Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It was a nice day, not too cold, and the sun was still shining, so I took the group outside for the first time for some jogging and calisthenics interval training. For weight-loss, fitness and general toning, you can’t beat this type of workout.

First, we ran down to the water tower at the corner of Jasper & Main. The faster runners continued to jog around the park until the rest of the group arrived. Once everyone was there, we did a series of calisthenics alternating with sprints.

Here’s how it worked. They did a round of push-ups and then ran to the other end of the park and back. After that, they did a round of body squats and another sprint. Then they did rounds of sit-ups, burpees, mountain climbers and partner leg lifts, all with sprints in-between!

The only muscle groups we didn’t hit were the pulling muscles, used in pull-ups and arm curls. So I told them to hit those tomorrow!

By the time it was over, everyone’s butt was dragging, and ready to return to the barn, so they walked/ran back to the center. It was quite a workout, and really good preparation for a little challenge I made to them for next month called the “Viking Assault.”

This is a 5K run (3.1 mi) with 10 obstacles in Terre Haute on Saturday, May 12th. Almost anyone can do this. You don’t even have to be able to run 3 miles in a row, since you’ll get a little break from the running at each obstacle. Of course you’ll be doing stuff, but you’ll have a break from running!

The organizers say they have a 99% completion rate, and if you look at the video at , you’ll get a good idea what’s going on. It’ll be a good tune-up for many of us planning on participating in the “Tough Mudder” in June. That’s a 10-12 mile run with 20-24 obstacles! You can go to to see what that one’s all about!

This week’s Biggest Loser was T.J. Johnson, who lost 2.2% and another 5.4 lbs. He’s lost an amazing 16.4 lbs in just 3 weeks! Second place went to Brittany Cline, who lost 1.3% and 2.0 lbs. Tonya Westerfield was third, losing about a pound.

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012


This week we introduced the group to a basic free-weight workout. Programs can vary widely. There are routines where you do exercises that hit the entire body. Typically, you’d do this routine three times a week, like on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The off days would be cardio or rest days.

Then there is a two-day split routine that works the muscles of the upper body on one day, and the lower body on the next day. Usually, you’d take a rest or cardio day on the following day and then start over. This means you’d hit each muscle group twice a week.

There are 3-day splits that do “Pushing” movements on one day (Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps), “Pulling” movements the next day (Back & Biceps), and Lower Body (Legs, Hips & Abs) on the third day. Then you either take a day off, or start over. So you can hit each muscle groups twice a week with the 3-day split too.

Finally, there are 4 and 5-day splits that are for people looking to focus even more on particular muscle groups. An example of a 5-day split would be working your Chest on Monday, Back on Tuesday, Legs & Abs on Wednesday, Shoulders on Thursday, and Arms (Biceps & Triceps) on Friday. Then you could do cardio on Saturday and rest on Sunday.

The rule of thumb is the more you focus on a particular body part, by doing more movements and sets, the more that body part will respond and grow. All that extra work means you might be sorer, though, so you’ll need more rest time to recover.

This week the group did the following full-body workout with dumbbells and an exercise ball. It hit all the major muscle groups and took about 20-25 minutes. They picked weights that they could comfortably do at least 10 repetitions on each exercise.

1. Dumbbell (DB) Chest Press on Ball & DB Squats (3x)
2. DB Single Arm Rows & DB Deadlifts (3x)
3. DB Lateral Raises, DB Curls, & DB Overhead Tricep Press (3x)
4. Ab Crunches on Ball, Knee-Ins on Ball & Leg Lifts (2x)

This week’s Biggest Loser was Brittany Cline, who lost 2.0% of her body weight and 3.2 lbs. T.J. Johnson placed second, losing 1.5% and 3.8 lbs. Tonya Westerfield was third, losing about a pound.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012


We always have two goals for people just starting a weight-loss program. The first is simply to get moving. Lots of moving, every day—twice a day if possible.

The second goal is to have them write down their calories each day in a daily calorie log. Most people are surprised at the actual amount of calories they consume each day. Whether they’re high or low—almost nobody guesses right. That’s why we write it down.

There are lots of good applications out there for your smart phones or computers. They’ll help you track your food calories in, and exercise calories out, so you can see where you stand every day.

If you can create a 500 calorie deficit each day, you’ll burn one pound of fat in a week. A 1,000 calorie deficit will net you two pounds of fat that week. It’s that simple. Burn more than you store and you’ll lose weight.

One wild card is that you have to at least hit your minimum calories or your body will cause your metabolism to slow down. This makes it very hard to burn fat for fuel—you’ve got to “hit your minimum.”

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, women should never go below 1,200 calories, and men need at least 1,800. What you consume above that supports your daily activities like work and exercise.

But whatever you consume that you don’t need, will be stored as fat. So the goal is to figure out that sweet spot—where you consume more than your minimum, but less than your total activity and daily needs.

That’s where the daily deficit comes in. Once you hit your minimum, plus a little bit for comfort, any extra energy needed for exercise and other activities will ultimately be made up by burning fat for fuel.

I’ve found most women are comfortable around 1,500-1,650 calories/day and can still lose weight. Guys can comfortably lose weight at around 2,250-2,400 calories/day. Those extra calories over your minimum, will give you enough to fuel your activities, but still leave you with a deficit so you can lose weight.

This week the group did a mile, and then the following workout: 25 Superman Push-ups, 25 Pull-ups, 25 Jumping Squats, 25 Mountain Climbers, 25 Dumbbell Curls, 25 Kettlebell Swings, and 25 Sit-ups. They modified movements where necessary, and did two rounds with the goal being to work up to three rounds later in the week.

This week’s Biggest Loser was T.J. Johnson, who lost 2.9% of his body weight and 7.2 lbs. Second place went to Floyd McWilliams, who lost 2.0% and 4.0 lbs. Third place went to Sande Sherer, who lost 1.7% and 2.8 lbs.

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

Sunday, April 08, 2012


Last Monday night we had the initial weigh-in and first workout for the new group in Biggest Loser “16.” It’s a much smaller group this time for some reason. Perhaps it’s because it’s warming up and more people are outside. But it was a pretty mild winter and spring, so who knows?

Regardless, it’s such a small group that we’ll be able to do things that we never could do in the larger groups. When we had 30 people or more, we had to do things in stages, but there were some things we just couldn’t do—there was only so much equipment to go around.

Now we’ll be able to do pretty much anything I’d do if I were training them, one-on-one, along with all the things we typically do in our regular classes, which usually run around 10 people—just what we have in Biggest Loser “16.” So we’re going to change things up even more and see what happens!

We weighed them in and got their body fat, and a bunch of other parameters. They took beginning measurements so they’ll have something to compare with down the road. They also got their daily calorie logs so they can start writing down their food.

I covered the workout routine they’ll be on for the 12 weeks: Weights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and Cardio on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Plus, they’ll be using their “secret weapon” for weight-loss—another smaller, less intense workout that can be as simple as walking a mile in the morning which takes about 20 minutes.

Their first workout was a tough one that had five stations: Wall Ball, Dumbbell Curls, Box Jumps, Kettlebell Swings, and Crunches (bent knees, legs up, side-to-side, and straight legs).

They did each station for about 45 seconds and took 15 seconds to rotate to the next exercise, five stations each round, for a total of four rounds. Don’t ever let anyone tell you they don’t have enough time to work out, for this workout lasted only 20 minutes, but they were all ready to stop by the end of it!

The main goal this week was simply to get them moving. Next week, we’ll be talking about the amount of food they’re eating, based on their daily calorie logs.

We still have lots of room in the group, so if you want a push this summer, and want to participate in Biggest Loser “16”, you need to let me know as soon as possible. Then you can join us next Monday night!

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