Kemme Fitness

Complete Resources for a Functional Fitness Lifestyle

Archive for Mental Games

the perfect time of year to download K-Bootcamp and start a summer commitment to yourself

I know exactly what you are thinking. You are sitting there on your computer, apathetically searching for something to get you motivated. You want to kick it up this summer and get ripped and walk around showing off how fit you are. Plus, you have that shed you have to build before fall and you know you will need all the Functional Fitness strength you can get to slap that thing together.

But where is your motivation?  You don’t know where or when you lost it even. You are still working out, but only half heartedly. I hear ya buddy.

I have a summer plan for you.  First off, get some friends (hopefully you have some already, but otherwise you just need to go out and get them quick).  Then, you will click here and download K-Bootcamp.

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The only other thing to do is set up your schedule.  Maybe you have a good couple friends that are willing to do this with you 4 days a week for 12 weeks. If not, try scheduling 1 or 2 days a week and then fill in the rest of your workouts with Urban (or Rural) Runs. Maybe you have a favorite few workouts you can throw in to fill the space.

The key to this plan, however, are these group workouts with K-Bootcamp. We have talked before about how accountability is important for motivation, and how group workouts are perfect for this.

The weather is nice, folks are outside. It is the perfect season to begin your committment to Functional Fitness.


For somebody who hates running, I’ll tell you why it is still a priority for me

As usual, I’ll give a touch of boring history to get things into context.  I have for the most part always hated running. I’ve done it. I didn’t die, but it is too mind-numbing for me.

In 2009 I broke my thumb and so I opted to run each day until it healed. At first it wasn’t that big of a deal. I had some coworkers to entertain me during the runs. It was almost fun, like a nice break from the intense Functional Fitness workouts. They were around 3 or 4 mile runs, so a nice 35 to 45 minute workout.

That is when I realized my problems.  I supinate, which is when your feet roll out to the side. I should’ve known this since all my shoes wear down on the outside and not the inside. The symptom I obtained was a flaring of my IT band at my knee.  I tell you, that stops you in your tracks pretty quickly.


But then….I discovered Good Form Running, thanks to my good friend and Good Form/Barefoot running expert, Jason Robillard.


Next thing I knew and 2011 was the year for fitting in barefoot runs. I did 5 miles many times and even ended the good weather (I’m a fair weather runner) with a 7 mile trail run. I even wrote about Good Form running. I’ll speed up the history here: took winter off, didn’t do so well in 2012 and stopped really prioritizing the runs. This brings us to 2013.

2013 meant I didn’t care about running. Tried out a run in minimalist shoes, but my form was easily lost (barefoot was not an option due to heavy gravel). My knees ached again and I realized my form was horrible, yet didn’t care. So what if I couldn’t run a mile without discomfort!  So what!!  There!!

Then it hit me – when did I settle for not being able to run 1 stink’n mile? Really? That is when I got motivated and decided to make running a priority for me.  I now make sure I get in a mile around once or twice a week when it fits in well with my Functional Fitness workouts. I am starting slow and concentrating heavily on my form. In order to go barefoot-to where my form would self-correct-I would have to drive somewhere. Instead, I am working on concentrating with my Trail Gloves on to where I keep good form.  So far so good and my knees are doing well.

The point?  Well I need to be able to run a mile or two without a problem. If not, I can’t claim to have an excellent level of fitness. I will not settle! I will not give up!

I have no problem saying I hate running, but I won’t say that I can’t run.

choosing your favorite Kemme Fitness workout format

At times, this is a huge topic of discussion. Some folks hate doing a circuit 3 or 4 times because it mentally is just too hard to think that far ahead. They might prefer doing a “list format,” where they go down a list one time and are done.


We have many variations on this “list” format. For example, the Over the Hill workout has you increase repetitions as you move along exercises down the list, but then you have to reverse the order. NOTE: A great tip for turning your “list” format workout into an HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout is to do 2 or 3 exercises in a row with high intensity. Then rest. Then do a few more quickly and with high intensity. Then rest. And so on.

Other formats utilize a number of circuits, usually 2 to 4. You do circuit #1 as many times as suggested, then move onto circuit #2, etc.


We have some other interesting formats such as the various “power of ten” or “power of 20″ workouts. In those you typically have to do 10 or 20 repetitions of a specific exercise after each of many other exercises in a list.

We have a link for the Deck of Cards workout. The Luck of the Draw is unique, where you draw exercises out of a hat. Rapid Fire and HIIT workouts are a slight twist on things as well.  Check out our At Home, At the Gym, or Beginner workout pages for many other ideas.

Our At Home pages has some interesting workouts for a local track or that involve running. Don’t forget our Urban or Rural Runs. The list goes on. For me, I need the variety. I know for a fact many of you are here at Kemme Fitness for that exact reason.

If you have been doing some of these, please let us know which formats are your favorite. Are there any you would like to see more of?  We would love to hear from you – just leave a comment on this post or on the Facebook link.


Yes, there are exercises at Kemme Fitness that aren’t great.

I’m not kidding, I actually have exercises on this website I am not thrilled with. In fact, I do them at times, sometimes even often. Why on earth would I do this? After all, I write about having balanced, Functional Fitness. You would think there is no room for an exercise that doesn’t meet strict criteria.

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Honestly, there is truly only one reason for this, and that reason is variety. Variety in an exercise program is a key component to keep motivated. Once you are stagnant and bored, you slip down the path to idleness. Variety is a huge weapon in the mental game.

Plus, some of these “less than awesome movements/exercises” are something others may enjoy. Now, if they were dangerous, I’d remove them. I have in the past. However, these exercises aren’t going to blow out your shoulder like suggesting you do Overhead Squats with a 200 pound barbell until you explode. Duck Walks and Frog Jumps, though, can be rough on your knees if you have issues there. Rowboats, and other “stomach type” exercises are just that – stomach exercises. They aren’t core exercises. Not only do they try to isolate stomach muscles, they can be hard on your back if you have a weak back or do too many at once.

The key to a successful Functional Fitness program (in my mind) is to offer great variety. Just because a particular exercise is not total body or core-centered, it doesn’t mean it can’t be part of the overall portfolio. Think of a 40 minute workout as your retirement portfolio (stick with me here). Small cap mutual funds are high risk/high reward. You wouldn’t want to invest solely in them, as you could risk losing all your hard earned money. However, if you combine them with medium and large cap, with foreign mutual funds, and with bonds, your overall portfolio will be stronger and will get you more reward for the same amount of risk you would have if you hadn’t invested a some small cap.

Clear? No?

The point is, these exercises won’t kill you, they will add variety, keep it more fun, still provide benefit, but not very much risk when done in small doses while mixed in with better exercises during the length of an overall workout.

There is only one more thing I want you to get out of this. If you don’t like any exercise….any exercise whatsoever…for any reason whatsoever, then don’t do it. Skip it and replace it with something else. We have like 400 to choose from, so don’t get hung up on it. Enjoy!

Breaking the unhealthy patterns

Most of us have these patterns. We might all exercise regularly in a Functional Fitness program (or any other program for that matter) yet we have one or two….or ten habits/patterns which we just can not break.

Maybe you just have to have a beer or 3 each night after a long day. Maybe you can’t help but finish off your plate cuz your parents mistakenly trained your brain to work that way (not so good if you have too large of a plate of food you should never wipe clean). Maybe the hours between 8:00 and 11:00 pm are your weakest times – times where you can’t help but throw the popcorn bag into the microwave, or fill that bowl with a “few” chips. Maybe you are staying up to 11:00 pm every night and not getting the necessary sleep your body requires to keep working efficiently.


Whatever your bad habits or patterns, we all tend to have a few.

How to break them is the question of the day (well today anyway). Unfortunately, there is no cookie-cutter answer to this. I do have a few tips to try out though, which might help with success.

TIP #1: Determine if you want to try the “baby steps” method or the “cold turkey” method. If you eat snacks each night or feel you are drinking too many calories in alcohol after the kids are in bed, you might want to lean more towards the “cold turkey” method and cut out weekday snacks/drinks and only allow yourself to have Friday and Saturday nights. Doing “cold turkey” too intensely (i.e. cutting out snacks every day) might be too extreme and will steer you towards failure.

The “baby steps” method might be a good method for too large of dinner plates. Just pick one item on your plate such as your meat portion and actually try and reduce it to the recommended “palm-sized” portion. You know you better than anybody else. What method has failed before? Which one had some success? You decide.

TIP #2: Get a friend!  Changing life’s patterns is easier and more effective when you have somebody doing it with you. The main reason is the sense of accountability. Accountability is one of the greatest motivators in any endeavor in life, from work to exercise to dispute resolution to eating healthy, etc.

TIP #3:  Change a larger pattern. Here is an example to help explain what I mean here. Let’s say you are cutting out late night snacks. That is a big change, but I suggest you make a bigger change such as changing your evening activities. If you always sit and watch your favorite sitcoms, well don’t do that anymore. Trying to stop snacking while watching the same shows will be challenging. However, if you read in your bed where snacks are not allowed then maybe you will have a leg up in the battle. Or maybe you try exercising in the evening instead of the morning. The point is to change a larger pattern to help take your mind off of the actual healthy change.

I’m sure you might have a few additional tips, but these 3 may be a great place to start. Please share your thoughts and tips. What has worked for you?

Avoid a New Year’s resolution and choose a balanced approach instead

“I’m totally going to get into shape in 2013!”

“This year I’m going to lose 15 pounds!”

“I am going to finally see a six pack stomach. 2013 is my year!”

Any of these New Year’s resolutions sound familiar? I bet you shouted them also, which is why I put exclamation points on each. January is an interesting time in the gym I use at my work. It goes from a spacious 3 room fitness facility to a crowded, cramped place filled with you New Year’s resolution folks.

Guess what? Yep, you’ll be gone by April at the latest. Every year I get a group join our program, but they disappear in less than 3 months. By the way, if you make 6 months the likelihood your fitness program becomes a habit is increased dramatically. These are the people who are with me year after year.

However, instead of setting the goal of changing your life dramatically in hopes you make the ever-blissful 6 month mark, I have a better idea. It is called a balanced approach. Common sense should tell you this is not a fad, but a great plan that works in all facets of life. Balance work and family. Balance hobbies and work. Balance money and time. Balance confidence and humility. You get the point. Balanced approaches tend to be the healthiest. So I have a few tips to help you see this in a practical sense.

tip #1:  Change a few ingredients in some of your meals.  For example, replace the sour cream on taco night with some cooked peppers and onions. Or pick a healthier bread option for your lunchtime sandwiches. No drastic fad diets, just change a few ingredients. Later in the year if you are content, then change a few more. The key here is to keep the foods enjoyable by making only minor changes.

tip #2:  If you are not exercising, begin slowly and shoot for 2 times a week for maybe a half hour. A Functional Fitness program like Kemme Fitness is a balanced program (yes I’m totally biased here). If you are completely out of shape, but aren’t too heavy for a Physioball (AKA Swiss or stability ball) then try K-Basic (free 12 week Functional Fitness program).  If you are too heavy for the ball, try swimming and concentrating on your diet until you lose enough weight to start K-Basic.

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tip #3:  If you have been exercising, but want to increase intensity, check out K-Kit or the more advanced K-Challenge to jump start your year. I consider these balanced programs because they only require 4 days a week, 30 to 45 minutes each day.

tip #4:  Set easy to reach goals, such as actually forging out 4 days a week to exercise, or to lose 5 pounds. Do not set drastic goals, which take high committment over the course of many months. You are only setting yourself up for disappointment.

And remember, start things slow and be smart so you don’t injure yourself and destroy your plans in the first week. Think small, think about easy goals, and think about balance.

It’s fall – time to recommit to your Functional Fitness program

Ahhh, summertime.  Ironically, that is when we here in Michigan are actually able to put on bathing suits and march around outside showing off our totally fit bodies, yet this is the same time when some of us (especially me) are in the worst shape of the year.

I might not be able to apply my theories to everybody, but I definitely have some I can share with you. So why am I so relatively out of shape during the time of year when I’m outside the most. There are few forces at work here.

Force #1: scheduling
During the school year, my life is quite scheduled.  I get up, get the kids’ lunches made, leave for work, do soccer practice, the homework, then get stuff prepared for the next morning. Weekends are full of Fall and Spring chores and soccer games. What? Allergy shots? Ok, fine, we’ll fit that in. The more hectic the schedule becomes, the more my wife and I seem to plan things accordingly. Everything gets charted out, including when we exercise. Because we are so busy, we write it down and therefore, we do it.  The calendar might be full, but it is organized and we check things off each day (including our workouts during the week).
But Summertime has no schedule. The kids are home, so getting group workouts together is more difficult. We seem to travel more and are therefore gone on weekends and unable to fit in workouts. Essentially, we barely write anything down, so we don’t seem to get in the workouts.
Force #2: weather
We might complain a lot here in Michigan about our cold winters, but then you can hear us actually complain 6 months later about it being too hot in July and August. Whether we are the pansies of the Midwest or not, Michiganders do get too hot to do anything. This includes exercising. Heck, we had a few days over 100 this year, not including the heat index!! Arizonians might be like “whatever, we have like half the year at over 100.”  We simply aren’t built for that up here.
Force #3: caloric intake
This last one is probably the biggest culprit of my “out of shapeness” in the summer. My caloric intake is directly proportionate to my attitude.  In the summer, I am all “hey it’s vacation time,” even though I’m not really on vacation.  This attitude directly impacts what I put in my mouth, such as larger dinners, eating out more, extra beers/wine, and snacks.  Oh, pool party at the neighbors? I guess I’m shoving my face full of cookies and wheat beers today. Oh, having friends over Saturday night?  We better buy some extra snacks. Pizza again? Sure why not.  I think you get the idea.
This brings me to the point of this post, which is it is time to re-commit to our fitness.  If you are remotely like me, the summer is over folks!  It is time to schedule it and do it!  Maybe start out the fall by choosing one of our 12 week Functional Fitness programs such as K-Fit or K-Basic. 
Set your goals, pick a program (or prepare your favorite archived workouts), and SCHEDULE IT!
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