Welcome to the Flock


Take flight.

Here's the original PDF copy of Month 1 Orientation for those who prefer that format. The same follows beneath the video in a mobile-friendly view. Visit the Exercise Library for short demostration videos.


BURN + BUILD + WIND DOWN WORKOUT 

The Prescription:

Perform in order these moves for the next month (four cycles). Some require a timer or dumbbells. Use the heaviest weight you can while maintaining proper form.

Warm up and stretch “actively” (e.g. walk, standing knee raises, forward leg swing, kneeling hip flexor stretch, light jumping jacks, long strides, etc) for 5-10 minutes before beginning Burn.

STOP if something hurts (pain, not stiffness) or doesn’t feel right. Rest as necessary. Complete as much as you can and try to do more next session.

Pro Tip: Video yourself in the beginning and periodically throughout the month to see how your form improves.

Flight Plan:

Known technically as an Implementation Intention, super important and where rubber meets road. Studies show doing this ONE THING influences people’s behavior, indicates how hard people are willing to try, how much effort they will give, gets people started with momentum and breaks inertia.

Write down on paper and also post on the Group page, one simple, easy-to-remember and verbalize sentence beginning with “I will…”, “I intend to…” or “I plan to...” followed by your goal and some future deadline or time horizon. Examples: “Beginning Wednesday and for the next month during lunch, I intend to walk to the end of the block and next month begin jogging one mile”, or “I will wear a bikini to the beach this summer after training for and competing in my first 5k this spring”, or “This week I will register for continuing education and take a class next semester at the community college” Notice your goals don’t necessarily have to be related to exercise, and please don’t make about losing weight, which is a benefit but shouldn’t be your end game.

Simply stating your goal with some specifics is scientifically shown to at least get people moving, and those who wrote down initiated action sooner. Just writing also serves as a Small W and makes you feel good, if not a little pressure!

Your turn, write on paper and post on Facebook Group: I plan to __________________.

You're now the proud owner of a Flight Plan. Warm up and let's get moving!

 

 

Day 1

BURN

Squat Jumps | 5 sets | 1 minute each.

BUILD

Set timer for 15 minutes; complete WITH GOOD FORM as many rounds as possible.

Push-ups X 20

2-Arm Dumbbell Rows X 20

Squats X 20

Jump Rope (with or without) X 20

Bicycles X 10 each way

WIND DOWN WALK

As time permits, finish this workout with a leisurely stroll, 10-15 minutes (20-60 is even better) either all at once immediately afterward or whenever you can during the day. Aim for no less than 6,000 steps and 10,000 is ideal (based on your current fitness level).

*H: REWARD

Reward yourself for getting started and completing Day 1. This a big deal for beginning a new routine that’ll hopefully become a habit. Give yourself something you consider a reward, whether it’s a thing, time, treat, experience, allowance, whatever you enjoy or look forward to. (I just hope it’s not smoking or we’re going backwards.)

 

Day 2

ACTIVE RECOVERY DAY

Walk 20-60 minutes either all at once or whenever you can throughout the day. Aim for 8,000-10,000 steps (based on your current fitness level).


Day 3

Actively warm up 5-10 minutes before beginning Day 3

 

BURN

Burpees x 1 minute x 5 sets.

These are gonna hurt. Maintain your form. Go until you cannot, rest until you can.  

Pro Tip: Like pushups, burpees are an effective full-body workout you can perform anywhere. Doing some form of burpee is better than none. If you cannot complete as described, try without leaping, until you are able to. For those who want it tougher, search YouTube, there are literally dozens of burpee modifications for any fitness level.    

BUILD

Set a timer for 15 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible with good form.

Tricep Dips X 20

Dumbbell Bicep Curls with a calf raise X 20

Complete a curl while at the same time rising on your tiptoes doing a calf raise. Substitute bands if you don’t have dumbbells.

Sumo Squats X 20

Pop Squats X 20

Side Plank X Count 20 seconds each side

WIND DOWN WALK

Walk leisurely 10-15 minutes (or 20-60 even better) as time permits either all at once or whenever you can throughout the day. Aim for 6,000-10,000 steps (based on your current fitness level).


Day 4

ACTIVE RECOVERY DAY

Walk 20-60 minutes as time permits, either all at once or whenever you can throughout the day. Aim for 8,000-10,000 steps (based on your current fitness level).


Day 5

Actively warm up 5-10 minutes before beginning Day 5

BURN

Skaters x 1 minute x 5 sets. (Go until you cannot, rest until you can.)

BUILD

Set timer for 15 minutes. Complete as many rounds as possible, with good form.

Squat with Dumbbell Shoulder Press X 20

Stiff-Legged Deadlift with Upright Row X 20

Pro Tip: I’ve never liked name of this move because I don’t want you locking or otherwise hyperextending your knees. There’s nothing “stiff” about this exercise but the name is what it is.

Reverse Lunges with Lateral Dumbbell Raise X 10 each way

Side Hops X 10 each way

Ankle Taps X 10 each way

WIND DOWN WALK

Walk leisurely 10-15 minutes (or 20-60 even better) as time permits, either all at once or whenever you can throughout the day. Aim for 6,000-10,000 steps (based on your current fitness level).


*H: REWARD

Treat yourself again for completing four more days. This time make it something different than before. Next week, same deal but choose different days to reward yourself. Do it whenever you feel like it and don’t deny yourself something you enjoy.

 

Day 6

ACTIVE RECOVERY DAY

“Sprints” (30-seconds on, 90-second recovery) x 6 circuits

Warm up slowly for 5-10 minutes by walking, skipping, lightly jogging, or a combination.

After warming up, time 30-seconds and “sprint” all out. If you don’t have the space or cannot sprint for some reason, substitute another form of high intensity movement like mountain climbers, jumping rope (with or without) running hills/stairs, vigorous jumping jacks, anything that makes you winded at the end of 30 seconds. (Shorten to 20 seconds if you cannot make a full 30.)   

Actively “rest” for 90 seconds between high-intensity intervals with some form of warm-up move (don’t sit or stand still).

Repeat 6 times then cool down for 5 minutes.

WIND DOWN WALK

Walk leisurely 10-15 minutes (or 20-60 even better) as time permits either all at once or whenever you can throughout the day. Aim for 6,000-10,000 steps (based on your current fitness level).

 

Day 7

ZERO DAY

Take the entire day off if you’d like but I prefer you remain active. Do something fun involving movement. Play a game!

 

KEYSTONE HABIT EDUCATION: MONTH ONE

The introductory habits information you read on the Orientation PDF follows. This serves as Habits 101 but our Habits page is more comprehensive and should be your primary reference once you've read the following basics.

BE-lieve (if you read only one thing)

Before you can become or BE, first you MUST believe, even if you begin simply by reciting to yourself to resist your own skepticism about meeting high expectations and stretch goals. Your dreams are a map.

Do you believe in self-fulfilling prophecies? Sigmund Freud did, “....the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success with it.” (from A Childhood Memory of Goethe)

Have you heard of the Pygmalion Effect? Both have been studied extensively for decades.

In a nutshell (and assuming that you can physically perform what you are being asked to do), expectations influence performance for better or worse. High expectations boost, low expectations hurt, and the expectations can come from within yourself or from others. You create a feedback loop and over time believe yourself based on your results and experience.

Both effects fall under what is commonly called a self-fulfilling prophecy—attributed to sociologist Robert K. Merton’s first published paper on the topic in 1948! So “fake it until you make it” is actually true, research for yourself or listen to me now and believe me later; but, one real world example is Alcoholics Anonymous and its Twelve Steps, which scientists have studied for decades and experimentally verified as effective because of one foundational must-have within the program’s high expectations: BELIEF.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right.”― Henry Ford

Action Trigger (before bedtime)

What I’m about to ask you to do serves as a behavioral cue or trigger. I will ship a gift to each Duck to serve this purpose, but for now I need you to pick something you have handy, and place it where you can see it to serve as a workout and goal reminder. For example, place your jogging shoes near the door, maybe even in the middle of the doorway pointing outside, as a cue to walk. Or place your gym bag or any other workout gear into your path so that your eyes cannot avoid, in the middle of the floor if you must.

Daily make sure this thing is where you can see and be reminded of what you intend to do. This symbol serves to reinforce your dream or goal, isn’t as much about remembering you have to exercise, more so taking a baby step as a “first action/effort” and additionally serves as a small victory. So it might seem silly but just do it.

Small “W”

Speaking of which, first thing each day, begin with a small victory, something easy to accomplish that you can do without thinking. Making your bed is a natural assuming nobody else is still sleeping. The military does this, each soldier makes his/her bed before doing another thing. This “achievement” is particularly effective for anxiety sufferers because making your bed stops you from falling back into it!

If making your bed won’t work for some practical reason (like the one snoring), find something else simple to accomplish, like maybe tidying up, or brushing your teeth with the opposite hand (good for your brain too!), anything you can do successfully that doesn’t take much thought or exertion. Point is to chalk up a small win to start your day. Helps bolster willpower and jumpstart effort.

Keystone Habit

Anxiety sufferers need to find a keystone habit, mine was exercise. Yours might be sleep, meditation, eating well, etc.

Probably should be renamed as Catalyst Habits. Keystone habits are behaviors or routines which ripple into developing other beneficial habits, a chain effect producing more positive outcomes.

Obviously we’re using exercise as a powerful keystone habit to help you achieve other goals. Regular exercise improves health, increases energy, strength, fatigues for sounder sleep, builds confidence, etc. leading to other good things in your life.

Conversely, sleeping eight hours boosts other areas of your life including stamina, alertness and productivity. Planning your day the night before, food journaling, meditation/visualization and any action that propels you with good brain chemicals (dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin), motivates and boosts momentum for achieving other goals and outcomes.

The benefits of keystone habits extend beyond just that one accomplishment, so find for yourself THAT thing.

For those who want to know the WHY behind all this:

The easiest, most thorough and enjoyable book for you to “get it” in one place is Pulitzer Prize winner, Charles Duhigg’s bestseller The Power of Habit. Research into habits has taken off the last decade and Duhigg’s work is entertaining and enlightening, something hard to say about research papers.

The Flock will be flappers-deep in habit knowledge and methods, especially on the back end with post-graduation support after a new habit has been adopted. Here I’ve tried to give you a solid start but reading Duhigg’s book will help you understand why belief and rewards are so critical, why new habits die young (i.e. Habits are last-in/first-out = LIFO) and what you can possibly do to ingrain long term.

In many ways, AFTER you’ve met your goals is when the tough work begins and why so many people revert, even certified trainers like me.

DIET AWARENESS AND SLEEP: MONTH ONE

Again, the basics from Orientation, visit Food and Sleep for more in-depth information.

We don’t diet, we eat. Later I’ll give guidance, which is my limit as a certified trainer so you’ll need to consult a Registered Dietitian (RD) or your physician for personal advice.

Food

Fat gets most of the blame but Sugar is the bigger enemy. Next time you’re at the grocery (or go now to your pantry or fridge) notice the grams of sugar PER SERVING (based on what a songbird consumes) of the things you eat.

The American Heart Association is strict, women get only 24 grams (100 calories) of added sugar daily and men 36 grams (150 calories) based on a 2,000 calorie diet. You can supposedly stretch to 50 grams of “natural sugar”—fructose in fruits and lactose in dairy—but sugar is sugar and metabolizes exactly the same.

Regardless, pick up something you consider sugar-less, like oatmeal, spaghetti sauce or plain yogurt, and read the nutrition label. Stunner, huh? The breakfast aisle should be renamed DESSERT, you might as well eat a candy bar to start your day. Try finding anything on the breakfast aisle not loaded with sugar.

Consider cutting back sugar where you can. Notice I did NOT say eliminate. (Diabetics and others with dietary restrictions follow your doctor’s orders.) If you’re like me, I’d rather consume my max grams of daily sugar in red wine and ice cream cake, not a breakfast bar marketed as “healthy”.

The diet guidance I give to the Flock is never DEPRIVATION, more about awareness and moderation. In fact, one of your workout rewards might be a big slice of cheesecake. You gotta live a little or what’s the point!?

Sleep

Do you know that sleep has only been studied over the past 70 years? 

Adults should sleep 7-9 hours with 8.5 considering the sweet spot, according to Penn State sleep scientist Daniel Gartenberg. Rest fuels you and impacts all areas of function. The sleep deprived lose life, figuratively and literally