Tag Archives: fitness

The “World’s Fittest Man” Favorite Workout Series

I’ve been working out now for almost 30 years. Wow where has the time and my hair gone?!haha…It’s funny but looking back over the years, workouts are kind of like an old pair of favorite shoes or a favorite sweatshirt or hat. There always there, comfortable and you just can’t get rid of them. As you can imagine I have quite a few workouts that fit this criteria but the one below is probably one of my favorite. Not meaning that it’s easy by any means because it’s not but I know that if I complete it that I’ll get one helluva workout. One of the greatest things about it is it can be done outside and just about anywhere. Whether you’re at the beach, on vacation or in the neighborhood park you should be able to find an area to do most of this workout. I call it a descending pyramid workout. There are 3 different levels to choose from depending on your current fitness level. Advanced reps are 50-40-30-20-10, Intermediate are 30-25-20-15-10 and Beginner are 10-9-8-7-6. So are you can see there are 5 circuits done with various repetitions depending on your fitness level. In my example below I’ll list the Advanced as that was generally what I did. So hold on and here we go!

  • Begin with a 5-10 minute jogging warm-up
  • Pull-ups (optional) I like to do a set of 10-15 before each round and change up my grip.
  • 50 box jumps or alternating step-ups
  • 50 push-ups
  • 50 sit-ups
  • 50 bench dips
  • Run/jog 400 meters (one lap around a track)
  • Chin-ups (optional)
  • 40 box jumps or alternating step-ups
  • 40 push-ups
  • 40 sit-ups
  • 40 bench dips
  • Run/jog 400 meters (one lap around a track)
  • Pull-ups (optional)
  • 30 box jumps or alternating step-ups
  • 30 push-ups
  • 30 sit-ups
  • 30 bench dips
  • Run/jog 400 meters (one lap around a track)
  • Chin-ups (optional)
  • 20 box jumps or alternating step-ups
  • 20 push-ups
  • 20 sit-ups
  • 20 bench dips
  • Run/jog 400 meters (one lap around a track)
  • Pull-ups (optional)
  • 10 box jumps or alternating step-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 sit-ups
  • 10 bench dips
  • 5-10 min cool down
  • DONE!

The photo pretty much sums about how you’ll feel when you’ve finished this workout! Enjoy! Remember push yourself as hard as you can but don’t forget to have fun while doing it!

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Queen of the Hill Q & A: Christina Kamme


As a continued inspiration to us all, we decided to spend a little one-on-one time with Christina, to ask her how she maintains her level of fitness awesomeness and how she became our “Queen of the HIll.” Check out what she had to say:

Q. What inspires you to participate in the events, races, classes?

A. Inspiring coaches, great friends, positive atmosphere and that you never know what is going to happen.

Q. How do you prepare? I.e. diet, training, motivation.

A. I eat leftovers and try to train consistently. I train to feel good and achieve harmony.

photoQ. What keeps you going strong throughout the events?

A. Gut Check training. Also I enjoy the beautiful surroundings when we are out. Everyone, race directors, competitors and volunteers are very supportive.

Q. What is the most difficult part for you during the events?

A. Not knowing when it ends e.g Gut Check Challenge …..arghhhh…………..

Q. How do you stay motivated?

A. I want to get to the finish line.

Q. Any tips, tricks or insider point of views?

A I try to appreciate the scenery around me while I run and do the exercises. When I’m struggling I’ll be singing a song in my head or thinking what the kids are doing right now. When I’m getting tired I shift my back pack weight up and down and focus on that and I will run with my feet close or wide apart.

Q. What is your proudest moment and or best event?

A. It’s really hard to say, every event has taught me something and given me great memories. One that stands out was when I won the second King of the Hill on Rabbit Peak in Anza Borrego. My hubby joined me on that one.

Q. Why Gut Check Fitness?

A. Great leaders! Positive energy, variety, lifetime friends and very happy when I survive, so, so far happy……….

Q. What planet are you from? Are you human or robot?!

A. haha…(this is from Joe!;-) Up until June 2011 I was an alien according to INS, now I’m a human, an American!


Why Workout With a Group?

It seems like almost everyone is getting involved in group exercise today. On any given day in a warehouse, in a park or at the gym you can find people exercising together. There’s everything from Running Clubs, Active X, Roller Striders to Boot Camp classes. So why exactly are so many people jumping the ‘lone wolf’ ship to work out with others in a group setting? What is the big attraction?

I’ve been involved in fitness for 25 years now and have belonged to power lifting and running clubs but have also been that solitary figure in the gym and on the road. I do feel this has given me a pretty good understanding of the appeal and the dynamics of both. Years ago I started my own outdoor fitness company, Gut Check Fitness, which recently got voted “A-List Best Boot Camp” San Diego and Competitor Magazine’s, “Hardest Workout.” This is where my passion lies.

So again, why join a group?
There are three key reasons why so many people decide to join us at Gut Check for group fitness.

Motivation. Unless you’re that rare person that can jump out of bed at 5 am and hit the ground running, odds are getting and staying motivated are difficult for you. You are not alone. The majority of the people I’ve worked with over the years have had the same problem. That’s one of the great things about the group setting. Many people that attend a class will show up exhausted from life in general but once they join the group people they find themselves getting reenergized. Plus there’s the friendly fitness instructor there to light a fire under you rear. Aside from just getting motivated to get out of bed and exercise, there’s the motivation to really improve your current fitness level. If you work out with people faster, stronger or more fit, guess what, odds are you’re going to get into better shape. There’s an old saying that goes, “the lead dog sets the pace for the rest of the pack.” Think about it.

Accountability. Remember when you were a kid going to high school and mom would wake you up in the morning to go to school, she was holding you accountable. If you were anything like me, I wouldn’t have graduated without her wake up calls. Thanks mom! A workout group can do the same thing for your exercise routine. I’ve had countless clients over the years at Gut Check Fitness say, “I wouldn’t be there in the morning if I didn’t know that Kim, Ron, Nancy, etc were going to give me a hard time for not showing up.” Through the fear of group teasing they get out of bed. Hey, it works! Plus, there’s the friendly instructor again that keeps track of your tardiness. I take a daily roll at my classes then each week I look to see who’s been playing Harry Houdini. If I haven’t seen them for a week or two I’ll generally send them a friendly reminder with the threat of numerous burpees. This usually does the trick.

Group Camaraderie. Human beings are social creatures. Yes, a few are hermits and recluses but the majority of us love to be around other people. We love to laugh, joke and have fun. I feel this is one of the greatest products of a group workout setting. Nothing brings people closer quite like misery and physical suffering. If you’ve ever done a boot camp or similar class you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Many people sign up to get more fit and along the way become friends through this mutual ritual. Many become lifelong best of friends. My classes not only work hard together but they play hard together. We regularly have happy hours, wine tastings, and sports days do races and events together and sincerely enjoy one another’s company. It’s truly one of the best ways to meet people like you and develop a common bond while getting into the best shape possible.

As I stated above, joining a workout group can help keep you motivated, hold you accountable and help you develop a sense of group camaraderie but there’s one more aspect I’d like to briefly mention and that’s actual hands on human interaction. It seems we’ve become so dependent on email and texting today that the skill of human interaction is slowly disappearing. We can do just about everything virtually today without ever talking to a person. That is outside of a group fitness setting. Here you have to get involved. Oh you can try to escape to the back of the pack but a good instructor will integrate you into the group whether you like or not. That’s why it’s called group dynamics and that’s why technology will never replace the good ole fashioned group workout setting. Get out of your cubicle, your car or your house and go meet other people that have a common interest just like you. You never know, you might just meet some real friends instead of the one’s you find online.

The “World’s Fittest Man” Insane Tests of Mental and Physical Endurance

It’s amazing today to see all the crazy and insane events that are out there for people like me to pay big money to enter only to have ourselves tortured, beaten and battered. What a crazy wonderful world we live in. I have competed in many of them around the word and plan to continue to until the day I exit this place. People often ask, “Why do you continue to do this nonsense and put yourself at risk?” I reply, “I cannot imagine life without it. This is the stuff that keeps me young mentally, that keeps me excited to live. I love being able to put this wonderful human body of mine out there only to see how far it will go before the tires fall off. And trust me, it truly keep on ticking!” Have fun finding your own crazy, fun events to challenge yourself.

Tough Guy UK – The phenomena of Tough Guy© has now evolved into cult status with mythical legends to a worldwide audience and competitors from every continent coming here to try to beat this ordeal and enjoy the unique spirit of friendship and amiability. It is set in over 150 acres of fertile land where spring waters will wash away your miseries and replace them with smiles of achievement.

Each year a new theme is built into Tough Guy this ensures that it remains the world’s safest most dangerous taste of mental physical pain endurance toughest events. Tough Guy will always be a physically challenging, mentally demanding, fear inducing, visual spectacular. After you have taken part you will understand why thousands keep coming back, year after year to experience some of the most demanding yet rewarding challenges of their life!

I love this event. It’s absolutely insane but so much fun. Nothing like swimming in frigid waters, running through fire and then crossing an electric field while still wet. This is not for the faint of heart.

raidRaid Gauloises – The Raid Gauloises is a Sports-Adventure-Nature concept that calls upon nothing more than man, his resourcefulness, intelligence, experience and energy, excluding all outside intervention and use of motorized vehicles. This is absolute self-sufficiency, total immersion in a natural environment in search of others, of oneself, and of another kind of life far from the usual everyday existence in our highly mechanized societies.
This is an epic adventure race. The year I did it we raced 520 miles across the Himalayas from Janapur, India to Lhasa, Tibet. The views and scenery were absolutely awe inspiring.

barkley100buckleBarkley 100 Trail Race – The Barkley is considered one of the toughest 100 mile races in the world. It has 52,900 feet of climb (and 52,900 feet of descent), more than any other 100 mile race, more than the 33,000 ft. of climb at Hardrock, and more than the 45,000 ft. at Nolan’s 14.

Since the race began in 1986, only 8 runners out of about 700 have finished within the 60 hour cutoff. Mark Williams of the UK finished first in 1995 in 59:28. In 2001, after several failed attempts, Blake Wood, 42, NM, and David Horton, 50, VA, finished together in 58:21, only to be disqualified for inadvertently leaving the course to follow a parallel route for about 200 yards. This route (on the south side of the stream instead of the north side) has slightly better footing and had been the normal route until 2000.

This is a true purist’s Ultra Marathon. There are no aid stations, no fans, hardly any trail and tons of elevation, briars and insane weather. I made 2 loops in 2008 and will hopefully be going back for another try in 2010. http://www.mattmahoney.net/barkley

cal strongest manCalifornia’s Strongest Man Competition – I really enjoy Strong Man competitions for their true test of human strength. It’s you against massive tires, huge atlas stones, monster trucks, and other large implements of torture. The nice thing is that many events offer weight classes for us smaller guys and yes, even girls. There are many incredible female competitors out there that are many times beating the boys today. Watch out guys!

death raceThe Death Race – A friend sent me this link and had to check out. It looked so insane that I even decided to sign up for it next year on my 40th birthday. At least like the name states there’s no beating around the bush.
Very challenging race. Course has been determined. 24 hours to finish with cut offs. The cut offs will not be in effect until Noon on race day. You must make the cut offs or you’ll be eliminated from the race. Expect to cry, scream, barbed wire, wood chopping, mud, water, ponds, waterfalls, etc. $2000 in prize money. Remember – 24 hours to finish.

I know this kinda stuff might not be for everyone but if you are looking for something new, different or just plain crazy, give it a try. As scary as they seem or pretend to be I’ve actually never heard of anyone actually dying during one of these events. Just many times you wish you would. Have fun and never stop playing like a kid.