Entering into the new year brings up a lot of talk about building new habits. Certainly habits are important – our unconscious behaviors drive so much of our progress toward (or away) from who we want to be. A book I have been reading recently had a nice reminder about awareness, i.e., consciousness, and the importance of awareness over habit:

“The beauty of an action comes not from its having become a habit but from its sensitivity, consciousness, clarity of perception, and accuracy of response.” – Anthony DeMello, Awareness

As you move through this new year, I support your work to change your habits to support your goals. That is important, of course. But I also invite you to be present – to appreciate that it is the awareness in the moment, and the actions that flow from that awareness, that will spark real growth.

 

NOTE: Fire & Ice is on SATURDAY at 12:30pm or you can join me in Tarzana on SUNDAY at 11am for a workshop at Interval Strength & Conditioning

_______________________

THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

TEST

“Helen”

3 RFT:

400m Run

21 Kettlebell Swings (24/16)

12 Pull-ups

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

TEST

“Mary”

AMRAP 20:

5 HSPUs

10 Pistols (alt.)

15 Pull-ups

As I get older or busier or something, time just seems to move by quicker. Which then brings reflection as to what I’ve been spending my time doing. So, to name a few working, playing, sleeping, eating, moving, socializing, reading, TV, social media and sometimes nothing at all. Then I think about how much joy is there in all of this? Just this week two people have said to me they are looking to bring more joy and fun into their life. I think that’s a great idea and told one that I fully support them. 

The next question is how do you do that? The most obvious to me is to add in more things that bring your joy. Is it friends and family, is it activities or time alone? Adding things into our already busy schedule could be challenging. So, how about finding joy in the thing we currently do?

I’ll look at my day today and see what joy I can extract. 
Wake up at 5am. I prefer to wake up earlier than later because I find joy in the quiet of the morning. Though usually when my alarm goes off,  I wish is was not mine. At that hour there are not many people on the road, it’s quiet out and usually I get to see the sun rise.

Next, off to work with clients. That truly is joyful. I love to see when things click for my clients and watching their progress and growth. I love to see also when they can laugh at themselves. I might seem kinda serious but do appreciate a laugh.  

Got gas.  I can find joy in having a full tank, which means I can get where I want to go.

Home to organize a few things, do some work, take a nap. ( I stayed up too late watching a movie) Joy in all of that for sure.

Back to work to coach. Test week is awesome. PRs and learning. 

Staff meeting. I appreciate my fellow coaching and learning about what is going on

Kids class. It’s a new session. watching new kids interact with others. Watching kids work hard and learn. 

Workout. Joy in olympic weight lifting. Challenge too, but that often is part of the joy.

Home to cook for myself. I LOVE creating.  Trying to new things and seeing what turns out. Watching the colors and flavors all come together. Then I get to eat. 

Posting to the blog. Not my favorite as I usually dislike admin like things, but it’s my opportunity to share with all of you. 

I appreciate you all. How you take time to read the blog, take class, giving feedback and participation here at Oak Park.

I would love to hear what you all find joy in. 


Wednesday
Test Week

A) Maximum Effort
1 Minute Calorie Row
– 3 Minute Rest –
1 Minute Burpees
– 3 Minute Rest –
1 Minute Box Jumps (24/20)
– 3 Minute Rest –

B) AMRAP 23
X Cal Row
X Burpees
X Box Jumps (24/20)

Thursday
Test Week

“Helen”
3RFT:
400m Run
21 KBS (24kg/16kg)
12 Pull Ups

Monday is in the books! 

For Time:
30 Cal Row
10 Push Press (115/75)
2 Minute Rest
20 Cal Row
20 Push Press
2 Minute Rest
10 Cal Row
30 Push Press
Score = Total Time *Excluding Rest

This is what you have to look forward to…

Tuesday

1RM Squat Clean

Wednesday

A) Maximum Effort
1 Minute Calorie Row
– 3 Minute Rest –
1 Minute Burpees
– 3 Minute Rest –
1 Minute Box Jumps (24/20)
– 3 Minute Rest –

B) AMRAP 23
X Cal Row
X Burpees
X Box Jumps (24/20)
*Take your # of reps from Calorie Row, Burpees, & Box Jumps from part A and apply to part B. For example, if you got 30 Calories, 25 Burpees, & 25 Box Jumps in part A, part B would read as: AMRAP 23 30 Cal Row 25 Burpees 25 Box Jumps

Thursday

“Helen”
3RFT:
400m Run
21 KBS (24kg/16kg)
12 Pull Ups

Friday

“Mary”
AMRAP 20
5 Handstand Push Ups
10 Pistols (Alt.)
15 Pull Ups

ENJOY! 

…And remember to reach out to your coach to start working on those goals YOU ALL KNOW YOU HAVE going into the New Year!!

 

Hi All, I was recently asked to write a fitness article for a new magazine out of New Jersey. Representing on the east coast! Here’s the article in its entirety: 

Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.

Who knew Newton knew so much about working out! He was the master of motion after all so it makes sense.

In relation to fitness, this First Law is true whether we can’t get motivated to get (back) to the gym or if we’re in a consistent rhythm of going. Once we get used to not exercising, it’s hard to find that groove again. Alternately, we can usually stay moving when we’re consistent. When it’s part of our routine, it’s easier to stick to our schedule — until we get knocked off of it! Sometimes – especially around the holidays – our best laid plans get sidelined. I’m a not physicist so far be it for me to challenge Sir Newton, but when it comes to keeping my own workout routine in motion, the thing that usually knocks me off track is an inside force, not an outside one. I know that most of my best intentions are interrupted by the one and only me even when I use all the outside forces as an excuse.

I’ve personally been knocked off my game plenty of times – and I’m a fitness coach! But I found that the best way to loosen the grip of excuses is to really consider whywe work out.   

I’ve spent lots of time wondering why I work out and eat healthily. When I realized that my why is not about anything superficial, and certainly not based on what anyone else thinks, I was able to settle into my routine with more ease. I no longer work out to “achieve” something. I don’t eat healthily for an aesthetic end-goal. I work out because I know that I always feel better when I do so consistently. I feel alive and capable. I eat well because I feel a hundred times better when I do. Good food doesn’t bog me down. I can recover quicker, which for me translates to less stress on my joints. I feel less achy and my mind is clearer. And that’s it. My personal why doesn’t include an outdated idea of how much I “should” weigh or how I should look. In fact, I don’t attach any shoulds to my health and wellness routines. If I only worried about getting into some jeans or losing those last whatever pounds or any other made-up carrot that has no meaning in the grand scheme of our lives, then I would eventually resent going to the gym. I would never stick to eating well if only to rebel against the “shoulds.” We all deserve to take care of ourselves in the highest order to have the highest quality of our lives. With this shift into a deeper approach to health and fitness, I recognized that everything else in my life is simply more fun when I feel fit and strong. That became a powerful motivator. It was also a better motivator than I haveto go to the gym because I ate too much dinner. My why feels real and sustainable for me. Being able to go on a long hike with friends without worry eases my mind. Being able to easily put my own luggage in the overhead bin makes me feel capable. Keeping up with my active husband and daughters is empowering.

After rejecting the “shoulds”, I decided that I only wanted to do workouts that I actually like. I don’t do the workouts that some magazine tells me is the best to drop a few pounds in the new year — unless it sounds fun. Fun is a huge motivator for me and I often do things based solely on that. I like dance-related workouts so I try those. I like to lift weights because I love feeling strong and I like the fact that my bones have a better chance of staying strong if I lift weights. I like to shoot hoops. I like yoga – though I didn’t always. When I realized that yoga is not a competitive activity like some classes seem to encourage, I was able to tune out the superficial noise and I used yoga as a way to stretch and recover (both my mind and body), and I had a better time and reaped the benefits.

I imagine most of you feel better once you’ve worked out — and hopefully a little during. If the thought of doing anything active sounds like a complete drag, are you willing to try new things, and only things that seem kinda fun? What did you like when you were a kid? Who says we can’t revisit the things that seemed fun at any point in our lives? Take up lessons in a sport you always wanted to learn. It’s never too late for anything. Maybe you can turn everyday things around the house into a fitness game if your time feels limited. Use your imagination, and if that fails, ask your kids to make up the game. They’re good at that. Does a walk first thing in the morning or after dinner sound nice? Does a fifteen-minute free yoga video on YouTube sound intriguing? (Btw, YouTube is an endless source of free workouts). Has a friend fallen in love – seemingly become obsessed with – Zumba/Orangetheory/CrossFit/whatever, which kind of annoys you but deep down you wish you felt that way about an exercise routine? Go try it! If you don’t like it, try something else. Try things that call to you even if others roll their eyes. Nothing says you can’t try things until you admit something is pretty fun. Go find that inside/outside force that kicks you into motion. Make it personal. Make it yours. And make it fun for crying out loud.

Going into the holidays and sticking to our healthful intentions can be a challenge. I completely understand and we’ve all been there. But if we keep telling ourselves how hard it will be, we’re stacking the odds against us. Maybe we don’t have to make it as hard as we’ve perceived in the past. It just takes practice asserting the habits we want for ourselves. When family questions why you’re eating a certain way or why you want to exercise “all the time,” we sometimes avoid the confrontation because we haven’t spent enough time sticking to our plan. With more practice, your whys will eventually take priority.  

Whether you want to get started or get back to it, you can. Here are some suggestions on how:

What’s your Why?Does that sound too woowoo? I get it, but if you treat this as a legitimate question, your ability to stick to something will feel more personal; it will be important to you. Why do you want to work out and be healthy? Is there a deeper why other than to lose a few pounds? Or to show off at the company holiday party? I understand those whys, believe me, but can we dig for something with more substance? My grandmother died at fifty-four of an untreated cancer. That’s been on my mind since I turned forty and I do everything I can to give myself the best shot at staying disease-free. We get things done when they are important to us. A really good coach once asked me, “On a scale of 1-10, how badly do you want the thing you say you want?” If I ever answered a 7 or less she said, “We don’t get ‘7’s’ done. 8’s are marginal. We get 9’s and 10’s done.” Dig deeper and find only the why’s that are 9+ on your scale of importance.

Schedule your workouts in your calendar.You’ve probably heard this before, but it works. Writing it into your schedule means you’ve made it important. Health and fitness add value to your life and scheduling them affirms that you recognize their importance just like anything else that adds value. The care with which you treat yourself directly translates to the care you extend. If you are traveling or have time off during the holidays, scheduling in your gym time becomes more important. You may not work out as often, or the work outs may look different, but adjust your calendar to reflect what’s in front of you. Can you find a class – maybe even a new and interesting one – wherever you’re traveling? Look at class schedules in advance, and write it in your calendar. If you have family visiting, fit in an hour to yourself to work out. You might even regain patience! Or take your family on walks, hikes, and bike rides.

Eat nothing mediocre!If you want some of Auntie Norma’s famous blueberry pie that you love so much, have some. Have the things you really love, and say no to the rest. Keep eating the healthy foods that you’ve realized make your body and mind feel good, and have things here and there that are really delicious. If you don’t really love that marshmallow yam thing, for the love of root vegetables, don’t eat it. Give yourself permission to eat a couple things you really love – and give yourself equal permission to NOT eat anything that’s mediocre.

Don’t villainize choices.If you ate a little too much or you missed a couple days of exercising – news flash! – you’re not a terrible person. Things happen. Back to it. Listen, if we approach our lives with a little more compassion and a little bit of fortitude, we’re going to get more things done in the long run, and we’ll feel better for it. Shame is so last century! And shame and beating ourselves up constantly only shoves us deeper into the rut we don’t want to be in. Ultimately it gets us nowhere and it’s a time waster. We have things to do so be kind to yourself and get back to it. If you approach it as simple as that, it can be as simple as that.

You got this.Isaac Newton only addressed the physical momentum of getting moving and staying moving. But our mental momentum can work similarly with regards to our health habits. It’s a practice like anything else, and like Newton’s First Law, the more you put the actual practice in motion, the easier it will be to stick to it. Stay kind to yourself, get to it for yourimportant reasons, and keep it fun. The chances of staying in motion will be so much greater — and it will be much more enjoyable. You got this.


Friday’s Workout
A) Find Your 1RM Hang Power Clean

B) For Time:
800m Run
40 AKBS (32kg/24kg)
2 Legless Rope Climbs

Saturday’s Workout

6 rounds For QUALITY
16 Laterall Lunges
20 sit ups
10 Recline rows
200m Run NASAL

Monday’s Workout

The start of OPEN GYM 
Open Gym Hours for Monday:
6-8am and 5-8pm

“Oak Park’s/CFLA’s 12 Days of Christmas”

1: 200m Run

2: Deadlifts (225/155)

3: DB Thrusters (55/35)

4: Burpee box jumps (24/20)

5: CTB Pullups

6: Jumping lunges (2-ct)

7: RKBS (32/24)

8: Flutter kicks (4-ct)

9: Toes to bar

10: DB Walking lunges (55/35)

11: Anchored Sit to stands

12: Renegade rows (2-ct) (55/35)

 

 

 

We are about to close up the year of 2019 and enter a new year. Year 2020 (yes I know, it is 20 years ago since we stepped into the twenty-first century…!). I love this time of the year, not only because of all the festivities but as a time for reflection and change as the new year approaches. I don’t believe in New Year resolutions to speak quite frankly. Mainly because most New Year resolutions last for about a month and then people go back to their old habits. But it is good to reflect on your current situation. What patterns do you seek to change in the new year? More importantly, are you looking for growth as a human? Personally I would like to change my family’s consumption patterns to work for a better and more sustainable environment. Drive less, recycle more, avoid coffee to go cups, avoid food waste and fly less. As a human I would like to recover more efficiently, read, study and educate myself in areas where I need it, and I would like to be more disciplined about eating plant based food. More importantly I want to settle my thoughts and be okay with doing what’s right long term and avoid any or all shortcuts.  Easier said than done, I mean who wouldn’t skip a few steps and avoid the uncomfortable.  But that’s not the growth I am talking about, I am talking about choosing the harder path and being in for the longterm game. Let’s try that approach in the New Year and see what happens. I am pretty sure it will be worth it!

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Coach Char! 

 

Tuesday’s Workout

“Let Me See You Strip”

FT:

20 Deadlift (225/155)

30 Power Cleans (135/95)

40 Shoulder 2 Overhead (95/65)

50 OH Squats (45/33)

EMOM 3 Burpees

 

Wednesday’s Workout 

In 2:00 SKI ERG Max Cals :1:00 + Max Target Wall ball Shots

4:00 – Rest

In 2:00 ROW ERG Max Cals: 1:00 + Max Target Wall ball Shots

4:00 – Rest

In 2:00 AS BIKE Max Cals: 1:00 + Max Target Wall ball Shots

 

The final fire & ice workshop of 2019 will be this Sunday, December 15th. I really encourage all of you who have not yet taken the plunge to sign up and join us this weekend.

Breath Class is at 11:15am. Show up, you know you need it.

Fire & Ice is at 12:15pm. Do it.

________________________

THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

AMRAP 25:

5 Pull Ups

10 Burpees

15 Squats

200m Run

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

What the “Beep” Test!

20m Shuttle Runs