Rebel S.O.B.

Click on the photo to get pricing details (bottom of the page)!

Click on the photo to get pricing details (bottom of the page)!

To sign-up for the upcoming 16th Fitness Rebellion Transformation challenge simply fill out the form below!

Includes: Before/After photos, circumference measurements, fit test (brand new), custom made Rebel shirt, custom made Rebel soundtrack via CD, 20 boot camps (including themed workouts!), and much much more!

Days/Times options: Tuesday@7PM/Saturday@10AM OR Wednesday@6PM/Saturday@12PM

Click here for full pricing details

Watch this 3 minute video to get the partial inside scoop on what’s to come!

 

Dates to Remember…

Start Date: June 28th (orientation… a WORKOUT orientation!)

End Date: September 24th (boot camps, fit tests, and measurements ALL completed by this date)

Beginning Fit Tests: July 1st/2nd (7pm/6pm)

End Fit Tests: September 23rd & 24th

Beginning Measurements: June 30th (both teams… 5:30pm/6:30pm)

End Measurements: September 20th

Wrap Party/Awards Ceremony: October 4th

Summer is Coming...

- Rebel8

 

Rebel Ramblings – The Pursuit of Toughness

That video right above this sentence… Yeah, I’m doing that shit.

Balls. In. Throat.

Due to some amazing friends/Rebels/crazies who banded together and registered me for something that I very well could have secretly resented them for (because I mean… SURPRISE YOU’RE DOING A 24 HOUR TOUGH MUDDER!!!!!) I am a fully registered member of the World’s Toughest Mudder legion and I couldn’t be more stoked about it. The “get Cox to WTM 2014″ movement was spearheaded by my man Justin and his better half Maggie whom along with a Unicorn and some dear friends I get the pleasure of traversing the Sin City landscape with come November 15th through the 16th. Justin and I had many a conversation about how nuts it would be to get after World’s Toughest Mudder and had you asked me a couple months ago I would have sworn on a stack of every religious academia you could find that I DEFINITELY wouldn’t be attacking WTM this year.

Well wouldn’t you know it… we’re now about 3 months away from that getting blown out of the water like an epic pirate battle.

Sounds like living to me!

24 hour Tough Mudder course in Vegas with my favorite people? Sounds like living to me!

So now that you know the setup here’s the skinny on this Rebel rambling. I’ve found myself having a lot of thoughts and feelings on the matters surrounding this event that keep swirling and swirling around in my brain cage frantically searching for a crack so they can escape. My better half Cara is an absolute blessing. She is here to talk to and through this whole fiesta with and I’ll never be able to express my thankfulness for the encouragement she provides just merely with her presence and reassurance that “I’ve got this shit.” I’m not sure what part of my circus-addled brain is soothed by writing out my thoughts and feelings, but I’ve learned not to really question it and go for it with gusto. So… here we are.

There are some days I find myself riding a wave of anxiety like I’m trying out for the upcoming “Point Break” remake *Editor’s Note*BOOOOOOOOO!!!!*End Editor’s Note*. I have a problem sleeping through the night as is but now my brain dog has another stress bone to chew on so I’m sure you know how that goes. With that being said… Something I firmly believe in is that all goals worth working towards carry nerves behind them. It means you care. It means you FEEL what you’re doing and your heart is IN IT! Sure, these feelings are scary and intimidating but they can be just as much exhilarating and refreshing. Problem is not everybody percolates on those nerves long enough to experience the good side. I see it a lot like Platform 9 3/4 in “Harry Potter.” You see this brick wall in front of you and you’re told there’s an awesome place behind it… All you gotta do is run through it!

You just look like a weirdo when you stop and stare at the wall though...

You just look like a weirdo when you just stop and stare though…

The point I’m making for those unfamiliar with the reference (aka muggles) is that the fear of the worst case scenario is strong enough to hold a lot of us back from the best case scenario when we sit on our haunches and pray for the day life gets easy and problems don’t exist anymore.

Update: All problems solved.

Update: All problems solved.

That day will not only never ever come but contrarily we arrive back at my first point… All goals worth working towards carry nerves behind them. The nerves highlight the adventure. The anxiety amplifies your focus when channeled correctly and it all starts with that good ol’ cliche we call perspective. Simple enough… If it were easy it wouldn’t be special. So… even the bad feelings surrounding this World’s Toughest Mudder insanity are really just good stuff in disguise!

There was a point and time when I was competing back when that I documented every single milligram of nutrition I took in and every molecule of energy expelled out. Each second spent on a cardio machine, every rep lifted, and every pound accounted for all day, er’ day. I did some semblance of this with various extremes (most often on the “most” extreme setting) and I burnt myself out like already bald tires kicking off an all day drag race.

Hey there...

Pictured: Creepy face and burnt out.

When every waking moment is spent worrying about controlling literally everything around you it’s common to crash and crash HARD. When you are too stubborn to crash however is when you find yourself caught in this limbo between a complete mental breakdown and the self assurance that this is the price of being “healthy.” It’s like an emotional purgatory where all you want to do is laugh and cry at the same time equally and BOY IS THAT CONFUSING! Are you doing the right thing? Are you hurting yourself? Are you merely feeling the result of hard work and dedication or are you overdoing it? AHHHHHHHHH!!!!! So the answer… WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN BECAUSE THAT WAY YOU CAN CONTROL ALL OF THE THINGS!!!

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Did all of this obsessive compulsion and delirious drive lead to me being the best body builder in the world? Not a chance. I was mediocre on my best day when it came to competition. It’s the journey though… The experiences I had, knowledge thirsted for, and dedication to see it through even when every aching inch of me screamed to quit every single goddamn day that molded into my approach now. I learned not only what not to do but also how I didn’t want to feel. What did I want out of fitness? What was the overall end goal? Do the ends justify the means and once I achieve physical perfection I’ll be happy or do I have it backward? What’s the point of burning the candle in the middle and at both ends if you’re too exhausted, angry, and high strung to enjoy it? Is that really the goal? Is that REALLY how you want to feel at the end of the day or did you just find a new form of misery because that’s where your fucked up self is most comfortable…?

These were the hard questions I found myself not able to shake once I’d finally hit the major burnout point. They were the questions that were nagging in my brain all along I just didn’t have the strength to run away from them anymore.

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Don’t get me wrong… Some people truly do thrive off of goal oriented health… Even NEED it for happiness and sustainability! I found out the hard way I am not one of those people. It’s kind of like how some people absolutely LOVE mathematics and numbers while others (right here) see an algebraic equation and can literally feel an aneurysm giving birth unto itself. If you’re one of those “math makes my soul hurt” kind of people can you imagine the torture of attempting to become a calculus expert? On top of that can you see how ridiculous it would be to beat yourself up for not enjoying it? Yeah, kinda like that…

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Fast forward about 7 years from my last competition until now and the thing I’m most proud of regarding my personal accomplishments in this health and fitness world has been my ability to equalize and maintain. Those questions from above that caught up to me… I answered them and answered them accordingly. Had I not gone all in on the roller coaster that was my weight loss/body building journey I wouldn’t have been able to define what health means to ME. Plain and simple… I would never have known! For all that stress and anxiety I put myself through I also found a lot of things that DO work for me that I implement to this very day. I learned an immeasurable amount about nutrition, the human body, exercise manipulation, and so much more in the process. I proved to myself that I could do something and finish it out. I was and am proud of myself and to earn your own self pride is what makes your heart flower blossom in my opinion.

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Something like this… only inside your chest.

I defined fitness and made it fun for myself. I started doing everything I could get my hands on… I became two timed TRX certified, began a love affair with the BOSU and undulating ropes, took a couple Russian kettle bell courses, started signing up for mud runs, developed a fierce Zumba habit for awhile, and much more all in the name of taking it all in and experiencing the joy and benefits each different thing had to offer. I learned to explore and redefine the way I think! I learned to accept and carry my demons with me rather than feeling like I’ve got to banish them forever and until then I’m broken and useless. Truth is we are ALL broken in some way or another so there is zero point in feeling like you’re a solo cracked vase coasting through a sea of flawless fine china.

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So during those 7 years and even with all the comfort zones I leaped out of I never found myself face to face with an event that required the kind of meticulous training (above and beyond the hard work I put in by default) a body building competition requires… Until now. Sure, I’ve upped my training ante for various relays and Tough Mudders but never to the all encompassing degree that body building demands.

To me this World’s Toughest Mudder is more than just a 24 hour obstacle course designed to see what you’re made of. It’s my chance to take everything I’ve learned the last 7 years and combine it with the mindset and dedicated training nature of the competitive perfectionist I was (or frazzled myself trying to be rather) the 4 years prior. I get to take the fat kid I once was (and still am to a degree) with me for the ultimate culmination of “I told you you could do it you sad son-of-a-bitch-amazing-woman!”

Drawing credit: Fellow Rebel Jason Moughon

Drawing credit: Fellow Rebel Jason Moughon

The swirl of all this means I’m yet again in new territory which is frightening… but also where I thrive. I refuse to get as high strung as I used to yet will be showing up to Las Vegas in November in the best shape I’ve ever been in. You can bet on that like your mortgage depends on it. Only I’m going to have fun first and foremost. I’m going to get the results people don’t get by doing the work people don’t do but I’m gonna do it with a big ass grin on my face. I’m going to eat with purpose and experience the joy of feeling great rather than dwell on the fact I can’t get Green Burrito tacos every other night because I’m a TEMPLE, DAMNIT! If I feel myself getting out of whack and losing focus on getting results and enjoying it in the process… Then I’ll eat some cake and take a day off like a boss. There was a day when I internalized that as “fitness suicide” but now I look at it as a life essential. THAT is what I learned in the last 7 years and THAT is the thing I’m most proud of out of every single thing I’ve ever done; to be exceptionally normal. 

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I will have my slip ups and pitfalls but that’s part of the growth. I accept and embrace them, something I never used to do. Through this process I will exacerbate my inner silver back gorilla to the umpteenth degree and passionately cherish every moment. I will be so sore I can barely walk and then I will take care of myself properly (with some Unicorn help because she is what makes the world go ’round) so I can do it again. I will rest when I need to. I will eat when I need to. I will switch my training schedule when I need to. I will modify when I need to. All things I equated to being a failure merely years ago that now I have learned is the only way to success… Adjust and adapt, baby!

Pictured: The feeling of adjusting and adapting.

Pictured: The feeling of adjusting and adapting.

To conclude this introspection/therapy session I plan on updating these Rebel ramblings frequently. This was cathartic as hell while providing some accountability. Aside from all that important stuff I hope that a look behind the curtain might help some of y’all out. There’s comfort in knowing you’re not the only one struggling and the struggle is definitely real. We’re all in the same boat just rowing different oars! Iron is forged by fire and if you’re in the midst of gettin’ scorched just hold on like Wilson Phillips because you’re gonna emerge from the flames stronger than you were before.

Trust me.

On the flip side I hope to represent that when you NEED some forging fire… make it! You are the pilot of your own plane and you alone get the blessing of deciding where you’re going. You also get to decide what kind of plane ride you’re going to have as long as you know that you can’t control the turbulence and just need to ride it out till it clears up (mini vodka bottles not included).

Until next time…

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- Rebel8

 

Return of the OYO – On Your Own Workout!

Click on the photo to download the workout, exercise reference guide, and workout tracking sheet! Download it to your phone or print it from your office or home!

Click on the photo to download the workout, exercise reference guide, and workout tracking sheet! Download it to your phone or print it from your office or home!

Don’t call it a comeback… the return of the On Your Own workout! With Erik “The Punisher” Sherwood putting a ring on Jackie Mitchell like a boss this weekend I wanted to make sure that everyone was still taken care of and kept in the game Rebel style! That’s where this OYO comes into play… This total body bad boy is designed to make you branch out and kept comfortable with equipment you might normally have instructors telling you how to use. The only way you’ll ever get familiar with this stuff is through practiced application! THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY!!!

If this is workin’ for you… THERE ARE 10 MORE!!! Click HERE to check them out….

Reference Guide

Warm-Up Options

Warm-Up!

TRX Suspension Knee Drive   TRX Suspension Knee Drive – Make sure that the clothe strap (the loop that hangs from the handle) hangs to the halfway point of your calf. Next, grab an equalizer or anything else to stabilize in front of yourself to keep your balance when things get tricky. Once set, put your foot in the loop and extend that leg all the way back while staying nice and low on the leg still on the ground. Staying as still and solid as possible drive the suspended knee forward and flex your abdomen in the process. Stretch your leg all the way back again and repeat! BOSU Squat w. Alternating Barbell Punch   BOSU Squat w/ Alternating Barbell Punch – Set a BOSU on the ground with the blue side facing up. Next you’re going to get a barbell that is a challenging weight of your choice. Keep it held up at your shoulders like you’re going to do a shoulder press only instead of pressing upward you’re going to squat as low as you can and upon coming back up, punch 1 arm out with a full extension while keeping the other in. Squat again and repeat on the other side! BOSU Lateral Toe Touches   BOSU Lateral Toe Touches – Set a BOSU on the floor with the blue side up and step on top of it with your feet all the way together. Keeping your knees together and making sure they don’t go too far past your toes squat as low as you can where you’ll be able to hold that position. Finally put your arms out in “zombie mode” and lightly touch your toe to the floor. Stay as still as possible while you bring your foot back and extend your foot on the other side. Be sure to keep your chest out and head up! Equalizer Crunch Thrusters Equalizer Crunch Thrusters – Grab an equalizer (yellow bar) and mat and find some space. Lay the mat down then lay the equalizer down on its side on top of the mat. When you lay down on the mat on your back your feet should have part of the equalizer beneath them and above them. Next, place your hands underneath your butt and crunch your abs. Lastly you are going to fully extend your legs all the way out between the base of the equalizer, crunch your knees towards you, then fully extend your legs ABOVE the equalizer. Each time your feet go into the center of the equalizer is 1 rep. Dumbbell Flys w. Stability Ball Dumbbell Flys w/ Stability Ball – Choose a dumbbell set that is appropriately challenging and grab a stability ball. Roll into position (making sure your next is supported) and start with your arms fully extended above your chest with your palms facing one another. Keeping your arms extended bring the dumbbells to the side and use them to stretch your chest out. Carefully navigate how much stretch is best for you! Start slowly… Bring the dumbbells back to the top and squeeze your chest in the process before repeating! Kettlebell Squats w. Alternating Press Kettlebell Squats w/ Alternating Shoulder Press – Grab a pair of kettlebells and hold them with the weight resting on the outside of your forearm. Hold them up with your palms facing each other as you take a shoulder width stance with your feet. Squat as low as you can and on the way up shoulder press one kettlebell while keeping the other still. Squat back down and repeat alternating each side! Band Back Squeezes Band Back Squeezes – Grab a band and hold it straight out in front of you with your hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your arms fully extended pull the band apart and squeeze your back muscles. Return back to the start position and repeat. Make sure that tension stays on the band for the entirety of this exercise! Step 360 Band Curls   Step 360 Band Curls – Grab a step 360 platform and a band of your choice. Notice the grooves on the outside of the 360… This is where you are going to loop the band. Make sure the band is even before stepping on while holding the handles. Keeping your palms facing upward curl as high up as you can while lifting your elbows upward in the process. When going back down be sure to extend your arms all the way for a full stretch. Repeat!

Rebel S.O.B. – Complete Challenge Schedule

S.O.B. Beach Yang

Welcome to the Summer of Balance!

For the first time in a challenge 2 Rebel factions, the Winders and the Grinders, will be intertwined together! 2 cosmic forces fused together in symbiotic harmony. Complimentary forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the individually assembled parts. Basically we’ve got to wind it up then grind it out together and the finished product is going to be AMAZING.

Bookmark this page. Take a screen shot of it on your phone. Print it out and post it where it is most visible. This is your compass for this challenge. You will find every important date, time, and detail here. You can see what muscle groups we’ll be working on at each boot camp so you can plan your own personal workouts around them with no overlap.

Before we get to the calendar of events it’s important you know about:

The Rebel-Yum

Lettuce Turnip the Beet

Click the photo for full details on what our food support group “The Rebel-yum” is all about, how you can benefit, and how to be a part of it!

This challenge marks the return of the “Rebel-yum!” What is it? For full details, click on the picture of that badass kid wearing the shirt I want super bad. Meetings are every Monday @ 7:30PM and last for 45 minutes (beginning July 7th and facilitated by yours truly so to stick to the 45 minute time limit). In food group, you’ll find new perspectives you might not have thought of before. You’ll find you’re not the only one having a tough time. You’ll be a part of a support group set and ready to help you keep track whether in person, via facebook, or through popular health and nutrition apps such as “Lose It!” or “My Fitness Pal.” You’ll also have the ability to share what YOU know that could possibly help someone else! We’ve all accumulated a lot of experience on this journey we call life… Let’s put it all together and make figuring it out easier!

Click the photo to "Like" our "Rebel Runners 3k - 10k" Facebook page and sign up to run with us!!

Click the photo to “Like” our “Rebel Runners 3k – 10k” Facebook page that takes place smack dab in the middle of our Summer of Balance! and sign up to run with us!! ALL proceeds to benefit local youth charities

The Official Schedule

Days/Times: Tuesday@7PM & Saturday@10AM OR Wednesday@6PM & Saturday@12PM

June 28th (Saturday) @ 12pmOrientation! You will pick up your “Rebel Packet” this day
June 30th (Monday) @ 5:30pm/6:30pm - Measurements for BOTH DAYS. Tuesday meets for measurements @ 5:30pm and Wednesday will meet @ 6:30pm. There will be a make-up date announced AFTER this day.
July 1st/2nd (Tuesday/Wednesday)Starting Fit Tests!
July 5th (Saturday) @ 10am- Workout at the park for BOTH TEAMS! Rather than start the first official boot camp of the S.O.B. challenge on July 4th weekend where a lot of people may have to miss due to family/vacation plans (and that’s not the tone we want to set for this challenge) This boot camp will be for BOTH teams at Harvest Park (2327 Summer Creek Dr.) at 10am to get an early start to what will surely be a festive weekend! That, or it’ll be good to work off the hangover from the night prior ;). THIS IS NOT A SHOWDOWN WORKOUT! This will be a true group workout, no competition (except with yourself of course).
July 7th (Monday) @7:30pm - Return of the Rebel-Yum!
July 8th/9th (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Legs! 1st official boot camp of the Summer of Balance challenge! We will be returning to “The Yard” as well as wall-sitting ferociously to this challenges team song for the 1st time together. Prepare to learn proper lunge and squat mechanics as we go over extensively how a lung/squat is supposed to look and feel (veterans this applies to you!)
July 11th (Friday) @ 6:30pm – 7:30pm - A 1 time FOAM ROLLING DEMO! Open to both teams, you will learn in a hands on way how to alleviate basic tension spots all over your body all while learning the how and why of it. Tight calves, tight hips, tight shoulders… They very well could become a thing of the past once you learn this stuff!
July 12th (Saturday) - Upper Body! 1st Weekend Weigh-in! Every week we will keep a barometer of where you’re at. Weigh-in will be AFTER boot camp every Saturday. If you’re anxious, Click HERE for my thoughts on the scale that should help out.
July 15th/16th (Tuesday/Wednesday)Core! Rebel style plank, partner crunches, 4 corporals, and more! We will also be starting and finishing with a mental exercise regarding finding our own personal balance.
July 19th (Saturday) –
Balance! Time to work on your stabilizing muscles while keeping your body as warmed up as possible for the Rebel Runners Fun Run the next day… More importantly it’s SHIRT DAY!!! Even more important than that…

WE WILL HAVE A SPECIAL REBEL GUEST INSTRUCTOR!!!

July 20th (Sunday)Rebel Runners 3k to10k! ALL proceeds to benefit local youth!! CLICK THE LINK TO SIGN UP AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH THE REBELLION!!
July 22nd/23rd (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Upper Body! In order to give your legs a rest from the wicked awesome job you did on the fun run a few days prior, we’re going to get back to the northern region of your body. AhhhOOOO!!!!
July 26th (Saturday) - Legs! If it’s burnin’, it’s workin’…
July 29th/30 (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Core! If it were easy then it wouldn’t be special…
August 2nd (Saturday) - You are going to be left to your own devices with a specialized OYO that you can do at any time! Where will I be? Attending Erik “The Punisher” Sherwood and Jackie Mitchell’s wedding! Seeing as how it is a gym affair it would be hard to get a trainer to substitute… I asked Erik but he said he was busy… Fear nothowever! You will be given the ultimate opportunity to strut your Rebel stuff and step outside your comfort zone with a total body workout leaving you feeling great (with a touch of exhausted in there for good measure). Take command of your gym! Take command of your body! Regularly scheduled programming resumes Monday with Food Group.
August 5th/6th (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Upper Body! You get the results people don’t get by doing the work people don’t do…
August 9th (Saturday) - Midpoint measurements! You will only be doing a weigh-in and circumferences measurements as this day is meant to give you a picture of how exactly your body has transformed in 5 mere weeks. Tuesday will still be meeting at 10am while the Wednesday team will be scaled back to 11am. I can no longer measure anybody who shows up past 11:40am due to time constraints. This opens up a Boot Camp blast for every Rebel to attend at 12:30pm! It will be at the gym and will be “Tough Mudder” style training in the yard in honor of next weekend…
August 12th/13th (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Balance II! 1st Theme… ORANGE AND BLACK! In honor of the giant rag tag group of Rebels we have trekking to Tahoe and running Tough Mudder this weekend it’s best to give the ultimate send off to the high number of 1st timers conquering North Star. Whatever orange and black gear you’ve got, wear it! Tough Mudder gear a plus! Have you done another mud run? Wear that stuff too!! LET’S CELEBRATE!!
August 16th (Saturday) - Legs! Since I will be gone with a sweet crew of juiced ruffians ready to jamboom some slopes in the name of Tough Muddery, you will be led by Anytime Fitness’ finest! Michelle LaBlue & Erik Sherwood will be filling in as they work over your legs while we work over that mountain. AhhhhOOOOO & HOOOOORRAAHHHHH
August 19th/20th (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Core! 2nd theme… 80’s!! Whether sporting some authentic 80’s gear or dressing in the bright neons that accentuated that decade come ready for a totally rad all 80’s soundtrack to get down with.
August 23rd (Saturday) - Upper Body! No frills, just a grimey Rebel arm beat down
August 26th/27th (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Total Body! 3rd theme… BLACKLIGHT 12.0!! The room is going to get blacked out as more blacklights than ever before are going to be hung in this nuclear wasteland of a radioactive Rebel room! Dress in as much white or fluorescent/neon clothing as you can!
August 30th (Saturday) - Legs! You’ve got to want it more than anything because anything can stop you…
September 1st (Monday) - Labor Day! No Rebel-Yum this day! Regular food group will resume the following week :)
September 2nd/3rd (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Core! 4th theme… VILLAGE PEOPLE! In honor of labor day you have a plethora of occupations to dress from… Cowboy, cop, construction worker, Indian, biker… Let’s have some fun and see who dresses as what as we become champions of our midsection. You will also be voting as a group on what you want NEXT WEEK’s theme to be! Results will be announced that very night to give you adequate time to prepare!
September 6th (Saturday) @11am - Workout at the park!! Both teams time split will be met in the middle as we gather at Harvest Park (2327 Summer Creek Dr.) in one giant group and enjoy some fun in the sun together as we work our total body. This is your opportunity to bring as many friends and family as you can to show them what being a Rebel is all about! This is NOT a competition workout, this is a group workout in the most fantastic sense!
September 9th/10th (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Upper Body! 5th theme… Whatever was voted on the week prior!
September 11th – 15th (Thursday through Monday) -

Anytime Fitness Annual Conference!

I will be gone this week leaving you with another OYO to do on your own. The Unicorn, Bridget, John, Denise, and Myself will be representing in Scottsdale, Arizona with our shovels held high and AhhhOOOs on blast! I’m even leading a “Rebel Sun Rise” boot camp that Friday as Anytime Fitness folks from all over the world are going to get a taste of what you guys do every single day. AHHHHHOOOOOO!!!!!!

September 16th/17th (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Final Boot Camp! Final theme… CAN’T DULL OUR SPARKLE!! In Rebel tradition we will be finishing the boot camps the way we started… with legs. It will be the exact workout you did day 1 to show you just how far you’ve come! As for the theme… Sparkle is the name of the game. Bright and vibrant… Make a statement! More importantly… Have fun with it ;). It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish!
September 20th (Saturday) – Final Measurements! The exact same process as you did in the beginning. Mandatory to get your before/after certificate! There will be a make up day announced once these measurements are over. Come in at your regularly scheduled time (with cut offs being at 10:45am and 12:45am respectively)
September 23rd/24th (Tuesday/Wednesday) - Final Fit Test! Our final group hurrah as we do the same fit test we started with. This is personally one of my favorite parts of the entire challenge because the physical strength and ability you’ve attained by this point is off the charts! This will be the last chance to dig deep as a group so be sure not to miss the surge of Rebel energy on such a great day!
October 4th (time still to be determined):

Challenge Wrap Party & Award Ceremony!

Click on the photo to get pricing details (bottom of the page)!

 

 

“Don’t Be Mean Just ‘Cause He’s Colorful”

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Don’t Be Mean Just Because He’s Colorful

As a former “fat kid” in physicality growing up and current “fat kid” at heart (while still attempting to grow up) I had an opportunity not too many in my position often get a few weeks ago. It was an experience that I longed for like a slow burning ember stashed away in my heart walls that I had no idea even resided there until a good friend asked if I’d be willing to do it nearly a year ago. As one of the coordinators of Windsor Middle School’s annual school year “Spartan Stampede 3K,” a fundraiser for the PTA that doubles as a much needed chance to spark today’s youth into being active in the process, Hillary Miller was wondering if I’d come in as a guest speaker for the kids to get them fired up for what had apparently become an “oh, this again? Ugh…” sort of mentality amongst the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.

I couldn’t answer “absolutely” fast enough.

Stampede Shirt

For many, going back to their old middle school would be a tangible nightmare. It’s been my observation that most people are either apathetic or bitter at revisiting their old grade school in any capacity, let alone actually getting up in front of the whole school and saying “hey y’all! I used to go here before any of you were even born yet! Here I am again!” To me though… that was the very moment I was unexpectedly craving until the situation serendipitously presented itself.

Here it was… a chance to go back and reach out to the kids with a message that I wished upon many a star for someone to come and give to me when I was their age. A moment to draw them in and even if just for a brief moment in time let them know that no matter how hard things get they are not alone and that everything gets better, you’ve just got to work for it. A shot at giving the gift of self-affirmation that has personally taken me a literal lifetime thus far to gain myself. Not redemption, but rather paying it forward; taking everything I’ve come to learn the hard way to this point and hopefully saving some of the hardship for others so they can focus on all the other guaranteed stresses they’re going through that have nothing to do with self-worth, anxiety, seclusion, and self-esteem.

Life is hard enough. There is absolutely zero point in being your own worst enemy.

Beyond just speaking to the kids, I was hoping to be a representation of hope. An embodiment that the words I’m saying are actually true and that I’m not just some weirdo adult (emphasis on the words “not just”) coming in and spouting off a bunch of words that I think they want to hear but rather someone who truly knows the hardships of being overweight, dealing with an eating disorder, battling self-mutilation, and getting bullied to the point of tears daily while redundantly asking “why me?” yet not having quite the mental fortitude to realize it ISN’T you… it’s them. I didn’t want to just come in and say things get better… I wanted to show them!

Assembly

The date of the assembly was May 8th, a Thursday. I was blessed enough to have my beyond wonderful significant other Cara join me as we showed up on campus strapped with Rebel shirts on our backs and a shovel in the backseat just begging to be hoisted. It felt surreal since I hadn’t been there in who knows how many years but my shaky nerves told me I was ready. All good things carry nerves behind them so I took it as a sign the Universe was watching and waiting.

This is the point of the story where the tide shifts and I’m no longer the magic maker but instead the recipient of something so profound that there will never be enough words to explain how much powerful beauty resided in one simple statement from the mouth of a 6th grader.

Shovel

I want to be very clear… I have no disillusions about the confusingly flamboyant and “out there” caricature I can be with my shaggy hair, brightly spray painted shirts, knee high socks, crazy bandanas, all accented with the energy of a hummingbird/silverback gorilla lovechild. Add a shovel painted up like a watermelon into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a lot of funny looks and murmurs. Not only do I completely understand but from time to time will even let out an “I know, right?!” to the onlookers and whisperers (mostly because it’s fun to catch people off guard but trust me… you’d be surprised at how quickly someone’s perspective on you changes when you acknowledge it rather than fight it).

As we stepped through the gates and onto the actual campus itself the gawking, giggling, and subtle cat-calls immediately started in. Totally ok with me though… Since the last time I was there I’ve had quite a bit of practice at dealing with this scenario. With my chest puffed out like a Spartan shield and my sword drawn in the form of a toothy grin you couldn’t knock off my face no matter how hard you tried, I walked around campus in a “soak it in!” manner while mentally preparing for the task at hand. One boy even gazed up at me in bemused bewilderment and asked “Who are you?”

“You’ll find out soon enough, young buck!” was all I said as I high fived him and kept on movin’.

Near the multipurpose room doors was a planter box with benches on all sides of it that happened to be occupied with quite a few 7th and 8th graders that seemed to be the “ring leaders” in terms of making fun of the “weird guy.” I made sure to look them all in the eye… Not in a vengeful manner but instead stating without words “I see you and I’m unaffected by your taunts” before high fiving the boy nearest me and saying “how you doin’ man?!” His reply was a snicker followed by a “good…” I asked a couple other kids close by the same question and they all gave essentially the same answer.

It was as I was walking away when I heard the words that will stick with me forever.

With my back turned to the planter box as I walked to inevitable destination only a few feet away I heard a girl’s tiny, feisty voice cut through the schoolyard clutter clear as day:

“DON’T BE MEAN JUST ‘CAUSE HE’S COLORFUL!”

I stopped abruptly and did an about face before even realizing it. I searched for the body the voice belonged to but to no avail. I was in disbelief at what I had just experienced… In cage full of lions rose a single, solitary voice fully intent on taming those beasts. She had no reason to… She could have kept quiet, ignored what was happening, and moved on like everyone else. She could have, but didn’t. I’d made it very apparent I needed no fending for, yet she spoke up anyway. She had no idea who I was, but it didn’t matter to her. I was a person. Not young, not old, not fat, not fit, not anything but a colorful human being that she decided to take into her own hands to speak up for when nobody else would.

It’s hard enough for damned ADULTS to do that, but a little girl?! She surely wasn’t going to make any friends by making such a defiant statement in a schoolyard shark pit that thrives on the first scent of “blood.”

Group Run

When I made it into the assembly room where Cara was already hanging out I said to her “something just happened that completely changed everything I’m going to talk to these kids about…” I was still awestruck by what had just happened when I decided to walk around the campus for a bit before the Circus got started. Shovel in hand I set off towards the playground, my mind racing with the change in circumstances.

As I was rounding the building I walked past a few girls making their way towards their classroom before the final bell rung. One of them says “Hey, what’s your name?”

I knew that voice…

“Josh, nice to meet you! Hey, were you the one who yelled out ‘don’t be mean just because he’s colorful!’?” I asked hopefully.
“Yeah!” she said as her and her friends giggled at the recognition.

“That was AWESOME! What’s your name? What made you say that?” I pondered to her, excited at what her sage-like reply might be.
“I dunno… People shouldn’t be mean. Oh, and I’m Erin” She nonchalantly said back before more excitedly wondering “What are you doing here?!”

“I’m here to fire y’all up for the Spartan Stampede next week!” I proclaimed as the final bell rung, they sped up their pace, and we exchanged our “see ya laters.”

This is where I’ll leave it. Not because that was the end of noteworthy events that Cara and I were blessed to be in the presence of that day, but because this tiny voice of love cutting through the deafening voice of judgment deserves to stand alone. It deserves to be highlighted, shared, celebrated, and emulated. It deserves to be downloaded into your mental data banks for those moments when you need a little bit of Erin’s courage to make a brave stand in any dire situation you may find yourself in.

The morning started as an eager opportunity to showcase hope but ended with me detailing a wonderful point in time in which hope was already present. The “Erins” of the world deserve the moon and stars for the beacon they shine. They flicker their light and chip away at the darkness so that all the other love warriors around who maybe aren’t “there yet” have not a reason to stand up… but instead a person to stand up with. Linked arms will ALWAYS be stronger than malicious ones.

Erin, I will always and forever take a stand with you.

Who’s with us?

Little Boy Shovel

- Rebel8

Big Top Battle: Circus Slideshow!

HCB vs Lion Tamers

At the end of every Rebel transformation challenge, there is a slideshow presentation that depicts our journey through photos, music, and videos accrued throughout. 

I present to you…

Big Top Battle: Cirque de Rebellion

A special message from all of our Rebel friends all over!

Finally, some Circus Shenanigans and Rebel Hi-jinks!

 

 

 

The 10th OYO Workout!

Click on the photo of the workout to download the workout itself, exercise reference guide, and workout tracking sheet!

Click on the photo of the workout to download the workout itself, exercise reference guide, and workout tracking sheet!

Well… We made it! We end our Circus “On Your Own” experiment with the 3rd installment of total body work. Perfect to be able to work yourself from head to toe while still being ready for fit tests! 

Better yet, you now have 10 workouts with over 80 different exercises that you can download at ANY TIME. The excuse of not knowing what to do when you go to the gym has been forever marked null and void. If that’s not enough then help yourself to the 25+ workouts I’ve written for Anytime Fitness. If you’re still hankerin’ for some more stuff to do then don’t forget my complete guide to resistance training covering how to work your shoulders, legs, back, chest, arms, and core properly and on your own.

Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it now… AhhhOOOO!!!!

Click HERE for all 10 “On Your Own” Workouts!

Reference Guide

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Leg Press “Heel Presses” w/ Shoulder Press – Make your way to the leg press machine and use the lever underneath the left handle to lower the seat to proper height once you’re seated (90 degree angle is the goal if able) and get dumbbells ready to use once in position. Place your feet at the top of the platform shoulder width apart and toes hanging off the top so that you are doing this leg press with only your heels (engages your glutes to the extreme!). Once your legs are extended, press the dumbbells all the way up overhead. In a fluid motion bring them down THEN lower your legs before repeating!

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BOSU Squats w/ Simultaneous Front Raise – Grab a BOSU and a pair of dumbbells of your choice. Place the BOSU black side down and step onto the blue side of the BOSU with your feet all the way together. You’re going to squat as low as you can (keep your knees together!) while raising your dumbbells up to forehead height at the same time. As you get back to upright is when you will lower the dumbbells before repeating!

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BOSU Stiff Legged Deadlifts – Grab a BOSU and a pair of dumbbells of your choice. Place the BOSU blue side down and stand on the black side on one leg (whichever you choose… you’ll be doing both). Once upright and ready use the dumbbells to stretch your body download while raising the leg not anchored to the BOSU as high as you can while keeping it fully extended. Bring your leg back down as you stand back to upright! Do all your reps on one side before switching to the other.

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Side Plank Shoulder Presses – Grab a dumbbell and mat and place the mat where you are going to lower your hip after doing this exercise. You can do this exercise either straight arm or on your forearm (only straight arm is shown). Pick which arm you are going to plank on first and place it on the ground while moving your feet into a wide stance split position. Raise your hips as high as you can and hold them there as you grab your dumbbell with your free hand and press it towards the ceiling. Complete all the allotted reps before switching to the other side!

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Lower Back Extension – Everyone has a different leg length so it’s important to know what adjustment to make before you begin on this one. Move the thigh pads up or down to the point where you can get in position as shown and when you bend at the waist you are supported all the way up to your waist/belly area but there is NO impingement as you go down. Once you have the pad adjusted, place your fingertips gently behind your head with your elbows pointed towards the ground in the bent position. As you raise your body to the point of making a straight line from your heel, to hip, to shoulder (no need to go higher!) flare your elbows all the way out to maximize the squeeze through the entirety of your back. Control yourself back down and repeat!

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BOSU Splitters – Place a BOSU blue side down on the ground and hold it in a push-up position with your legs in a wide stance split. Take one leg and stretch it as far forward as you can with the goal of getting as much distance between your front foot and back foot as possible. Bring it back to the start position and repeat on the other side! Get as much of a stretch as you can!

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Sideways Leg Transfers – You’ll need an open space for this one. Simply start on one leg and try to touch your toe with the opposite arm. While staying on one leg jump sideways to the other leg and do the same thing in one fluid motion. You want to be able to find a rhythm while staying on one leg the entire time. Keep this in mind when you try to touch your toe. It’s ok if you don’t go all the way down as long as you keep moving!

The 9th OYO Workout!

9th Week

Click on the photo of the workout to download the workout itself, the exercise reference guide, and a workout tracking sheet!

It’s that time of the challenge to revisit your upper body on your own! With a few more exercises as well as new challenging movements I expect y’all to do what Rebels do best…. Dig deep!

Click HERE for the previous 8 “On Your Own” workouts!

Reference Guide

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Cable Cross-Overs – Make sure the cable pulleys have the isolated hand grips set on them. Then make sure the cables are set evenly slightly above shoulder level. From here you are going to take 2 steps forward with the cable handles in front of you while getting set in a cable press position (one foot in front while balancing on the toe of your back foot). Since the cables are set slightly above you that means you want to press slightly downward to keep the trajectory even. As you extend and your arms in the “pressing” position you are going to cross one arm over before going back to the starting position, pressing again, and alternating which hand is over the other.

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TRX “Y” Flys – Find a spot to hang a TRX and grab the lengthened handles while facing the direction in which your TRX is anchored. With your arms fully extended lean back slightly. The farther your feet are forward the harder this exercise will be. Once in a comfortable position you are going to keep your arms extended while you pull your body forward and bring your arms overhead, focusing on a squeeze in the shoulders and back. Control yourself on the way back down and repeat! Remember to keep CONSTANT tension on the TRX ropes, never letting any slack on it for the duration of the exercise!

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Stability Ball Skull Crushers w/ Dumbbells – Grab a stability ball and choose a pair of dumbbells you feel comfortable doing this exercise with (a little goes a long way!). Starting out seated on the ball you’re going to roll your feet forward until your neck is supported. From here you are going to extend your arms up keeping your dumbbells above your shoulders. B ending at the elbows while keeping them relatively stationary you want to bring the dumbbells toward the top of your head, stretching the back of  your arm out. Squeeze the back of your arm while going back to the starting position and repeat!

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Upright Cable Pull-Overs – Make your way to the cable row machine; make sure the isolated hand grips are attached to the pulleys and select an appropriate weight (a little goes a long way!). Next, place your feet on the CENTER platform as opposed to the 2 outer pedals. With your arms extended push the handles down towards your hips and pull them back behind you squeezing your back muscles in the process. Control on the way back to the starting position and repeat!

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Upright Straight Arm Cable Curls – Set yourself up on the cable row bench with the isolated hand grips and get in position like you’re going to do a row. With your arms fully extended and palms facing upward you want to keep your elbows stationary at shoulder height as you curl the handles towards your forehead. Control on the way back down, be sure to stretch all the way out, and repeat!

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TRX Row Hold “Swings” – Setting a TRX up high you want to make sure the handles are all the way shortened by pressing the black buckle and pulling the yellow tab all the way to the top on each side. From here grab the handles, walk into them, and make sure there is still tension on the TRX. Keeping your arms tucked in walk forward until it is challenging to hold the position you’re in but doable. Once you’re set swing as far to the left as you can (with control) then swing as far to the right as you can (again with control!). Each side you swing to is one rep.

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Bent Over Rope Handle Cable Rows – Find a cable pulley system, attach the rope handle, and make sure it’s dropped all the way to the ground. Select your desired weight, grab the handles, and take 2 steps backwards so that you can lean forward and still have tension on the cable. Starting with your arms fully extended you want to keep your chest out and head up the entire time as you pull the ropes towards your body. Remember to squeeze your back and NOT to bend your wrists as you pull. Make sure to get a full stretch as you go back to the starting position and repeat!

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Kneeling BOSU Push-Ups w/ Medicine Balls – Place a BOSU on the ground with the blue side facing up. Next, make sure you have 2 medicine balls in front of you ready to be used as handles (if the medicine balls hurt your wrists then please forgo them). Keeping your balance and utilizing the medicine balls to get a full stretch you want to go down as far as you can in a push-up to the point where you can still come back up. Remember to bring your hips down towards the floor with you! Get a full extension back at the top and repeat!

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Anchored Band Curls w/ Dumbbells – Find a place to anchor a band of your choice (benches work wonderfully) and select your desired dumbbell weight for this exercise. You are going to grab the handles of the band WHILE holding your dumbbells (crazy, I know!) and take 2 steps back so that there is a good amount of tension on the band at all times. Once in position curl the dumbbells as high up as you can in an upper cut fashion, stretch them all the way back down again after, and repeat!

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Seated “Backless” Shoulder Press w/ Dumbbells – Grab 2 dumbbells of your choice and take a seat on a flat bench (picking a bench without back support makes your core/back muscles work harder and cohesively). Bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders and from there extend them as high up as possible while keeping your palms facing each other every step of the way. Control on the way back down, keep your abs tight the entire time, and repeat!

8th OYO Workout

8th Week

Click on the photo of the workout to download the workout itself, the exercise reference guide, and a workout tracking sheet!

This week’s OYO workout has you working on balance as a warm-up to the Rebel workout on Saturday the 19th which is going to be… balance. The wonderful thing about balance oriented workouts is that you are working SO MUCH MORE than just the muscles of your body. You are strengthening your joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones while teaching your body how to cohesively work together in a functional fashion. Expect this workout to be a little less “insanely difficult” and a little more “awkwardly frustrating.”

Click HERE for the last 7 “On Your Own” Workouts!

Reference Guide

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TRX Alternating Pistol Squat – Make sure you have a TRX set up high, grab the handles, and walk into them so that your arms are at your side but there is still tension on the TRX straps. From here squat down on one leg while keeping the other leg extended in front of you. On the leg that is squatting be sure to keep your knee above your feet and your heel planted on the ground. Also, only go down as far as your body will allow. Alternate each foot after every rep.

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1 Legged Blue Side BOSU Stands – Set a BOSU on the ground with the blue side facing up. Start with whichever foot you wish and stand in the center of that BOSU for the time allotted. The goal is to not touch the ground or the BOSU with your other foot for the duration. Remember that if you’re accustomed to this exercise then your challenge is to test yourself and see how you can make it harder.

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BOSU Plank Shufflers – Set a BOSU on the floor with the black side up and get in a plank position with your feet set wide on the BOSU. From here you are going to shuffle your feet and touch each side of the BOSU on the floor (similar to “Happy Hips” but in a plank position). Repeat for the allotted amount of time!

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Stability Ball/BOSU Cross Punches – Set up a stability ball with a BOSU in front of it (blue side up). Next select a pair of dumbbells (weight of your choice) and sit on the stability ball with your feet on the BOSU. Once in a “comfortable” seated position you want to punch across your body focusing on getting as much of a twist and stretch as you can (full extension is key!). Repeat while alternating!

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Stability Ball Kneeling Twists – Set up a pair of equalizers to act as safety rails for when you start to lose your balance (as pictured). Next place a stability ball behind your “guard rails” so you can place your knees on it and roll into a balancing position. From here you are going to focus on staying in a balanced kneeling position on the ball. Once you have the basic balance down, implement a twist! Twist as far as you can on each side while being mindful of the goal of staying upright

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Stability Ball Butt Balancers - Set up a pair of equalizers to act as safety rails for when you start to lose your balance (as pictured). Next place a stability ball behind your “guard rails” so you can sit on the ball and balance on your butt! You want to take v-sit position but know that the goal isn’t to strictly hold a v-sit but to rather stay balanced on your butt as long as possible. Remember to use your legs as a balancing mechanism!

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BOSU knee balancers – Set a BOSU down on the floor with the blue side facing up. Kneel down on the BOSU with your knee in the center and your shin partially supported. Your foot should be hanging off and the goal is to keep your foot off of the ground the entire time. Balance for the allotted time in that position before switching to the other side. The goal is to be able to maintain that position without your feet touching the ground the entire time!

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1 Legged Wood Choppers on BOSU – Place a BOSU on the ground with the black side facing up. Grab a medicine ball of your choice in weight and hold it as you stand on the BOSU with one leg. Whichever foot you are standing on is the side where you are going to raise the ball with your arms fully extended as high as you can. Keeping your arms extended you want to bring the ball back down across your body towards the opposite side. Get as low as you can before going back up, remembering to keep your arms fully extended and getting as much of a stretch at the top as you can. Once the allotted reps are completed switch to the other side!

7th OYO Circus Workout

7th Week

Click on the photo of the workout to download the workout itself, the exercise reference guide, and workout tracking sheet!

This week you are tasked with revisiting your core in a major way! The goal here is to take more difficult movements requiring more overall total body usage and get you applying it on your own when maybe normally you wouldn’t attempt these balance endeavors. Every aspect of core is hit with this bad boy so have fun!

Click HERE for the previous 6 workouts!

Reference Guide

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Elevated Plank – Utilizing a BOSU, step, bench, equalizer, or anything you can to raise yourself your feet off the floor you are going to do exactly that while maintaining a proper plank position (straight line from shoulder, to hip, to heel while keeping abs/glutes TIGHT). If you are not able to hold an elevated plank then simply hold a regular plank. The higher the elevation, the more difficulty!

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Function Crunch Raises – Grab a dumbbell (weight of your choice) or stability ball if the weight is too much and lay down on your back with your feet fully extended. Keeping your knees relaxed, heels on the floor, and arms above your chest you are going to crunch all the way into a seated position while keeping the dumbbell or stability ball aimed towards the ceiling the entire time. If not able to crunch into a full seated position simply go as high up as you can for each rep! Eventually you will be able to do the full crunch.

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Dip Position Leg Lifts – Utilized the Lebert Equalizers (a bench or ledge works nicely as well) get your body into a dip position while keeping your arms extended. From here you are going to start with whichever leg you’d like (you’re doing both eventually) and lift it as high as you can while keeping your leg fully extended. While you lift you want to consciously crunch your abdominals in the process to finalize that squeeze in your midsection. You’re going to do ALL ONE SIDE before moving on to the other. To make this hard, place your feet on a BOSU (blue side up).

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Full Length Cable Rows – Find the cable row machine and make sure the isolated hand grips are put on each cable pulley. Take a seat and rather than placing your feet on the outer foot pedals you are going to place your feet together on the CENTER platform. From here you are going to lean all the way back until you are lying flat while still holding on to the handles. Your arms are strictly the catalyst so try not to pull with them too much. Control your body on the way back up to the starting position and repeat! PS odds are you are going to be able to pull more weight than you think you can on this one so keep that in mind if the first set seems to be too easy.

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One Legged Side Crunches on BOSU – Standing on one leg you are going to place your fingertips gently behind your head (DO NOT interlock… interlocking your fingers promotes pulling on your neck and ain’t nobody got time for that), stretch the side of your body out that is NOT standing on the BOSU before squeezing your side by getting as close to touching your elbow to your knee as you can. Go back to the stretch and repeat!

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Swiss Ball Inch Worms on BOSU – Place your BOSU blue side down and stand on top while holding your swiss ball at the sides. Squatting down you want to place the ball on the ground and stretch as far into a full length plank as you can before pushing back to a standing position. IMPORTANT!!!! When you place the swiss ball down on the floor instinct is going to make you want to readjust your hands on the ball. DO NOT re-adjust because it won’t end well. Hold on to the sides and keep them clamped down as you roll out.

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Dual Cable Crunches – Grab a mat and place it on the ground in the center of the gym’s cable apparatus. Make sure the cable pulleys have the isolated hand grips on them and bring them all the way to the floor. Choose the weight of your choice on BOTH cable stacks. Now lie down on your back, bring the cables over your chest, and crunch upward! Be cautious not to strain your neck too much! Control on the way down and repeat!

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Dumbbell Plank Transfers – Grab a weighted dumbbell of your choice and get into a plank position with your feet set wide. Start with the dumbbell off to the side then while maintaining your plank reach out, bring the dumbbell to center, and extend it to the OTHER side. Each time you extended either arm outward that is one rep.