Archive for January, 2015

Thur. – 1/22 Thursday Duet

Our Thursday challenge is pushups…AND squats. Because peanut butter and jelly. Bert and Ernie. Han Solo and Chewbacca. Thelma and Louise. Kid & Play. Bonny and Clyde. Dolce & Gabbana. mini vanilli.

Some things just go better together. Putting aside your romantic partners past and present, what’s a great duo you’ve been half of? Think on this as you do 8 pushups followed by 10 squats. Think on it some more as you do that again, five more times, for a total of 6 sets. Do this all at once, straight through (right now is a great time to do it…go!), or break it up into two equal parts of 3 sets now, 3 sets later.

And remember that what makes a great duo is both halves being a little bit more awesome together than they are by themselves. To wit, Hall and Oates. So rather than being a distraction, let your squats make your pushups even more amazing. And vice versa.

Share with us in the comments when you’re done, and if you’d like, a bit about your great duo and what make it click.

Wed. – 1/21 Squats for Seratonin

184The challenge for Wednesday is to increase your serotonin. Here’s what you need to know about serotonin: it’s a monoamine neurotransmitter biochemically derived from tryptophan and synthesized primarily in the enterochromaffin cells in the gastrointestinal tract, but also in serotonergic neurons of the central nervous system. It is metabolized to 5-HIAA by the liver, which…just kidding. Come back.

Here’s what you actually need to know about serotonin: if you’re in a funk, it will drag you out of your funk. If you’re doing alright, it helps increase and then maintain your sense of well being.

Two things to raise serotonin levels without drugs? Exercise and sunshine. Wednesday’s forecast is for sunny skies all day, and it’s a day for squats. Our Wednesday challenge, then, is to do 5 sets of 20 squats, outside. Try to spread these sets out throughout the day. If you have to get up out of your chair and go down 3 flights of stairs to make your way outside, that’s great. Think of them as sunshine breaks with 20 squats thrown in.

Go get them done, sunshine, and let us know. Your appreciations of the sunshine are most welcome in the comments.

Tue. – 1/20 The queerfit routine

Your Tuesday challenge…get to Rush Center for our regularly scheduled Tuesday 6:15 training session. If you’re part of the 99% who have a wee bit of trouble sometimes getting yourself to your scheduled workout, do this:

Create for yourself two cues that will help you make Queerfit part of your Tuesday evening routine. The cues can be super simple – if you keep your calendar on your smartphone, for example, you can enter queerfit in as a recurring Tuesday night appointment and set a special alarm to ring 30 minutes before. Your cue can be practical – you can pick out your workout clothes & shoes the night before, fold them neatly and set them by the door. You can pack a snack on Tuesday mornings that you know will help with your workout. You can get fancy with your cues, by asking one of your teammates to text you something inspirational an hour before the workout, or by changing your work schedule so you have plenty of time to make it to queerfit. Your cue can even be purely mental – when you wake up on Tuesdays, you can say out loud with as much enthusiasm as you can muster, “It’s Tuesday, I get to go to queerfit today!”  No matter that at that moment, you’d rather eat an warthog than go exercise. It’s just a cue.

We’ll get into the psychology of routines & habits & all that later. For Tuesday, your challenge is to create a couple of cues. Post your cues to the comments.

Mon. – 1/19 Pushups for Martin Luther King Jr the radical

First, something to notice from Sunday’s challenge: when you saw “100 squats,” what was your immediate reaction? When you saw something that promised to be both uncomfortable and unlikely – and possibly impossible – what did you think, and then what did you do? No judgment on yourself about your reaction…just take note.

Monday’s challenge is push-ups: 6 sets of 8 push-ups. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s increasing radicalism through his life, you’re going to do the first 2 sets the way you’ve been doing them. These are for MLK Jr’s early leadership the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955-56, when he was recruited by women of the Montgomery Improvement Association to lead the boycott. The next 2 sets, step it up and do a pushup variation that’s one bit more difficult than you’ve been doing them. If you’ve been doing them on the table, come down to a chair. If you’ve been doing them on your knees, come up on your toes. If you’ve been doing them from a plank, do them with a 2 second pause at the bottom. If you need some variations, check these out. These middle 2 sets are for MLK Jr’s increasing radicalism from the Birmingham movement through Selma and Chicago in 1965. The final 2 sets you’re taking it up another notch, in honor of MLK Jr’s anti-capitalist, anti-US militarism Poor People’s Campaign, launched just prior to his assassination. Yes, these push-ups are going to be really really difficult, but then, so is taking down capitalism.

Let’s get these done wherever you’re able. It’s ok to let people see you struggle. The struggle for the impossible is what it’s all about today.

Sun. – 1/18 One hundred damn squats

photoGreat Saturday morning workout – but did you notice there were no squats? That was to get you ready for our Sunday challenge: 100 squats in as few sets as possible. If you can do 100 squats in one set, then do that. For everyone else, you can take as long as you want between sets – 5 minutes, 5 hours, it’s up to you. Everyone (including those of you squatting to a bench or chair) squats to depth: hip crease below your knees. Two tips: doing them slow and steady helps a little, and doing them with someone else helps a lot. Let us know below when you’re done, and how many sets it took.

Sunday is going to be an awesome day – go get it done!

Sat. – 1/16 Saturday mornings are for queerfitting

So how’d the week go? Share any thoughts about this past week in the comments: something you learned, something unexpected, squats that went right, push-ups that went wrong? Recommendations, musings, all welcome. ESPECIALLY welcome are shout outs and encouragements to your fellow queerfitters – the more specific, the better.

The Saturday challenge is to make it to the workout five minutes early and ready to go. The weather channel forecast for Saturday morning is 46 degrees and sunny.

If you’re not in the QF92 group and are following along remotely, here’s your workout:

4 rounds

21 squats
5 burpees
10 pushups
1 handstand (or other inversion) for as long as you can hold it on rounds 1, 3
30 situps on rounds 2 and 4

Then go outside and do 4×50 yard sprints at 80%, 85%, 90%, then 95%

Fri 1/16 Finishing out the week STRONG

The challenge for Friday is push-ups: 3 sets of 5, with as little rest as possible, 2-3 minutes rest, and then one max set. You may be tempted to reduce your range of motion a bit on your max rep set…don’t! You’re getting a real max number of real full-range pushups. It’s up to you where you’re pushing from (that is, whether you push from the floor from a full plank, or from the wall, or from something in between), but whatever your start position, your full range of motion touching the ground.

That’s it for Friday. It’s going to be sunny and beautiful on Saturday morning, so your only other task is doing the little things on Friday night that will help you get out the door and to Brownwood Park on time for our Saturday morning lovefest/workout.

Let us know when you’ve done your challenge. If you want to put in your max rep number, go right ahead. If you’d rather keep that to yourself, all good – but write it down somewhere and hold on to it.

Go get ’em, you lions and tigers and queers!

Thur. 1/15 – Entering Mordor

Our Thursday challenge is the same as Monday: five sets of 15 squats, as gorgeous as you can make them, preferably in a place where squats make people stare. It’s getting easier, yes?

Yes!

Except maybe no.

Thursday is day 6 of our 92 days together. Your muscles are waking up and adapting to what’s being demanded of them. You’re a little sore, sure, but you can do 5 sets of 15 squats throughout the day and you know it. Physically, thing are getting easier. It’s mentally where things may be trending in the opposite direction right about now.

It’s Thursday, after all. You have work to do. TV to watch. Revolutions to plan. Not right now, you’re telling yourself – later, later, later – I’ll do the squats later…

As you may have come to suspect, this first 30-day squat/push-up challenge is designed to create in each of us a new habit: constant movement throughout the day. We want to start noticing all the times during the day when we can do some push-ups or squats and using those times to, well, do push-ups and squats. We want constant motion through the day to become your default. We’re trying to turn this into a habit, so it feels strange not to do 15 squats while waiting in the security line at the airport.

But here’s the thing about habits – when you’re trying to form new habits, the toughest days are days 6 to 21. These next stretch of days are when the old ways of doing things are going to leap up out of the muck and do their damnedest to drag you back to how things used to be. We’re entering Mordor, and the orcs are everywhere.

You’re not going to let your teammates get eaten by orcs, are you? Do you 5 sets of 15 squats and find a way to help someone else get theirs done too. Text, call, forcefully drag.

Let’s get this done, dear hobbits. Squat away!

Wed. 1/14 Pushups all day, everywhere

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Not quite sure what’s happening here with group 2, but Jocelyn seems to be getting the worst of it.

The challenge for Wednesday is five sets of eight perfect chest to ground push-ups. Do the sets throughout the day, even if you can do them all in a row. The idea today is to find all the different times it’s just lovely to do push-ups: while waiting for your coffee to brew, after a string of emails, while you’re on hold, waiting at the ATM, during a boring meeting, before dinner…

If eight push-ups are too easy, dial them up by holding each push-up at the bottom position for 5 seconds. Or 7 seconds. Or make them clapping push-ups. You know what to do.

Let us know in the comments when you’re done. And let us know where/when sauced it up. Go push up, you mighty queerfitters!

 

Tue. 1/13 – QF indoors @ the Rush Center

The kind folks at the Rush Center are letting us use their space for Tuesday evening’s workout. The street address is 1530 DeKalb Ave., just to the east of the Edgewood-Candler Park MARTA station. You’ll go behind the Radial building to get to the Rush meeting room annex. It is right next door to CrossfitRx. Be not confused! CrossfitRx is very nice, but they are not Queerfit92. You’ll know – they’ll be wearing lululemon pants that cost more than your rent. Fear not – we’ll have greeters at the door so you don’t accidentally get sucked into CrossfitRx.

Location changes like this one are a good chance for us to practice the movement communications skill of Random Text-Treeing. Based on an antiquated form of communication still practiced by some elder organizers known as the “phone tree,” wherein practitioners telephoned a set list of people to pass on a message, whereupon those people each telephoned their set lists of people and so on and so forth, the Random Text-Tree consists of texting whoever you feel like with the message “Tue. 6:15 QF moved to Rush Ctr annex @ 1530 DeKalb Ave.” and hoping they pass on the text to some other people.

We’ll see you at the Rush annex, ready to go at 6:15!