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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: February 10, 2008

Well it’s been a month already and January’s come and gone. We’ve had this group working out four weeks and they’ve done some pretty amazing things.

Many of them are jogging on the treadmills now, and they sure are working harder in the Friday night group workouts. A lot of the things that they found difficult early on are getting easier, so I have to turn it up on them, and that’s a good thing.

This week, we had a special guest from Terre Haute Regional Hospital. Camilla Whitkanack, MS RD came and talked to them about nutrition. It was great. She confirmed the fact that the women needed to make sure they ate enough—which is always a problem.

Remember, I told you 9 out of 10 women aren’t eating enough? Her recommendation was that women never go below 1,500 calories and that men get at least 1,800 calories daily. Camilla gave them a great checklist of the things that go wrong on starvation diets, and another handout on the basics of eating a well-balanced diet.

Then we went in the “house of pain” and hit it pretty hard. The contestants jogged 6 laps in one direction and 6 in the other. It was only supposed to be 5, but they forgot to count and ended up doing one more!

Then it was three rounds of 20 body squats, 20 pushups, and 20 crunches. Sixty total. It was tough, but I reminded them they had trouble doing them in sets of 10, just 3 weeks ago.

After the rounds, it was 12 more laps, jogging 6 in each direction. They never quit moving for almost 25 minutes. It was great. The main point I wanted them to get was that if this was their toughest workout, they weren’t hitting it hard enough during the week.

Then we went into the free weight room and I taught them what I call Level Two training. Remember, Level One is your basic strength circuit on the machines—which are guided, with cables, levers, and total body support.

On Level Two, you use dumbbells (DB) instead of machines. You get no advantage from leverage. Instead, you’re doing all the work. The dumbbells aren’t guided—you have to guide them, which means you’re using more stabilizer muscles. Finally, there are no pads for front or back support, so your core has to work harder too.

As they’ll see, replacing machines with dumbbells will result in more muscles being used, driving up the number of calories burned—helping them get what they want—to burn more fat!

Basically, each machine was replaced with an equivalent free weight exercise with dumbbells. The weights were quite a bit lighter than what they’d done on the machines, since it’s harder.

Here’s the first routine they’ll be starting with. Make sure you know how to do each movement correctly. Find a trainer, read a book, or go online. It’s important for safety, but also so you’ll get the most out of the workout.

Perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions (gals) and 10-12 reps (guys). Do each movement very slowly and with complete control. If you don’t know how to do the movements, find someone who does. Start with a lighter weight at first. Once you know you can control it, then you can increase the weights a bit.

1. Body Squat (with or without DB on shoulders)—Hips, Buns & Thighs
2. DB Chest Press on the Exercise Ball—Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
3. DB Dead lift (with slightly bent knees)—Hips, Buns & Thighs
4. DB Single Arm Rows—Upper Back & Biceps
5. Calve Raises (on a step with or without DB)–Calves
6. DB Lateral Raises–Shoulders
7. DB Single Arm Curls (one at a time)–Biceps
8. DB Overhead Press—Triceps
9. AB Crunches on the Exercise Ball
10. Side Twists with a Medicine Ball

The trick is to use the right weight—not too low a weight, but not too high either. Women will want to use a weight that is challenging but doable. All too often, women will use tiny dumbbells in the exercises and that’s just not enough resistance.

Normally, gals will need #5, #8, #10, #12, #15 and #20 dumbbells. Guys need to make sure they’re lifting enough too. They’ll usually start out with #10, #15, #20, #25, #30 and #35 dumbbells.

Don’t be afraid to increase the weights. If it’s easy to get your reps in, it’s time to increase the weights. It’s the resistance that causes the changes. Just like life.

We never change things when it’s going well and everything’s easy. It’s the bumps and valleys—the tough times—that cause us to reflect and make the most changes. The same thing happens with your body.

To add intensity to the workout, avoid stopping and resting between sets. Run right through it in a circuit and then hit it again, then again.

Another strategy is to do supersets. Do #1 and #2 back to back, alternating the Squat and Chest Press. I call this active rest. This way, one muscle group is resting while another is working—and you’re never stopping. You’ll burn way more calories this way.

Yet another strategy is to hit your core in between sets by doing AB Crunches on the ball or Side Twists in between sets of the other exercises. This is also a good way to go. Change it up. Don’t get locked into the same exact thing every time. It’s good for your body and it’s good for your mind.

We discovered that last week’s winner had actually missed the previous weigh-in due to a sickness. As a result Jasmine Camp moved up from #2 to #1 for last week, and got the prize, and she’d been busting it too.

This week we had two winners. For the gals, Cheryl Redmon lost the largest percentage of body weight (-1.32%) and -2.8 lbs. She was followed by Shirley Fiscus (-1.29%) and -2.6 lbs in second place, and Janet Tyler (-1.25%) and -2.4 lbs in third place.

Cheryl won a $20 Subway gift card from Dimond Brothers Insurance. Her husband Chris was slightly miffed, cause he keeps coming in second, but is losing a ton of weight! More on that later.

For the guys, the winner was Cody Redmon (again putting the screws to his dad Chris) who lost the largest percentage of body weight (-1.74%) and -5.6 lbs. He also received a $20 Subway gift card from Dimond Brothers Insurance. At that point, his dad said they would both be sharing!

Chris Redmon ended up in 2nd place with a percentage loss of -1.50% and weight loss of -4.6 lbs. In third place for the guys, Sean Pruiett lost -1.43% and -4.4 lbs.

Since it’s the end of the first month, I thought it would be interesting to look at total numbers, and they’re pretty impressive. Of the contestants that weighed in Friday, I’ve listed the top 28 (just about half the group).

Each has lost almost four pounds in four weeks. Remember, losing a pound a week is great (and normal). Two pounds a week is outstanding. Anything over three pounds a week is amazing! Keep in mind that the final winner will be determined by total percentage of weight loss—not pounds.

Name % lbs
1. Joe Stidham 8.34 19.4
2. Bill Lewis 7.33 20.2
3. Chris Redmon 7.13 23.4
4. Cheryl Redmon 6.69 15.0
5. Donnie Bartos 6.41 13.0
6. Tony Haupt 6.03 15.8
7. Tiffany Gann 5.68 12.4
8. Cody Redmon 5.39 18.0
9. Mike Slaven 4.97 13.6
10. Sherree Hutchings 4.84 9.0
11. Penny Spinner 4.84 7.5
12. Janet Tyler 4.24 8.4
13. Becky Slaven 4.23 6.8
14. Carla Sinclair 4.06 7.2
15. Jasmine Camp 4.04 9.4
16. Stacey Reed 3.82 8.4
17. Dawn Hopper 3.67 6.6
18. Jane Graham 3.44 5.6
19. James Motley 3.33 6.6
20. Robert Sanders 3.09 8.6
21. Sean Pruiett 3.01 9.4
22. Rita Haupt 2.91 4.8
23. Shirley Fiscus 2.45 5.0
24. Penny Ogle 2.24 5.0
25. Angel Lumpp 2.04 3.2
26. Pam Kelly 2.01 5.6
27. Dawn Stewart 1.90 4.0
28. Pam Waller 1.73 4.6