Thursday, June 28, 2012


This week marked the end of Biggest Loser “16” after twelve weeks of work for the participants. It was certainly tough keeping everyone going, particularly this time around. Summers are always tough, and we had quite a few people that had to miss due to injuries, vacations and the like.

For the final workout, we did a repeat of the workout they did on the first night. The exercises were: Wall Ball (squatting with a medicine ball and then throwing it up on the wall), Dumbbell Curls, Box Jumps, Kettlebell Swings and AB Routine #1-4 (Crunches with knees bent, Crunches with legs in the air, Sit-ups Crossing, and Leg Lifts).

Each person works out at their station for 45-50 seconds, and then rotates to the next station by the start of the next minute. It takes five minutes to complete a circuit, and the goal is to repeat the circuit four times for a total of 20 minutes. It’s a pretty demanding routine that’s a lot harder than it sounds—especially if you’re pushing yourself.

Twelve weeks ago, I cut it off at 15 minutes, due to the fact that everyone was pretty much hammered after just 3 rounds. This time, they did the whole 20 minute workout, and while it was still tough, they had plenty left in their tank.

For the last six weeks, the top two participants have been battling back and forth, often alternating between the top two spots. This week’s Biggest Loser was T. J. Johnson, who lost 1.0% of his body weight and 2.2 lbs. After winning last week, Brittany Cline placed second this week, losing a little less than 1.0% and 1.0 lb.

The title of Biggest Loser for the entire program, however, goes to Brittany, who lost a larger percentage of body weight throughout Biggest Loser “16.” Over the twelve weeks, she lost 17.3% of her body weight and 23.4 lbs.

Even though he lost a little more weight in total, T. J. ended up in second place overall, losing 11.2% of his body weight, and 25.4 lbs.

Now the goal is to keep their routines going, even though the program’s over. That’s maybe tougher than the program itself. Life intrudes and if you’re not careful, it’s very easy to let your guard down and start missing workouts. Before you know it, you’ve put the weight right back on. It takes daily discipline to watch and control your weight.

In Brittany’s case, she’s got some extra motivation to keep plugging for the next four months due to an upcoming wedding dress she’s planning on fitting into. Good luck Brittany, and congratulations!

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

Thursday, June 21, 2012


This weekend a group of twelve of us did the real deal at Tough Mudder—IN. The group included Susan Pearman Arp, Patty Brewington, Jennifer Clover, Jane Graham, Dr. John Hancock, Michelle Henry-Hall, Sharon McDaniel, Chris and Brooke Newhart, Michelle Bibo Vaughn, Heather Warren and myself.

Two of our Biggest Losers, T. J. and Amanda Johnson (and one Bub) also attended as support staff (which was pretty tough too), and they did a great job helping us during the event.

After several months of training, we all felt more or less ready for the physical part, but you never know about the mental part. It was basically twelve miles up and down sand dunes and the motorcycle and four-wheeler trails at Badlands Off Road Park in Attica, IN. What made it interesting were the 24 truly sadistic obstacles thrown in throughout the event.

Here’s one way of putting things in perspective. You had to go over a 6-foot wall just to enter the starting corral before the race. You then swore a pledge not to whine, or leave anyone behind. They called the waiver the “death” waiver.

Every 20 minutes, several hundred people went through the starting gates and out into the course. Throughout the event, we must have gone up and down a hundred hills. Some were extremely high, and almost too steep to go up without help near the top.

They also liked getting you extremely wet and slippery before having you climb things, which made it more difficult. For example, they had you do things like the “Kiss of Mud”, which was a belly crawl through a muddy field, under barbed wire just 8 inches off the ground.

Once your hands and feet were extremely muddy, they had you tackle several pairs of 12-foot “Berlin Walls” (I guess one pair wasn’t enough). Too tall for most people to do without help, it typically took two on the bottom for a boost, and one on top reaching down so you had something to grab. Once you made it over, you had to be careful jumping back down so you wouldn’t turn an ankle or sprain a knee.

Another time, after going through more mud pits, they had you going over and under a section of large trees that had been cut down and stacked up like tinker toys. This would have been better without the muddy hands and feet!

There were several tunnel crawls, one of which led down to another muddy pit with more barbed wire keeping you face down in the water. Once you made it out of the pipe into the water, you had to crawl back through another one to get up and out.

Another tunnel was even smaller and more claustrophobic, with a sandy bottom that just tore up your knees and elbows. Speaking of sand, just continuing to run with your shoes filled up with sand and rocks might have been the biggest challenge of all. Most of us stopped to clean them out a couple times, but it didn’t really matter, they just filled right back up.

There was one section called the “Muddy Mile” where you waded through these mud bogs hip deep and so thick that it was almost impossible to move. Other times, the mud was sloppier so it was easier to move, but they had buried tree trunks at different places where you couldn’t see them. If you didn’t feel them, you’d smack your shins on them. Even if you did feel them, you still slipped trying to get over them.

At one point, we came through the mud and up this dusty hill and then stopped to catch our breath. Someone commented “we looked like a bunch of refugees from somewhere bad.”

One of the most interesting obstacles was the “Arctic Enema”, a large construction dumpster filled with water and ice cubes. Belly button deep, you waded to the center and then had to fully immerse yourself to get under this obstacle and come up on the other side. It was extremely cold!

There was a really long water slide which was pretty refreshing, except for the muddy pool you slammed into at the end. Another time we ran about a mile through a shallow creek which was kind of neat, but you had to watch your footing on the rocks.

Probably the coolest water event was the 15’ jump off the “Walk the Plank” platform into the creek, after pulling yourself up a steep ramp with a rope. But it wasn’t cool for this one guy, who forgot to keep his arm in close when jumping, and separated his shoulder when he hit the water.

About four hours into the event, the rain and lightning came, and they were closing any obstacles that had anything to do with water, including a monster monkey bars over water, and a long slippery balance beam with water on both sides to break your fall.

They actually shut the entire course down while we were doing the slippery giant quarter pipe wall. Two of us made it up, and another almost made it before we were all told to leave the obstacle because the course was closing due to the extreme weather.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to complete the most shocking events. One was a belly crawl through a muddy section with live wires packing 10,000 volts. The other was a sprint through the final obstacle called “Electro Shock Therapy.” You guessed it—more live wires hanging down to run through to get to the finish line. It’s weird. You didn’t want to do it, but you were kind of disappointed that you couldn’t do it. Maybe next time.

Some of the obstacles seemed pretty daunting when we looked at them on the internet, and they seemed even more there. But at that moment, you just had to suck it up and get started. If you just got started, you could do it, because the biggest challenge was actually in your mind, not the obstacle itself.

All in all, we ended up with some bruises and minor abrasions, but also a pretty big sense of accomplishment. We were Tough Mudders!

This week’s Biggest Loser was once again Brittany Cline, who lost 3.3% of her body weight and 4.6 lbs. T. J. Johnson was second, losing a little less than 1.0% and 1.6 lbs.

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

Thursday, June 14, 2012


This weekend another group met out at the house for some more Tough Mudder training, and we had a couple more new obstacles for them: a 13’ cargo net, and a rope climb up (or down) a cliff. We ran about a mile of trail four times, up and down hills, not counting the creek running, which is always an extra bonus!

As part of each lap, they climbed over an 8’ climbing wall, the new 13’ cargo net, a 15’ rope climb of the cliff, as well as carrying a 25-40# weight up a hill and across the dam. They also ran in mud, belly crawled across a muddy section, and walked across another section of the pond.

In the creek, we went farther than last time, including lots of going over and around fallen trees. They even did quite a bit of balance beam walking along some of them. Once, they had to belly crawl through a section of creek, and several times, they were fully immersed.

We’ll be doing more training this week on the same course, focusing on the obstacles and running, especially uphill. All of this is designed to help us get ready for Tough Mudder, a 12 mile trail run this weekend with a bunch of even more difficult obstacles.

To read more about this interesting and difficult event, go to . Next week, I’ll give you a report from the Tough Mudder field!

This week’s Biggest Loser was Brittany Cline, who lost 2.6% of her body weight and 3.6 lbs. T. J. Johnson was second, losing 1.0% and 2.4 lbs.

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

Monday, June 11, 2012


This week we did another routine with the group. The first round alternated Thrusters (Rear Squat with a Shoulder Press), and AB Routine #1-5, which included Crunches, Crunches with Legs Up, Sit-ups crossing to the L, Sit-ups crossing to the R, and Leg Lifts (5x). Round two was Push-ups and Pull-ups (5x), and round three alternated Dumbbell Curls with Leg-Raises (5x).

The goal is to do all five sets in round one, back-to-back without stopping. Once you finish the round, you can take a quick drink and catch your breath—if you were pushing hard, that is.

Similarly, you should do round two back-to-back, stopping only after your fifth set for another quick drink. This way, you’ll not only be getting your strength and conditioning, but a cardio workout as well. You’ve heard of supersizing? This is called super-setting!

Doing things back-to-back this way will really crank up the heart rate and calories burned both during and after your workout. In fact, if you’re working out for weight loss and you’ve hit a plateau, this might be a good way to get things going again.

Meanwhile, we had lots of folks go out and participate in the 7th annual C.A.M.A. Teen Bike Rally last Saturday. A few did the shorter 4 and 15 mile route with their kids, while many of us did the longer 42 mile ride. We even had a few superstars do the 72 mile route. It was a great day for riding—not too hot, not too cold, and C.A.M.A. did a great job as usual with the support staff and routes.

Some of us also went out for some more Tough Mudder training on Sunday afternoon, doing a 5 mile trail run featuring lots of hills and a nice jog through the creek. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn’t make it, so I consoled myself with 13 laps around my 5/8 mile trail out at the house, later that afternoon.

We’ve all got to do what it takes to make sure we’re ready for Tough Mudder, coming up on June 16th. Those 12 miles and 24 obstacles are looming closer and closer! For more information about this event, go to .

This week’s Biggest Loser was T.J. Johnson, who lost 1.0% of his body weight and 2.4 lbs. Brittany Cline was second, losing about half a pound.

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

Monday, June 04, 2012


While this week’s Biggest Loser workout was canceled due to the Memorial Holiday Weekend, we did have a group out over the weekend for some more “Tough Mudder” training. This time, we did another “Mini-Mudder” that actually got us muddy.

Up to this point, our group has done some fantastic interval training, and even a neat trail run out at one of our member’s place, including a nice platform jump into the pond. This time, we got together at our place where I have a 5/8 mile trail I like to run on a regular basis.

To make it interesting, we added some neat obstacles, including a weight-carry up hill, several short dips into the creek, a 9 foot wall to climb, a couple mud crawls, and a walk across the pond (harder than it sounds). They had to keep focused on a certain point on the other shore or they’d be swimming.

For the final lap, they had a much longer creek run—more like a walk, really, since they had to climb over numerous trees that had fallen due to local beavers and the wind. They also had to navigate through some nice deeper sections. Once they got back, they had a final pond walk to cap things off! All told, it took a little less than an hour, and I figure we covered around 4 miles.

This was a great workout, but we’ve got more work to do if we’re going to be ready for the real deal on June 16th. Tough Mudder Indiana is in Attica, IN, and will be 12 miles of grueling obstacles, including lots of mud, ice water dunks, the big pond jump, crawling through tight places, hand walking across a dunk pit, crawling under barbed wire, and even electric shocks! What were we thinking?

Next week we’re going to cover around 6-7 miles of trails, including lots of uphill runs, and more practice doing the 16’ platform pond jump! Then we’ll back at our place, where I’m preparing a few more surprises for them. We’ve got to get ready for Tough Mudder! For more information about this event, go to .

This week’s Biggest Loser was Tom Emerick, who lost 1.5% of his body weight and 2.8 lbs. Second place went to Tony Westerfield, who lost 1.3% and 1.7 lbs.

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