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Summer Strength Challenge: Week 1

Welcome to WEEK ONE of the six-week Get Your Rear in Gear® Summer Strength Challenge!

Summer Strength Challeng Week 1Over the next 42 days we will work together to improve fitness, core strengthrecovery, and nutrition. Sami and Jerry Mansfield will guide you through each challenge to help feel healthier and stronger for summer, or even get you ready for your next Get Your Rear in Gear event!

your coaches

This program is for EVERYONE! Activities are designed for all fitness levels, with special attention to patients looking to maintain strength during treatment, kick-start a path back to health, or looking to build strength.

Each week features a fitness and core challenge along with nutrition tips, and ways to help your body recover after exercise.

Your goal is to complete these 3-5 days per week. Are you new to exercise? Start with every other day. More seasoned exercisers should aim do these challenges five times each week. All exercises will take less than 15 minutes and can be done anywhere! Don’t forget to track your progress!

At the end of our 42 day challenge you will have many exercises that can be adapted and modified to meet your fitness level. In the last week, everything you have learned will be put together to help maximize your energy, focus, recovery, and lifestyle!

Before we start, write down six habits you would like to change during these six weeks. As we move through the challenge, implement one new thing you try, and remove one habit you have been wanting to change. Each week review your list. Write down one action you have taken to meet your goal!

Let’s Get Started*

Week 1

scroll down the page to watch a video with complete instructions

FITNESS | 100 Squats for Time

It’s up to you how much and how often to rest, but the objective is to complete 100 squats in the shortest amount of time possible! The video at the bottom of the page includes a demonstration and modifications.

Simple squat tips:

  • Weight should be in your heels.
  • Chest should be upright. If you’re wearing a t-shirt, you should be able to see any writing in a mirror.
  • As you stand to full upright position, squeeze your glutes (aka – “bootie”) and pull your belly button into your spine.

Summer Strength Challenge Squat

CORE | Tabata Plank

20 seconds of work, followed by a 10 second rest for 8 rounds (just 4 minutes!). You can find great tabata apps or online ways to time yourself. Again, check the video for modifications.

Plank tips:

  • It is acceptable to start at a more challenging level and adjust as you get tired.
  • Keep your feet together, tighten your thighs and glutes, and pull your belly button toward your spine as you hold the plank.
  • Don’t forget to breathe!

Summer Strength Challenge Plank

NUTRITION | Calculate and track your protein intake

Proteins are the building blocks of muscle mass. Protein will help you gain muscle, which will increase your strength and metabolism.

Protein also helps the immune system stay strong. Immune system powerhouses such as antibodies and immune system cells rely on protein so they can do their job in fighting off sickness. It helps you stay full by providing satiety messages to the brain.

In the fitness and wellness setting (unless you have any pre-existing kidney conditions) the goal is to consume .8 to 1 gram of protein based on your ideal body weight.

Calculate your daily goal off your “ideal” or reasonable body weight.

  • If you are a female who currently weighs 175 pounds, but a reasonable goal would be 150 pounds, use 150 as your baseline.
  • Calculate 150 pounds x .8 – 1 gram per pound of ideal body weight. For the 150 pound person that number is 120- 150 grams per day.
  • Use pen/paper or an app like MyFitnessPal to track your protein intake.

RECIPE No Bake Protein Balls

½ cup nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew etc.)
½ cup oatmeal ground into flour
¼ cup honey
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together and blend well. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then use a small scoop or spoon to form into balls. If you use a vegan protein, add water or unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons at a time until mixture is smooth. Makes 22 balls. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition per 2 balls
Calories 166
Fat 9.8 g
Carb 12.9 g
Protein 9.2 g


Lastly, and most important, is how you help your body heal and repair. We recommend you invest in a foam roller which has many benefits for sore or tight muscles and scar tissue. You can find them online or at many local discount retail stores. No foam roller? Use a softball or freeze a water bottle to use for the recovery exercises throughout this challenge.

This week we will start with your quads, the muscles on the front of your thighs. Lie face down on your roller and move up and down the thigh, if you are using a water bottle, sit on a chair and press the water bottle back and forth across the thigh. Do this for 1 minute on each leg or 90 seconds on both.

Next, sit down on the floor or in a chair and place your roller or a ball under the glutes, at the point where your hip meets the back of your thigh. Roll back and forth using your arms for support if you are on the floor or sitting on a chair. Complete 1 minute on each side!

Have a great week!


If you’re a colorectal cancer survivor in the Kansas City area and interested in participating in a Cancer Wellness for Life class, you can connect through the WeBuild4Life website.



*As with any exercise program, talk to your doctor before starting.

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