well.

Sometimes I fall into old habits of saying yes to the draining activities and people, but I detect it more quickly so I can correct my course of action.  (Because this is a public blog, I will refrain from giving specific examples, even though the writing professor in me is screaming "You MUST provide specific examples so your audience can grasp what you're saying!!")

I used to agonize over every decision I made and stress when I chose unwisely.  Now I don't think so much.  I run tests - Does that course of action result in positive or negative feelings?  Positive? Do more like that.  Negative?  Stop doing that.  No obsessing.  Just data to inform future decisions.

What do they say?  "Every day is a choice."  I agree, but with a small addition:

Every day is series of choices.

Even more, every day is an opportunity for me to learn more about myself; my small corner of the world; and my family, friends, and colleagues.  Every day I get the opportunity to do better.

Now that's a groove I can get used to!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hands All Over Workout

Maroon 5 provided the music for today's training, specifically songs from their album Hands All Over.  This album is perfect for training. 

Below each movement, I've posted the songs I listened to for that part of my training.

Pushups - 3 minutes
47 reps
"Give a Little More"

Swings - 120 lbs. - 10 minutes
140 reps = 16,800 lbs.
"Stutter"
"Never Gonna Leave this Bed"
"I Can't Lie"

Windmills - 12 kg - 7 minutes
40 reps Left, 40 reps Right = 2080 lbs.
"How"
"Just a Feeling"

I set a PR in swings.  I did 20 more reps in the same time frame.  LOVE biofeedback!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Back Log

Yikes!  I've gotten behind on my postings.  I've been training; I just haven't had an opportunity to post it. 

Here is the info from my last training session:

Sumo Deadlift - 106 lbs. (48 kg)
80 reps = 8480 lbs.
7 minutes 30 seconds - 1211 lbs./minute

Two Hand Swings - 120 lbs.
120 reps = 14,400 lbs.
10 minutes - 1440 lbs./min.

Body Weight 500
1. Split Switch with Kick
2. Sumo Squat w/ Jump
3. Plank Jump Backs
4. Hindu Pushups
5. Sumo Squat with a Twist
6. Reverse Lunge to Side Lunge
21 minutes 30 seconds to get to 500 reps

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sweatin to the Oldies

Let's give it up for Richard Simmons.  He was the inspiration for this post. 
I went back to basics today with my training and it felt great.

What are the basics? 

  • Deadlifts
  • High Pulls
  • Pushups
  • Snatches

I just wanted to get my heart pumping and sweat.  It felt great!

Circuit of 10s - 17 minutes
1. Sumo DL - 106 lbs. - 80 reps
2. High Pulls - 26 lbs. - 80 reps each arm
3. TRX Pushups - 80 reps

I stopped after 17 minutes because my ROM was not returning.  On to the next drill.

Snatches - 10 minutes
70 reps Left
70 reps Right

This was exactly what I needed today.  A gold, old-fashioned sweat.  I feel like myself again.

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Big Fat Blue Ankle

This post has been sitting in my list of posts for a couple days.  I suppose I should finish it and publish it, huh?

So, yes, this post is about my swollen black and blue ankle.  (See pictures below.)



Actually, since I took that second picture, my ankle has become darker, but I'm too lazy to take another picture.  And really, who wants to look at bruised feet?  Which begs the question of why I'm even posting them.  Hmmmmmmm

Anyway, on with the story.

On Sunday I was with my family and some friends on our boat taking our kids water skiing.  The kids are 8 & 10, so they have training skis.  That means someone in the boat hangs onto the rope that is attached to the skis.  That way if the kid falls, the adult holding the rope can let go to keep the poor kid from being drug around the lake.

After one kid was finished, I was fishing the rope out of the water when the boat starting rocking from waves.  That isn't really unusual, but my feet were wet, and they slipped out from under me. 

I can't even say what I smashed, smacked, grazed, or bumped.  All I know is I did NOT fall off the back of the boat.  I ended up on my hind end on the swim platform, dazed and confused. 

I looked at my left leg.  A goose egg was already bubbling up from my shin.  My friend Angie quickly got me some ice to get the swelling down.  That worked wonders.  As you can see from the top photo, I don't have even the slightest bump on my left shin.  I don't really even have a bruise.

On Tuesday, I noticed that my ankle felt a bit stiff.  I looked down and was shocked to see my enormous cankle.  On Wednesday, I noticed the bruise.  Now it's Friday and the bruise is worse. The cankle is smaller, but not back to normal.

I did some training on Wednesday.  As you might guess, I didn't do much with my legs.  I did lots of rows, presses, head stands, and rolls.  It was quite therapeutic. 

On September 1, I am offering two free kettlebell class at the new Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center on the campus of Northwest Iowa Community College.  The classes are at 5 and 5:30 p.m.  If you live close, come over and check it out.  I'd love to see you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Untitled

This is just a boring post.  So boring, in fact, that it doesn't even get a title. 

My training was short today, but it felt great.  I moved some weight around and avoided the elements of effort (straining, slowing down, losing form/posture, holding breath). 

Circuit 1 - 11 minutes
1. Sumo DL - 106 lbs. - 50 reps total = 5300 lbs.
2. Two-Hand KB Swings - 79 lbs. - 50 reps total = 3950 lbs.
3. TRX Pushups - 75 lbs. (?) - 50 reps total = 3750 lbs.

That's 13,000 lbs. in 11 minutes.  Not bad.

Circuit 2 - 6 minutes 30 seconds
1. Rotating One Leg Pushups - 18 reps
2. Sumo Squat Pulses to Jump Up - 21 reps
3. Reverse Lunge to High Kick - 24 reps / leg

I still love the body weight drills.  They work my balance while increasing strength and body awareness.  I need to get back to rolling as well.  Now that I'm 40 I have to use it or lose it!  :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Really? Yes. Really.

Perfoming movements that my body tells me it wants to do can fix issues such as pain, limited ROM, and weakness.  I experienced it again yesterday.  It was a much needed reminder to me about the power of movement.
My sciatic nerve in my left hip has been aggravated for the past month or so.  It was to the point that it was waking me at night.  If you follow my blog, you've undoubtedly noticed the lack of training I've been engaging in this summer.  Well, it is no coincidence that my hip starting acting up when I quit moving.  Duh!

Yesterday I had had enough.  While walking through my living room, I stopped and tested my ROM using the toe touch test.  Then I did a few "air swings" to test the movement.  My ROM increased 8 inches.  I knew immediately what I had to do.  Move my body! 

Off to the gym where my heavy kettlebells and plateau buster are located.  I tested more movements and lo and behold, swings, sumo squats, and push ups tested off the charts.  So away I went.

2 Hand Swings - 36 kg (80 lbs.) - 10 min.
200 swings total = 16,000 lbs.

Body Weight Circuit - 11 min. 5 seconds - 4 Rounds
1. Burpee Jump Backs (burpee w/out the stand) - 40 reps total
2. Sumo Squat Pulse to Jump Up - 40 reps total
3. Lizard Pushup - 40 reps total
4. Flying One-Leg Squats - 20 each leg total

My hip is loving me today.  I slept like a baby, and I feel amazing. 

Movement is powerful.  Really? Yes. Really.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Find the Fun

This is my motto.  I try to find the fun in the every day, the routine, the challenges, the frustrations, you name it.  I'm even learning to find the fun in my training hiatus. 


If you haven't noticed, I haven't been training much.  I've pretty much been in full-on training mode for five years or better.  I used to get extremely anxious if I went even a week without exercise.  Well, aside from some sporadic running and body weight circuits, I have gone the better part of two months without training.

I'm running an experiment.  Actually, I'm running a couple of experiments.  Let me elaborate.

Experiment #1 - Manage Anxiety  

I'm seeing how well I've learned to manage my anxiety related to training.  I used to believe that I would instantly gain back the 30 pounds I've lost if I stopped training for awhile.  The only way to quench that fear was to get back to exercising ASAP.

Through the Gym Movement protocols, I've learned that doing what my body wants me to do will eliminate anxiety.  My body is really enjoying the break from training.  Nothing tests well.  In fact, when I think about swinging a kettlebell or going for a run, I get anxious.  So, I don't do what makes my body react negatively.

I've applied this to every aspect of my life.  I've taken a long break from work as well.  I've just been focusing on my family, home, and relationships.  I get lots of sleep and lots of home grown fruits and veggies. And, I've spent many hours with great friends relaxing and laughing.

As a result, I find myself looking forward to a new semester at my college.  I'm recharged.  I'm ready to get back after my professional endeavors.  In addition, I'm looking forward to new physical endeavors.  I'm finding a lot of fun and joy in this anticipation.

Here's the lesson from my experiment:  I know without a doubt that I will be better - no, I am better - after this summer training break.  It has refueled my fires - both physical and mental.  I've learned that my well-being is as much mental as it is physical.

Experiment #2 - Manage My Weight  

Along with my fear of gaining weight from lack of exercise, I have had a fear of gaining weight from eating certain foods.  For the past year, I've been eating what I want without guilt.

How have I done this?  Well, I use intermittent fasting to boost my fat burning.  Mike T Nelson introduced me to Brad Pilon and his theories regarding fasting.  Since then, I have been using the "Eat, Stop, Eat" protocol.

Every time I fast, I learn a little more about my relationship with food.  I also learn that I can manage my weight without starving or limiting my food choices.  I eat bread, cereal, tortilla chips, crackers, and all other sort of carbohydrate.

I used to be deathly afraid of carbs.  I felt horribly guilty and anxious every time I ate carbs.  How ridiculous.  Calories in.  Calories out.

I test my food (not faithfully, however) and eat what tests well.  Simple.  No guilt.  No anxiety.  Just pure enjoyment every time I eat.

Here's the lesson learned from this experiment:  Food doesn't have to control me.  My associations with food are more harmful than the foods themselves.  Eliminate the negative associations; test food and eat accordingly; fast once a week; maintain/lose weight.

A wise man once told me - Stop obsessing over your food.  Fast once a week and enjoy eating.  When he told me that, I thought "Yeah, right.  Me?  That will never happen."  Look at me now.

(Thanks Mike!) 

So, there you have it.  My journey to find the fun this summer break.  I feel pretty positive about my results.  I've learned some important elements I can take with me.  Have you learned anything?  Drop me a line with your thoughts.  I love hearing from you!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Fourth Decade

Today I enter my fourth decade - 40 years old.  It's making me quite reflective of the previous decade. 

Ten years ago, on my 30th birthday, I was pregnant with my second child.  I was so excited to be a mommy for the second time.  My son was three at the time.  My life was full with family, church, and work.  Soon after the birth of my daughter, I began experiencing severe anxiety.  My life and my body felt out of my control.  I sought treatment, thank goodness, and began a journey toward finding who I am and honoring that person. 

By my mid-thirties, I learned that I needed to carve out a piece of my life for me.  Like many women, I gave to everyone and everything except myself.  I was thirty pounds overweight and I looked like a frumpy mommy.

Exhibit A - A photo of me taken in 2004. --------->

This photo opened my eyes.  I started exercising after quite a hiatus.  I started weight training and walking.  I had been an avid weight lifter in college, and I loved it.  I also got involved with the Advocare company.  Advocare is a company that manufactures supplements.  Their products are top-notch and helped me feel better.

Through a woman involved in Advocare - Jody Nelson - I was introduced to kettlebell training.  That was early 2006.   I fell in love with kettlebell training.  It met my need to lift weight while simultaneously get cardio work in.  Being as busy as I was, I appreciated the substantially shorter workouts.  Before kettlebells, I would lift weights for 45 - 60 minutes and then get on a treadmill or elliptical machine for another 30 minutes.

I lost 10 pounds after a few months of my new training and decided I needed to kick up my training.  I knew I needed some accountability and some help with my diet.  Enter Brad Nelson.  He lived in St. Paul, MN.  I live in Iowa.  We started a distance training program where he would email me my training and I would send him my workout and food logs.  I met with him every four months or so to check in, get measurements, etc.

Working with Brad changed my life.  I found success; I found my strength; I found my voice; I found my passions.  I finally believed in my own power.  I became an RKC in 2008 and continued training with Brad until early 2010.

Exhibit B - a photo of me from 2009.

In February 2010, I attended Grip n Rip 2, a workshop put on by Brad Nelson and Adam Glass.  There I was introduced to Gym Movement.  I learned that the best person to train me, was me.  I learned how I could use data from my body to develop a customized training program suited just for me.  Revolutionary.

I cut the cord to Brad and ventured out on my own.  I attended the first ever Gym Movement certification taught by Adam and Frankie Faires.  Talk about challenging, fun, stimulating education. 

I love following Gym Movement protocols.  I've become stronger and more confident than ever.  Every day I learn more about myself.  The biggest change has been in my anxiety levels.  I've never been so calm in my life.  I don't worry about "stuff" any more.  I never thought that could happen.


What Gym Movement taught me was to make decisions based on data, not on feelings.  Also, because I don't rely on someone else to tell me what I'm doing right or wrong, I don't need approval from others in other aspects of my life.  Everything is connected.  I learn from every choice.

Exhibit C - me today.  I am comfortable, calm, and confident.  I know who I am.  I exercise a whole lot less than I ever used to, yet I'm stronger than I ever.  I have more time for the important people and events in my life. 

Overall, my third decade saw me change dramatically.  It turns out that my thirties were the spring board for my forties.  I can take the lessons of my thirties and apply them to make my forties even better.  What a gift!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New PR in the "Body Weight 500"

I'm amazed at myself.  I did the Body Weight 500 workout today and shaved 4 min. 30 seconds off my previous time.  I'm pretty pleased with that performance.  I think the difference was I didn't rest between rounds.  I was able to just keep going continuously.

1. Split Lunge w/ Kick - 140 reps total
2. Plank Jump Backs - 95 reps total
3. Sumo Squat Pulses to Jump Up - 45 reps total
4. Hindu Pushups - 50 reps total
5. Reverse Lunge to Side Lunge - 80 reps total
6. Sumo Squat w/ Twist - 90 reps total


Total Time to 500 reps - 19 minutes 

For a comparison, see my June 8th post below.   

To top off my day, I had a great round of golf - my best all season.  The weather was perfect today for golf.  Finally!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Adaptation and Training Log

I've been doing some training the past week.  I just haven't had a chance to post.  No biggie.  My training has been a bit boring - lots of running, walking, and body weight drills; no exciting 200 lb. swings or 300 lb. deadlifts. 

I'm really enjoying the change of pace in my training.  For so long I've incorporated weights of all types in my training.  Taking a break is good for me.  That means it's good for my head, body, and my soul.

With my summer schedule, I'm just not able to get to the gym where all my kettlebells and other equipment are stored.  I need to be able to workout at a moment's notice.  The running, walking, and body weight drills have given me that flexibility. 

Probably the best part of this change in training is my ability to elegantly adapt.  Adaptation happens, whether we want it or not.  I used to stress out when adaptation happened.  Now I embrace it and learn from it.  There was a time I would have panicked if I couldn't get to my kettlebells three times a week.  I was afraid I would lose strength and gain weight if I didn't do a certain type of workout.

I now know those thoughts are not reality.  I get to choose how I respond.  I choose to respond elegantly and accept the adaptation for what it is.  Then I choose a way to make the most out of the opportunity.

That behavior is good for me.  It makes me better in all aspects of my life.

Training Log
In case you're wondering, I ran in Vibram Five Fingers for 20 minutes followed by 15 minutes of walking on 6-15. (See my post below.)  I walked in VFF for 45 minutes on 6-17.  And I ran in VFF for 20 minutes on 6-19.

Today I did the following body weight circuit:

1. Jumping Jack to Jump Up - 105 reps total
2. Sumo Squat w/ Torso Twist - 140 reps total
3. Split Jump w/ High Kick - 140 reps total
4. Mountain Climber Jumps - 70 reps total

Time - 19 minutes, 15 secs
455 Total Reps - 7 rounds

The mountain climber jumps were new for me.  Basically, you get in the mountain climber position and then jump up during each rep instead of "running" your knees.  I guess it's like doing a split jump with your hands on the floor.  They are really tough to do.

There you have it.  My training.  Not exciting, but it's effective.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's All in the Wrist

That isn't a good thing for me.  Remember several weeks ago I wrote about injuring my wrist while opening a bottle of Cheer detergent?  Well, I re-injured my wrist this week.  Guess how. 

Wait for it. 

Playing golf. 

Jiminy Christmas, woman.  How can I get hurt golfing?  I think it's an overuse injury.  I golfed 18 holes Friday, 9 on Saturday, and 18 on Monday.  I don't golf that frequently.  Ever.  Monday's experience took me to a brand new course with thick, thick roughs.  Sometimes I couldn't even hang on to my club when hitting through it. 

By the 14th hole, my elbow and wrist were aching.  Maybe if I hit the ball onto the fareway more often instead of into the rough, I wouldn't be in pain.  Lesson learned.  Just knock the freaking ball into the fareway.  Don't try to hit out of that stuff on that course. 

In spite of my aching wrist, I did work out.  I did a 20 minute run in my Vibrams followed by 15 minutes of brisk walking this morning.  It was so beautiful outside.  That started my day out on a great vibe.  In fact, I may do it again tomorrow if the weather permits.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Body Weight 500

Like the Indianapolis 500 without race cars, or the pace car, the trophy or the prize money.  Ok, so it's not anything like the Indianapolis 500.  Who am I kidding.

The Body Weight 500 is my name for today's workout.  I did 500 reps of body weight drills.  I timed myself so I can compare the next time I do this workout.  Remember, when it comes to training (or anything), the goal is to get better. 

1. Split Lunge w/ Kick - 115 reps total
2. Plank Jump Backs - 80 reps total
3. Sumo Squat Pulses to Jump Up - 50 reps total
4. Hindu Pushups - 50 reps total
5. Reverse Lunge to Side Lunge - 100 reps total
6. Sumo Squat w/ Twist - 105 reps total

Total Time to 500 reps - 23 min. 30 secs

This was fun and gave my brain something to focus on.  I had to keep a running count so I knew when I was at 500 reps.  Luckily I got it.  I had it figured out so that I could do fewer reps of each drill on the fifth round.  That was great!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Body Work Log

I'm really digging the body weight workouts.  They're perfect for me when I can't get to the gym to use my equipment.  I put together some new moves today.  They were fun and challenging. 

Circuit - 20 minutes - 4 Rounds  
1. Split Lunge w/ Front Kick - 65 reps total 
2. Crab Stance to Pike Press - 36 reps total
3. 1 Leg Squat w/ Back Leg Press - 32 Left, 32 Right total  
4. Sumo Squat w/ Torso Twist - 80 reps total  
5. Pike Jumping Jack w/ Jump Up - 40 reps total  

Then I did a bunch of Ab work - planks, situps, etc.

On Friday, I did a 4.2 mile walk in 50 minutes with my friend Deb.  I wore my new vibrams - bilikas.  They have a thicker sole then my sprints.  The bottom of my heels was a bit irritated, but other than that, it was a great walk.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who Needs Equipment?

I just got a great workout using only my body. 

1. Burpees - 125 reps total 
2. Planks - 5 times at 45 seconds 
3. Rotating One Leg Pushup w/ kicks - 35 reps total 
4. Sumo Squat to Knee Up - 75 reps total  

I didn't time myself, but I think this took about 15 minutes.  I did 5 rounds of the four drills.  My heart was really pumping, more so than I can get while walking or jogging.

The best part of these body weight workouts is that they are hard, yet simple.  Hard in the fact that they build coordination, balance, and strength.  Simple in the fact that I don't need to drive anywhere or have any equipment. 

LMK if you give any of these drills a try.  I'm curious to know if others find them as fun as I do.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Back After It

I made it to the gym to do a real training session.  I am back after it and back to basics.  Nothing works like the simple stuff.  

Perform quality, tested movements within your body's ROM.  Stop at the first Element of Effort.  

It doesn't get any simpler than that. 

Waiter Plate Press - 25 lbs. - 7 min. 
Left - 25 reps, Right - 25 reps = 1250 lbs.
-I stood normal stance and did lateral torso rotation during the press.

1 Arm KB Rows - 35 lbs. - 7 min.
Left - 44 reps, Right - 44 reps = 3080 lbs.

Short Circuit - 9 min. 
1. Reverse Lunge to High Kick - 60 reps total
2. Crabwalk - 90 yards total 
3. Slalom Jumps - 150 L, R total 

I still have irritation in my wrist, so I didn't push it on the body weight stuff.  The only drill I did that put pressure on my wrist was the crabwalk.  

I've set some goals for myself that include deadlift (300 lbs for 3 reps), swings (225 lbs. for 10+ reps), and bodyfat (drop 2%).  My 40th birthday is my goal date (July 7).  Keep me accountable!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Check, Check

Is this thing on?

Testing 1, 2, 3. 

Um, hello.  My name is Amy.  I used to be a faithful blogger.  I fell of the wagon for awhile here.  I know I told you all I'd be back.  Sooooooo, I'm back.  Though, I really don't have much of interest to discuss.

My semester is over; now I have so projects to finish up that are work-related, but don't pertain to the specific classes I taught this spring semester.  The projects will, however, improve my curriculum and instruction.

Now that I'm relatively caught up on life (as much as you can be in four days), I am able to focus on my physical well-being.  I'm taking action to make myself better.  I just stocked up on fresh veggies and fruits, fish, pork, and beef.  My garden will be planted before the week is out, which makes me pretty excited. 

I've found a bunch of new body weight exercises to mix in with my gym training, so I'm really looking forward to getting back into a steady workout program. 

It's all about taking life the best way I can.  Every day is an opportunity to look at my options and make the choices that will lead me to a better place (happier, healthier, wiser, calmer).  My thoughts are with a friend today who has experienced a devastating setback.  I've experienced setbacks; not as serious as his, however, but enough to give me a significant pause.

I've learned that allowing myself to spiral down into the negative mire only makes the situation worse.  It doesn't keep me moving and asking questions.  It only paralyzes me.  My friend's experience reminded me that I cannot allow myself to do that.  Each move in a direction away from my goals is a chance to make a choice.  I CAN control my choices.  I will take action.  That is what I did today.

Thanks Josh for reminding me and always inspiring me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'll Be Back

I promise I'll be back to blogging regularly.  I'm in my finals week at the college, so I'm overwhelmed with papers to grade this week. 

Next week will bring big changes to my lifestyle. I will be on summer break, so I'll have time to commit my training.  I've been pondering my new goals, and I'm pretty excited to see how my summer goes.  I've hit some big goals using Gym Movement protocols over the past 15 months, so I know I'll attain even more.

If you want to know more about integrating biofeedback into your training to hit goals, shoot me an email or message me on Facebook.  I'd love to help you realize success.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Get Busy Doing

No one really wants to read another post about how terribly busy I am.  Join the club, right?  Everyone is busy.

What are we all so busy doing?  Really.  What am I so busy with?  Work. (Only 75 essays left to grade in a week's time.)  Family life. (Church activities, school activities, moving into a different summer cabin.) Spring cleaning. (Yeah, filled a dumpster from the attic).  Buying another funeral home.  (Renovations and yard work to come there.)

But, really, am I that busy or do I just BELIEVE I am?

Let's look at the data.
1. I've noticed my thinking and, therefore, my writing has become quite clipped.  I think in small chunks.  My writing is full of fragments and phrases that I pass off for sentences.  Usually I think in complex sentences.  My thoughts are littered with semicolons.  Not lately.
2. Rarely do I pass up an opportunity to dive into a philosophical discussion.  The other day, a few colleagues were debating whether or not believing something makes it true.  I didn't say a word.  Not a word.  ?????  I didn't have any urge to add to the conversation.  That has never happened to me before.
3. I have no guilt about my lack of training over the past several weeks.  I know that I will be better for training in a few weeks when my semester is over and I can focus on setting some goals for myself.  Right now, I have no training goals or physique goals past "Don't gain weight."  I'm confident in my ability to set and meet goals following Gym Movement protocols.  I have proven to myself that I can. 
4. I've been sleeping very soundly and waking before my alarm.  Now there's a phenomenon I haven't experienced since summer.

So what's the verdict?  Am I busy?  Am I too busy? 

It doesn't matter what I THINK.  It only matters what I DO. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shift Happens

I've had a few shifts in the past few weeks.  Some changes, albeit small ones, have occurred.  In retrospect, the small changes have allowed me to change trajectory, which has led to a break from routine thinking and actions.

This caused some distress at the time.  For example, throughout March and early April, I was traveling a lot and performing in a local theater production.  All of this had impeded my ability to train consistently.  When the chaos of traveling and performing slowed, I injured my wrist.

Add to that a crazy number of papers to grade, assessments to develop, and a few projects to orchestrate at work, and I have found myself experiencing overload without my usual training there to work out my stress.

All of this has provided me the opportunity to take actions based on the data and to see the results of those actions.  I've seen myself stay calm even though I couldn't train.  I've even decided not to train, even though I've had the time, without feeling guilt.  That is a new one for me.

I've watched first-hand as the world did not come crumbling down because I didn't move over 100,000 lbs. in a week.  I'm really quite shocked at my serenity about it all.

I'm learning more about myself that allows me to take some risks, try some new paths.  As a result, I find my thought processes are shifting.

My thinking can consume me.  I get so wrapped up in my internal workings that I often tune out the external stimuli right in front of me.  Every time I look externally to guide my decisions and get out of the spiraling inward focus, I do better.

Every time I do better, I become better at making changes that are positive.  I can't wait until the newest Gym Movement course Bio Psychology.  Yeah, I'm going to totally eat all of that up.

And come back for seconds and thirds.  Can't wait to see what Frankie Faires is cooking up in Movement Kitchen!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Little Poetry

One of my favorite cartoon strips has been The Far Side.  Remember those? The following Far Side strip has stuck with me for a couple decades.  I believe I first came across it in college.  As an English major and poet, I found it particularly hilarious. 

Imagine a cow's deepest desires.  Now imagine if that cow could express those desires. That, my friends, is "Cow Poetry:"

Honestly, does it get any better than this?

After what happened to me last week, I feel compelled to write my own poem in the tradition of "Cow Poetry."

Distant Bells

The kettlebells call to me.
Their black smoothness seduces my heart.
Oh how I want to snatch and swing.
Oh how I want to clean and press.
Alas, I cannot.

Damn the Cheer bottle!
Damn the Cheer bottle!

Huh?  Cheer bottle?

Yep.  I pushed through the elements of effort when trying to open a bottle of Cheer detergent.  (I swear the thing was super glued shut.)  As a result, I messed up my right wrist. 

I didn't think it was so bad, just a little strain on it.  Then I moved furniture this weekend - mattresses, a couch, tables, recliners, chairs, totes full of household items.  Yeeeee Ouch!!!!!!!!

So, I'm forced to rest my wrist.  That means non-specific movement for me for awhile.  I've been doing some contra-specific movement, which has definitely helped.

Alas! I've learned to be aware of the elements of effort in everyday life as well as in the gym.  Damn the Cheer bottle!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What! No Swings?

Today was the first day in a long time swings did not test well.  Bummer!  I was hoping for a large poundage moved today.  Body weight drills were all the rage with my ROM today. 

Circuit - 4 Rounds - 22 min. 30 secs 

Overhead Lunges - 12 kg 
Left - 32 reps
Right - 32 reps

Jumping Squats  
60 reps

1 Leg TRX Pushups 
40 reps

1 Leg TRX Squats 
Left - 32 reps
Right - 32 reps

1 Arm Inverted TRX Rows
Left - 40 reps
Right - 40 reps

Tomorrow there will be no training.  I'll shoot for Thursday again.  Perhaps I'll get to swing big then!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday Fun Day

My bootcamp gang and I got together again for another fun training session on Sunday.  Two of the guys in the group are in a local weight loss competition.  They are looking so good!  So far, they are in second place for weight loss and third for activity minutes. 

We did a deck of cards workout using four movements that tested well.  Eights were wild cards, as were jokers.  When a wild card comes up, we do an animal or primal movement.

Diamonds - Swings - 170 lbs. 
87 reps = 14,790 lbs.

Hearts - Pushups 
87 reps = 6525 lbs. 

Clubs - Rows - 16 kg 
87 reps each arm = 6090 lbs.

Spades - Burpees  
87 reps = 6525 lbs.

Wild Cards - Animals / Primals  
40 yards of bear crawl, crabwalk, bunny hops, lizard crawls
30 seconds of planks, mountain climbers, pike jump to jump up, falls
175 reps of slalom jumps

Obviously, we put the wild cards back in the deck and did them more than once.  This deck took us 45 minutes to complete.  I moved nearly 34,000 lbs. with the regular drills.  Add the animals and primals and I'm over 40,000 lbs.

That 45 minutes made my whole week.  I needed that workout to feel like myself again.  Thanks to the gang!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On With the Show - This Is It

Overture. Light the lights.  This is it.  We'll hit the heights.

Opening night of the play.  Let the fun begin! I got in a quick training session after work, so now I am ready. 

Circuit - 12 Rounds - 25 minutes

I alternated Swings with other drills.  I'd do 15 swings followed by a set of another drill.  Here's the final tally.

Swings - 170 lbs. 
180 reps = 30,600 lbs. 

1 Arm Rows - 20 kg (44 lbs.) 
Left - 18 reps, Right - 18 reps = 1584 lbs. 

Reverse Lunge to High Kick
Left - 30 reps, Right - 30 reps 

1 Leg Pushups 
36 reps

Windmills - 16 kg (35 lbs.)
Left - 24 reps, Right - 24 reps = 1680 lbs.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Play's the Thing

Whereby I'll spend five nights this spring. 

This is the week of performance for the play I'm in.  Tuesday-Saturday.  It's so fun, but so time-consuming.  Once Saturday gets here, I'll be wishing it were Tuesday again.  *Sigh* 

I did squeeze in a quick training session today.  I'll be happy if I can get in a couple more this week. 

Burpee - Swing  Circuit - 17 minutes

1. Burpees - 100 reps
2. Swings - 170 lbs. - 150 reps


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Common Denominator

I did it! I snuck in another training session today. Movement is keeping me sane these days, fo sho!

As I review my training log, I see that there is a common denominator in today's training. That number is 7. Here's how it went:

Circuit - 7 Rounds

1. Swings - 170 lbs.
14 sets
150 reps = 25,500 lbs.

2. Pike Jump to Jump Up
7 sets
49 reps = 4900 lbs.

3. Rows - 20 kg (44 lbs.)
7 sets
Left - 49 reps, Right - 49 reps = 4312 lbs.

I know; not every number is divisible by 7. Many were, though, and I thought that was pretty cool.

I hope I get to sneak in some training again tomorrow. It would be great to move as many days as possible this week since next week I'm performing in a local theater production every night in addition to working every day. I'll be glad when it is April 10.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Holy Hiatus

Forgive me readers. It has been 6 days since my last update.

Where have the days gone? Well, four were spent traveling and in meetings. Two were spent with life and work. The next few weeks will be sporadic as well.

I don't sweat it, though. I'm making choices that keep me in a good state. For instance, today I was experiencing the symptoms of being over-committed. I recognized it and got my butt moving. Movement was better than lying down in a quiet room. (Yes, I tested it.) Now all the signals of stress are gone. From distress to eustress using tested movement.

I did a fun circuit today with my 9 year old daughter by my side. Bonus!

Circuit - 4 Rounds - 24 min. 30 secs
1. One Leg Pushup
48 reps total

2. Reverse Lunge to High Kick
Left - 48 reps, Right - 48 reps total

3. Push Press - 16 kg (35 lbs.)
Left - 24 reps, Right - 33 reps total

4. Sumo Squat to Knee Up
80 reps total

5. Windmills - 16 kg (35 lbs.)
Left - 32 reps, Right - 32 reps total

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3 of 2 on 3-22

I did three rounds of two circuits today for a quick training session.

Circuit #1 - 3 Rounds - 9 min.
1. KB Press - 12 kg
Left - 21 reps, Right - 24 reps

2. Windmill - 16 kg
Left 21 reps, Right - 21 reps

Circuit #2 - 3 Rounds - 16 min. 30 secs
1. Swings - 150 lbs.
120 reps

2. Reverse Lunge to High Kick
Left - 30 reps, Right - 30 reps

3. 1/2 Pistol to Pike Press
Left - 15 reps, Right - 15 reps

Sunday, March 20, 2011

4 Times as Fun

Today I got to train with the boot camp bunch again. We did four mini circuits. It was a great workout. I needed this kick in the pants. I actually broke a sweat today. In fact, my hair swelled to twice it's normal size!

Circuit #1 - 3 Rounds
1. Clean & Squat - 20 kg
Left - 21 reps, Right - 21 reps

2. Windmills - 12 kg
Left - 21 reps, Right - 21 reps

Circuit #2 - 5 Rounds
1. Bear Crawl - 40 yards
200 yards total

2. Bunny Hop - 40 yards
200 yards total

Circuit #3 - 3 Rounds
1. One Arm KB Rows - 16 kg
Left - 21 reps, Right - 21 reps

2. Walking Overhead Lunges - 12 kg
Left - 21 steps, Right - 21 steps

3. Rotating One Leg Pushups
21 reps

Circuit #4 - 10 Rounds
1. Side Burpees
110 reps

2. Swings - 32 kg (70 lbs.)
110 reps

This is what I call a Burpee/Swing Complex. You start by doing 20 burpees and 2 swings. Then you do 18 burpees and 4 swings. Keep decreasing the burpee number by 2 and increasing the swing number by 2 until you do 2 burpees and 20 swings.

Four circuits. Four workout partners. Four times the fun.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Biofeedback Rocks My World

On Friday, I went to the gym after work. I was dog tired after running all week long. I really thought that once I got changed and started testing movements, I would perk up. Boy was I wrong! I tested a dozen different movements only to find they each tested worse than baseline. I packed up and went home. I didn't give it another thought. That's the beauty of biofeedback. I don't need to worry. All I need to do is gather the data and act appropriately.

Today I found out how appropriate that action was yesterday. I went back to the gym after a good night's sleep and a lazy morning. I put together a circuit of heavy swings and bodyweight drills that got me going. I rocked my own world today!

Circuit - 5 Rounds - 26 minutes

1. Swings - 150 lbs.
225 reps = 33,750 lbs.
-I did 15 swings between each of the bodyweight drills.

2. Squat Jumps
75 reps (15 per round)

3. Rotating One Leg Pushups
40 reps (8 per round)

4. Side Burpees
50 reps (10 per round)

This was fun! It confirmed that if my body isn't ready, there is no sense pushing myself. If I had forced myself to train yesterday, I probably wouldn't have had such a good session today. I would wreck myself.

Now I'm in my favorite state again - the state of being present!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Favorite State

I didn't have a chance to log my training from Tuesday. (Yes, you heard that right. Tuesday. I trained three days in a row.) Here it is Wednesday night, and I'm just getting to it. That's okay.

My week is pretty busy with my play rehearsals, work, school board meetings, kids' activities, etc. but I don't even mind. I'm in my favorite state - the state of being present.

What's that you ask? It's not worrying about what I have to do or what I've done. It means living in this moment and taking it in for what it is. It also means doing the best I can at this moment.

When I live in the state of being present, I'm unanxious (is that a word?). My body doesn't hum with anxiety. I take in my surroundings and breathe. In essence, I'm me.

Being in that state gives me all kinds of advantages. Namely, I am more productive in every aspect of my life. Here's an example: my training.

Tuesday's Circuit - 8 Rounds - 25 minutes

1. Rotating One-Leg Pushups
52 reps

2. Reverse Lunge to High Kick
80 reps each leg

3. Slalom Jumps
400 reps (800 jumps in all)

I had a Movement PR in all three drills. I was quicker and/or more balanced on every drill. Movement PRs are almost more exciting for me than intensity PRs. Why that is deserves a post of its own.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Good Day Monday

I had a fabulous afternoon today. Who'd a thunk it? It was Monday, and it was my first day back to work after my college's spring break. The day couldn't have gone better. Plus, it felt like a bonus to get two days of training in a row. I wish every Monday could be this good.

Circuit - 5 Rounds - 23 min. 30 secs

1. Waiter Plate Press - 25 lbs.
Left - 30 reps, Right - 35 reps
- I had a scissors stance, back arched. During some reps I put in a twist. I'm working toward pressing in a neutral position, but for now, my body prefers the altered positioning.

2. Sumo DL - 270 lbs.
48 reps total

3. 1/2 Pistol to Pike Press
Left - 30 reps, Right - 30 reps
-This was a density and movement PR for me. It was a movement PR because my balance and speed were so much better.

My state was definitely better today than it has been in awhile. I felt like a better me. Anything seems possible today. I'm so glad I got to capitalize on optimal training time. The weeks ahead are very busy for me, so getting in meaningful training is crucial. I cherish the time well spent.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Teacher Becomes the Student

Today I let my "students" put together my training. My bootcamp gang has been going great guns in 2011 - two of them have lost 30+ lbs. each since mid-January. They get together on Sundays, so I joined them today. They really like to do animals, so we did a swing / animal circuit.

It was fun for me to see the gang in charge of their own training. They have taken what they've learned and applied it to their gym movements. It's also fun to see them questioning, testing, and using data to make decisions. Rarely do teachers get to see how their students apply their skills after they leave the classroom. It's pretty gratifying.

Here's what we did in the gym today. Thanks to Ben for his killer circuit idea!

Circuit - 4 Rounds - 28 min.

1. Swings - 150 lbs.
One set between each animal drill
240 reps total = 36,000 lbs.

2. Frog Jumps - 40 yards

3. Bunny Hops - 40 yards

4. Bear Crawl - 40 yards

5. Kangaroo Jumps

That's all I had time for, but it was a great workout. I feel great! Can't wait for next Sunday when we get together again.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Back in the Circuit

Jumping, pushups, and swings all tested well so I put together a killer circuit. That wasn't enough, so I finished off with extra swings. Good day.

Circuit - 4 Rounds - 22 min. 30 secs

1. Swings - 150 lbs.
100 reps = 15,000 lbs.

2. Pike Jump to Jump Up
40 reps

3. One Leg Pushups
48 reps

4. Lunge, Extend Arms holding a 10 lb. plate, twist
40 reps each leg

5. Slalom Jumps (quick side-to-side jumps)
200 reps

After that I did 8 minutes of 150 lbs. swings. I did 140 reps for 21,000 lbs. more.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Breaking 50

That was the goal today - break 50 reps for each drill. Why 50? Sit back and let me tell you a little tale.

When I pulled up at the gym today, I wondered why there were so many cars there. Strange. I went in, changed my clothes and proceeded to the Tae Kwon Do room to do some serious bodyweight training. In my mind, I was putting together all kinds of killer moves I could try out. As I approached the TKD room door, I noticed it was closed. A closed door never stopped me before, so I opened it.

What I saw was beyond words. There was a sea of pink and purple and music playing. That's all I can tell you because I'm trying to block it out of my mind. I think my retinas are damaged.

Okay, change of training plans. Quick!

I find an empty corner and test my ROM on various traditional lifts. Presses and Sumo DLs test well. Thank goodness! Oh wait. I need my plateau buster from the TKD room. Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

I slip in trying to go unnoticed. I unlock my PB from the bike chain and roll it out, loaded with 150 lbs. I was about as subtle as a rhino. At least I could keep my eyes on the floor to avoid the horrible scene in that room.

I made it out alive. To celebrate, I decide to see if I can DL more than I did during my last session. I loaded various weights and found 280 to my liking. Intensity PR

I grab a 25 lb. plate to do waiter plate presses with. I find my best position (scissors stance, twist, watching plate) and start pressing. 5 reps feels pretty good.

Time to DL. The first set is a set of 5. Feels good.

Alternating between the two drills really worked well for me today. They put my body in contrary positions, which relieves pain for me. So guess what? No pain; great gain. I figured I could go for 10 sets like this. That would result in my breaking 50.

My numbers increased as I went along, so I ended up only having to do 9 sets to break 50 reps on each drill. Here's the finally tally:

Waiter Press Left - 51 reps
Waiter Press Right - 56 reps
Sumo DL - 52 reps

Total Weight Moved - 17,235 lbs.

Had I let the scene in the TKD room deter me, I wouldn't have moved anything, nor would I have set a PR. As a bonus, I got in some great grip work with the heavy DL.

The moral to the story is "Don't let others get in your way of doing what you need to do." It's easy to find an excuse NOT to train. However, this will never result in results.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekend Workout

I've been so incredibly busy this week that I haven't been able to train since Tuesday. When I was able to sneak in a training session this afternoon, I was thrilled. The circuit I put together rocked my world.

Circuit - 4 Rounds - 30 minutes

Sumo Squat to Knee Raise
Swings - 150 lbs.
One Leg Pushups
Swings - 150 lbs.
Reverse Lunge, Touch Floor, to High Kick
Swings - 150 lbs.
Sumo Squat Jumps
Swings - 150 lbs.

I ended up doing the following number of reps:

Sumo Squat to Knee Raise - 60 reps
One Leg Pushups - 40 reps
Reverse Lunge, Touch Floor, to High Kick - 40 each leg
Sumo Squat Jumps - 80 reps
Swings - 330 reps = 49,500 lbs. (I'm pretty proud of this one.)

It's hard to say with all of the body weight drills, but I'd guess I moved over 60,000 lbs. in 30 minutes. 2000 lbs./minutes isn't too shabby.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quick DL Session

I picked up some heavy weights and put them down on Tuesday. Sumo DL test well, so I had to do it.

270 lbs.
9 minutes
80 reps
21,600 lbs.

Density PR - I did sets of 8 reps. Last DL session, I did 270 lbs. for sets of 5.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Move It

I'm quickly moving into longer circuits, which means more work time, which means more calories burned.

Here's tonight's circuit.

5 Rounds - 26 min. 30 secs

1. Lunge to High Kick
Left - 50 reps, Right - 50 reps

2. Rotating One Leg Pushups
50 reps
-Start in the position of a crabwalk w/ your butt off the ground. Rotate to one side so you are face down with arms extended. The leg you lifted up in order to rotate stays elevated. Do a pushup and rotate back to face up. Rotate the other direction.

3. Jumping Sumo Squat to Jump Up
50 reps
-Jump your feet out wide and squat. Jump your feet back together and then jump up.

4. Inchworm
20 yards - 5 times

5. Side Lunge Jump with Floor Touch
100 reps

My body is still loving all this movement. It's a good change of pace from the heavy lifting I've been doing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More Body Weight Training

I tried out a few more body weight drills. It was fun to put down the weights for a day and work what my momma gave me!

Circuit - 5 Rounds - 22 min. 30 secs

1. 1/2 Pistol to 1 Leg Pike Press
Left - 25, Right - 25
-While balancing on one leg, you do 1/2 squat then pull the free leg behind you while falling forward to your hands and doing a push up. Then you bring the free leg in front of you and begin again. This takes balance and extreme core strength. I had to touch my free leg down between reps quite often. I have a lot of room for improvement in the movement quality.

2. Burpee to Jump
50 reps
-Burpees are hard enough by themselves, but add in the jump at the top and wowsie.

3. Inverted Rows
50 reps
-I did these on the TRX. I love how I have more range of motion with the TRX than on a static bar.

4. Sumo Squat to Knee Raise
80 reps
-These were really fun. I love sumo DL and squats, so this drill was enjoyable. I alternated which knee I would raise. I raised my knees to between my elbow and shoulder.

I can tell my body was craving a change of pace. Body weight drills are fitting my needs right now. I'm looking forward to improving my speed and ROM with each of these drills.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Inspiration

Thanks to the inspiration from my friend Tera, I did several fun body weight drills today in my training. I needed some new ideas, so her inspiration came at the perfect time. I wish Tera and I lived closer so we could train together and keep watch over each other. We are kindred spirits!

I put together a short circuit today using some of Tera's suggestions. I was pleased with how the workout turned out.

Circuit - 5 Rounds - 17 min. 30 secs

1. Pike Jumps to Frog Jumps - 50 reps total
2. TRX Pushups - 50 reps total
3. Lunge to High Kick - 35 reps each leg
4. Swings - 200 lbs. - 50 reps total

That was pretty fun and got my heart going. I'm going to be trying out some more new body weight drills in the weeks ahead.

I didn't post my swing session from Tuesday. I did 110 swings at 200 lbs. in 10 minutes. Just a quick heart pounder!

Monday, February 21, 2011

PRs Come in Small Packages

I've grown accustomed to moving 30-40 thousand lbs. every workout, so today's total volume seems small in comparison. It's okay. I still had a big PR. That means that even though one metric didn't increase, another one did. It is good to remember that and not get fixated on increasing one certain metric (density, intensity, volume, movement quality). What's important is that I am increasing one of them. That means I am better.

Circuit - 7 Rounds - 19 min.

Sumo DL - 270 lbs.
35 reps = 9450 lbs.
Intensity PR

Pushups
42 reps

One Arm Rows - 16 kg
Left - 70 reps, Right - 70 reps

I'm so happy with my intensity PR on the sumo DL. I never thought it would be possible for me to lift over 200 lbs. Right now my ROM doesn't allow me to lift a straight bar. Since I got the plateau buster, I've been able to quickly increase my intensity on DL. The largest plates I load it with are 35 lbs. I've also used 25 lb. plates as the largest plates. I vary the plate sizes to work different ROM.

I don't plan to be a professional power lifter, or even an amateur for that matter. Being able to DL a straight bar isn't a priority for me. Getting stronger and losing body fat are. Heavy DL and swings will help me achieve both.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Drill, Two PRs

I showed up ready to move this afternoon. I tested and tested and tested. Sumo deadlift was the only movement that tested well. Bummer. I was hoping for a big training day.

Even though I didn't have the opportunity to do more movements, I did set two PRs today with the Sumo DL.

Sumo DL - 260 lbs. - 8 minutes
80 reps = 20,800 lbs. = 2600 lbs./min.
Intensity and Density PR

(Now that I think about it, it was probably a volume PR as well. I won't be greedy.)

Tomorrow is another day. I will show up and see what happens.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quality Tested Movements

After several days of distress, I moved into eustress today. The pressure cooker had been turned off, and I was able to clear my head.

Several movements tested well. They just didn't test well with weight. While that is disappointing, I can't change it. All I can do is go with it.

Performing quality tested movement was the goal. I succeeded. I did hindu pushups, light swings, egg rolls, and TGUs (no weight).

I'm very proud of myself for not pushing myself to do heavy swings or deadlifts. There was a time when I would have. Nothing good comes of it. Trust me!

Tomorrow I will return to the gym, see what tests well, and do it. Simple, but effective.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm in Love

Since it's Valentine's Day, I thought I'd come clean. I'm in love. It's been building for about a month. Today I realized that I couldn't deny it any longer. Yes. I'm in love with



my Plateau Buster.

He was very good to me today, even though I haven't been with him for a week.

Sumo DL - 250 lbs. - 8 minutes
74 reps = 18,500 lbs.
-I did sets of 7 and 8 reps. This is the most weight I have ever DL in my life. I also moved as quickly as I could. My overall density was 2312.5 lbs./minute. Not bad!
Intensity and Density PR

Swings - 200 lbs. - 9 minutes
119 reps = 23,800 lbs.
-That's 19 reps more in the same time as one week ago.
Density and Volume PR

I moved 42,300 lbs. in 17 minutes. Love that.

After sumo and swings, I did some movement - egg rolls, bridges, and waiter press. It's been too long since I've rolled around. I definitely needed it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Swing Goal Crushed

I've been working with the Plateau Buster since January 14. That's 24 days. My goal was to swing 200 lbs. for reps. I started at 130 lbs on January 14.

Today, February 7, I did 100 swings at 200 lbs. in 9 minutes.
Intensity PR

I think I crushed that goal. Time to set a new goal!

What a fantastic way to start off a Monday and a work week. Again, I feel so fortunate for having found Gym Movement. It's been a year since I started using biofeedback to train myself. My progress has been unbelievable. Faster than with any program I've ever tried.

Here's the rest of my training from today.

Circuit - 14 min. 30 secs - 26,300 lbs.

Sumo DL - 210 lbs.
66 reps = 13,860 lbs.
I worked for speed in sets of 12-15 reps. Intensity PR

Inverted Rows - TRX
60 reps - 6000 lbs.

1 Leg Squats - TRX
92 reps = 6440 lbs.

I also worked for speed on the rows and squats. Faster movements are good for my body. I moved over 46,000 lbs. in less than 24 minutes of work time.

I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of my week after a Monday like this!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'd Like to Thank the Movement

And my fellow Gym Movement practitioners as well as myself for the fantabulous day I had today. I feel as if I've won an award; only this one really means something. It means I'm improving. Plus, I have physical proof. Check out my training log from today. Then I'll tell you all a little story.

Circuit - 11 Rounds - 20 min. - 41,250 lbs.

Swings - 170 lbs. - Intensity PR
165 reps = 28,050 lbs.

Inverted Rows - TRX - Speed PR
132 reps = 13,200 lbs.

Did you see my swing weight? 170 lbs. I did sets of 15. It was easy. Seriously. If I hadn't experienced it for myself, I wouldn't have believed it. It is almost surreal to hit these milestones so quickly.

It's partially because I've been dealing with some health issues for the past year that have flared up in the past couple months. I've been in pain. I've also been experimenting with how to eliminate the pain. Today, I feel like I've truly found my way. When I look back over the past two months, I can see the path I took. While I was on the path, I couldn't see it. I just did what tested better and didn't do what tested worse. Simple.

There have been days I wanted to crawl into bed and not get out. Instead I went to the gym; I ate or didn't eat based on feedback; I read books to move my brain in another direction. I wrote. I made music. It all worked to make me better.

Today feels like the payday. Swinging 170 lbs. was easy. My state soared. I feel invincible. This is a day I want to remember because I want to experience more days like this. I know I will. And, I will experience days that are even better than today.

So, I'd like to thank The Movement for allowing me to be my own architect in building my life.

Who else but me can build a better me?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

To Phil - You Rock

Punxsutawney Phil. You didn't see your shadow. This winter will soon be a memory. Hurray!

In honor of Phil, I set a PR in deadlift.

Sumo DL - 190 lbs. - 10 min.
115 reps = 21,850 lbs.
Intensity PR

That is the most I've deadlifted. Ever. And, I did 10-15 reps at a time for speed. Yeah, where did that come from?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Pick Things Up and Put Them Down

Oh, and I swing things, too.














Thank goodness I don't look like the Planet Fitness guy! I do love that commercial, though.

I barely broke a sweat today even though I moved nearly 40,000 lbs.

Circuit - 23 min. - 6 Rounds - 39,776 lbs.

1 Arm Rows - 12 kg
Left - 88 reps, Right - 88 reps
5476 lbs.

Swings - 160 lbs.
220 reps = 35,200 lbs.
Density and Volume PR - I did sets of 20 reps. Sunday I did sets of 17. I might be ready to add more weight. I'll be swinging 200 lbs. soon.

I'll close out my post with a picture of Adam Glass pulling 527 lbs. on the Plateau Buster, the magnificent device made by Ryan Pitts of Stronger Grip that allows me to swing a lot of weight. (I don't have any pics of me with my Plateau Buster. Might need to change that.)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Four Score

My goal was four training sessions this week. Today I got in number four. Score!

Circuit - 5 Rounds - 23 min. - 36,412 lbs.

Waiter Press - 12 kg
Left - 37 reps, Right - 45 reps
2132 lbs.

Inverted Rows - TRX
66 reps = 6600 lbs.

Swings - 160 lbs.
173 reps = 27,680 lbs.
Density PR - I did sets of 20 and 17 reps. The most I'd done before was 15.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Quickie but a Goodie

Training session #3 for the week. I'm shooting for 4. I need to increase my weekly volume if I want to lose more weight. Today's volume was 36,600 lbs.

1 Arm Inverted Rows - 6 minutes
Left - 60 reps, Right - 60 reps

Swings - 160 lbs. - 12 minutes
180 reps = 28,800 lbs.

When I reflect on today's training, I'm very pleased that I got in that much volume. I was feeling pretty apathetic about training. I didn't let that stop me. I had the time carved out, so I went and did it anyway. I did the drills that tested best, and, of course, I felt great after finishing.

That, my friends, is the beauty of gym movement. If you follow your body, it will lead you to better. Yes. It is as simple as that.

I'm kind of dreading the day swings don't test well. My volume will drop significantly unless I am able to do another big lift like deadlift or cleans. Oh well. It will happen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Training

I was able to get in a training session today. It was pretty quick, but I moved over 35,000 lbs.

Circuit - 22 minutes - 35,010 lbs. total

Swings - 160 lbs.
150 reps = 24,000 lbs.

Pushups - TRX
60 reps

Inverted Rows - TRX
56 reps