We’re a lifestyle gym, because of that, we deal with people’s lifestyles. We often get asked, “Can I have my drinks and my biceps?” The short answer is no, if your not willing to work for it. If your not willing to change your lifestyle to accommodate the booze, then you need to cut it out. In order to be Well-thy, you need to adjust your lifestyle and if your sucking down a six pack every night, that’s the first thing that needs to go.
But! If your like me, you like to have some drinks one night a week and let loose. Or sometimes…it’s a whole week like a few weeks ago during our wedding week. Here’s how I boozed it up and maintained my biceps…cuz you know I love to flex.
The big day!
I recently spent 8 days in the Outer Banks, NC. It was an amazing trip! Lots of great food, booze, late nights, pool/beach and framily. Everyday was a party…and I am still catching up on sleep but it was so worth it. There are a few things that I negotiated with myself before hand.
– I didn’t want to feel bloated(hello bikini…everyday…thats pretty motivating), stuffed or sluggish.
– I wanted to enjoy my drinks AND good food without guilt…or regret.
– I would give up some zzz to spend time with my family and friends.
– I would drink lots of water, sometimes in the form of coffee and/or alcohol. Yes…I did mix them together some mornings!
I think it’s important to make a plan. Boring I know! Hear me out though…
Structure Creates Freedom.
I made a deal with myself before we got there on what my negotiable’s would be, which in turn gave me some freedom to not get hung up on questions that would normally pop into my head like “should I eat that” or “should I have that beer or stick to the clear stuff?” In the past when I did that it just made me crazy compulsive and that sucked.
So what was my plan?
– Drink at least 24oz. of water every morning before coffee or booze.
– Make sure I got at least another 2 liters of water through out the day/night.
Water is actually one of the ways to REDUCE bloating and water retention caused by heavy alcohol consumption. Isn’t that weird? How does it work? To be honest, I am not 100% sure. Ben has explained it to me a few times, but like most of you, I care about the outcome not necessarily the reason behind it. I know when I’m bloated and I drink water, in a few hours, my bloat goes away. Think of it like this – your body is retaining water because it thinks it needs to, by giving it more water you are sending the message that there is plenty of water, so get rid of what your holding onto.
– Skip breakfast – most days I did this! Except the day after our wedding…I danced a LOT…I was starving the next morning. While skipping breakfast doesn’t work for everyone it works for me on most days. I usually eat some protein, fat and veggies by 11ish. Of course I have coffee!
– Eat lots of veggies and protein first as the first meal.
– Small plates – I always pick a small plate or bowl. If I am still hungry I can get more…but usually I am not it helps me from over eating.
– Veggies! I know I mentioned this before BUT I can’t emphasize enough how important and amazing veggies are.
– Don’t eat too many cookies!
We had a cookie bar for the wedding instead of a cake…I only had a couple;)
– I didn’t exercise once – the one day everyone did a workout I was hungover…got a little carried away the first night 😉
– I did spend everyday (for hours) in the pool.
– The house was huge (18 bedrooms with 4 flights of stairs) and our room was on the third floor…I would run or walk them probably over a dozen times per day if not more.
– I danced 4 nights until my feet hurt. Yes…we did…bring our own DJ!
– OH! I almost forgot our push-up contest. Thats where the biceps come in! One of my favorite body weight movements.
– Limit beer intake. Beer = bloating.
– Stick to the clear stuff – vodka = no bloat/less calories.
– Have water between drinks or on hand with booze.
– Eat clean food – veggies/fruit/protien/some fat.
– HAVE FUN!
3 games at once! It was a killer beer pong tournament.
Supplements – on vacation? Yes!
– While I didn’t take all of the usual supplements I did take the ones that would be helpful for recovering.
– Magnesium – I take 2 every night before I go to sleep.
– NuSera – for stressful moments – psst…what stress?
– Digestive enzymes.
I forgot to mention that we arrived on Sunday and our wedding was on Thursday…my dress?! Had to fit! The old me would have not come up with a plan, stressed about it and been miserable. Instead I created some freedom for myself…free from stressing out about food, exercise, what to drink or not to drink. Instead I spent the week laughing, crying, and making memories with my friends and family.
You can have your booze and biceps, but first you need to get biceps. That might mean you need to cut the booze out for a while. And let’s be honest, there is no diet out there that allows you to have unlimited amounts of alcohol during the week and still look good. That’s why our members love us so much, we teach them how to have the booze and the biceps. We’re a lifestyle gym – not a prison!
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At the end of our RAMP (Range of Motion, Activation, Movement Prep…fancy way of saying warm up) we have some movements that improve your balance through locomotion. These movements are basic play ground exercises like skipping, side shuffling, cross over, 360 runs, etc. It’s amazing how many people can’t skip! We do this to help our members improve their balance (among other things). Prevent falling is one of the more common goals we hear from our older members.
Locomotion is simply moving from one point to another point, i.e. running.
Falling is a real fear as you age. Falling is also a real fear if your weak. I have VERY good balance from years of wrestling, Judo and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. When I was going through chemo, I would often lose my balance JUST WALKING DOWN STAIRS. If you want to feel what it will be like when you get older with no exercise…go through 2 months of chemo. Eye opener.
Why do we fall? Simple – because we lose our balance! However, WHAT causes us to lose our balance? Well…that doesn’t really matter. That’s the wrong question to ask, the right question is – how do I prevent myself from falling. That one is simple – improve your dynamic and static balance. And getting stronger, that tends to help with everything.
Static and Dynamic Balance
True story! As you age, you get weaker if your not working on getting stronger, that’s just a natural thing that occurs. Well, as your muscle mass/strength decreases, so does your ability to hold your self up right on one leg – static balance. Now for most people static balance isn’t the issue because it’s rare that someone just falls over from losing their balance standing still. That’s called passing out…and we can’t really train you to prevent that.
Chris working on his dynamic balance with some lateral skips.
Dynamic balance is the issue. How many times have you heard – “I was walking and lost my balance, fell and hurt my arm/knee/hip/back, etc.” from a friend or older family member? A lot i bet! That’s dynamic balance – as you move from one leg to the other are you able to keep your center of gravity and mass between your legs and not outside your base of support.
Falling is an uncontrolled run, because all running is a controlled fall. Try it. Try to run with out leaning forward, you don’t really go very far. You must lose your balance ever so slightly, catch your self and then continue that…it’s just a series of falls. Now, running it’s self won’t improve balance because people tend to fall when they CAN’T RECOVER FROM LOSING THEIR BALANCE. Remember – walking is a controlled fall. We can fall great, but its when we can’t recover that we actually cause an injury to our self.
That’s where things like skipping, side shuffling, backwards running, etc. all come into play. By practicing those movements we haven’t done since we were kids we improve our dynamic balance, help ward against fall related injuries AND get to practice a skill we haven’t used in a while which helps the brain stay young. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! I dare you to skip with out smiling!
So…check out this short video on WHY we locomote after our RAMP and to hear a little bit more on dynamic balance.
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We don’t just help people lose weight, we also help them feel better and get them out of pain. Sometimes that involves hearing second hand what their doctors have said to them using x-ray or medical imaging results to base their opinions off of. Often times we ask ourselves – do these x-ray and medical imaging results help or harm our clients?
We hear this a lot –
“my doctor said I am bone on bone”
“my doctor said I need a joint replacement”
“my doctor said…blah…blah…blah.”
First, understand our stance on Medical Doctors – they are not god. What they say is based on years of developing critical thinking skills in the medical arena. For the most part that’s what a doctor does – they look at the situation, acquire information, interpret that information and then use critical thinking skills to determine the best course of action. Their word is not gospel, they are human and therefore can/do make mistakes AND their bias (like everyone’s) plays heavily into their treatment plans.
A mechanic will often tell you your car needs work – a surgeon will often tell you that you need surgery.
Doctors are no different.
Of course they have your best interest at heart (hopefully), however, there is one hurdle all doctors must overcome – exposure.
What does that mean?
If you come to KDR 4 times a week every week for a year that’s 208 visits, that’s 208 times that we are exposed to you. How you move, how you carry yourself, how you respond to physical/emotional stress, how you eat, how easy it is to get you to change, etc. We have more exposure in one year to a single person then they will most likely have to the entire medical community in their lifetime.
So, we see the people that are “bone on bone” or “hip replacement candidates” and let me just say – it’s not as bad as the doctor makes it out to be.
This is a great video explaining that. Most doctors (excluding PT’s, but their job isn’t to interpret imaging results) have no idea of how the body works when it comes down to skeletal muscle systems impacting the whole body. Sure your knee might be riddled with arthritis but that’s because your glutes are weak, your ankles are tight and your hamstrings are locked down…all leading to your knee having problems with how it works with the rest of the body. Just because something is “bone on bone” doesn’t mean you’re screwed!
Take 6 minutes – watch this video. Please. If you’re going through a situation where you are in pain and the doctor has taken imaging of you to back up his explanation of why you’re in pain, you need to watch this. Don’t go that surgery route!
I think there are three classifications of working out that correspond to different parts of the year/your schedule – training, working out and exercise. If your super busy, then you probably shouldn’t be doing any training.
Training is goal focused, time committed, DRIV-ICATION!
Let me explain further. I have a lot going on right now – Jamie and I are getting married IN EXACTLY ONE MONTH!!! Holy shit balls. Plus, it’s been about 6 months since my last chemo round AND I am getting back into the gym full time. From January of last year to March of this year I lost over 10 pounds of muscle. That sucked. I worked hard to gain that mass and it was heartbreaking to see my body whither away from the chemo.
Side Note – The weight didn’t didn’t wither away that much, but rather I lost muscle and gained a substantial amount of fat. Cachexia be damned! Cachexia is muscle wasting/weight loss associated with chemo. Well, I lost the muscle but gained some fat thanks to my little friend (maybe I will talk more about him later 😉
It was tough going from this…
After chemo, I was READY to start TRAINING. But first, I had to build my body back up, so I started with EXERCISING before moving into WORKING OUT, then I TRAINED to get my lean body mass back.
Which incidentally was ALMOST a success, I gained about 7 pounds of the 10 I lost. The other 3 pounds will come back eventually, but not right now.
I will get my guns back.
The exercising consisted of walking and biking with some light resistance training and yoga. Truth be told, I was just happy to be able to get out of the house without throwing up. That lasted for roughly 3 months, from September to December. In December and January, I started to work out. I pushed it harder, incorporated more resistance training and more interval training. In February I started TRAINING.
I was so happy to finally be able to just WALK with out getting winded.
From November to May my goal was to get back down to under 15% body fat (from over 20%), get my lean body mass back up to 150 pounds (from 140) AND work on getting my strength back (interestingly my strength came back much faster in my upper body than my lower body). PLUS I wanted to start my new life. They say that after you go through cancer treatment you are never the same.
I can say I agree with that 100%. The old Ben is gone, he was burned off with the cancer cells. The new Ben is still trying to figure out where he fits in all of this. But god damn it if he doesn’t have close to his old body back!
As of April 14th – I hit almost all of those goals. Now I could still lean out a little bit more before the wedding, however, I am choosing to drop back to just working out and moving away from training for the next month. And, I am still trying to figure out who the new me is, but it’s coming along.
Here’s why – I am busy. Busy with planning the wedding. Busy with working more. Busy with getting my life back.
This time last year I was losing my hair, starting my 2nd round of chemo and watching the world go by around me while I sat and played video games, watched Netflix (it might sound like fun, but going from a very driven and healthy state to not having enough energy to walk and talk wasn’t fun….and trust me on this fellas, while it may seem like your missing playing video games and vegging out, no one got healthy and/or successful by just doing that) and counted down the days until my next treatment.
When you wake up and have every day like that…watching the world around you change and evolve and your looking down at your fingernails bending back while you’re trying to open a can of club soda…it can be pretty depressing.
Let’s review the three stages of working out before we get deeper. Understand that you should NEVER just “go to the gym” without a goal in mind. Whether that goal is to improve your body composition, get stronger or just to stave off aging, there should always be a goal.
1. Training –
You are 100% focused on your goal, nothing can get in your way. You want to lose 10 pounds, or improve your deadlift, or do a tough mudder, etc. This level requires time, commitment and probably a pretty hefty dose of improving/working on your diet. You are 100% focused on your goal, nothing can get in your way. You want to lose 10 pounds, or improve your deadlift, or do a tough mudder, etc. This level requires time, commitment and probably a pretty hefty dose of improving/working on your diet.
2. Working out –
You are focused on your goal…but maybe not committed to it. While working out your goal is to keep at least 80% of the results you got up to this point, ideally 90%.
3. Exercising –
You think about your goal, but realize that right now, it’s probably best just to go in, get a workout in to maintain your results and go home.
Training is meant to happen for 4-16 week blocks. Why 4-16 weeks? Because most people have a life. Training takes 100% focus on yourself. You have to get those workouts in, you have to (maybe) get those calories in or really focus on your diet. Life needs to take a back seat because you are FOCUSED 100% on that goal related to your body.
Not the time to be training for anything…except to SURVIVE!
Working out is a step down from training. Are you supposed to get 4 workouts in? Maybe you get 3 this week plus an at home circuit. Are you supposed to eat 4 meals or hit 2000 calories? Maybe you were just too busy to really focus on eating. During the working out stage, the diet tends to take the first hit as that’s the most time-consuming.
Exercising? Well now, that’s party season. If you are a dedicated gym goer, you probably won’t ever really get to this level and instead bounce around between working out and training. Exercising is moving around with the goal of improving your baseline health. Walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, some group fitness classes, etc. Those are all examples of exercising. The diet during exercising tends to be in the lines of “what diet?”. Another way to think about exercising is what you do if you go on a week long vacation. You enjoy your vacation life while still being active. At least that’s what KDR members are told to do!
You need time to TRAIN.
You need less time to work out.
You need even less time to exercise.
What happens if you FORCE yourself to train during a time you should be working out?
1. First – nothing bad. That’s called driv-icated, or a mix of driven and dedicated…to yourself. We can’t be driv-icated 100% of the time because we would have no friends, no life and no future outside of whatever we are focused on.
But, because training takes a lot out of you, you must pay that back. If your goal is to really:
– Lose weight.
– Build muscle.
– Change your body.
You need to prioritize nutrition, sleep, and gym. Not in that order, but pretty close. If you’re in the gym 5 hours a week, plus prepping and food shopping for 3 hours per week and prioritizing your sleep (which means 8 hours per night minimum) AND working an 8-hour job…that’s a lot. Probably don’t want to be doing that while you’re trying to stay cool organizing a wedding. That’s time for working out.
2. Second – you will often times either get injured, spin your wheels without making progress, get frustrated at your results and at the worse…waste your time.
If you’re truly training for something then you need to recover WAY more then you need to train. And recovery is essentially stress management and destress strategies. Understand that the body identifies stress as anything that moves it out of homeostasis, from winning the lottery to being attacked by a bear…it’s all the same hormones and stress response by the body. So if your fighting over table placement or working on lifting your personal best in the squat…you need to recover from that stress.
Bottom line for me (and probably some of you reading this) – I can’t continue to work out 3 days per week HARD in the gym for an hour, and do an hour of cardio per week, plus 90 minutes of yoga AND count my calories and get 8 hours of restful sleep…4 weeks before I get married and short staffed.
I need to go back to working out while still focusing on my diet and sleep. But, the workouts need to be less than 45 minutes strength training (just like our small group workouts) AND about 20-30 minutes of interval training (just like our team training classes). We’re so smart at KDR.
So – here’s my question for you. Look at your schedule, do you honestly have AT LEAST 4 weeks to commit to a pursuing a goal and TRAINING. 4 weeks where nothing is coming up, no plans and you can commit to yourself 100%? Maybe you have 8 weeks…then do our 8 week Eat to Lose challenge.
But if you don’t have 4 weeks, that’s ok, that doesn’t mean you stop going to the gym, that means you just work out and focus on keeping 80% of your progress.
At KDR, we like to use something called cardio strength training. It’s a blend of strength training movements such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, etc. done in a circuit fashion with minimal to moderate rest between movements. We have found that this is THE BEST WAY to get our members strong AND improve their cardiovascular health…in the least amount of time.
If you are crunched for time but still want to torch fat, build muscle and improve your overall health – this is exactly how you have to be working out.
Give me a little bit more details, please?
Ok, you got it. Generally speaking, training is broken up into two parts:
– Strength – this is usually your free weight or machine based training.
– Conditioning – this would usually be your cardio machine, running, etc. based training.
The goal of strength training is to improve strength and build muscle while the purpose of conditioning is to improve your cardiovascular fitness. They are thought to be exclusive, i.e. you can’t do both at the same time. However, what we have found is that you can combine both to reap benefits of each. By taking large full body movements performed for 5-20 reps or 15-45 seconds with minimal rest in between exercises, you can stoke the metabolic furnace and reap the benefits of both strength training and conditioning. Think HIIT (high-intensity interval training), with weights.
Why is this form of training superior to keeping my conditioning and strength training sessions separate?
Listen, not all of us have 6 hours to spend in the gym working on chest one day, biceps another day, back on a third day, etc. And then STILL have to get in some cardiovascular training for our heart. Looking good is great, but if you can’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, then what good is looking good!
By doing cardio strength training, you can get all of the work you need…in only two sessions 60 minutes sessions per week! By taking two days and hitting your entire body with compound full body movements you can drastically reduce the time in the gym as well as significantly improve your results.
Show me the data!
Ok, first of all, the research is ALWAYS behind the times when it comes to training people. That’s just the nature of the beast. I can go out into our gym and conduct any number of tests that will never see the pages of a peer-reviewed journal. However, it’s always nice to be validated in what you’re doing!
In one study conducted at East Tennessee University conducted in 2001 looked at two groups of obese women. One group did steady state aerobic training for eight weeks three times per week. The other did perform HIIT 3 times per week for the same eight weeks. Both groups worked until they burned 300 calories during their workouts.
Conclusion – ONLY the interval group improved their body composition, and ONLY the interval group improved their resting metabolic rate (a number of calories you burn at rest, the more you burn, the better!). To reiterate – the two groups worked out three days per week for eight weeks and until they hit 300 calories, with the difference being the intensity of the workout.
In another study, Dr. Martin Gibala from McMaster University in Canada looked at a steady state group and a HIIT group. The hit group did four to six 30 second all out sprints on a cycle with a 4-minute rest interval (total work out time each session was under 20 minutes), while the steady state group did 90-120 minutes of continuous moderate cycling.
Conclusion – The researcher found NO DIFFERENCE between the two groups in terms of benefits. So, I have to work out hard for about 20 minutes, and that gives me the same benefits of working out moderate for 3-4 TIMES the amount of time? Sign me up for the 20 minutes, please!
What about the argument for calories burned? Well, here’s a study that was published in 1994 by Tremblay et al. They took two groups, one completed 20 weeks of steady state endurance and the other completed 15 weeks of HIIT. When all was said and done – the SS group burned 28,661 calories vs. only 13,614 in the HIIT group.
Conclusion – The HIIT group burned 900 percent more subcutaneous fat then the SS group…with five weeks LESS commitment and by burning over 14,000 calories LESS!
Sold yet?! GREAT! Here’s a sample work out:
This is a density based work out – your goal is to do more work in the same amount of time, that’s density training.
DB Front Squat = 10 reps
rest 20 seconds
Push Up to Row = 10 push ups and 10 rows alternating hands
rest 20 seconds
Jump Deadlifts = 10 reps
rest 20 seconds
Chops = 8 each side
rest 20 seconds
Front Plank = 30 seconds
Rest 90 seconds
Repeat as many times as possible in 20 minutes.
RDL’s = 15 reps
rest 20 seconds
High Pulls = 15 reps
rest 20 seconds
DL to curls = 15 reps
rest 20 seconds
Standing Tomahawks = 15 reps
rest 20 seconds
Side plank rotations = 30 seconds
rest 90 seconds
Repeat as many times as possible in 20 minutes.
Keep track of your rounds, your goal is to do more rounds in the same amount of time.
You should be breathing hard at the end of each exercise.
Do this work out for 6 weeks, one day on, one day off.
Knowing I can do things on my own IF I have to. Have you ever had to pick something up at a store and thought to yourself “can I do this on my own, do I need to ask for help? I have! I don’t like feeling limited by my own thoughts or physical strength.
2. Being a Role Model:
I want to be physically(and mentally) strong for those that look up to me…most importantly my son. Sure asking for help is super important but I don’t want him to doubt himself, or hold himself back, thinking he is weak. I know the struggles that come along with training and mentally changing self-doubt and physical limits, but it can be done. I see a lot of people who hold themselves back because they think they can’t do something or change. It’s never too late.
3. If feels good!:
You bet your ass it feels good! Does it feel good to deadlift 250lbs? It’s hard as shit, but after you’ar done it feels amazing to do something you couldn’t do before or thought you NEVER could do. I want to be able to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. Run a mud run obstacle race, throw some kettlebells around, compete in a powerlifting meet, do a sl squat, bust out push-ups whenever I want, carry all the grocery bags in the house in one trip, going skiing, do yoga, hike mountains, throw a football…all of these things I have done…will continue to do..IF I stay healthy and strong as I get older.
4. Taking care of family: There will come a time when you will have to step up and help take care of a loved one. When that time comes, you need to be strong physically and mentally. I know if Ben gets sick again I can take care of him, Logan AND myself. Knowing I can get 1 ton of pellets moved for heat, get our 90lb old hound into the car if needed, get the trash moved, make house improvements, the list goes on and on but its important to me. I don’t feel helpless.
5. Not feeling helpless: It’s an awful feeling, and I have felt that way before. There are things I can not do but I know I just need to train for it, work on it, practice some more and I will be able to do it. I want to help others NOT feel helpless and bring out their strengths.