Friday, December 27, 2013

Time to re-assess your goals

I hope you are enjoying the holidays wherever you may be.  This year my wife and I decided to stay home and keep things simple and celebrate with friends.  Instead of the chaos of flying or the congested traffic on the freeways we chose to stay within 4 miles of our house.

We attended a friends party on the 20th, hosted a cocktail party at our house on the 21st, then attended another friends' house for a Christmas Eve party on the 24th.  And all of this was within 4 miles of our home.

So, this time of year can certainly derail one's goal of losing weight or staying on track for a specific sport.  As you can tell by my example above, there are many parties this time of year, and not the one's where vegetables and water are served; although those are usually there but seldom eaten.  Don't get the wrong idea, sure I enjoyed the parties I attended and hosted,  but they didn't sabotage my training.  I made sure to exercise each morning of the parties, drank plenty of water throughout those days and didn't "overdo it" but still had a good time.  Did you fall victim to overindulging on sweets, or consuming to many alcohol drinks, or skip your workouts?

If you made it though the holiday without skipping a beat  in your workouts, congrats.  However, if you fell victim to the many unhealthy options that were available, ask yourself why you caved.  What was it that said it would be ok to let go and forget about all the healthy choices you've been making the past several months.

There can be many reasons why, and this was and should have been a rhetorical question.  You know the reasons too.  Let me be so kind and list a few...

1.  I'm at someone else's house and have to eat what they serve
2.  There were so many desserts on the table
3.  I didn't have access to a gym
4.  Christmas only happens once a year, so I might as well enjoy it

These are only a few reasons, what are some of your own?  Now I don't want to sound like the Grinch, all I am trying to say in this post is now is the time to re-assess your fitness/performance goals and get back on track.  What's done is done, time to move forward.

With the new year approaching, take this time to ask yourself where you are now and what you want to accomplish.  If you are currently involved in a high school sport, how are you doing and what can you do to improve both physically and mentally?  Don't be satisfied with your current level of fitness/performance, try to get a little better.  Some simple ideas could be getting to practice earlier and practicing your free throws or 3-point shots before the rest of the team shows up.  Or, staying after practice and doing more shuttle-run drills in the gym.

If you want to lose weight, start TODAY.  I know most of us have heard this many times, but if you say you will start on Monday or next week, odds are that will turn in to a couple weeks or potentially not at all.  By starting today you are making the commitment to yourself and will have a much better chance of reaching your goal/s.  Set short and long term goals.  If you want/need to lose lots of weight, don't focus on the end goal, instead think of a 1-month goal, or a 3-month goal.  If you dwell on losing 30 lbs, that can seem overwhelming considering you might only lose 1 lb a week.  But if you focus on only losing 4 lbs the first month and then 6 lbs the second month it will seem much easier and if you succeed you would already be 1/3 closer to your end goal.




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2nd annual TRX Challenge - Week #6

This week I'm stepping up the intensity and including the medicine ball along with some more advanced
TRX exercises.  One of my favorite exercises, med ball slams, is incorporated into this week's Challenge to turn up the intensity.  Once again, upper body and core strength will be pushed to the limit in a short period of time.  We're working mostly shoulders, chest, triceps, and core muscles.

If you have been competing in each weeks' Challenges, keep it up and enjoy.  You should notice how your fitness level has improved over the weeks as well as balance and coordination.

Before beginning this week's Challenge, make sure to properly warm up for 10-15 min. trying to involve as many muscles as possible.  You want your muscles to have lots of elasticity in them, and you also want your body temperature to be warm when starting.  Cold, stiff muscles can results in injury.

This week's workout challenges you to complete each exercise for 30 seconds trying to get in as many total reps as possible.  Make sure to keep good form throughout the exercises but try to push yourself as hard as you can.   (note that in the video I am only performing 5 reps per exercises, not the full 30 sec as in the Challenge)

Don't forget to post your RESULTS in the Comments section below.

Monday, December 9, 2013

2nd annual TRX Challenge - Week#5

This weeks TRX Challenge involves lots of core strength.  Each movement will challenge your core muscles to keep your body stabilized while performing the exercise.  The challenges become more advanced from this week on and only those who have experience using the TRX and have been strength training for months should attempt to do these.

I have broken the workout up into 2 videos to help demonstrate the exercises.  The only exercise I did not video is a jump rope (I think we all know how to do that).

This week you will perform each exercise for a specific number of reps followed by a short rest (as little as needed) before moving to the next exercise.  Make sure to have warmed up good before starting this challenge.

In the videos only 5 reps were performed per exercise, however, the goal is to do all reps prescribed next to the exercises listed below in the shortest amount of time possible.

1.  1-Leg Squat w/ Hop L  x 25
2.  1-Leg Squat w/ Hop R  x25
3.  1-Leg Mtn Climbers  x20 ea
4.  Triceps Press  x20
5.  Oblique Crunches  x30 (each side counts as a rep)
6.  Jump Rope  x200

1-Leg Squat w. Hop (R/L)
1-Leg Mtn Climber

Triceps Press
Oblique Crunches

Saturday, December 7, 2013

All-women's mountain bike team

Beginning in the 2014 season, I will be directing and coaching an all-women's mountain bike team.  It will be the first-ever all-women's team in Central Oregon and I'm excited for the potential some of the women have.
Left to right:  Chelsey, Amanda, Kyla, Sarah, Shawn (missing from photo -Stacey)

The team began strength training in October, training 2 days a week.  Many of the women don't have much experience strength training, let alone in between racing seasons.  So far, I have to say I am impressed with how strong each one is.  We have been focusing on general overall strength as well as many mobility and core exercises before and after the workout.   Soon I will have them spend a few weeks developing max strength using heavier weights and lower reps with lower body exercises, while continuing to improve the upper body and core strength with higher reps.

In addition to their strength training, the team continues to cross-train (ski, run, do high intensity intervals training, and adventure race).  One of our riders, Chelsey Magness, is currently down in Costa Rica racing in the Adventure Race World Championships.

It's a great group of women and everyone gets alone great with each other.  My goal for this team was to help bring more awareness to women's cycling, but also select riders who would train and race together as as team.  We will all be members of OBRA and plan to volunteer several days for COTA helping to improve local trails.  We will also be putting on skills clinics for young girls and women.