Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

That time I did squats with Eminem back when he was just Marshall

Totally the birthplace of a CHAMPION squatter.
Kemper's last day at Lifetime Fitness was about three weeks ago, which means I have been anticipating working out with him for roughly 21 days. When I say "anticipate" I mean I was equal parts seriously excited to learn to squat and see Kemper but also horribly terrified of the workout because Kemper said once in passing that training with him would be "really hard". I may have been projecting my own fears into that innocent statement, but I found myself looking forward to this training session the way I "looked forward" to childbirth: just survive the process so you can enjoy the results.

I mentally prepared for the workout by listening to Beastie Boys Ill Communication in the Ford Flex on the drive over. I cranked it up as high as it would go and white girl rapped along because, just like Mike D.,  "I freak a funky beat like the stuff* was in a blender." 

(*stuff - suburban mom edit.)

(I also got lost on the way because I don't have GPS I got off on the wrong exit and took a lovely little tour of Detroit Metro Airport. Also on the unscheduled stop list: 7-11 because I drink a crapton of water and have a nervous bladder so I had to freaking use a 7-11 bathroom which means I probably now have flesh-eating virus, hepatitis A, and E.coli.)(Also, don't ever Google diseases you can get using a public restroom.)(There are things out there you can't unlearn.)

I knew right away when I drove past Kemper's house because there was a giant tire in his driveway. (I immediately cemented an inner vow to one day flip that tire over while pretending Elliott Hulse's camera people were filming me for Strength Camp videos.) Kemper trains out of his garage, which ups the excitement factor considerably, because already I would be that much more removed from my normal life at Lifetime, and that much closer to being best friends with Elliott Hulse and training barefoot without air conditioning like a beast.

When I walked into the garage Kemper was all, "Well, here it is," and as I looked
around, do you know how I felt? I felt like I was watching Eminem perform at the Shelter in '97. If that makes no sense to you whatsoever, you probably don't live in Michigan. (Haha - it probably doesn't make sense to people who live in Michigan either.)(Welcome to my brain.) Eminem used to rap in local clubs (like the Shelter) before he got big. Whenever I daydream about owning a time machine (what everybody daydreams about, right?) I think about going back and seeing Eminem before he became EMINEM. (And also meeting Jesus in the flesh. I'm not a total heathen.)(Yes I am.)(But I'm totally saved by grace and would use the time machine to meet Jesus first so don't worry, Sister Wife Rose who will call me out on all this.)

Standing in Kemper's garage, seeing how he has created this full working gym with his stamp on it, and it's so clean and organized, and even though he was playing crappy music music I would not have chosen* (which hey, we can forgive him for because he was born in the 90's when all the great music was already coming out)(*mental note to buy Kemper some Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Green Day, Weezer, Pearl freaking Jam, and I can not even start on the great hip hop of that time)(yes I can - Notorious B.I.G., Cypress Hill, Warren G and Nate Dogg, House of Pain, and *guilty pleasure* COOLIO because GANGSTA'S PARADISE - NEED I SAY MORE?) I felt like, standing there, I was getting to experience the beginnings of something ... big. Because when you take the kind of drive Kemper has and mix it with his passion for fitness and genuine care for his clients - well, I really believe this guy is going to succeed far above the average suburban trainer. I felt like I was getting to experience something special; the humble beginnings of a dude that could one day command $500+ an hour for training services. So being in Kemper's gym it was like I was watching Eminem perform at the Shelter back in '97 - get it?

Of course I was totally overwhelmed by all those thoughts (and I had to go to the bathroom again) and so all I said was , "Wow, this is really cool, Kemper," or something else entirely lame that didn't give away ALLTHETHOUGHTS crowding my brain.

Kemper had me warmup with some jogging in place and jumping jacks. Then he had me do some leg swings (I'm sure that's the technical term) to loosen up my hips and legs so I could do what I came to do: SQUAT.

Squatting. Was. Amazing.

It was seriously everything I wanted it to be. 

Someday, Meatheads, someday.
I did a few light sets while Kemper corrected my form (I have a tendency to tuck my pelvis under right before I come up) and then he started piling on the weight. The most I squatted at Lifetime was 50 pounds. The Olympic bar alone is 45 pounds. Kemper upped it to 65. Then 85. Then 95. I did my final set of 8 reps at 105 pounds.

I still haven't stopped smiling, and I can't wait to do it again at Lifetime.

After squatting Kemper had me do a variation of a Romanian deadlift using a 45 pound plate and superset it with something I lovingly call "The Mermaid". I'm sure this particular exercise has a real name, but it involves laying on your stomach with a stability ball squeezed between your feet and raising your feet up and down while you curse at Kemper in your head. The best part of this whole move was that when I got up, my entire silhouette was outlined in sweat on the mat below. 

It was super attractive.

Next I did some reverse lunges with kettlebells superset with 30 seconds of plie squat jumps. By this time I had to take off my glasses because I was sweating too much to keep them on. Also, they were fogging up. No joke. Probably my biggest nerd moment in history. Werkin' it.

Kemper ended our session with some corrective squatting with a band around my legs (above my knees) while holding onto the squat rack to help fix my propensity to overcompensate for my bad left hip flexor by using my right leg in all sorts of funky ways. We used this time to chat about our mutual love for Elliott Hulse and fangirled together.

Then Kemper said something totally misleading like, "It's time to stretch," and I assumed the hard part was over. 

Now, the man knows I have hip flexor issues. We also talked a little bit about tight quads being the root of the twinge I feel in my left leg when I do lunges. So, being the amazing trainer he is, he set out to help relieve that tightness with a stretch straight from Hell.

The first one wasn't so bad. It targeted my hamstrings and glutes and was uncomfortable but alright. Next he had me take a runner's lunge position. He took my foot that was on the floor and raised it behind me until I yelled, "UNCLE!" it was at the limit. Next, he had me push my foot against his hand for a count of three, deceptively let me relax and then raised it even higher. He did this twice. Then he repeated the whole thing on the other side. 

It was then I knew that Kemper was lucky I was incapacitated because I'm pretty sure even though he is strong enough to take me under normal circumstances I was fueled by enough OHMYWORDIHATEYOUSOMUCHRIGHTNOW pain that I could have kicked his A all the way to Toledo. Which? Was about a 45 minute drive away.

But afterwards my legs felt fantastic and I forgave him immediately, so don't worry, we're still boyz.

We ended our session with him looking through my food journal because for the second week in a row I gained .2 of a pound and I'm not playing around with that mess. (Can I just say that there is no use with secrets once someone has seen your food journal? It's easily one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had.)(I feel like I have Tourettes while he is looking at it because I'm constantly yelling out things like, "BUT I DIDN'T EAT THE BUN!" and "I KNOW IT WAS MCDONALD'S BUT I GOT THE SALAD!" as his eyes scan the page.)(Awesome.)

The general consensus is that I need to eat more. I'll plan on adding a few hundred calories of good quality food on the days I work out twice. Twist my arm.

So there you have it. I came, I saw, I squatted. Life is beautiful.

(*Kemper, your music doesn't suck that much.)(Seriously, what do I know? I'm an old lady with awesome taste in music.) *insert smiley face emoticon so you know I'm messing with you*


  1. Kelly you are Epic!! Can I borrow Kemper... Oh wait I live in California well crap if you guys ever want to visit we could do a Cali boot camp ;)

    1. Ohmylanta I am so on board for this! You are the first stop on the Kemper/Kelly Squatting World Tour ;-)

      (Afterwards we will go see a good concert together, right?!)

    2. It'll be a coast to coast tour! YES. Anyone from the heartland want in?!


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