In an ideal world, everyone would walk to their dream job, walk to their best case school, have short commutes to the awesome shopping plazas, great public transportation at your finger tips, low to no traffic and congestion, highly rated programs and extracurriculars at your finger tips and 5 star medical care easily assessable.
But that’s not the case in all ways for everyone.
Sometimes you have to go to and find the good stuff.
People do out of the norm commutes for work, school, shopping, extra curricular’s and health care. Ever met a hockey or private school parent? Or someone who works in sales, travels for work or leaves before the rooster gets up and gets home after the rooster goes to sleep? How about people who make long commutes to see specialists or to work with experts? Ever go out of your way to go to a great store? Ever go to the Cape on weekends? Travel during school breaks? Go north during the winter to ski / board after big snowfall or go to the beach on that perfect summer day? Have you ever done anything out of the norm, that other people think you’re crazy for doing, and their intentional or unintentional words come across as judgmental because they don’t get it? Or because they forget they might do it too for something really worthwhile that they love or simply value highly?
That’s why people choose Change Your Body Boot Camps.
They want the good stuff. They go out of their way to make the schedule work. They bring their own equipment. They want what we offer because they know it’s the good stuff. They want the elite coaching from someone gets them on a deep level and who cares. They want the programming that’s safe and delivers results. Programming that’s consistent so they can gain mastery, yet still varied so it stays fresh. They want awesome people to train with and to be around who are interesting, not tire kickers who complain and don’t really want to be there. They want a high energy place to go and get filled up at. A place that’s safe, where they can shed their roles and responsibilities for 60min and just be their self, a fellow human, who’s making time for their self-care, who wants to have a good time, learn & practice new skills and leave feeling better than when they arrived.
It’s the same for my colleagues I look up to except not only do some or many of their clients commute from far to work with them regularly, but they get people who fly in, ride the train in or drive in from distances greater than 90min to work with them for short periods, days, weeks or months or simply for overnight consultations.
You go where the good stuff is.
Sure there are comparable opportunities nearby to you that are more convenient, that are good, maybe great, maybe not great or not good, but for some reason, they’re not the best fit for you. There’s something lacking. You know it. Maybe you can put your finger on it, maybe you can’t, but you know it. And that’s why, when you find what you’re looking for you’ll know and you’ll go out of your way to make it work, even if it seems crazy to other people. You know if they were in your shoes it’d make sense to them and you know they do crazy things themselves, that other people wouldn’t do, but they do it anyways because they value it and it’s worth it to them.
You go where the good stuff is.
So do I. So do you. So do they.
Don’t judge. Appreciate. Admire. Inquire. Maybe even try for yourself if it makes sense.
If you do try. You’ll learn something new. You’ll learn something about yourself, about your referrer and about the experience. And it doesn’t even matter if you do it again. That new experience will have been worth it. It’ll give you context, a story and a connection. Yours forever.
But maybe. That one brave decision to try it, will lead to something you love. That missing puzzle piece to a life lived better. To feeling better. To moving and playing better. To looking better and to having better health. And you’ll be forever grateful for not judging and instead trying. For making a decision. For taking action. For showing up. And then you too, will go to where the good stuff is!
Also going to where the good stuff is,
One thing when lifting to failure is knowing when you really can’t do anymore. The first thing to look for is if your form breaks down, but with light weights, you could stop, rest a second, collect yourself and mentally try harder to hold strict form. The second is to have a workout partner or coach who knows you and can tell if you have anymore left or if you’re mentally choosing to stop (the body does what the mind tells it too).
Short answer: Yes!
Back when I was training for sports and my DKNY club clothes, lifting heavy weights and lifting weights to failure were common methods I would use to help achieve sports performance, maximum strength building and body composition goals. I was smart enough to know there were certain exercises it wasn’t worth the risk to intentionally go to failure on even though many times I did when I failed to hit a rep or fatigued mid-rep. These were mostly the big muscle, multi-joint, compound movements like cleans, snatches, back squat, front squat, dead lifts, lunges, overhead presses and bench presses.
Other times I would intentionally go to failure, especially on pull up progressions, push ups, inverted rows, 1-leg squats, biceps, triceps, carries, delts, abs, forearms and calves. More of your body weight and single joint exercises. These seem less risky to me to get hurt on because the loads are much lighter, so the risk is low and the reward is still high, where as, intentionally lifting to failure on the big barbell loaded exercises seemed like a high reward and high risk that wasn’t worth it.
I have lifted to failure on those exercises both intentionally and unintentionally, however as I grew wiser, I stopped lifting to failure with large load, barbell exercises. Stopping when I could only do 1 or 2 more, left something extra for the next day, and helped me recover quicker.
When I started Change Your Body Boot Camps ~ 12 years ago, I wanted to create a do anywhere program where busy adults, ages 30-60 years old, could come and work on their health, body composition and performance goals, using minimal equipment that they found at home or could get, could find at a gym and at a hotel if they traveled. I wanted to eliminate the excuses, so if you had a simple home gym that replicated what you could find at a hotel, you’d be able to get a workout in, whether you were traveling or stuck inside because of weather, illness and deadlines for example.
I knew it was possible because I spent the previous 8 years training this demographic and with the exception of the outliers, we mostly used dumbbells and lighter weights. When I would try to train my clients in the beginning like athletes with college, pro or olympic programs, they would get stronger and gain weight. Often times we’d have to spend a lot of time on the recovery end (sore) because they’d be real beat up from training. Then my programming evolved to include more preventive exercises and corrective exercises and later foam rolling as staples to compliment my, from day 1, inclusion of dynamic flexibility (first), core training (before strength) and stretching (at the end).
The more I listened to my clients and learned that even though they may have wanted to look like me and/or perform like me, they weren’t 25 or 22 or 30, they were older and had much more responsibilities and family demands that needed to be considered.
I remembered every time I did a high intensity (heavy weights, fewer reps) peaking phase with Dumbbells, I would get very cut and lose size (my clothes would be baggier on me). This was a light bulb moment and led me to find ways to challenge my clients using Dumbbells. People who wanted to lose weight, were now less likely to gain weight and size.
Then when I was training for a triathlon that I wanted to win (I didn’t), I thought that if I dropped weight, but kept my strength high, I’d be lighter and faster, allowing me to train harder, longer and recover easier. I cut 14 pounds and 14min off of my sprint time, which is considerable on both accounts. My main inspiration for the training I would do came from thinking about sports and what we did in sports to get athletes or myself in shape. Coaches would use timed sets. Drills would be set to time, so I started timing my sets and doing as many reps as I could in 30 seconds for example. This led to some exercise modification, which also led to some exercises being lifted to failure. Another light bulb went off.
Back to boot camp. Ultimate Boot Camp was very popular at the time I started my business. They had multiple outdoor locations and were extremely popular, so I studied them online, in person and talked with their past customers. They did so many things well, so I had to find the things they were missing. One thing that I noticed was the lack of weight training. They didn’t have clients bring weights.
Who wants to bring weights to workouts I initially thought?
Since I worked at a gym, I only needed my program and a bar / shake / sports drink to train with because they provided everything, but, … then I remembered that I brought a basketball bag with my basketball sneakers, a hand towel, a sports drink, water and a basketball to my games. I brought my baseball bag, with glove, cleats, balls, batting gloves, sunflower seeds, a bar, a sports drink, water, high socks and a uniform to practices and games. I brought head gear, mouth piece, wrist wraps, gloves, shin guards, a towel and water / sports drink to Krav Maga. Hockey players bring their hockey gear. Yogis bring their own mats even though studios provide them.
But then why do people go to boot camps when gyms have equipment?
And why do people play sports if they have to provide their own equipment?
Because they like to!
I realized it wasn’t a big deal after all. They could farmers carry their equipment to and from their workouts, which would make them more bad a**. They wouldn’t have to wait or share. They could just train and do. If they invested in gear, they’d have more accountability to use it. They could train inside at home if it snowed or rained or was too windy or too hot and they could train outside if it was an ideal day. They could easily find the same equipment at a hotel they stayed at when traveling.
So I made CYBBC into a do anywhere workout, using minimal equipment you bring, program.
This is great and all, but how much weight should people bring?
I knew people were only going to bring so much weight. I figured guys would be open to bringing 15-30lbs and women 8-15lbs. per hand, so I had to figure out how to get results using lighter weights.
How to Get Results Using Lighter Weights
We could address all 3 main goals of health, body transformation and performance using lighter weights.
Health (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, joint / muscle pain)
Body Transformation (weight loss, maintenance and gain: fat loss & muscle building, decreased body fat %, decreased inches in some places and increased inches in others).
Performance Goals (play with their kids, participate in athletic and physical activities recover from sports, run faster, play better, and participate more often)
As you can see there are a lot of reasons for using lighter weights, even though you can get much stronger, and build muscle using heavier weight, that’s why I was so fascinated by this article.
Subjects used loads that were 30% of their 1 rep max for the light loads and did ~34 reps to failure, whereas the high load groups used 80% of their 1 rep max and did ~12 reps to failure. Both groups did 3 sets.
Nerd Alert – Volume
Leg Extension: 30% of 1 Rep Max vs. 80% of 1 Rep Max
Let’s say you can lift 100 pounds for 1 rep on the leg extension machine. 30% = 30 lbs. and 80% = 80 lbs.
Total Volume Lifted: 30 lbs x 34 reps x 3 sets = 3,060 lbs.
Total Volume Lifted: 80 lbs x 12 reps x 3 sets = 2,880 lbs.
Difference: 3,060 – 2,880 = 180 lbs
You can get stronger with low loads and build muscle if you lift to failure with low loads.
You can get 2x stronger and build more muscle using high loads vs. low loads (see abstract) with fewer reps.
I was fascinated for obvious reasons because we use light weights (loads) in our program so this helps confirm that you can build muscle with lighter weights if you lift to failure (high level of effort) and you can get stronger if there’s enough volume. We address both in CYBBC by aiming for max reps in timed sets for the high level of effort part (failure) to build muscle and we do multiple sets or rounds for the volume part to get stronger.
Take Home Message
Most people don’t want to lift heavy weights, get bigger and/or get super strong. These people want to be strong for them, healthy and lean, while being able to participate and do well in physical activities they enjoy, so having research show they can build muscle by lifting to failure with light weights just as easily as lifting with heavy weights is refreshing. And if someone wants to lift heavy weights, they can.
Using the same program my clients use,
p.s. when you’re ready to stop doing all the thinking on your own and get more support, accountability and possibly better programming, here are 3 ways I may be able to help:
When you’re ready, fill out my contact form and let me know which option your interested in and how I can help you.
Did you play sports growing up?
How about activities? Did you do any physical extracurricular activities growing up?
If yes, then you probably had gear and had to bring it in a bag.
Football players had cleats, cups, pads, helmets, pants, jerseys, water bottles and a ball.
Soccer players had balls, cleats or turf shoes, shin guards, cups, socks, shorts.
Field Hockey players had sticks, balls, cleats or turf shoes and goggles.
Basketball players have basketball sneakers, a basketball, hand towel for sweat and a water bottle.
Ice Hockey players have a giant bag, sticks, helmets, pads, tape, pucks, cups, jerseys, pants, skates and a water bottle.
Baseball & Softball players have bags, cleats, bats, balls, gloves, cups, pants, jerseys, batting gloves, hats, sun glasses and eye black.
Tennis players have tennis shoes, rackets, balls, water, towel and sun glasses.
Golf players have cleats, bags, clubs, balls, towel and water.
Cyclists have bikes, helmets, GPS, heart rate monitors, cadence readers, glasses, water and nutrition.
Skiers / snowboarders have winter clothing, skis, poles / snowboards, boots, helmets and goggles.
Musicians have instruments, a case, sheet music, stands, mics, recording devices and maybe an amp.
Artists have easels, paint, crayons, pencils, mocks, writing surfaces and brushes.
You get the idea. And it doesn’t include bonus items like:
Most every athlete has their own gear, brings it to practices and games and needs to take care of it and update it as needed.
Equipment We Bring:
The same holds true for our Newton athletes. Our athletes are required to bring 7 things to every workout.
It’s what we need to do to be great at self-care as part of Change Your Body Boot Camps, so we do it.
And best of all there’s a way to carry your equipment so you look super cool, bad a** and get a great workout while doing it.
How to carry your equipment?
If you want to learn more about farmers carries, read this blog post.
If you have a question, fill out our contact form and let me know.
If you want support with your self-care, a scheduled appointment, awesome people to train with, a results-oriented program to follow and a high energy place to go, answer our 8 questions to make sure we’re a good fit, submit your registration packet and schedule a call to talk about your goals.
Thank you for reading.
Fellow athlete who brings gear,
Self-care = taking care of yourself.
You know self-care is important. You may or may not be great at it all the time.
If you want more from your life, you have to become more to get more.
To become more, you have to do more.
To do more you need to take action.
To take action you need to get moving.
And to get moving you need to just do it!
Once you do it, you need to do it again and again.
Some easy ways to do it again and again are to:
If you want to make a change happen.
If you want to change your identity to the person you always knew.
Or you want to change your identity to the person you’ve always wanted to be.
You need to imagine, paint and write down the picture of that person very clearly.
What does she do, what does she not do?
When, where, with who, how and how often does she do and not do those things?
Those things. They’re processes or habits.
The habits, if you schedule them and make them super simple (how easy is it to fall into a bad habit), then you can more easily fall into a good habit.
Health, Body Transformation and Performance
If you want to
If you want to do any of these things.
If you want a scheduled appointment to keep you committed.
If you want to learn new things and track your progress.
Let me know. You can fill out my contact form or start the registration process. I’d love to learn your story, what your looking to change over the next 12-months and what needs to change to make that happen.
Your fellow human who values the things listed above and schedules them too,
p.s. set it and forget it is a nice phrase. set it and do it might be a better one. Or even set it and show up. You get the point though.
If you’ve ever had a great workout, especially in the lower body and then sat for a long time because of work and/or travel, you’ve probably experienced hip stiffness. Here are 2 easy to do hip mobility drills if you find yourself both stiff in the hips and near a wall and 1 easy to do hip activation exercise for sprinting.
Try ’em and let me know what you think.
LeBron James, current superstar forward for the, Los Angeles Lakers was recently interviewed by Tim Ferriss, New York Times best selling author of the Four Hour Work Week, Four Hour Body, Four Hour Chef, Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors.
This caught my eye because James is arguably the best player in the NBA over the last 14 years and Tim doesn’t really interview current sports athletes.
Turns out LeBron is launching a new supplement and lifestyle company, similar to Tom Brady’s TB12, called Ladder.
You can look it up for yourself, but here are 3 takeaways from listening to what one of the greatest basketball players of all time does to stay on top of his game from a health and fitness point of view.
LeBron and his trainer of the last 14 years, Mike Mancias, (how did I not get spotted as an intern for my hustle), talked a lot about consistency, leadership and routines. The basketball season is 9 months long and they practice the same things almost everyday. He credits it as one of the reasons he has played 16 seasons and hopes to play 5-6 more. He sees it as one of the biggest leadership skills he tries to show and teach younger teammates. He also tries to practice it with his family as he was born to a 16 year old single mom, so he wants to give his kids what he didn’t have.
Mike and LeBron talked about training and its importance, but they talked more about knowing the individual, the unique body type, the training age, the current movement patterns, the injury history and checking in. They didn’t delve much into his strength & conditioning routines, but I could tell that they do them a lot, what they did focus on was the recovery. LeBron is such an elite athlete, who has played more minutes at a high level than probably anyone, ever, in the NBA, and as such, he needs to be able to recovery as quickly as possible to be able to do it again.
Here are some things they prioritized to aid in his recovery.
LeBron and Mike as noted above, eat clean, as they call it. All or mostly organic and no artificial foods or drinks during the season. They have their particulars and didn’t delve to far into it, but they’re starting a supplement company with the Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cindy Crawford and Lindsey Vonn, so you know he values them.
He shared his breakfast for the previous day, which was an egg white omelet with smoked salmon, and gluten free pancakes with berries.
His lunch was salmon again and his dinner was a chicken parm with a cabernet wine. He loves his red wine and drinks it in season.
Key points for nutrition
You already know all 3 of these tips: consistency, recovery and nutrition to become and stay your best. It’s the laser focus practice of them, having a strong why for doing them and having reaped the rewards of doing them for so long, while refining them, that makes it even easier to buy in and be consistent.
We can all do this. We all work, just like him. We all take time off, just like him. We all know life is so much better when we feel, are and perform at are best. We have to eat foods that make us feel good so we can perform at a high level and recover from that performance. We have to build all kinds of recovery methods into our lifestyle so we can recover from kicking butt, and start them asap after our work day finishes, including sleep because of all the methods, with nutrition as a close 2nd, sleep has the biggest bang for recovering; and we need to be consistent, 7 days a week, 365 with our practice. You can always take days or weeks, off, but outside of those times, its all in, if you want to reach your full potential.
Go ahead and listen to the interview as it’s only 60min vs. Tim’s usual 3-4 hour interviews, to hear for yourself how LeBron does it.
Finding joy in routines,
My wife, aka, the Queen, has me reading this book to help raise a kick butt and competent human, especially around food. One thing many people can relate to are hang ups.
Hang Ups are defined by me as anything that you get stuck on or tripped up by. It’s usually a long term pattern or habit you’ve developed that may or may not be obvious to you and sometimes is obvious to others. Identifying your hang ups and letting them go is a fast way to make progress, even though its easier said than done.
Birth Through Pre-School = Adulthood
One of the really cool things about this book, is how it applies to so many people, not just infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, school age children or adolescents, but everyone. And how, so many of the hang ups that adults repeatedly get tripped up on, are possibly related to when they were infants or toddlers. That thought, to me, is mind blowing, especially because I’m co-parenting a young child, and I don’t want to screw up.
Separate Comforting and Sleeping from Feeding
Don’t eat to comfort.
Don’t eat to sleep.
Eat to feed.
Ellyn writes, “separating eating from comforting and sleeping is intended not to make your baby go without eating, but to allow her to eat when she eats, sleep when she sleeps, and calm herself down when she is upset. After feeding, keep your baby company until she looks drowsy; then put her to bed and let her put herself to sleep. She may fuss a bit to get herself settled down, but not much. DON’T FEED HER TO HELP HER FALL ASLEEP. That hooks eating with sleeping.“Chapter 5, pg 146, covers this big one.
And, “If you use food to help yourself sleep or to calm yourself down, you may have begun to form that tendency in your earliest infancy. While eating can be calming and eating for emotional reasons is natural, having to eat to calm down or go to sleep is a learned distortion. Feeding a baby to help her sleep teaches her that she has to eat to go to sleep. Feeding a baby to comfort her teaches her she has to eat to calm down.”Chapter 5, pg 146.
Eat when you eat. Sleep when you sleep. Calm yourself down when you’re upset.
Don’t eat to sleep or eat to comfort.
If you find yourself having to eat to put yourself to bed, most every night, it might be related to when you were an infant and your parents may have had trouble putting you to sleep, so they fed you until you passed out.
If you have trouble calming yourself down when you’re upset and you use food to calm yourself down when you’re upset or stressed, your parents, caretakers and/or relatives may have used food to calm you when you were an infant and were crying. Any new parent knows, that a crying baby scares the crap out of you, can be super stressful and is super stressful if you’re sleep deprived, if you can’t get the baby to stop. Some caretakers use food aka, the bottle or the boob, to stop a crying baby, even if the baby is not hungry. If the baby pushes the food away, its not hungry. Don’t force it. Check the next item on the list for why babies cry.
So if you use food to put yourself to sleep or you eat to comfort your feelings, it may have started when you were an infant and its time to work through that and move past it. No more hang ups. Time to get on with your life.
Still learning to change lives, but now from birth to adulthood,
Diane, one of my superstar change makers, asked me recently if I could shoot a video of how to do a proper push up, so she could watch it and practice her technique. I said, “sure!”. I handed her my phone and here’s the video.
Lie down on the floor.
Place hands just outside of chest.
Go to Knees.
Sag head, then pack it (pull head back as far as possible with chin tucked into neutral neck alignment).
Sink shoulders, then press body away from floor rounding shoulder blades into armpits.
Turn elbows out, then, corkscrew elbows down towards your feet.
Go to high plank (up on your hands and feet).
Place Feet Together.
Place knees together.
Intentions are the thoughtfulness behind the exercise. The added details, which takes a good exercise and makes it a great exercise. Do these all at the same time. Once all intentions are activated, do your push up.
Squeeze your feet or sneakers together.
Squeeze your knees together even if your knees don’t actually touch.
Tilt your pubic bone up, like your zipping up a zipper.
Squeeze your butt and tuck it.
Brace your abs.
Continue corkscrewing your elbows down.
Continue pressing as far away from the floor as possible.
Continue packing your head.
Claw the ground with your wide spread fingers.
Do PULL yourself down to the floor by tucking your elbows back 45 degrees from your body.
Don’t pull your elbows to your ribs, that’s a close grip push up and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we’re not doing that exercise right now.
Don’t let your elbows flare out to 90 degrees from your side. That’s what most people do, and can cause impingement in some people. It’s can be a good joint angle and exercise for some, but we’re also not doing that push up.
Do pull yourself down towards the floor.
Do pull your shoulder blades down from your armpits and in towards your midline.
In the bottom of the push up is where many people core gets challenged the most.
Do continue to squeeze your feet together.
Do continue to squeeze your knees together.
Do continue to tilt your pubic bone up.
Do continue to tuck your butt and squeeze it.
Do continue to brace your abs.
Do hold your breath for a moment.
Then press back up.
As you start to come up start blowing hard through pursed lips.
Do continue to keep your elbows corkscrewed.
Keep pressing and feel your shoulder blades rotate from down and in, to up and out towards your armpits.
Do continue to keep your head packed. Don’t look up or sag your head.
Do press until your arms are fully straight and your pressed as far away from the floor as can be.
That’s one rep.
Now do it again!
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