6 Unconventional Fitness Tips

6 Success Tips for Unconventional Training

July 11, 2014
Updated April 12, 2018
Category: Fitness

Hello, my name is Carolyn Alexander and I’m proud to say that I’m 50 years old (ok not till next year) and I’m NOT one of those gals who’s afraid to tell her real age because I like to kick, streeeeetch, and flip tires!!!

Getting Results with Unconventional Training

Getting Results with Unconventional Fitness

We need to embrace who we are right now and be proud of it. That includes what you are doing to keep yourself strong, fit, and healthy no matter what type of training or workout program you are doing. If you are doing nothing, nada, zip, then keep reading and hopefully I can inspire some of you.

If you have come to realize that running on the “hamster mill” while watching TV is not really getting you the results you are looking for, then I hope to inspire some changes in you as well. If you are a fitness professional and or coach, then I hope to share with you some of my coaching tips and ideas that have kept me going all these years.

6 Success Tips for Unconventional Training

Success Tips for Unconventional Fitness

Before I began coaching many moons ago, I used to be a professional fundraiser. During one of our training sessions I learned about the “6 Success Tips.” Since then, I have been applying them in my own life and sharing them with my athletes that are serious about making a significant change in their own health and fitness-related endeavors (I slightly revised the tips to keep it fitness related):

Success Tip #1: Set a Goal:

Be clear about what it you really want here.

Success Tip #2: Make a Plan:

Write it down and draft up a weekly/monthly and possibly for the year plan.

Success Tip #3: Get a Coach/Trainer:

If you cannot afford a personal trainer, join a gym that has small group training because the instructor or coach along with your workout buddies will keep you accountable.

Success Tip #4: Keep Records/Journal:

There are many ways to do this and your coach can help you. By keeping track you will begin to see progress and this will keep you motivated when the going gets tough. It will also help your coach “adjust the sails” of your workout program.

Success Tip #5: Do Not Procrastinate:

Start now. People have often told me that they are going to start doing a little “cardio” on their own first and then start training with more of a focus and when they are in better shape. After years of coaching, this is one of the most often used excuses I hear.

Success Tip #6: Good Attitude:

This is highly important because there will be times when you may have some challenges and having an attitude like Ms. O’Malley may just help you get over those hurdles.

Like the phrase “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” the above tips, when applied, can help you achieve what it is you want. The key word is applied. You have to decide to first.

How to Stay Motivated with Unconventional Training

Ok, now that you have seriously decided to make a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, it’s time to get to the “meat and veggies” of how to stay motivated. First you need to stop doing the same thing over and over again. That is boring and it does not work, period. I suppose it is better than sitting on the couch doing nothing, but as far as improving your health, you will plateau and in some cases like the “cardio queens,” you will actually do more damage to your body.

Even as a new trainer in the 1990’s, I fell into the trap by “going to the gym” and doing “cardio” on some days and then “weight training” on other days. I also went through a phase of teaching spin classes 8 hours a week. I had some variety, but I was not learning anything new. I was “going for the burn,” and all that silliness we thought was good back then.

Eventually, I started to get more into high intensity circuit training and having my husband as a coach (Success Tip #3-Get a Coach) that served in the Marine Corps, our workouts started becoming a mix of indoor and outdoor exercises. We also started training for the annual Mud Run that is held on the military base. My goal was to be able to do this race with full Boots and Utes (Success Tip #1-Set a Goal). We called our training back then FUNtional Cross Training and C-Training (Carolyn’s Training).

Unconventional Training Workouts

My favorite exercise is the Burpee. Many people do not like them, but they are effective and convenient and if you cannot get to the gym or are travelling you can just knock out a 100 for time. If you are new, try 50 to start. You just need yourself and some rockin’ music and go.

Here is a fun video I did in 2009 for a 100 Burpees for time challenge. Even though it is an older video, it is an example of where I was at the time and when I really started to track my performance. I am happy to say I am even faster now (Success Tip #4- Keep Records).


Below is an unconventional workout I do as an example; hopefully it will inspire some of you.

‘TBT’ (Toes-Burpees-Tires)

A1: Run – 500 meters
Toes 2 Bar* – 21 reps
A3: Burpees – 21 reps
A4: Tire Flips – 21 reps

B1: Run – 500 meters
Toes 2 Bar – 15 reps
B3: Burpees – 15 reps
B4: Tire Flips – 15 reps

C1: Run – 500 meters
Toes 2 Bar – 9 reps
C3: Burpees – 9 reps
C4: Tire Flips – 9 reps

Record your time.
*Toes to bar are when you hang from a hollow position and swing your toes to the bar above and touch the bar with your toes.

So, are you inspired yet? What are you waiting for? Get started now (Success tip #5-Do not Procrastinate)! Once you have decided to make a change, get focused, and most importantly have fun with your workouts!

Carolyn Alexander owns and manages with her husband Jeff, a personal training and fitness consulting business called Network Fitness. They are based in the Irvine/Newport Beach/Costa Mesa area of Southern California and have been serving the community since 1998. Over the years they have grown and seen certain fitness trends come and go. They've tried to glean the best practices, principles, and tools from the fitness world and bring them under one roof, hence the name ‘Network Fitness.'
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