90 Day Challenge Week 2 of “Project Me”: A Trainer’s Perspective

When I asked Rosemary to be our next 90 Day Challenge blogger I vividly remember doing a jump high five in sheer excitement with her.  Her ability to juggle so many things in the air: two kids, family, life, and owning a business is something few can ever handle let alone do as well as her!  I wanted to help her find some more time for herself and to use fitness as her break.  If Rosemary can fit in even 10 minutes worth of exercise in an already active lifestyle then there’s no excuse for any of you either.  While you’re sitting comfortably at your desk or on your couch reading this she’s out taking one of her kids to school, taking care of the other one, packing boxes for her move, working on a project… you get my drift, she’s a very busy woman.  This description should probably compel most of you to do two things:

1) Getting off your seats and giving a round of applause for Rosemary she’s an unbelievable person!

2) Feel guilty when you say you don’t have time to exercise because you do, you just choose not to!
Rosemary was right in her first blog post in saying that we’re focused on creating a healthier lifestyle for her.  This 90 day challenge will be successful because we’re giving Rosemary, and all of you, a roadmap for longterm success.  Before we started this challenge Rosemary had actually approached me in saying that she was going to start a Body by Vi 90 Day challenge and declaratively said no. There is actually no nutritional difference between most off the shelf nutritional supplements and Visalus.  Even more, if you notice on their website they only show other multi level marketing shakes and their nutritional content.  There’s no protein shake in that list I would ever put to my lips.  If you like the taste then take it it’s your choice.  But do me one favor: google scholar search following combination of words: visalus, and weight loss: what you’ll find is no actual scholarly papers but only patents.  Dig deeper in to the research and you’ll find that the papers they quote on their website aren’t peer reviewed.  Any first year science student knows that a non-peer reviewed journals is like someone saying “Well it’s on TV so it must be true”…. strike three.   It’s the system that people are sold into that frustrates me.  I’m not here to make myself wealthy, I’m here to create communities that are passionate about health and each other.  I don’t blame Rosemary for thinking about it taking it nor did I get angry.  I just did my due diligence as her health advocate and put my scientist hat on and looked more deeply into the research.  Trust me there’s not a whole lot out there.  I look out for the people I work with and try and seek out the best solution for them.

Healthy lifestyles are not sold in powders it’s only through a boat load of discipline.  We equip people in our 90 day challenges with practical concepts they can use for the rest of their lives to create a healthy lifestyle.  We don’t sell people on gimmicks and products.  The only thing we sell you is belief in yourself.  We’re using the same principles of “hard work pays off” that have been used in fitness since people started lifting weights… and yeah that goes back a few thousand years! I told Rosemary this but I’ll tell it to all of you too: the biggest problem with people now a days is that when we encounter issues we try and add more instead of taking away.  Subtract what’s not necessary.  Live simply.

I look forward to our weekly workouts with Rosemary because we don’t just workout, what we do is a general assessment of her activity levels during the past week and focus on finding time for herself.  Her activity levels are quite high already and cutting the simple carbs from her nutrition is a great strategy that most people should be adopting too.  I look at each person when they train with me as unique, the life circumstances are different so we need to strategize around it.  Because of the distance and the scheduling I’m only able to meet with Rosemary once a week.  This is ok.  The challenge is to create a self-sustaining lifestyle that requires a few check ups here and there but that’s about it.  We try and keep in contact during the week using email or twitter messages about daily activity levels and other things.  We live in a digitally connected age where we can stay in constant contact, let’s use this to our advantage to create accountability with each other.  We need to look at the whole picture instead of simply fixating on the cause and effect of one workout in order to create change.

We also implemented something I called a Micro-Workout in Rosemary’s day.  These are 10 minute workouts that are designed to be full body and heart pumping.  There has been some research indicating that, added to an active lifestyle and a regular exercise plan, these micro-workouts can help in adding more caloric expenditure to a person’s day.  If you’re relatively sedentary these micro-workouts are a good start to getting you more active too but don’t look at them as the be-all-end-all to exercising.  The first workout I designed uses one weight, it’s a circuit based 5 minute workout that is done twice to finally get to 10 minutes.  If you’ve another 5 minutes then add another circuit into the workout.  I asked Rosemary to do this for two weeks straight, I don’t want to change the micro-workouts too often.  They’re designed so that she can get used to the movements in the exercise and push herself physically to get more repetitions in and increase the weight she’s using.

Here’s the workout:

45 Second Intervals of Exercise, 15 Seconds Rest

Weighted Squat (Holding the weight with both hands at Chest level)

Squat Shoulder Press with the Left Hand

Squat Shoulder Press with the Right Hand

Left Arm Row in a Lunge Position

Right Arm Row in a Lunge Position

Don’t rest between the circuits, just keep going.  Pick a weight that will allow you to complete the Squat Shoulder Press with your weaker arm but you should barely be able to complete the 45 seconds of exercise.

Try this out and tell me what you think!

And as for “Project Me” this is going just as we planned Rosemary… Good work!!!

About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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