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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: February 28, 2009

Five people missed the weigh-in this week. Out of the original 60 people, it looks like 56 are still hanging in there. And that’s good because we’re coming down to crunch time.

There’s something about the one and two month barriers. It’s a psychological barrier, but it’s real and almost a tangible thing. That’s why we try to get people to commit mentally to a 12 week program.

Three months is long enough to see significant results AND create new habits that are likely to last. Anything less and I get a little nervous. But even six months or a year doesn’t guarantee long term success.

I know a couple people who’ve lost quite a bit of weight. For some reason, they lost focus and quit working out. They also stopped watching what they ate. Quicker then you’d expect, they put most of the weight back on. Now they’re working hard to lose it all over again.

We’re creatures of habit. Under pressure, we’ll default to what we’ve done the most. Even though we lose the fat, our bodies still have those empty fat cells, just waiting to fill them up again.

Eating right and exercising smart has to become a life-style—something you think about and do daily. If you can do that, you can keep it off forever. But you have to be serious about it and consistent in your approach.

One group that’s serious about it is the guys from the Fire Department. If you see the truck outside, don’t get concerned (unless they’re in full turn-out gear with axes in their hands). What’s going on is that they’ve made fitness a priority for the department.

That makes sense. Think about it. When they’re fighting a fire, they’re wearing gear that weighs around 100 lbs. If they’re going inside, they’re also on an oxygen bottle. Under high stress and exertion, respiration goes way up, and it doesn’t take long to go through their supply. That means they’ll have to turn around, leave and get another one.

If they’re in shape, though, they can last longer on the same amount of oxygen which might just save someone’s life someday. They’ll be able to stay in there longer and keep looking for us. And once they find us, they’ve got to be strong enough to pick us up and get us out—after they’ve already been exerting themselves—under high stress conditions!

Something else I didn’t know was that the majority of firefighters die from heart attacks—during or just after a fire. But if they’re in the gym working on their cardio, they’ll have stronger hearts, and hopefully be able to prevent that from happening to them—after they’ve saved you and me.

Some of the guys are even working out with me and my Level IV groups. That’s some tough training, but it will get them in the best shape of their lives. The goal is to be as lean as we can be, as strong as we can be, and be able to keep going when others would have to stop or slow down.

The workouts were originally designed for mixed martial art (MMA) fighters that have to go full bore for three five-minute rounds. Then cops figured out it prepared them for when they have to go all out in a foot pursuit or to gain control of a goofball resisting arrest, or worse, trying to attack them. I train this way for both of those reasons.

We already talked about the benefits to firefighters, but normal Joes (and Janes) benefit from these workouts too. They get lean and mean, feel great, and everything else becomes easier. If you’re new and just starting out, you simply modify the workout by using lighter weights, less intensity, and taking more rest breaks.

After a 10 minute cardio warm-up, the full body workouts take about 20-30 minutes, three days a week. They’re always different, so you never know what to expect. This keeps it interesting, plus the body responds very well when you keep changing the workouts.

It’s also nice to workout with a group doing the same thing. Everyone’s suffering together, and you all tend to get more out of it. This concept is so important we talked about it with the Biggest Losers, too. Having a buddy helps both of you push yourselves harder.

That brings us to this week’s Biggest Loser. Erika Hollis was back on her game with a weight loss of 4.1% and 6.6 lbs. She’d gained a little weight last week but fixed the problem this week, losing everything she’d put on, plus a little more to boot. Erika won a $20 Wal-Mart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance, and also a 30 minute massage from Bridgett’s Therapeutic Massage.

Second place went to DeeAnn Green, who lost 3.0% of her body weight and 4.0 lbs. Third place went to Bill Lewis, who lost 2.3% of his body weight and another 4.8 lbs. Next week, we’ll have the two-month rundown and I’ll post everyone’s weight loss after eight weeks.