Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday Workout: Of course there are squats

As I often do, I included squats in this week’s workout.  Not everyone does the same kind of squats.  For some clients, squats with the stability ball or TRX are more appropriate.  Some clients can use the challenge of the BOSU or the turntable.  Sometimes we do sumo squats.  Changing up a workout can be as simple as altering what version of a favorite exercise we do on a particular day.  Feel free to adjust as needed.  Three rounds.

ball slams

opposite knees
bench press

suitcase swings

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday Book Report: Relax and Renew

I confess that I have a bias against restorative yoga.  Most of the time, I’d just rather take a nap.  However, Judith Lasater’s book Relax and Renew provides a good introduction to why one might consider restorative yoga instead of napping.  Hint:  knowing how to relax while awake is a useful skill.

Restorative yoga, as described in this book, is all about Stuff.  Lasater recommends using lots and lots of them to get the most possible support, allowing for maximum relaxation.  Fortunately, the chapter on coping with jet lag includes some useful make-do suggestions if you don’t happen to travel with a mat, six bolsters, 27 blankets, an eye bag, a sandbag, and an emotional support animal.  (Just kidding:  the book says nothing about emotional support animals.)  I have, in general, a tendency toward minimal Stuff in my fitness, but a person who really wants to feel pampered might gravitate toward this way of coaxing the body into a more supple, relaxed, and gentle place.

Thursday, May 17, 2018


We all have a sweet spot.  (No, not the candy aisle.)  When we figure out how much to push ourselves in a workout without going too far, we make progress.  Progress is the yardstick we need to remember.

If we’re not working hard enough, stuff stays the same.  The scale doesn’t budge.  We give those ten pound dumbbells nicknames because we know them so well.  We know that the third treadmill from the wall is the good one because it’s the one we always use to walk at the same pace for the same amount of time.

If we’re working too hard, stuff breaks.  Sometimes it’s a literal break—there goes that ankle or shoulder or knee.  Or maybe we are always always always sore and we groan every time we go up or down the stairs as a result.  Worse, we might get demoralized.  We don’t go from zero to marathon in a week, so clearly we are failures and we don’t want to do it anymore.

The sweet spot means that every month or so we meet new dumbbells, or get a little faster, or go a little farther, or master that formerly impossible Zumba routine.  The progress might be so gradual that it takes a while to realize it is happening—hey!  My fingers touched the floor in my forward bend today!  Wow!  It’s time to get some smaller pants!

We need to push, but lovingly, gently, and reasonably.