Monday, January 30, 2012


It’s always good to change things up—it keeps the body guessing and makes your workouts interesting. To that end, I gave the group their first Kickboxing workout.

The class starts with some basic movement skills and what I like to call the duck-duck drill. This is where one person swings their hand (slowly) toward their partner’s head, who ducks under it with their hands up. Then the other hand comes at them, forcing them to duck that too.

After that, they learned how to Jab & Cross, using open palms as targets. Along the way, we worked on getting their punching hands tight, and their stances less squared off so they could move better and be smaller targets.

Then they learned how to defend against knee strikes and finally the cover-cover drill, where they don’t have time to duck or move—just place their palms on the front of their forehead and use their arms to cover their face and head.

Once they had the basics, we let them start hitting targets, and that’s when it really gets fun. It also turns into quite a bit of exercise. They did all the drills again with targets, alternating back and forth, along with front kicks to the body, round kicks to the leg, and even jump front kicks!

The group also learned how to sink-tuck-slap so they could fall backward without landing on and hurting their hands and wrists. Then they learned how to sprawl forward so they wouldn’t get hurt that way. Then we added those skills to the training drills. By now, it’s so intense that even a one minute round gets everyone huffing and puffing.

The last part of the class was perhaps the most fun, and certainly the most tasking. Now they applied everything they learned to large kicking pads and heavy bags.

Previously, they’d been working on getting comfortable with combinations, and aiming at a target. Now, the goal is to put as much power as possible in the techniques so they’d have a chance at stopping somebody if they had to.

We did 30 second rounds, alternating between partners on the bag. It sounds pretty easy, but believe me, 30 seconds of full-bore action and hitting as hard as you can is a real gasser!

In the end, they worked out for 40 minutes, and probably burned 60 minutes worth of calories—it can be that intense! Some of the group even stayed after for the next class, which just happened to be—more kickboxing!

This week we had a tie for first place between Amy Church and Jennifer Abernathy, both losing 2.1% of their body weight and 2.8 lbs and 4.0 lbs respectively. Jaymi Warner and laken Pennington tied for second, losing 1.9% and 3.2 lbs and 3.0 lbs respectively. Leslie Shanks was third, losing 1.8% and 3.2 lbs.

This week we had a tie for first place between Amy Church and Jennifer Abernathy, both losing 2.1% of their body weight and 2.8 lbs and 4.0 lbs respectively. Jaymi Warner and laken Pennington tied for second, losing 1.9% and 3.2 lbs and 3.0 lbs respectively. Leslie Shanks was third, losing 1.8% and 3.2 lbs.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through Facebook at !

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I ran a contest to see who could log the most workout hours. Of course the idea was to try and get them moving more. More moving means more calories burned, which means more pounds lost in the end (and their ends).

I can’t really be sure it actually resulted in more exercise time because of the 29 people who weighed in this week (out of the original 32), only 6 turned in their workout times! But, those 6 people accounted for a whopping 66 ¼ hours. I wonder what the real number is.

Dale Rasmussen logged 6 ¼ hrs, Angie Adams logged 7 hrs, and Shirley Fiscus had 8 hrs. Jodi Theirl had 10 ¾ hrs working out while Kara Englum logged 13 ½ hrs. Michelle Clark had an amazing 20 ¾ hrs, winning a 60 minute massage from Soleil Body Salon! She earned it.

Michelle was last season’s Biggest Loser, and it’s clear she’s using everything she learned this time around, too. A full-time teacher with kids, she’s proof that you can find time to do this if you really want to.

For the workout, we combined resistance training with cardio. Half the group did several minutes at increasing intensity on the cardio equipment (treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, stepper), while the other half worked out on two Maxicam weight machines in the circuit. Then both groups switched places. Here’s what this type of workout looks like:

1. Jog ¼ mile on the Treadmill

2. Chest Press Machine & Seated Row Machine back-to-back without any rest. Repeat.

3. Do 3 minutes on the Recumbent Bike

4. Pec Fly Machine & Lat Pulldown Machine, repeat

5. Do 3 minutes on the Elliptical

6. Shoulder Press Machine & Rear Delt Machine, repeat

7. Do 3 minutes on the Schwinn Airdyne

8. Tricep Press Machine & Bicep Curl Machine, repeat

9. Do 3 minutes on the Stair-Stepper

10. Leg Press Machine & Seated Calves, repeat

11. Jog ¼ mile on the Treadmill

12. Leg Curl Machine & Leg Extension Machine, repeat

13. Do 3 minutes on the Recumbent Bike

14. Ab Machine & Lower Back Machine, repeat

15. Do 3 minutes on the Elliptical

This week’s winner was Sandra Soberg, who lost 2.9% of her body weight and 3.6 lbs. Second place went to Michelle Clark, losing 2.2% and 3.0 lbs. There was a four way tie for third place between Beverly Weger, Kara Englum, Sande Sherer, and Stacey Reed, all losing 1.8% of their body weight and 3.4 lbs, 2.8 lbs, 3.0 lbs, and 4.4 lbs respectively.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through Facebook at !

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Well, we made it through Week One of Biggest Loser “15.” It was actually an outstanding first week. Of all the different groups we’ve had, I think this one might have lost the most weight. There were a couple other interesting dynamics happening too.

Of the 32 people who started, 30 made the weigh-in, and all but three lost weight. 27 people lost at least a pound or more, which is good. 18 people lost two pounds or more, which is great, and 10 people lost three pounds or more, which is awesome.

Instead of gradually adding things, and slowly ramping up, this time I’m hammering them from the get-go. That means they’re learning all the cool stuff right away.

It was great watching many of them get together during the week and doing high-intensity, high-level workouts with things they learned just last week. Some of the veteran Biggest Losers took charge, and pulled the new ones right in with them.

I can’t say for sure that accounted for all the great results, but I’ll bet it helped! I think it also contributed to their enthusiasm, and the group dynamic was really working for them.

For their second group workout, we jumped right in with more free weight exercises and a couple new things like pull-ups, and leg-raises. In some cases, we modified the movements to accommodate varying levels of strength. Everyone did two rounds of the following six exercises that hit their entire body:

1. Dumbbell (DB) Press on Ball

2. DB Front Squats (weights held on shoulders)

3. Leg/Knee Raises (Round 1), Pull-ups (Round 2)

4. DB Single Arm Rows

5. DB Straight Leg (slightly bent) Dead Lifts

6. Planks

Down the road, they’ll want to work up to 4-5 sets of everything. They’ll also work on using progressively heavier dumbbells as they get stronger. Next week, I’m going to introduce them to a bunch of different exercises on the stability ball, and also some new exercises with curl bars and straight bars!

For Week One, we had a three-way tie for 1st place, with Laken Pennington, Amy Church, and Jodi Theirl all losing 3.0% of their body weight, and 5.4 lbs, 4.0 lbs, and 4.2 lbs respectively!

Greg Stuck, Karen Brown, Brad Adams, Jennifer Bowers, Stacey Reed, Dale Rasmussen, Nicole Clodfelter, and Angie Adams all tied for 2nd place, losing 2.0% of their body weight! Greg lost 4.6 lbs, Karen lost 5.8 lbs, Brad lost 4.4 lbs, Jennifer lost 4.8 lbs, Stacey lost 4.2 lbs, Dale lost 3.8 lbs, Nicole lost 4.2 lbs, and Angie lost 2.2 lbs!

With such a dynamic group, we’re going to have to take the percentage of weight loss out to another digit next week. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through Facebook at !

Saturday, January 07, 2012


We had our first workout last Monday night with the new group in Biggest Loser “15.” It’s hard to believe we’ve done this 15 times! So this time, after the initial weigh-in and measurements, I decided to do something a little different.

Instead of the regular fitness tests: pushups, sit-ups, and body squats for 60 seconds, and 1 mile walk/run, I thought I’d throw them to the wolves by giving them a Level IV workout like we do at the end of the program. That way when they do it again after 12 weeks, they’d have a real idea of how much their fitness has improved.

I took the idea from the TV show, where they show them working out at the end, a lot lighter and feeling strong. Then they go back and show them doing the same thing at the beginning, where they’re all just dying. Here’s what we did:

  1. Wall Ball (Squatting and then throwing a medicine ball up overhead on the wall)
  2. Standing Dumbbell (DB) Curls
  3. AB Routine #1, 2, 3 (Crunches, Crunches with legs up, Sit-ups crossing L & R)
  4. Box Jumps
  5. Ball Twists (Side-to-side, over-under)
  6. Kettle Bell (KB) Swings
  7. Plank Routine (Mountain Climbers, Regular Plank, Side-to-side reaches
They performed each movement as many times as possible for most of a minute and moved to the next station before the minute was up. They did all 7 exercises a total of 3 rounds, a 21 minute workout.

The Biggest Loser veterans were used to working out at this intensity. The new ones had it a little rougher so some of them had to modify things a little bit by going slower, stopping sooner, and using lighter weights.

Before they finish the 12 weeks, I’m going to throw this workout at them again. They’re going to be very surprised at how much easier it will be then.

They’ll be lighter and lots stronger, plus their endurance will be through the roof! This means they’ll be able to push much harder through the workout, and believe me, it will show.

They got a calorie log to start tracking their calories. The goal is to figure out how much they’re eating, and their assignment is to turn one log in next week. We also talked about resources like , , and that they can use online or with their smart phone.

It’s not too late, if you’d like to take part in Biggest Loser “15.” We’ll be meeting each Monday night at 6pm for 12 weeks. After the weigh-in, they’ll be doing high energy group workouts like the one you just saw. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through Facebook at !