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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: May 27, 2009

To celebrate finishing two months with the group, I took them out to the football field last Saturday morning for the toughest challenge yet. After everyone finished, I was talking with one of them when he said something that stayed with me. “You’ve got to want it.”

John’s exactly right. Even though he has knee problems and isn’t allowed to run, he’s switching out the jogging for walking and using the exercise bicycle. He wants it.

Especially after a couple months, we’ve really got to want it. Complacency sets in. We get bored and tired of trying. It feels like it’s taking too long. This is a dangerous time, because quitting is just around the corner. But that’s when we need to fight the hardest.

It’s when you have to have a big “have-to,” or a big “got-to.” If you’ve just got-to do it, you’ll find a way. For some, it’s because of the consequences if they don’t. For others, it’s because they’ve caught a vision of what could be, and they really want to get there. When it gets important enough, we’ll do it.

I think the best way to keep things moving is to build it into your daily schedule. At such-and-such time, that’s what you’re going to be doing. No exceptions. It becomes a regular part of your day and it will become part of you.

Once you have it on the schedule, the next best thing you can do is to vary the workouts. Variety is good for overcoming boredom, and it keeps the body guessing. Your body is “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and has been designed to quickly adapt to what you’re doing.

Changing things up will keep you out in front of your body. It will have to keep changing to keep up with the new demands. This will help keep you on track with your goals. That’s why I like to teach people different levels as they progress.

Level I: (Weeks 1-4)
Cardio: Walking
Strength: Nautilus or Maxicam machines
The goal of these workouts is to get you moving and to start using your muscles.

Level II: (Weeks 5-6)
Cardio: Walk/Run
Strength: Dumbbells (DB) and Exercise Balls
The goal of these workouts is to get you moving faster and further, and to replace machines with free weights to work additional stabilizer muscles and your core more.

Level III: (Weeks 7-8)
Cardio: More running intervals and less walking
Strength: Mixing the new exercises with DB and exercise balls together
The goal of these workouts is to work harder, and never stop moving. While one body part is resting, another is working. For examples of this, go to and click on my blog where you’ll find all the past articles.

Level IV: (Weeks 9-12)
Cardio: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Strength: Combining short cardio intervals with several full body exercises.
The goal of these workouts is to raise the intensity even more. You’ll be taxing all your different recovery mechanisms, and burning even more calories in as little as 20-30 min.

That’s the type of training they did during the Saturday morning. The Level IV workout I chose for them was kind of tough because they did it outside at the track on a hot sunny day. It’s a little easier in the gym and a controlled environment.

In case you’d like to try it, make sure you’ve eaten something an hour before the workout, and have plenty of water on hand. Try to do the entire thing without stopping, except for a quick drink between rounds.

· Run ¼ mile (400 meters)
· Do 25 pushups
· Do 25 body squats
· Do 25 sit-ups
(4 rounds)

Of the 23 people to make the weigh-in, only half stuck around for the challenge. A few had to work, and some others were MIA for other activities. The eleven that made it were: Shawn Bowers, Brittany Cline, Stephanie Crampton, John Crow, Kara Englum, Vince Porter, Bessie Rigdon, John Rigdon, Heather Sutton, Tisha Watters and Margo Yeargon. Great job guys!

This week’s winner was Vince Porter who lost 1.7% of his body weight and another 4.3 lbs. This brings his 8 week total up to 39.0 lbs. He won a $20 Wal-Mart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance.

Second place was a tie between Brittany Cline (2.6 lbs) and Tisha Watters (3.0 lbs), both losing 1.5% of their body weight. Brittany lost 2.6 lbs and is our leading lady so far, having lost 20.8 lbs in 8 weeks.

That’s it for this week. Now I’ve got to go pick up some brush and move a bunch of dirt and mulch into Kathy’s strawberry patch. Tomorrow I’ve got another 26 mile practice ride planned for the C.A.M.A. bike ride coming up on June 6th. That will be our Biggest Loser Challenge that weekend.

They’ve set up 7, 25, 40 and 70 (expert) mile rides. I’ve decided on the 40 miler, since last week’s 26 mile practice ride took what felt like forever—at least the last six miles. Clearly I’m no expert. If all goes well, I’ll try to do 32-33 miles next weekend, and a couple shorter rides in between to try and get ready. Hope to see you there!