GET MOVING! Set Your 2013 Fitness Goals Now!

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A new year is almost here and this is the time to set your fitness goals for 2013. Why now? If you set your plan in motion now, you’ll have plenty of time to research new gyms, fitness classes, races, and training groups!

There are an abundance of options to kick off the new year in a new frame of mind. If you need inspiration,  13 Hottest Fitness Trends to Try in 2013  is worth a read!  If you still need help narrowing the scope of what you hope to accomplish, talk to a fitness professional or friend.

If you are not sure where to start in your fitness goals, work on setting your goals on a number of levels:

First you create your “big picture” of what you want to do with your life (or over, say, the next 4 years), and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve.

Then, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit to reach your BIG goals. Make these achievable! You want to set small goals for each month and week as you work towards meeting the larger overall goal! For example… Ride 40 or miles each week in June,July, and August (then you’ll be read y for the September Iron Girl and also be working towards overall fitness).

Finally, once you have your plan, GO! There is not any point in “waiting till Monday” or “starting after the holidays”. Once you have your plan, move into action!

Find a supportive friend or group of friends with similar goals and share your plan with them.  You will be amazed at how much a bit of peer support can help you along the way!
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Double the Fun! A Great Paired /Team Boot Camp Workout!

I typically try to alternate between individual and group games each boot camp session.  I have found that the group games foster a positive and encouraging environment for new boot campers, while the individual challenges allow each participant to focus on tackling individual challenges on their own.  The women empower each other and support each other making this a great pair game!

My favorite (and the group’s favorite) partner activity is our Double the Fun activity.  This game is the most fun in the Spring and Summer months when we are able to be outside and run the “stairs”.  The Double the Fun workout is as follows”

Equipment:  Dumbbells (various weights or bands will work, have students bring their yoga mats)

Ask boot campers to partner up! One member of each pair will run the stairs

The dreaded STAIRS!

while the other does the exercise and then they will switch.  When we run the stairs – up and down counts for 1x- as my participants’ fitness ability increased – we went from 1x on the stairs to 2x.

*note that the exercises listed below are just examples.  I switch out different exercises all the time!

Round ONE:

Sumo Squats ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
V-Sits ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Bicep Curl ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Speed Ladder ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner

Round TWO:

Russian Twist ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Plank Ups ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Tricep Dips ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Globe Jumps ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner

Round THREE:

Right Leg Lunge ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Left Leg Lunges ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Bicycles ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Burpees ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner

By the time this workout is completed, each participant will have run the stairs 24 times.  A feat that amazes the ladies every time we do it!  The most rewarding aspect of this activity is how excited and proud each grrrl is when they realize how much they accomplished and how great they feel!

Girl Power! Why is it so contagious?

This past weekend many of my boot camp participants and friends participated in the first annual Chick-uamegon 5K & 10K.  Despite temperatures in the high 30’s and pouring rain and sleet, over 250 women suited up in the obligatory bling required for an all girl race and hit the pavement.

Pre-Race while we all still were dry and warm. Many of our GRRRLS are missing from this photo but we had quite a crew!

This is a huge number of women for a brand new event in rural northern Wisconsin.  I have long understood the appeal of all female races.  I have run the Run Like a Diva half marathons in two different locations and have participated in many Iron Girl events across the Midwest. Women athletes empower each other. They’re more supportive of each other in training and throughout the race course.  There is a sense of female bonding that takes place and that alone is motivation enough for some women to lace up those athletic shoes each day.

The Northern Grrrls took the race preparations one step further with some additional female bonding over the crafy development of our race fluffies (gigantic furry leg warmers) and tutus. Simple online tutorials on making fluffies and tutus walked us through a night of silly craft making.  It was  a great way for us to get our creative energy out while ensuring that my house will never ever be glitter free again.  At least I cannot say that these events don’t bring *sparkle*to my life…

Showing off our fluffies! These looked more like leg dreadlocks after the mud and rain got to them, but they kept us toasty warm!

In short, it would not have mattered how cold and wet it was on Saturday morning… these ladies were NOT going to miss this event. There were so many women and little girls who were excited and dressed up and ready to meet the weather just so they could surround themselves with other strong women and support each other throughout the event.  I think that is what it is really about – that ancient instinct to stand together as women and support and nurture each other.  Maybe Helen Reddy said it best…♪♪♫♫♪♪

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
’cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

With as many challenges as every women has each day I love that racing and fitness can bring us together in a positive way and make each one of us roar just a little bit louder.

Wet and soaked, but still looking fabulous!