Keep the Earth Below My Feet

Is this your card?

Is this your card?

On a random December week, right before boot camps were to begin, I asked all the fitness Rebels to do something for me.

I asked them to fill out two cards ANONYMOUSLY; 1 card depicting the number one negative thing they repeat to themselves every day, the other the number one compliment that would absolutely make their day upon receiving it.

Once everyone was done and before we got started I asked everyone how many of them had ever FELT that negative mindset, and I mean TRULY FELT IT, towards any other individual other than themselves.

Not a single hand was raised.

These are those people and these are the actual comments they wrote (In no particular order as to keep with anonymity).

There’s a lesson here.

- Rebel8

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

Processed with Moldiv

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!

Processed with Moldiv

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.

Processed with Moldiv

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.

Processed with Moldiv

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!

Processed with Moldiv

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!

Processed with Moldiv

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.

Michelle “Hulk” Huntley – The Legend Continues

Michelle “Hulk” Huntley – The Legend Continues

Michelle Bike

per•se•ver•ance
[pur-suh-veer-uh ns]
noun
1. Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc. especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2. Theology. Continuance in a state of grace to the end leading to eternal salvation.

Not everybody meets their future spouse ordering contact lenses over the phone, but Michelle “Hulk” Huntley isn’t exactly like anybody you’ll ever meet so it’s fitting that on June 1st, 1998 that was exactly how she met the love of her life. It was by cosmic chance that Owen, her husband to be and manager of the sales office Michelle was calling, picked up the phone the day that she called. Normally he didn’t answer the lines but if not for a shortage of staff that had everyone pulling extra duties then this story would have been finished just as quickly as it started.

Michelle, born and raised in Philadelphia (as made evident by her East Coast sass if you ever have the good fortune to talk with her) was simply looking to check into the latest method for contact lens shipping when she rang, but when Owen answered she couldn’t find herself able to pull away. When the phone call reached the hour mark it was clear that he wasn’t really looking to hang up all that quickly either. As they squeezed the last bit of stimulating conversation they could muster from the rousing subject of eye-wear advancement delivery Michelle and Owen exchanged personal numbers before finally calling the “sales call” quits.

“When I hung up the phone, I knew I’d found my husband.” Michelle said with the biggest smile I’d ever seen as she recalled the 1st time meeting Owen. She proved that her smile still had room to grow when she said “3 weeks later he left Florida and moved to Philly.”

“He just up and left? Job and all? 3 weeks, really?” I asked, surprised.

“Yup, June 25th was the day he came to Philly…” Michelle beamed as she stared off slightly, reliving the memory.

As I reveled in her memory and she soaked in the recollection, she was the first one to break the warm silence.

“My life is made up of June… I joined Rebel in June, did you know that?”

“Yeah, I’m seeing a lot of June popping its head up. The Universe has a way of talking to you, that’s for sure…” I said.

“Yup. June 1st, 1998 was the day of that phone call. June 25th was the day he moved to Philly. June 19th the next year we were married. June 10th, 2010… that was the day I lost him.”

* * *

            Growing up Michelle had 3 main aspirations that fueled her fire like a never ending propane tank; always be involved in sports, finish school, and become a Doctor. With a loving family and true East Coast determination Michelle attacked those goals like a warrior with a thirst for conquest and quench that thirst she did…

“Sports? What sport didn’t I play… My favorites were softball and bowling, but I played volleyball, basketball, competed in track and field, practiced Tae Kwon Do and did some fencing. You know when they were picking kids on the playground for teams? I was usually picked first or close to it, even over the boys. Some of them would be like ‘What? You’re gonna pick her over ME?’ and they’d be like ‘yeah, you’ll see…”

            She went on to explain that not only was she athletic, but she’d always been on the thicker side to boot which took away any “fragility” that could be held against her. It was a double edged sword though because that meant she always had to be doing something in regards to being active or she’d gain weight just by damn near thinking about it.

“If I had to pick a demon I’ve always carried with me, it’s my weight. I was picked on as a kid for being a little bigger and “straight laced” but it was ok, I knew it was my path in life to succeed. Even still, it was hard shopping in the little girl’s ‘pretty plus’ section because even as a kid you know what that means… Why can’t you just be pretty?”

            That love of sports carried over to college as she continued playing volleyball and softball at a high level. Her physical dominance was no match to her intellectual excellence, though. Spending a year at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science before moving on, Michelle graduated with Bachelor’s degrees from Penn State and Temple, the latter coming with “Magna Cum Laude” honors! For a little added awesome let’s throw in the fact that Michelle became an EMT at 16 until the age of 30, meaning that in between practices, games, homework, studying, finals, and family she was literally saving lives the whole time.

“I’ve always been very patient. I didn’t really date or do much else, I was too focused.”

            Through her journey all the way up to meeting Owen and beyond, Michelle had experienced your standard hardships; tough financial times that make you scrape the couch for coins, battles with weight, adjusting to new jobs, moving away from family and feeling alone in a new place, and so forth… but throughout it all she persevered. She was careful to point out that she didn’t view any of her struggles as traumatizing but more so as standard fare.

“I didn’t have any significant tragedies growing up or anything, not more than the usual stuff. I just saw it all as a grind… you just gotta get through it. You have to keep going.”

           That mindset was tested when a year into Michelle and Owen’s marriage when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although in earlier stages, it was malignant and required a fierce battle ahead… When most newlyweds were still gushing in the “honey moon” stage of their marriage, Michelle and Owen were letting their loved ones in on the heartbreaking news, getting set for the first of nearly 20 surgeries, undergoing radiation therapy (and the baldness that ensued), and figuring out insurance policies.

“Owen was perfect through it all… He truly was a great man. We stuck by each other every step of the way, and there was only one thing that ever caught him off guard. It was Valentine’s Day, 2001 and I had been going through chemo. You can only hold on to your hair for so long till it’s gotta go, and that day was the day. When he came home from work I opened up the door with a smile, bald and all, and said ‘hey baby!’ He had this shocked look on his face and he kind of stuttered for a second… then he just smiled at me and all he said was ‘alright then…’ We were good to go after that!”

            It was 2006 when Michelle’s occupation brought the happy couple to California and subsequently away from family, friends, familiarity, and essentially everything they had ever known. After an aggressive treatment regiment, inevitable lumpectomy, and careful monitoring the cancer was held in check. With one blessing came another hardship however as being thrust into a whole new world was as difficult as you can imagine. Luckily they had each other and that meant there wasn’t a mountain too high to climb, river too deep to cross, or storm too harsh to weather on top of what they’d already triumphed through. They made a habit of rolling through the punches with grace and diligence… perseverance put into practice setting them up to endure any hardship thrown their way even when life tossed everything including the kitchen sink at them. After all, every survived experience is like a sparring situation getting you ready for your next fight and this transition to a brand new coast was simply the next step in swingin’ on. It wasn’t until 4 years later that the ultimate knockout rocked Michelle clear off her feet and did everything it could to keep her down for the count…

            It was March of 2010 when the second breast cancer diagnosis found its way to Michelle and Owen’s door step. No easier to deal with the second time around it forced the already intense treatment to be stepped up another notch. A lumpectomy was no longer an option as a mastectomy was now required if she was going to have a shot at making it to the next “round.” Michelle opted to go with a double mastectomy (“I wasn’t gonna be a ‘uni-boob’” she quipped) and made it through a little less voluptuous, but alive none the less. Amidst it all Owen didn’t bat an eye once. Even when complications arose from the surgeries and infections started to flare that man was there every step of the way. One such memory provides a perfect depiction of the superhero Owen ended up being through it all…

            On June 9th, Owen picked Michelle up from the hospital recovery room and safely brought her back home . He had the downstairs couch all set up for her to sleep since it was more comfortable that way for Michelle and proceeded to get her all situated for some much needed slumber. Once she was set, Owen tried nonchalantly handing Michelle back her wedding ring to put back on after she had taken it off and given him so as not to lose it while she navigating through her hospital day.\

“I told him ‘Nuh uh, that ain’t how you do it…’” she said with her trademark Philly sass, lighting up the same way she did when she was reliving the moment of meeting Owen for the first time.

“That’s when he smiled, got down on one knee, and slipped the ring back on my finger properly and kissed me like he was supposed to. He said he loved me, I said I loved him, and I watched him go upstairs with the promise we’d see each other in the morning.”

That was the last moment Michelle and Owen ever shared together.

“I knew something was wrong when I woke up in the morning and things just didn’t feel right.” Michelle shared. “I was an EMT for a long time and you learn to read situations like that…”

            As soon as she stepped foot in their room Michelle instinctively knew Owen had passed. She tried in vain to resuscitate him after dialing 911 but in the back of her mind she knew it was already too late. Three months after her second cancer diagnosis and resulting surgeries Michelle was now unexpectedly on her own. Although her family was there every step of the way it was hard not to feel stranded and alone in what was still a relatively unknown home front. She’d lost her rock when she needed him most… It was now her duty to learn how to make it through life in California without her best friend, deal with the cancer (14 surgical procedures in the matter of a year and a half to put it in perspective), and continue to put one foot in front of another no matter what.
Weight was already an issue before the steroid-based treatments (on top of everything else) ballooned Michelle up to her heaviest weight at 352 lbs.

“It was hard because I never associated with being that person… in my mind I was still that really athletic and curvy chick with nothing I couldn’t do, and that wasn’t true anymore…”

            About a year and a half had gone by since June of 2010 and Michelle was still looking for her ladder out of the hole she’d found herself in. As time marched forward life’s obstacles started shifting from battling cancer and dealing with the loss of her husband to putting more focus on getting rid of this newfound weight. Surviving cancer and the loss of Owen were defining moments for Michelle that would travel with her every moment from here on out, but it was time to take her life BACK rather than merely float through it numbly. That’s when the Universe delivered an angel of a messenger…

            Tami Larsen, an original Hulkster/Rebel since 2009 and working at the Dental office Michelle had an appointment with one fateful day early 2012 happened to be that very ladder Michelle was searching for and although I want to go with the cliché “and she didn’t even know it” the phone call I got from her indicated otherwise. You know how certain things stick with you for some peculiar reason even before your brain is able to register it as significant? That was the case with Tami’s phone call;

“Hey! I met someone that would be PERFECT for Hulk… Her name’s Michelle and you wouldn’t believe what she’s been through… She’s coming off a lot of surgeries, dealing with cancer, and she just lost her husband. She’s trying to get back on track and I told her to call you.”

            It took 2 months from that day for Michelle to give me a call. In her words she was “weak, hurt emotionally and physically, and needed to offload. It took me 2 months to make it happen and pick up the phone.” After talking with her for almost 40 minutes on my front porch (she is definitely blessed with the gift of gab!) we got her all good to go for the next challenge that was about to start… in June.

            It was in the office at the gym when the nickname “Hulk” was first bestowed upon Michelle. For those of you aren’t familiar with the Fitness Rebellion in our neck of the woods, it used to be “Team Hulk” before I was simultaneously selected to be an Anytime Fitness ambassador for a “Rebellion” being started (1 of 50 from all over North America) and served a cease-and-desist from Marvel. Due to my lacking belief in coincidences I believe the Universe had a plan and in this case it was giving “Hulk” a new identity and spirit like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Well, it was smack dab in the middle of all of this when Michelle got herself signed up for the beginning of her Rebel journey. At the time everyone who wasn’t a member of the gym initially was input in the computer with “Hulk” before their last name so the office folk knew they were one of “my people.” When Michelle “Hulk” Huntley appeared on the screen we both thought it had a pretty snazzy ring to it… Little did we know it was symbolic of not only who she was going to become but more so who she had always been all along…

            “Hulk” means the world to me not because I’m a fan of the comics and think it’s cool (that is just a bonus) but because of what he represents. We ALL have a beast inside lying dormant until provoked… Do we let it out or stifle it? Everyone knows what being stuck between a rock and a hard place feels like, but how do you respond? Do you submit and cower or do you Hulk out and Hulk smash? If you can’t excel with talent then triumph with effort, and that’s what the Hulk is… Raw effort that doesn’t always look all that pretty but NEVER gives up without a fight… Since Michelle joined up with the Fitness Rebellion a little over a year and a half ago from this write up she has exhibited every bit of that and more. For starters, she’s lost 73 pounds and counting since that day she became the ONLY person I refer to as “Hulk” (fun fact: she bowls with a 15 pound ball so for every 15 pounds she loses she views it as a “strike”). Her very first challenge she earned the coveted “MVH” given out to the “Most Valuable Hulkster” on each team. It’s essentially our Fitness Rebellion’s hall-of-fame induction when you earn that title. 3 completed Rebel challenges later she became the 4th overall recipient of the “Hulk Legend” award. Unlike the “MVH” title this prestigious title is NOT guaranteed to be given out and is only awarded when it happens. The criteria is simple: intangibly representing every aspect of being a Rebel in every way which means never giving up no matter what, upholding the “Rebel Code,” and supporting everyone around you with the heart of a lion in the process. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being a leader of love internally and externally in a way that history books make note about. Michelle has been forever written into the Fitness Rebellion history book and we’re just getting started!

            To see Michelle work and “be” is like watching genuine magic. She doesn’t have an ounce of quit in her body and doesn’t accept it from anybody else around her either. Her severe asthma, residual surgery aftermath, and built up bodily limitations leave her needing to modify most exercises and it’s THAT VERY MINDSET that has made Michelle a Legend and a defining example of what “never giving up” truly means. If she can’t do something, she finds a way to do it anyways. “All or nothing” doesn’t exist anymore and in its place is the infinitely more effective “do something.”

            “I’m no different than anybody out there. It can always be worse. I mean, I’ve survived 2 bouts of cancer, the loss of my husband, almost 20 surgeries, and more… but I’m alive. I have to take care of me because no one else is going to. It starts within.”
Forever humble through every moment Michelle is the type who you’d never know the accolades she’s achieved because she’d never tell you. Just the same she’ll shrug off what she’s been through as tough but noting that “there are other people out there who have it way worse… We’ve all got a story.” She’s quick to point out her parents as 2 of her most inspiring and shining examples of perseverance that showed her the proper way in handling the tribulations life slings at you. She’s just as speedy to point out that she wouldn’t have made it without her faith, either. The common denominator being she points her finger everywhere else but her when it comes to how amazing she is yet she said it best herself… it starts within.

            “If you try to plan it won’t happen, but you can prepare the best you can. I do what I can control and accept what I can’t. I’ve got faith that where I’m supposed to be, I’ll be and that what I’m supposed to do, I’ll do. You’ve got to take it as it comes. It’s all about your mindset. Things will always be tough, and it’s ok to have your moment… but buck up when its time. You’re not going to make it if you don’t keep marching on.”

            When Michelle and I first sat down I asked her what she wanted the tone of her story to be. I explained that these stories are THE most viewed component of Timetorebel.com, often garnering thousands of views in the first week alone due to the Facebook shares, retweets, and the Fitness Rebellion’s official Facebook page carrying the story as well… What did she want to say with such a dynamic platform? I wanted her to think about what she was hoping people will take away from her journey and apply to themselves. After a brief pause as she pondered a proper and scholarly answer, she looked at me and said one simple and definitive word I will from here on out always associate with Michelle “Hulk” Huntley;

per•se•ver•ance
[pur-suh-veer-uh ns]
noun
3. Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc. especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
4. Theology. Continuance in a state of grace to the end leading to eternal salvation.

As of the publishing of this story Michelle has lost 102 lbs and counting!

As of the publishing of this story Michelle has lost 102 lbs and counting!

6th OYO Circus Workout!

6th Week

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

This week the 6th OYO workout works you from top to bottom while utilizing all of your assets; strength, functionality, endurance, and balance. Remember that most of the achievement is in the struggle so if it’s burning it’s working! Feel free to message me if you have any questions (or hit me up at the gym yo!)

Click HERE for the last 5 OYO workouts!

Reference Guide

Set up for Lateral Jumps Lateral Jumps

Lateral Jumps on Pull-Down Machine – 2 things you need to do immediately before getting started: make sure the short handles are attached to the pull down machines AND that you have ALL of the weight selected (don’t worry, you’re not lifting it J). Once that’s done place one foot on the seat with the other to the side. Using the handles to pull yourself you want to simultaneously jump up to the other side while transferring feet. Use the handles to control your body on the way down as well as getting a really good stretch so you have more spring! Get as much jump as your body will allow and go as fast as your body is able!

Dumbbell Sumo Squat Hold

Dumbbell Sumo Squat Hold – Imagine a wall-sit but a tad bit more difficult. Choose a dumbbell weight that works for you knowing that grip strength will play a role! Once you have your weighted dumbbell of choice take a wide stance with your feet, squat down with the dumbbell while holding on to the sides of it, and hold that squat! When gripping the dumbbell make sure you have your fingers all the way spread out (as pictured) so as to utilize the entirety of your body when holding it. You also want to make sure you keep your head up and chest proud the entire time so your body is in proper position. Go down only as far as able while still maintaining proper form.

Rope Machine V-sit Pull-Downs

Rope Machine V-Sit Pull-Downs – Make your way to our “MARPO” Rope machine and set the difficulty anywhere between 5-7. Once down take a seat on the bench and get in a v-sit position (feet off the ground, abs tight, balancing on the bench). For a lot of you your back will start screaming at you so if that is you do this exercise with your feet on the ground. Once in position you are reaching up as high as you can and pulling down as fast and hard as you can alternating each arm as quickly as possible. There is a timer on the machine itself so keeping time count is easy on this one!

Weighted Leg Lift Crunches

Weighted Leg Lift Crunches – Lay down on a mat with a barbell weight of your choice. Keep the bar extended over your chest with both legs all the way extended. One at a time you’re going to alternate lifting your fully extended leg as high up as you can while trying to touch the bar to your foot in a crunch movement.

Pull-Overs (Cable)

Cable Pull-Overs – Take a rope attachment and place it on a cable apparatus of your choice while making sure that cable is as high as it can go. Once in position choose the weight appropriate for you, grab the handles, and take 2 steps back so that you can stretch forward at the waist while still keeping tension on the cable. Once all the way stretched out while leaning forward at the waist (trying to get your back closer to parallel with the floor) you’re going to keep your arms fully extended (don’t lock your elbows!) while pulling the ropes to your pockets (or where pockets would be). If you have to round out your back (meaning your chest isn’t out and proud at the end of the movement) then you have too much weight selected. Go back to the starting position while consciously stretching your back out in the process. Repeat!

Perched Rows

Perched Dumbbell Rows – Select a dumbbell weight of your choice and grab a bench, high step, or plyo box so you position your  body in a wide stance push-up position with one arm on the bench and the other arm hanging straight down towards the floor. Maintaining the plank position you want to pull the dumbbell up in a “row” movement before stretching it all the way back down. Do all your reps on the side of your choice before repeating on the other side!

Squat-to-Press (Cable)

Cable Squat-to-Press – Utilizing the center cable machine in the center of the free weight area you want to make sure both cable attachments have the short grips on them and they are all the way to the ground. Select the weight that works for you before grabbing the handles, curling them up to your shoulders (and keeping them there), squatting, and then pressing on the upward end of the squat. Lower the handles while you go back to the squat and repeat!

Roman Chair Knee Lifts

Roman Chair Knee Lifts – First off when position yourself in the roman chair you want to make sure that you are NOT leaning all the way back on it but rather keeping your shoulder over your elbow for maximum efficiency and functionality. Remember you have platforms you can place your feet on for a break if you start to slip. Once in proper position simple go from having your legs hanging straight down to bringing your knees up as high to your chest as you are able and then… Repeat!

Stability Ball Jack Knifes

Swiss Ball Jack Knifes – For this exercise you want to get into a plank position with your legs on a stability ball and arms straight. From here you want to drive your knees forward while doing your best to raise your hips towards the ceiling in the process. If your body doesn’t agree with this movement do your best to hold a plank with your legs on the ball and maintain it with no movement.

- Ringmaster8

 

The 5th OYO Circus Workout!

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

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

The 5th OYO workout brings us back to where we started… LEGS! Since this week has only one COMMITTED workout (that happens to be legs on Tuesday/Wednesday) I chose to double down on the lower body to get the most bang for your buck! I advise you don’t do this workout within at least 1-2 days before or after your Rebel boot camp day to make sure you allow maximum recovery.

Integrating a modified Rebel X 360, drop-sets, and a new “10X10″ format you have even MORE of a chance to dig your deepest, Rebels! AhhhOOOO!!!

Click HERE for the previous 4 workouts!

Reference Guide

BOSU Squats

Set your BOSU down with the black side facing up and step on by pinning one side of the BOSU to the ground with your foot allowing you to swing your other foot to the other side and even yourself out. TADA! You’re in position! From here make sure your feet are as even as possible and commence to squatting! Remember to keep your head up, try not to let your knees go too far forward, and push your hips backward while keeping your chest out like you’re going to sit in a chair. If you’re not accustomed to balance work then it’s going to be a bit shaky at first but as long as you keep at it that shaky feeling will go away!

Step-Ups

Set up a bench, plyo box, or stepper (steppers with levels are great for controlling the height of your step up if you need it a bit shorter) and place one foot in the center of it. Keep your heel down as you step all the way up on one leg while doing your best to STAY on one leg (working your balance). Control yourself on the way back down, land as softly as you can, and repeat! 

Walking Lunges

Pick a space or lane where you can lunge forward for a stretch so as to get some mobility out of this one. When stepping to lunge make sure that you step far enough out where your back heel comes off the ground and you have to balance on the ball of your back foot. Focus on bringing your back knee straight down before simultaneously lunging up and stepping forward, repeating the process. 

Leg Extensions

To set the leg extension machine up to your body’s specifications you want to focus on 2 things: the knee pivot point and the shin pivot point. When you set yourself up in the chair the knee pivot point is the black circle on your left next to your left knee. You want your knee and that black circle to line up. If you are too far forward or backward you want to adjust the SEAT BACK by bringing your left arm behind you, pulling the seat adjustment pin straight outward, and adjusting the seat back until your knee is in proper position when seated comfortable. As for the shin pivot point that is what controls the pad on your ankles and is adjusted by the pin at the base of the pad with a “S, M, L, XL” setting. Pick which one is most comfortable for you when doing the leg extension (you might need to stop to adjust and that’s ok).Once all set you simply extend your leg at the knee and squeezes your quads (tops of your thigh). Lower and repeat!

Wide Stance Kettle Bell Squats

Select your desired kettle bell (you can flip a dumbbell on its side and use that if you want a heavier weight than what is available) and stand over it with a wide, toes out stance. Pick up the kettle bell and let it hang straight down. Your arms are merely the vehicle for the weight so they should hang straight down the entire time. When you squat make sure that the trajectory of the kettle bell is straight up and down. Keep your head up and chest out while making sure your knees stay directly over your feet. Get as close to a 90 degree angle from shin to hip as you can, clench your butt muscles at the top of the motion, and repeat!

Stiff Legged Deadlifts

The nature of this exercise is to strengthen your hamstrings (back of your thighs) through dynamic stretching. Your lower back is a major part of this exercise as well. You’re going to start by selecting your desired dumbbell weight, let the dumbbells hang at your side, and take a shoulder width stance with your feet. Bending at the waist you’re going to let the weights pull you towards the floor while simultaneously focusing on getting a stretch in your hamstrings. To do this you must keep your legs fully extended but do NOT lock your knee! There is a difference between full extension and locked joints. If you feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings from stretching forward then go as far down as able (don’t force it!) and then keep those very same muscles engaged when you stand back upright. Repeat!

Side Lunges

Take a very wide stance and start on whatever side you want. The goal is to extend one leg fully while bending sideways away from the extended leg. You want to focus on a stretch in your inner thigh while getting as low on the “bended knee” side as you can. Stand all the way back up while maintaining your wide stance before stretching to the other side. Repeat! Add dumbbells or a barbell for an added challenge/stretch

Calve Raises

Find the leg press machine and make sure the seat is as far up as it goes by pulling the pin out from under the seat and moving accordingly. It can be a bit touchy at times so keep at it and you’ll get it! Once you’ve selected your desired weight place the balls of your feet at the bottom edge of the platform with your heels hanging off. Extend your legs so all the weight is rested on your toes. From here, let the weight push your heels down so you can get a really good calve stretch before reversing direction and raising as high up on your toes as you can. Repeat for allotted rep count!

- Ringmaster8

4th OYO Circus Workout!

4th Week

Click the workout photo to download the workout, reference guide, and tracking sheet!

It’s time to put culminate the last 3 weeks in this total body workout. Your foundation and balance will be tested as you continue to dig deep, Rebels! AhhhOOOO!!!!

Click HERE for the last 3 OYO Workouts!

Reference Guide

Cable Adjustment Instructions

You will come across this cable apparatus and others like it on your future health journey so I figured some handy instructions for those who aren’t acquainted yet would come in handy.

Seatless Seated Cable Rows

Adjust the cables so that they are around the height of your waist. Find the single hand grips as picture above and make sure they are attached to the cables. Select your desired weight (it may take a few tries) and take 2 big steps backward with the handles. From here, take a seat with your arms fully extended, stretching out your back. Maintain your seated position as you pull back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Get a good stretch as you let your arms go back to the starting position and repeat!

Cable Chest Press

Adjust the cables so that they are at mid-chest height. Bring your hands up as shown in the 1st photo of the above picture and take 2 steps forward as showcased in the 2nd photo. Maintain your balance and extend your arms all the way out, squeezing them together at the end of the movement while keep your hands at mid-chest height. Bring back to starting position and repeat!

Push-Up w- Alternating Limb Lifts

Get in a push-up position only make sure your feet are in a wide stance. Once in position you’re going to do a standard push-up only as you come up you’re going to extend one opposing arm and one opposing leg as high up as you can while still maintaining your balance. Revert back to push-up position, do another push-up, and switch to the opposing limbs. Alternate back and forth and repeat!

Flamingo Flex CrunchesGrab your BOSU and dumbbells again only this time you are standing in the center of the BOSU on one leg. Start with whatever leg you want on top of whatever side of the BOSU you need more practice on. Next you’re going to bring your dumbbells up in a “flexed biceps” position while keeping your elbows at shoulder height the entire time! With your leg that is NOT on the BOSU you are going to fully extend it behind you (while staying upright) and then bring your knee back up towards your chest while squeezing your abdominals. Once all repetitions are done, repeat on the other side!

Kneeling BOSU -T- Twists

Set a BOSU on the ground and grab a couple of dumbbells that match your ability on this one. Take a kneeling position and balance with your feet of the floor. With your arms fully extended at your side you are going to rotate at the torso as far as you can each side (each side you twist is one rep). Focus on the stretch in your midsection as well as keeping your dumbbells at shoulder height.

Wall-Sit w- Zottman Twists

Hold a wall sit while keeping your dumbbells in a bicep flex position. Continuously rotate your palms from downward to upward the entirety of the wall sit.

TRX Leg Lift w- ExtensionPlace your mat underneath the anchor point and lay down on your back so that your hands can press down on the foot cradles with your arms fully extended. Raise both your legs directly above your hips and while pressing down on the TRX straps for leverage elevate your feet as high up towards the ceiling as you can. Control your body and legs on the way back down, then repeat!

TRX Jump Squats

Make sure the straps are as long as they can be and sandwich the TRX straps between your arms and body with your back to the anchor point while resting your weight into the handles (this should be “comfortable” for the most part). Get your feet as far back as comfortable and go through a squat motion while staying on your toes. Using the TRX for support you’re going to extend your squat into a jump forward then quickly jumping back to the starting position. Repeat!

Lunge Punches

Take a stationary lunge position (one foot forward the other stretched behind you balanced on your toe) and then proceed to put your dukes up like you’re ready to start boxing. From here bring your back knee straight down in a standard lunge and then as you come up, punch across your body with the arm that’s on the opposite side of the foot that’s forward. Make sure to fully stretch out your punch to engage as much of your body as possible. 

- Ringmaster8

3rd OYO Circus Workout!

3rd Week

Click on the photo of the workout above to download the workout, reference guide, and tracking sheet directly to your phone, tablet, or computer!

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!

Reference Guide

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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.

Dips

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!

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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.

Cable Rows

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!

Cable Triceps Extension

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!

TRX Chin Ups

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!

TRX Curl to Shoulder Press with Squat

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!

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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.

- Ringmaster8

2nd OYO Circus Workout!

2nd Week

Click on the workout photo to download the complete workout, reference guide, and track sheet! AhhhOOO!!

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!!!!

Reference Guide

Wall-Sit w/ Calve Raises

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.

Lunge to Knee Drive

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.)

Leg Press Machine

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!

Proper Squat Drill

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!

Stationary BOSU Lunges

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.

BOSU Lateral Jumps

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.

Wide Stance "Prisoner" Squats w/ Twist

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!

TRX Calve Raises

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.

- Ringmaster8

1st OYO Circus Workout!

Chaplin Rebel

AhhhOOO!!

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! 

Week 1

Reference Guide for the Workout above

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

- Ringmaster8

The Circus Has Arrived!!

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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…

- Ringmaster8