When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Creative
Now that second month of self-quarantine is well underway, we gym rats our missing our gym buds more than ever. Not to be deterred by mere social distancing as we continue to experience this unprecedented time, plenty of gyms have taken to online programming to keep members active without access to their usual workout spot. But Manic Training, your favorite gym in Highlands Ranch, has taken that a step—well more like a half-dozen steps—further.
How to Hang Out With Your Gym Bros During a Pandemic
It started off with online workouts. But for the coaches at Manic Training in Highlands Ranch, that wasn’t enough. They craved interaction with their members just as much as members were missing the group contact that comes with group fitness. According to Manic owner and coach Pete Beuth: “At a time when other local gyms simply closed and laid off their coaches with no support or help, we aim to be the community leaders, to continue our business, to be able to pay our coaches, and to have a solid physical business to come back to when this blows over.”
And they’ve continued to do just that.
More Manic Than We’ve Ever Had Before
It’s true. Members in the good ole days—before social distancing was in place—typically hit up Manic Training for a workout three times a week. A mere three hours. Oh, how things have changed.
It’s tough to keep a sense of community when we can’t be physically together. But Pete and the gang—coaches Scott, Mike, Julie, Karrie, and Allen—have figured out how to do just that. Here’s Manic’s current weekly lineup:
- Weekday mornings: You can join one or more of the coaches for a Facebook live coffee chat to get the day going.
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9am: The workout of the day goes live, courtesy of one of the coaches.
- Tuesday and Thursday at 9am: Give your legs, shoulders, and any other aching body part a break with a live core-focused workout.
- Wednesday night at 9pm: Put the kiddos to bed, then join Coach Scott and another coach as they interview a special guest. They will pose five questions to the guest—and not answering is not an option. Viewers are also invited to ask questions.
- Tuesday and Thursday, midday: Coach, former elementary school teacher, and mom of three boys, Karrie, holds “Karrie’s Kids Korner,” in which she and assorted children cook something fun and kid-friendly.
- Tuesday and Thursday, evening: Coach Allen holds a stretch sesh so you can get rid of all those kinks.
- Thursday, 7:30pm: Coach Pete hosts “Thirsty Thursday,” because yes—learning how to make some fantastic cocktails (Hello, margaritas! Hello, mudslides!) is another way of coping with quarantine. (The liquor stores are still open as an essential business!)
- Friday night: Anyone can hop online and socialize with their fellow Manic members. Adult beverages are optional.
There’s more fun for the weekend:
- Saturday morning: Since we are all housebound, we might as well tackle some of those honey-do lists. In each episode of “Handy Man-ic,” Coach Mike goes over a DIY project to help you accomplish something productive while you are at home.
- Saturday, 5:30pm: Resident vegetarian Coach Julie is cooking up some yum each week that is plant- or meat-based, depending on your preference.
- Sunday: With warmer weather upon us, Coach Pete and his green-thumb-blessed better half AnnaKate are taking us out into the garden. This is also timely as more and more people are interested in growing their own food after we’ve witnessed some scarcity in our own grocery stores.
But Wait—Isn’t Manic a Gym Community?
Here’s what Coach Pete has to say: “Sure. We are. But in this time of crisis, where daily life no longer exists as we once knew it, we are forced to create and thrive in a new normal. We know that Manic has been one of the main pillars of your weekly routine. Sure, we’re good at weight things and squat things and breathing things, but we’re also good at taking care of each other. We’re going to do everything in our power to make your weeks as “normal” as possible and hopefully create memories that will allow you to look back on these weeks or months with fondness. Not for the circumstances, but for the experiences we all had when pushed outside of our comfort zone, collectively.”
After all, we trained for this.
Looking for a Gym in Highlands Ranch?
The closures and the distancing will be behind us at some point. Manic Training in Highlands Ranch is wrapping up a huge expansion, and there will be more room and more options than ever before. Sadly, some local gyms won’t survive the pandemic. But Manic continues to thrive, and we hope to see you in our upgraded facility as soon as we reopen. (Sign up for a free week here!) Meanwhile, you can get to know us by liking our Facebook page.
What’s Next? Defining your Why: A Racer’s Rationale
One question I have been asked many times in my life by people who know me well is, “So, what’s next?”
Nowadays people are usually referring to some sort of race or event I might have on the horizon. In reflection, even when I wasn’t doing a lot of races, I still was asked this same question. It may have been in reference to a vacation (I traveled to 25 states and Canada twice in 1999) or a musical concert (this used to be a HUGE part of my life). I bring this up because I really think it is so important to have some sort of goal out in front of you that you are working for. Training, work, and life in general are difficult, monotonous and full of pitfalls. In order to progress at anything requires persistent, consistent effort. Without some sort of why it is nearly impossible to summon the daily effort required to show up for struggle. There is always an easier softer way available in the society we live in. Ease and comfort are the norm rather than the exception, so one needs to actively seek out struggle in order to receive the underlying rewards that can be found from pain and sacrifice. I challenge you to find something that you want to do that sort of scares you. Hopefully it’s something you think is impossible, or at least something you can’t do. Be brave, accept fear, write down your goal, tell a friend, tell everyone, and set a path of work in front of you. I am someone who doesn’t believe in coincidence. Having been thinking about these ideas for a while and wanting to discuss them, I was extremely touched, but not surprised, to wake up and receive this beautiful message from a friend this morning.
3 years ago you tagged me in this FB post challenging me to run a trail half marathon and I doubted that it was even possible… I had never challenged myself in that way before. You told me “commit, surrender, succeed” and we did it!! That was honestly one of those milestones in my life that you look back on and realized it changed everything. You’ve taught me that nothing is impossible. Even when you think you have nothing left in you, you have more and fear is the only thing holding you back from the greatest things in your life. I live every day pushing for not good, but nothing but the best. Even when it seems too hard or impossible I know with God I can make it happen. Embrace the pain and sucky moments cuz they are part of the amazing journey of greatness and achievement. Learn to love those moments cuz in your weakest moments, you overcome the most and change for the best. Thank you so much for your friendship and for giving me so much: I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. I think of you every day and am so proud of all you are doing. You are one of the most amazing people I know and I am beyond proud to call you friend. Commit, surrender, succeed…. you are already doing great things in life and have made so many people’s world brighter just by being in them!
Commit, surrender, succeed….
Last January we held an event at Manic that we called Signing Day. The purpose of this event was to get people to commit to challenges in the upcoming year and solidify why so they would continue to pursue excellence. If you came to that event, now would be a great time to revisit how you did at fulfilling your commitment to yourself. What were your successes? Where did you come up short? What can you do today to make yourself into the person you want to be tomorrow? I will share with you all what is next for me. A trail run from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other and back. Am I terrified? Yes. Does it seem impossible? Yes. What if I share this with you, and I fail? Who cares. Understanding that I don’t own the results, but only the effort and the courage to try, is what frees me up to attempt to be a better more fulfilled person. If any of you wish to share your why with me, I’d be honored to help hold you accountable.
3 Tips to Improve Your Running Game
Given that Manic Training’s mantra is “train in to adventure out,” it should come as no surprise that there are several races on the schedule for many members of this gym in Highlands Ranch this fall. Whether you choose to take your running out on the trail (HRCA Backcountry Wilderness Half Marathon) or stick to the roadways (Denver Hot Chocolate 15K/5K), here are some tips to help move you toward some PRs (personal records) this fall.
#1—Tension Versus Relaxation
Running efficiently means balancing relaxion and tension throughout the body. It’s important to be in the right spot so you can avoid wasting precious energy on side movements. It also helps keep you feeling lighter while you’re running—rather than just stomping on the ground.
Work on the appropriate posture while running. If you’re like a lot of us, you work at a computer and desk all day. This is tough on our posture, leading to shoulders that are hunched and a back that is rounded. If you run like this, you’ll get tired sooner rather than later. Aim instead for a tall, slightly leaning forward position.
#2—The Arm Swing
Don’t discount the role your arms and upper body play in proper running form. When your arms are swinging correctly, your legs will move forward with less effort. Just try to run with your arms at your sides, and you’ll notice how much more difficult it is to run this way.
Pull your shoulder blades together, letting your arms swing freely. Keep elbows tucked in and bent at about 90 degrees. Keep arms relaxed and avoid clenching your fists.
Running is different from walking; when you walk, you contact the ground heel first. But if you do this while you are running, you’ll end up overstriding—which is essential a braking mechanism. When you run, the motion should begin similarly to if you were stepping over something. Bending your knee will ensure it functions more like a spring rather than a brake.
Join us at our gym in Highlands Ranch or any of our locations for a free week by signing up here. Manic Training has other Colorado locations in Steamboat and Fort Collins as well two in Rhode Island: East Greenwich and Wakefield. See you at the races!
It’s one thing to get to your gym in Highlands Ranch consistently when you are following the same routine day after day. But summertime has a way of interfering with consistency—both in life and in your workouts. Maybe you’ve got some trips planned, and it’s easy to let your fitness get derailed. It doesn’t have to be that way! With a bit of planning, you can maintain your healthy habits, no matter where you are.
Pack a Jump Rope
A jump rope is easy to pack because it doesn’t take up much room in your suitcase. If you’re stuck in a hotel with outdated gym equipment—or no gym equipment—you can get a decent workout with a jump rope. (Here are some ideas for 15 jump rope exercises you can do.) Take the jump rope outside with you for a workout with a view!
Do Bodyweight Exercises
No gym? No weights? No problem! You can get in a killer workout just using your bodyweight. Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push-ups, and burpees can be done anywhere. (Bunnies, anyone?!) Throw a few resistance bands into your suitcase for a bit of variety. A quick Google search of “travel WODs” will give you an endless number of workouts you can do while you are on the road.
Plan an Active Vacation
As we say here at Manic Training, “train in to adventure out,” and with the state of Colorado as our backyard, there is no end to the adventures to be had. When you make hiking, biking, rafting, or climbing the focal point of your vacation, you won’t have to worry about losing any fitness while you are away from the gym.
Watch What You Eat
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you need to eat like a jerk. Enjoy some indulgences while you are away but make good choices the rest of the time. If your hotel room has a refrigerator, take some time to hit the local grocery store to stock up on healthy snacks such as yogurt, fruit, and veggies. If you are on a road trip, pack a cooler with healthy options so you can avoid stopping at fast food restaurants.
It can be tough to stay motivated to exercise when you are on vacation, but with some planning ahead, you can maintain your fitness while you are away from your gym in Highlands Ranch.
Are you new to the area? Looking for a gym in Highlands Ranch? You can try Manic Training for a week for free. Find out how Manic Training gets its members “ready for life” with unique workouts you won’t find anywhere else.
Injuries from workouts are a rare thing at Manic Training, thanks to watchful coaching to ensure movements are done properly. But sometimes injuries can happen from activities we enjoy outside the gym—or, y’know, from reaching up to get something off the closet shelf.
An injury doesn’t have to mean workouts need to come to a grinding halt, however. Here are some tips for workarounds when you still want to hit it at the gym but not impede your body’s ability to heal.
#1—Ask Your Coach
One or two of Pete’s whiteboards are almost always on display at the Highlands Ranch gym during workouts, listing modifications to work around injuries. Whether it’s suggesting lighter weights or a different movement altogether, Pete, Scott, Julie, Karrie, and Mike are always available to provide options for you. Just ask!
#2—Keep Your Nutrition and Sleep On Point
Never underestimate the body’s own healing powers. Give it the fuel and rest it needs to recover.
#3—Know When to Tough It Out
There is a difference between pain and a true injury; know the difference so you know when you should truly rest—or whether modification will work. Don’t let pain be the start of a slippery slope that turns a few days off into a few months—or even longer.
#4—RICE When Needed
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation—also known as RICE—is a great way to reduce pain and swelling and help to accelerate the healing process. (Note: Don’t use heat on an acute injury because it can actually increase swelling, making the injury worse.)
If you have been suffering from chronic injuries from your workout of choice, it may be time to give Manic Training a shot. Not only are injuries during workouts rare at this Highlands Ranch gym, but the workouts are designed to strengthen every part of your body to make it less susceptible to injuries in general.
Try us out for a week for free!