Archive for January, 2015

Sun. – 2/1 A Day of Transcendent Burpees

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As demonstrated here by Ceci, the hand of god sometimes reaches down while you’re in the middle of a queerfit workout and pulls you upward into the light. You might think you’re dying, but it’s just divine encouragement to get out of that hunched-over position you’ve been in all week, open up your chest, and submit to the wonder of the day.

Our first challenge for February is to carry that feeling over into all of Sunday. Through burpees, of course.

We’re doing 50 transcendent burpees throughout the day, no more than 3 at a time. A transcendent burpee is like the burpees we normally do (down, kick to plank, pushup, stand, hop), but in place of that perfunctory little hop at the end you’re going to give a big, meaningful jump and open up your arms like you just scored a touchdown at the Superbowl. In fact, it’s totally ok to do these while drinking beer and eating chips at a Superbowl party. It’s up to you whether you want to do one or two (or three or more) pushups with every burpee. If the jump isn’t going to happen, create a modification that has you throwing yourself open to the universe by raising your arms with great enthusaism. The only thing you HAVE to do is fling open your arms at the top of the movement in an ardent kind of hallelujah. Because really, how often do you get to be ardent?

Since you can’t do more than 3 at a time, you’re going to need some way to keep count. An index card and pen works, or if you have 50 small items (pennies, cheerios, raisins) you can start with a pocket/bag of 50 and toss/eat one for every burpee.

Don’t wait until late in the day to start! Do one or two right now, whatever you’re wearing, to see how it feels. Awesome, right? Let us know in the comments some details of your burpee style, a few places where you did them, how they felt.

Sat. – 1/31 Get thee to the queerfittery

The Saturday challenge is to get to queerfit. It’s going to be sunny but cold at queerfit time (not as cold as our first Saturday, but still chilly). To help yourself out, bring the socks and sweats you’re going to wear tomorrow morning into bed with you tonight. They will be toasty warm when you wake up, and you can get dressed for queerfit while still under the covers. Set up your coffee maker so all it’ll take is you pushing the start button. Put your shoes by the door. Do what you can to minimize the barriers to your getting out the door.

Now, the real challenge:

Notice your thoughts when you  wake up and remember it’s queerfit morning. Absolutely no judgement on yourself – just take notice of your thoughts and feelings.

We’ll discuss tomorrow.

We’ll also do some exercising.

Fri. – 1/30 Countdown to the weekend

Our Friday challenge counts us down to the weekend. Like yesterday, it’s pretty simple, so it’s another last chance to get it done and in before we tally the points.

We’re going to do 10 pushups, then 9, then 8, then 7…on down to 1. It’s ok to spread these out throughout the day, but if you can do it in one go (taking 5 seconds between sets), then go ahead and get them done.

If you’re suspecting that two “easy” challenge days in a row means Saturday’s workout is going to extra awesome, you may be right. Doesn’t that make you so happy?! It should. Get your pushups in and your head on straight queer.

Thur. – 1/29 Fifty shades of squat

Keep on keeping on, dear queerfitters – we’re at 20 days on Thursday and we feel fine!

For Thursday, it’s 50 squats and done.Five cues for you to cycle through:

(1) weight in heels;
(2) push butt back;
(3) get down low;
(4) shove knees out;
(5) tall chest up.

Go through those cues 10 times and you’ll be done. Amazing, isn’t it? No! It’s not amazing; you’re amazing.

We’re tallying the team points tomorrow, so do your part.

Wed. – 1/28 squats + pushups = …

Coach ZahraOur Wednesday challenge is 6 sets of 10 squats + 8 pushups. Sound familiar? Last week, we had a day when the challenge was 6 sets of 8 pushups followed by 10 squats. Since we believe in always progressing (weights go UP, movements get more complex), we’re doing these (squats + pushups) differently than last week. Rather than doing all your squats and then all your pushups, you’re going to do a squat, then immediately kick out into a pushup, then get back up so you can repeat.

Does this sound like a burpee? It is. But there’s hop at the end, and you’ll bring a bit more awareness and deliberateness to all parts of the movement. Rather than flinging yourself down to the ground, you’ll squat down with all the grace and beauty that you bring to every squat you ever do, and then kick out into a gorgeous plank. To help you think of the initiation of the burpee as a squat, you will start and end each set with an extra squat. So it goes 1 squat, 6 deliberate burpees, 1 squat. Repeat six times. 

If you’re making modifications, you have the additional challenge of finding a way to make your squat modification flow into your pushup modification. If it’s necessary for you to twirl around and/or shout olé!,do so.

Take your time with these. You have all day to get through the 6 sets. Even if you do them all in a row, take the time to do them mindfully and well.

Then since you’ll be all mindful and shit, treat yourself o the open house for Orange Moon Sanctuary from 6:30-8:30, hosted by coach Zahra. Burpee away, friends and lovers, and then we’ll see you at the sanctuary!

Tue. – 1/27 Encouragement! boom!

** We are in Brownwood Park for our Tuesday evening workout **

We are not at the Rush Center. We’re going to be under the pavilion at Brownwood. Meaning, we will be outdoors as the sun is setting and the temperature is dropping. Tuesday’s challenge is to help two people make it to our 6:15 workout.

There is a raging debate over whether willpower is a limited resource. Some studies say yes it is, and once it’s depleted, you’re pretty much doomed. Under this theory, you need to be careful how you expend your willpower – use it all up on resisting that plate of brownies, and you’ve nothing left when it’s time to put on your sneakers and head to the gym. Other researchers say no, willpower is only limited if you believe it’s limited. If someone is taught to believe willpower is unlimited, and that completing a difficult task energizes them for the next one, they tend to act as if that’s true.

Neither camp considers what happens when we give away our willpower. What happens when, rather than expending the energy to talk yourself into doing something, you help someone else do a difficult task? We don’t know. So let’s test it out. Pick two people – they can be a team member or not – and help them get to Brownwood Park for our 6:15 Tuesday workout. You can use this blog, the facebook page, text, a phonecall, anything – but you should take 30 seconds to pause and think about what will be helpful to that person. You don’t need to know them well; it’s perfectly OK to take a guess.

It’s the usual 3 points for being at the workout, and an extra 1 point for letting us know in the comments how you provided encouragement! boom! to 2 other queerfitters.

Mon. – 1/26 Happy National Happy Smiling Nut Day

photo (2)January 26 is National Pistachio Day; the Chinese call the pistachio the happy nut; in Iran, it’s called the smiling nut. So happy national happy smiling nut day, you mighty nutty queerfitters…no better way to celebrate than with…squats.

How’d you know?

Every other day, we’ve been doing lots of squats. It’s starting to feel like the normal thing to do, isn’t it? Let’s step things up today, to give some respect to the pistachio, to yourself, and to the AMAZING week you’re about to have. We’re doing 5 sets of 20 weighted squats, using the weight of your choice. You should do these throughout the day, using a variety of weights. You can hold the weight close to your chest or, if you have experience in a good overhead squat, you can go overhead. Some options for close to your chest: a small child, your dog, a gallon of milk, a bag of dog food, bag of laundry, a heavy purse, a rock, your backpack. Overhead, you can hoist an office chair, a broomstick, a small child, your dog, two gallons of milk…

Let us know your five objects. For the pistachios! For you! For the awesome week ahead!

Sun. – 1/25 Rejuvenation Sunday

Our Sunday challenge is to rejuvenate. We’re going to do it fresh water, a heap of awesome protein, and bright sunshine.

We’ve now roared through 14 days straight – I mean queer – of moving our bodies every day (or nearly every day), some days with great intensity. Big round of applause for us! Hercules! Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!

So today we rejuvenate. The challenge today is to do these three things. You have all day to do them.

1. Drink delicious water. No need to drink 8 glasses, which is a myth anyway, but do drink more today than you normally drink. A tip from hundreds of millions of old Chinese people: drink hot water with your meals. It’s weirdly calming.

2. Eat a heap of awesome protein. If you don’t have it in your house, get some. This is your excuse for loading up on clean, inexpensive protein for the week. There’s eggs, beans, and edamame (look for it in the frozen vegetables). Peanut butter is also fine, especially in a milk-banana-peanut butter smoothie. For eaters of meat, do your magic with tuna fish, chicken thighs, ground sirloin, or pork chops. If you’ve been feeling woozy after workouts, you’re probably not eating enough protein.

3. Get out into the sun…and do 100 pushups. The Sunday forecast is for bright sunshine and a high of 55 degrees. It’s January, friends. This is WONDERFUL! So get outside and do 10 sets of 10 beautiful, powerful, lovely, push-ups. If you’re feeling up for it, do ahead and do these in monster sets of fifty. For the rest of us, the standard is to do 10 sets of 10, all outside, throughout the day. When you use your car to run an errand, put your hands or feet up on the bumper and do 10 before you get in and 10 after you get out. That’s 40 pushups total for one trip to the grocery store to buy your heaps of protein.

An extra point for anyone who posts a photo to our FB page documenting push-ups done in your church attire.

Drink, eat, and push up. And congratulate yourself for being awesome these first 14 days.

Sat. – 1/24 Grey is the Color of Hope

It’s been grey and dreary for the last few days and the forecast for Saturday morning is for yet more grey. In 1988, the Soviet writer Irina Ratushinskayathe published Grey is the Color of Hope, about her years confined in a work camp for her “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.” While there, she continued to work, writing her poems on bars of soap and memorizing them before they dissolved. She chose to submit to solitary confinement rather than wear an identification badge. While in solitary, she went on hunger strike to protest the guards’ abuse of her bunkmate.

So. It’s a little grey. Throw on an extra layer and come on out. We can’t wait to see you at 10:00. The sun will be out by the end of the workout.

Fri. – 1/23 Positive Self Talk Squats

Friday’s challenge may be the hardest one yet. 5 sets of 15 squats.

Here’s the twist. You’re going to practice positive self talk as you squat. Here’s how:

1. Catch yourself thinking something positive about yourself. Anything is fine – it may be trivial, silly, vain. It may even be untrue. (“My hair looks alright today”)
2. Amp it up (“That is some excellent hair”)
3. One more notch (“Someone needs to come take a picture of my super hot damn outstanding hair RIGHT NOW.”)
4. Edit it down to 2 or 3 words and add an exclamation mark (“My Hair Rocks!”)
5. Immediately – or if you’re in your car or in a meeting, as soon as you are able – do 15 squats, repeating your mantra out loud with each squat. You can mutter them if you’re in the library or something, but you need to vocalize.

You want to be done with this as early in the day as possible. Can you catch yourself thinking 5 positive thoughts about yourself before breakfast? For the rest of us, it will become quickly apparent why this is the hardest of the challenges yet.

If it’s getting late in the day and you’ve not yet finished your squats, do NOT beat yourself up about your dearth of positive self talk. Here are some phrases you can use to get through your squats:

Strong like ox!
Master maker of toast!
Conqueror of the copier!
Most persistent!
The world’s greatest!

As always, 1 point for your team when you post that you’re done. For today, an extra 1 point if you post all 5 of your positive self talk mantras. Get ’em!