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

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)

Frog Jumps aka Broad Jumps

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

Rows & Columns Keep Order

Assign partners (kid-adult).

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)

High Knee Hugs

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

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.

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. 🙂

We Win!

gobble, gobble


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

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.





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.


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!”

How do I lose 5-10 lbs?

Question: How do I lose the last 5-10 lbs?…or…How do I gain 5-10 lbs?

Answer:  It has to do with liquid calories and new research backs up what many coaches & people already knew.  Continue reading to find your answer.

Water: a non-caloric beverage


Soda: A caloric beverage

How to gain weight?

What seems like a lifetime ago now, I used to work with professional, college & high school athletes and to help them not only keep weight on, but gain weight I’d have them drink liquid calories in addition to their meals because it was a great way to sneak in extra calories. I did the same myself when I was in a weight gain phase back in college. (I entered college at 147 lbs. and left college at 195 lbs.)


How to lose weight?

However if you’re looking to lose weight, you definitely want to skip the calorie drinking and replace it with water while focusing on “solid” whole foods.

Dr. Tom Halton, the author of The Weight Loss Triad, just wrote an article on this subject and cited new research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Tate, et.al., reported subjects who replaced their caloric beverages with non-caloric beverages lost 5% of their body weight over 6-months vs. the control groups who didn’t replace their caloric beverages. If you’re 185 lbs and you’re looking to lose the last 9.25 lbs, or if you’re 130 lbs looking to lose the last 6.5 lbs and you want an easy way to do it, switching your cocktails for club soda w/ lime, your beers for seltzer water, your latte for “black” coffee or green tea and your O.J. for water w/ lemon are some simple yet still pleasurable ways to be social and still enjoy hydrating & meal consumption.

In summary

Drinking caloric beverages or liquid calories is great for weight gain, but bad for for weight loss.

If you want to gain weight, drink liquid calories like smoothies, shakes, juices, alcohol, creamer, half & half, etc…

If you want to lose weight, don’t drink calories & instead drink water or its derivatives (tap, seltzer, mineral, ice, club soda, coffee, green tea …).

Yours living the active life,

Mike Alves

Tate, DF., et. Al. Replacing caloric beverages with water or diet beverages for weight loss in adults: main results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) randomized clinical trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012; 95(3): 555-63.

How to sleep better. 33 Sleep Aids for better sleep by Dr. Mercola

Have you ever had trouble sleeping?  Sleep can help and hurt you in many ways.  Instead of reinventing the wheel on what a lack of sleep does for your health, performance and body composition and how to get more and better sleep, here is a great article from Dr. Mercola, of mercola.com, The World’s #1 Natural Health Website.


Want a Good Night’s Sleep? Then Never Do These Things Before Bed

Posted By Dr. Mercola | October 02 2010 | 873,263 views

By Dr. Mercola

slepping in bed Continue reading