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Weekly Challenges


By | Blog, Enrichment, Enrichment for Adults, Games, Ignite! At Home, Ignite! At School, Ignite! In The Workplace, Interventions, Memory, Weekly Challenges, wod | No Comments

This is one of the most complex processes in the brain because it involves many different parts of the brain.  We can break memory down into three responsibilities; 1. Absorption of information 2. Storage of information and 3. Retrieval of information.

Absorbing and then storing information is called “encoding” which calls upon the brain’s pattern recognition system to identify the stimulus then classify it.  The third responsibility, retrieval, operates on three different time lines; immediate recall (a few seconds), delayed recall, (minutes or hours) and finally remote memory (years).

Enhancing Memory

Play around with different memory techniques such as Story retell, Person Action Object and Memory Palace, using a variety of stimuli (words, numbers, pictures, names and faces or a deck of cards).  Practice memory retrieval without cues to strengthen memory.  For example a common studying strategy is to read a page of notes over and over until it feels familiar.  This gives the brain a false sense of owning the knowledge because the brain has learned to predict what comes next while reading.  So when called upon to produce the information on that page of notes without a visual cue, the brain is lost (for most individuals).  Retrieving information that hasn’t been stored through ‘free recall’ practice is like trying to find your keys when someone else has put them away.

Memorizing digits of Pi


Numbers themselves carry little meaning however meaning can be given to numbers so that they are easier to understand.

Try chunking this long string of numbers into meaningful images.  For example the first 5 digits can be looked at as a pattern 31415, so give that pattern a name.  Try using dates (ie 92 was the year you got married) or an athlete’s numbers (ie. 35 is Justin Verlander). Think of hotel room numbers you have stayed in, the price of a significant purchase, an address, or a phone number. The more detailed the abstract, the more emotions attached to it, the easier it will be to retrieve.  Once you have broken down 54 digits of Pi into 10,15 or 20 meaningful images, the next step is to practice associating your meaningful images to their corresponding digits.  Caution, the more items you have the more demanding it will be to keep them all in order!

Your task is to be able to recall all 54 digits after a 2 minute delay.  Keep a log of your encoding sessions (record which numbers, on what day and how long you spent turning chunks into meaning) and your retrieval sessions (record the number of attempts and the number of digits you were able to successfully recall after a 2 minute delay).

Here’s an example of a training log for this activity:

Day 1 Sequence – 314159265

Encoding time: 8 minutes

Retrieval after 2 minute delay: 9 digits after 4 attempts


Day 2 Sequence – 314159265  358979323

Encoding time: 7 minutes

Retrieval after 2 minute delay: 18 digits after 6 attempts.


Complete an intense combination of exercises during the 2 minute delay for even more brain benefits!

Post results to comments

Logic, Organization and Planning

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Logic, Organization and Planning are referred to as “higher order” brain functions which means they are dependent on other processes to be effective. Organization for instance relies on working memory to juggle multiple pieces of information while trying to place them in a specified order.  All three functions have to work together to carry out definitive actions in response to specific situations.

It’s logical for a grocery store to organize similar foods in one aisle to help shoppers plan their route and get all the items on the list.  Like an organized grocery store, finely tuned higher order functions improve the decision making process by decreasing the time it takes to retrieve relevant information and to come to an accurate conclusion based on the appropriate type of thinking for the situation, either emotional or logical.

Enhancing Logic, Organization and Planning

Invest your time in creating systematic procedures before starting any project or task.  Chunking a large project into smaller more manageable pieces is a valuable approach and can decrease the stress that often comes with feeling overwhelmed by the size of a task.  One of the most widely used and effective procedural systems is the Scientific Method. A problem doesn’t have to be a science experiment for this procedure to be used.

1.) Ask a question. When you become skilled with the Scientific Method you’ll know how to ask the RIGHT questions.

2.) Do a background search.  A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  Look out for ‘sexy’ facts and eliminate as much uncertainty as possible.

3.) Construct a hypothesis. This is your action statement, keep it simple and clear.

4.) Experiment. Play around but above all see your experiment through to the end before making an evaluation.  

5.) Reflect on the findings. Immature minds use a pass/fail evaluation.  (I can do a pull up or I can’t do a pull up.)  Be a mature thinker and search for bright spots, lagging skills and next steps.

Try the following logic, organization and planning puzzles

For kids

Test yourself



By | Blog, Creative Writing, Enrichment, Enrichment for Adults, Games, Ignite! At Home, Ignite! At School, Ignite! In The Workplace, Language, Memory, Public Speaking, Reading, Weekly Challenges, Writing | No Comments

The brain uses two separate processes to piece together language; Encoding and Retrieval.  Encoding starts with letter recognition such as shape and sound which is then used to develop word recognition and ultimately ending in meaning and understanding.  This can also include encoding verbal, non-verbal and body language from others.  Retrieval on the other hand, also termed ‘Expressive language’, is the brain’s ability to express thoughts into words, name things, and execute word finding.

Enhancing Language

Increasing the time spent with words and exposure to a variety of words develops associations and connections within the brain. Individual attention with each process is needed in order to improve one’s language skills.

To improve encoding one should read, learn new words, learn a new language, use mind maps to attach details to a main idea, and play word search puzzles to mention a few.

To improve retrieval skills one should retell a story, name pictures, play crossword puzzles, play categories or any other activity that requires the individual to retrieve previously stored information using associations or free recall.  An example of retrieval using associations would be asking an individual to name or classify a picture seen on a flash card.  For free recall, remove any visual, auditory or kinesthetic clue to help them retrieve the right information.  An example being the verbal fluency activity which asks the individual to name as many items from a particular category.

Try these language puzzles during your workout today.

1.) Encoding Word List

2.) Retrieval: Every minute on the minute, name as many items from each category as possible. 1 point per word, discount repeats and plurals.

1st minute: Farm Animals

2nd minute: Zoo Animals

3rd minute: School Supplies

4th minute: Gym Equipment

5th minute: Food

*Mix in a round of your favorite movement during one or more of the minutes for maximum brain benefits!

Your Attention, Please!

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Our brains are capable of carrying out a number of attention tasks and are shaped by environmental and developmental factors.  When developmental factors such as motivation, past/prior experiences and current knowledge base interact with different environmental situations our brains begin to adapt by strengthening the attention skills used most often. Simply put, how we spend our days shapes what we pay attention to and how efficiently these processes function.

Attention has two degrees “passive” (daydreaming in class) and “active” (when a teacher calls our name) and can be broken down into five types:

Normal: the act of being engaged and focused on a single task.

Selective: the act of being engaged and focused on a single task while blocking out some other stimuli.

Divided: the act of performing multiple tasks simultaneously, one passive and other active. Ie. Doing homework (active) while the television is on (passive).

Alternating: the act of shifting attention that pique interest during two separate tasks requiring active attention, happening at the same time. Ie. Overhearing a conversation while reading a book.

Concentration: the sustained act of being engaged and focused on a single task over a certain amount of time.


Enhancing Attention

Being able to recognize and then predict what attention skills will be needed to complete a task efficiently are the first steps to enhancing concentration, focus and attention.  From there it’s all about practice through play.

Try out the following Attention Puzzles for time.  Puzzles 1 and 2 will challenge alternating attention because it requires you to shift between letters and numbers.  Starting at A draw a line to number 1, then from 1 to B and so on.  Puzzles 3 and 4 will challenge alternating and selective attention by having to block out random symbols that are not relevant to the trail.  Finally, Puzzle 5 will challenge a combination of all types of attention. Complete this grid by writing the coordinates beside each letter (A = R7,C4)

*Complete these puzzles after each round of a short and intense workout for maximum brain benefits!




Today’s BrainWOD: “Brain Gone Bad”

By | Enrichment, Enrichment for Adults, Ignite! At Home, Ignite! At School, Interventions, Math, Memory, Reading, Weekly Challenges, wod | No Comments


Warmup: 20 reps for time of:


Then, “Brain Gone Bad”:

Spend exactly one minute at each station before moving to the next.

Rest exactly one minute between rounds.

Perform 3 rounds for maximum points.

Station 1: Memory Cards (one minute to memorize)

Station 2: Addition Worksheet

Station 3: Subtraction Worksheet

Station 4: Word Search Worksheet

Station 5: Memory Cards – one minute to recall cards (any order.)

Worksheets can be drawn from anywhere. This is one good resource.

The Ignite NeuroMotive Coach Certification in El Paso on Saturday is almost full! You can register for both the live course and the Online course by clicking here.

Ignite BrainWODs are comprised of 7 phases (the Ignite 7 Steps.) The above can be used on its own for a fun challenge, or incorporated into the 7 Steps for optimal benefit.

The Ignite 7 Steps are outlined in Enrichment Through Exercise, and taught in our NeuroMotive Coach Certifications. 

Ignite Worldwide Challenge

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Welcome to the Ignite Online Worldwide Challenge!

Below you will find all of the rules, movement standards, resources needed, and demo videos required for this competition. All results must be e-mail to jarret@ignitegym.com by 4pm.

Good luck, and have fun!

Challenge #1
Competitors will be given an opportunity to memorize a number, then perform one round of Cindy:
5 pull ups;
10 push ups;
15 squats;
After one round of Cindy, the competitor will report to their judge and the competitor will be expected to restate that number correctly. The competitor will continue in this manner until they are no longer able to correctly recall the number. For example, in round one the competitor be allowed as much time as necessary to memorize one, 2 digit number, perform one round of Cindy, and report to the judge to correctly recall the number. At the start of round 2, the competitor will receive a new 2 digit number to memorize. Every third round, the number that the competitor is required to memorize will increase by one digit.

Challenge 1 – Cindy Recall Numbers
Once the athlete can no longer successfully recall the number set given to them, their score is posted as the last successful round.
Time Cap: 20 minutes.

Demo Video

Scaled Exercises
Competitors may:
– Use a band to do pull-ups, or perform body weight rows;
–  Perform push-ups with their knees on the ground, while only lifting their upper body off the floor until arms are locked out;
– Use a box or medicine ball to squat onto.

Challenge #2: Fran-amatics
21 Thrusters
21 Pull-ups
Complete 21 questions
15 Thrusters
15 Pull-ups
Complete 15 questions
9 Thrusters
9 Pull-ups
Complete 9 questions
In round one, competitors are expected to perform 21 thrusters and 21 pull ups then complete 21 math questions – there is a specific sheet designated for round 1, they must use that sheet, for that particular age group. Once all 21 math questions are complete, the competitor may move on. In round two, competitors are expected perform 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups and 15 math questions. Please ensure that competitors are using the worksheet designated for round 2 for that particular age group. In the exact same fashion as the first round, they may move on once all 15 questions are complete. In round three, competitors will complete 9 thrusters, 9 pull-ups and 9 math questions. Please ensure that competitors are using the worksheet designated for round 3 for that particular age group. Once competitors are finished all 9 math questions, the challenge is complete. Competitors may skip questions if they are stuck; however their score is dependent upon the number of correctly answered questions. Competitors may not go back to previous round questions to change the answers or work on missed questions. For example, if a competitor skipped a question in the first round of 21, once they move on to start their 15 thrusters, they are no longer allowed to attempt on questions on that first sheet.

Challenge 2 – Franamatics age 3 to 5 Questions

Challenge 2 -Franamatics ages 6 to 8 Questions

Challenge 2 – Franamatics ages 9 to 11 Questions

Challenge 2 – Franamatics Ages 12 plus Questions

 Demo Video

Post total time and number of accurately completed math questions.
Competitors receive 2 seconds off their Fran time for each successful math question answered.
Ages 12+: Thrusters – Male: 65lbs, Female: 45lbs
Ages 9 -11: Thrusters – Male: 35lbs, Female: 25lbs
Ages 6-8: Thrusters – Male: 15lbs, Female 10lbs
Ages 3-5: Thrusters – Male and Female: PVC
Rep Scheme
Ages 9+ will perform the prescribed number of reps for each exercise: 21-15-9

Ages 3-8 may scale if necessary to the rep scheme of 15-12-9
Scaled Exercises
Competitors may
– Reduce the weight for thrusters;
– Perform banded pull-ups or body weight rows instead of pull-ups.
– Answer any question on the sheet associated with that particular round.
– Use a scrap sheet of paper to perform calculations

Challenge #3

3 Rounds:
1 minute to memorize words…
Then 5 minutes to complete the following:
30 Mountain Climbers
20 lunge jumps
5 Forward Rolls
Bear Crawl 10 meters
Find all of the words you memorized before the exercise in a word search with the remaining time in the round.
Each competitor starts with memorizing the words from the word list only – competitors are not yet allowed to use the word search. The competitors will have one minute to memorize the words in the particular word list – there is a word list assigned to each age group; ensure the correct list is being used. After the minute is up, the competitors will have a total of five minutes complete the assigned amount of reps for each exercise – when all reps of each exercise are complete they now have the remainder of the five minutes to find the all of the words they memorized in the word search. Once the five minute time cap is up, they will repeat the first step of memorizing words from the word list only (no word search). After the minute is up the competitors will have five minutes to, again complete the workout and in the remaining time will search for all of the memorized words.
Post the amount of words found in the word search at the end of the workout.

Challenge 3 – Ages 3 to 5 Word Search

Challenge 3 – ages 6 to 8 Word Search

Challenge 3 – Ages 9+ Word Search

Demo Video

Scaled Exercises
Competitors may perform:
20 walking lunges instead of 20 lunge jumps;
10 stink bug push ups or a 30 second handstand hold instead of 10 HSPU;

5 log rolls instead of 5 forward rolls.
Ages 3-5: 10 words

Ages 6-8: 20 words
Ages 9+: 30 words

Ignite Online Challenge – Standards of Movement

Ignite Online Challenge Score Sheet