I was a little disheartened by an email I got from an ‘ex’.
I say ‘ex’ because she’s now an ‘ex-reader’. She probably has some of her own issues unrelated to me, but it still tends to hurt my feelings when I get this sort of thing.
*Read from the bottom up on the string of emails
I think it’s a little cowardly to sit behind a keyboard and spew this sort of venom, but that’s just me. I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on the subject. My purpose is to provide helpful tips and advice. My assumption is that’s why you’re here. Any advice you can offer me to support YOU further is much appreciated.
I’ll go ahead and post the tips that I sent in that email despite the fact that I offended that person. In fact, I was flattered that a different reader asked me to post these tips on my Facebook page and on my blog too. Sometimes I wonder if the info I share is a little TMI, but if anyone can benefit from even one tip, then I’m happy.
Here was the email that I sent out:
I returned from a week in NYC with my almost 20-year-old daughter Hannah. This was a trip that mother’s dream of having with their girl. Further to this, I was happy that Hannah asked me how I manage to stay lean and fit while traveling. I do a lot of it and she realized while traveling with me that it’s not always easy.
Here are a few things off the top of my head that we discussed:
A workout – A short 20 min bodyweight hotel workout is fine in a pinch. Getting a workout done in the morning is best so that the day doesn’t get away and excuses don’t pop up. It takes NO time at all and keeps the metabolism revved up.
Drink up – Water that is. For me it’s the cure for headaches and dehydration. Although difficult at times I have no liquid calories pretty much EVER (except the odd glass of Malbec).
No bread – This isn’t due to gluten intolerance, it’s just an intolerance to a ‘muffin top’ 😉 This really works as hard as it is to do at some places especially, but passing on bread saves massive amounts of calories.
Cut out evening starchy carbs – Keep it to protein and veggies at dinner 99% of the time. Of course being in NYC, my ONE time break in this rule was a treat of cheesecake after the Lion King performance on Thursday. This leads to the next big idea…
Plan a cheat meal – It’s easy to pass on tempting foods when I know I can have them (eventually), Nothing is on the never never list. Here’s how I planned my NYC cheat: we didn’t have dessert all week, we had sushi with no rice and sashimi for dinner (low carb) and I did a metabolic workout with Kate Vidulich mid afternoon (filming for videos). Simple things to set up the perfect storm for a big treat. Oh, and I fasted until after my workout the next morning.
Regular sleep – Going to bed and waking at a similar time daily is key for me. We pretty much stayed on schedule with our own time zone (not always possible I know).
Step out of the comfort zone – Every day was an adventure. Did we know where we were going and what to expect? Not always. We didn’t risk life and limb, but we were definitely out of our element in the big city. Doing something scary makes you feel alive.
Do a good deed – I found a wallet and could only imagine the panic I’d feel had it been me that lost mine. I turned it into the doorman and was thrilled that I made some strangers day who came back for it 5 minutes later. I never found out who it was but, man, it felt good to know some one had a good day because of that small gesture.
These are only a few things off the top of my head: small things that over time add up to better health.
Make sure to let me know how you feel about the comments from ‘Barb’. And like my Facebook page here too.
No one really plans on getting old.
Of course we all know it’s a reality, but it’s something that happens to others and it’s difficult to see in ourselves. Often it hits us in the face when we see a photograph or when we see someone that we haven’t seen in years. It’s either a pleasant surprise or a dose of a little too much reality (often served up with a dose of mortality on the side).
I just turned 52.
This is a recent photo that I had taken and evidence that years of doing sweaty workouts are definitely time well spent. I’ve been a gym rat for over thirty years. I want to encourage all of you who hit the gym on a regular basis now to NEVER stop or sit down.
Life has a funny way of putting obstacles in the way of training. You might find that you’re super dedicated now, but then you may get a big job, you have a family, you go on holiday or may find any number of valid reasons to have an interruption in your training schedule and then it happens: you get out of your routine and your workouts are shelved. You may think it’s temporarily, but too often it’s longer than you plan.
I know you may say it ‘won’t happen to ME’, but seriously, I tend to be the exception and not the rule when it comes to the ‘super fit and over 50’ category. All my ‘gym buddies’ from past training days have long since found a comfortable chair while I have not. I don’t rely on stories of my ‘glory days’ as an athlete from the past; I continue to live the ‘glory days’ with personal challenges now.
Do you want to have visible abs when you’re 50? Do you want to be able to do pull ups, human flags, and have strength like you do now? I’m here to say it’s not only possible, it’s probable if you play your cards right. I’m as strong as I’ve EVER been and probably even leaner than I was in my 30’s. You can be too.
It’s the 10,000 hour rule: This is the idea that it takes approximately 10000 hours of deliberate practice to master something. The ‘something’ in this case, is your body. Sadly many people spend more time and money on their car than their body.
Here are ten tips to keep in mind so that years will be more of a friend than a foe:
– Consistent short workouts trump longer sporadic ones. Often times I get asked how long I spend training each day; more important is the consistent commitment of a short amount of training time over the long haul.
-Take notes. Training journals are helpful accountability tools. I can compare performance from 20 years ago. I know what my body is capable of and I can push my limits. I can log an ache or pain so I can track what caused it, what things to avoid, when to get treatment when needed and what treatments worked.
-Small smart nutritional choices add up BIG TIME in the long run. You don’t have to be a total food freak, but making hard choices 80% of the time makes a huge difference in your physique over time.
-Beauty sleep is important. Having consistent sleep patterns help recovery and keep cortisol levels low. We know that a high cortisol level is associated with increased belly fat and adrenal fatigue.
-It may sound too motherly to say ‘moderation in all things’ however that’s what works when it comes to lifestyle.
-Training need not be ‘moderate’ though. In fact, ‘pedal to the metal’ is more like it. Train with passion, intensity and intelligence.
-Train heavy. Lift as much weight as you safely can to increase and maintain as much metabolically active muscle as possible. Muscle is the fountain of youth: it keeps your metabolism fired up and helps staying lean that much easier.
-You may require more recovery between workouts. Listen to your body. Sometimes less is more, as long as less is part of a deliberate plan and doesn’t become ‘nothing’ when it comes to intense workouts.
-Pay attention, your body is an incredible machine, learn how it reacts to life: training, eating, stress, sleep, etc. The great thing about aging is it gives you more time in your own skin to really get to know yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.
I hope that you’re passionate about your physique right now. I hope that this is something that only grows in intensity. Your passion for training is hopefully as ingrained in your daily lifestyle as brushing your teeth. The challenge of maintaining a kick ass body as you age is really the epitome of all challenges where YOU become the ultimate winner with great health to live life to the fullest.
I never use age as an excuse and neither should you. I can help you with your fitness through my blog and challenging workout plans. I know some of the workouts I post are a little too aggressive. Some of you may be very intimidated by the workouts I have on the here.
If this is you, I have good news.
If you are:
- new to fitness or at all intimidated by fitness
- recovering from an injury
- 50+ and need a ‘gentle’ approach
- looking for ‘follow along’ videos
- need ‘coaching’ along the way
Here’s a sample workout:
This is a fantastic program to get you moving safely. If you need a place to get started with your return to fitness, this is the one.
OR, if you’re ready for more of a challenge, you can check out my various workout programs at ILoveChallengeWorkouts.com
Do YOU have any ‘look and feel young’ strategies? I’d sure like to know. I can use any and all advice since I plan on living to be at least 150 years old 😉
(This is your cue to comment below!)
Is this a little like you?
I was talking to one of my (awesome) clients yesterday and her story may be similar to yours…
This woman is a go-giver to so many others. She’s selfless and kind, she leads by example, she helps SO many in her circle.
But when it comes to self care, the kindness stops.
She’s incredibly hard on herself and has a loop of negative self talk reminding her of all her short comings:
- her weight loss (6 lbs in 2 weeks) isn’t fast enough
- she’s not beautiful enough
- she’s not fit enough
- she’s not (fill in the blank) enough….
This makes me so sad because I feel it’s her mindset that’s holding her back.
SHE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH – of everything, (but my telling her has no value until she takes that message and runs with it).
She asked for some advice, so I made three suggestions…
1. Be kind…
First, I asked her if she would talk to her friends the way that she speaks to herself. Of course she said she’d never be that mean.
I suggested getting into the habit of keeping her self talk positive. It’s a bad habit to ‘self bash’. It’s insidiously damaging – just slowly eroding you from the inside.
So, like any habit, self talk can be changed. Being kind to yourself with your words can be a game changer where self image and confidence are concerned.
2. Write it down…
Next, I suggested she start a journal highlighting the personal ‘wins’ each day. This would help her focus on all the ways she’s a rock star and records each small steps she’s taking to meet her goals.
Lasting transformation isn’t a BIG change all at once, it’s the every day small, seemingly inconsequential boring choices made day in and day out:
- Should I workout today or sit and read a magazine?
- Should I prepare my lunch for tomorrow or just wing it?
- Bread on my burger or lettuce wrap?
- Should I go for ice cream at night or have a herbal tea?
Every time a choice to support goals is made, it’s a WIN, but often we don’t give ourselves credit for this.
Reflecting on the ‘wins’ is a pat on the back. One win leads to another and things get easier. We can’t forget to celebrate the small stuff, (cuz it’s actually ALL just small decisions you need to win where weight loss is concerned).
3. Close the loop…
The last thing I focused on was her comment that she often feels like ‘poor me’, I can’t have this or do that…(eg. I can’t have dessert, I can’t have a beer on the patio…). I reminded her that she CAN do anything she wants, but her actions need to support her goals.
I suggested that whenever she starts thinking something like ‘I can’t have drinks on the patio’, it’s best to follow that thought process through, close the loop and discover what drinks on the patio really mean:
- More calories
- Likely more food eaten
- Less quality sleep due to the alcohol/calories
- Not feeling 100% the next day
- Possibly missing her workout…
Ultimately drinks on the patio lead her on a path further away from her goals. She may have just felt deprived if she didn’t do the mental exercise of closing the loop….
We left our little conversation each feeling more empowered with these three action steps.
And hey, don’t kid yourself – I can fall into the same bad habits that you may experience from time to time too.
We’re all in the process of becoming a better version of ourselves.
What I LOVE about women is that we can lean on each other along the way.
Here are 10 things that women should know (I can’t take credit for writing this, but it’s worth sharing!)
Read it and BELIEVE IT =)
I’m not one to do anything half a$$ed.
(I’ll make a full a$$ out of myself any day of the week :))
As many of you know, I have own and operate Calgary NW Fit Body Boot Camp here in Calgary. I’m super excited to partner up with an organization called Sweat Angels. Basically, when my boot camp members do a Face Book check in, money is donated to a charity. The charity changes monthly.
This month, every check in equates to providing 15o gallons of fresh drinking water for families in need.
As a kick off to the program, I told my clients that I’d match their check ins for the week by doing the same number of burpees at the Saturday session of boot camp.
Turns out we had almost 100 check ins, but given our numbers at boot camp, I know we could have had 500 check ins.
So, I decided to do the 500 burpees and I expect my clients to ‘owe’ me the check ins in the upcoming week.
If you want to challenge yourself, set your timer for one minute repeats and do 10 burpees per set for as many sets as you can.
I managed to do 50 sets of 10 burpees for a grand total 500 burpees in 50 minutes. I continued at a pace of 10 reps in 25-30 seconds so I could get about 30-35 seconds rest each set. It started out fairly easy, but it all added up. Incomplete recovery is a bugger 😉
It was a fun challenge.
FYI: I didn’t look at the total number of 500 burpees, I just did 10 burpees at a time, and even those 10 reps I broke down into 2 sets of 5.
The lesson here is to never look to far up the stair case, just look at the next step up. Break up your bigger goals, whatever they are, into smaller more manageable goals.
Even so, 500 burpees was quite enough for me.
If you want to challenge yourself with burpees, learn how to do a zillion – well actually 72 varieties of burpees, check out Challenge Burpee here.
Guest Post from Andrew Beatty
“Andrew, oh my god Andrew…I’ve lost 17 pounds”. Holy crap I screamed, she gave me a high five and told me “I’m not going to stop until I’ve all this weight off me”. I was so happy, just getting this girl to turn up the first day was a struggle. Oh, by the way, I never saw her again. I called, I text, I emailed, I Facebook messaged her. I tried absolutely every form of contact you can think of and got NOTHING back. What gives? What happened? I mean she did sign a 12 month contract.
Unfortunately for me I’m a really nice guy and cancelled her subscription so she wouldn’t be billed going forward. Maybe I should have kept billing her? It might have helped to get her back. Who knows? I doubt it though.
OK so what happened? What is it that stopped this girl from keeping that feeling of elation, staying with us, losing the extra 100 pounds that she needed to lose and transforming her life? That’s an easy one. Her support structure; it didn’t exist. Seriously, it was literally non-existent. Not one single person in her life outside of me was supporting her. How do I know this? She pretty much told me.
“My partner needs to lose so much weight. She doesn’t care though and she doesn’t help me get to the gym or with my diet or anything. I mean, she eats junk in front of me all the time”
That’s the sort of life she was dealing with at home. I felt like crying for her, or at least going to her house and smacking some sense into her partner. Hey, don’t be silly I would never smack someone, I’m a grown boy.:P
A support structure is so important for you in any walk of life. If you want something and those people around you don’t support you, I promise you one thing; you might get it but you’re gonna have a mighty hard time getting it. Take me for example; I’m in my second year of business. I had so many great intentions for my first year. I thought this and that were going to happen and i was going to take over the world. I’m afraid it didn’t quite happen like that. I’ve made more money in the past four months that in my entire first 14 months in business. What gives? That’s easy. My support structure sucked. Nobody understood what I wanted and nobody supported me to help me get what I wanted. What’s changed? My support network. I hang out with like minded people now. I’ve banished the leeches from my life and I’ve never looked back.
The same goes for you. Have you got people holding you back in your life? Are they standing in the way of the body of your dreams? I’ll be you do. I’ll bet that you’ve got so many people standing in your way, telling you that you can’t do it or that you shouldn’t do it that is sounds normal at this stage.
You probably even believe them a little, right?
Anyway, that girl I told you about? I checked her out on Facebook yesterday and by the looks of things she’s up at least another 50 pounds. That’s in just 9 weeks. Crazy eh? Upsetting too. I reached out to her again, hopefully it works out this time.
Make a decision on what you want. Tell everyone around you that you need their support to achieve this. If you think someone is going to be super negative about it then don’t tell them and start shutting them out of your life.
Make baby steps. If you think getting to a gym or a boot camp is too tough right now, that’s OK. Just do 4-5 minutes of exercise at home. You don’t even have to do it everyday. Every other day will do just fine for now. Commit to this. Do it for the next few weeks. Guess what’s going to happen? After about 6 or 7 workouts you’ll be hooked. You’ll love working out. You’ll want to work out harder. You’ll want to get to bed earlier at night so you can get up and work out in the morning. All these subconscious decisions are bound to happen. It’s just a matter of how soon. Forget the thought that you need to spend hours at the gym. Forget the thought that you need to eat 6 or 7 meals a day and you can never eat a piece of cake again. Hell, I polished off a full tub of Ben n’ Jerry’s last night. I’m still looking pretty good. Fat loss isn’t about deprivation. Fat loss isn’t about saying no all the time. Fat loss isn’t about taking over your life and going to the gym every spare moment. It’s meant to be enjoyable. It’s meant to fit into your life. It’s not meant to take over. Burning fat and getting in great shape is so simple when you know how. You can read about that here.
Here, try this workout.
- Body weight Squat
- Total Body Extension
- Push Up
- Jumping Jacks
- Reverse Lunge
- Crucifix Squat Hold
Do each exercise for 20 seconds with no rest between exercises and repeat it one more time for a total of 4 minutes. This is a great workout to start with. Best part? It will just take 4 minutes.
Think you can do this? Do you think that you can stick to some form of exercise for the next 30 days? Do you think that you can do more than my client? I’ll be you can. I’ll bet the only thing standing in your way at this point in time is your own head.
6 Steps to Change Your Life Today
Here are 6 tips that will dramatically improve your life, your weight and your health over the next 30 days too. These are the exact steps a client of mine has been following over the past 30 days to finally give her the confidence to collect her own child from school. Tell me you’re not upset by that?
- She cut out the bottle of wine before bed. This allowed her to succeed at step 2.
- She got up twenty minutes before her kids to make a breakfast for herself. A breakfast that would keep her full for the morning, reduce her stress levels and make her morning routine with the kids a hell of a lot easier.
- She started making dinner at home for her family every other day. Not every day just yet, she did this slowly and after about 5 days she found herself eager to get home from work to cook dinner for her kids and herself.
- She made extra food at dinner and brought it to work the next day for lunch.
- Oh, and she went to bed an hour earlier. How? Easy, she scrapped the TV at night, scurried up to bed, read a book. After about 8 years she’s finally sleeping well through the night and waking up refreshed for probably the first time in her life.
- Did I forget to say that she worked out for JUST 4 MINUTES per day in the second week and every other day in the first week. We’ve increased that since and she’s actually coming to my boot camp which is a huge achievement.
That’s it. That’s the 6 step process to changing your entire life starting TODAY. Let me know how it goes for you. I get super excited about your success stories.
For more on transforming your life check out Fat Loss For Busy Parents here.
Committed to Your Success
UFC Champ Ronda Rousey is RIGHT ON.
She says, ‘Don’t be a Do nothing b*tch‘.
I know this is a harsh message – I’m sorry to offend, but sometimes it’s okay to draw a line in the sand.
Honestly, this is what my philosophy of Challenge Workouts is all about. I want you to get off your butt no matter where you are on the exercise continuum.
Use your physique to DO SOMETHING.
Your body is an amazing machine when you’re good to it: Fuel it right and treat it well.
The pay off is increased energy, strength and feeling empowered. Make your own way. Do your own thing. Physical training transfers to mental toughness. I’m convinced that when you work hard at this ONE thing, you can use this healthy work habit to do all kinds of things.
Get in exceptional shape, to prove to your subconscious that you can your hit goals.
You can DO ANYTHING you put your mind to.
You don’t need to be a UFC champion like the amazing Ronda Rousey to benefit from challenging your body.
Challenge yourself where YOU’RE at. For example, if you can only do push ups from your knees, work to get to your toes or if you can only do an assisted pull up, work for a full body weight one.
I’d love to help you provide the challenges you need.
Even if you’re training, we all hit a wall or a plateau. Exercise adaptation happens. This is when our bodies decide to just ‘do the work’ but we don’t see any changes physically or aesthetically anymore. We ‘just maintain’ and no one really wants to put in effort and not see a return.
PhD Jim Stoppani says, ‘You must expose your body to a training style for just long enough to reap the benefits but avoid a nosedive of adaptation. He says, “everything works, but nothing works forever.”
Having a large arsenal of training methods to use for short periods and continually cycling them in a systematic order will prevent stagnation and maximize training adaptations. (Kraemer et al. 2003; Marx et al. 2001; Rhea & Alderman 2004; Willoughby 1993)
So here’s the plan…
You’ll never be bored or plateau with your workouts again.
Every 21 days let me send you a new program delivered right to your inbox.
Each module will include a CHALLENGE to start off the 21 days. Your goal will be to IMPROVE on each specific challenge by the end of the module.
There’s nothing like having a specific goal and deadline to meet it.
Set a goal.
Meet the goal.
That’s the secret to my Challenge Fit Club.
This alone will help you bust through any training plateau you’re experiencing. Plus it crushes workout boredom and the monotony of the same old routine.
Be better. Try harder. Do ONE more rep or go a little harder each day.
Your body will thank you and your mind will feel stronger than ever.
Here’s what I have lined up for you in the Challenge Fit Club:
You’ll find follow along videos for every module. (And don’t worry if you don’t have room to sprint or you don’t have a suspension trainer or a KB, I provide ways to modify everything.)
Check out my Challenge Fit Club and be a DO SOMETHING kinda person.
PS. I like helping people look great and I really enjoy seeing what getting in shape can do to people’s lives if they leverage that confidence.
I’d love to hear YOUR experiences and how has being fit helped YOU move ahead in other areas of your life…
Lots of folks think that you need a lot of bells and whistles to have a good workout. Not so. Your bodyweight is sufficient for an amazing workout, as you’ll see if you do the follow along workout I have for you below.
Now, I must be honest, I don’t ONLY use bodyweight training, but it IS a staple in my workouts. And another staple is the almighty SQUAT.
The trouble with the squat is so many people do it incorrectly, their knees hurt and they think they should stop squatting. It’s imperative to built strength to support the knee, especially if the knee is sore or injured. The trick is doing it without further irritating the knee.
Here are a few squatting tips to keep in mind:
- Remember to push your butt back and put your weight on your heels.
- Keep the core tight.
- Keep the chin up and chest high.
Here are some ways to modify the squat:
- Modify the depth so you work in a pain free range of motion.
- Try a plié squat, but make sure the feet are wide enough so the knees don’t go over the toes.
- Try a wall sit instead of a squat, weight on the heels, knees at 90 degrees.
Now I have a follow along workout at the end of this video I did on Periscope. I promise I’ll get better at filming these things, I’m just learning this new social media. By the way, I’d LOVE for you to find me on Periscope. We can interact in real time because you can comment or ask questions right on the live broadcast.
Here’s the video:
This mini squat workout is the Punisher Tabatta. This can be done AFTER your workout or as a quickie if you have no time to train. It’s a more effective calorie burning workout than a 30 minute slow steady plod on a treadmill.
It’s only be 4 minutes long.
Honestly, the workout doesn’t sound like much, given the time it takes. I mean anyone can do something for 4 minutes right?
- Set your timer for two sets: 20 seconds and 10 seconds for 8 rounds.
- Do a squat jump for the 20 seconds and a squat pulse for the 10 seconds.
- If needed, do a bigger ROM (range of motion) for the pulse to give your quads a break.
- Drop down (under control!) as deep as you can for the squat and then power up for the jump.
- Be prepared for a massive quad burn!
You’ll see the broadcast below, I did a screen capture of the replay for you so that you’d see how Periscope works. You’ll also see the (brutal) follow along 4 min video I did for you at the end.
If you don’t have time to watch the entire video, go to 14:07 for the workout.
Now, if you do this 4 minutes of torture, you’ll know that bodyweight workouts are an effective way to train. Holy Quad!
That’s why I made you the Challenge Workouts Bodyweight Bundle
These bodyweight workouts are a steal of a deal (29 workouts for only $12) and they can’t be found anywhere else. I had a request for JUST a bodyweight package, so I pulled these ones together for you, I know you’ll love them.