Finish Strong!

This father/son team has fans around the world. Maybe this video of their story will help you to finish the challenge strong!


Triple Threat Core Workout

Kelly Pettit, staff contractor and certified personal trainer, recently led challenge participants through this effective core workout.  Keep these moves handy so you always have a workout that targets the core.  Remember, all movement starts from the core.   From getting out of bed in the morning onward, our core initiates all the movements that take place throughout the day.  Hope you find this helpful!

Triple Threat Core Workout

Do each exercise, within a circuit, for one minute total (30 seconds each side, if applies) before moving on to next exercise. Go through the circuit 3 times before moving on to next circuit.

Circuit #1


2) Reverse Crunch

3) Wipers

Circuit #2

1) Single Leg Squat and Press (use med. ball or weight)

2) Get Up and Press (use weight)

3) Core Twist (use weight)

Circuit #3

1) Diagonal Chop (use med. ball or weight)

2) Plank Rock and Hold

3) Bicycle (alternate speed)

Back Work – 1 set only

Superman, legs lift only – 20 reps

Superman, arms lift only – 20 reps

Superman, arms and legs lift – 20 reps

Feel free to email with any questions.

Congratulations to NPMI 70.3 Ironman Finishers!

Congratulations to Philip Duffie, Joel Thomas, Anna and Michael Simmons, Krista Glasscock and Cliff Atfield for finishing the Augusta 70.3 Ford Ironman event on September 26.  Their perseverance throughout a rainy 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run and added 6,834 fitness points to the NPM Atlanta Challenge total!  Way to go!

Thank you, Cliff Atfield, for sending along these great action shots from the event.  Who’s in for next year?

Run/Walk/Run Method Works for Everyone

Jeff Galloway, winner of the inaugural Peachtree Road Race, Olympian, coach and native Atlantan, developed the Run/Walk/Run method of running. His method is great for all levels of runners, from the beginner to the elite endurance athlete. His evidence shows that people using this method continue to improve in pace while staying injury free, dispelling the myth that walking = weakness. Give it a try this fall as you enjoy the beautiful weather!

Getting Started and Sticking With Exercise

Article courtesy of

Here are some tips and tricks to fit exercise into your life in simple, painless ways.

Start Small
Exercise is not an all or none endeavor. It is a continuum. Keep in mind that a little is better than none and you can do something today, so don’t worry about what you will do next month. This perspective is hard for anyone who expects a lot from themselves and sets long-term fitness goals. Don’t expect results overnight. But do expect to take small steps every day.

Start Where You Are
Your exercise program doesn’t need to be elaborate. It doesn’t require you to join a gym or sweat for an hour every day. Look at your current routine and you may discover you already walk 15 minutes at a time taking the dog around the block or walking to the store for milk. That’s exercise. You can use that as a jumpstart and add another 5 minutes or walk at a faster pace — start from where you are.

Go Low Tech
Technology is a wonderful thing, but much of it reduces us to very lazy people. If you want to fit activity into your daily life, just go low-tech and you will probably burn another few hundred calories a day. Walk or ride your bike for errands, take the stairs, mow your lawn with a push mower, give up your television remote and actually get up to change the channel, walk down the hall to your co-workers office rather than calling.

Surround Yourself with Good Role Models
If all your friends are couch potatoes, odds are you will have a hard time becoming active while hanging out with them. If you surround yourself with people who are healthy and active, odds are it will be easy for you to stay active as well. Peer pressure is a wonderful thing if you use it in positive ways!

Set Weekly Goals
Check in with yourself each week by setting attainable, yet realistic goals. Try to set a plan to go faster, farther or longer with your routine. You can even set nutrition goals such as getting 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Your goal can be as simple as taking a daily 15 minute walk or as intense as completing your first marathon. Only you know what is realistic for you.

Try Something New
If you always try to start a walking program, and always drop out after a few weeks take heart. It may not be the exercise you can’t stick with but the type of exercise. You may need to try a variety of activities before you find one that you really like and want to do long-term. Sign up for a yoga class or snowboarding lesson. Try running or biking instead of walking, go with others or go alone, try exercising at different times of the day. Keep your options open and find exercise you enjoy so you never view exercise as a chore. It should be fun and fulfilling!

Write it Down
Keep an exercise log book. Simply writing down what you did, how long and how you felt can be great motivation. Not only can you view your progress and look back at your accomplishments, but you can plan ahead and decide where you want to be in a week, a month or more.

Psychology of Exercise
Some people enjoy being distracted while exercising while others prefer to pay attention to how their body feels while exercising. Try both tactics and see what works best for you. If you’re new to exercise, being distracted by music, television, reading material, conversation or a personal trainer may help you stick with it. After you’ve been exercising a while it may be helpful to pay attention to your body sensations. Athletes often focus on their breathing, cadence or body movement to stay focused.

Make Exercise Part of Your Daily Routine
Rather than trying to go to the gym, or squeeze in more time for exercise look for ways you can add exercise to what you already do. Walk the dog, bike to the store or to work, do crunches or push-ups during commercials, pedal your exercise bike during your favorite TV show, meet friends for walking dates rather than dinner & drinks. If you are creative, you will realize you don’t need to change your routine much to fit exercise into your life.

Find a Buddy
Even if this person doesn’t exercise with you, let someone know of your plans and goals to help support your efforts. Making yourself accountable to another is a great way to keep you honest about your success and challenges with starting a new exercise program.

Make Exercise a Priority
If your exercise plans and goals are at the bottom of your priority list, you will never reach them. Period. You have to believe that this is important enough to make it happen. Take a serious look at your words, desires and behavior. Do you always talk about wanting to get active, but never actually do anything about it? If so, you are only fooling yourself and continuing the cycle of helplessness. Get honest with yourself about what you really want and how much you are willing to work to make it happen. You’ll be surprised how easy it falls into place once you put your energy into action rather than excuses.

Bob Hempen is First Staff Member to Reach 10,000 Points!

We asked Bob to tell us how he did it, and here’s what he had to say:

“I have a pretty robust workout schedule that I have followed for years. Most of my motivation always comes from within, and at times that motivation can get stale. I found that the Atlanta Challenge really gave me some outside motivation to try some new things, increase my intensity and add some training times to my weekly schedule. Many of my fellow staff have been training for various marathons, triathlons and other races, so keeping up with them was a great boost for my workout as I tracked my fitness points against the ‘competition’. I look forward to next year’s challenge.”

Congratulations, Bob!

Improve Your Sit and Reach Score with This Stretching Routine!

Stretching is an important part of any workout routine.  It helps increase your flexibility and reduce your chances of injury.  It’s best to stretch the muscles you’ve used after your cool down although, if you have any chronically tight muscles, you may want to stretch those after your warm up as well.  Below are some common stretches for your lower body including your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and hips.  Do each stretch at least once and hold for at least 15 seconds (more if you have time).  Each stretch should feel good.  If you feel any pain, ease up and go slower.

Instructions Example
Hip/Glute Stretch
Cross left  foot over right knee.  Clasp hands behind right thigh and gently pull the leg in towards you, keeping upper body relaxed.  Switch Legs
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Hamstring Stretch
Lie on floor with knees bent.  Straighten one leg and slowly pull it towards you, clasping the thigh, calf or ankle.  Keep knee slightly bent. Switch legs.
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Inner Thigh Stretch
Sit on floor with feet pressed together.  Keeping abs in, lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your inner thighs.
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Lunge Stretch
In lunge position, rest back knee on the floor, with front knee at 90 degree angle, abs in.  Gently press forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the leg/hip. Switch legs.
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Kneeling Hamstring Stretch
From above lunge position, slowly move backward until leg is slightly bent. Bend forward at the hip, keeping back flat until you feel gentle pull in the back of the leg. Switch legs.
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Piriformis Stretch
Begin on the hands and knees and bring the left knee in, resting it on the floor between your hands (you should be on the outside of the knee).  Straighten the right leg out behind you and, if you can, bend forward and rest the forearms on the floor.
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Knees to Chest
Lying on the floor, pull your knees into your chest and clasp your hands under your knees.  Gently press your hips to the floor.
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Knee to Chest
From above position, straighten one leg and pull the other knee into your chest until you feel a stretch in your hip.  Switch legs.
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Calf Stretch
On hands and knees, straighten your legs, but keep them slightly bent.  Gently press one or both feet towards the floor, keeping back flat and abs in.
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Kneeling Calf Stretch
On hands and knees, bring the left foot in between the hands and gently press the knee forward while pressing the heel towards the floor.
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Spine Twist
Lying on the floor, place right foot on the left knee.  Using your left hand, gently pull your right knee towards the floor, twisting your spine and keeping left arm straight out, hips and shoulders on the floor.  Switch sides.
Quad Stretch
Lie down on your side using elbow for balance.  Using other arm, slowly pull your foot towards your glutes, keeping both knees together and bent knee pointing down.  Switch legs.
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