Joyful July

BAMs, you’ve made it halfway through 2016. And while we don’t want to paint a picture that it’s been a tough haul, slogging your way through life’s drudgery (because negativity is NOT how we roll), we also know that 2016 has been kind of, well, icky in many ways.

Do you remember back in 1992 when Queen Elizabeth II had a rotten year (her daughter divorced, Charles & Diana separated, Sarah Ferguson appeared topless and toe-sucking, and Windsor Castle almost burned down) and called it her annus horribilis (Latin for “horrible year”)?

Well, we are waiting for someone to create a MEME showing 2016 as a remake of 1992, but much, much, more serious. We’ve lost some of our celebrity icons, we’ve had more bombings and shootings than anyone could have imagined, and every day there are new instances of hate propaganda and examples of continued intolerance for our fellow human beings.

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It gets tough sometimes. We strive to remain positive as we live our lives, but the news can really get us down as we deal with our own trials and triumphs.

Enter BAM’s mid-year 30-day challenge, Joyful July.

You know this already, but we are going to say it again. Exercise is good for your body and your soul. Not only does it fight illness and delay aging, but it also makes us feel better, enables us to handle stress with more resilience, and, frankly, it increases our level of Badassery.

This month we are challenging you to commit to doing our Joyful July challenge 3-5 times per week.

Here’s the catch: you need balls to do this workout.

Get your mind out of the gutter now, we are talking about exercising balls – one a stability ball, and the other any kind of light playground ball or a medicine ball if you have it.

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We know we are asking you to purchase equipment for the first time. Sorry about that. However, a stability ball is a GREAT purchase, as you will want to use it for stretching (amazing back and ab stretches), ab work, and a host of other things. (And they’re less than $30 at Target, and we even saw some on Amazon for less than $20).

We are also going to ask you to post Joyful news whenever you can – news you find online, news about you or your friends and family, news about some cute kid on the other side of the world who set a personal record, news about a species brought back from the edge of extinction, whatever. As long as it’s Joyful, we want to read about it! (We will post stuff too.)

But wait! There’s More!

To make up for your purchase, we created a Joyful July BAM bonus for you – it’s a playlist on Spotify that is made up of silly, sublime, upbeat, and relaxing songs made to bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. Here’s the link directly to the playlist: “BAMs Joyful Workout.” Of course if you’d rather listen to AC/DC Thunderstruck to get you moving, then have at ‘er, and play our playlist later while you do the dishes. Guaranteed you will smile.

The workout is from Health.com, and although we love it, we found it tough to use becuase of the ads. So, we did screen shots and saved it in this handy dandy PDF for you to download. Just click below to access it.

BAMstrength’s Joyful July Workout

So that’s it. Send us your thoughts and pictures, and don’t forget to hashtag #JoyfulJuly!

Love, your First Ladies,

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Ruth, Linda, and Sarah

 

 

 

 

Boom BAM Pow

Hey BAMs. Sarah here for a little June Edition of BAM Confessions.A little over a month ago, I ran a half marathon. Despite the course being a lot more hilly than I had bargained for, it went pretty well. I had spent four months carefully following a training plan, then took a day of rest.

Then another, then another.

Almost a month and a half later, I wouldn’t say my fitness regime has taken a complete nosedive, but the competing interests of my busy life have crept in and taken over. Without the drive of training for a specific goal, I’ve kind of lost my fitness rudder. It’s not that I wasn’t busy while I was training: my husband was deployed, my girls were struggling with the long separation, and I had a multitude of other commitments calling my name. But these days, in the absence of a specific goal on the horizon, there is no consequence of putting exercise last on my list. Two months ago, when race day loomed, skipping out on a run might have meant the difference between finishing strong and limping across the finish line. Right now, the only negative outcome is…me feeling disappointed in myself. It’s a bummer, but I know I can survive it.

But not really. Feeling constantly disappointed with myself is not a sustainable lifestyle choice.

What I need is a new goal. But what? How do I choose?

If you have been reading our blog for a while, you probably recall the goal-setting exercise Ruth lead us through in January. The final step of the exercise was to have a quarterly review. Since we are halfway through 2016, we are due to have a look at what is going on with those goals. The review process is much like the self-assessment we did back in January:

What is something we’ve accomplished in the last six months that we are proud of and/or were able to check off the list? What factors made this success possible?

Which goals remain elusive? If you are struggling to make progress, the questions to ask are similar: what are the barriers to achieving this goal? Is there something we can do to remove the obstacle? Who can we ask for help with this?

Whether you have been wildly successful in knocking down the goals you set for yourself and need some new ones, or have had some setbacks that mean it is time to re-evaluate what is possible, remember to choose something SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). Maybe in January you wanted to be able to do one strict pull up by July. But when helping your friend move her giant sofa last month, you injured your shoulder. The pull up goal might need to take a back seat to physical therapy for a while, and is now no longer relevant to your current circumstances. And depending on your healing time, timely completion of the goal seems off the table too. That goal (for now) fails the SMART test. Is there something else you could work on instead? Maybe running that July 4th 5K your sister has been bugging you to do for years?

I have found that saying my goal out loud helps, because someone is bound to ask “how is that going?” So I’ll say mine out loud to you: my new goal is to join a rowing club and attend practice by July 14th. In the meantime, I want to run a minimum of 30 minutes three days a week to keep up endurance. I have a lot of crazy things going on this month, including a cross country move, so trying for more would fail the attainability portion of the SMART test. But I know I can make the time for three runs a week, call the rowing club, and sign myself up by July 14th. It may not get me into the olympics, but since that’s not my goal, who cares? It is important to remember in all of this that we’re not here to impress. We’re here to improve. (If you want the accountability of saying your goal out loud too, shout it out on Twitter to @BAMstrength. We’re here to cheer you on!)

As you begin to revisit your goals, make sure you check in with your BAM buddy and ask how she is doing with hers. If you don’t have a BAM buddy, send us a message on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll hook you up with another kickass woman who is looking for a little accountability as she tries to balance work, fitness, family, and friends.
And now…on to our June challenge!


Now that Sarah has inspired the heck out of you, let’s keep going with the Boom BAM Pow theme. This month we are going to do a high-intensity general fitness program based on martial arts moves.

We are using the Fighter’s Codex routine from our friends at darebee.com. You can find it by clicking here, or download the 30 day PDF by clicking below.

fighters-codex

Now don’t be scared. You may be an über fit BAM and be excited about smashing this challenge right off the bat. You may look at this and say “nuh-uh. no way. no how.” Or you may be somewhere in between.

Remember WWSD (What Would Sarah Do). She would decide what is realistic for her in this program, and decide how much she can do each week in order to attain it. So your goal could be:

  • Smash it every single day, and beat my day 1 time by 20% on day 30.
  • Complete the Boom BAM Pow workout at least 3 days a week.
  • Do the Boom BAM Pow workout every day, but only do as much as I can in 5 minutes to start, working my way up to a full workout by day 30.
  • Walk 30 minutes a day 3x a week, and do two Boom BAM Pow workouts every week.
  • Or any variation of the above, including just #DoingYourOwnThing. Just make sure you plan to MOVE your body!

You can modify just about anything, and if you’re not sure how, just ask. Remember:

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Now go out there and smash it ladies.

Love your First Ladies,

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Ruth, Linda, and Sarah

 

Choose Your Own BAMventure!

Hello BAMs!

This post may or may not be coming to you from a sandy beach on a distant shore…so please forgive us for getting to you a little late. Two of your First Ladies are on vacation as we write this, which has rendered planning May’s challenge a bit of an adventure. But we are BAMs. Adventure is our middle name. (Well…ahhh, technically the A stands for something else, but this is a family blog. Ahem.)

During one of our power text planning sessions, we decided May would be the perfect month to celebrate the seventeen (yes, SEVEN 🍍in’ TEEN!) monthly challenges we have served up for our BAMs so far.

We enjoyed looking back at these so much that we decided you might like it too. So, for May, we are inviting you to Choose Your Own #BAMventure. Look back at our various workouts, choose your favourite or most challenging, and get at ‘er!

For those of us who don’t have a personal trainer keeping us on track, working out on your own can be a huge challenge. (This is why we developed BAM in the first place!) We know that not every challenge is your cup of tea or maybe you are working toward a goal that makes our monthly challenge hard to integrate into your own workouts. We thought May could be an opportunity to experiment with being your own trainer: pick out a plan that challenges you and fits your current needs and goals. If you like variety, you can pick a few of the challenges and mix and match. There are no rules!

Let us know which #BAMventure you choose. Check in with your BAM buddy and pick one together, invite that one friend who is trying to get back on track to join you, or shout out to the BAMily which one you are picking and invite others to join in. As always, if you have any ideas or requests for future challenges–like MORE BURPEES (said no one ever)–let us know!

Here are links to our previous monthly workouts:

  1. December 2104: K2C (Kind to the Core)
  2. January 2015: 30 Days of Change
  3. February 2015: YoFlex
  4. March 2015: Squat or Di Trying
  5. April 2015: BAMming Sexy Back
  6. May 2015: SuperBAM
  7. June 2015: Walk This Way
  8. July 2015: K2C Redux
  9. August 2015: Push It
  10. September 2015: Back to BAM
  11. October 2015: PUMPkin Up the BAMs
  12. November 2015: Revisited 30 Days of Strength
  13. December 2015: K2C2
  14. January 2016: Continue K2C2 & BAMbuddy Resolutions
  15. February 2016: Tour de BAM
  16. March 2016: OMMMMMg
  17. April 2016: Viva BAM Vegas

Yours in Badassery,

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Ruth, Linda, and Sarah

Viva BamVegas!

Are ya feelin’ lucky?

Vevo music daft punk pharrell get lucky

We hope so, because only luck is going to get you out of working out like a BAM this month.

the hangover

April’s BAM challenge is . . . #VivaBamVegas  and has 2 parts to it.

Part One: Oh Crap(s)

craps

All you need is a pair of dice. (Or an online random dice roller, which you can get by clicking here.)

First, roll the dice to determine how many exercises you have to do today.

Second, roll the dice as many times as indicated on the first roll of the dice. Write down each result, and the corresponding exercises are below:

  • 2 – 30 seconds Mountain Climbers
  • 3 – 30 second plank
  • 4 – 30 second jumping jacks
  • 5 – 30 seconds pushups (full or modified)
  • 6 – 3 sun salutations
  • 7 – 30 seconds basic crunches
  • 8 – 30 seconds bicycle crunches
  • 9 – 30 seconds wall sit
  • 10 – 30 seconds squats
  • 11 – 30 seconds forward lunges (30 seconds each side)
  • 12 – 30 seconds butt kicks
  • 4 the hard way (2 twos) – 30 seconds neck roll
  • 6 the hard way (2 threes) – 30 seconds box jumps
  • 8 the hard way (2 fours) – 30 seconds burpees
  • 10 the hard way (2 fives) – 30 seconds side lunges
  • Boxcar (2 sixes) – 60 second active rest (walk in place, deep breathing)

For example:

If I roll the dice and get 6, it means I have six exercises to do in my set.

So now I roll the dice six more times to determine what I’m doing.

I roll a 7, a 9, an 8, boxcars, a 4, and a 2. This means I have to do:

  • 30 seconds of basic crunches
  • 30 seconds wall sit
  • 30 seconds bicycle crunches
  • 60 seconds active rest
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds mountain climbers

That’s one set. You get to choose whether you do:

  • Level One: one set
  • Level Two: three sets
  • Level Three: five sets

Part Two: Wanna Bet?

Some of you BAMs like a little healthy competition in your day. (Some more than others. Ahem. Linda.)

So… feel free to throw down and create some side bets. Challenge a BAM , a group of BAMs, all BAMs… to whatever you want. The kick is, you have to offer a prize if the challenge is accepted and completed. For instance:

“I, Linda, challenge all BAMs east of the Mississippi to do 12 sets this weekend. First one to do it and send me photo proof, gets a cup of tea… a drawing by my adorable baby… a gift card to Amazon… one MILLION dollars… etc etc etc”

You can make these little side bets as often as you want. Just make sure to make it public! And ps – the funnier and wackier, the more BAMMier and better.

viva las vegas rock and roll gif

Enjoy! Don’t forget to  let us know how it’s going on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Use the hashtag #VivaBamVegas to make sure we see what’s happening.

Good “luck”!

Your First Ladies (Ruth, Linda, & Sarah)

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T9 reppin’ for BAMbooby sweatin’

Ladies. We have amazing news to share.

A few days ago, BAMstrength had the great privilege of being invited to participate in a #FitFest at  Title Nine in Boulder, Colorado, and something exciting has come of it.

But let’s start at the very beginning. (A very good place to start.)

Who is Title Nine?

Title Nine is a women’s clothing company designed after our own hearts. Founded in 1989 by Missy Park, Title Nine was the first retailer focused on selling women’s sports and fitness apparel. It’s amazing to think that up until the early 1990’s, women were wearing sports apparel designed for men! (Yes…now would be an appropriate time to pause and give a moment of silent appreciation for all of your female workout gear – even the dreaded sports bra. More on that later…)

Missy took the name for her company from the 1972 U.S. Title IX legislation that requires gender equality for boys and girls in every federally funded educational program and activity, including sports. The following was taken directly from their website – a quick synopsis of how Title Nine describes themselves….

Who Are We

As you can see, Title Nine is one badass company that we’ve fallen hard for. Seriously. It’s like they’ve looked inside the soul of a BAM and written things down for us. And we haven’t even started talking about their clothes yet!

So… Title Nine is a great company. But, what the heck were we there for again? 

Well, the BAMs were invited to a #T9FitFest. This is where you go into their store and receive personalized bra fitting advice from a “Bravangelist” expert. First Lady Linda was originally scheduled to go, but due to last minute sickness and conflicts in schedules, our dear BAM Shannon graciously took her place. (Thank you, Shannon!) Here is what Shannon had to say about the evening:

Ladies, we all know that there are a million and one things holding us back from reaching our goals. Work, school, children, commitments… we all have so much to do. But, did you know that one of my greatest challenges is keeping things in? Yes. You read that right. I don’t like going for a run and constantly feeling like I’m giving someone a show. When I’m trying to get into shape and better myself, I hate it when my chest is getting more of a workout than the rest of me. 

I agreed to go to the Title Nine Fit Fest, #T9FitFest, and represent the @BAMstrength girls, talk about all the great things we’ve done together, and meet a couple of great #bravangelists. I had never heard of Title Nine before I was asked to go, and honestly had never been fitted for a bra. Sports bras are scary. Every one I had owned prior to this event either smashed me into that horrible looking uni-boob that made me feel like I almost had a double chin, or they didn’t do what I’d bought them to do. 

I was totally freaking out about having someone help me with my bra. I walked into the Title Nine store in Boulder determined to get out of there as soon as possible. (Think: be nice, but run!) Annie, the #bravangelist, immediately took me back to get fitted. I told her that I was currently running with two sports bras. She said, “Our goal is to get you into just one.” Okay, I thought. I can agree to that. What she did next made me a little nervous. Annie proceeded to pick six different bras from the racks and walked me to the changing area. I thought I would be there all night! Determined to be a good girl and represent such an encouraging group of ladies, I followed her anyway. Annie then said, “Go ahead and get changed. When you are ready, put your shirt back on and I’ll come check on you.” Wait. What?! She wasn’t going to go all Mother Hildegarde on me and stay with me the whole time?!!! (Thank the Lord in heaven!!!) I tried on #1, and did you know all of their bra’s have names? Of course you did. I didn’t. It never occured to me that my Brooks Adrenaline’s could meet up with my Title Nine Trade Up. Four bras later, I found the one I was most comfortable in, and the bouncy ball didn’t appeal to me anymore. They did offer up the burpee test, but I’m not too crazy about being #Valbo’d in my work clothes.

As you can tell from the Instagram video on BAMstrength, I had a pretty good time. I’ve decided I can run a little faster now that I’ve got control on my side, and I’d do it again.”    Shannon@Issyb29

What does this all mean for the badass ladies of BAMstrength?

Here’s the deal. All of you BAMstrength ladies located in the United States have a chance to win a Title Nine sports bra of your very own. Here’s what you need to do to win:

  1. Follow BAMstrength on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can earn an entry to the raffle on EACH SITE. Encourage your friends to follow us. The more the merrier!
  2. Tweet us using the hashtag #T9FitFest and tell us why you desperately need to win a new sports bra. The goofier the better. Poems and prose always earn extra brownie points, and may earn you an extra entry into the raffle.
  3. Post a picture of you working out to Instagram, tagging @BAMstrengthgirls and using the hashtag #T9FitFest.
  4. Spread the news via Facebook, using the hashtag #T9FitFest and explaining to your friends how awesome BAMstrength is and why you are super stoked to have an entry to win a badass sports bra from Title Nine!

You can also schedule a fitting with one of your local #bravangelists and feel comfortable about the whole ordeal. If perhaps you need to order one online, they can still help you! The ladies in California have a great support line for those of us that still need to talk to someone before venturing in for one of the most important pieces of sportswear in our arsenal.

If you can participate in a #T9FitFest, do it.

The #T9FitFest in Boulder is on Wednesday, March 30th and Thursday, March 31st. You can RSVP for it here.

Title Nine is also holding FitFests at other locations around the United States. Here’s a list of dates and times. If you go, make sure you tell them you are a BAM, and direct them to our website if they haven’t seen it already.

You can also get a personalized fit at:

*Your local store

*Using the online bra genie

*Chat with a #bravangelist by phone at 1-800-342-4448

We are so excited to have partnered with Title Nine for this event, and can’t wait to gift one of our wonderful BAMs with a new sports bra. T9 reppin’ to get those BAMboobies sweatin’ in style and comfort.🙂

As always,

BE KIND. BE CARING. BE BADASS.

Love, Your First Ladies (Ruth, Linda, & Sarah)

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OmmmmG.

Happy Leap Day, BAMily!

It’s Sarah here behind the big BAM blog switch today. It’s been a busy month at BAM headquarters, so I am grateful for an extra day before March comes roaring into our lives.

As we wrap up our February challenge, TourdeBAM, it sounds like many of you are crazy busy too! We had a great time pretending to run around Scotland with you. For those of you who were logging your miles as part of our BAMstrength team on the Charity Miles app, we will have reached 3200 miles (or about $800) –just as soon as I add my four mile run in later today! Even though this month’s challenge is coming to an end, our Charity Miles team will keep going–so keep logging the miles as you walk and run. In addition to our charity miles, we raised $600 for Bloodwise this month with your TourdeBAM “entry fees.” Amazing work, team!

For our March challenge, we have decided to shift gears a bit. Maybe it is because we are worn out, maybe it is because spring is knocking at the door, but when Linda, Ruth, and I were discussing this month’s challenge, there were two things we all wanted: simplicity and stretching.

So here it is: this month we are challenging our BAMily to add a Sun Salutation to every day.

That’s it. No schedule to download, no miles to track. No fundraising. Just one Sun Salutation a day. If you already have a regular yoga practice or feel like you want more of a challenge, you can add additional Sun Salutations, or try other variations, but the challenge is to do it every day without fail.

sun salutation

If you are new to yoga and have never done a sun salutation, this very nice beginner demonstration is a good place to start.  If you have a tiny bit more time, this one is great too. If you find you want to add some postures to your practice, YouTube has a host of videos of varying quality, but Yoga Journal and Gaiam’s YouTube channels are good bets for clear, safe instruction.

I am excited about this challenge because I have spent the last several months in physical therapy for back pain. I have learned a lot, but the underlying message that I have heard is: hey smarty pants, you should never have stopped doing yoga!

Many of the stretches and deep core work that my physical therapist has walked me through are essentially yoga poses (child’s pose, cat-cow, among them). This is not to say that yoga inoculates you from injury or you can’t get hurt doing it, but I have a renewed appreciation for the value of slow, controlled movement and active stretching. It has been an intensely humbling experience for me to learn that I could be weak in my core, even when it looks strong. And that ditching a form of exercise that looks less physically intense for exercise that looks more hardcore is what landed me on the physical therapist’s table. So I see this challenge as a time to help you to learn from my mistake, too.

For those BAMs who have been stepping up their workouts this last month, whether by adding mileage, or new strength moves via the MPC prep program, or an enthusiastic trainer with a case of spring fever, I think we all can benefit from slowing down a bit. If you add a bit of mindfulness to your breathing as you move through your Sun Salutation, all the better.

As always, we look forward to hearing how the challenge is going for you on Twitter and Facebook. Just tag your posts #naBAMaste so the (badass) spirit in BAM can greet the (badass) spirit in you.

NaBAMaste!

Love and ohmmmms,

Your First Ladies

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Linda, Ruth, and Sarah

I See Scotland, I See France!

In defiance of the time space continuum, February 2016 has arrived. Perhaps like us, you woke up blinking, wondering where January went. But here we are: February. The month where heart-shaped candy boxes form a speed bump to keep grocery stores from selling Easter candy before all the Christmas decorations are down, and when the crowds at the gym simmer down as New Years resolutions begin to fade. But not for BAMs! We’re holding fast to those resolutions, thanks to our BAM buddies, encouraging and holding us accountable. (Don’t have a BAM buddy? It is not too late! Let us know and we will hook you up! Click here for the link to our original blog post that explains our BAMbuddy program.)

Since it IS February, that means it is time for a new BAM challenge: the Tour de BAMs.
Lace up your shoes and meet us at the starting line: We’re taking you on an active cyber vacation, where you will be running or walking and exploring new cities, all without ever getting your passport out of the drawer. I see Scotland, I see France, I see BAMs in their . . . Bear Strength shirts kicking some major ass. (You didn’t think we’d have you gallivanting all over in just your pants, did you?!) As a tribute to our pals at My Peak Challenge, we have set our race in Scotland. (We hear it is super sunny and tropical there this time of year, perfect running weather, surely.) Because some of our BAMs will be participating in either the MPC prep program this month or My Peak Challenge in May, we have decided we would like to do our part to raise some funds as well. More on that in a moment.

Here’s how the race works:

  1. Head over to our BAMstrength Just Giving page (click here) and make a donation. In the spirit of My Peak Challenge, 100% of your “race fee” will go to Bloodwise to help them in their ongoing efforts to eradicate blood cancers. You are now an officially entered in the Tour de BAMs. Congratulations! We promise this race will involve a lot less road rash than that similar sounding little bike race in France.
  2. Print out your race bib. Wear it with pride as you run or grocery shop. Or stick it on your fridge to remind you to get moving today and inspire winsome small talk with curious dinner guests.
  3. Download the Tour de BAMs map, calendar, and city descriptions. These will be your guide for each day, telling you where you are on the journey and how long each day’s stage will be. Pick which level you want to do (it can vary day to day depending on the weather, your mood, or your need to burn off steam) and get to work.
  4. When you are out there walking or running, use the Charity Miles app to join our team, record your progress and donate to charity at the same time (and this doesn’t cost you any money – other companies sponsor you and donate on your behalf.) We’ve been using this for a while now, and we are almost at the 2,000 mile mark, which is about $500 donated. (Way to go TEAM BAMSTRENGTH!)
  5. Those BAMs with a Fitbit can also track their daily accomplishments that way (and don’t forget there is a BAM Fitbit team.)
  6. Can’t use the Charity Miles app? Don’t have a Fitbit? No matter. We believe you. Just let us know how you did on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook (#TourDeBAMs) Pictures are welcome too!!
  7. When you have completed the race (or at least most of it – we’ll be fairly lenient), we will be awarding finisher’s medals to everyone who makes it across the finish line. Trust us when we say you will want one of these.

Sound Too Complicated?

Sorry. There are just a lot of details. Let us boil it down for you:

  1. Register by donating on Just Giving.
  2. Download PDFs.
  3. Choose your level of activity each day.
  4. Get out there and move your BAMbooty!

Here are your PDFs for the race:

BAM Race Bib

BAM FEB Challenge Map

BAM FEB Challenge Calendar

BAM City Descriptions

We can’t wait to hear what you all think of this one, whether you are participating in MPC and excited to prep, or just like the idea of some accountability to get out there and walk or run.  Let us know!

Have fun, and Happy February!

Love, your First Ladies,

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Sneak Peek

Hello BAMs! We have made it through the first week of 2016. For those of you dazzled by your own success–congratulations! For those of you whose year has started off with head colds and work commitments and dashed plans–congratulations! You still have 354 more days of awesome ahead of you. So take a deep breath and take heart. You still have plenty of time to show 2016 how it’s done.

Here at BAM HQ, we have been seeing a number of questions about the My Peak Challenge Prep Program and what BAM has planned over the coming months. Since you all have lives and workouts to plan, we thought we’d pull back the veil just a teeny bit to tell you what we have planned for February and March:

  • FEBRUARY: In February, we plan to build on our two months of #K2C2 with a challenge that adds some friendly competition and an additional charitable component to our miles. So if you are enjoying the motivation to move your feet, February will be a lot of fun for you! (Click here to read about #K2C2.)
  • MARCH: Our March challenge will take us back to functional body weight exercises, with a little twist. (If luck be a lady, then that lady is a BAM. This is an official clear-as-mud hint.) For March, the focus will be on strengthening and varying our routine.

We hope this helps you all to plan a little. Whether you choose to join in the MPC Prep or the BAM challenges, or a little from Column Sam and a little from Column BAM, keep us posted on how it is going on Twitter, here on the blog, or on Facebook. (If you happen to have a carrier pigeon, we also accept pigeon mail.) We want to cheer on your milestones.

And if you have a BAM buddy, we want to hear all about that too! (Or if you NEED a BAM buddy, or have no idea what we mean by “BAM buddy”, click here. You’ll also get help on setting your goals, if you haven’t already.)

Now go show 2016 who is boss.

Yours in badassery, the First Ladies,

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Linda, Ruth, and Sarah

Our Mini-Contest Results

Just before New Years we challenged BAMs to send us their WOD (workout of the day) playlist so we could share them with other BAMs and help kick of your January fitness!

We drew one name out of a hat, and will be sending Samantha Smith some delicious Harney’s tea. (Because we at BAMstrength are all about tea. And cookies. And, well, whisky. Oh, and don’t forget chocolate. But this contest was about tea, so…)

Thanks to our three BAMs who sent in their playlists! They awesome, and contain a few songs that will stick in your head for sure. We hope they help refresh your playlists and inspire you to hit a PB (personal best) this month!

Here they are:

First, from Bettina Nittnaus (NOT Neuhaus), all the way from Austria:

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Next, from Samantha Smith, from Bluffton, South Carolina,

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And finally, the über playlist from Nancy Kirkpatrick, in Eugene, Oregon.

Nancy is participating in a body building competition this year, so we expected a killer playlist, and we weren’t disappointed:

 

If you have playlists you’d like to share, just tweet us and we will retweet it to the BAMcommunity!

Love Your First Ladies,

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Linda, Ruth, and Sarah

BAM’s Peak January New Year’s Buddy Resolution Challenge

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Look! The New Year is upon us! That magical evening in which the strike of midnight suddenly wipes the slate clean and all is new and anything is possible. The stressors of 2015 are gone, everyone is happy, and your life is perfect.

Now is the time to start something epic, so let’s see…

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All of the above? Why not? There’s a whole fresh clean new shiny year ahead!

Yeah. NO.

If you know us, you know we are not about drastic changes, and we certainly are not believers in magic wands that make everything perfect overnight.

On the other hand, we don’t believe in just leaving things to chance. Our BAM community is made up of real, awesome, badass women who face a myriad of challenges every single day, and who strive to overcome them and become healthier and stronger.

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Some of you have shared your challenges from 2015: health issues, family concerns, job problems, kids who are a handful, relationship challenges – heck even broken teeth! And yet, we, as a community, come together to support each other to move through those challenges and remember to look after ourselves and continue on our journey towards health and strength.

We are kicking off the New Year with a guided process for setting realistic goals, holding yourself accountable, and ensuring you have the support you need.

The timing is perfect as My Peak Challenge is apparently right around the corner. If you know what your challenge will be, EXCELLENT – you can move right to step 4. If you don’t have an MPC goal yet, then start at the very beginning. (A very good place to start.)

We present to you: The BAM Goal-Setting Process. If you can, set aside at least 20 minutes in the next 24 hours to think through your goals for the coming year. You will:

  1. Ask yourself a few questions, and be honest with your answers.
  2. Ponder three specific areas for improvement
  3. Choose one, two, or three of those areas.
  4. Set a specific, measurable, realistic goal in that/those area.
  5. Sign up for the BAM Buddy program.
  6. GO!
  7. Re-visit and re-assess quarterly.

Step One. Ask yourself a few key questions.

Find a quiet moment, make a cup of tea (or whisky, or both), and jot down your thoughts relating to the following:

  • What is one thing I did in 2015 that I feel proud of?
    • What things or conditions or people enabled me to be successful at that one thing?
  • What is one thing that I wish I had done better in 2015?
    • What were the barriers that prevented me from doing it?
    • What can I do to eliminate those barriers (or at least make them a little lower to the ground and easier to climb)?
    • Who can I ask for help? (hint: BAMs)

Step Two. Consider Your Health and Fitness, Personal, and Community Goals.

Now that you have an idea of your success factors, think about these three areas.

Health & Fitness. Do you want to:

  • Be stronger? Maybe strengthen your back so lifting your kids or a snow shovel doesn’t hurt? Maybe deadlift a certain weight?
  • Jump rope for 5 minutes and do double-unders without hitting your face with the rope?
  • Fit into a size smaller pair of jeans?
  • Lower your blood pressure?
  • Decrease anxiety?
  • Keep up with a CrossFit class at your local Box?
  • Walk or Run a 5K? 10K? Half? Full?
  • Do a Triathlon?
  • Climb a mountain?

Note: goals here should be focused on well-being and strength, not numbers on a scale or physical appearance.

Personal.  Do you want to:

  • Improve relationships in your life?
  • Continue your education? Learn a new language? Take a cooking course? Finish your degree? Get a Masters in something? Learn to do watercolours?
  • Improve the quality and frequency of your “Me Time?”

Community. Do you want to:

  • Worship?
  • Volunteer?
  • Perform Random Acts of Kindness?
  • Get involved in your child’s school?
  • Teach?

Step Three. Choose a Goal.

Now pick a goal (or goals) relating to one of the areas you pondered. Before you get all excited and choose all three, go back to the questions you answered in Step One.

Is it realistic for you to choose a goal in all three areas? Maybe it is, especially if you start with small goals. Maybe it’s not – you are just too busy and overwhelmed right now, and the least little thing will throw you off track, and you’ll be down on yourself.

Prioritize Fitness, Personal, and Community, and decide where you want to start. In which area are you most likely to be successful, and therefore motivate yourself to keep going?

Step Four. Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.

Whatever you decide, make sure your goal(s) has/have the following characteristics (based on SMART goals, if you’ve ever heard that term! Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely):

  1. Make sure your goal is achievable. Ask a friend (or buddy) if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, or if you’ve set a realistic challenge for yourself.
  2. Make sure you are very clear about what your goal is. This means it is measurable and has a timeline.
Non Specific – BOO! Specific – YAY!
Firm up my waist Lose an inch off my waist by 03/31/16
Lower my blood pressure Reduce my blood pressure by 20 points systolic and 10 points diastolic by 04/15/16
Run a marathon Run the Main Street marathon in under 5 hours on 06/20/16
Go to the gym more Go to the gym 3 times per week
Add more variety and healthy choices to my diet Choose three meals from the Heart Healthy cookbook each Sunday night and add it to the meal plan for the coming week
Get along better with my teenagers Spend at least 2 hours of quality time with each teenager each week. (What is quality time?)
Take more time for myself Go for a walk/yoga/tea with a friend at least two times per week for one hour.
Look into volunteering at the library Call Mr. Smith at the library by 01/10/16 and inquire about their volunteer program. Sign up for it or another program by 01/31/16.
Go to church/synagogue/mosque more Go to church/synagogue/mosque at least twice a month.

 

Step Five. Employ the Buddy System.

You need a buddy who will:

  • Review your goal with you and make sure it’s specific, measurable, and realistic.
  • Check in with you on a weekly basis to see how you’re doing.
    • Doing well? Great! High Five!
    • Slipped up? Your buddy should NOT be someone who says either:
      • Oh that’s ok. Better luck next week, OR
      • You idiot. Why didn’t you do that?
    • Your buddy SHOULD say:
      • OK, let’s take a look at what got in the way. What needs to happen next week, and how can I help you be successful? OR
      • This has been happening for a few weeks in a row. Let’s take a look at the goal – maybe it wasn’t as realistic as we thought. We can tweak it and start again!

Do you have someone who will do that for you? Family member, friend, co-worker?

If not, let us know. We will match people in our BAM buddy program, and you can hold each other accountable.

How do you sign up? Send us a DM on Twitter. That’s all!

Step Six: Go Forth and Kick Ass.

Go! Do great things! Achieve your goal! This should be easy, right?

Step Seven. Have a Quarterly review.

You and your buddy will review your goal quarterly and decide if it’s time to up the ante and pick a new or another goal.

If you’re joining in with MPC 2016, we strongly recommend you use this process to start things off. And if you’re not, well why not spend some time to be intentional about 2016 anyway??

As for a fitness program for January, we will continue with #K2C2 (find the blog for that here) and see how many more charity miles we can add to our tally. And for those who are #DoinTheirOwnThang, that’s cool too.

Let us know what you think. We would love to hear about your goals, your buddies, your achievements, your challenges, and your thoughts.

Happy New Year, friends,

Love your First Ladies,

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Linda, Ruth, and Sarah