Seriously, I couldn’t be more proud as the OYO workouts are not only getting DONE but everyone is helping one another, doing their best, and we can hardly keep up with all the packets flying off the shelf by people NOT doing this challenge and still wanting to work out like a Rebel!
CLICK HERE for the last 2 weeks of OYO workouts!
You can do this one in standard push-up position or kneeling, whichever your body can handle. Do a push-up, and at the bottom of the motion reach your harm out and touch as far away as possible before bringing it back and completing the push-up. Alternate each side.
Find a bench, ledge, or chair that you can leverage yourself on to get this one going. Take a seat and place your hands shoulder width apart on the edge of where you’re sitting. Support your weight on your arms as you bring your hips off where you are seated before lowering your body as low as you’re able while bending at the elbow. Push your body straight back up and repeat!
Be sure to keep your abs tight, stance wide, and stay on your toes. Do your best to keep your arms parallel with the floor, but don’t OVER squeeze and strain your neck or back.
Start with 2lb dumbbells and work your way up from there. If you can’t fully extend your arms without them dropping to the floor at the end of the movement, then the weight is too heavy.
Locate the cable row machine and select the weight you feel comfortable with. Grab the handles (any hand grip that has your palms facing each other when they’re holding it), take a seat on the bench, and put your feet in the designated spots to the side of the bench. Keep your core tight and pull your arms back while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Careful not to shrug your shoulders upwards into your ears (very common so be aware!). As you let the weight back down make sure to get a full stretch in the arms before pulling back again and repeating!
Locate the cable machine and rope grip (as pictured). Some cable machines have adjustable pulleys so if that’s your club then learn how to adjust the pulley up and down. The ultimate goal is to get the pull all the way up so you can grab the rope attachment with both arms, standing with a stable shoulder width apart stance, and extend your arms all the way downward while allowing minimal movement in the elbows. Control the weight back up and repeat!
Make sure your handles are SUPER shortened and you have your BOSU underneath the anchor point. You want the handles to be short enough so you can sit on the BOSU securely with your feet extended in front of you while still holding on to the handles with your arms fully extended. Keeping your feet flat on the ground (easier) or staying on just your heels with your legs fully extended (harder) pull yourself as high up as you can while keeping your hips level directly underneath your shoulders. Lower yourself with control and repeat!
Grab only one of your dumbbells with one hand and only one of the TRX straps with the other. Walk into the handle so you are facing the anchor point with your body square and tension on the strap. Keep your dumbbell hanging at your side while using the TRX not only for keeping form but to help pull yourself back up as well. As you come back up curl the dumbbell then do a shoulder press. Bring the dumbbell back down as you squat back down then repeat!
This one should be done kneeling by EVERYBODY. Not because you studs and studettes can’t handle it, but because the goal is complete triceps isolation (as much as possible anyway with a push-up). Remember to keep your elbows in at your side, body in a straight line from knee, to hip, to shoulder (no butts in the air!) and push from the heel of your palms.
Week 1 of the OYO workouts came and went QUICK! The volume is stepped up a bit in week 2 while still sticking to the relative basics for building upon a solid foundation while also complimenting the prior weeks worth of boot camps. To scope out/download/refresh the 1st OYO Core Workout CLICK HERE.
You get the results people don’t get by doing the work people don’t do Rebels! AhhhOOOO!!!!
Keep your feet together on this one as you get as close to 90 degrees with your legs as able in a seated position while raising onto your toes repeatedly for a nice calf squeeze while you’re at it.
Go from a full stationary lunge to driving your knee upward towards your chest before dropping back down into a lunge. Repeat! Remember to be mindful of your range of motion. Not only is it important to only go down as far as your body will allow but to also be aware of not working to your full potential with your range of motion (meaning if you can get a lower lunge than you are then you are short changing yourself… stop it.)
Once those skills are learned, pick a weight (not too easy but don’t go for the whole stack of weight or anything…), set your feet shoulder width apart with your knees over your feet, adjust the seat so your legs make a 90 degree angle (or as close to as you can get comfortably), and push! When your legs are fully extended remember NOT to lock your knees. You can get full extension without locking, trust me. From there control your way back down and repeat!
For this one you’re going to find a blank spot on the wall and set yourself up with your back to it. Now you’ll want to take a shoulder width stance anywhere from 6 inches to a foot away from the wall, extend your arms all the way in front of you, and bend at the knees while trying to touch your butt to the wall. Being careful not to rest against the wall (just lightly touch it) you can move farther away from the wall to get lower and closer to the wall if you’re not able to go that far down without falling backwards or hurting your knee. Congratulations, you just did a proper squat! This trains your body how to do a squat the RIGHT way!
Start with the black side of the BOSU upward. Be sure to step in the center of the BOSU to maintain balance and form. Also, be sure to have a long enough stride that you are on the toe of your back foot. The goal is to have your front knee stay above your feet and your back knee drive straight down to the floor.
Start out with one foot atop the center of a BOSU (blue side) with the other foot on the floor. Hop from one side to the other (landing in a semi-crouched position), all while keeping your dumbbells up. If not able to hop, simply transfer each foot side to side with no jump involved.
Take a wide stance squat position with your toes pointed out for proper hip alignment. Squat down center before simultaneously squatting while twisting your torso, making sure to alternate each twist. Remember to full squeeze your butt and hips at the top point of the motion and get as far of a stretch down as you properly can on the bottom end of the spectrum!
Extend your arms in front of you and stay on your toes. In this position push your heels to the ground then raise up on your toes again while squeezing your calves. Repeat! Note: The farther back you are the more difficult it will be.
Each week an OYO (“On Your Own”) workout will be released right here on Timetorebel.com as well as posted at the gym. Participants in the 15th Rebel Transformation Challenge are committed to 2 boot camps a week in the “Rebel Room” at Anytime Fitness as well as this 3rd workout! Each OYO workout will always correlate with what we are doing in the boot camps each week so you don’t have to worry about any overlap. For instance our first week of boot camps consists of Lower Body and Upper Body so get ready for some good Core work to tie it all together!
Some of these exercises will be difficult to figure out at first. Some will be confusing and raise questions. Some will feel like you need a Masters in Rocket Science one second and then… CLICK, it all makes sense! If you haven’t maneuvered the gym/an exercise routine on your own before then you are the very person this is meant for. Let me be clear… This is not meant to take your precious time away from you with “homework.” This is your chance to have a professional guide you in learning how to operate your body the same way you learned how to operate your car, cell phone, job, or anything else essential to your livelihood.
This is meant to get you outside of your comfort zone in such a way that you are made better for it. These workouts are designed to improve your quality of living by not only setting the ultimate foundation for those of you in need of one but also enhances the foundation of those looking for a boost! By the end of these 3 months the goal is to be moving better with a stronger body while learning how to stay consistent with your life style change and new habits so as to minimize “backtracking” from here on out. In essence, you get in what you put in. This works if you work it and for a lot of you that is the TRUE task; to stick to something long after your initial motivation to get through the tough spots are gone but the desire for the end goal is still there. Sometimes it feels easier to talk yourself out of something rather than putting the agonizing work into something… Well those “sometimes” are in the past Rebels… It’s time to work towards a better you!
Reference Guide for the Workout above
To set yourself up in proper plank position lay down stomach first on your mat and set your forearms up down on the mat (turning your arms in “L’s” as in the photograph) and position your feet shoulder width apart. Tighten your quads (thigh muscles… you’ll feel your knees rise off the floor), then tighten your glutes (butt muscles) like you’re trying to bounce a quarter off those suckers! Finally, lift your hips until you are making a straight line from your shoulder to your hip to your heel. Congratulations, perfect plank position! From here, if you need to bring your knees down to help support your lower back (as illustrated) then feel free to do so!
Place your BOSU down on the ground with the blue side up. Go ahead and stand on top with your feet shoulder width apart while holding your medicine ball chest level with your elbows slightly flared. From here twist in one direction at the torso (not simply with your arms) then twist to the other side! Your balance will be getting a good test here, so if you need to start on the ground please do so.
Get in a push-up position with your feet in a wide stance. Simulating a bear crawl, bring one foot as far up to your hand as possible, leave it there, bring the other leg up to the other hand, then bring your legs back to original position before repeating.
Take a seat and flatten your body as much as you can, using your arms positioned behind you for support. Then, crunch together at the abdomen! If your lower back starts to bug you, keep one foot on the floor at all times and crunch one leg at a time.
Take a seat and get in a V-sit position. If able, keep your feet off the floor. In this position, reach as high up as you can in an attempt to touch the ceiling. Focus on feeling your torso stretch out and even add a bit of twist to get as much leverage as possible. The more stretch, the better. Alternate each arm with the picking!
This one can be done in a knee plank position OR traditional, depending on ability. From a plank position, be sure to take a wide stance with your toes, Reach all the way up like you’re trying to touch the ceiling, go back down to a plank, and alternate to the other side!
On Sunday, February 16th the 15th Rebel Transformation challenge officially commenced. Under the big top were clowns, ring masters, spray painted super hero uniforms, goodie bags, and shovels ALL overflowing with motivation and inspiration. To stoke the Rebel flames, I put together 2 video projects that kicked off orientation…
The first video I compiled over the last few weeks by collecting videos from all around the country (including our Northern neighbors!) and piecing them together as the catalyst to our Cirque de Rebellion. The goal was to showcase the magnitude of the Rebellion and create a moment to draw from when you’re feeling your least motivated… You’ll always have this video to come back to when you need a reminder of the Rebel name you carry on your back and that you can do ANYTHING!
The second video was a glimpse into the “stage” being created for this circus. A lot of prep work when into this experience and this is an inside look into the creation of it all. With the stage being set it’s your turn to create some magic now…
Looking for new workout jams to add to pump-up playlist? Here ya go! Simply click the song and check it out for yourself to find out if it’s your cup of tea. New, fresh music is like when you get new, fresh sheets on your bed… IT FEELS SO GOOD!
Royal Teeth – We Can Glow
Sway – Still Speedin’
OK Go – Get Over It
DJ Snake feat. Lil Jon – Turn Down for What
Tinie Tempah feat.John Martin – Children of the Sun
The Neighbourhood – Afraid
Tech N9ne feat. Serj Tankian & Krizz Kalico – Straight Out the Gate
John Newman – Try
Machine Gun Kelly – Raise the Flag
Lorde – Tennis Court
Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
Nappy Roots feat. P.O.D. – Aww Naw (Rock Remix)
Alex Clare – Hummingbird
Eminem feat. Sia – Beautiful Pain
Lorde – Team
Fitz and the Tantrums – Fools Gold
Redfoo – Let’s Get Ridiculous
Echosmith – Cool Kids
Further Seems Forever – Bye Bye Bye
A Battle Under the Big Top is Brewing…
Big Top Battle: Cirque de Rebellion
A transformation challenge by way of the Circus is coming to Santa Rosa, CA on February 16th! All sign-ups go through this page, so until you’ve filled out the form immediately following this paragraph, you aren’t signed up yet ;). This is how I keep organized the number of participants, contact information, shirt sizes, and various other means for running this Rebellion. Payment, however, goes through the gym so wait until you step foot in the arena to put down your duckets!
Every single detail set to be released on this challenge can be found on this post. Read on passed the sign-up form for all the details regarding price, days/times, measurements/fit tests, orientation info, and new additions to this challenge!
For good measure, if you haven’t partaken in a Rebel challenge before, this video below will give you a better understanding of the journey you’re about to go on
First and foremost, to get the full and intricately detailed scoop on measurement day, fit tests, orientation, and the dynamics/importance of all of that in relation to the Rebel challenge, CLICK HERE. Seriously, it’s all there. Every answer to any question you might have on any of those things. Plus, at the bottom of that link is a complete break down and analysis of the pricing structure, so your questions and curiosities are answered there, too!
The details below are the “quick specs.” Again, if you want full breakdown of measurements, fit tests, orientation, and pricing structure CLICK HERE!
$325 for Anytime Fitness members
$400 for 1st time participants who aren’t members
$500 for RETURNING Rebels who would like to forgo getting an Anytime Fitness membership
($25 discount per person if coming out of the same household)
Team meeting days/times:
Blacklight Orientation - February 16th @1:30PM with boot camp to follow at 3pm for EVERYONE!
(ps this day is MY BIRTHDAY!! ALL I WANT IS FOR AS MANY PEOPLE TO BE THERE AS POSSIBLE! SHAMELESS!!!!)
Starting Fit Tests - 2/18 & 2/19 (Tuesday & Wednesday)
Starting Measurements - 2/22 (Saturday)
Mid-point measurement day - 3/29 (Saturday)
Final day -5/3 (Saturday)
Things to get excited about:
- In addition to 2 meeting times a week, you will be given a THIRD workout by me for you to complete on your own time that will directly correlate with the workout week we have in Rebel. For example, if we were to do an upper body day and a lower body day one week, then the workout I’m going to give you will be something along the lines of a core (or perhaps balance…) workout. Each 3rd workout completed is a point! Which leads me to…
- Return of the battle challenge! This is the Human Cannonballs vs the Lion Tamers baby! A point system will be in place where by the end of the challenge the team with the most points, wins! What do you win? You’ll find out on February 16th… Things such as going to orientation, bringing a friend with you, bringing friends on designated days, dressing up for the themed workouts, doing extra classes at the gym, and much more gain points as a weekly tally will keep everyone in the loop as to where the teams stand! Also, this marks the 3rd battle challenge done in the history of Team Hulk/The Fitness Rebellion! CLICK HERE to watch the slideshows from the last battle challenge to preview/relive the experience!
- A circus photo shoot to be announced once the schedule is released!
- A Tough Mudder style obstacle course going down in “The Yard!”
- Return of the showdowns!
- Custom Rebel shirts as awards for best dressed on theme nights!
- Each team will be getting their OWN soundtrack (2 albums total), logo, shirt design, shovel, and “symbol.” Each of those things will encompass the heart and soul of your troupe whether that be the fierce Lion Tamer or wild Human Cannonball.
- Special guest instructor!
- Special guest wrap party attendees!
- All new themes!
- I bought a brand new 3D-ready projector specifically to be able to present awesome video projects during workouts and unveil the team songs in epic fashion so you best believe some cool stuff is goin’ down with that!
- New fit test format!
Of course there’s more to come, but for now…
Come gather around folks, step right in…
A Rebellious Circus is coming to town in mid February… A 3 month physical transformation challenge unlike any other Rebel or Hulk challenge pulled off to date. Sign-ups, full details (cost, days, times, etc.) will be announced between the days of January 13th (Monday) and January 17th (Friday) so be on the lookout (or subscribe!) to be sure to snag your spot under the big top!
For now, I present a sneak preview…
Cheryl Murray – “I’m not disabled… I’m Cheryl.”
“I’m unwilling to be a helpless victim. Sure I’m scared sometimes, but I force myself to do what I have to do. It’s not the things I’ve done that I’m proud of, it’s the stuff in my head I’ve had to fight through to do it.”
Those were the first words to come out of Cheryl’s mouth when I asked her what she wanted her story to say once people had the chance to catch a peek through the kaleidoscope that is her. Simple yet powerful her statement cuts like a knife through the gimmicks and trickery often sought after to “make it through” life by trimming away the bullshit and leaving you with a foundation you can either choose to accept or deny; you have the choice to be life’s victim when it attacks unexpectedly and relentlessly but rest assured that throughout that decision making process it will be terrifying beyond belief. We ALL have felt the mind and body blows of that last statement, but it’s what you do with yourself as the dust settles that defines who you are at your core… How do you respond and what actions do you take? If you’re Cheryl you respond like a cat with nine lives and the tenacity of a tornado… This is a glimpse of Cheryl’s storm.
If you were to catch snippets of Cheryl’s life growing up you’d swear you were watching reruns of “Leave It to Beaver.” You’d see a loving family with a nice home in Northern California that recycled before it was cool. Church every Sunday with full societal calendars for the whole family in between… they were the epitome of the American dream. A dual parent household with one daughter and one son that ate healthy, exercised regularly, exceled in work and school, adorable family dog… I think you get the picture. Don’t get me wrong, per all circumstances her upbringing carried with it the “usual suspects” regarding growing pains and tumultuous times but to her own admittance nothing too extraordinarily tragic beyond that.
It was while she was attending grad school at the San Jose campus of the University of Phoenix when Cheryl’s Americana upbringing suddenly took a turn towards “The Twilight Zone” of the television spectrum. It started with a hospital trip and the two reasons that prompted her to take it; a bruise resembling a black and purple vortex that showed up out of nowhere on her hip and the nonstop bleeding that occurred after casually scratching an itch on her head. Combined with the extreme fatigue she’d been feeling (among other symptoms) she decided it was time to promptly get checked out so she stopped her dinner preparation for that night and had a friend bring her to the ER.
She never made it back home that night.
After having some tests run Cheryl could hear her name announced over the intercom with a tone of urgency that instantly made her anxiety swell. Her husband at the time was working night shifts which left Cheryl by her lonesome to deal with the fear bouncing around in her head like pieces of shrapnel.
“I was in the waiting room for the longest time. While I was there my greatest fear was that it could only be one of two things… cancer or AIDS.”
A lot of us have gone the “Web MD” route in our brains of figuring out the worst case scenario and convincing ourselves that’s EXACTLY what we’ve got, but when it turns out to be true… it can be profoundly soul shattering. Unfortunately, it did end up being one of those two things… leukemia. At the very least she had an answer to the suddenly surging ailments she was experiencing; it just wasn’t the answer anybody ever hopes for. Boot straps were pulled up as treatment started immediately and aggressively. With her grit to keep moving forward and the support of her family Cheryl went about trying to beat the cancer that had suddenly found its way into her family’s home.
Progress was swift and after only a few months of dedicated cancer management (radiation therapy included) the cancer began reverting course! They’d beat the cancer into remission! It was an optimal situation because it gave them more time to get it gone for GOOD.
That lasted 3 months.
The beginning of 1998 did not bring good tidings as the cancer came back with a vengeance in January forcing Cheryl and her family to get right back into defense mode. It would only be fair for Cheryl to deal with one life-altering catastrophe at a time but as we all know life is FAR from fair and it was April of 1998 when life dropped another sledgehammer driving Cheryl even deeper between the rock and hard place she’d already found herself in… On the day Cheryl was scheduled to have her annual bone marrow biopsies from the diagnosis a year prior, she had a stroke.
“After the cancer came back I harbored a LOT of anger. When I had the stroke though… It was bad… I mean I’m 29 and I’ve suddenly lost the ability to walk, talk, drive, ski… I thought I’d never be able to go to work, travel, or get on a plane ever again…Things you can take for granted until all of a sudden you can’t do them anymore.”
Awhile back Cheryl and I had a conversation about the daily planner she kept at the time of her stroke. Cheryl detailed how she kept track of everything in this agenda; work obligations, social events, and medical appointments filled the bylines within the weeks up until the day where she was set to have a bone marrow biopsy which was cause for a very powerful moment when she showed me the point of stoppage. It bore a symbolic resemblance to an author stepping away from writing a carefully crafted book mid-paragraph.
With the leukemia coming back around a second time and in rapid fashion the bone marrow transplant was a necessity still regardless of this newfound “kitchen sink” life had just rocketed Cheryl’s way. After gaining some control on the stroke situation the transplant was pushed from April to July. It was during those months Cheryl found herself dwelling on what she’d lost in her life and reveling in the anniversaries of bad occurrences for a long time afterwards.
“When I was in the hospital my Dad brought in a ‘PEOPLE’ magazine for me and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t read it. I remember thinking ‘I JUST WANT TO READ THE F*&@!ING MAGAZINE!!’ but… nothing. That was hard.”
When the time came for the transplant fingers were crossed and prayers were sent out that Cheryl’s body would accept the new bone marrow and an immediate road to recovery could begin so they could put as much of this awfulness as possible behind them. At this point in the story I’m sure you’ve picked up on the tone that things hadn’t taken a lucky break yet and I’ll tell you they weren’t about take a turn in that direction now. With her body rejecting the transplant Cheryl suddenly found herself in yet another situation where she wasn’t sure she was going to make it out alive. Things got so bad physically she nearly needed a feeding tube to combat the inability and lack of desire to eat. Luckily Cheryl found herself able to stomach grilled cheese sandwiches which is essentially what she lived off of from July of 1998 until February of 1999, the date she was released from the hospital with her body finally accepting the donor marrow.
Once released from the hospital the fight was far from over, but things were at long last starting to look up. With the bone marrow transplant going from being rejected to being accepted it wasn’t longer after Cheryl was deemed cancer free. The rigorous, aggressive, and draining treatment paid off! Sure, she had to get annual marrow biopsies for 10 years (they have to drill a hole in your hip to put in perspective those unfamiliar on how “not simple” this task is) but that’s better than actually having cancer! Cheryl’s spirit, however, was far from healed… The unexpected and sudden loss of abilities coupled with the weight gained from the drugs she now had to take left her in a dark, defeated place.
It took a fateful crossing of paths at church with a single mom who had multiple sclerosis that started the revolt against her own demons keeping her down.
“What I really admired about her was that she never let the MS get her down. I started going with her when she ran errands and even went to the gym with her. She helped introduce me to people after I’d been in a cave for so long. She showed me that things could be different…”
Bit by bit Cheryl started to crawl out of her shell as the days went on. She even started to do some volunteer work at her Church again! Over the years Cheryl dug deep to regain her life back even though the realization that it wouldn’t be the same life she had before had a tendency to send her on a roller coaster of ups and downs. Through the rough times Cheryl retaught herself how to drive, how to walk, and how to eat healthy again. She got herself back to work, travelling with the family, and even joined several gyms with yoga becoming a new favorite therapy for not only her body but her mind, too.
Getting back to everything she was able to do before sometimes means needing a cane or motorized transport to aid with the devitalized left side of her body, but it all goes back to the first words Cheryl said when we sat down to put the pen to paper on this;
“I’m unwilling to be a helpless victim. Sure I’m scared sometimes, but I force myself to do what I have to do. It’s not the things I’ve done that I’m proud of, it’s the stuff in my head I’ve had to fight through to do it.”
It was 2009 when Cheryl found her way to Anytime Fitness.
“I’ve belonged to a lot of gyms in my life, but none of them hit like Anytime did. It was different… I found myself actually wanting to go and really liking the people there. I also remember thinking ‘who’s the weirdo who yells a lot?’”
(Spoiler alert: I was am that weirdo who yells).
Wasting no time she joined up with a transformation challenge that just so happened to be on the verge of starting and wouldn’t you know it… she won the damn thing. She even lost 20 lbs in the process! It was soon after that when Cheryl, who was once told she wouldn’t ever regain the ability to walk all that well ever again, trekked across the Golden Gate friggin’ Bridge.
“When I walked the Golden Gate, it wasn’t exactly something I’d been fantasizing about for years and years or anything… It was that things were going really well and I wanted to make a bucket list to give myself some goals and aspirations. I needed that, or else I wasn’t going to keep pushing myself. You need to have goals to work towards or else you won’t do anything.”
To know Cheryl now means most would be surprised finding out that for as gregarious as she is, she still sticks to her reclusive tendencies (only they are much healthier now). From that initial challenge in 2009 Cheryl has joined damn near every single Hulk/Rebel challenge since (missing one due to hip surgery in 2011), putting her up there as one of the most tenured Hulkster/Rebels there is. Her presence is coveted and her inspiration is legendary as she’s shown more people than she knows the true meaning of strength, inside and out. If you ask her about her inspiration and her take on it though, you get a much different and humbled response:
“I get it, you know… People being happy for people with disabilities being able to make it past them, but I don’t see it that way. In my head I don’t see myself as disabled… I’m Cheryl.”
PS Check Cheryl out!