Let It Burn II – Forgive and Move On…

 

Forgiving others is hard… Forgiving yourself is harder.

This week, before our hell-on-wheels of a leg workout, I had all the Rebels write down two things… What they forgive themselves for on one card and what they’re fighting for on another. Two very important things that tend to be overlooked and forgotten when times are toughest.

On the forgiveness card, I wanted it to be as big or small as seen necessary. The one thing I DIDN’T want to happen though was for this to be taken lightly. No matter the issue, you need to learn to forgive yourself and move on or you’ll always be tethered to the shame of not feeling good enough. There is a strength in forgiving oneself of shortcomings and regrets, a strength that is far more difficult to implement than people either realize or are willing to admit.

Well when it was time to start boot camp, I shut the door, covered the windows, and turned the lights off. With everyone against the wall, I made very clear what we were going to do with these cards everyone filled out… I was going to read off every single one as the entire team did a wall-sit in the dark, then we were going to BURN those cards. Forgive and move on. This was a lesson in letting go so you can hold on.

At the end of the wall sit, after every single card had been read, there was a charged silence. Everyone was full of revelation and the realization that they related to more than 3/4’s of the forgiveness cards. When I asked for a show of hands to people who related to more than 1 card… hands shot up. All of them. Those very hands stayed up when I asked if anybody related to more than 3… 5… half… The point was proven.

If you saw my last video where I burned everyone’s card that had the thing they hated most about themselves written on it, then you’ve noticed a trend… All of these “mistakes” and transgressions people hate, are ashamed of, and are hard to forgive are universal to almost EVERY SINGLE PERSON. It didn’t matter the age, gender, occupation, fitness level, or goal… At a basic human level, everyone relates to the simplest of problems… The struggle to be healthy and happy. 

If you take the time to watch the video and see any forgiveness cards you relate to, then attach yourself to it… Carry it with you the duration of the song and watch it burn away, setting you free of the burden that you’ll never be good enough. You’re ALREADY good enough, that’s not the tough part… The tough part is REALIZING IT.

There will always be mistakes to be made. Slip ups to be had. Moments of disappointment will lurk around every corner… Yet you are the one who has the ultimate say in the matter! What choice do you make? I say take what you need out of the situation and move on with your head held high.

After all, you’ve got to want it more than anything because anything can stop you.

– Rebel8

Suzanne Pelz – You Have a Choice

Suzanne accepting her MVH award at our Hillbilly Hoe-down

You Have a Choice

When I sat down with Suzanne Pelz, 43 years young, there was electricity that I’m certain I was the only one feeling. Suzanne is one of those special people that only comes along once in every 3 blue moons or so yet has no idea the spirit she is. Case in point… She couldn’t fathom why I wanted tell her story in the first place! This is why…

Suzanne has struggled with weight her entire life. Not to the severity that warrants an intervention or giving people that she’s on the verge of discovering a new form of diabetes, but rather the kind of weight issues that a lot of people have yet internalize for fear that it’s not TRULY a problem since other people have it worse. Kind of like when you’re in a bad mood over something that is really stressing you out, then a friend comes along and has a problem that is logistically even MORE stressful than your situation so you feel like you have to swallow YOUR struggle because your friend has it worse. We’ve all been in that situation, and we can all agree that it leads to this overwhelming anxiety that leaves you aching for someone to listen but you don’t feel it’s deserved, so you keep it in until it surfaces when you least expect it. The definition of “The straw that broke the camels back.”

What if you did that your entire life with your weight issue? It’s an issue to YOU, but slight in comparison to the morbidly obese. The fear of hearing someone say “YOU think you have a weight problem?! PSH!!!” triggers that anxiety feeling I talked about a moment ago, and Suzanne happened to be in this category. She never joined a gym or took part in group exercise because she wasn’t comfortable with HERSELF, so how could she be comfortable around other people in the environment that was focused around her insecurities?

Now, Suzanne had always attempted to take care of herself yet always seemed to slink back into bad habits. She’d found success for the first time 13 years ago when she took it upon yourself to learn more about weight management and exercise. She’d hired a trainer for one on one time, lost more weight than she ever had before, and was feeling pretty damn good about herself! To her, it was LEARNING about how her body worked that allowed her to start developing tools and skillsets to be healthy. She’d always WANTED to be fit, just didn’t quite know how to do it until she was proactive about it.

If I had a dime for every person that related to this next part, I’d be a millionaire… After some time, finances became a bit tough and Suzanne had to stop seeing her trainer. She was using the new tools she had developed and things were going smoothly for a moment… until she found herself in a wonderful relationship that added the kiss of death to someone like Suzanne; a comfort zone that gave her something else to focus on.

Cha-ching!

This is where a plot twist gets thrown in. 10 years ago, shortly after the rise and fall of her new healthier lifestyle, she started to feel a tingle in her foot and “off in her feet” when she walked. When the tingling crept up to mid-calve she started to get really alarmed. It was up to her knees by the time she had made it to the doctor. While assessing the situation, the Doctor noticed some eye twitching happening that prompted him to give her an MRI.

Diagnosis: Multiple Schlerosis.

For those not familiar, “Schlerosis” means scar tissue on the brain so “Multiple Schlerosis” means you have multiple areas of scarring on the brain. Due to the tricky nature of the brain and nervous system, everyone has slightly different reactions but the reasons why it is so difficult to deal with is the same… When your brain comes upon roadblocks in the brain (scar tissue) it needs to find a “detour” to get whatever message it’s trying to deliver to wherever the destination is. Similar to taking a detour in a car, it requires a longer distance thus takes more gas. Your brain and body is no different… These “detours” the brain has to take drains more energy than average and effects wherever these detours mainly take place. For Suzanne, it’s her right leg that gets the brunt of the difficulty.

4 years after her diagnosis, Suzanne found herself at the heaviest weight she’d ever been. Energy drained, motivation non-existent, and desperate for a change, Suzanne joined weight watchers. After losing 34% of her body weight, Suzanne found herself in a peculiar situation… She still felt fat and didn’t really feel healthy.

I’ve seen this happen often with people who eat for weight loss but don’t give their BODY the work that it needs to take care of itself as well. When this happens, you lose weight but your internal structure is still not in tune with itself. Losing weight doesn’t always mean your body is going to become “fit” and Suzanne experienced this first hand. Unfortunately, this caused a bittersweet back track that would be a low point for Suzanne yet ultimately be the lesson she needed to succeed in the big picture.

1 year ago, Suzanne was in dire-straights. She had gained almost all of her weight back. She found herself prying struggling to get out of bed with no energy, working a full work day, then going straight to the couch after putting her PJs on after work, do nothing, go to bed, and repeat the whole cycle all over again. This is another “If I had a dime” moments… Her Doctor even told her that if she didn’t get up and do SOMETHING her right leg would deteriorate.

It was a biggest loser program at her work that prompted her to take her body back. Suzanne has herself a competitive streak that would make an Olympian blush, and she coupled that with the realization that she didn’t do any exercising the last time she attempted a new, healthy life style. When you know the problem, you know the solution, and she approached that solution tentatively at first…

A turning point for Suzanne was actually when she tried to talk herself OUT of the program. She approached the director one day and started “excuse vomit” culminating with “I have soooooooo much going on I just really don’t think I can go through with this.” The director responded “That’s not good enough Suzanne, there will ALWAYS be a lot of things going on. It’s time to work past that.”

This opened up Suzanne’s eyes to something bigger than the comfort zone she was trying to maintain. She realized she couldn’t hold herself back anymore. She had a choice, and she was at a cross roads… Either choose to let her situation get the best of her or to get the best of her situation. Thankfully for everyone who knows Suzanne, she chose the latter.

After seeing a lot of posts and excitement regarding a fitness challenge called “Rebel X” she decided to ask her cousin, David Moody (already participating), about how she could become a part. After getting set up with the creator and trainer (myself) she was able to join a couple weeks into this 10 week challenge.

This is where Suzanne hulk smashed her demons in a very visible way… Even though she joined late, she lost the most inches out of everybody. Out of 75 people. Holy hell. Out of 3 possible “Most Valuable Hulk” awards (one per team of 25 people) she won hers in resounding fashion. She’s not only at a manageable weight, but the fittest she’s ever been. She took her journey and put it on display to everyone, become a beacon of light for others who, just like her, have only known darkness.

Suzanne is now off most of her meds. She is attempting to break the record for holding a plank out of all 11 of my challenges that I’ve done. She is the first to show up and the last to leave. She calls people out and enjoys getting called out if someone feels she’s not giving it all. When I leave on a trip, she’s one of the first people I ask to be a “team gluer” to check in with everyone and make sure people don’t stray when “the cats away.” There is NOTHING that can stop this woman from accomplishing whatever she wants, and not only does she know that now, but she screams at the top of her lungs to share to the world;

You have a choice to either let your situation get the best of you or get the best of your situation.

That’s why I wanted to tell your story Suzanne.

-Rebel8

Anytime Fitness Conference 2012

The first video is the video piece Mark Daly and Anytime Fitness presented at the conference.

The second video is my award acceptance speech. It was cut off a bit but full video will be available shortly. I just wanted to share as soon as I could! There was a record 1400 people in attendance!!! 

Much more to come Rebels… MUCH more! 

– Rebel8

The Rebe11ion Lives On!

Aloha Rebels! The time has come for the first ever “challenge break!” First it’s a hop, skip, and a jump to Maui for Bobbi and Tye’s vow renewal then we jet set to Chicago for the 10th annual Anytime Fitness conference where I’m proudly going to represent all y’all! Until then though, I refuse to leave you all high and dry! I also refuse to let the AMAZING work some of you have done on your bodies (I guarantee you a lot of you don’t fully understand the transformation your body has ALREADY made by this point) fall of track and divert away from what is always the best thing to fight for… You.

I have designated “Team Gluers” who are in charge of keeping in contact with their team and checking in with everyone regularly so that you are held accountable. These team gluers are veterans hand picked by me (I had many to choose from… It felt like trying to decide whether to take the Ferrari or Lamborghini out for a spin, so just know that if I didn’t ask you to be a “team gluer” it wasn’t because you weren’t able!) who know what their role is and are stoked to help keep the roller coaster at full speed! Be on the lookout for them not not only lead by example, but to ask how YOUR “homework” is doing. One team, one dream!

Team Gluers & Their Team

NOVA:
Kristie Clay – Lorna Klein, Terri Baker, Trish Moyer (mom)
Sam Enos – Cassie Chandler, Mario Pacheco, Tony Geraldi
Kristina Tovani – Cheri Whiting, Marco Avalos, Serena Rupert
Tom Walton – Amanda Vallee, Casey Thompson, Shauna Bronson

DYNAMITE:
David Moody – Alan Brogdon, Rachel Brogdon, Maggie Schuck, Justin Zuiderweg, Michelle Huntley
Jamie Bywater – Jerry Langerman, Kaila Finch, Tammey Clark, Julia Wood
Suzanne Pelz – Alyssa Solberg, Karen Solberg, Cheryl Taylor, Paul “Randy” Larsen
Lori DeMarco – Austin Finch, Darlene Catania, Kelly Moody, Jody Livingston

Homework

In the 9 days I’m gone, I want all Rebels to do the following:
  • 1 Round of Rebel X 360 [CLICK HERE]
  • 1 Round of the 11th hour [CLICK HERE] OR Rebel X  360 [CLICK HERE] a second time (with at least 2 days rest in between)
  • Minimum 2 Rounds of “The 500 Club” (doesn’t have to be the same day) [CLICK HERE]
  • 6 days of “Cardio” at a minimum of 30 minutes each (That can range from outdoor sports, hiking, running, biking, elliptical, Zumba… Just MOVE!)

Simple task if you ask me! You can do more if you’d like no problem! I just ask that you step outside of your comfort and do some things you wouldn’t normally do, and for some of you that’s the workouts I designed or getting out and hiking some trails outdoors. Remember, you’ll be delightfully accounted for!

In regards to the 9 days I’ll be gone, I found out that our regular rebel times (6:30PM Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) will NOT be occupied with a class! I repeat, they will NOT be occupied! For those who would like to get together as a group, the room will be available to keep each other accountable!

Schedule

While I’m gone, all of my regular classes are still happening. The following are the classes and times still occuring and who they will be subbed by:

  • Mud Circuit Training (Friday the 7th and 14th @ 9:30am) – Angelica
  • TRX (Tuesday the 11th @ 5pm) – Michelle
  • Bootcamp Blast (Wednesday the 12th @9am) – Michelle
  • TRX (Wednesday the 12th @5:30pm) – Angelica
  • BOSU Class (Thursday the 13th @6pm) – Michelle
  • Food Group – Still meet on Wednesday at 7:40pm!

In addition, Saturday the 8th and 15th will be a special 1 Hour TRX class run by Heather AND Michelle at 10am for only $5! Space is limited, so be sure to sign up at the gym!

Lastly, I wanted to thank you all for doing the work people don’t do and getting the results people don’t get. If you ever need a reminder of how awesome you are or how awesome you can be, please feel free to cruise through the tabs at the top and read up on the shovel, what a rebel is, the team song, and much more…

If it were easy, it wouldn’t be special!

– Rebel8

PS I look forward to sharing many adventures with you all when I get back 🙂

The 11th Hour!

The 11th Hour

This workout plan is designed to be done in an adequate space with adequate equipment. Whether that be a garage with space or your gyms local aerobic room when it’s not being used, this is NOT something that can be done at home but IS something you can use to educate yourself while getting a REALLY good workout (or, just get a really good workout if you’re familiar with these exercises).

The breakdown:

The 11th hour consists of 11 exercises put into an order that will completely work the entirety of your body while testing aerobic endurance, strength, conditioning, and the ability to keep going when you’ve convinced yourself you can’t. This format is essentially my Tough Mudder circuit class format, only this workout design doesn’t change week to week the way my class does. 

You will do each exercise for 30 total seconds (no less) back-to-back-to-back until you’ve completed 5 rounds. The word “break” is not in this workouts vocabulary. You go STRAIGHT THROUGH 6 TIMES. Just wanted to make that very clear!

The Setup:

Listed below are the exercises in the order that you are going to do them, with the tools needed in parenthesis. Be sure to set all the stations up before beginning the circuit. If you have the tools to do MOST of the exercises, but not all, then do the closest equivalent. Don’t have equalizers to do push-ups? Do regular push-ups. Don’t have 2 BOSU’s to do squats on? Use air discs, balance boards, half foam rollers, or just the floor if in a crunch!

You can start ANYWHERE in the circuit you wish, as long as you complete the rounds entirely. You can click on the title of each exercise to get a video link on what the exercise is so you’re not left in the dark.

  1. Standing BOSU Shoulder Press (BOSU & 5lb, 8lb, or 10lb dumbbells)
  2. Equalizer Chin-Ups (2 Lebert Equalizers)
  3. Burpees (Floor Space)
  4. BOSU Mountain Climbers (BOSU)
  5. Wall-Sit with Bicep Curl (Wall Space & Dumbbells ranging from 5-20 lbs)
  6. Alternating Reverse Lunges w/ Barbell (Barbell weight of your choice… 8 lbs and beyond!)
  7. Double BOSU Squat w/ Medicine Ball Extension (2 BOSUs and a medicine ball weight of your choice)
  8. Hands Up Bicycles (Mat & 2-8 lb dumbbells if you want an added challenge)
  9. Exercise Ball Russian Twists w/ Dumbbell (Exercise ball & 5-10 lb dumbbell)
  10. Dynamic Crunch w/ Medicine Ball (Mat & Medicine Ball of your choice)
  11. Lebert Equalizer Push-ups [Only follow first half of the video!] (2 Lebert Equalizers)

So a reminder… 30 seconds per exercise, 6 rounds straight through, no breaks!

Be safe and have fun!

– Rebel8

The 500 Club!

The 500 Club

The 500 club is a straight to the point, no nonsense style core workout that will work every single inch of your most important muscle groupings. From your lower back and hip flexors to your abdomen and beyond, this workout is not only effective, but VERY adjustable! Able to complete one round in a breeze? Do 2! Want an added boost to the workout? Incorporate dumbbells and BOSUs!

The actual workout itself consists of doing the following exercises and allotted repetitions all in a row (That’s one round):

  • Forearm Plank Knee Drivers (50 Reps)
  • Crunches (50 Reps)
  • Straight Arm Plank Position Toe Tappers (50 Reps)
  • Flutter Kicks (100 kicks)
  • Straight Arm V-Sit Twists (50 Reps)
  • Jumping Jacks (50 Reps)
  • Straight Arm Plank Position Hand Tappers (50 Reps)
  • Crunches (50 Reps)
  • Arms Extended Prone Cobras (50 Reps)

If you tally the rep counts, you’ll see that’s where the name derives… 500 repetitions! If able, proudly become a member of the Grand club! The 1,500 club and beyond! This workout can be done at home or at the gym!

To help you out, I’ve provided brief videos of each exercise being done so you aren’t left in the dark:

-Rebel8

Hanky-Plank Challenge!

The Hanky-Plank challenge!

First and foremost, “Hanky-Plank” means nothing. It rhymes and it’s catchy, so you’ll remember it… Now that you’ve uncovered my hidden agenda there it’s time to get down to brass tacks! (PS I am certain it’s not “tax” if that’s what you’re thinking right now. Trust me, I am well versed in my haberdashery skills).

The challenge is simple; Every OTHER day, hold a 5 minutes accumulated plank. It doesn’t have to be 5 minutes in a row, but does need to total 5 minutes. Once you are able to 5 minutes in a row, then it’s simple… Add another minute! If you get to the point where you can hold a 5 minute plank continuously, then go to 6. Once you can do 6, then go to 7… Trust me, the numbers won’t be climbing at a rate you won’t be able to keep up with :).

To start, watch this video as a guide on how to implement the perfect plank and keep it perfect:

The goal; To strengthen your core to the max! Out of all the exercises in existence, I believe the plank is the most structurally sound when done right. It reinforces your body from the inside out, incorporating your entire body in learning how to work together as a whole. Having a strong plank will not only better the quality and effectiveness of your workouts, but also your life! It is functionality training at it’s finest when done right, and that’s what I’m here for… To make sure it’s done right ;). By the end of this thing, I hope to have created some plank MONSTERS!

The prize; You will get a special “Plank Specialist” t-shirt provided and designed by myself, customized to YOU, as well as a highlighted spot on the shovel when it comes time to sign it! You have earned both simple-yet-prestigious prizes if you are able to take the top plank spot!

The rules:

1) The winner will be decided during the end of challenge fit test once both teams have done said test. DURING the challenge however, I strongly encourage doing the plank in the “knees down” position if it is too much for your lower back. Hurting yourself is not worth it when the goal is to better yourself.

2) Follow the instructions of the video carefully. Be AWARE of what every part of your body is doing and listen to your body if it says it’s time to take a break. There’s a difference between sharp lower back pain and a difficult exercise. As human beings, we have an instinct that tells us when something is harming us as opposed to when something is just hard. Listen to that instinct. Along the same line,

3) If your lower back starts to hurt, then rest until you are able to perform the exercise WITHOUT your lower back taking all the pain. That means your body isn’t strong enough to go any longer, but it doesn’t mean you’re not working it effectively. The important thing here is a healthy body, not “as long as possible at all costs.”

4) We are going on the honor system here, since in the end the fit test will show the practice!

I promise that if you follow these guidelines your plank time will not only go through the roof, but your body will feel like brand new! It we will be hard work, but that’s what makes it worth it. The benefits FAAAAAAAR outweigh the energy output used in tackling this challenge. You will have a reinforced structural integrity that you will be able to reap the benefits from well past your workouts and into your every day life.

Game on ;).

– Rebel8