Something for Everybody

Although some of our programs at PSF may seem intimidating or “not something you can do,” they shouldn’t be.  Our programs can be performed at any level and at any intensity for results based on your specific goals. You don’t have to be an athlete to “train like an athlete”!
Functional movements simply make you stronger and more agile for whatever your goal and whatever level you’re starting at.

I recently read an article in the September 2013 edition of “Consumer Reports on Health Newsletter” on staying nimble through functional training.  The article describes how functional fitness focuses on strengthening your everyday movements rather than simply building your muscles. The primary movements in functional exercises are: pushing, pulling, bending and squatting, single-leg movements, and rotational movements. We experience these movements everyday—I actually challenge you to think of a movement that doesn’t fall into one of those categories!  So, our workouts are based on incorporating these movements in several different ways through multi-planar, multi-joint movements, rather than staying in one plane of motion (such as a seated row or a chest press on a bench).

The article in Consumer Reports (entitled “Bend, Reach, lift – with Ease”) also focuses on the benefits of functional training for older adults.  “It’s being increasingly marketed to older adults, and for good reason. As we get older, our bodies naturally lose muscle, mobility, and flexibility, which in turn can impair our ability to live life to the fullest. Simple tasks such as carrying groceries or putting away dishes can be taxing…think of (functional training) as training with a purpose.”

You already walk and cycle – isn’t that enough to stay in shape as you age? “Walking, cycling and other aerobic activities are important for your cardiovascular health, but they don’t stem the decline in muscle. For that you really need strength training. In a small study that was sponsored a few years ago by the American Council on Exercise, older adults who followed a functional-exercise program for four weeks experienced greater improvements than those who did a traditional strength routine.  They improved their shoulder flexibility by 43%, significantly increased their lower-and-upper body strength, and improved agility and balance,” states the article.

So when you see the training at PSF and think, “I can’t do that crazy stuff,” the truth is – you already do that “crazy stuff” everyday. Our training method is simply mimicking the movements you already perform – just with some different (and perhaps crazy-looking) equipment!

Are you ready to try a our training programs?

I’d love to work with you and help you understand what you are capable of!

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NO COMMITMENT = NO SUCCESS. COMMITMENT IS THE FOUNDATION OF SUCCESS

For over twenty years I’ve been helping  people change their lives for the better.  Because of this I get frustrated when I see gyms using advertising telling people that they can get results with “NO COMMITMENT”.  The Superbowl was last week and the Olympics have just started.  Do you think the coaches of any of these athletes said, “I don’t want any of you to make a commitment to reach your goals. Let’s just hope for the best and feel free to drop out any time if things get difficult.”  Or possibly you made that statement to your spouse before getting married?  Nothing worthwhile will ever be achieved without you making a commitment.  The Legend of Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez makes this point.

The phrase “Burn The Ships” comes from the Legend of Cortez. Cortez landed in Mexico on the shores of the Yucatan in 1519.  In the story Cortez came with only one objective…seize the great treasures hoarded by the Aztecs. Cortez was committed to his mission, he convinced more than 500 soldiers and 100 sailors to set sail from Spain to Mexico, commanding 11 ships, to take the world’s richest treasure. How would a small band of Spanish soldiers in a strange country swiftly overthrow a large and powerful empire that was in power for over six centuries?

For Cortez, the answer was easy. It was all or nothing.  Complete and Total Commitment. Cortez got the “buy in” from the rest of his men by taking away the option of failure. It was conquer and be a hero or die trying.  When Cortez and his men arrived on the shores of the Yucatan he rallied the men for one final pep talk before leading his men into battle, and uttered three words. “Burn the Ships”.

His men were shocked, but he repeated, “Burn the ships, if we are going home, we are going home in their ships”. With that, Cortez and his men burned their ships, and by burning their own ships, the commitment of the men was raised to a whole new level. A level much higher than any of the men, including Cortez, could have ever imagined.

Cortez and his men conquered the Aztecs and had succeeded in something where others had been unsuccessful for six centuries. Why did they win? They had no choice! It was “succeed or die”. Their ships were burned. They had no way to get back.

To “really succeed” you must have an attitude much like that of Cortez and his men. Cortez and his men did not have a “crutch”, an “excuse” or “fall-back position”. They couldn’t just say “this is too hard, let’s forget the whole thing”. It was simply “succeed or die”. Pretty strong position, isn’t it?  What do you think you could achieve with that level of motivation and commitment?

Now don’t get me wrong.  We don’t want our members to drop from exhaustion, but we ask them to commit to exercise even on days they may not feel like it.  These members know that they will reap the rewards from their workouts and always feel better when they’re through.

Our most successful members are in Unlimited Small Group Personal Training and they make a year commitment.  These are the people who have lost 20,40, 60 pounds or have gone from being able to do no pull-ups, to 20 with a weighted vest.  Why? Because they made the commitment.  Everyone has a rough week once in a while and wants to give up, but because they’ve committed to us we’ve committed to them.  We’re going to keep them on track and help them reach their goals no matter what it takes.  They’ve made the commitment to stick with it for the year and not give up when it gets a little hard sometimes.  So make the commitment.  We’re here for you and we’ll be there when you reach your goals.  BURN THE SHIPS!

Tony

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Something for Everybody!

Although some of our programs at PSF may seem intimidating or “not something you can do,” they shouldn’t be.  Our programs can be performed at any level and at any intensity for results based on your specific goals. You don’t have to be an athlete to “train like an athlete”!
Functional movements simply make you stronger and more agile for whatever your goal and whatever level you’re starting at.

I recently read an article in the September 2013 edition of “Consumer Reports on Health Newsletter” on staying nimble through functional training.  The article describes how functional fitness focuses on strengthening your everyday movements rather than simply building your muscles. The primary movements in functional exercises are: pushing, pulling, bending and squatting, single-leg movements, and rotational movements. We experience these movements everyday—I actually challenge you to think of a movement that doesn’t fall into one of those categories!  So, our workouts are based on incorporating these movements in several different ways through multi-planar, multi-joint movements, rather than staying in one plane of motion (such as a seated row or a chest press on a bench).

The article in Consumer Reports (entitled “Bend, Reach, lift – with Ease”) also focuses on the benefits of functional training for older adults.  “It’s being increasingly marketed to older adults, and for good reason. As we get older, our bodies naturally lose muscle, mobility, and flexibility, which in turn can impair our ability to live life to the fullest. Simple tasks such as carrying groceries or putting away dishes can be taxing…think of (functional training) as training with a purpose.”

You already walk and cycle – isn’t that enough to stay in shape as you age? “Walking, cycling and other aerobic activities are important for your cardiovascular health, but they don’t stem the decline in muscle. For that you really need strength training. In a small study that was sponsored a few years ago by the American Council on Exercise, older adults who followed a functional-exercise program for four weeks experienced greater improvements than those who did a traditional strength routine.  They improved their shoulder flexibility by 43%, significantly increased their lower-and-upper body strength, and improved agility and balance,” states the article.

So when you see the training at PSF and think, “I can’t do that crazy stuff,” the truth is – you already do that “crazy stuff” everyday. Our training method is simply mimicking the movements you already perform – just with some different (and perhaps crazy-looking) equipment!

Are you ready to try a our training programs?

I’d love to work with you and help you understand what you are capable of!

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Learning and Growing

During one of our training sessions one of our members said something to me that has yet again inspired me to write a blog. The beautiful thing about the fitness business is that you forever continue to learn and grow.  As many of you know, Tony and I were recently in Atlanta meeting with some of the top trainers and gym owners in the country.  The purpose of the trip was to learn as much as we could to continue to deliver the results that our members expect and deserve.  We continue to grow our knowledge through training workshops, seminars, and schools.  We also learn everyday from you, our members.

One of our members recently said to me that one day she noticed how many different movements she performed throughout the day that could be related directly back to an exercise we had her perform in the gym.  She noticed while house cleaning she was lateral lunging.  While at work she was rotating the same way we do the limited rotations.  She was squatting, pulling, pushing, and bending throughout the day and noticed how efficient she was getting at these movements.   I explained that not only is weight loss achieved with the workouts by burning as many calories as possible, but also the type of training we perform was designed to improve her  mobility,  strength,  flexibility, and cardiovascular health;  all simultaneously.

I thought it was cool that one of our members noticed and could relate all of the exercises to everyday life.  Our members are learning and growing  with us!

Kip

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Your Body is a Barbell. No dumbbells, no barbells, no problem.

We steal stuff.  I would like to tell you that Kip and I stay up all night coming up with crazy stuff to do to you guys but it isn’t true.  Yes, we do analyze the latest exercises, break down what is fact and what is fiction, but rarely do we come up with something that someone, somewhere, hasn’t tried before.  One of my favorite trainer/authors Dan John said in one of his books that all trainers steal.  Nobody can claim coming up with any specific exercise or routine because we all take things from each other.

And with this I will introduce you to our latest blog.  I stole it.  It’s from another one of our favorite trainer/authors Alwyn Cosgrove.  Alwyn is one of the top trainers in the county and has taught around the world.  Instead of me putting my spin on this, I thought I would give it to you straight from someone much smarter than I. Tony

Muscles are just plain dumb. Despite their ability at some level to perform amazing Cirque De Soleil type feats, muscles only ‘know’ two things – stretch and tension. They can’t differentiate between stretches (whether the stretch is coming from yoga or from Taekwon-do kicking) or types of tension.

Let’s talk tension. As far as a fitness enthusiast is concerned, muscle tension comes when you place resistance on the muscles. And it doesn’t matter what form that resistance takes. You see, as far as the muscles are concerned, resistance is resistance is resistance. The muscles have no idea what form the resistance takes, whether it is a dumbbell, a resistance band, a barbell or your bodyweight. True, free weights are superior to machines when it comes to building strength, but it’s because free weights require you to stabilize the load in three planes, not because the weight on the muscles is any different. In fact when you think about it, the only reason to ever use external load (i.e. weights) is because your bodyweight is not enough resistance. Yet most guys are making exercises harder by adding external load, when they aren’t capable of handling their bodyweight in the same exercise. I’m constantly amazed by how many people I meet who can bench press whatever pounds of weight, but are unable to perform 10 correct push ups (typically due to a lack of core strength and synergistic muscle stability. As far as I’m concerned – unless you can do an easy twenty push ups, you have no business getting under a bar for bench pressing. In my training facility everyone begins with bodyweight exercises. You have to earn the right to lift weights in my facility.

Now I’m sure some of you are jumping up and down right about now, convinced that your bodyweight is not enough for you to get a ‘good workout’. You think you’re much too strong. And you’re probably right. If you’re an Olympic Gymnast that is. Remember – most gymnasts use primarily their bodyweight in their conditioning programs and have no problem developing great physiques and great strength levels. I’d go as far as to say that most gymnasts have better physiques than most weight trainers. And these guys train exclusively for performance – not for mass or aesthetics. Nick Grantham CSCS, former conditioning coach to the Great Britain Olympic Gymnastics team noted that the majority of male gymnasts, after years of bodyweight training could typically bench press double their bodyweight the first time they ever tried it. If that’s not evidence of the efficacy of bodyweight training then I don’t know what is.

The key to effective bodyweight exercises are the same as with any exercise – time and tension. We need to select exercises that load the muscles effectively through the entire range of motion, and select a speed of movement that eliminates all momentum.

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TiVo / DVR Your Workouts!

Real world time commitments are definitely a factor in shaping our exercise programs. The bulk of our clients over the years have been regular people. For a national level bodybuilder, or any professional athlete for that matter, training is a way of life. Their entire eating, moving, and sleeping habits are built around supporting their training.

The majority of our members at PSF are real life working adults who have hectic schedules. Their lives are not designed to support their workouts. Most people we work with have serious time commitment issues. They can only get to the gym for three hours per week, or can only get two sessions in per week because of occupations and schedules. So, over the years we’ve come to realize that there are superior styles of training that make more sense or are far more effective with individuals that have time limits. We have had to change our programming and minimize or eliminate the old school version of training.

One of those old school styles are straight sets. We rarely do them.  For time management reasons, we always use the alternating set or, super set system. We do exercise one for a set, rest a few seconds or as much as needed, exercise two for a set, rest a few seconds or so, and continue. We’ve yet to hear a convincing argument for the superiority of straight sets in the situations I described.  Actually. it’s hard to find a convincing argument for straight sets in most situations.  Olympic and professional athletes from all sports, golfers following the exercise protocols from the Titleist Performance Institute, and people trying to lose weight as efficiently as possible on the Biggest Loser follow the same exercise principles that we do.

TiVo or, DVR is a digital video recorder that allows you to tape shows and watch them later. The beauty of it is that you can watch a one hour show, cut out the commercials, titles, and credits, and get all the meat of the show in about 40 minutes.  In other words, you eliminate the BS. You can either watch the same amount of TV in less time or you can get more TV in.

So, one of our philosophies is we try to eliminate the BS in the workouts. We time the rest periods to make sure they aren’t too short or too long. We sequence the exercises to maximize the benefits and eliminate any redundant movements. This allows us to shorten the workout and get you out of the gym faster, or to find more time for some more exercises for areas you want to focus on.

Eliminating any redundancy or wasted time in our clients’ workouts allows us to do what our clients expect us to do. Produce results in the most effective, efficient, safest, way possible!  Spend less time, get more out of it!

 

Kip

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Treadmills and Elliptical Machines: Outdated Dinosaurs of the Gym!?!

Yes, I said that.  Have I lost my mind?  Am I throwing all the cardio equipment out the door?  Before you panic, let’s take a look at who uses these machines and why.  The number one goal of over 95% … Continue reading

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