Monday, July 6, 2009

FLAB Flashcards

My current training program is Fat Loss Action Blueprint (FLAB) by Jon Le Tocq. I find it very challenging. To be honest it surprised me, because I'm no stranger to working hard. In fact, I tend to come up with superwoman workouts in my head and on paper; sometimes I have to back off when I get to the gym and I'm reminded by my body that I don't have super powers. I find Jon's approach refreshing because it's not just another "me too" fat loss program in the mass of on-line options. Jon takes this stuff very seriously. It's interesting to me how little he actually talks about fat loss when it comes down to it. His approach is geared more toward conditioning and performance improvement, which means that when these two facets are focused on and taken up a notch the fat loss occurs more as a result. If you are not a casual exerciser and are ready to take your training to the next level I would suggest this program for you. Just so you know, he also addresses nutrition, which is critical. More on that later. While I would already recommend the program, it's a little too early in my own progress with it to do a comprehensive review, but I had an idea and wanted to go ahead and share it.

To explain how it works, in FLAB Jon divides the workouts into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, so really anyone who is ready to get with it can do this program on some level. In addition, for each level, he provides a broad selection of workouts using bodyweight, dumbbells or kettlebells and some other tactics with lightning intervals in between. He gives the framework for workout selection and scheduling. You make the selections, and then you're set in motion competing against yourself over a period of time, so progression and improvement occur. This is a genius set up because it positively forces the progression component.

I love it, but have four issues. Actually, my family might say that I have more than four issues, but we won't ask them.

  • I am a restless soul and when faced with so many selections I want to try them all (the workouts).
  • Recently I have been getting sabotaged by my schedule/location. For instance, I must do kettlebell work at home and dumbbell work at the gym just to have access to the right equipment and I don't always land where I intended.
  • When my schedule gets derailed, I tend to gravitate toward favorite workouts or those of convenience, which doesn't support progression very well.
  • I'm unbalanced; meaning I am more advanced with dumbbell work, less advanced in bodyweight work, (particularly upper body strength) and I am still learning kettlebell skills and optimal form.

So I came up with a plan! I decided to make myself some FLAB Flashcards! They are color-coded by bodyweight, dumbbell or kettlebell. Then they are labeled based on level (beginner, intermediate or advanced). In putting together my first stack of choices, I've included the levels I can handle right now, which is beginner and intermediate for bodyweight, all three levels for dumbbell and beginner for kettlebell. This enables me to quickly choose a card based on color depending on whether or not I am heading to the gym or staying home for my workout. Also, I already know that I should be able to do any of them because I've left out (for now) the levels I haven't mastered. As my skill increases, I'll add those level of cards into the deck. I can add a little excitement by choosing at random, or go in a methodical order. Either way, once the workout is done, I am placing it aside so that I get a full round of various workouts. Once I've gone through them all, I'll see if I can add more levels and shuffle the deck again. I plan to make notes on each card so that by the time it comes back around I can try to beat my time, increase my weight, etc. to keep the progression up. They are nothing fancy as you can see; just homemade. I like being able to choose the cards without seeing the workout. Keeps it fun and also keeps me honest. The full workouts are written on the other side of the card with more room for notes. I also added a few "wild cards" which are typically full-body circuit style workouts which I might choose at random just to give myself a change. Also, I have "finisher" cards which I still need to label upper body and lower body. These are add-ons to a workout if I have energy left and might be anything from kettlebell snatches to leg finishers such as a series of bodyweight squats, followed by jump squats, followed by squat holds.

This isn't exactly what Jon Le Tocq prescribes, but it's working for me. I think as long as I'm working hard, keeping the intensity up, progressing and performing like an athlete, he won't mind!

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Roundballnz said...


Sounds a brilliant idea - been sticking with bodyweight stuff so far myself .

Anonymous said...

Love it Kelley! What a great idea for mixing it up, randomly!

Please post a picture!

(You know some of us will be stealing your idea...especially one of who believes in "making your own luck"...)

Good stuff!!!!


that70sgrl said...

What a great idea K! I too would like to see pics! You can match them up with your TRX cards now! Those will be some KILLER workouts! Great info re. FLAB too!

Smoketheblowfish said...

K, great idea with the flash cards! You could even throw in a 10 Burpee card as a Joker!

Kelley Moore said...

Hi all, thanks so much for your comments and encouragement! Just posted a pic of my homemade cards for you to see. Nothing fancy of course - but works for me! The workouts are written on the opposite side, so I can't see them when I'm choosing!