Sunday, March 15, 2009

Guest Bloggage - Heidi Bader

Guest Bloggage with Heidi Bader - In this installment of Guest Bloggage I am bringing in a special guest.....that's right it's the boss, the wifey, the ol' ball and chain! She will be addressing a topic that is very important in both our lives and one that I intend to write about more extensively in the future. The topic that I am talking about is fitness. I am a huge believer in the interconnectivity of the body and mind, and a believer that how someone treats their health and wellness can tell you an awful lot about how they live their life. Heidi has a degree in Physical Education from the University of Arizona, teaches 4th-8th grade P.E. and health, is a certified and practicing spinning instructor, an aspiring personal trainer, and a lifelong embodiment of the benefits of physical fitness. She is a wealth of knowledge and she looks better than she ever has so you know that she walks the walk. For those who think think that I am just saying that just because I married her think again and look at the picture above! She inspires me to be a better person and hopefully her words of wisdom can do the same for you.

One of my biggest challenges in my job as a middle school P.E. teacher is creating lessons that teach my students the fundamentals of fitness and exercise while still having those lessons include stuff that they like. Most middle school kids could care less about lifting weights, improving their mile time, or learning pilates; they would much prefer to play a game of hockey, soccer, or lacrosse. After several months of trying to get the point across to them that their personal fitness is much more important than their middle school floor hockey skills, I developed two simple personal fitness rules that have helped me have a different outlook on working out and hopefully they can help you too!

Rule #1
Go Hard or Go Home

My middle school students have the shortest attention span. I like to teach them different weight lifting skills (with our sweet 5lb. weights). The first time I did this, I taught them three or four different types of lifts for each muscle group. I am guessing that a lot of you out there may lift in a similar way. You do your bicep curls, hammer curls, some curls on the cables, I think you get my point. I noticed with the kids that after about the fifth rep on the first set of the first exercise, they seemed over it already. As the different lifts progressed, their effort and form was pathetic.

This is where my new Go Hard or Go Home theory comes into play. The next time I did weight lifting with them, I taught them only a few different exercises that incorporated several muscle groups, such as a bicep curl with a squat, or a walking lunge with a shoulder raise. Obviously, these exercises were much more challenging for them, and they tired easily. They pushed themselves so much more because they knew that they only had to preform a few different exercises. The workout time went much more quickly, the time was spent much more efficiently, which allowed them to still get in a few minutes of floor hockey. They got a good workout so I was happy, and they still got to have fun doing the things that they like.

So back to the rule- PUSH YOURSELF!!!! Nobody wants to spend over an hour at the gym doing countless exercises. Pick a few very challenging things, do those and then go home. Incorporate different muscle groups into one exercise, add plyometric jumping moves, or get back to the basics with push ups. A great arm workout is doing as many plain old push ups as you can. That takes like 2 minutes, and I guarantee that you will be sore the next day. There is no reason for you to be doing muscular strength activities for more than 20-30 minutes per session. If you are doing weights for more than that, you are not pushing your body. More time does not mean more results.

For those of you out there who are cardio lovers, this rule applies to you too. As Matt said, I teach spinning classes. At my class on Saturday, this lady kept riding her bike after the class had ended. The class is a 60 minute class, 5 of which are a warm up, and a 5 minute cool down. This lady didn't stop her ride when the class was over because she said that the class wasn't quite 60 minutes. She was right, my routine was 58 minutes. She had told me that she wanted to ride for an extra two minutes in order to get her 60 minute workout in. At first I felt kind of bad because I let the class out two minutes early, but when I got to thinking about it, if you are working hard enough during the 58 minutes, you should not need to do an extra two minutes at a mediocre pace. GO HARD OR GO HOME. If she followed the directions of the class, she should have been so tired and worn out that she wouldn't have been able to do another two minutes.

MORE TIME DOES NOT EQUAL MORE WEIGHT LOSS!!! You won't get skinny doing 60 minutes of cardio doing a half ass job. You could get better results going all out for a much shorter time. How many times have you seen some out of shape person on a piece of cardio equipment for an hour or more? If you take a close look at these people, they are not sweaty and their form sucks. If they shortened their cardio time, pushed themselves a little more, and actually broke a sweat, they would get the results they want.

Rule #2
Have Fun

If you hate running, don't run. If love yoga, do yoga. Its simple. Don't try and do something that you hate. Personally, I hate going to exercise classes. I had tried countless classes and didn't like them. I always felt like it was a waste of my time. Then I found spinning. It was the first class that I felt like I was getting a good workout in and actually had fun. Now I do it all the time and teach it too. So many people think that in order to be in good shape they need to look up their favorite celebs workout plan, or ask their best friend what they do to stay in shape. Don't do what other people like to do, find your niche and stick to it. Working out needs to be fun.

Good luck on your fitness plans, and thanks for reading!

If you are interested in being the next Guest Bloggage muse on BadskiBlog email me at

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