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!

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!”

80-20 Principle Applied to Training Environments

Change Your Body Boot Camps, Newton’s 1st Body Transformation Boot Camp that guarantees results for busy people, has released its 2012 Training Calendar. Click here to view.

Hello and good day to you!

One of the great things about your local Newton Boot Camp is the training environment. You see, the reason CYBBC has so many clients with success stories is because it has developed a system for yielding results and one of those systems is it’s training environment.

Have you ever heard of the 80 / 20 Principle. The 80 / 20 Principle, made famous by the Italian Economist, Vilfredo Pareto, and paraphrased here from Tim Ferris’ book, The 4-Hour Workweek, showed that 20% of Pareto’s Peapods yielded 80% of his peas or that 20% of the population yielded 80% of the wealth. The unique thing about this Principle is it can be applied to many contexts including training environments.

Here are some examples showing how training environment can lead to improved health, body transformations & performance.

• membership based gyms:

80% of members who do show up, don’t train on a plan, 20% do train on a plan.

• gym based, group exercise classes:

80% of group exercise classes are NOT programs, just workouts of the day. 20% are programs.

• general vs. custom programming


80% of programs are general and do not address imbalances or injury history, are not flexible, are not periodized or progressive and do not guarantee results. 20% of programs are customized to address imbalances & injuries, are flexible, periodized, progressive and guarantee results.

• gym equipment based workouts vs. do anywhere workouts

80% of programs are built around equipment found at a gym. 20% of programs are designed to be done anywhere you find yourself, with most any equipment available or even none at all.

• personal training studios

80% of PT Studios train 1 person at a time leaving the support & motivation soleley up to the coach. 20% of PT Studios train semi-privately using the collective support & motivation of the group to motivate the individual.

• membership boot camps

80% of boot camps accept anyone who can afford training to join. 20% of boot camps accept only the right people they want to train.

• short term results vs. long term sustainable results

80% of premium programs base their results on quick fixes (think “jumpstart” diet programs) to yield immediate results without consideration of the long term health, body composition and performance costs related to these sabotaging habits. 20% of premium programs yield both short & long term results by teaching sustainable habits to overcome the highs & lows of life.

• Good vs. Great

80% of coaches just want a paycheck and a place to go each day. 20% of coaches want to be the best they can be, the best in their area and the best in their niche.

• Fun

80% of training environments are low energy, no fun, filled with complaining people leaning on equipment, walking around aimlessly, watching tv or reading where people don’t really want to be. 20% of training environments will be high energy, exciting, motivating & fun places you want to be.

The Lucky 20%

Basically 20% of the people who set 2012 Health, Body Composition and Performance related goals will yield 80% of the results. These people are most likely to train in a high energy & fun environment where everyone is on a flexible and customized, long term sustainable, results-oriented, do anywhere program, that is not dependent on gym based equipment, which uses the motivation of a highly selective group of motivated people who are ready & committed to train, who are not complainers or whiners and are led by a coach who will accept nothing but the best for his/her clients, his/her program and his/herself.

The Unlucky 80%

The other 80% of people who set 2012 Health, Body Composition and Peformance related goals will yield 20% of the results if any. These people will go through the motions when they show up because they don’t have a plan, their accountability isn’t strong enough, they’ll most likely get hurt trying to train too hard in a workout that is not progressive or from having low energy from following a “jumpstart” nutrition plan. They’ll watch too much tv instead of watching the sweat slalom off their nose. They’ll lose momentum becaues their program is not fun, it’s not flexible, it’s dependent on gym based equipment and they’ll grow tired of being surrounded by negative nelly’s and coaches who don’t care.

In closing, Change Your Body Boot Camps has a system for delivering sustainable results in a safe manner and part of that system is its training environment. Phase 1 begins, Sunday, January 1 at 8am with Measurements & Orientation. The 1st day of training begins, Monday, January 2. You can learn more about our 2 convenient locations and flexible training times by visiting our website, bootcampboston.com.

Happy New Year!

Yours changing lives,

Mike Alves

Newton Personal Trainer
Newton Boot Camp

p.s. here’s the link for the schedule.
p.p.s. here’s the link to try us out.