Saturday, July 24, 2010

Awesome Circuit Conditioning Workout

I have an incredible workout planned tonight after work. I'm actually really excited about hitting the gym, and I'm trying to make sure to get all of my meals in (on time) to fuel my efforts. I'll post about it later...

Ciao for now... this was hands down the best workout I've done in a while. My heart rate was elevated the ENTIRE time -- like pumping out of my chest hard -- and the workout was spectacular. I took my rope and kettlebells to the gym today, and I worked the type of circuit that I'd always wanted to do but couldn't because of lack of equipment. I was finally able to mix strength machines and toys.

Here's what it looked like:

Circuit 1 (4 sets, 1st set was warm-up @ 20 reps)
Seated Leg Extension
Prone Hamstring Curl
Ropes Gone Wild 0:30 secs
Kettlebell 0:30 secs (varied swings, squats, etc)

Circuit 2 (3 sets, 12 reps/exercise)
Seated Row
Incline Bench Press
Kettlebell 0:30 secs (squats, windmills, TGU's - did 1 per side)

Circuit 3 (2 sets)
Box Squat (new exercise, only did 2 sets)

Circuit 4 (3 sets)
DB Military Press
1-Arm DB Tricep Extension

Snatches 2:00, alt 5 reps/side

I felt the fat and everything else melt off of me today. Not to mention it was nice and hot outside, so I got a nice detox as well.  I almost hurled..but managed to keep it down :-) LOL I didn't want to embarass myself at the gym! HA!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tasty Green Lemonade

I was in a rush to prepare my mid-morning meal, which is usually just a protein shake, but I wanted to get some extra greens in today, as I had some baby spinach that I wanted to use before it went bad. So, I thought of an old fallback of green lemonade.  Gosh, it was really good today. I probably won't be able to ever create it exactly the same way again, but I did want to share it in case anyone was interested.

Fitgirl-ATX's Yummy Green Lemonade with a protein boost:
* 1 scoop whey protein (I used RTN's Bionic Edge Whey in Banana flavor)
* 2 handfulls of organic baby spinach (I used what was left in my container in the fridge)
* 1/4 lemon (add more or less to taste - this includes everything - skin, pith, seeds optional :-) )
* cold water (I didn't measure it, just used about 1 cup)
* ice cubes

Put all of the ingredients into Vitamix blender, in the order listed above. Blend until desired consistency is reached.

This was very refreshing. I find that in other green lemonades that I've made, I don't typically care for celery as the base. When I use kale or collard greens, I tend to have to use more apple and lemon to mask the green taste.  Cucumber, spinach, and lettuce all seem to be mild enough to be pleasing to my pallate.

I love to increase my green drinks and veggie juices during the summer months because there are so many fresh fruit and healthy, local green produce in stock at reasonable prices. Take advantage and enjoy all of the wonderful treats that nature has to offer!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

For those of you who did not know, there is a PART 2!

I don't know how I missed this, but Keith Weber has released a sequal to his Extreme Kettlebell Cardio DVD.  The first one is a serious butt kicker, and I was elated to see a second.  I think his workouts are well designed, dynamic, and CHALLENGING!  I still struggle with the first DVD and have never been able to complete it from start to finish. I added the second one to my home training library without hesitation. 

I'm still feeling kind of fatigued, so I decided to preview the DVD today.  WOW - it is a good 'un.  Keith also looks fantastic in this workout!  His conditioning is phenomenal, and I thought it was off the charts the first time!  I ranked the first DVD right up there with Newport & Firepower from a conditioning point of view, and the second one is no exception.  I actually think his DVDs might be more of a conditioning challenge than Newport & Providence, and that is saying ALOT!

Unfortunately, there is no trailer for this workout, but here is the link to the DVD description:  Check it out!

Well done, Keith!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Good week, but feeling tired & drained

I really think my body is giving me a sign. I mentioned on Tuesday that I was feeling a bit fatigued, drained, and tired. Well, that trend is continuing, as today I feel even worse, which is a sign of overtraining. I also didn't drink enough water yesterday or eat enough protein; my appetite wasn't very strong. Depending on how I feel today, I might just use today as a pure rest day from training, but definitely tomorrow. I'd scheduled a kettlebell session for tomorrow, but I think I'm going to skip it. I'll eat well today, strength train if I'm feeling better, and take tomorrow off completely.

I had a nice cardio workout last night. I did 35 mins on my spin bike. It's been a few months since I've had a chance to get on my bike, and it felt good. I did more of a low-end interval workout, since I was already feeling tired.

We will see what the rest of today brings! Make it a great one!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hard work pays off....and a little rant about chocolate chip cookies

Consistent Workouts: I've been working out consistently and dieting well over the past week. Hard work is paying off. I'm down 4 pounds in 6 days, which is remarkable. Change is happening...I'm not going to get too excited or too ambitious in setting my goals, but I will continue training diligently and eating well. Today I felt pretty exhausted during my strength training workout, so that is a sign to back off a little bit. I will only do a light cardio workout tomorrow to give my body an active rest. I'll pick up with strength training sessions on thurs/sat, and a kettlebell workout on Friday. I'm feeling REALLY good, and I'm proud of myself for remaining dedicated to my mission.

I wanted to share a bit of a personal story to help encourge those of you who may be struggling to meet your goals. We all struggle with something, and our struggles change as life changes. My blog is centered around my training, experiences as a fitness coach, and my desires to compete again. Even though I've been a fitness industry professional for over 12 years, it doesn't come easy.  I'm a person too, with very real struggles and accomplishments. For some people, fitness goals come easy. I'm not one of those people. I work hard for everything that I have, and I love fitness with my entire being.  My weight and physique have been all over the place for most of my life. I've never been (nor do I want to be) a skinny girl. I am a strong woman, with muscles and curves, and I love to train hard. Competing was the most difficult and challenging thing that I've ever done in my life, and I want to do it again. Being a fitness instructor and coach is one of the most rewarding roles of my life, and I want to do continue doing that for as long as I can. Anyway, I wanted to share a piece of my story and hope that somone out there can find inspiration in it.

My addiction to chocolate chip cookies & Dove ice cream bars: I had a flashback today when I was at a coffee shop working.  I really wanted a chocolate chip cookie. Anyone who knows me well knows that chocolate chip cookies have been my vice since college.  In college, I treated myself to one chocolate chip cookie per day for most days because I worked out and studied so hard. I often times find myself still wanting that one chocolate chip cookie often.

I remember when I was training & dieting for competitions, and I still had my cookie cravings. I remember asking myself if I really wanted a cookie or if I was just hungry and wanted something quick and tasty to eat. It was almost always the latter. My cookie cravings tended to come when it was close to my afternoon meal time.  There were times when I'd have my meals pre-packed and just didn't feel like eating it. Instead, I'd just tell myself how much I wanted a cookie.  When I realized my habit, it became easier to kick it.  When the afternoon would roll around and I'd want to go down to the cafeteria for my yummy cookie, I developed a habit of stopping, asking myself if I really wanted a cookie or if I was just hungry. I'd eat my meal or drink a green tea sweetened with stevia. Usually, that strategy worked.  I would tell myself that after I ate, if I really still wanted a cookie then I could have one. Over time, I found that after I ate and had my green tea, I didn't even think about my cookie anymore. 

For the past few months, I've found myself returning to those cravings of cookies, chips, and other fast, convenient things. However, sitting down and having a real heart-to-heart with myself just proved to me that during those cravings, I'm really just hungry and haven't been diligent enough to prepare in advance for those cravings. So, cookies and chips are easy, but junk for the body. They have no nutritional value whatsoever. Realizing how many calories I burn in a workout and how hard I have to work to expend those calories, it really makes me think about whether or not one cookie, one ice cream bar, or a handful of chips are worth the sacrifice. Look at the 'nutritional' breakdown of any convenient snack food.  Over the past several months, my cravings have totally been for Dove ice cream bars. Those yummy treats are a whopping 330 calories each and 25 grams of sugar, and that's if you just eat one...but who really eats just one?? ;-) I can eat an entire box in a night. I've realized that I can't control it, and when I buy a box from the store, I've started opening the box on the way out and throwing away 2 of the 3 bars that come in the box so that I won't eat them all at once. I can't trust myself around the temptation, so I just throw them away in an attempt to control it. It's so wasteful, but I know that if I take the box home, I'll eat the whole thing while i'm watching the latest episode of True Blood :-). I'm sharing this because there are always temptations. There is a difference between an occassional indulgence and a bad habit. It takes strength and self discipline to realize what your own vices & bad habits are and how to break them.

A fire has been reignited inside of me to return back to my athletic state. I'm committed to truly cleaning up my diet.  I've been following my diet, but getting depressed by lack of progress and falling right back into the trap. I've shared many times about the struggles I've been facing over the past few years. It's so easy to get frustrated, get lost, and fall back into those bad habits. I feel much better now that I've vowed to myself to change. More importantly, I know what it will take to turn myself around. Granted, I have other circumstances that are outside of my control, and I just have to deal with those. What I CAN do is really commit myself, follow the regimen that I know works for me and my body, and control all of the things that are within my grasp. I'll pray about the rest and let the cards fall where they may. However, I have to accept responsibility for my own actions and success, and really give it my best consistently.

What are your vices?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coming July 19th: Pavel + TRX (translation -- HEAVEN)

I seriously feel like I won the lottery or something based upon one single announcement on the Fitness Anywhere blog today. Coming soon - a kettlebell & TRX DVD led by Pavel himself.  Check it out....I CANNOT WAIT!!!

Here is a teaser of the forthcoming DVD (don't forget to use the link on the right to order your TRX system):

Read more about the release here on the Fitness Anywhere blog:

Providence, Ropes & a batting cage

Well, I decided to do Providence again today. I brought along a pair of 12kg kettlebells, my rope, and went to the gym to workout outside. First of all, let me just say that I'd forgotten how taxing working out under the blazing sun can be! LOL :-) I used my audio version of providence, which has a slightly faster tempo than the drills in the DVD, IMO. I completed rounds 1-13, added in some rope drills during the breaks, and some getups at the end. I was going to flip some tires as well, but I was purely exhausted when I finshed my hour-long session.  I also skipped the 3:00 snatch test at the end.

I'd fully intended to get a cardio session in before bed. However, we decided to go to the batting cage yesterday evening, so I used that as my cardio supplement instead. Luckily (or unluckily,depending on how you look at it), my softball machine at the batting cage was broken. Meaning, that I was only supposed to get 30 pitches, but my machine never stopped pitching. So, I batted for a good 30 minutes or so. I worked up a major sweat during the process of batting, picking up balls, re-loading the machine, etc. It was fun! I haven't been to a batting cage literally since my softball days in high school. I had fun and will do it again!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Outdoor Workout: Kettlebells + Tire Flips

Today was overcast, so I thought it would make a perfect day for an outdoor workout. I took my 16kg kettlebell to the gym and decided to 'play' outside. I did several rounds of various kettlebell lifts - swings, snatches, squat variations, windmills, TGU's, and combined them with tire flips and a few weight machines. It was alot of fun! I tired myself out, which was the point :-), and had a fun workout. I love having access to tires now :-)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Glute-Ham Raises ROCK!!!

I had a chance to use an Elite FTS Glute Ham Raise today as part of my workout. As suspected, it ROCKS!  I've been wanting to use one of these for years, but couldn't afford to buy one for myself or my gym.  It's rare to find these puppies in commercial really have to go to a hardcore facility to see these in action.  It was so great!  I was able to do 5 consecutive reps AFTER my training session.  My hamstrings feel incredible, and I look forward to working with this in the coming weeks. Simply outstanding. If you can find one in your area, try it!  Note: a Glute-Ham Raise machine is NOT the same as a back extension/roman chair. They are two entirely different pieces of equipment.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Interesting Read: "Kettlebells: Twice the Results in Half the Time?"

I found a pretty interesting article citing an American Council on Exercise (ACE) study conducted about the science behind kettlebell training. I wanted to share it with those of you wondering why 'it' works.  It was a solid study. 

Note: I do encourage you to take the article for what it's worth and not to get lost in the technicality of the VO2Max discussion, especially if you are new to kettlebell training or have no desire to learn the science behind it.  I just thought this particular ACE article was informative, shared an interesting study, and introduced some of the reasons why kettlebell training is so effective.  We had a long discussion about VO2Max training around 2006 on the AoS forums.  Anthony DiLuglio released an early minute of strength about not getting lost in the details around it, and I couldn't agree more. VO2Max is a seperate discussion, and if you're interested, you'd be well served in checking out Kenneth Jay's articles & DVDs on the subject over at

Anyway, check it out and see what you think -

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Finally hit my stride....

Well, I've finally rediscovered my groove, so to speak.  I'm working ALOT, but I'm also using this time to focus on my personal development and growth.  I found the perfect gym (Metroflex Gym), and I feel right at home there! It's my kind of an underground gym, complete with tires, stones, a freakin' glute-ham machine, gym full of hammer strength & Elite FTS equipment....I could go on and on.  Anyway, I'm back to lifting at least 3x/week (sometimes even 4!). I'm still working on my cardio schedule, but I'm getting in at least 3x/week.  I've decided to use this month to get back into some kettlebell work as well, doing Providence or Newport at least once a week.  I'm also getting my eating plan down, allowing myself a few occassional treats, but following it pretty closely (about 85%-90% compliance each week).

So, I'm having fun.  My garage gym is also set up and about ready to re-open for business. I kind of wanted to be selfish and spend the rest of the summer just focusing on myself and not taking clients yet, but my pocketbook might demand otherwise :-).

Anyway, I hope that you all are having a fun summer, training smart, and eating right.  Now that I'm all settled and my groove is back, I'll be updating my blog more frequently.  I hope that you will check back!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Independence Day Workout - AoS Providence

I was inspired today to pick up my bells and get to work.  Actually, it was the fact that I'd unpacked my garage gym completely, had everything back in its place, and it was begging for someone to sweat and work hard in it.   Also, I was chatting with a member from Cathe's forum about AoS, and I missed workout out with my AoS DVDs.  So, I thought no better way than to pick up my bells and work AoS style. 

Yesterday I did Providence for old times sake. It's been a few months since I've even touched my kettlebells, so I decided to work light (12kg) and only expected to make it through the first 7 rounds or so of the workout.  I actually did the entire thing, and the 12kg felt really light for most exercises (exception being the triple crush & the press ladders).  I was proud of myself for 1) making it through the workout and 2) noticing all of the progress that I've made in my kettlebell lifting journey.

Providence will always hold a special place in my heart.  It was one of the first DVDs that I purchased in my kettlebell journey way back in 2005.  I learned alot about kettlebell technique and form from Providence. When I first started working with kettlebells, I had to rely on DVDs to teach me technique and then workout approaches.  I was self taught for 6 months before I met with an instructor. Lucky for me, my first teachers were Anthony DiLuglio and Lisa Shaffer, both of whom are now good friends and colleagues (I'm a fitness coach also).  My teach-yourself-kettlebell DVDs were Pavel's From Russia With Tough Love and AoS Providence. I remember purchasing Providence because it was a work-along DVD, and one that I knew I'd be able to use again once I got the basics down.  I only had a 12kg bell when I first started.  I remember sucking air so hard during the swings round. It made me smile when I was barely winded from them yesterday with the same 12kg bell.  It's amazing how incredibly conditioned your body gets after training with kettlebells over time.  I saw my entire journey, both personally and professionally, during round 1 of Providence. It still kicks my butt to this day (and we aren't even going to talk about Newport yet - LOL).  But, it's amazing to notice progress and to reflect on just how far you've come. I think about my many clients whom I have also challenged by sprinkling bits and pieces of Providence into some of our sessions.  Growth is an amazing thing.  I will always love Providence because I am always evolving, no matter how many times I do the workout.  If you think it's getting easier, get a heavier bell. There are always ways to increase the intensity of the workout, and it feels different every time!  Also, the wonderful twist of Vintage Providence is also cool.  But, the original piece of work, in its unaltered form is really what reminds me of how much I love kettlebell training -- even now, 5 years later!

What makes you passionate about kettlebell training? TRX training? cardio? running? lifting weights? swimming? -- the point is to find something that you TRULY LOVE and do it religiously.  Take it back to basics and rediscover why you fell in love with something in the first place.  I can honestly say that I LOVE kettlebell training, TRX training, and lifting weights period.  I love how my body responds. I love the feeling of getting stronger week by week. I love watching my body change. I love knowing that I can kick someone's a$$ really badly if provoked. I love knowing that I can defend myself if I'm put in a situation to do so. Strength is power...they are not the same thing. (think about that..)

"Success is the result of a few simple disciplines practiced and perfected diligently."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Journey...

Well, I've moved to a new place, still in Texas, just a little farther north...and things couldn't be going better! Life is grand! New career, new surroundings, change is good!

The gym is about 85% set up. I have joined a local gym to have access to cable machines, etc, and so far, things are going well. I'm trying to find my personal groove, which changes depending on the day - LOL.

I'll update my more blog as I get settled....

Friday, April 02, 2010

Hitting it hard with the TRX

For the past 3 weeks, I've been really focusing on my TRX training. I love suspension training more and more. I've increased my conditioning and flexibility with one tool. I like to combine it with other training elements (kettlebells, sandbags, med balls, etc), but I have to give credit where credit is due. The TRX is the real deal....

I've been using the TRX Flexibility, Train Like the Pros, and Team Sports DVDs, as well as creating my own routines. I've rediscovered the beauty of single handle mode drills and have dramatically increased my overall core strength.

Here are 5 of my favorite TRX drills; we've been giving them some special attention this month:
  • TRX Suspended Lunge
  • TRX Plank & Pike
  • TRX Suspended Burpee

  • TRX Sprinter's Start

  • TRX Suspended Lateral Lunge

  • If you've never tried suspension training, I highly recommend it. You will challenge your body in ways you never imagined possible! There is a REASON why this tool was voted one of the best health & fitness tools of 2009 by Men's Health magazine. It isn't just a fad! It's a proven system that will help improve your conditioning, functional fitness, and flexibility. Add it to your gym protocol along with kettlebells, sandbags, med balls, etc.

    Get yours by clicking the picture below:

    Fitness Anywhere: Make your body your machine.

    Here's a little TRX teaser for you featuring Brandon Vera at the opening of the UFC gym in California this past March:

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    TRX Train Like The Pros

    This afternoon, my boyfriend and I decided to workout together. I invited him to do a TRX workout with me so that he can get better acquainted with the TRX. We had a great time! We tackled Todd Derkin's Train Like the Pros DVD. The workout was TOUGH. It had an incredible core component. I felt like this particular DVD was more upper body and core specific, but there were some lower body exercises in there as well. So, I still felt like my entire body got a great workout. The stretch segment was fantastic. I own almost all of the TRX DVDs, and the Durkin DVDs are my favorites. I will say that the Ropes & Straps Round 2 DVD is too advanced for me right now; I'll have to keep working my way up to it - LOL.

    I can't sing enough wonderful praises about the TRX. I love that piece of equipment. It kicks a$$ (literally), and it is so versatile. If you're thinking about trying one out, I highly recommend just going for it. If for some reason you are unsatisfied, the TRX comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. Give it a try! It has so many wonderful applications!! Click the TRX banner on the right to purchase your won't regret it!

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    A Little Kickboxing

    Today, I did a brief (30 min) kickboxing workout. It was very effective. I haven't done this particular workout in a while, but I added some TRX movements to the beginning calisthenics section. I will probably do this workout again later this week. I really like Danny Sullivan's Real Kickboxing series. I wish he would make another set of DVDs. I'm glad that the set that I currently have has 5 workouts included with it.

    Hope that you had a great workout day as well!!

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Revisting an old classic - AoS Providence

    Today I revisited a workout that holds a very special place in my heart - AoS Providence. This was the 5th kettlebell DVD that I purchased almost 5 years ago...and it is still a butt kicker to this very day :-) Providence is a quintessential workout that emphasizes strength, kettlebell technique, and building muscular & cardiovascular stamina. It is a classic and one that I need to go back to more often. It STILL kicks my butt, and I still can't make it all the way through without pressing the 'pause' button :-) The workout just gets better with age. I have heavier kettlebells now than when I first started 5 years ago, and that makes the workout that much more effective.

    Make sure to check out Providence and other AoS DVDs. You won't regret having any of them in your library. Providence & Newport are still my top 2 DVDs 5 years later...

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Lady Gaga - Telephone ft. Beyonce

    I couldn't help myself with this post....LOL!
    I am so in love with this song and video. There is a dance version of the song(kaskade radio edit) that is in frequent rotation for me right now at the gym. I heart Lady GaGa!!! She is so creative and artistically talented. The video is a bit out there, but, to me, it works!!

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Simple Kettlebell Workout

    My friend, Kurt, and I had a great workout tonight! I've been teaching him some fundamental kettlebell movements, and tonight we just focused on solidifying those movements through repetition. So....we did a deck of cards workout to reinforce everything.

    It's been a while since I've actually done one, and it felt GREAT! We were tired, but we really picked up the pace at the halfway point. It took us about 50 minutes to get through the deck, inclusive of a few points during the workout where I reviewed form & safety.

    Here's what we did, and we did each exercise for reps; single handed exercises were done on each side (which was great)! I used the heaviest KB that I could muster with good form for each exercise.

    Face cards = 10 reps
    Jokers were approx. 1 minute of rest.

    Hearts: 2H Swings
    Spades: 1H Swings
    Clubs: Cleans
    Diamonds: Presses
    Aces: Set of Walking Lunges (down and back in my hallway)


    Tuesday, February 09, 2010

    Awesome Interval Rowing Workout

    I decided to spend a few days this week focusing on rowing. I took a class yesterday and today. I wanted to spend time focusing on my form & overall technique. Today's class was particularly outstanding. I'm writing down what I can remember here, so that I cna recreate it on my own.

    Warm-up: about 6-8 mintes at 20-22 strokes/minute

    We used the PM3 to create our own interval-based workout. 1:15 rest in between each interval

    Intervals 1 & 2: 4:00 @ 20 strokes/minute
    Intervals 3 & 4 : 3:00 @ 22 strokes/minute
    Intervals 5 & 6: 2:00 @ 24 strokes/minute
    Intervals 7 & 8: 1:00 @ 26 strokes/minute
    Interval 9: 0:30 @ 28+ strokes/minute

    Grab a rower and give it a shot!

    Tuesday, February 02, 2010

    Some Updates...

    So, I've fallen by the wayside on my challenge. The past 2 weeks have been emotionally draining for me. I received some bad news regarding my own progress. My adrenals are crashing yet again, which explains why I've been so tired lately, along with some other discouraging news. I've had a ton of doctors appointments over the past 2 weeks. I'm trying to keep my spirits high and not feel like giving up. I hate this because I feel like I am not in control. I work hard, I eat properly most of the time, and I feel sad that I'm back to square one.

    Anyway, I obviously haven't had my heart into finishing my kettlebell challenge (nor the energy). I've been confronted with life's challenges instead. Anyway, I'm currently doing a 30-day detox/cleanse per the advice of my doctor. I approached her about doing a detox because I've been on so many supplements/meds over the past 10 months, that I felt like my system needed a break; she agreed. message today is to remind you to be encouraged. Life will beat you up and bring you down sometimes. You have to be strong enough to resist being negative, depressed, or bitter. Through it all, I try to remember that this is all a journey, one that has been pre-determined for me. My job is to handle things as gracefully as I can, and to have faith that I am never being given more than I can handle. Faith will get me through and today's test is an opportunity to become a testimony. I might be a little sad, but I have to focus on healing on the inside. There are many others in this world who are worse off, so I am grateful for where I am today. I am thankful that my adrenal exhaustion and other ailments are not terminal and that there will be a tomorrow (God willing).

    Bringing it back to the kettlebell challenge: if you are feeling strong & determined, please do keep pressing on. Mippachan, Suzie-Q, and Corinney are all doing so well, and I couldn't be more proud of them!!

    Live strong!

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    Day 17 Results

    Day 17 - Tues, Jan 19, 2010
    Well, today was a much better day. I was in great spirits. I did 1/2 of the challenge before spin class.
    Snatches: I started with snatches. I did 15 snatches/side with the 16kg (5/side), 20kg (8/side), and 24kg (only 2/side). I was feeling really strong, so I went for it. Boy did the snatches feel GREAT with heavier weight. I still had to tape my hands and go slowly, but I did it!
    Swings: I did 100 swings with the 24kg. They're starting to feel easy (two-handed at least). I'll start doing more 1H swings in a few days.

    I'll finish the challenge up after class. I had a chance to ride tonight in spin class, and it felt great! We rode hard and anerobically for portions of class. I'm starving now, so I'll eat and then try to finish up my challenge before bed.

    How was day 17 for you? I realize that I took an entire week off from the challenge, but I do plan to extend the challenge by 1 week to make up for the time. My new end date will be Sat, Feb 6 instead of Sat, Jan 30. Life happens, but I'm strong and resolve to reach the finish line!

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Day 16 Results

    Day 16 - Mon, Jan 18, 2010
    Happy MLK day!! I hope that you were able to reflect on the life of one of our country's most influential civil service people.

    Anyway, I didn't do that great with the challenge today. I received some bad news, so I pushed the challenge to the side. I realize that I've taken a full week off from the challenge, but I do plan to add an extra week at the end and finish the task strong. My new end date will be Sat, Feb 6 instead of Sat, Jan 30. Life happens....

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Day 15 Results

    Day 15 - Sun, Jan 17, 2010
    Well, today was a much better day. I was still feeling sluggish and tired, but once I got moving, my energy level improved significantly. I did 50-minutes of cycling (endurance, aerobic focus) followed by 20 minutes of basic strength work (chest press, lunges, back rows & core). I didn't get my challenge work in tonight, as attended an MLK celebration event.

    All-in-all, this week was pretty bad in terms of my challenge work. I missed several consecutive days. I hope that my exhaustion has subsided, and I'll be able ot get back on track tomorrow. Sometimes the body needs rest. I think that I've been pushing myself really hard over the past 6 weeks or so, and my body screamed for a rest this I listened :-)

    On to tomorrow...

    How are your efforts coming along?

    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    Day 14 Results

    Day 14 - Sat, Jan 16, 2010
    I was able to squeeze in a few swings today with the 16kg, as well as 20 snatches/side! My hands are almost completely healed (finally). I still didn't do the challenge in its entirety. I'll start back strong again on Monday.

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Day 13 Results

    Day 13 - Friday, Jan 15, 2010
    Today was rainy & miserable...I sat this one out as well and slept alot...not feeling that great today

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Day 12 Results

    Day 12 - Thurs, Jan 14, 2010
    Once didn't happen for me today...I've been feeling terribly fatigued - maybe from over work, not quite sure..but I definitely know that I don't have the energy to do my challenge in the evenings after spin class and/or clients...If I don't get it done during the day, I probably won't get it done at all...

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Day 11 Results

    Day 11 - Wed, Jan 13, 2010

    I started off my day with 30 minutes of moderate cardio on the elliptical. I felt great!

    I'm going to do my challenge at 9:00PM...will post back with how it goes. I am starving after my clients, so I need to eat first :-)

    ETA: didn't happen last night. I HAVE to make up for it tonight and get back on track..I'm going to do 400 swings to make up for my slacking...

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Day 10 Workout & Results

    Day 10: Tues, Jan 12, 2010
    I started off my day with a 30 minute strength circuit. I was feeling full of energy this morning, so I had an awesome workout! I plan to do my swings tonight.

    My hands are healing much slower than I'd anticipated. I'm considering modifying my challenge a bit in lieu of this slow development. Here is what I think I'm going to do for the next week or so as a challenge modification:
    1) 5 Days/Week: Abbreviate my time period to 15 minutes, but I'll be doing swings for the entire time period. My challenge will just be to see how many swings I can do in 15 minutes. I think that a good target would be 250-300, but we'll see how it goes...
    2) 2 Days/Week: I will focus on just snatches 2x/week, with the same goal of 50/side (100 total).

    Well, Tuesdays are clearly proving to be my obstacle with this challenge. I started my day off with a strength circuit routine (25 mins) in the morning to get back on track. Since I coach spin class on Tuesday nights, my intention was to do the challenge afterwards. Tuesday class is typically full, and I don't always get to ride. When I finished class, my legs were pretty swollen from being on my feet. I came home to eat, and I wound up doing another 25-minute strength circuit instead of my challenge. I just didn't feel like it today...Tuesdays are definitely a roadblocker (mentally & physically) for me... Wednesday - here I come :-)

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Day 9 Results

    Day 9: Mon, Jan 11, 2010
    Tonight was a good, strong workout. I did a short 20 minute circuit prior to Mippa & Suzie-Q arriving. I was pretty active with them tonight during their circuit. We did our swings together at the end of their session. I used the 20kg for 50 reps and the 24kg for 150 reps. Everyone stepped up their kettlebell weight, and I think that we were fine tuning the "right tool for the job" concept.

    My hands were still killer after swings. I only got 5 snatches in per side before calling it quits. I might try it again later tonight to get to at least 25 snatches/side total. (ETA: didn't happen - I gave myself a hand treatment instead)

    Suzie-Q, Mippa, & Corinney did great today!! How did day 8 turn out for you? Remember to take care of those hands! File, moisturize, and protect them!

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Day 8 Results

    Day 8 - Sun, Jan 10, 2010
    Today has been another great day. I haven't done my challenge yet, but I did get an hour-long spinning/strength circuit workout in this morning. I was going to add my challenge on at the end of that workout, but I was starving and tired by the time I finished that fast moving circuit. So, I'll plan to do the challenge later this evening...

    Well, I got my swings in today with the 20kg...felt great..didn't feel like doing the snatches, so I didn't :-) I actually had an lovely evening of light & fresh cooking - making (and enjoying) new recipes.

    How did you make out on day 8?

    Saturday, January 09, 2010

    Day 7 Results

    Day 7 - Sat, Jan 9, 2010
    Well, I made it through 1 full week!! Yippeee!! Today was a good, strong day. This afternoon, I took an indoor cycling class called "Pedal Harder" at Mellow Johnny's bike shop in Austin. It was great!! I used my own bike on an indoor bike trainer, and it was incredible! I've been contemplating saving up for a bike trainer, as it pains me to see my very expensive bike sitting in the garage on the hook for 6-9 months each year. I'm still not comfortable on it yet; I'm still trying to get my body alignment and positioning right, as well as get the hang of shifting gears. Aside from riding through various neighborhoods & the Veloway, forget about actually riding on real roads! An indoor trainer will help me get used to my road bike vs. my spinning bike. This class confirmed that this item is a personal must have. The class itself was pretty cool. I was able to monitor my workout based upon power output (wattage) instead of just heart rate. Seeing that data confirmed what I always suspected - I am very powerful in my movements, but not very efficient. For instance, I had a very obvious dead spot in my pedal stroke. In my metabolic profile test last year, I also observed that I work and train very hard, but I'm also overtrained and not efficiently utilizing fat during my workouts. Training low intensity, steady state is such a challenging thing for me to do, but I've spent the past 4 weeks moving back to the aerobic base building phase, and it's actually been great! All-in-all it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

    I completed my challenge later in the evening around 8:15PM. I was pumped to hit the swings again. I did a few earlier today with my clients on the 20kg and the 24kg, and, once again, that feeling was incredible.

    Here are my results from today:
    Swings: Used the 20kg to complete 200 swings. It took me 10 minutes with breaks (to preserve my hands). The 20kg felt GREAT! I really felt the drive in my hips, glutes, & core. Remember: try to use the right tool for the job :-)
    Snatches: I did 25 snatches/side (50 total). I mixed it up using the 12kg and the 16kg. The 16kg felt great and confirmed that the 12kg is too light for me now, even for technique work. BUT, my hands were still sore and getting pinched on the descent. I tried taping them up, but that didn't work. I also tried just doing a half snatch, which helped somewhat. Bottom line is that I'll just have to let time heal my hands and train in a reduced fashion until then.

    How are you doing one week into your challenge?!?! Remember: do what you can with good form and consistency. You'll make it through the 28-days. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day or two along the way. Try your best and remember that you are doing something good for your heart, conditioning, and body composition.

    Rock on, people!

    Friday, January 08, 2010

    Day 6 Results

    Day 6 - Fri, Jan 8, 2010
    Okay, so I was seriously slacking today. I had a chiropractic adjustment this morning, and that seemed to really wipe me out as far as energy is concerned. I was a little sore from my adjustment in my upper back & neck, so I decided to do the challenge with caution today. Swings and snatches don't hurt your back, and, if done properly can help. However, I've had so much stress built up in those areas, that I'm being gentle & somewhat overly cautious.

    Anyway, I wound up starting my challenge around 10:30PM. To keep things interesting, I did some light kickboxing to warm up for about 10 minutes. I also interspersed a little bit of boxing,etc during the swing portion of my challenge (why, I have no I started with swings today and then moved on to snatches. Despite the late hour, I was really into a groove on my swings.

    Anyway, here are today's results: swings excellent, snatches not so much :-)

    Swings: Ever since day 2 of the challenge, I could tell that the 16kg is now too light for me (at least for 2H swings). The "flop" in the bell during both the descent and ascending portions of the movement are a tell tale sign that it's time to move up to a heavier bell. I used the 16kg for the first 20 swings. I was feeling great, so I abandoned and moved to the 20kg for the remaining 180 swings. Boy, those swings felt RIGHT! As we always say, you have to use the right sized bell to get the job done. Honestly, I think that my "right size bell" for high rep 2H swings is the 24kg. 1H and H2H swings are probably still at 16kg for now. Anyway, the execution of the 2H swing was perfect with the 20kg bell. For the next 7 days, I'll use the 20kg and practice more 1H and H2H swings with the 16kg. I love the way swings feel with the proper weight. The hips, glutes, hamstrings, & core all feel incredibly engaged (as they are supposed to). I'm excited about this part of the journey. I felt so good with the 20kg that I almost did a couple of snatches with it, but I held off...shouldn't have, but I did...

    Snatches: I started my snatches (left side first), but this is where things went to crap...My hands were killing me, despite corn huskers lotion & castor oil. Tape was of no use tonight, and I'm trying not to use at all. I need to pick up some kids sized socks to make a new sock sleeve. I tried it the other night, but my sleeve was a little too big and kept sliding around all over the place. My irritated calluses are healing (thanks to the PedEgg, castor oil, and lots of lotion), which is a good thing. But, I keep going through ups & downs of feeling okay and feeling pain. Tonight I felt pain, so I stopped. I got 10 left and 10 right. I'll try it again tomorrow.

    After the challenge, I did another few minutes of kickboxing and some core work. The core work was overkill. Your core is so engaged during swings & snatches, and it was really obvious when I was doing some (eekkk) crunches and planks. They were fun, but kind of unnecessary tonight :-)

    In other news, I received excellent progress reports from some of the other ladies tonight. Everyone is doing an awesome job! For those doing the 'swings only' portion of the challenge (200 swings in 10 minutes or less), I am going to change that slightly starting week #2.

    So, how did Day 6 go for you?

    Other random updates: I've been pleased thus far with myself during this challenge. I know it's only 6 days in, but I'm happy. I'm off to a solid start with the challenge, and it feels great to be getting back into consistent kettlebell work. I haven't done that in quite some time. I've actually been neglecting myself and my own training for the past few months. It's been kind of hit or miss for me, but the past 2 months have been a rejuvenation period. I've been reserving the time for myself & my training, and haven't been letting other things get in my way. I am enjoying being able to focus on my own development. My journaling is also very good; my diet still has room for improvement. I have noticed that I've been working so much on my daily kettlebell challenge this week that I've been pretty lax getting my weight-based circuit training sessions in. So, that will be something to balance.

    Thursday, January 07, 2010

    Useful Technique for High Rep Snatching: Palm Catching

    My boy, Anthony C, reminded me of a specific technique used to help preserve the hands during high rep snatch training. This is a technique utilized in the descent portion of the kettlebell snatch. This technique will eliminate the friction from the palm of your hand and your calluses, saving you from nasty tears and blisters. I consciously used the technique tonight, and it helped a great deal.

    Check out this video from Jordan Vezina, RKC and marine. He did an excellent job of explaining the logic behind the technique as well as providing the 'how to.' Good luck!

    Day 5 Results

    Day 5 - Thurs, Jan 7, 2010
    Well, today was a strong day! I started my day off feeling really lethargic and fatigued. However, I took a nap before spin class and caught my 2nd wind! Due to the UT/Alabama BCS game, there was only 1 person in spin class tonight, so I had a chance to ride also. My lone participant was a friend, so we actually had a nice time talking and riding. I considered that my 40-minute warmup :-) I completed the daily challenge when I got home and watched the game during the process. Anyway, on to today's challenge results....

    Snatches: Due to my hands, I once again decided to do my snatches before swings, performing them in the same fashion as yesterday - 50 reps on the right, followed by 50 reps on my left. I started on my right side today because my left hand callus/blister was very tender. I actually wound up covering my calluses with tape and using the palm catch technique; both helped a great deal today! I was able to do my snatches in reps of 10. I'd once again allocated 20 minutes to complete my snatches, and I beat that tonight. I wrapped up snatches just under 15 mins using the 12kg. I concentrated on getting the bell up with the hip snap, and then smoothly using the catch method to release the bell. I came easier on my right side than my left. I'll have to keep working on this. I'll be curious to see how it will work with the 16kg bell next week.

    Swings: I used the 16kg for my swings tonight. For some reason, the swings tonight were really tough for me, moreso mentally than physically. They seemed to drag on and on. I was trying to complete the entire challenge with 8:00 left on the clock, but I kept putting the bell down to rest, stretch, & protect my hands. I really wanted to focus on really feeling the swing tonight - the hip snap, the tight, engaged glutes & quads, and feeling the floor with my feet. I had a pretty steady pace, and deliberately took rests after every 20 reps or so.

    All in all, tonight was a really good challenge experience! I still feel great...spin class before hand really put me in good spirits!

    How did you make out today?

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010

    Suggestions: Kettlebell Hand Care

    Here is an excellent article written by David "Iron Tamer" Whitley, Senior RKC. I rate this as recommended reading for all kettlebell enthusiasts....

    If you've already torn your calluses or blisters, alot of people try the approach described in this article. Personally, I've never tried it, but I wanted to make sure you were aware if you needed it.

    Here is an excellent video from one of the kettlebell greats, Steve Cotter (by way of Jordan Vezina), on hand care. Consider yourself educated :-)

    **Disclaimer: If you choose to participate in this challenge, you are doing voluntarily so at your own risk. I will not be held liable for any injury or mishap that may occur. Also, make sure that you know how to properly swing and snatch a kettlebell before attempting this challenge. Lastly, make sure that you have clearance from a physician prior to starting this or any exercise program.**

    Day 4 Results

    Day 4 - Wed, Jan 6, 2010
    Today is a new day, and my hands are feeling much better. I'm heading to the gym now to get this thang started...I'll report back in about an hour or so.

    Until then, make it a great one!!

    So, I completed the challenge today in 31:00 flat. I actually did the 100 snatches first (12kg), followed by the 200 swings (16kg).

    Snatches: I used the sock sleeve today, and I simply did 50 reps on the left, followed by 50 reps on the right. I budgeted 20 minutes to accomplish this task. It really took me 23 minutes. My hands were still bothering me, but I was able to muster through safely. I kept some Corn Husker's lotion close by. I did my snatches 5-10 reps at a time, then took a break. I used the 12kg today for snatches.

    Swings: I was able to do the swings bare hands. The cool metal actually felt refreshing after the snatches. Anyway, I finished the 200 swings in 8 minutes, taking short breaks along the way. I used the 16kg and did 50, 30, 20, 30, 20, 20, 20, 10.

    I hope that you all have success today in completing the challenge! Remember, just give it your best shot (whatever that means for today) and keep moving upward from there :-)

    Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    Day 3 Results

    Day 3 - Tues, Jan 5, 2010
    Well, I have a confession. I didn't finish the challenge today. I didn't even start it today for a couple of reasons :-(

    1. My body was exhausted after spin class tonight. I was working on other things, and my original plan was to get my workout in before spin class. That didn't happen, so I was going to have to do it afterwards. I was exhausted after class, and thought that maybe I'd be able to hack it after some tired, achy, and it's not gonna happen today
    2. my hands are still pretty tender made me hesitant to try today....
    3. I've also been kind of down today and mentally/emotionally drained....

    At any rate, I'll try it again tomorrow.

    hopefully y'all had better luck than I did today ;-)

    Tomorrow is a new day!

    this is what happens when you do high rep snatches with gloves on

    don't be like me...ewwwww and ouch!! by the time i remembered to take off my gloves, it was too least it's healing today..yesterday was murder...i'll be trying my challenge sometime this evening, either before or after spin class...i'll check-in when i'm done. make it a good one people! protect those hands!!!

    Helpful Hints on Kettlebell Hand Care

    **Disclaimer: If you choose to participate in this challenge, you are doing voluntarily, so at your own risk. I will not be held liable for any injury or mishap that may occur. Also, make sure that you know how to properly swing and snatch a kettlebell before attempting this challenge. Lastly, make sure that you have clearance from a physician prior to starting this or any exercise program.**

    Monday, January 04, 2010

    Day 2 Results: KB Swing/Snatch Challenge

    Day 2: Mon, Jan 4, 2010
    Well, today was pretty hands were destroyed after yesterday. I taped them up, which marginally helped. I didn't get very far on snatches before my hands gave out completely. I decided not to push it so that they can heal.

    Swings: I used the 16kg and took my time completing my 200 snatches. I broke it down into the following rep sequence: 50, 30, 30, 20, 30, 20, 20. It took me 14 minutes because I took really long breaks to give my hands a rest.

    Snatches: I used the 16kg and got in two rounds of 10 reps/side...Then my hands died... I wasn't going to sacrifice my hands or quality reps for quantity. Speaking of which, I will now transition onto my soapbox to talk about quality reps vs. quantity for the challenge..

    ***getting on my soapbox now** Quality trumps quantity at all times (not just during this challenge, but with all of your training). It's not a race to get to the finish. I've allowed enough time for this to be challenging but safe. If your form/technique go at any time, put the bell down and come back to it later on. Even if that means starting at one point in the day and finishing up sometime later..or even modifying for that particular day all together. Make the attempt to complete the challenge each day, but always be smart about your training! I'd rather see you stop and avoid injury than push through and get hurt or give me sloppy reps....that isn't the point of the challenge :-) **stepping off of my soapbox now**

    We'll see what tomorrow brings.....Mentally I'm ready to kill it...physically, my hands may be ready to kill me :-D So, how was Day 2 for you?

    Sunday, January 03, 2010

    Day 1 Results: KB Swing/Snatch Challenge

    Day 1: Sun, Jan 3, 2010
    Well, I started the challenge today, and I did pretty well. I did a light warm-up on the Airdyne (6 minutes). In retrospect, I'd forgot about the friction on the hands that high rep training can create, especially if you wear lifting gloves (which I did out of habit). I started getting blisters on my hands during the snatch section of the workout.

    Swings: I used the 16kg for swings, and primarily did 2H swings. I knocked out my 200 swings in about 8:30, which included periods of rest. I stopped after 50, 40, 60, 30, 20 reps to write down my time & progress. This was my strategy to help me keep track of my count :-). I was very proud of my time. My goal will be to do my swings exclusively with the 24kg by week 4.

    My strategy by week for swings is as follows:
    Week 1: 16kg
    Week 2: Alternate between 16kg & 20kg
    Week 3: 20kg
    Week 4: Alternate between 20kg & 24kg

    Snatches: I did snatches with 12kg since it's been a while for me. The weight itself was easy. The friction on my hands was not. I basically could only do 5/side and then had to stop to rest my hands. After the first 2 rounds, my hands were shot. I kept going, but had to stop with 7 minutes left on the clock and 45 snatches short of my 100-rep goal. I have some nice red blisters on my hands now...and boy do they hurt! I am going to try Tracy Reifkind's sock sleeve method tomorrow morning to see if that helps at all...

    My strategy for snatches is as follows:
    Week 1: 12kg every day
    Week 2: Alternate between 12kg & 16kg
    Week 3: 16 kg for 3 days, 12kg for 2 days, 16kg for 2 days
    Week 4: 16kg

    Bring on the new day! How did you do on Day 1?

    28-Day Challenge Participants & Goals

    I'm using this thread in my blog to allow those who want to join me for the 28-day challenge to chime in. Use this thread to outline your goals for the 28-days. I'll create a new post each day where you can add a comment to record your results.

    FitGirl-ATX's Goals
    Here are my goals for the challenge:

    1. Complete the challenge! One of the most difficult parts of this challenge for me is the actual time period. The closest I've come to completing 28 days straight is 20 days, non-consecutively. My goal is to improve that record, with the ideal goal being to complete all 28 days.
    2. I want to exclusively use the 24kg for reps on my swings by week 4.
    3. I want to exclusively use the 16kg for reps on my snatches by week 4.
    4. I (selfishly) want to lose some size in my hips and reduce body fat. I don't expect miracles, so I won't put a number on it at this time. I just want it to have some noticeable change take place :-)
    Who's in?
    I've invited a few friends to join in this journey with me. Some have modified the challenge to just the swing portion, in which the time limit is 10:00. Here's a list so far; we're off to a strong start!!
    • FitGirl-ATX (myself)
    • Minnesota Mel
    • Suzie-Q
    • Mippachan
    • Corinney

    Anyone is allowed to join us. Post your goals and daily progress, and join us for the journey!! If you want details about the challenge, click here.

    **Disclaimer: If you choose to participate in this challenge, you are doing so voluntarily at your own risk. I will not be held liable for any injury or mishap that may occur. Also, make sure that you know how to properly swing and snatch a kettlebell before attempting this challenge. Lastly, make sure that you have clearance from a physician prior to starting this or any exercise program. **

    The New Year 28-Day Challenge

    Every year, I try to come up with some challenge over a certain period of time. Sometimes I succeed in completing the challenge and other times I don't. I was not very successful in completing my various challenges last year. The challenge below isn't novel by any means. The 200 swing challenge is pretty popular among myself and other trainers in the kettlebell community. I wanted to sweeten the pie a bit by throwing in some snatches. That way you get 2 really great foundational moves, focusing on technique, a rep goal, and a time goal all in one package :-)

    I've tried various derivatives of the challenge below over time, and I never seem to complete it successfully for the entire time period. My strategy this year is to round up a group of friends, and we can complete the challenge together. That being said,'s a 28-day challenge to try, ideally during the month of January:

    Here's the scoop:
    Always make sure to warm-up properly prior to starting the challenge. Conclude the workout with a cool-down and stretching.

    THE WHEN: Mon, Jan 4 - Sun, Jan 31, 2010 (28 days)
    THE TASK: Complete 200 mixed swings & 100 snatches (50/side) per day
    THE CATCH: Complete the daily challenge in 30 minutes or less. Record your time and kettlebell weight each day. Try to complete one set of exercises before progressing to the other (i.e. if you start with swings, do all 200 before moving to your snatches and vice versa). You must complete 50 snatches per side. You can rest and/or switch sides as many times as you need to during the 30-minute time period. Please note: this is high rep training, so you will want to protect your hands. Please see the note at the bottom with suggestions on how to do this. I do not recommend using gloves for this challenge! We should be trying to ween ourselves off of gloves anyway during our KB training, but I know that I often use them to protect my hands.
    THE PRIZE: Bragging rights!! Couple this challenge with clean eating, and in 28 days you should see an increase in overall cardiovascular capacity & strength, as well as noticeable changes in your overall body composition. This should translate to leaner legs, enhanced muscular definition, and a rounder tushie :-)
    KEEPING US HONEST: Share daily or weekly progress on the blog or via email with your training buddies. Select some type of measureable goal to track and compare at the end. For example, your goal might be to complete the task using the 16kg kettlebell by the last week of the challenge (that's one of mine!!). Don't worry if you miss a day here or there. Just record it, share it, and see how you do over the 28 day challenge!

    Personally, my challenge will definitely be with the "every day for 28 days" part. The best I've done so far is 20 days, non-consecutively over a 28 day period. I also have a hard time keeping track of my count after a while :-)

    Important Note: Be forewarned that this challenge will test your grip & likely cause calluses or blisters at first. I always get a blister or two, and usually don't wear my gloves due to the excess friction that they cause. If you want to protect your hands, I suggest trying Tracy Reifkind's sock sleeve method. Chalk also works...I do not recommend the use of weight lifting gloves during high repetition snatch or swing training sessions. Your hands will eventually get used to high rep training, but there will be some "growing pains" along the way :-)

    Good luck!!!

    **Disclaimer: If you choose to participate in this challenge, you are doing so voluntarily at your own risk. I will not be held liable for any injury or mishap that may occur. Make sure that you know how to properly swing and snatch a kettlebell before attempting this challenge. Lastly, make sure that you have clearance from a physician prior to starting this or any exercise program. **

    So, who's in??