Dilemma: play with your kid or get your workout in?

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PTO Family BC #1 - Instructions

Come the weekend parents are usually off from work and on with family duties and that can make it challenging to get workouts in. I imagine, as I don’t have kids yet, that a parent either has to get their workout in:
1) 1st thing in the morning before the kids are awake, which might be a challenge if you’re catching up on sleep or had a late Friday or Saturday night; or
2) you plan your workout around when your child/children are busy doing an activity or…
3) you take turns with your spouse and one person watches the kids while the other trains and then you switch, but then that prevents a great opportunity for you to train with your spouse.

So what do you do?

How about a little of all of these?

Some days you train before everyone’s up.
Some days you get your workout in while kids are doing their activity and best case you train with your partner (partner training is awesome).
Some days you take turns with your partner getting your workout in while the other watches the kids.
Some days the whole family trains together.

Which brings me to…PTO Family Boot Camp.

We’re in our 5th year of Change Your Body Boot Camps and after being asked numerous times if I’d ever do an adult – kid workout, and after one Nemo Blizzard canceled our “dress rehearsal” event, we held the PTO Family Boot Camp Workout last weekend and it was a major success. No one got hurt, everyone smiled & laughed, everyone sweat & had fun and everyone got 50min of cardio-core conditioning in (though some parents said it was the easiest 50min of cardio they’d ever done), while the parents got to hang out & train with their kids and other families and the kids were able to associate positive emotions with training and hard work (parents already know this, right?).

It had been 10+ years since I coached kids so I had to remember what it was like to work with kids again. What can/can’t they do? How do you talk to them? How do you keep them focused? How do you get adults a great & effective workout in while not going to fast for the kids? How do you keep the kids “engaged” without boring the adults?

Talk about losing sleep the night before preparing for this event.

What I learned?

Speak in bullet points (raise your hand if you want to have fun!).
Change science to kid friendly pictures (broad jumps work horizontal, bilateral hip power to frog jumping ability)

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Frog Jumps aka Broad Jumps

Be early.
Be prepared.
Set up rows & columns.

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Rows & Columns Keep Order




Assign partners (kid-adult).

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Partner Training: 1 adult & 1 kid

Keep the reps short (kids only have so much reserves).
Use lots of dynamic movement (kids love to run around & especially crawl).


Use fun names and animal names (burpees, surprise in birthday cake, spiders, frogs, gorillas, crabs, …)


Teach basic skills that everyone needs (planks, running techniques, crawls, hops, jumps)

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High Knee Hugs

and add levels for different ability levels.
Be flexible to change on the fly.

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Too easy or too hard?

Plan for long water breaks (2min+) as kids need it and you want to reduce injury risk with people you haven’t coached before.
Try to make the experience like an adventure (like Disney World does with Pirate stuff).



Have a game. You might even be able to do 50min of “tag”, but the adults would need a more specific warm up b/c they tend to sit more for work in my experience.



How can you play with your kids and still get your workout in?

Do warm ups together moving across 5-10 yards.
Keep reps short, 3-5 reps is a good starting point for strength & jumping exercises.
Keep planks or stability holds short, 10 seconds is a good aim.
Give enough rest b/w circuits 1-3min so everyone can keep form, especially the population you don’t train normally (in my case the kids).
Alternate standing exercises with on the ground exercises.

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Partner Wheel Barrow


Change traditional exercise names to something fun (e.g. Overhead Squat is “be the Surprise in the Birthday Cake” move).
Play relays. Most everyone loves relays.
Do obstacle courses. Most everyone loves obstacle courses.
Play tag. Kids love tag and many adults too.
Use body weight movements & calisthenics.


Form is always important. This is an opportunity to teach a life skill.
Use animal moves & names.
Use trivia.
High Five, smile & laugh a lot.
Don’t be perfect or try to be.
Aim for the long term goal of creating a family tradition of training together.
You can do this if its loose & structured, fun, something everyone can do together.

Have you ever trained with your family?

Above is a video of my family (mom, sister, brother in law, and cousins all training together outside a cottage by the beach).

Everyone in the world has to train (exercise). Why not train with your family & friends sometimes so you can enjoy happy hormone highs together, create new stories and empowering change in your relationships, family tree and personal health.

What did you think of this blog post?

To learn more about our next PTO Family BC Workout, go here: http://bootcampboston.com/ptofamilybc

Want to get in your best shape? contact me now.

Have you ever trained with your family? If yes, comment below and tell me about it. I’d love to hear stories about other families training together b/c I think it’s cool. icon smile Dilemma:  play with your kid or get your workout in?

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We Win!



Preparing the Child for the Path

The below article is a guest post written by and reprinted here with permission by one of my mentors, Mike Boyle, arguably 1 of the top strength & conditioning coaches in the world, the current Boston Red Sox Strength & Conditioning Consultant, owner of a Men’s Health Top 100 Gyms in America, Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning in Woburn, MA; former S&C coach the BU Men’s Hockey national champions, former Boston Bruins S&C coach, former Women’s Olympic Gold Medal Ice Hockey S&C coach, current S&C coach to middle school, high school, college, amateur, Olympic and professional athletes; internationally renowned speaker, author, fellow athletic trainer and fellow Springfield College alumni (biased #1 sports science school in the country).

Take it away Mike.

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I have a favorite quote that is particularly applicable when it comes to training kids.

“prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child”

The reality is that you will not always be there to pave the way for your child, fix things, argue with coaches etc. etc. Kids will grow into adults and experience grumpy co-workers and mean bosses. Constantly insulating kids from difficult situations and consistently cleaning up the mess they create defeats the purpose of sport.

Sport is about learning to succeed and to fail, not just to succeed. Sports should primarily provide life lessons. If the life lesson learned from sport is that Mom and Dad can and will fix everything, later life will be difficult. If the lesson is that school is something you have to do but sports are what is really important than, be prepared for some really big problems down the road.

Youth sports has become all about success and scholarships instead of about learning and sportsmanship. I have some bad news for all the parents out there. Your child more than likely won’t get a scholarship. If he or she does get a scholarship, they probably won’t make the pros. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, I’m just a realist.

I have more bad news. Those parents who consistently prepare the path for the child by confronting teachers and coaches, changing teams, changing leagues and changing schools are making life-long losers out of their children.

Remember the purpose of sport is to teach kids about success and about failure. The failure lessons may in fact be more important than the successes. Everyone wants their child to succeed, it’s universal, it’s part of being a parent. However, it is when we attempt to alter the normal path that we screw things up. Protecting your child from difficult situations only delays lessons that are very necessary. Failures experienced at twenty one are far more painful than those experienced at ten or twelve. You don’t do your child a service by protecting them, you do them a disservice.

Remember you are a parent. You are not a friend, a manager, or an agent. Your job is to help create a competent, capable adult, not a dysfunctional child.

My mother had a wonderful saying on our wall when I was a child. It said “Children learn What they Live”. The same one hangs in my kitchen now. If you consistently prepare the path for the child you postpone the inevitable. The key is value education. Teach your children what is really important. Teach hard work, commitment, loyalty and dedication.

The next time you make a decision involving your child’s sport or sports, ask yourself “Am I preparing the child for the path or the path for the child”. This simple step will guide your decision making every time.

Mike Boyle
strengthcoach.com

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gobble, gobble

 

Gobble, Gobble Turkey Toss, Give to Hungry Learn Fat Loss

Turkey Workout hidden turkey gobble, gobble

Friday, November 16, 2012 @ 7pm

At the Mackenzie Center, 1337 Centre St, Newton Centre, MA  02459

Presented by Mike Alves of Change Your Body Boot Camps

To Benefit the MHSA/Bristol Lodge of Waltham.

 

Mike Alves of Change Your Body Boot Camps is announcing the turkey donation fat loss workout event to remember with the 4th Gobble, Gobble Turkey Toss, Give to Hungry, Learn Fat Loss Charity Boot Camp Workout.  This event will provide food to hundreds of people during the Thanksgiving holiday and take the givers through a great fat loss routine they can do anytime, anywhere with most any object, even a back pack filled with canned goods or books.

 

 

The fat loss routine will be 45 minutes of total body interval training using only your body weight and the weight of the loaded back pack you bring. You’ll be warmed up and cooled down; we’ll address every functional movement pattern, work your holiday storage system (e.g. your core) and end with a “finisher”. The best part is, it will allow people of different levels of fitness to train together because it is time based and includes exercises for beginners to advance. It will be fast, fun and you’ll understand how to exercise to lose fat in the shortest amount of time.

 

 

The MHSA/Bristol Loge Meals of Waltham is a soup kitchen that will be providing Thanksgiving Day meals to individuals and families in need. Help ensure that no person is turned away this holiday season.

 

 

All attendees are asked to do the following:

 

 

  • Donate a FROZEN turkey which will be “tossed” from person to person at the end of the workout while loading the giving truck. All sizes of turkeys welcome.
  • bring a water bottle, hand towel and gloves (your hands will get cold passing what could be 100 turkeys)
  • a cooler to keep your FROZEN turkey frozen while we exercise.  please bring labeled cooler (so you don’t mix up your cooler w/ someone else) w/ turkey inside.
  • a back pack filled with dumbbells, weights, a medicine ball, a pumpkin or canned goods that you will use to exercise with (15-30lbs for women, 30-60lbs for men)
  • wear fitness attire
  • Rsvp by filling out contact form below to reserve your spot as there are only 100 spaces available.

 

 

 
Frequently Asked Questions:

 

“Mike, why are you doing all these charity events?” Why not? Seriously, Getting people in shape is what I do for a living. Getting you to break habits like overeating and not burning & earning is all part of it. Giving to others is a way to make you feel good about yourself and tie it into something you may not love yet, like exercise.

 

“Mike, why do I need to bring a labeled cooler?” Great question. The Mackenzie Center, our host venue has many services and programs to offer, but a walk-in freezer is not one of them. I could have the “giving truck” arrive for the start, but I feel the minor inconvenience of lugging a cooler, will be worth the experience of the turkey toss. That’s when you’ll really feel the power of celebrating the holidays, exercise and giving.

 

“Mike, what’s the workout going to be like?” Fast and as challenging as you are willing to make it. There will be music playing in the background, the exercises will be time based, each person will have a choice of 3 different levels to choose from for each exercise. You’ll be warmed up, train your core, do a total body strength circuit, experience a finisher, do the turkey toss and conclude with a static stretch.

 

“Mike, why do I need to bring a weighted backpack?” The backpack and your body weight will serve as your resistance for the day. It is also a symbol that you can exercise anywhere, anytime, with most any object, even a weighted back pack.

 

“Mike, what should I put in the back pack?” You can put books, a medicine ball, dumbbells, canned goods, a pumpkin, anything really.

 

“Mike, what if I want to do more or less weight than you recommended?” Go for it. Use less weight if you are in less shape and more weight if you are in better shape. The heavier weight you use, the faster your results will occur. If you choose too little weight and it’s too easy, strive to do as many reps as possible. If you choose too much weight and its too heavy, that’s o.k. too. Just do your best, rest as needed and keep going. Good things will happen faster.

 

“Mike, what if I get tired?” Great. Do your best to push through it. Challenge yourself, see what you really can do. Then if you need to rest, rest. Just stay where you are, grab a sip of water and rejoin when you can. If you need to sit down, then sit down.

 

“Mike, why the Bristol Loge Soup Kitchen?” I read a couple of articles in the Boston Globe about Soup Kitchens not having enough food to meet the demand of applicants requesting assistance. I couldn’t imagine not (1) having a place to go for Thanksgiving and (2) not being able to feed myself or my family. So…Gobble, Gobble. We’re going to give 100′s of pounds of turkeys and feed over a 100 hungry people. It will be awesome. Article #1, Article #2

 

“Mike, can I make a cash donation instead or as well?” Of course. You can make a cash donation to the MHSA Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen of Waltham. You don’t have to bring a frozen turkey to participate, but you’ll be glad if you did.

 

“Mike, what if I haven’t exercised in a while, I’m really out of shape or I have an injury?” Good questions. Well its up to you. This will be a challenging workout, I will show 3 different levels for each exercise and I expect you to do your best. If you think you can’t, then you probably can’t. If you think you can, then come on down. You and I will do our best to get you a great workout.

 

“O.K. how do I sign up?” Fill out the contact form above. You can also contact me with questions on my contact page.


Change Your Body Boot Camps is a fun, challenging and dynamic body transformation exercise class for busy people looking to change their bodies and their lives. This class is perfect for people looking to be led, supported by peers and can make time to exercise either before or after work after school drop off. Participants will use their body weight, dumbbells and bands as resistance in an interval workout that incorporates exercise regressions and progressions to address different fitness levels. To learn more about Change Your Body Boot Camps go to bootcampboston.com.

Get, Give, Get: Get a follow along Ab Workout, Give A Back Pack and Get A Month Pass to CYBBC.

Happy hump day!

 

 

I hope you’re day is going awesome and you’re loving the fact that you don’t have to water the flowers today.  I am.

 

 

 

In any event, I’m feeling really good b/c I rocked out a great 260 rep strength workout,  had a nice lunch and had 3 really cool things I wanted to share with you.

 

 

 

1.  Get A Follow Along Ab Workout 

 

 

One of my clients, Nasrin, asked me this great question about whether she should keep losing weight to tone her stomach OR focus more on plank & crunch work.  This was such a good question and with her permission, I created a really cool “Ask Mike” blog post about it and I’d like to share it with you.

 

http://bootcampboston.com/ask-mike/i-still-have-belly-fat-should-i-continue-to-lose-weight-or-focus-more-on-planks/

 

 

If you want a short (5-18min) & effective total body ab workout to help tone your stomach, once you reach your body weight goal, and some effective & equally short results-oriented strength workouts to help you tone everything else, click here.  You’ll get to see Coach Mike, busting his butt, to show you “live”, how intense your effort needs to be in order to make change happen.  I even get tired, sometimes go on my hands & knees and even lie down on my face b/c I get so exhausted (the end of CW#1).

 

Go ahead:  click here to see Nasrin’s Ask Mike question with my answer and get a follow along Ab Workout + 3 Follow Along Challenge Workouts.

 

 

2.  Give A Back Pack & Get A 1-Month Pass to CYBBC

 

 

I’ve been in the giving mode lately.  It started with my cousin selling wrist bands b/c his mom / my aunt got cancer, then Springfield College, my alma mater, which was hit hard by the tornadoes lost its beautiful tree line along the Massasoit shores (SC is a beautiful campus and the Harvard of Exercise Science in my biased opinion) and then I learned about this really cool program started by the City of Newton Health & Human Services department, that is collecting back packs & school supplies to give to underprivileged kids in Newton.  I don’t know about you, but I sure love to learn and nothing made learning as fun in grade school as writing in my new “trapper keeper” with my cool NFL pencils and crazy erasers and rocking out with my sweet maroon, Jansport back pack with tons of cool pockets (and hidden one’s too).

 

Anyways, I called the Health & Human Service Dept and asked them how many they were collecting (200) and how many they still needed (50), so I thought I’d ask you if you wanted to help too and if you did I’d do something really special for you.

Back Pack Fundraiser Drive Newton Health Human Services Village Bank 08.10.12 Get, Give, Get:  Get a follow along Ab Workout, Give A Back Pack and Get A Month Pass to CYBBC.

 

Here’s the deal.  Help me collect 50, 48 more bags and school supplies (see above) by donating $50 worth of goods, by 5pm this Friday, August 17, 2012 to the Main Office at the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club and be sure to let them know and me know you did it, and I’ll gift you (1) Full Access Pass to A Phase of Boot Camp ($268 value) redeemable by anyone who is a good fit for us, including new members AND past members who aren’t currently under a membership agreement.  Current members may gift the certificate or sell it to someone who they feel is a good fit.  Gift certificate expires in 6-months (February 16, 2013).

 

 

Give & Get Specifics

 

  • 48 more bags needed for underprivileged kids
  • Donate a back pack and school supplies worth $50.
  • Do Good & Feel Good.
  • Get a 1-Month, Full Access Pass to A Phase of Boot Camp ($268 value)
  • Redeemable by people who are a good fit for CYBBC.
  • Including new members AND past members not on a membership agreement.
  • Current members may gift or sell the gift certificate.
  • Expires in 6-months (February 16, 2013).
  • Drop off by 5pm, Friday, August 17, 2012 to the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club Main Office (Edinboro Street), 675 Watertown Street, Newton, MA  02460.
  • Send Coach Mike an email, mike@mikealves.com to tell him you did this.

 

 

Get, Give, Get Summary

 

If you’ve got belly & side fat and you’d like to get a fun, follow along video you can do to help tone your midsection, click here.

If you give a back pack & supplies, you’ll feel really good about it and…

…you’ll get a 1-Month, Full Access Pass to A Phase of Boot Camp.

 

 

Thank you for reading today.

 

 

Yours living the active lifestyle,

 

Mike Alves

 

p.s.  Go check out Nasrin’s “Ask Mike” question here.  Follow along with the video, then while you’re flying high and feeling tight & solid in your gut, go drop off a new back pack to the B&G Club.

p.p.s.  No one ever says, “Wow, I really regret that workout!”

p.p.p.s.  No one also ever says, “Wow, I really regret helping those kids!”

Guest Post: The Hidden Truths About Cholesterol and Statins by Adrienne Nicole, Mercola.com

I’m a big fan of searching for answers when I have a question, and a while back I was looking for information on how to help a client get better sleep, when I came across an article from mercola.com.  Check it out here.

 

Anyways, my readers, aka you, must have enjoyed the article because mercola.com asked if they could write an article for my blog.  When they told me that it was about Cholesterol I was very interested because I have an interest in cholesterol’s relationship to testosterone production, it’s affects on heart disease (I have a family history of heart disease) and I like butter, steak, coconut oil and other high saturated fat foods.

 

Enter, Adrienne Nicole, a writer for mercola.com.

 

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The Hidden Truths About Cholesterol and Statins

For years, the medical community has feared cholesterol. It has been regarded as the primary cause of common American disorders, such as heart diseases and obesity. Due to its reputation, certain types of foods have been demonized and labeled as hazards to health. Among these are eggs and other foods rich in saturated fats.

Every time high cholesterol is diagnosed – often around levels of 200 to 250 –cholesterol drugs called statins are prescribed to patients. According to research, statins are the second most prescribed medicine in the United States, and tens of millions of Americans are taking it. The more pressing matter is not only are adults taking this but kids as well.

First of all, false facts have been spread about cholesterol and statins for the past two decades. Instead of working hard to suppress the formation of cholesterol, people should understand that the body requires it to function well. Second, statins may be successful in inhibiting cholesterol production, but their adverse effects outweigh their benefits.

Before acting on your cholesterol levels, you must first understand what cholesterol does and why statins are not the answer to regulating it.

Why Cholesterol is Your Friend, Not Foe

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance, 75 percent of which is produced by your liver. It is utilized by your body for the production of cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that contribute to fat metabolism. At the same time, cholesterol plays an important role in the formation of your memories, and is key for your optimal neurological function.

Cholesterol levels that fall within 200 and 250 should not be the basis of high cholesterol. In fact, there are people who have levels within this range but are not at all at risk for heart disease. On the other hand, there are some who have “healthy” levels, which fall below 200, but possess an increased chance of having a heart attack. Health experts believe that unless your levels are 330 and above, you should not worry about high cholesterol.

While there are consequences with extremely elevated levels, studies show that low levels of cholesterol can bring about the following side effects:

  • Higher risk of depression
  • Increased suicidal tendencies
  • Increased violence and aggression
  • Higher chance of contracting cancer and Parkinson’s disease

The key is to keep your cholesterol levels at healthy range. In order to do so, you must avoid statins at all costs. There are now more than 900 studies proving the adverse effects of statins.

How Statins’ Side Effects Overshadow Their Benefits

As mentioned before, statins are a HMG-CoA reductase or cholesterol inhibitor. Specifically, they block the enzyme in liver that formulates cholesterol in your body. While these cholesterol drugs are successful in doing so, they disrupt several mechanisms in your body, as well as induce several unwanted effects on your body.

One of the major complaints reported due to statins is muscle problems. Cholesterol-lowering drugs affect your muscles by activating the atrogin-1 gene, which contributes to muscle atrophy. Common indications of muscle damage are muscle pain and weakness. If not dealt with, an advanced case of muscle degeneration called rhabdomyolysis can destroy your tissues.

Several other problems that are linked to statins are:

  • Polyneuropathy or nerve damage in the hands and feet
  • Acidosis
  • Immune system impairment
  • Memory loss and cognitive decline
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pancreatic and hepatic (liver) dysfunction

Statins can also prevent the production of an important nutrient in the body called Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. This coenzyme is actually important for your cellular energy production. It is produced in the same pathway that cholesterol is created. When you take statins, the creation of CoQ10 is also inhibited.

Statins also contribute to the rising of your blood sugar. Your liver also functions to convert excess sugar and grains into cholesterol and triglycerides. With the intake of statins, these sugars are then sent back to your bloodstream. Because of this, you become more at risk of diabetes or hypoglycemia.

How to Keep Your Cholesterol Levels at a Normal Range

The best method to maintain your normal cholesterol levels is to go natural. Integrating a healthy diet and proper exercise in your lifestyle is the most effective way to keep your cholesterol levels from becoming abnormal. This may require discipline and great effort, but it can also influence your entire physical, emotional, and mental health.

It is best to avoid processed foods rich in sugars and grains, as these contributed to a myriad of disorders. Add more heart healthy choices to your diet, such as grass-fed meats, raw eggs and dairy, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, as well as coconut oil and olive oil. Avoid frying your foods; instead, consume them raw.

Eliminate alcohol and smoking from your lifestyle. Exercise to keep your blood circulation regulated. This will transport elements of your immune system to various parts of your body, keeping your resistance high. Do not just include aerobics in your routine. Perform other activities, such as high-intensity exercises, strength training, core exercises, and stretching. Of course, it is important to have adequate rest periods when you exercise to allow your muscles to recover.

 

About the Author

Adrienne Nicole works as a writer for Mercola.com, the world’s most visited natural health site. Many of her relatives have been diagnosed with high cholesterol and other related problems, and she has recently learned that she too is at risk for these. Thanks to Dr. Mercola, she has learned effective strategies on how to keep both her physical and emotional health in optimal condition.

 

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Summary

 

Adrienne’s article kind of follows the nutrition philosophy I have and teach my clients about, while also being blunt about how to reduce your risk for high cholesterol (discipline, natural foods, exercise, eliminate alcohol & smoking, avoid processed foods, refined sugars and V, cover your ears, grains), why cholesterol is good, why too much or too little cholesterol is bad and what the side of effects of taking statins are.

 

What did you think?

Be sure to click like on this article to give Adrienne some recognition for it and comment below to tell me what you think?  Do you agree, disagree, etc…

 

Yours changing lives,

 

Mike Alves

Newton Boot Camp

Newton Personal Trainer

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p.s.  click like, share or tweet to give Adrienne a shout out.

p.p.s.  comment below to share your thoughts