exercise video demo

Jump Start June! (Optional Fitness)

When Harmony at mybigfatfitlife​ and I were talking about this challenge, I said I really wanted to see an optional, attainable fitness portion attached to it. I’m not sure how to articulate exactly what my brain was thinking, but I did this kickass bodyweight strength training program last fall. It was awesome, and the approach was all about making small goals and smashing them. The coach really emphasized that we needed to move at our own pace, make personal records and then destroy them. 

And so making small goals in relation to increasing my strength - they go hand in hand. And I want to share idea, and hopefully see it transform into new habits for you too.

Bodyweight strength training is awesome because you don’t need any equipment. You don’t need a gym. You need yourself, and normal household items. Like a floor. A dining room table. A doorway. A wall. Prisoners come out of solitary confinement absolute machines because they’ve done bodyweight exercises. And I’m not suggesting solitary for anyone, but there is a valuable lesson to be learned from the incarcerated: Anyone can build muscle in any situation.

I have a whole PILE of exercises we’re going to try out. You can participate any time you want to, for whatever workouts, and whichever exercises you want to try. Some of these exercises you already know, and love to hate, like burpees, push-ups, sit-ups and squats. Others you will never have heard of, and will grow to actually love. 

For week one of this challenge, we’re going to test what we are capable of. You need to try out the exercises, and record how many you can do as your baseline. I will provide modifications for a bunch of them, so if you can’t do something, there’s something else for you to try.

June 1 - No exercises today. What are your bodyweight strength training goals? Do you have a particular part of your body you would like to strengthen? What bodyweight strength training experience do you have?

June 2 - Test your arms today! Do as many of the following with good form as you can:

  1. Let Me Ins - these are kinda fun. You can also try a doorway pull-through - stand in your doorway, hands on either side of the door jamb, and sorta sit back. Then pull yourself through. 
  2. Table top pull-up - I can’t find a video for this, so let me describe: Lay under your dining room table. Place your hands on the table edge, fingers on the top of the table, thumb on the underside. Pull yourself off the floor, toward the table.
  3. Push-ups - there’s a pile of modifications if you can’t do the traditional ‘off-the-toes’ push ups.  Wall pushups, floor pushups (2 from the knees, one from the toes)
  4. Tricep dips - This woman is too perky for words, however, there’s one way of doing tricep dips. If those are too hard, do them at a higher angle - using a low stool, or a chair.

(I’m going to try to get the Manthing to video me doing the ones I described, as horrifying as that might be, but it won’t be tonight. Stay tuned!)

June 3 - No bodyweight training today. Do whatever your usual fitness plan calls for for the day. Or some light cardio. Go for a walk! Yay walking! The point is: don’t do anything for this challenge today.

June 4 - Test your legs/bum today! Do as many of the following with good form as you can:

  1. Lunges
  2. Squats
  3. Glute Bridge
  4. Leg Raise (Jane Fondas, clamshell)
  5. Rainbow Extensions
  6. Bulgarian Split Squat

June 5 - Test your abs today! Do as many of the following with good form as you can:

  1. planks (this is a good beginner video)
  2. lying leg raise
  3. sit ups or crunches
  4. Russian Twist

June 6 - Now you’ve had a chance to get a baseline for improvement, so set yourself some goals - and tell us about them. Also, today you are going to learn how to do a burpee. There’s a million (okay, not quite) modifications you can do to start learning a good form burpee. The point is, do it right, and then change it to be more challenging. This is a GREAT video of how to start and progress through to the burpee that everyone loves to hate

As we progress through the challenge, I will throw in new and exciting bodystrength exercises, and demo videos (whether they are youtube or my own crappy home vids remains to be seen).
These workouts are OPTIONAL, but I hope you will decide to try them out at least once a week, just to add some variety to your week, and make you think about quick easy exercises you can do at anytime, anywhere - which is perfect for a small goal, right?


Don’t forget, tag your posts with #jsj15, #mybigfatfitlife and #deartreadmill so that those other folks who are doing the challenge can see how things are going, and so Harmony and I can watch your progress!