This is going to be a very important announcement. It involves you (bootcamp owners, instructors, coaches and personal trainers). I’m going to invite you to be part of something very, very special. There’s big opportunity here for us to make a major impact around the world. It involves fitness, health and nutrition.
As mentioned in previous posts and emails, it’s bothered me that my bootcamp clients (and I) have struggled with nutrition. Sure, bootcamps are fun, the workouts are good and it’s easy to sit back and simply hope for the best with our cilents nutrition. In my new book, SuperFit SuperFast Nutrition, I talk about how I would go to great lengths to avoid talking about nutrition with my clients simply because I knew the majority of them could not, would not stick to a low carb, low calorie or some other overly restricted diet. Although I wrote SuperFit SuperFast Nutrition for the general public, I knew as I was writing it that I had to plug it into the bootcamp world as well. It’s just too good not to take the time to do it. For me, it’s the right thing to do.
For the last three years, I’ve been studying food science. I wanted to know if there was something that I had missed, something that would make eating easier. Something that was not so restrictive. I was talking with Garry Robinson yesterday of Kaizen Fitness in Australia. We were talking about nutrition. I said that I think the Paleo Diet is a step in the right direction but that it still is too restrictive. No dairy, no grains, no legumes, no alcohol, no white potatoes.
I’m sorry but I’m going to eat (and drink) all of those things from time to time. I mentioned to Garry that if Paleo Man were offered any of that restricted stuff do you honestly think Paleo man would say “No dude, I’m on the Paleo Diet”. (?)
Of course he would eat and drink all of it. And then he would want more. The part of this that the experts have been missing is what I call “The Human Behavior Aspect”. We live in a time with fast food all around us and it’s not going away anytime soon. The Government here is not going to shut down fast food restaurants or ban junk food anytime soon. They will shut down before the fast food joints shut down. Which brings me to my point – you cannot restrict any of these foods or drinks long term. You have to learn to live in harmony with them.
Now you may be saying, “Gee, Scott, my clients and I have NO problem following our restricted diets.” To that I say “Congratulations, but you’re in the minority. Remember what the obesity rate is? The options that we currently have are not working.”
Among other things, the U.S. Surgeon Generals duties include:
- Protect and advance the health of the Nation through educating the public, advocating for effective disease prevention and health promotion programs and activities, and, providing a highly recognized symbol of national commitment to protecting and improving the public’s health
God Bless her, but she is not the role model that the public is going to respond to. I’m sure she’s a very nice and smart person.
Who is the role model that the public is going to respond to?
WE ARE. And I think it’s our duty to advance the health of the world through educating the public.
The fitness professionals who are training groups of people in the trenches day in and day out, week after week, year after year are the best choices to educate the general public AROUND THE WORLD about a better way to eat without following an overly restrictive diet.
We can start a movement at a grass roots level. I’m putting a team together. I want you on it. Call the team an advisory board, call them the first responders, call them initiators, change makers, hell, some may call them pioneers.
Crazy? Got a better idea?
If you’re open minded and agree just a little with what I’m talking about then I want you on this team.. But before you jump, I need you to do 2 things.
- Read my book, “SuperFit SuperFast Nutrition” (aka, The Bootcamp Diet). The book is available on Amazon for $4.99 kindle or ebook and $6.99 softcover. Yes, I want you to pay for it because I know that if it’s free, I’m going to get thousands who aren’t aggressive enough for this opportunity. I want passionate fitness professionals who hear themselves in this post. You’ll be able to read the book in one sitting, in less than an hour if focused and uninterrupted. If you don’t like the book, don’t think it works, then you can get a refund for the kindle/ebook but NOT the softcover version. No hard feelings.
- After you’ve read the book and are interested enough to learn more, I want you to enter your name and email below. I need a small group of first responders that can help me and Garry come up with the best way to implement “The Bootcamp Diet” into the bootcamp community (like paleo and crossfit). You’re going to help us put this project in motion. There’s no cost, no time commitment other than your passionate honest feedback. Yes, we want to help people lose weight and get healthier. And yes, we want to make money as well. And there may be opportunity for the first responders. I have to say “may” at this point but I think you’ll be happy that you got involved in the beginning stages of this.
OK, that’s it. For now. Go read.
By AMANDA VOGEL, M.A.
The other day when I picked up my daughter from kindergarten, I found her racing around the school playground with friends. When I caught up with her, she was out of breath and grinning from ear to ear. I was happy to see her exercising. But was it exercise to her? Not at all, it was just a fun game, the kind that fitness pros can easily translate to the world of adult fitness, too.
Why Games Work
It’s natural for kids to get exercise through fun activity-oriented games—organized ones like Duck Duck Goose or impromptu ones like tearing around a playground—but somewhere along the way, exercise for adults took a turn to the serious side. As a result, many adults are quick to describe the kind of gym-based exercise they do as, quite frankly, “no fun.”
Fortunately, fitness professionals know it doesn’t have to be that way. The trick is to plan workouts (and perhaps not even call them workouts?) that deliver the same variety and unpredictability that naturally unfolds in kids’ games, like tag.
When fitness clients hop on a treadmill for half an hour, they generally know what to expect from that exercise session—it’s predictable. Games, on the other hand, are a good way to take the monotony out of standard workouts, says Beth Middlekauff, a California-based personal trainer, boot-camp expert and owner of BethMidFitness.com.
In a class or boot camp where games are part of the experience, there is an element of newness. “Games offer a break from the typical structure and routine that is all too familiar in life and in fitness,” says Tim Haft, a fitness pro based in New York City and president of Punk Rope Inc, a fitness and instructor-training program described as a mash-up between boot camp and recess. Besides breaking away from the serious side of exercise, clients are able to focus on both teamwork and excelling at the game’s objective. This may be especially true if the game introduces an element of friendly competition.
“Some adults particularly enjoy trying to win as it gives them a specific objective to shoot for,” says Haft. And for those clients who couldn’t care less about winning? “Games also help ‘distract’ students from the discomfort that often accompanies intense exercise,” adds Haft.
Games Rev Up Client Effort
One major benefit of playing fitness games is that it motivates clients to ramp up their exercise efforts, either because they have a competitive streak or because they don’t want to let their teammates down. Most clients—whether they are competitive or not—are more likely to do their best when they know others are cheering them on as part of the game.
“I’ve had a number of students that go into ‘overdrive’ when a game is played. They thrive on competition and hate to lose,” says Haft. Competition aside, though, Haft says helping clients rev up intensity comes down to an important element of any good game: a clear goal. “In general, most students crank up the effort level a notch when there is a clear objective that can be quantified,” he says.
It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose ….
Haft, who’s been teaching games in his Punk Rope program since its inception in 2004, says the amount of effort clients put forth during “game time” hinges somewhat on their personalities. For example, some clients are motivated by the cooperative aspect of a game more than by the opportunity to compete. Managing the right balance of both helps create games that appeal to everyone.
Middlekauff makes sure she sets the tone for fair play in her boot camps. “When I coach, I like to recognize clients’ triumphs and milestones,” she says. “The campers become aware of that and tend to behave similarly. Everyone roots for everyone else!”
Another teaching tactic for fostering camaraderie is to break up competitive cliques before any one team has the chance to dominate every game. “When I see that the same teams and partners are being formed repeatedly, I make sure to mix it up, often before it happens,” says Middlekauff. Her solution: Assign teams versus asking clients to form their own.
Haft likes to provide a pre-game pep talk to get play moving in the right direction. “Before our relay races, for example, I tell students that the most important thing is that they cheer for their teammates. There’s no ‘us-against-them’ mentality,” he says. “This approach has worked beautifully and resulted in a very positive community spirit.”
It’s Game Time!
Bringing team spirit to your classes and boot camps in the form of fun games and playful activities can encourage clients to not only adhere to your program but to also work out more intensely than they might on their own. The benefit? Better overall results, for them and you. Here are four fun and easy games to get you started.
Amanda Vogel, MA, holds a master’s degree in human kinetics and is a certified fitness pro in Vancouver, B.C. In addition to being the co-author of Baby Boot Camp: The New Mom’s 9-Minute Fitness Solution (Sterling, Jan. 2010), Amanda owns Active Voice, a writing, editing and consulting service for the fitness industry. Her articles have appeared in Prevention, Shape, Health and SELF. You can reach her at www.ActiveVoice.ca, http://FitnessWriter.blogspot.com or www.twitter.com/amandavogel.
Article in its entirety at http://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/1077/let-the-games-begin-help-your-clients-get-fit-and/
It gets a little crazy around our house on Saturday nights. Our 3 1/2 kids are allowed to stay up later since it’s the weekend, we have a cheat meal, wine and it’s movie night. I say “3 1/2” kids since one of them is not even a year old so he’s the low kid on the totem pole and is referred to as “half pint”.
Anyway, to understand the whole story here, I have to mention that I recently played paint ball for the first time in my existence. Oh, it’s always been on my bucket list but for some reason (life), I just never got around to it – until I had kids. There were three 11 year old’s and 2 of us Dads at the paint ball adventure. The weather was perfect, the mood was free spirited and lots of fun lay just ahead.
We paid our $205.00 total for unlimited paint ball and got our masks, rifles and ammo (500 paint balls each). We were told they would go fast by the pimply faced, sarcastic teenager who held down the supply desk. None of us had ever played paintball before so we had a lot of questions. And we got a lot of answers from Mr Sarcastic Teenager – reminded me of myself at age 17.
We were assigned a group of 30 people – 15 on each team. As I was wondering when I would get the rest of my protective armor, I heard a “yelp” from the another playing field. Some dummy must not have worn their protective armor and got hit by a paint ball, I thought to myself as I looked around for whoever was in charge of handing out protective gear.
Our referee appeared and greeted us telling us that he would be in charge of our games, we would have 10 minute game time limits, and we would switch to multiple playing fields during the afternoon. The boundary lines consisted of bright yellow tape and you were not supposed to cross the boundary lines otherwise you were out if seen. At the refs count of “1, 2, 3, Go!” the two teams scattered about running for cover. The other team had red arm bands on so that we could tell who to blast and who not to.
I never did get that protective armor.
The first game was chaotic, I didn’t know where to go in the heavily wooded forest. I tried to climb a tree and fell. I decided to play at the back of our group and let the other suckers shoot it out. Suddenly I heard footsteps from behind me, followed by automatic gunfire.
WHAP! WHAP! WHAP!
They got me. I had to raise both arms in the air and quickly walk off of the playing field with the other casualites (they shot me again during this walk off – apparently I have enemies everywhere).
During the rest of the games, I’d like to think I got better. I took a few out, implemented teamwork with my teammates and had a GREAT TIME! The kids loved it, hated to leave but we had played for hours and they were getting hungry.
I HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO IMPLEMENT THIS INTO A BOOTCAMP
Fast forward. Saturday night. In case you don’t know this, wine makes you creative. As my wife and I settled in to watch “World War Z”, I cradled the Nerf Retaliator waiting for something to shoot. My kids know to stay in their rooms after 8:30pm so maybe one of them would try to sneak out providing me with some extra target practice.
I HAVE IT! I YELLED TO MY WIFE.
So here’s how to have a little nerf gun action in your bootcamp. You could use paint balls but they can hurt and can be a little messy. I recommend Nerf guns.
2 decks of cards ( 1 deck per team)
2 nerf guns ( 1 gun per team)
On the instructors “GO”, the two teams play deck of cards as they normally would.
If someone pulls either an ACE or a JOKER (make sure these cards are spread out in the deck), that person immediately yells “NERF ATTACK”! so that the opposing team can hear. All OPPOSING team members must STOP what they are doing and ALL run to the base (tree, car, bench, etc 30 yards away) and touch base before getting hit with a nerf dart. These darts shoot up to 75 feet and the Retaliator fires pretty quickly so you might want to give the OPPOSING team a 3-5 second head start.
If someone is hit (the instructor needs to be the ref here because some will say they did not get hit), that person now joins the OTHER team and helps them finish their deck of cards.
If a player IS NOT hit then they simply jog back to their deck of cards game, starting over on the card that they were working on.
The team that finishes their deck of cards first, wins.
notes – some people may take offense to getting “shot”. You know your group best. Rather than having the entire group run to base, you could choose 2 or 3 runners from each team making sure that they are cool with getting blasted.
You could simply play with flags. No gun at all. Instead of shooting the opposing team, have them pull the flag hanging from their waste (you supply the flags).
No I have not actually played this game myself but I will, I will. Let me know how it goes and if you make any changes to the game for the better.
Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster
Sprints and Box Jumps.
What’s better for the legs than that? There’s a real art to suffering and if you’re good at making yourself suffer, chances are you’re good at convincing others to suffer with you. And if it’s raining while you’re doing this workout, no one will notice the tears.
Alright, snap out of it already, we’ve got some earth to scorch. Here’s how this workout goes:
Partner Up with someone of equal capabilities.
9 x 30 yard sprints
9 ea box jumps (or bench jumps, squat jumps, etc)
8 x 30 yard sprints
8 ea box jumps
7 x 30 yard sprints
7 ea box jumps
Keep going all the way down to 2 x 30 yard sprints and 2 ea box jumps.
You can rest up to 2 minutes in between rounds. If you’re wearing a heart rate monitor, let your heart rate get down to 90 bpm or so. DON’T overdo it. You want intensity but you do not want to faint. Monitor your clients carefully. Puking is not good for business – unless it’s you and then just go around the corner of the building or something (I’ve done it).
This may not seem like a full workout but like Crossfit’s Grace workout, it’s power packed. I call it “Scorched Earth”. And yes, you can make it a race against teams…
Grace Workout -> Clean and Jerk 135 pounds, 30 reps as quickly as possible using perfect form. Use 95 pounds, 65 pounds or broomstick as needed.
Stumped about nutrition? So was I. Check out my brand new book, called “SuperFit SuperFast Nutrition”