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Since I’ve started teaching morning boot camps, I’ve had so many people tell me that they just can’t wake up that early. (“That” meaning early enough to attend a 5:30am Camp Gladiator Boot Camp. If you just shuddered at the thought of that, keep reading.) Well, I beg to differ, so I thought I’d put together a quick list of tips that will help you transform yourself into a “morning workout person.” And believe me when I say, this comes from the heart. I don’t necessarily “love” mornings, but I have taught myself how to become one of those morning people!

1. Set Your Alarm

I know what you’re thinking…”duh”…but there’s more to it than just setting one alarm. Set your alarm the night before with just enough time to eat something light*, grab what you need and head out the door. If you allow yourself more time than you need, you will likely hit snooze and potentially sleep through the workout. Then, set a back-up alarm for about 2 minutes after the first alarm, in case you accidentally hit “snooze.” Make sure it’s something “alarming”, pun intended so that it really wakes you up! Lastly, you can always set your alarm across the room from you, forcing you to actually get out of bed to turn it off. Once your out of bed, STAY out of bed! Don’t go back there!

2. Prep the Night Before

Before you hit the hay, lay out everything you need, so that you don’t have to overtax your already not fully functioning brain early in the morning. Set out what you’re going to wear and anything you need to bring with you. I even go so far as to put everything I need to remember to take with me (that I’m not actually wearing) in the car the night before so that I can’t forget to grab it. I set a banana out as well, and as soon as that alarm goes off, I drink a good 8 ounces of water, have my banana, then start getting ready. This way, by the time I arrive at my destination, my banana is digested and I’m ready to work out! The less you have to think in the morning, the better your chances are for getting out of the house successfully!

3. Do It More Often Than Not

Consistency is key here. If waking up early is difficult for you, try to do it as often as possible. You give yourself a better chance of being successful if you do it more often. Try to change your sleep schedule so that more days than not you are going to bed early and waking up early. If you try to wake up early one day, then sleep in the next, etc., your body will never get used to the schedule and it actually becomes much more taxing on your body. Even on days where you aren’t working out, try to wake up at a reasonable hour so that it makes it easy for your body to continue your new schedule. Also, give it 21-30 days. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so commit to waking up early and going to bed early for at least 3 weeks. And of course, be sure you are getting to bed early too. Insufficient sleep will not make you a happy camper when that alarm goes off! Do what you need to do to eat dinner earlier, bathe the kids earlier, etc.

4. Recruit a Partner in Crime

Misery loves company, so recruit a friend to join you in your morning workouts. Although at first you will likely be complaining to each other about how tired you are, soon you will realize that this partner in crime is actually your accountability partner, and is equally important to your success in becoming a morning camper. I highly recommend carpooling with your accountability partner. Knowing someone is coming to your house to pick you up is a huge motivator for getting out of bed and even more so if you’re the driver that day! You can’t bail on your partner!

5. Reward Yourself

Enjoy the rest of the day thinking about how your workout is already completed, and the day is yours! Alternately, the guilt you feel when you miss your morning workout is extremely heavy—and even heavier if that’s your only opportunity to workout all day!

*Note: Eating prior to the workout is important. If you are in the process of trying to become a morning camper, just get something light in you prior to the workout. Something like a banana, a Larabar, some oatmeal, etc. (full or half) are good, quick, light items that provide glucose for your brain and muscles to perform properly. Failing to eat prior to working out will leave you lightheaded and not feeling well. Also, what does your body use for fuel if you haven’t eaten anything? You’re likely to break down muscle instead of building it. As your workouts progress and depending on your body, you will likely need to eat something more substantial. This post is just to give you ideas on how to start small and work your way up!

I am humbled, proud and excited to finally OFFICIALLY announce that I am one of the newest Primary Trainers with Camp Gladiator! Now that my location has been nailed down, I can give everyone all of the details you need to put this on your calendars, share with friends, family, loved ones and strangers and of course SHOW UP TO CAMP!

I have been running boot camps for quite some time now, and I have to say, this opportunity is truly an amazing one! This company is filled with so many positive and influential people, I’m so excited to become part of this movement! I also couldn’t be happier to work for owner and American Gladiator Grand Champion, Ally Davidson. I met Ally several years ago, when we both took the same boxing boot camp class. She later went on to win American Gladiator, started CG here in Dallas then moved to Austin, and I went on to eventually teach that same boxing boot camp class (along with about a dozen others), move the ‘burbs, etc., so it’s truly awesome that our paths are crossing again. Now that I’ve moved to the suburbs of Dallas, I am so excited to be able to bring my knowledge, passion and enthusiasm to the Frisco/Plano community through CG! And it all starts next week!

If you’ve taken classes of mine before, they’ve likely been in the downtown Dallas area. However, I’ve recently made the move to the suburbs where I know…no one! That’s where you come in. I desperately need your help spreading the word to the Frisco/Plano community that there is a new CG location in the area ready to take their health and fitness to the next level! If you have family, friends, coworkers, etc. in the North Dallas area, please share this post with them and let’s get them to attend my FREE Preview week happening Tuesday, 4/16 and Thursday 4/18 at 5:30am at the Sports Authority in Frisco! (Camp officially starts Tues 4/23).

Info on Camp Gladiator

Camp Gladiator is the best outdoor fitness experience in the nation. No, seriously. It is a four week adult boot camp that provides a motivating and challenging environment for men and women of ALL ages and fitness levels to improve their physical and mental states. CG provides exercises to fit each individual camper, regardless of fitness level, experience or age. Campers can expect a total body workout that includes strength, cardiovascular, balance and functional training in the form of interval training, sprint and agility drills, plyometrics and more. CG is designed to increase your functional strength, speed, stamina as well as help you lose weight, tone muscle, burn fat, relieve stress and make friends! CG delivers results regardless of your goals! Check out this one of many inspiring videos!

My camp will run every Tuesday/Thursday beginning Tuesday, April 16th from 5:30-6:30am at the Sports Authority (parking lot) in Frisco. The first Tuesday and Thursday (4/16 and 4/18) are actually free workouts considered “Preview Week”. They do not count towards the 4-week camp, therefore if you were to attend you could actually get a 5-week camp out of the deal! Bonus! Camp actually starts on Tuesday, April 23 and will run for 4 weeks. If you miss Preview Week you can still try CG for free one time, but I can tell you that I will be offering a SUPER sweet deal to those that attend a Preview Week session. 🙂

What is the deal? I’m glad you asked! If you bring 3 people to Preview Week, I will give you a FREE CAMP. Totally serious. A four week camp normally runs $170 for a new camper, but I’ll waive that entirely.

All you need for camp is a mat, a set of dumbells, and a smile. Actually, you can come without the smile if you’d like—I know 5:30am is early—because I know you’ll leave with a smile regardless. 🙂 If you have questions, comments, concerns or just want to chat, you can reach me directly via cell at 214-794-3378 or via email at melissa@livewholebefree.com (my CG email is not quite set up yet). Let’s get as many people out to Preview Week as we can!

I can’t wait to see all of you on Tuesday, April 16th!

I Like How It Feels Video from campGladiator on Vimeo.

DIRECTIONS

South Frisco/North Plano CG

Tuesday + Thursdays, 5:30am-6:30am, starting 4/16

Sports Authority (Frisco)
2930 Preston Rd #200-B, Frisco, TX

Sports Authority is on the East side of Preston Road just North of 121 (and just South of Gaylord). It’s very close to Buy Buy Baby, Office Depot, etc., in a strip mall set back off the road a bit.

Coming from the North (North of 121)
Take the Tollway South to 121
Go East on 121 to Preston
Exit Preston, go North (turn left)
Turn Right on Stone Crest Rd. and turn Left into the Sports Authority Parking Lot
Coming from the South (South of 121)
Take the Tollway North to 121
Go East on 121 (right exit), Exit Preston
Go North (left) on Preston Rd.
Turn Right on Stone Crest Rd. and turn Left into the Sports Authority Parking Lot* 
Coming from the East (East of Preston)
Take 121 West to Preston
Exit Preston, go North (turn right)
Turn Right on Stone Crest Rd. and turn Left into the Sports Authority Parking Lot*
Coming from the West (West of Preston)
Take 121 East to Preston
Exit Preston, go North (turn left)
Turn Right on Stone Crest Rd. and turn Left into the Sports Authority Parking Lot*
 
*You can also turn Right on Gaylord
Turn Right into the strip mall parking lot
Follow the parking lot all the way down until you reach Sports Authority on the end

—–

I’ve attached a quick map for your reference, since if you google Sports Authority it doesn’t put you in the exact correct spot. For more information you can visit Camp Gladiator online. Please note that this new location has not been added to the website just yet.

See you April 16th, bright and early!

Facebook Event Link: Tuesday, 4/16

Facebook Event Link: Thursday, 4/18

Camp Gladiator Frisco Plano Sports Authority

If you’ve been coming to Live Whole Be Free’s FREE Boot Camp at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, you know that each week you have “homework.” Only being able to train most of you once a week makes it more difficult for you to make progress quickly. Therefore, I’ve elected to give out homework each week, consisting of one exercise that you do every day to help you get the most out of our time together. It also helps keep you in the fitness mindset, while strengthening and improving certain muscle groups each week.

The homework isn’t overly difficult, in fact it’s set up so that no matter what your fitness level is, you are able to complete it. If you are just starting out, you will begin to build your foundation and if you’re in tip-top shape you will continue to work on your stabilization which is ALWAYS important, regardless of fitness level. It’s also not incredibly time-consuming. In fact, it takes less than 2 minutes a day, maximum. So let me ask you, have you been doing your homework? If the answer is no, why is that? Are you SO busy that you don’t have 1-2 minutes to spare each day? Probably not. And we’ve already covered that it’s something everyone can do regardless of fitness level, so…what gives? Truthfully, if your health and fitness is important to you, you will find the time to do these exercises. Those of you that employ my services for Personal Training know that you leave each session/week with 4-5 exercises that you are asked to complete daily and it’s really up to you to do them. You could lie to me and tell me that you’ve completed them when you have not, but what good would that do? You are coming to this boot camp or personally training with me to achieve a certain goal, so why sell yourself short?

With that, the featured exercise (or “homework”) for this week is the side plank. It’s similar to a regular low or high plank, except—you guessed it—you’re on your side. This is a full-body exercise (my favorite kind!) that also really targets your obliques (waistline).

side plank level 1 + 2

How to do a Side Plank:

  1. Start by laying on your right side, right hip on the ground, in a straight line.
  2. Place your right forearm on the ground perpendicular to the rest of your body so that your right elbow is underneath your right shoulder. If you prefer to do the side plank up on your hand, place your right hand flat on the ground in front of you, underneath your right shoulder.
  3. Cross your left leg (top leg) over your right leg (bottom leg), anchor the sides of your feet to the ground, and lift your hips off the ground. Your body should form a straight line, with your hips in between your shoulders and ankles (if you were to draw a straight line from your head to your toes).
  4. Contract your glutes (butt cheeks) and your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Do not “let go.”
  5. Raise your left arm straight up in the air and hold for as long as you can on this side (shooting for 30 seconds – 1 minute), then switch sides.
  6. Repeat 1-2 times on each side.
  7. To progress this exercise to Level 2 in the photo, raise your left (top) leg in the air. Keep glutes/abs contracted and hold. If you cannot hold the contraction, lower the leg and stay at Level 1.

If you attend LWBF Boot Camp, fill out the homework card you’ve been given with the amount of time you can hold each side plank. If you do not have a card, you can email/message me your times at the end of the week. Remember, for every day of homework you complete, you are awarded one point. Each time you attend boot camp, you are awarded one point. In one week, you can earn a maximum of 8 points. The person with the most points on December 31, 2012 will receive a FREE Nutritional Consultation by me!

Let me know if you have questions! See you at 5:30pm on Monday for Boot Camp!

Peace, love and dedication to fitness,

Melissa

I want to personally thank everyone that came out Monday night for LWBF’s inaugural Boot Camp at the new Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas! It was a huge success! For those of you who weren’t able to make it—not to worry—we will be there every Monday at 5:30pm!

For those of you who did make it, how are you feeling today? Are you sore at all? During yesterday’s class, we did about half interval training and half stability/core work. In the upcoming weeks, this will shift more towards interval training as we increase the intensity of class. If you found yesterday’s class intense enough, don’t worry! As you saw, there are modifications for every exercise allowing people of all ages and fitness levels to participate. And for the elite athletes out there, we’ll also ensure class is tough enough for you!

If you received one of LWBF’s gifts for being one of the first 20 to RSVP, let me know how you like your deodorant! I made the switch during the hottest part of the summer and never looked back. It works better than commercial, toxic products, and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals! Check out all the Tips and Tricks for the All-Natural Deodorant. I can’t wait to hear how it works for you! And if you’d like to purchase more (they make great stocking stuffers…) you can buy them online via Etsy.

Lastly, don’t forget your homework for the week. One minute of push-ups, everyday.You’ve got your little notecard, so jot down your number, hold yourself accountable for your results. Next week, we will have different exercises and of course, different homework!

LWBF Boot Camp Klyde Warren Park 2

So bring yourself, bring some friends, bring some strangers, bring everyone to Live Whole Be Free’s Boot Camp in the Park! Mondays, 5:30pm. Be there!

Peace, love and FREE Fitness,

Melissa Villamizar, CPT

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for class updates and fitness/nutritional tips!

 

I am so humbled and excited to announce this very exciting news. Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, the New York City consulting firm responsible for programming for the new Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, has asked me to teach boot camp classes at The Park coming this Fall!

This park is unlike any other in the city of Dallas. Spanning 5.2 acres in the heart of Dallas, Klyde Warren Park covers several city blocks between Pearl and St. Paul Streets over Woodall Rodgers Freeway. It includes a performance stage, restaurant (coming soon), shaded walking paths, dog park, children’s garden, great lawn (i.e. boot camp area), water features, an area for games and much more. I am so excited to have access to such a beautiful space bringing people together downtown! The Park’s programming is truly outstanding and includes music, fitness, education, games and art, with a constant stream of free daily activities open to the public, complemented by signature special events. There will be something for everyone at The Park, and I’m thrilled to be able to be a part of it!

The free grand opening of the Park will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 27th and 28th, followed by Live Whole Be Free’s first FREE Boot Camp class on Monday, October 29th (and every Monday after that) at 5:30pm! As far as what you can expect from LWBF’s Boot Camp—you can expect to get 60 minutes of “you” time that you will not regret! Those of you that have taken my classes for years know that I offer a fun and challenging workout regardless of your fitness level.

I hope that you will join me every Monday at 5:30pm! This is an amazing opportunity to make a commitment to yourself and to your health/wellness without costing you a dime. It’s also a great way to support the City of Dallas and small businesses like myself. Although not required, participants are encouraged to bring a set of dumbbells in a weight appropriate for them as well as a small towel and some water. If you do not have dumbbells—not to worry—you can still participate in boot camp and you will still get a terrific workout! Read more about what you can expect at Boot Camp!

I can’t wait to see you all at Klyde Warren Park on Monday, October 29th! If you plan on attending, please RSVP to melissa [at] livewholebefree.com, as the first 20 people that RSVP (and show up on Monday, 10/29) will receive a free gift!*

* An RSVP for boot camp is not required but sure is helpful!

Peace, love, health and fitness,

Melissa