Friday, February 06, 2009


Well we’ve finished the first month and retention is still at an all time high. Out of the original sixty who started, we were down only one last week. Out of the remaining 59 participants, 54 made the Friday night weigh-in.

Of the five who were missing, two gals were home sick, one guy was working and the other was away at All State for a singing performance. Only one was in question. That means we’re still at 58 or 59 people.

The workout was tough but they were ready for it after a month of training. Promising not to have them do any Burpees, I still found a way to make it tougher. They did 50 Jumping Jacks, followed by a minute of Mountain-Climbers. Then they did both again, and then again. After that, it was Hops, Monkey drills, and Partner drills up and down the floor.

Then they learned a bunch of abs exercises: Crunches with knees bent; Crunches with legs straight up in the air; Crunches crossing to one side and then the other; Leg Raises; the Plank; the Plank from side to side; and finally, the Banana-man Superman combo.

Finally, we finished with 25 body squats. The workout lasted exactly 30 minutes, and a good time was had by all. The goal was to teach them new things they could throw into their regular routines to spice things up.

It also showed them how to workout if they ever had to be away from the gym, traveling for example. Stuff like that is easy to do in a hotel room if you can’t find a fitness center.

I also taught them how to make the transition to free weights. Machines guide the motion, and give leverage advantages. Free weights force you to perform the movements without guidance, activating more stabilizer muscles. They also work your core more.

They learned the first basic free weight routine which does movements previously done on machines with dumbbells and an exercise ball instead. The whole point is to shake things up so their bodies keep responding.

1. Body Squat—replaces the Leg Press and Leg Extension Machines
2. Chest Press on Ball—replaces the Bench Press Machine
3. Dead Lift—replaces the Leg Press, Leg Curl, and Lower Back Machines
4. Single Arm Row—replaces the Seated Row Machine
5. Shoulder Press—replaces the Shoulder Press Machine
6. Overhead Press—replaces the Triceps Machine
7. Single Arm Curl—replaces the Biceps Machine
8. Ab Crunches on Ball—replaces the Ab Machine
9. Ball Twist—a new one that works the oblique muscles (sides)

The routine should be done from start to finish, without stopping. As with the machines, they should do 12-15 repetitions on each exercise. If they couldn’t do that many reps, they should use a slightly lighter weight. If 15 reps were too easy, next time they should go up to the next weight.

The first time, one rotation of each exercise is fine. After that, they should do the routine twice, working up to three times. The goal is to keep moving and never stop. The exercises are arranged in an order to let you do that.

I call it “active-rest.” While one muscle group is resting, the other is working. This keeps you moving, burning more calories in the process. They’ll do this routine for two weeks and then learn another. After that, they’ll start combining the two.

Our week one winner was once again Bill Lewis, for a clean sweep for the first four weeks. He lost 2.9% of his body weight and another 6.4 lbs, for a total of 34.2 lbs in a month.

He joked that we should just take several pictures so we could keep using them every time he wins. I told him I want to see the differences from picture to picture. The others said they were going to start sending him donuts.

Bill had finished in second place in a couple Biggest Losers last year, losing almost 100 lbs. Then he took some time off and skipped a couple. Somewhere along the way he got off track and in his own words, “didn’t exercise and ate what I wanted,” putting over sixty pounds back on.

Our bodies are interesting this way. We can lose the fat, but don’t ever lose the fat cell. The fat is just removed, kind of “shrink wrapping” it down. It’s still there waiting, though, and if you start over eating, or even just quit working out, your body will quickly put it back on.

So for Bill, it’s bitter sweet. He’s losing the weight big-time, but he’s having to do it all again. This means that when you make changes, you need to make them for life. Eating right and exercising smart is a life-long habit.

Bill received a $20 Wal-Mart gift card from Terry Elston and our friends at State Farm Insurance. He also received a $20 gift card from our local Subway store.

Second place went to Judy Rush, who lost 2.5% of her body weight and 3.8 lbs. Third place went to a delighted Penny Ogle, who lost 1.7% of her body weight and 4.0 lbs. She actually tied with Dale Anderson, who also lost 1.7% and 4.0 lbs.

Our goal is to lose at least a pound a week, which is good. Two pounds a week is great, and three or more is awesome. Don’t forget that even if you haven’t lost much, you still need to ask yourself how you feel, and how are your clothes fitting.

Those things often precede more substantial weight loss. Often times, weight change lags behind. Personally, I think the biggest accomplishment sometimes is sticking with it even when you don’t have the results you want.

Too often, people quit due to discouragement. That’s like being a mile from your destination and deciding to turn around and go back, because the trip took too long.

Stick with it, and sooner or later, you’ll get what you want. Here are the results from the first month for everyone that made the weigh-in.

Name Age % lbs
1. Bill Lewis 68 13.3 34.2
2. Gary Goodman 62 7.3 16.1
3. Chad Cline 33 6.9 15.8
4. John Sanchez 41 6.7 16.5
5. Roger Hopper 49 6.3 13.8
6. Randy Weir 53 5.9 14.0
7. Dawn Hopper 37 5.8 12.4
8. Judy Rush 52 5.6 8.8
9. Ken McConkey 35 5.4 19.0
10. Erin Hutchison 29 5.2 10.6
11. Michele Everetts 34 5.0 12.0
12. Brian Bradley 42 5.0 12.0
13. Brenda Lilley 64 5.0 9.2
14. Erika Hollis 36 4.6 8.0
15. Tony Peel 49 4.4 13.0
16. Shawn Bowers 35 4.2 12.4
17. Christiana Jones 20 4.0 11.0
18. Shirley Fiscus 50 4.0 8.0
19. Carol Cline 30 3.8 7.8
20. Gracie Petrowsky 57 3.6 6.2
21. Heidi Walls 39 3.5 5.0
22. Chris Redman 48 3.5 9.2
23. Peter Petrowsky 66 3.4 7.6
24. Katy Kennedy 22 3.4 7.2
25. Echo Johnson 22 3.4 7.2
26. Melissa Bradley 30 3.3 6.8
27. Dale Anderson 57 3.3 8.2
28. Tracy Rush 38 3.2 7.4
29. Penny Ogle 55 3.2 7.5
30. William Jones 40 3.1 12.8
31. Dawn Jones 42 2.9 6.8
32. Eve Givens 48 2.9 6.6
33. Bridgett Trover 50 2.7 4.4
34. Janet Tyler 50 2.7 4.4
35. Haley Sanders 27 2.7 6.6
36. Renee Colvin 50 2.4 4.6
37. Cheryl Redman 53 2.4 4.6
38. Jessica Fiscus 22 2.3 4.6
39. Margo Yeargin 50 2.2 3.6
40. Beth Robertson 37 2.0 3.4
41. Penny Duzan 48 2.0 3.6
42. Angela Griffin 42 1.9 4.0
43. Pam Waller 42 1.8 4.8
44. Kathy Kennedy 50 1.7 2.2
45. Kim Arbuckle 39 1.6 2.6
46. Teri Dennis 57 1.5 3.0
47. Sue Sheerhan 45 1.4 3.0
48. George Griffin 47 1.4 3.0
49. Jennifer Bowers 35 1.3 2.6
50. DeeAnn Green 40 1.2 1.6
51. Chad Robertson 36 .06 1.4
52. Pam Kelly 40 .00 0.0
53. Casey Redman 23 -.06 -1.4
54. Tim Meyers 40 -.07 -1.9

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