Fitness Ridge Day 16, aka Biggest Loser Malibu


6:00 AM stretch…FUCKING CANCELED!  I am very salty this morning.  Very, very salty, salty, salty.  They canceled the 6:00 AM stretch so they could do a circuit training class for all the newbie’s.   What a bunch of straight bullshit.  I am gob smacked that a company which has booked 80+ guests this week would make such a rash and stupid decision.  In any given week 25-30 people are “stay over guests”, these are people who have committed to multiple weeks, in any business they should be a valuable client base, but in this place they are apparently just chattel, we have your money and you are stuck here.  I am not looking forward to the hike this morning, my body is sore, and I feel like ass, I think mentally I’m ready to go home.  A bit of buyer’s remorse is occurring. 

8:00 AM Hike to Latigo Trail.  Today is assessment day.  Every Monday people are reassessed for their hiking groups for the week.  Our van this morning was comprised completely of stay over guests.  The hike was not very challenging, yet it was tough for me because I was in a bad place.

The hike starts with an ascent form the parking lot to a low ridgeline; it felt like I was starting the hike on Zuma ridge.  Every step from the onset of the hike was painful, my calf muscles, my quad muscles and my hamstrings felt like…shit.  No other way to describe it the technical term for how my legs felt was, shit.  Shitty, shit, shit shit.

Without the morning stretch it took me almost 50 minutes into the hike before my body felt warmed up.  During this entire time I was questioning my choice to stay longer, in fact I was feeling ready to call it day and just fly back home.  What was truly unbelievable was that the hike wasn’t difficult; it was one of the easier hikes I have been on.  The trail connects to Castro’s Crest trail, which is one of my “favorites”.   Our group was moving fast enough that we not only went to the creek crossing on Castro’s Crest but started the ascent up to the peak of the ridge.  With the hike’s based on time and not distance it was necessary for us to turnaround before we reached the meat of the Castro’s Crest ascent. 
By the time we started our return to the Van I was feeling better but not great.  

The return hike was interesting, I was walking over trail that I didn’t remember crossing, I had been so wrapped up in my own self-pity that I had blocked out the trail.  It wasn’t until the final descent that I recognized the trail.  I was given a lesson in attitude, and focus.  How could have hiked miles without retaining what was around me?  Unfortunately, this was not the end of my crappy attitude, but the hike had provided a temporary relief from my own bullshit.


11:15 am Mountain with Sam.  Sam was just what the doctor ordered.  I was in dire need of a motivated, intense cardio session to completely loosen my body up, and get my head straightened out.  Mountain is the cardio session which requires you to increase your intensity on a cardio machine every 3 minutes for 12 levels.  Sam’s delivery of this class is fucking awesome, the best sessions I have had in the gym are when Sam is conducting the class.  I don’t know if it’s because we know his story, or his ability to maintain an intense workout, or if I have a man crush.  Okay it’s the man crush.  I had initially planned on trying to get to level 50 for the peak of mountain, in the process of pushing beyond my own limitations, I found myself working up to level 60.  The sweat breaking across my brow was refreshing, this sensation alone started to put my mind back into a more positive place. 

I think I was helped by having James on the arc trainer next to me.  James is a middle aged mad man, he has to be the hardest working person here, and he is intense every session for the entire session.  This guy kicks my ass on the hikes; he and Kent have become the trail leaders of our group. 

1:15 PM PT with Sam.  Regular ass kicking’s by Sam have become common place.  I was concerned about another miracle mile today, or some medicine ball ass kicking, or some boxing to wear me out, alas he found a new way for me to dry heave.

We started by grabbing various sized small dumbbells, a weight bar, and a medicine ball.  He wanted to work out outside today.  What a great day to get your ass kicked outside!  We started simply with walking lunges, walking sidesteps, walking squats, and reverse lunges, did I mention I was traveling over 30 yards, holding the weight bar. 

Next I had to do various combinations of sprints.  The first set of 5 was a straight sprint across 30 yards.  I must confess my present sprint looks like too old people having hot sex.  The speed is relative to most people’s jog but when you are over 330 pounds it’s hard to muster more velocity.  The second set of 5 sprints I started on my feet then jumped down to a push up position and jumped up to run the 30 yards.  Set three of the sprints I started on my back and rolled over to my front and ran 30 yards.  All these runs were timed, and I had to continue to beat my time or there would be more.  Set 4 of the sprints started with 5 suicides.  For those who didn’t play sports growing up suicides are “fun”, you run ten yards and then back to start, run twenty yards then back, run thirty yards, and sprint hard to finish line.  Set five of the sprints I started on my back and ran 5 more suicides.  



I was given a slight reprieve from my runs.  The 15 lb medicine ball became my new best friend.  The entire field is around 100 yards.  I was given the medicine ball and told to do a squat and press the ball forward, then chase ball down, pick it up and do it again.  In order to return to the start line from the other end of the field I would have to pick up the medicine ball and thrust it over my back light a catapult, again chase it down pick it up and do it again. 

We did this drill across the entire length of the field 5 times.  Each pass got harder because Sam would get in front of the ball and redirect it which made me have to run laterally adding distance to my overall travel.  I must have looked like a retarded bull chasing after some red object that the bullfighter kept throwing away from him. 

There were a few more drills afterwards which I don’t recall, it was hot, I was sweaty, and tired.  We finished the session with 10 sprints up a small hill.  What was originally supposed to be 7 sprints with 10 second breaks, and 3 sprints with 3 second breaks turned into something different.  On my third sprint I tripped on a rock and rolled my ankle, I actually fell down and rolled on the ground.  Karma is a bitch.

I thought I sprained my ankle; I was able to get up and tried to figure out if I could walk.  After a few minutes I walked back to the line in pain, and tried another sprint up the hill.  Coming down the hill hurt more than the going up.  After a couple more sprints the pain started to subside.  Starting with run number 6 Sam had me get into a three point stance.  Think NFL offensive lineman.   Each sprint I performed got better, and stronger.  He was motivating the hell out of me to push harder and work harder.  Whatever he said was what I needed to breakthrough again.  The final sprint was my best one, I actually felt like I was moving fast enough to be considered a sprint.  This of course earned me another one.  My last one was the best one of the day.  

Let the dry heaving being, unfortunately this was not capture on video.

2:30 PM Circuit Training.  After my session I came back to my room for some fruit, and to ice my ankle.  I lied in bed with an ice pack around my ankle, and fell asleep.  I missed the class, which actually was a big emotional help because John was teaching the class, if I had gone to this class his incessant talking would have driven me to homicide. 

3:30 PM Core with Meghan.  This was the first class in a long time which was beneficial for my core.  Meghan is a great instructor, she explains things, and knows how to give you a good workout.  She is tiny, and says she’s pregnant, yet I don’t know where because she doesn’t look pregnant at all.  Even with her size she can crack a whip.  It was a much needed session on my back, with all the work being crunches, butt raises, planks, and superman’s my ankle was able to get a much needed rest.  My core is becoming stronger. 

4:30 PM Circuit Training with Corrine.  I started the class with the intent of staying with the class; it’s hard to stick to the class tempo.  Time is always lost to the transition periods.  After the first weight training cycle I made the decision to just keep moving and not wait for the class.  This allowed me to get in at least 6 extra cycles of cardio and weights.  

I found that I am weaker than the first week.  It was hard doing more than 10 dumbbell rows with the 50 lb dumbbell, the week before Fitness Ridge I was able to do 20 reps.   On the cable row machine I could barely do 15 reps with 120 lbs, when the first Monday I was here I did 20 with 140 lbs.  Again protein consumption is a major issue here; I don’t know how they can offer some type of alternative. Everyone who is a doctor who is either here or has been here agrees that 5 oz of protein is not enough for an adult male.

5:30 PM my first chiropractic appointment.  For the most part I used to believe that Chiropractors were all quacks.  I have changed my mind slightly.  Dr. Ray is a former body builder, and power lifter, who has become a chiropractor.  He told me that he decided to become when he used to be a power lifter his visits to a chiropractor would allow him to lift 50 extra pounds of weight after an adjustment.  I don’t know what he did but the numbness in my left finger is gone, and I am able to rotate my right arm with it feeling like it gets stuck.  I am going to have a session with him on Friday to help loosen up my shoulders again but who knows this could all just be in my head.

6:30 PM Deep Tissue massage with Stacy.  My body needs a long deep tissue massage.  She was able to help loosen up my hamstrings and calf muscles.  After the Chiropractor and the Masseuse I am feeling loose and better about my last week.

It’s incredible how much my emotions have changed today about my final week.  I think I have accepted that I am here one more week.  I further realize that I have to get my ass in gear tomorrow to make up for my shitty day today.  This entire week is going to be a test of mental fortitude.  I am running on fumes, want to go home, but still have a job to do.  Tomorrow morning will be a new day, and another chance to commit myself to excellence. 

By for now…


  1. Hang in there. Next time they cancel a class like that, lead your own. You have the tools and knowledge to stretch on your own. This just helps prepare you for going home and needing to find the strength to work out by yourself. (truth be told, I would have been pissed too but trying to look at it with a different spin!)

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