Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May 2014 Challenge - Push-Ups

Okay, here is the May challenge! We're working our way up to 100 push-ups! There are various levels of push-ups and you want to modify to your ability, but push yourself to do the most challenging level you are capable of doing. Below I'll list the different ways I'm familiar with, and if you have any questions on the different levels, feel free to shoot me a message! But, don't do something just because it's easier. There's a quote, "If it was easy, everyone would do it!"
  • Off the wall
  • On your knees
  • On your toes
  • Feet elevated (off of a bench, box steps, etc.)
  • Feet elevated off kettlebells (feet off bench, box step, etc and hands are placed on kettlebells)
100!!!!! :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why A Personal Trainer?

I want to attack this question from a couple perspectives. Obviously I want to discuss why having a personal trainer is beneficial, but before I start in on that I've been kind of curious of why people hire a personal trainer if they don't intend to take advantage of their time and knowledge.

Over the past three years, I've observed several times where clients are constantly late, resist any type of meal plan, and even tell the trainer they refuse to do certain exercises (and not because they can't, but because they don't want to). And since I like to keep it real, to be honest with you, I'll never understand why. Why waste your time and why waste the time of the trainer who probably has other clients who are willing to do whatever is necessary to reach their goals. Now, I understand there are people who just want to workout with a trainer and do not want them monitoring their nutrition, weight, or measurements; and that's fine. But, I'm talking about people who have sought out a personal trainer because they need or want some type of specific result, but then they don't show up for sessions or follow the advice of the trainer regarding their nutrition and then complain about not getting the results they want. So that's where I question, why did you hire a personal trainer wanting some type of specific result if you don't take advantage of the time, tools, and knowledge they provide you? But more importantly, why do you complain about not getting the results you want if you don't follow the trainers advice on your exercise and nutrition? Michael, and the other Fitness Together trainers, have given me tons of great advice over the past three years. Recently Michael and I were talking and I think he said something that really made sense when it comes to changing your nutrition, he said "You can't just try it, you have to do it." He's had me on a carb cycling meal plan since October, and I can't say enough positive things about this meal plan. As I mentioned the other day, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this meal plan. I've lost almost 20 pounds on this meal plan and I'm currently only 14 pounds away from one of my biggest goals ever, and that's being under 200 pounds for the first time in over 20 years! But the reason I'm so successful, is because I'm doing the carb cycling as my trainer advises. Typically after a few weeks we change the low/high carb days around, and even throw in a all high carb day week just to re-boost my body. There are times I'm a little nervous about some of the changes, but that's when I have to remember I hired a personal trainer for a reason, and I just trust him and the process and do what he says. And guess what? He's never failed me once! I guess because I've been so successful, and it's because I have done everything the trainer has asked of me (in my workouts and my nutrition), that when I see people not listening to the trainers or not pushing themselves in the workouts and then complain about not getting results, to be honest with you it frustrates the hell out of me. I know these trainers take the time and effort to provide everything they can to their clients, and to see some not take it seriously or take it for granted, makes me wonder why they are even there.

Now, the benefits of hiring a personal trainer. I reached out to some of my FT peeps to get some of their opinions and how they have benefited from having a personal trainer. Of course there were several things that were the same, so I've compiled a list of things that we as clients feel is important of why you should hire a personal trainer.
  • Keep you accountable for your choices
  • Motivates you daily
  • Provides knowledge
  • Push you beyond your comfort zone
  • Won't let you give up, even though you want to stop
  • Help monitor and keep you on track with weigh-ins and measurements
  • Always wants what is best for you regarding your health
  • Will call you out on your diet
  • Encourage you when you feel like you are failing
  • Teach you healthy habits
  • Creativity
And I think the best response I got was from Emily K., one of the clients I workout with at lunch. I loved her reply to creativity and how the trainer will call you out on your diet. Her reply was:
"Even if you make every workout on your own count, it's easy to get stuck in a rut, use the same machine or do the same workout over and over again. The body adapts quickly and compensates for trying to lose weight and gain muscle so you constantly have to surprise it with different workouts, with different exercises or intervals, more cardio or more strength, and it is difficult to do that on your own. Not many people will call you out on your diet, but a trainer will, and they will stay on you to fuel your body NOT your emotions!"
I couldn't agree more with all of these reasons! I know for me personally, having a personal trainer has been the best decision and investment I've ever made. We invest money into so many things, why not our health? Because without your health, you won't be able to enjoy anything else.

If you're ready to invest in your health and hire a personal trainer to get the results you want, I encourage you to contact Michael Watkins (owner) or Keith Jacobs (Manager) at Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside or Fitness Together Downtown if you're in the Tulsa area. If you are not in the Tulsa area, click HERE to go directly the Fitness Together Corporate site where you can find a local Fitness Together where you can get the best personal trainers in the business and start your own health and fitness journey.

Friday, April 18, 2014

No Excuses For Not Working Hard

This week I've been able to observe and reflect more, not just on myself, but even other clients. I wanted to touch on some things that I've noticed and what I think tend to be obstacles for people in their health and fitness journey.

One of the most common obstacle is our own reactions to something that doesn't go how we expected or wanted, such as a specific weight-loss or maybe even a timed workout that took longer than you would have liked. It's just natural for us to feel like we've failed and want to slack off or even give up. Something else I observed this week while waiting for my session to start, is another client became frustrated with themselves because someone else was doing the exercise better and faster. Don't get me wrong, being in the group workouts I want to make sure I'm doing my best; but not as a competition against them, but more against myself. I think what happens in these situations, is we forget we each have our own strengths and weaknesses and we shouldn't compare ourselves or our results to someone else. One of my weaknesses is pull-ups, and yes I was frustrated because I couldn't figure out why I struggled so much with what I felt should be a simple exercise, yet I could deadlift 265 pounds. And it took Michael reminding me that I'm using different muscles, and I've never really focused on the pull-ups. Well, I had started to work those into some of my cardio workouts and I've actually improved and this week was able to use a resistance band that provides less assistance. But, what I observed was once someone became frustrated because they weren't keeping up with another client, they started to slack as if they were thinking there was no point in pushing themselves if they weren't going to be as good as the other person.

Because baseball is my favorite sport, I remembered this quote and decided to use it for this blog post. The truth is, there will always be someone who is better than you at some things, but that's no excuse not to push yourself to do your best. As long as you are working as hard as you can, the only person you need to worry about keeping up with is yourself.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Believe In Yourself

Just a quick note about believing in yourself! I can't even tell you how many times Michael decides to change or intensify something because he believes in me and my abilities to do more. And then I say some smartass comment that indicates "I can't" (which always gets me extra burpees), or I give that look that says "You must be out of your damn mind dude!". And it never fails, 99.9% of the time I'm able to do exactly what he asks of me, but not until I clear my mind that "I can't" do it and really focus. Once I believe in myself as much as he does, then I can't be anything but successful!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What Are You Doing To Hit Your Goals?

Three years ago I didn't even try to set any type of long-term goal as far as weight, I just knew I wanted to be healthier. Over these past few years, I've made many small goals to get where I'm at today. But, what I still can't believe is how close I am to being under 200 pounds for the first time in I can't even tell you how long. When I realized my next short-term goal, June 1st, would put me under 200 I became filled with mixed emotions. I felt excited, anxious, and scared. Even though this is just another small step in my long journey, this will be a major achievement for me. I have been more focused these past couple weeks than I have been in a long time and have never been more determined to hit a goal. What are you doing to make sure you hit your goals? Because as for me....ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WILL STOP ME!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Truth Is....I Like To Keep It Real

As I've mentioned before, sometimes keeping it real is what is best. I've had my days where I've been discouraged and even have a negative attitude, and one of the things that I greatly appreciate is that my trainers keep it real. I may not like everything they have to say, but because they don't sugarcoat the reality, I've been able to be successful with my weight loss. And also, the one thing I've NEVER done is not show up for my session or just give up on something. Don't get me wrong, I have my moments, but Michael and my FT family get me through them by encouraging me and then I get back in there.

I mean, lets just think about this logically. You bust your ass in your workouts and you don't get the results you expected when you weigh in at the end of the week, what do you do? Well, obviously you're upset, so it's natural to want to just give up or not give as much the next week so you attend less sessions or don't push yourself as hard. Uh, yeah, that will help the situation! Let's do less work and less intensity and see how that works out for us (Sorry, I know, a bit sarcastic but as I said keeping it real). I know it's frustrating, I've been there. Even last weigh in, I was up .8 and I busted my butt, followed my nutrition, and yes I was upset! But, I told Michael I wasn't happy with it and shook it off and showed up Monday ready to kick ass again this week.

Three years ago I made a commitment to myself to do whatever I have to do to become healthier. At the time I didn't know exactly what all that would entail, or what all I would be able to do; but, I just knew whatever it was I had to do it for myself and it would have to be something I committed to for the rest of my life. Recently I've overheard or have seen posts on Facebook where I don't think some people realize this isn't a temporary journey, but a lifetime journey. And yes, it's a very emotional journey, but as one of my favorite quotes goes, "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it." - Mae West

Now, in keeping it real, this isn't to make anyone feel bad or discourage them anymore than they might already feel. It's in hopes they realize it's okay to be frustrated and upset, but just they shouldn't be okay with giving up or selling themselves short. We all deserve to be healthy and happy, and regardless if you have a personal trainer giving you all the tools and knowledge you need to be successful or if you are researching and doing things on your own, only YOU can make the choice to do it! Now, figure out what you want and need, get up off your ass, and go after your goals! YOU DESERVE IT!!!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Weigh-In Update - Progress Is Progress

Another week of being down on the scale and one step closer to making my goal! I lost 2.4 pounds this week, which is almost 7 pounds in the past two weeks. But, the best part, that makes my grand total weight loss 134.8 pounds!

Another awesome thing that happened, is I am wearing a smaller size shirt! When I weighed 350 pounds I wore a size 3X! Several months ago I was finally down to a large, and I noticed a few weeks ago my t-shirts were starting to fit kind of loose. Being a client at Fitness Together, I have been very fortunate to be able to get to know Danny Cahill, winner of "The Biggest Loser" Season 8. Recently I had an opportunity to have a conversation with him about some personal struggles I've been working through, and I had asked him about his "Lose Your Quit" t-shirts he sells. He asked me what size, so I said lets go with a medium. I figured if it didn't fit, it wouldn't be long before it would fit. So, yesterday when I went to my lunch workout I got my medium t-shirt, along with the book "Losing Big". But the t-shirt actually fit! I've been wearing it all day because I'm so proud of it! :)

Also, we had several Fitness Together clients that checked-in with amazing accomplishments this week! So proud to be a part of this amazing support system! But, before I post all the great things that happened, I do want to mention the purpose of the quote I picked along with how it ties in with Danny Cahill's "Lose Your Quit". I've had some conversations recently with other clients who made some progress, but just not what they wanted or expected. But, one of the things I want to really emphasize is the importance of not giving up, or as my shirt says, "Lose Your Quit". It's very easy for people to quit when they aren't making any progress, and just as easy to quit even if they make slow progress. But, what is important to remember is, slow progress is still progress. And so, regardless of what the progress is, I'm excited to share the important milestones of my Fitness Together brothers and sisters!

  • Beck E. - Has already met her April goal!
  • Kari C. - Lost 3 pounds this week!
  • Jamie B. - Hit a new deadlift PR of 360 pounds!
  • Julie W. - Lost 1.1 pounds this week, making a total of 4 pounds in two weeks!
  • Patty H. - Lost almost a pound, and with her 3.3 from last week, that's over 4 pounds in two weeks!
  • Greg K. - He officially lost a total of 51 pounds and completed his first 10K!
  • Lisa B. - Dropped another 5.2 pounds this week, making her total 16.2 pounds! AND allowing her to already meet her April goal!
  • Charla C. - Also lost 5.2 pounds this week!

So very proud of these amazing results! They worked hard and deserve every bit of recognition! If you're ready to get results like this, contact Michael Watkins - Owner or Keith Jacobs - Manager, at Fitness Together Downtown Tulsa or Jenks/Riverside and tell them I sent you! If you are not in the local Tulsa area, I encourage you to click here and contact a local Fitness Together. Remember, regardless of how much or little you are improving, progress is progress!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Break The Mental Block

Sometimes the thing that holds me back the most when it comes to pushing myself is my fear of failing or getting hurt. And one thing I've learned over the past three years is the biggest barrier is my own mental block. That's one reason when I'm going for a one rep max on something, like deadlifts, Michael won't tell me the weight as it increases. He knows if I have any idea how much weight is on that bar, it will cause me to have a mental block of that I can't do it, when in reality I probably could.

One of the most recent mental blocks I overcame was with my box jumps. I have always used the smallest box for box jumps. Several months ago Michael did have me attempt the next higher box, and I was able to do a couple but it was very unstable and I was really insecure. I had a major fear of getting hurt, so he held off on me doing anymore with that height. Well, yesterday I was faced with this challenge again. Someone else was needing the lower box and so I decided to try it again and really push myself. I attempted a few jumps, and even though I was still nervous, I said I would go ahead with it for the workout and if it became too much for me I would just go to step-ups. Well, once I got started and realized I was actually doing it, it was like the confidence I had in myself started to come out and I busted the jumps out. I ended up doing 30 box jumps with this higher box, and was so proud of the fact I broke that mental block, faced my fear, and was able to exceed my expectations!

Photo courtesy of Michael Watkins - Owner Fitness Together

I know it's hard to face your fears and to break those mental blocks, but once you do, it will be one of the best feelings you ever have! That feeling of accomplishment and pride in being able to do something you thought you would never be able to do! So, keep pushing yourself to be better and don't let your own mental blocks be the biggest barrier in achieving your goals.