CEO/Editor in Chief of FitnessPurity®.
Hi, I’m Doug. My job is to help people reach their fitness goals with easy-to-follow guides, and to overcome any obstacles along the way. Visit my site for more information.
Because Being Healthy Doesn't Mean Being Thin
When I advertise for my classes I get a lot of “what is boot camp?” questions. I didn’t realize that many people are unaware of this type of training (but I suppose, once upon a time I asked “what is boot camp?”) and so I’ve decided to use this forum to explain to you what exactly my boot camp classes are like.
The purpose of fitness boot camp – aside from whipping your butt into shape – is to build strength and endurance. My classes are jam-packed with cardio (cray-zee cardio) and strength. And because my classes are based on body weight training I don’t require any equipment (save for a yoga mat so you don’t have to be/sit/lay on the ground or floor).
When most people hear the term “boot camp” they instantly think of the military. New recruits go off to basic training and boot camp and go through some pretty intense training in order to get their bodies in tip-top shape. Boot camp is pretty hard core – and so are my classes.
As I said above, my classes are a combo of cardio and strength. I start with a warm up, we work our asses off for the majority of the hour, and I finish with a cool down/stretching.
I am always coming up with new exercises so that the classes don’t get boring – and I also have some old tried and trusted faves. I will make you squat. I will make you burpee. I will definitely make you sweat!
Your abs will be sore and you’ll have difficulty getting up those stairs the next few days. But it will get easier. No, scratch that! YOU WILL GET STRONGER. You will build up your cardio and your endurance. You will need to take less breaks to catch your breath. And you’ll be able to push up through the entire interval without having to take a knee.
You’ll leave class with your head held higher (I applaud you just for coming) and you’ll walk with a little swagger. And so you should.
Here are a few things to remember when taking my class:
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Tags: acceptance, being healthy, benefits of exercise, boot camp, bootcamp, carbohydrate, dig deeper, exercise, Fitness, Fitness Challenges, fitness classes, fitness instructor, fitspiration, Fun exercise, gym, hydrate, personal trainer, preventing injury, vomiting while exercising, working out, workout
If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you will know that I take my fitness regime seriously. But, as I continue to work at getting beyond my workout addiction (yes, that’s a thing), and struggle with a few health issues, I’ve weened myself off of my every-single-day workout habit. There are days that I am still at the gym much longer than I need to be, and there are days when I still exercise because I feel like I “have to”, but for the most part, I am very happy with where I am today compared to where I was a year ago.
That being said, I have certain days that I commit myself to working out, and as I’ve mentioned in a recent post or two, I’ve committed myself to running at the gym) several times a week (once I’m running outside it won’t be a commitment, but a pleasure) so I’ve had to dedicate myself to this schedule and staying on track.
That means I’m at the gym whether I want to be or not. That means that Friday nights I’m at the gym. That means that Saturday afternoons or Sunday mornings I’m a the gym. That means that aside from teaching boot camp and participating in other classes, I’m at the gym. I’m running and I’m lifting and I’m sweating and I’m loving it.
I still feel that exhilaration when I’m working out. I feel accomplished when I’m completed my fitness task for the day. A long time ago I committed myself to a better life. I made the commitment to get fit and be healthy and stay active. Sometimes that means sacrifices. There are still a good many days that I want to come home after work and schlump on the couch or Friday nights when I want to just get the freakin’ weekend started. But, like I said, I committed myself to these goals and really, what’s another hour or two? Friday night will still be there when my run is complete. Sunday coffee dates will wait until I’ve finished in the weight room. There is room in my life for sacrifice.
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Tags: acceptance, active living, benefits of exercise, bootcamp, commitment, exercise, exercise addiction, exercising, Fitness, fitness classes, fitness instructor, fitspiration, goals, good health, gym, health, healthy living, Inspiration, marathon training, motivation, muscles, no excuses, personal trainer, reasons to exercise, running, sacrifice, Self love, strength, weight training, working out, workout, workouts
I am now OFFICIALLY a CanFitPro certified Personal Training Specialist!! FINALLY!!
It has been a long 6 months and I’ve spent more than my fair share of time studying and practicing and I am thankful that this process is over with (because it’s been very stressful) and I’m proud to be a certified member of the fitness community!
My cousin Eliza sent me this lovely little e-card a few days ago:
I am so proud of you. You have reached for the stars and finally, your dream is within grasp. You are going to do so well on your final exam. I have complete faith in you. You are someone I look up to and you make me want to be better than I am. You inspire me to workout harder and become a healthier person. I wish you all the best luck for your final piece in your puzzle of life. Lots of love and prayers from me to you.
Unfortunately, because I haven’t done anything but work and study for the last two weeks I really didn’t look at the card the other day…..so, upon opening it just a little while ago and really reading it, it’s touched my heart and I am thankful to her for such lovely and kind words.
When I decided to pursue my fitness certification it really was just for me….the idea that I’ve inspired someone along the way is still a little weird to me but at the same time I find inspiration in that.
I really am looking forward to seeing where this will take me. And I truly am proud to be part of this community – which includes all of you!! Thank you for your support in this journey.
I don’t ever remember being comfortable in my body. Not even as a little girl. I remember being 3 years old and having an uncle call me “fatty”, and my entire life my brother has tormented me about my weight.
When I was in high school I started skipping meals and eventually developed full-fledged eating disorders. I initially thought I had the control but in reality, the disorders were controlling me. And so the struggle continued. My weight has almost always fluctuated – up and down, up and down – until I discovered fitness those years ago. I changed my lifestyle completely – exercising regularly and eating differently, and I saw the payoff quickly – losing close to 60 lbs in just about 3 months. I’d gained around 30 lbs after college and the extra weight that came off was bonus. I was quite thin for my frame and certain bones poked out here and there. I loved it. But I still wasn’t comfortable in my body.
Starting off my exercise routine was pretty basic – a few times a week. Then, about 4 years ago I started doing Shaun T’s Insanity routine again. It’s a 60 days program where you work out 6 days a week. I did this program twice, back-to-back, rarely taking that scheduled day off, therefore working out nearly 120 days straight. I did another 30 day program, twice, back-to-back, not taking a single day off. Somewhere in and around these times is when I developed my exercise addiction.
I didn’t realize at the time that I was actually doing a disservice to my body (and mind and soul). I was proud of my commitment to physical activity. I was excited that I had fallen so deeply in love with exercise and I craved it. I planned my days, no, my life around my workouts as they were the most important thing. I missed out on social events because they conflicted with my exercise time, If I had to travel I ensured the hotel had a fitness center and was certain to pack my gym clothes, and sometimes, many times, I’d double up on workouts the few days before just to ensure I had met my own personal quota. For a little while, it got to the point where I was working out two and three times a day just for the hell of it. I still didn’t see any issue with my exercise addiction.
I worked through injuries – a torn rotator cuff, a sprained ankle, and a stress fracture in my foot – refusing to give up on my exercising. Two years ago when my eye surgery was confirmed and the surgeon told me no exercise for 6-8 weeks my initial reaction was a full blown panic attack with sobbing and tears and partial hyperventilating because the mere thought of not exercising (especially for that amount of time) stressed me out, gave me guilt and, literally scared the crap out of me. I considered not having the surgery so that I could continue my workouts. I still did not see a problem with my exercise addiction. I often said that “it’s a healthy addiction.”
Then my weight started creeping back up. I didn’t understand it because I was exercising every day. So I increased my workouts and my exercise time. And my weight continued to climb, not a lot but enough to really piss me off – and confuse me. How was it possible that I was working out every single day; sometimes spending 3-4 hours at the gym, taking tons of fitness classes, running, strength training, you name it, yet my weight was still climbing. I was beyond frustrated. Every time I went to my doctor about anything, the subject of my weight came up and I’d end up in tears.
One day this past winter I was having a conversation with a cousin and the subject of my fitness addiction came up and I got really emotional – choked up, teary eyed, cracking voice. It was the first time I realized that my love of fitness had gone beyond that and once again, something I thought I controlled was, in fact, controlling me. Unfortunately, I tried to ignore it. For me, the guilt of not exercising was so overwhelming that I just couldn’t fathom the idea of taking days off. So I didn’t. And I continued to struggle with my weight climb over the winter and spring.
Then at the very start of summer I went to see a nutritionist. Although the offer for dietitians and nutritionists have always been there, it was the first time since my eating disorder days that I decided to speak to someone. And to be honest, the only reason I sought to speak to someone this time around is because it was my fitness instructor who’d just completed her nutrition course and, although somewhat intimidated, I also felt (semi) comfortable with her. She knew about my whacked out exercise habits – at least to some extent – and I told her that my weight was ever-increasing and I wanted to bring it down, especially since I was working toward my certification as a trainer. I wanted to get back to looking the part.
She and I discussed my routines and I disclosed to her that, over the last four years I’d logged every single workout I’d done – I accounted for every exercise, every class, and the amount of time I’d put into the workout. She said to me “So, you can tell me, for the last four years, how many days you’ve worked out and how many days you’ve taken off??” Of course I can. (And I’m certain the number of days I’ve taken off from working out can be counted on maybe 3 or 4 hands.)
After a little more discussion (and soul-baring) she determined that I have adrenal fatigue syndrome and over-training syndrome. That, because my body has been under constant stress for the last 4 years – with little or no rest – my cortisol levels have been elevated for so long and it’s the reason for my weight gain. She told me I had to start resting and with rest, eventually my weight should start to decrease. Coincidentally I had an appointment with my doctor the next day, discussed this all with her and she concurred.
So I started taking rest days. And I felt no guilt. I feel no guilt. What’s really sad – really sad – is that, deep down I knew what the problem was. Hell, I’d JUST taken the PTS course and read over and over that one only need exercise 3-5 times a week. Yet, I did not allow myself off the hook that easy. I think maybe I needed someone to actually tell me that my over-exercising was the root cause of my weight gain but until that happened I wasn’t ready to let go of my addiction.
When it comes right down to it, addiction is addiction. If I were hooked on heroin or an alcoholic I wouldn’t be able to just quit in the instant because I knew it was bad for me. And even though exercise is wonderful and so good for your health, I couldn’t – no, I wouldn’t – allow myself to grasp that my over-training was detrimental to my health. I was so proud of my lifestyle change over the years and my successes that I was determined to keep going, to keep striving for this stupid idea of perfection, to finally feel comfortable in my body. I still haven’t reached that point yet. I have a feeling that this will be a lifelong journey and struggle, and although fitness and healthy living has become such a huge and important part of my life, that one little meeting back at the start of summer helped me realize that it doesn’t have to be my whole life.
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Tags: acceptance, addicted to exercise, adrenal fatigue, adrenal fatigue syndrome, being healthy, benefits of exercise, body image, clean eating, diet, dietician, dietitian, diets, Eating Disorders, eating healthy, exercise, exercise addiction, Fitness, fitness addict, fitness classes, fitness instructor, goals, good health, gym, Healthy Choices, healthy lifestyles, healthy living, Healthy weight, Insanity, Inspiration, Jillian Michaels, no excuses, nutritionist, over-training, over-training syndrome, personal training, Self acceptance, Self love, Shaun T, weight gain, Weight Loss, working out, workouts
I have news: I started teaching outdoors boot camp this summer. Yay me! There’s more to it (my news, I mean) but very quickly I’m going to leave you with this:
This summer has been crazy hot. I mean, sizzling hot. And sticky. And gross. But my boot camp troops have hung in there and worked out with me in 32 degree heat. (Water people, drink lots and lots and lots of water!!)
We’re worked out in the piss-pouring rain, too. Nothing has stopped us. We’ve found shelter when we needed it and we’ve trudged through. And we’ve had a B.L.A.S.T.!!!
Lose the excuses. When you’re willing to put in the time and effort (without making excuses), you’ll be ready to change your life.
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Tags: attainable, being healthy, benefits of exercise, boot camp, bootcamp, effort, encouragement, exercise, exercising, exercising in the sun, Fitness, fitness classes, fitness instructor, gym, healthy, hydrations, no excuses, personal trainer, working out, workouts
Hello my dearies! Listen (re. Read), I know I’ve been a little slacky in the posting department but the bane of my existence lately has been studying.
My CanFitPro Personal Training (written) exam is in one week and aside from my full-time job, fitness classes and regular gym routine, my life has primarily revolved around studying. Bah! Do you KNOW how long it’s been since I’ve been in school? I did not expect a 6 week cram session. (On top of all this I’m also the Maid-of-Honor in my friend’s wedding the week following my exam so seriously, my life is beyond busy right now. But I’m a trooper, dammit!)
I’ve been working my butt off at the gym – my running is going so great – except that I lost my iPod and therefore my running music so I’m now using a cheesy MP3 player that is going to be smashed to bits when I get a new/find my iPod – and the increased strength training even better. I’ve been trying out new things too – new exercises and moves and, I’m just loving it all.
I’m always excited to try new workouts and new exercises. And this past week I’ve been experimenting a little bit here and there and am absolutely loving the way I feel. I like to feel accomplished at the end of my workouts and these new one leave me feeling just that.
In other news – as some of you (who’ve been reading for a while) may recall, I’ve been dealing with some minor health issues for a while and trying to pinpoint certain things to see what’s the cause of this and that – and for me, most of all, what’s the cause of my weight gain. Last Tuesday I had blood work done on two requisitions. On Wednesday my doctor phoned and said my liver functions were way up and she sent me back for more blood work on Thursday. Now, I have already been diagnosed (several years back) with Gilberts Symdromeso we weren’t surprised that my levels were up and my bilirubin was acting cray-cray. But, when I saw my doctor this week she advised that she is quite concerned about other functions being up and with no explanation. So she gave me another requisition for more blood work. And yesterday she phoned AGAIN and sent over yet another requisition for MORE blood work. At the rate I’m going with these damn vampires I’m not going to have any blood left. I also have an appointment with a liver specialist who can hopefully identify what’s going on within my body. Truth be told, I feel fan-friggin’-tastic!! So, at this point I’m really not that worried.
And stay-tuned…Batman is still coming!
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Tags: Batman, CanFitPro, canfitpro certification, exercise, Fitness, fitness classes, fitness instructor, Gilberts Syndrome, gym, health, healthy, liver disease, Personal Training Certification, running, strength, weight, Weight Loss, working out, workout, workouts
I finished my CanFitPro certification course this past weekend. Whoo hoo! It was an overwhelming couple of weeks with tons and tons of information to take in (bioenergetics, biomechanics, etc.) and I have tons and tons of studying and prepping to do before I complete my exams. Thankfully I have about 5 weeks before the written exam and then from there I have to schedule the practical. Fortunately, I had a friend who’s taken the course and is already training (she’s the person responsible for me going for this!) so I’m able to shadow with her and ask questions. And my gym and class buddy has “volunteered” to be my guinea pig so I’m able to work with her the way I would work with a true life client. And it’s helping.
This past weekend, during the course, we spent a good amount of time in the gym and getting to know new equipment. I’ve always been intimidated by some of the equipment in my gym but since I got back from the course I’ve been broadening my horizons and it’s empowering.
One of the big attractions in the course gym, that all the guys and gals were going gaga for, was the Smith Machine. And guess what? We have one of those at my gym! I was so excited to brag about this piece of equipment and get back to my gym to really work with it (I’d tried it once or twice before; it’s still very new to my gym) and I love it. I’ve been increasing my weights over the last year but this machine I think will really help me build my upper body strength – especially since I’m still dealing with this stupid back injury, this machine should be great in keeping me from preventing more injury (let’s all knock on wood just in case).
If you’re not familiar with the Smith Machine you can check out the Wikipedia page here and the photo below.
The really great thing about the Smith Machine is that it has these little jagged teeth where you can sit or rest the weights on AND where you can lock the safety on each side so if you’re doing lifts and lose your balance the weights will only fall to the safety. Or, if you drop the bar completely, it falls right into the next set of teeth. I am really looking forward to getting more use out of this piece of equipment.
I’ve also started using other pieces more and plan to continue with them. If you are like me and don’t feel great outside out of your comfort zone, try taking tiny steps and take full advantage of new equipment (or equipment new to you). It’ll be worth it in the end.