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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: April 25, 2009

Last week I challenged this group to do the 5K at the “Races for all Paces” at Sarah Bush Lincoln in Charleston on May 9th. I’ll be doing the half-marathon, to make up for missing the Illinois marathon last week. Every one else will do the 5K (3.1 mi).

Since they’ve already done a mile the first night, and 1.8 miles last week, this week the challenge was to do 2 miles. First they walked/ran a mile, and then met back at the gym where they did 5 sets of 5 burpees and 10 sit-ups.

For those of you who’ve never had the privilege of doing a burpee, here’s how it goes. Start standing up. Then drop down onto your hands and kick your feet back behind you into pushup position. Then do a pushup. Then hop your feet back underneath you and stand back up. Once up, jump a few inches up in the air with your hands stretched out over-head. That’s a burpee!

Since the whole body is being used, burpees are very metabolically demanding—meaning they require a lot of oxygen and energy. By the end of the second set, everyone was huffing and puffing, but they all hung in there and completed the 5 sets.

After the burpees and sit-ups, the rest of the challenge was to go back out the door and walk/run another mile. Lacey Strow and Brian Bradley led the pack, running the whole way!

After tracking their calories for a few days, some were surprised to see how little they were actually eating. Most women need somewhere between 1200 and 1350 calories minimum. Then, we try to get them up to 1,500 or 1,650 calories. Guys tend to need around 1,800 calories minimum, and we try to get them to stay between 2,000 and 2,400 calories.

We also talked about the quality of foods, starting with fats. Eating low fat dairy products every day, avoid foods cooked in vegetable oil (most fast foods), and take an Omega-3 supplement (fish oil). Then divide your plate into 3 segments: Protein, Starch, and Fruits/Greens:

  • Protein is for building muscle and bone and we usually don’t get enough. Sources include Fish, poultry, lean cuts of beef, pork, low fat dairy, some beans, and nuts.
  • Starches are complex carbohydrates that take your body longer to break down, so you get longer lasting fuel. We usually overdo these. A good plan is to eat only one per meal. Sources include whole wheat or multigrain breads and cereals, oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grain pastas, long grain wild rice, corn, and some beans.
  • Fruits are for quick energy, lots of vitamins and fiber, and we don’t eat enough of them. Unless you’re diabetic, try to eat 3-4 fruits a day for breakfast and snacks.
  • Greens include all vegetables—whether or not they’re actually green—and we definitely don’t eat enough of these. Packed with lots of vitamins and minerals, and fiber, try to eat 3-4 of these a day. Wal-Mart has a big bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Steam em up or lightly sautee them in a little butter. Other days, have a big salad with your supper.

This week’s winner was Nicole Richardson who lost 2.0% of her body weight and 3.4 lbs. She won a $20 gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance. Nicole does a lot of bike riding and won the first week also.

Second place went to a surprised Kara Englum who lost 1.7% of her body weight and 2.6 lbs. Kara was one of those who learned she wasn’t eating enough. She stepped it up from 1,300 calories to 1,650 and lost weight!

Third place went to Vince Porter who lost 1.6% of his body weight and 4.4 lbs. Vince is in the lead overall, having lost 16.8 lbs so far in just three weeks!