What to expect when you first get (re)started at the gym….. part 1

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a great start to theirs so far.


I hope many of us have hit the ground running in an attempt to make good on our resolutions.

For some of us that might mean starting (or restarting) a workout regimen to lose those couple of extra pounds, or just to live a healthier lifestyle.

If joining a gym or starting a workout regimen is something new to you it can be scary not knowing what to expect.

I am here today to help give you some guidance to let you know what to expect as you work to make your resolution a reality.

Before Day 1: You set your goal.  Make it as specific and meaningful as possible.  The more emotional meaning you attach to your goal the more motivation it will provide.  A great example would be

“I want to lose 20lbs so I am healthier and can play with my kids.”

This kind of goal will be your road map and your motivation to stay on track and be successful.

Day 1:  You are excited, yet nervous to get started.  You might be afraid that:

  1. People will judge you
  2. You don’t know what you are doing

All of these things are your head and are resistance to the change you want to make.

No one will be judging you based on how you look, or the fact that you are a beginner.  Everyone is focused on their own goal that they don’t have time to judge.  Plus they can also relate to their first day in the gym.  If anything they are empathetic and are more likely to help steer you in the right direction.

For the second excuse I suggest hiring a qualified fitness professional.  They have the knowledge and experience to design the right program to meet your goals.

If you choose not to hire a professional make sure you go to the gym with a plan.  This will help you to not waste time as you know what to and where to go.  This will help you feel confident at the gym, and make you look like what you are doing.

I suggest starting with simple exercises before moving to more advanced ones.  Body weight movements such as squats, push ups, pull ups, crawls, ring rows, and planks are great exercises to start with.

Day 2: The soreness is real!!!!!!  No you are not hurt, your body is simply reacting to the new stress you placed on it.  Even the most simplest things like walking, going up and down stairs, and sitting down feel difficult.  I remember feeling that if I were to drop my wallet that I would just consider it gone forever, no matter how much money was in there.

I know that you will feel like you don’t want to move, but moving and drinking water are actually the two best things you can do alleviate soreness.

I suggest stretching and going for a 20 minute brisk walk, or a light jog.  This is a great way to actively rest and get the blood pumping through the body.  Trust me you will feel better.

Day 3:  Yes I know the soreness is worse!!!!  Do the same thing as Day 2.  Move and stretch.  You might also feel an increase in hunger.  This is good.  It is your body requiring more energy for exercise.

Day 4:  The soreness should start to subside enough to train.  Just note that this will be like Day  1 and start the cycle of soreness again.

This cycle of soreness will continue after each workout for about 2 weeks.  This is due to the fact that exercise is still new to us.  If you are dieting on top of training (which you should do) you will also find your self to be grouchy as your body will be going through withdrawal from all the bad stuff we used to eat.  Sounds like a fun combination right being grouchy and sore.

You will see as you continue to go through your routine that your soreness will become less, and that you will be able to train more often.  This is due to your body getting stronger and used to the exercises as well as us getting mentally tougher to deal with the soreness.

If you are able to weather the storm in the beginning you will see that the exercises become easier and you slowly see the results you desire.  Getting started is about conditioning the mind just as well as it is about conditioning the body.  But if we set great goals and attached meaning to them I am confident that you will make it to the other side of the storm.

Stay tuned for part two where we will discuss what to expect after the first week or two of training.

Just getting started and have questions about what to expect, or your training program?  I am more than happy to help.  Leave your questions in the comments below and I will answer them.



Training log 6/20

Well it’s official started week 1 day 1 of the program yesterday.  Got through all my testing last week.  Hit 280 for 5 on my deadlift and 125 for 5 on my over head press.

Now keep in mind these are not true 5 rm maxes.

With this kind of testing it is not about grinding through the reps.  I am not sacrificing form to squeak out one more.

Instead I am looking/feeling for changes in bar speed and form.

Jim Wendler even suggests that it is better to start off lighter than try to push heavier.  The hardest part is taking the ego out of it.


Yesterday started the program.  I just got an airdyne (for $100) over the weekend.  Did my first 20(ish) minute ride yesterday  morning.  Boy did that suck.

The first 10 minutes were OK, but needed to break a lot the second 10.  Guess my legs are that out of condition.  The airdyne is a necessary part of the program not just for conditioning purposes, but recovery as well.

Later on I hit the gym for my squat and bench day.  Everything felt good lifting.  Wasn’t sure how things were gonna go after working a double at my second job the day before.

I have also noticed that since starting to lift heavy again I have been wanting to nap more lately.  Not sure if it is because of the humidity we have had, or if they are muscle growth naps.

Have my second day of riding the bike, which I am so looking forward too (sarcasm alert) and a body weight circuit lined up for today.

I will check back in next week to let you know how things are going.

Why there is a time place for everything.

I finally broke down and did something I never thought I would do again……   I joined a gym.

I swear I only did it because I need access to heavy weight.

I am starting my off season rugby training program.  This is a time devoted to developing size and strength.

This means I’m getting back to the basic strength exercises of squat, dead lifts, bench press and over head press.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I am coming off a training phase based around a minimalist training program that used kettlebell and bodyweight exercises done either in a complex or a circuit.

The complexes allowed me to move fluidly and do a lot of work in a short amount of time.

That training style was more ideal for my in season needs.  At this point I needed to make sure I worked good movement to prevent bad movement habits from developing.

Bad movement can lead to poor on field performance or even an injury. 

 The kettlebell and bodyweight movements were just what I needed to recover, and maintain strength to prevent those things from happening.   
The kettlebell and bodyweight movements allowed me to address mobility, stability and retrain movement in ways I felt the barbell couldn’t.

At this point in my training I feel the barbell others me a better chance to increase my raw strength.

This doesn’t mean the kettlebell and bodyweight movements are completely out of my training, they just aren’t the focus.

The kettlebell and bodywright stuff are used on my non lifting days to help me recover, build volume, work as accessory exercises and keep me feeling athletic.

What I am trying to show you if that you don’t have to be married to one style of training all the time. 

There is no “bad program” out there.  But there is a time and place for everything.

Your training needs to reflect your goals.  As your goals change, so should your training.

I am excited to be back in the gym and touching heavy barbells again.  The time away from the barbell has me excited to get back to hitting a lifting routine.  

Don’t worry though, those complexes will be back in time for the fall season.

Training log

Hey guys new feature.  I am going to start sharing my daily training.  I will be following the Classic Jim Wendler’s weighted vest 5/3/1 program from his new book 5/3/1 Forever.  I will be following this for at least the next 10 weeks.  I am looking to put on size and strength for the fall rugby season.

This program will require 2 days of lifting, 3 days of bodyweight/weighted vest circuits and daily airdyne riding adding up to 30 miles per week.  I do not have an airdyne yet but am looking for one and should have one by this weekend.

I started the program yesterday.  This week will be spent finding my 5rm in the lifts.  Yesterday I found my 5rm for the squat and bench.  This will help me determine my training max for the program.  I did not work until failure, but once my bar speed slowed down significantly I did not go higher.

I built up to 245 on the squat and 205 on the bench.

Today I will be doing my first bodyweight circuit consisting of 5 rounds of 10 push ups, 5 chin ups, 10 kb snatch each arm with a 24lbs kettlebell.  This first 3 week cycle I will train without a weight vest.

Rest day tomorrow then Thursday will be my dead lift and over head press testing day.

Exercise….what is it good for?


Exercise is not the most important thing when it comes to losing weight.

People who want to lose weight tend to think the more they move the more weight they will lose.  This falls under the myth that our weight is controlled through the amount of calories we consume vs. the amount of calories we burn.

Target acquired.  Prepared to drop truth bombs

You can’t simply outwork a bad diet.  The fact is if you want to truly lose weight, paying attention to the quality of your nutrition is essential. But that is the topic for a future post.

Exercise, while not the most effective weight loss tool, plays a vital role in living a happy and healthy life.  Below we will take a look at the positive impact exercise brings to the table.

  1. Increased Strength
  2. Increase Mobility/flexibility
  3. Injury prevention
  4. Increased bone density
  5. Improves Cardio-vascular function
  6. Improves Coordination
  7. Metabolic effect
  8. Mental health

Increased Strength

It is necessary for us to  exert forces onto objects in this world.  We require to generate force when we walk or try to lift a 300 lbs barbell.   Hell we need to generate force just to keep our spine erect and stable.

Our muscles are what allow us to generate force.  It is through exercise that we are able to develop the muscle strength so we can exert force to manipulate objects and be able to move.

Athletes require the most force production.  Things like speed and power require athletes to be able to manipulate the ball, ground, their opponent etc. in a variety of ways.  This requires a lot of strength and force production from their muscles.

I am not saying everyone needs to be on the level of an athlete, but we should have enough strength to perform everyday tasks like carry groceries or put dishes away in the cupboard.

Increased Mobility/Flexibility

Technically this could fall under strength as well.  Strength is not just about how fast our muscles can contract and relax to generate force, but also the distance the muscle/joint can move.

When we talk about flexibility we talk about lengthening our actual muscles.  When we talk about mobility we talk about taking a joint through a full range of motion.

If flexibility and mobility are limited so is our strength.  Tight muscles prevent us from efficiently generating force.

Exercise is like the oil which helps us move.  Proper exercise should take our muscles and joints through their full range of motion which in turn stretch and strengthen muscles.

Keep in mind, like strength, changes in mobility and flexibility are gradual and you should see results over a period of time.


Exercise helps our body learn how to move properly.  Our bodies use groups of individual muscles to perform movement.

Muscle groups are activated by our central nervous system (brain and nerves) to perform movements.  These are called motor patterns.  The more a motor pattern is trained (muscle activation) the easier it becomes for us to do.

Many times I find that my clients have developed poor motor patterns from years of using wrong muscle groups.  This often occurs for two reasons.  One being muscle tightness that restricts movement. And two smaller muscle groups take over the workload of bigger muscle groups because the bigger muscle groups are not being activated or are weak.

This is most evident in the hip hinge (or dead lift) movement where people use their low back muscles instead of their powerful posterior leg muscles (hamstring and glutes) which are deactivated or tight from things like prolonged sitting.

Injuries can also effect motor patterns as we tend to compensate by using other muscle groups to perform a task that the injured area usually performs (i.e limping).  This is why therapy is important after an injury to strengthen and relearn motor patterns.

Exercise is a way for us to create a controlled environment to re-develop good motor patterns and to relearn proper movement.

Increased bone density

Loading the body with heavy weight helps our bones become denser.  Dense bones mean less breaks, and also helps prevent conditions such as osteoporosis.

Injury Prevention

The combination of strength, flexibility/mobility, increased bone density, and coordination goes a long way to helping us prevent injuries.


Increased cardio-respiratory function

Excuse me as I get sciency for a second.

Exercise helps keep our cardio-respiratory function running efficiently.

Our cardio-respiratory system provides us with two functions.

  1. Deliver oxygen throughout the body
  2. Expel the body of acid (carbon dioxide)

Our muscles require oxygen to produce energy so they can exert force onto objects.  Blood carries oxygen throughout the body

During exercise we place our body under stress.  In a stressed state we need to get oxygen to the muscles quickly.  This is why our heart rate increases, because we need oxygen rich blood to keep creating energy to complete our task.

The by product of using energy is acid.  Our body doesn’t like being in an acidic state and therefore needs to get rid of the waste quickly through exhalation.

The stressed conditions work to help our heart and lungs work efficiently to get oxygen rich blood into the body, and acidic carbon dioxide out of the body improving the health of our cardio-respiratory system.

Exercise is also great at lowering blood pressure as it requires the muscles to absorb sugar out of the blood to create energy.

Improves metabolic efficiency

More science on the way.

As I already  mentioned our muscles require energy to generate force.  Oxygen is one way we create energy.  Another way is through a natural sugar called glucose.

Glucose is the simplest way for us to make energy.  We get glucose from breaking down carbohydrates.  Glucose from carbohydrates are found in our blood, but get absorbed and stored in muscles and liver.  If all those stores are full that is when they get stored as lipids (fat) in the body to be broken down when our glucose stores run dry.

After an intense workout our muscles need to refill their energy stores so we are ready to perform any task that might come our way.

Glucose can either come from breaking down carbohydrates that we consume, or from lipid stores.

The hormone insulin helps the muscles absorb glucose out of the blood.

Now I can already here you saying “but Steve if our muscles break down fat won’t that mean exercise causes us to lose weight?”

Yes exercise does help us lose weight.  But nutrition plays a more important role.

While exercise increases our efficiency to absorb glucose, you can’t continue to overfill the glucose stores in the muscles because then they get stored as lipids.  Controlling sugar intake is vital to keeping this in check and no  matter how much you exercise you can’t escape this.

Exercise improves mood

Exercise not only helps us physically but  mentally as well.  Exercise is a great way to deal with stress.

When we exercise it offers us an escape.  For a brief amount of time we are able to take our mind off of what is going on in our lives, and are forced to be in tune with our body to hit a PR lift or just get through an intense workout.  It’s like a daily mini vacation.

On top of the mini vacation it offers a release.  Exercise, especially of the intense variety, requires us to generate force.  Exerting our force onto something does wonders to help us relieve stress.

This is why people love to hit the heavy bag after work or scream into pillows.  These actions are forceful and help us to relieve pent up stress.

Exercise also helps us release endorphin hormones.  Endorphins give us a euphoric feel.  Some people call this a “runner high.”  These endorphins are natural anti-depressants that allow us to develop more self-esteem and happiness.

Exercise is a great self-esteem builder by itself as well.  Seeing ourselves progress by lifting more weight, or performing new movements (or movements we never thought we could do again) plays a major role in improving our mood and feeling happier.

Although exercise might not be the weight loss tool we all thought it was, it plays a vital role in keeping us healthy and happy.


101 Exercises to do with your Kettlebells

Ever wonder what you can do with a kettlebell?  Well today I am going you 101 different kettlebell exercise ideas that will help you develop great workouts to burn fat and build muscle.

If you have been following my blog it’s no secret that I absolutely have fallen in love with kettlebells.   To me kettlebells offer freedom in my training.

They offer the freedom to:

Workout anywhere

The versatility and small size of kettlebells have allowed me to create my gym in my tiny living room.  My neighbors down stairs absolutely love this  (not really).

Because of their small size kettlebells are my favorite workout accessory. 

 I love taking them and training everywhere.  Some places include in the street, at the park, and even at the beach because after all “suns out, guns out”.

The best part is none of these gyms make me pay a membership fee ;P

Train in a variety of ways and just allow my body to move naturally (press, row, hinge, squat, carry, floor work, and twist)

Kettlebells provide access to many exercises that are excellent for developing strength, conditioning, joint stability, mobility, and burning fat.

They allow you to get creative with movement.  The kettlebell has a beautiful way of flowing around the body making it easy to hit every muscles without having to travel to a ton of different machines.

The possibilities of exercises you can string together are endless.  This makes each workout fun and fresh.

Here are 101 exercise suggestions to help get you started.  I can’t wait to hear some of the challenges you come up with using these exercises.

  1. Swing
  2. Clean
  3. clean and press
  4. goblet press
  5. floor press
  6. goblet squat
  7. single arm swing
  8. single arm over head press
  9. single arm floor press
  10. single arm clean
  11. single arm snatch
  12. single arm swing
  13. single arm clean and press
  14. single side squat
  15. rack squat
  16. double bell swing
  17. double bell snatch
  18. double bell clean
  19. double bell clean and press
  20. swing burpee
  21. 1/2 turkish get up
  22. turkish get up
  23. Reverse turkish get up
  24. vertical crunches
  25. 90/90 crunch
  26. forward farmers lunge
  27. goblet lunge
  28. rack lunge
  29. single arm opposite side lunge
  30. single arm same side lunge
  31. single arm over head lunge
  32. over head lunge
  33. walking lunge
  34. renegade row
  35. curl
  36. bench press
  37. sea saw press
  38. bent over row
  39. arm bar
  40. sea saw row
  41. single arm row
  42. halos
  43. figure 8s
  44. farmer’s carry
  45. over head carry
  46. waiter’s carry
  47. single arm farmer’s carry
  48. single arm over head carry
  49. single arm waiter’s carry
  50. farmer’s/over head carry
  51. farmer’s/waiter’s carry
  52. waiter’s carry/over head carry
  53. thruster
  54. split squat
  55. walking swing
  56. pistol squat
  57. cossack squat
  58. side lunge
  59. side lunge to halo
  60. single arm kneeling over head press
  61. rotational thruster
  62. single arm thruster
  63. rotational press
  64. double bell thruster
  65. around the worlds
  66. reverse lunge
  67. wood chops
  68. russian twist
  69. bicycle sit ups
  70. rack holds
  71. over head holds
  72. farmers hold
  73. iron cross hold
  74. lateral raises
  75. front raises
  76. sumo dead lift
  77. skier swings
  78. suitcase dead lift
  79. high pulls
  80. sumo dead lift high pull
  81. Romanian Dead lift
  82. bottoms up kettle bell press
  83. bottoms up waiters carry
  84. bottoms up over head carry
  85. bottoms up turkish get up
  86. squat hold curl
  87. squat hold chest press
  88. squat hold curl to chest press
  89. windmill
  90. dips
  91. push ups
  92. mountain climbers
  93. plank
  94. L-sit
  95. swing with a row
  96. lunge holds
  97. side bends
  98. single leg dead lift
  99. Plyo push up
  100. uneven push up
  101. diamond push ups

Have a favorite kettlebell exercise that didn’t make the list?  Let us know in the comments section below.  Have fun and train hard!

Why you need to pay attention to your aches and pains

If you suffer from chronic aches and pains then stay tuned because this will be the best thing you read all day.  I will tell you why you need to stop ignoring  your aches and pains and why you need to start addressing them.

Pain is not normal.  Pain is a signal that something is wrong.

We like to ignore our aches and pains.  We try to be some tough guy that thinks the pain will just go away miraculously.   

I mean I don’t know how many times I have been told “just walk it off”

Instead of addressing the issue we let it develop into something more serious.

Outside of a freak accident (like a 1,000 lbs tire dropping on your knee) addressing your aches and pains early can go along way to preventing serious injuries from happening.

For instance non-contact ACL injuries.

These kinds of injuries are 100% preventable and make me mad to hear that this happened.

It’s not like these people just made one bad cut on the field and the ligament tore.  There are warning signs that this injury can happen.

Do your knees collapse in toward the body?

Are you pigeoned toed?

Are the inside of your legs tight?

Do you feel pain and tightness in your hips?

All of these are signs of muscle imbalances that cause our joints to move incorrectly; which leads to unnecessary pressure on our joints, resulting in pain and ultimately injury.

Most aches and pains are a result of muscles being tight or weak.  This leads to improper movement patterns. 

The the tight muscles over power the weak ones causing these imbalances to happen.  These imbalances can cause Bones to move and twist out of position.

Imbalances can occur between the muscles in our front, back and either side of our body.
All of the above can cause serious wear and tear on muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones that make up our joints.  Once they get so worn they will just give up.

Ever have an itch somewhere and when you go to scratch the area it doesn’t take care of the itch?

Pain works the same way.  The area you might feel pain may not be the location where the dysfunction is.

For example people who feel knee pain might be in the knee, but that’s not where the issue is.  

Often times it is imbalances in the hips that cause the leg to either be pulled in to the body or away from the body putting pressure on the knee.

What can you do to correct these imbalances.

The simple answer is stretch what is tight, strengthen what is weak.

Here are a few ways you can accomplish that

Foam Roll

Massage the areas where you are tight.  This will help to release knots that form in our muscles that restrict our movement and cause pain.


Our muscles can shorten when they are in a contracted state for a long period of time.  The most common one tends to be our hamstrings from sitting.

Stretching is a great way give length back to your muscles and help eliminate pain and prevent injury.


Stability holds are a great way to build strength in our joint because it put our Bones in proper alignment and force.our muscles to hold them in position. 

For the lower body I  love single leg exercises that force me to balance.

Balancing causes the lower body to align into the proper position and activate the correct muscles.  

 If we didn’t use the right muscles and align the joint correctly we would feel umbalanced and would fall over.

Start simple with just balancing, then progress to adding in different movements (lunges, single leg deadlift) while balancing.

Work faulty movement

I typically love using resistance bands for this.  It helps provide feed back on where my faults are in movement.

When I warm up for squats I love using g mini bands. The resistance from the band tries to collapse my knees in, providing me with the necessary feedback to fight to spread the band.

This helps me train how my hips and feet should feel when my glutes are activated properly in the squat.

It’s developing the motor patterns that will keep us safe from injury as we move.

Thisis why I work a lot of yoga and strength training with my clients. These two training methods are great ways to stretch, strengthen and develop proper range of motion to help you move better and eliminate pain.

None of this will work though if we continue to be the tough guy and ignore the signs.

Strengthen your core with these 10 exercises

There is a difference between training your core vs. training your abs for a six pack. We covered this last week. If you missed it don’t worry I have your back,   you can catch up here.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge fan of training the functionality of  our core over just training for aesthetically pleasing abs.  

A strong core can help alleviate a lot of pain people have along with preventing​ many common injuries.

But how do we train our core properly to do it’s job right?  Well stick around my friend because today I am going to share with you my 10 favorite exercises to train your core.

It’s hard for me to pick just 10 movements because I honestly believe that every exercise is a core exercise.  

Every movement we make requires us to activate our core to some degree.  If we didn’t we would just flop over like a fish anytime we tried to move.

When training our core we need to work it a few ways.  We need to work flexion and extension (folding and unfolding), stabilization (remain up right/bracing), anti-rotation, and rotation.

I know it can get confusing because we are working a lot of opposite movements, but that is how complex and important our core is. 

 Our core needs to be able to perform all those movements to help us move properly and protect the spine.

I don’t want to end up like Chris Jericho reading the 1000 moves of Dean Malenko, here is my condensed list of the 10 best exercises you should do to train your core.


I love planks.  They are the most simple exercise to strengthen the stability  of our core and teach us what perfect posture feels like.  

I feel it is a pre-requisite for all movement.

If done right the plank is a total body exercise incorporating not only our abs, but our glutes, back, quads, shoulders, and chest, just to name a few.

The fun is not over once you mastered the plank.  

We can progress the plank by doing things like adding movement with the arms and legs (marches, plank jacks, renegade rows, spider mans, saw planks, T-drill, push ups, shoulder taps, etc.),  side planks, 3 point planks, and so much more. 

Dead bug, bird dog, & Crawls

I love using dead bugs and bird dogs to teach how the core flexes and extends.  

The dead bug works on the flexion (bringing everything in).

The bird dog teaches extension and hip and core stability.  

The bird dog has us work our limbs contra-laterally (opposite arm/opposite leg).  This forces us to balance on one knee (hip stability) while we extend the opposite leg and extend the arm on the other side away from each other.  This provides for some nice anti-rotational core strength.

Ever hear that you need to crawl before you can walk?  Well they were right.  

Once we mastered the dead bug and bird dog we can put the two together and begin to crawl.

Crawling teaches us how to engage the core and stabilize as we move.  It is also great for stability in the hip and shoulders.

Crawling is great for core work, strength, and conditioning.  I love crawling forwards, backwards, and even side to side.

The different directions will help to hit the core, shoulders and hips in a variety of ways.

Anything Over head

Any time we put something overhead we force our core to engage.  If our core did not engage we would collapse like a house of cards under the weight.

That is what makes things like over head squats so hard.

One of my favorite things to do is to perform single side press work.  This is great for not only engaging the core properly, but starts to incorporate anti-rotational bracing.

Breaching our core as we go over head keeps us strong, efficient, and safe so we stay up right and dont lean over and drop the weight, or injure ourselves.

Tuck variations

Knee tucks, leg raises, pikes, marches all of these would fall under the “tuck” category.  These are great for working the lower abs and deep hip flexor muscles.

I love using floor sliders or adding mini bands to these movements.


Let’s get this out of the way, I hate sit ups.  That is why I never program them. 

 The truth is people just don’t do them right.  They use their hip muscles and low back muscles to get them off the ground.

With crunches I can put you in a position where I can teach you to brace your core properly and not use your lower back and hips to help you.

The two ways I like to do this is with 90/90 crunches and vertical crunches.  We can even build off those into sprinter crunches, v ups, and even twisting vertical crunches.

Single arm rows

Performing dynamic single arm rows is one of  my favorite ways to work in rotational work to hit the obliques.  

I use a kettlebell, resistance bands or TRX straps to get these done.  These are great for performance as it can mimic how the core moves when we run.

Ball slams/rainbows/throws

Med balls are great for the core.  We can slam them to work flexion, We can do rainbows (side slam) and hit our hips and obliques, and we can throw them a variety of ways which requires us to brace to protect the spine, and to help link our hips and upper body together to generate power.  

Throws are amazing because we can work in all directions letting us hit our core from all angles.  We can throw med balls forward, backwards, sideways, low to high, high to low, and even diagonally.

People have even made games out of throws such as med ball volley ball and med ball tennis.  See core work is fun 😉 


What more can I say about carries.  I love them.  They do so much good for us.  

There are so many way to do carries and each object and hold variation something unique.  

Try these out for your self.  Hold your object by your sides, cradled in your arms, on your back, rack position, waiters position, over head, or to make things extra spicy try bottoms up carries with a  kettle bell.  

You can even play with the weight balance to challenge your anti-rotational muscles (weight only on one side or with unequal weights in both).

All of these ways of carrying will challenge your stability and anti rotation like you wouldn’t believe.  Also like crawls they are a great way to build your conditioning up.

KB swing

Powerful extension of the abs and hips.  Also if you fight the force and the end of the extension of the swing (right before the bell comes down) it really forces the core to work hard.

Pallov holds

Great anti-rotational exercise that doesn’t look hard, but leave me in a pile of sweat every time.

Set up a resistance band, or cable machine shoulder height, twist until hands are in line with your chest, and hold.

Start standing and then as your core gets stronger and the holds become easier start to decrease your base.  Go from standing to kneeling on both knees, then kneeling on one knee.

The same can be done with movement.  Go from holding with the arms out stretched to, adding in an up and down movement with your straight arms, or  try pulling the band in to the chest and pressing it back out, and the most spicy one would be small circles with your arms stretched out.

All of these variations will make your core scream.  Just Remember work both sides.

Do you have any favorite core exercises you would like to share?  Let us know in the comments below.

Also click this link to download my free guideon how to build your very own affordable home gym.

Abs vs. Core.  Which should you be doing?

Who doesn’t want a nice pair of six pack abs? The answer is EVERYONE.  

We have been told forever that they are THE sign of ultimate fitness.  This has made people sooooo six pack crazy that they will do whatever it takes to reach this gold standard of fitness.

But what if having the abs of Zeuss weren’t the sign of godly fitness like we think they are?

A six pack is simply a sign that you have reached a low enough body fat % that you can see your ab muscles.  This is why super skinny people tend to have abs.

See they’re not lieing when they say abs are made in the kitchen.  With the right balance of nutrition and exercise you can have a six-pack.

Our cores are meant for so much more than appearing to be chiseled from stone

Our core had the important job of protecting and stabilizing our spine to keep us upright (posture).  Without our core our spine would fold like a wet napkin.

Our core consists of more muscles than just our abs.  It consists of muscles on the front and backside of our bodies to support the spine from all sides.

 The core consists of the obliques, glutes, and low back.  Basically anything not connected to an arm or leg.

If these muscles are weak it is hard to have good posture.  Good posture keeps our bodies working efficiently, helps elimnate aches and pains, and protects us from injury as we perform movement.

I always find it funny how some of the fittest people I know don’t have a six packs but still tend to be fast, strong and powerful due to their core strength.

This brings us to the age old debate:. What are we really training for?  Looks or function?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and be sure to follow us for weekly blog posts.

What is concierge training and why it might work for you?

In case you didn’t know, I am a concierge fitness coach.

What the hell is that?


Simply put I am like the Grub Hub of fitness.

In this day and age we are all about convenience and tailored service. I mean we have things like Grub Hub that with a touch of a button you can have the food from your favorite restaurant brought right to your door.

I make fitness more convenient for my clients by training them wherever their heart desires whether it be in person or via the world wide interwebs.  I help you streamline the process that way you can train without the usual hassles.

Here are some of the ways concierge training can help you:

Save time

I know we all have busy schedules these days.  But that is not a good excuse to be out of shape.

I don’t know about you but I want to spend the little time out of the house as possible. I am on the run so much that I enjoy my downtime at home and want to limit the number of places I have to go to.

With concierge training  the gym will be one less place you have to include on your list visit.  By me coming to you, you’ll make more time for other things by eliminating the commute back and forth from the gym, along with the stress that can come from dealing with idiots on the road.

Many of my clients commute to work and have found it convenient to have me show up in the morning, get their workout in, shower, change, and grab a bite as they walk out the door.  Or on the other hand have me waiting for them when they get home from work.

Feel luxurious

Who doesn’t love the feeling of being served?  It makes us feel like someone special, like a Kardashian or something (they’re still a thing right?).

That is why we love going out to eat, because it’s not often that we have someone else do all the work for us and we do we don’t have to lift a finger and it makes our status feel important.


Getting trained in your own home is another way for you to feel like your status is important, for a reasonable rate.

With concierge training you won’t have to do anything.  You don’t need to buy equipment, or figure out how to reinvent the fitness wheel on your own.  The only thing you might have to do is breathe hard and sweat.

Concierge training is like the Burger King of training.  No not in the way of it being cheap junk food.   You do receive quality of training and the service is top notch.

It’s like Burger King because it’s the type of training “where you can have it your way.”  At the end of the day it’s all based around YOU!  You decide just about everything from where you train and when you want to train.

Train in a familiar/comfortable environment

Dorothy was right.  There is no place like home.

Home is safe, home is comfortable, your home is private.

Home allows you to go at your own pace without judgement or pressure from what others are doing in the gym.  It let’s us focus on what is right for you to make progress, and not what the flavor of the month routine is.

Your home is the true “judgement free zone.”

No wait for equipment

I love the gym but waiting for equipment sucks. It is very time consuming, adds unnecessary time to our workout, and also can kill the training effect we are going for.

With concierge training I make sure there is enough equipment for everyone in the session making sessions effective and efficient.

Develop better discipline

To get fit you need to build healthy habits.  Building healthy habits requires you to be disciplined and consistent until it becomes second nature.

Going to the gym is one of these habits we need to build.  It’s all on you to show up to the gym daily.  This makes it very easy  to make up an excuse to skip the gym after a hard day of work or days you just don’t feel like.

This is easy to do even if you are meeting friends, a trainer, and especially if you train solo.

With concierge training I come to you.   This makes it tough to make excuses to skip sessions because you don’t feel like it, because no matter what I am coming and the session will get done.

One of my clients tells me that he hums the Wicked Witch of the West them 10 minutes before I show up because it is inevitable that I will show up and we will work hard.

Although he dreads the anticipation, he always leaves a happy customer.

Having me show up takes off some of the responsibility of being disciplined and puts that responsibility on me.

Fun and creative workouts


Concierge training offers freedom.  No one says we are stuck training in the gym, your living room or basement.  Concierge training is all about you.

I know for me, I love when the weather gets nice enough to come out of hibernation and train outside.  This allows to train in fun and unique places like your backyard, parks, playgrounds, and even the beach.

This helps make training feel more like playtime, plus we get to work on that tan.

I mean how cool is it to tell your friends that you trained on the beach?  I’m sure it would make them a bit jealous.

Workouts are adaptable to any environment and setting, and it goes to show you how the world becomes our gym and that working out can be fun and creative, not a chore.

In this age of convenience and tailored service concierge training is becoming a more popular way to train.  Give it a try for yourself, I would love to hear about your experience.

Interested in checking out concierge training for you or somebody you know?  Follow this link to find out how I can help you and to set up your complimentary consultation.