Athletic Development: What Athletes Need…

Athletic Development:What Athletes Need…
By Ian Cutting

Over the past few years we keep hearing about the increasingly competitive nature of youth athletics. More parents are investing time and money on their children’s athletic development in the hopes they’ll be able to play on the all-star travel team, be a varsity starter, earn a college scholarship or professional contract.

The health and fitness industry also continues to grow rapidly. There are more fitness facilities and training certifications available than ever before.

The result of focusing on athletic development is the reason we now see a boom in the fitness industry with more gyms offering programs labeled as “sports performance”. These programs consistently involve high levels of intensity, flashy jumping, and a lot of fancy words and exercises that do a better job of selling the parents on their methods than actually helping the athletes. They’re good at opening your wallet, but not always unlocking the potential of your child. Passing the eye test for intensity doesn’t mean it fits the bill for effectiveness or safety.

How can you tell what’s for show versus what actually has substance?


What is training?

Training consists of what an athlete needs, versus what the tricks are and what athletes don’t need. Athletes need a training program which helps them get stronger, and stay healthier. A program that keeps things simple, covers basic movement patterns, improves durability, addresses weaknesses, and is varied based on the sport, season, and individual needs. This is a program, and doesn’t shift focus every day, week, or even the first day of every month.

Athletes, and kids need a well-rounded program that focuses on strength training, and includes appropriate levels of conditioning and mobility. They need guidance on nutrition, hydration, sleep, and recovery and to learn about how those things are just as if not more important than the work they put in in the gym. They need attention to help address the individual needs and concerns that every young and developing body has.

Athletes need a program with a long-term focus that accounts for changes in sport season.They need periodic assessments on variables that translate into improved on field success. This program has varying levels of intensity to allow for recovery and adaptations to take place.

Tired of reading and want to get ahead of the rest?  contact us here!

What athletes don’t need

Daily HIIT workouts with countless jumps and landings. They don’t need exhausting metabolic sessions and to always be leaving the gym battered and broken. They don’t need endless circuits targeting every single body part day after day after day. They don’t need to leave every session wondering how they’re going to make it up the stairs or survive the next practice. They don’t need complicated terminology, and don’t always need more, more, and more training.

Those type of workouts performed day after day, season after season hurts their progress, and their prospects. There is a difference between workouts, and following a training program. A body that doesn’t recover properly cannot grow. If intense training is stacked on top of existing health problems or injuries, things will get worse. If a poor movement pattern is loaded with heavy weight, something (their body) will break.

What athletes DO need – A training program based on goals

These things have to be met in order to improve a skill or perhaps hit a standard. This requires different methods than the series of workouts put together to help a middle aged man get back in shape, the stay at home mom lose 10 pounds, or satisfy the grumbling employee who only has a gym membership because it means a deduction on their insurance, nor will please the exercise enthusiast who loves all activity and will do whatever the workout of the day happens to be.

A strength and conditioning program will improve an athlete’s output and longevity. What they need is strong fundamental movement development. It’s the strength that lets a player stop without their body weight forcing them to fall down, or to tear an ACL or MCL when changing directions. The benefits, and knowledge behind the recovery phase of their programming that keeps them in top form throughout their competitive season.

Unfortunately there are now more trainers out there than ever advertising sports performance without the knowledge and skill to be able to back it up. Most movement is better than no movement, but ever varying, high-intensity workouts, in large groups of constantly exhausted athletes with different needs and pre-dispositions to injury does not constitute an effective training program, and are not safe training environments.

Are they workouts, or is it training? Is it good for the athlete, or does it just look good for the parents? It’s easy to make someone sweat, it’s hard to make an athlete better. There are tricks, and then there is training. One first one leaves kids broken down, the second one builds kids up.

What Contemporary Athlete does differently

For the last 5 years we have been helping athletes become more complete athletes. Through comprehensive programming that is simple to understand, and falls in line with their athletic season. Because we have great communication with our student athletes and their parents its easy for us to adjust for critical events, and rhythmic changes over the course of a competitive season or the off season. The fundamentals are key for progressive development. The squat, hinge, plank, push, and pull all correlate to managing ones potential short comings and leave their strengths to be able to shine. The hardest thing to do is to learn how to recover, and when to do so. If you don’t understand how to stop, then you are just like everybody else that just can go fast. Which down the road leaves you getting passed by, by those that learned fundamental skills. These things are key for those looking to move onto the next stage either into the collegiate ranks or into elite levels of play.

This difference means athletes that will be healthier, happier, stronger, faster, more confident, prepared, and successful. Seriously, don’t take our word for it though check out some of our success stories.

If you are ready to really change how you play, and set yourself up for greatness contact us today.

Wicked Simple Weight loss

It’s as easy as basic math: 3-2=1 Awesome you!

I’m going to tell you how simple it is to shed that unwanted weight. (This doesn’t mean it won’t take effort). Weight loss is simple. By creating a deficit in your daily calories, weight loss is inevitable.

I hear all of these when talking with new clients about weight loss.

  1. Gimmicky diets
  2. Interwebs information that eating 1200 or less calories every day is how to get rid of fat fast (thats a myth)
  3. $100’s of dollars spent every month on supplements is gonna do it.
  4. You need to workout harder to burn all those “extra” calories
  5. Any or all of these things sound familiar?

Yeah, it’s all the same BS the product marketers keep putting out that confuse you into buying some BS stuff that doesn’t work.

Step 1: Calm down and be patient. Weight Loss Takes Time.

It took time to put on fat, get out of shape, and become discouraged. If you think you can get rid of it overnight you are mistaken. Therefore the “quick fat loss” mentality leaves you highly likely to gain it all back and then some. As a result this is why “dieting” doesn’t work.

Here is why this happens. You’re in a hurry. Which forces you to buy into fad diets that are not sustainable. It doesn’t give you the time to develop the habits that let you maintain loss for the long term.

Step 2: Eat real food.

You need to eat less food but start by eating real food. Stay away from shakes, pill, and any quick fix. Start with some carrots, and fruit. (Veggies, grains, meat, plants with high protein, good fats, and water, lots of water.) Frequently the desire to starve yourself thin is what you think will work. Really it will make your body hang on extra hard to that extra energy you are carrying around, because your brain will always protect you, from you.

Step 3: How fast can I lose?

We should probably discuss how fast you should be expecting to lose fat. This depends on how much fat you have to lose. The greater your starting levels of body fat are the faster you can expect to lose. Granted the leaner you start, a slower rate of loss will be best to minimize muscle and strength loss.

A caloric deficit, is important. It just has to be the right amount for you.

With that in mind: set fat loss targets between 0.5 – 1% of your total bodyweight per week. The benefit of using percentages is the rate of loss automatically scales with your bodyweight. Here is a great example.

  • If a person weighs 250 lbs. They can expect to lose~1.25 -2.5lbs per week.
  • On the contrary someone who weighs 160 lbs, will aim to lose ~0.8 – 1.6lbs per week.

Step 4: Measurable results or your just guessing.

For long term success you need to make adjustments to your calorie intake. This sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Weight loss comes with consistency.  Tracking helps you see how consistent you’ve been.

You need data to track changes.

By weighing yourself daily, in the morning, after using the bathroom and before eating breakfast.

This is important if you want your most accurate weight. Track for a week! Then find the average weigh-in for the week.

I hate tracking! So why the weekly average?

Your weight will change daily. Don’t try to figure it out it is completely normal that’s why you take a lot of data. Use these basic math skills: Add days 1-7 then divide by 7.

Weekly weight loss expectations

chart credit: Physiqonomics

I borrowed this table to show how this works. It’s 3 weeks of tracking. The key notes to take is that there is day to day changes, and then at the end of the week obviously it is trending down! Which is the goal for most people.

Here are a few other ways we want to track, and they are all things that we do here at CA.


Weigh-ins are only one piece of the puzzle and they are going to fluctuate. So having other things to compare those numbers too is important. I have quite literally seen people lose 10’s of inches and the scale not shift a lb. Weight loss isn’t always about losing pounds, its about losing inches.

Progress Photos

You look at the same person everyday. Keeping weekly progress photos will also provide objective data for you to base your weight loss changes on. This just gives you healthy perspective.

Step 5: Give it time to work!

Your body needs time to adjust. Give it that time ideally a minimum 4 weeks!! Then you can start to tweak what you are doing in order to see constant progress.


  1. Eat real food.
  2. track daily then average at the end of the week
  3. adjust at the end of 4 weeks based on what you tracked
  4. Patience
  5. Be patient!
  6. Still confused by the last two? PATIENCE!!!!

Now if you still need help. We are more than happy to take you on as a client here at the CA, all of our coaches are more than qualified to work with you on your goals, and we even have one of the best nutritionists in the area on staff! Get in touch with us here.

How important is it to suffer? AKA Embrace the Suck

How important is it to suffer? AKA Embrace the Suck

On the regular here I see same thing happen. New people come into the CA and their mental fortitude is absolute garbage. Yes, a complete wasteland of weakness, and self-defeatist actions: You get these self – limiting statements.

  • It’s too heavy.
  • That is way to much time.
  • I can’t sprint that far.
  • How many rounds?
  • I can’t get all of that done in the time you gave me.
  • I’m sore.
  • I think my hair hurts, is that possible?

I actually hear these things, sometimes daily, or even hourly. So why? Why do you say them? Did you learn to believe them? Is there a reason you are lying to yourself about your abilities?

Here are five ways to destroy that mentality, crush your workouts, and start f$*king winning at life. Let’s go on a little journey… into how to suffer.

Life will reward the valiant: Funny enough if you look at predator vs. prey those that get up and start the day on the hunt because they are “hungry” win. Sometimes that means food, in business, or getting strong and fit AF.

  • Get up at a time that sucks: (I start my day at 4 -4:15 AM everyday. Yes, occasionally I get 1 snooze. Occasionally I just need to lay in bed for 5 minutes and get my head screwed on tight.)

Unbag your sh*t: Yes, we all have  excuses. Never enough time, chores, tasks, yadda, yadda, yadda, so “I’ll do that workout tomorrow.” (Tomorrow never comes, your excuses just replaced it.)

  • Prioritize YOU: that means your training (strong body) your nutrition (fueling) your recovery (sleep). If you do this you win at number 1.

But could you die?: We all set bullsh*t goals. Like “I want to lose 10#, tone up, or look good in that swim suit.” Yeah big f$*king deal. Since working with a class of people that depend on their fitness to bring them home safe to their family; or let them save the person next to me has taught me a lot about intensity. It’s the scary shit that gets you out of bed at 4am. In order to train like a f*%king animal and get the seriously sick results you want.

  • Pick a goal that is intense and makes you uncomfortable. If you think you might actually die trying to get that goal your motivation will multiply exponentially.

I saw it on Youtube: Yeah… it looked really cool, by somebody, 1000x more “fit” than you. Here is the cold hard truth. True training is boring as f*$k. Learning to be mentally engaged during the most boring activity you can think of will help you with win while “suffering”.

  • If you’re still following me… Let me reiterate, if your goals suck, then so will your gimmicky training, and so will your results. If it scares the sh*t out of you, you will always be mentally engaged in the process. Want to challenge your mind? Leave your headphones at home. Lock yourself in a silent room and do 500 burpees while staring at a blank wall. You’ll face all of those voices real quick. Once you do, tell them to f&%k off and keep going till its done.

But they are my friends: One of the greatest tools you can have is a training partner, I don’t mean your friend either. You know the one, the one that wants to get a rainbow unicorn f*#king frappacino after your “intense” treadmill walking session while talking about Kim Kardashians booty gains program. (by the way its called plastic surgery, you don’t get an ass like that without growing hamstrings too..)

  • Find the person that scares the shit out of you at the gym, and tell them you want to be just like them (if that is your goal). Ask them if you can train with them. Whatever they are doing is working. Or hire a coach, or find a gym full of those people you want to be like. You are what you surround yourself with.


Let me summarize all of this for you.

  1. Pick a scary goal with enough time to actually prepare for it.
  2. Train with the intensity it takes to achieve that goal.
  3. Do simple things highly effectively, they will bring you the results you want.
  4. Be serious about the time you do them in, or for.
  5. If you aren’t partially miserable while doing that activity, you aren’t growing and getting better.


We are the best in the area when it comes to setting seriously challenging goals. If you don’t know how to get the results you want, and need guidance or a peer group that will be supportive but also humble you. We would be happy to talk to you more about what it takes to train here at the CA. If that sounds like what you want, and you are ready to commit to yourself, click here now to get scheduled to talk to one of us.

Pregnancy: athlete reinvention

Pregnancy: athlete reinvention

(A process, part II)

This blog post comes from a current client and fellow coach in the industry, Halley Pulli. When I met Halley at the ADK Outdoor Expo and started to talk shop, I just wanted to help her with her goals. It has been a ton of fun so far checking things off her “to do” list. Not to mention doing it with a kid on board, and one in tow. It always makes for some good laughs, and teachable moments!Bender

Woman pulling weights


Well into the third trimester and it’s all getting real. I’m now carrying an extra 20 pounds, my feet are swollen, sore, and have developed a pretty intense case of plantar fasciitis, I can’t bend over, my core is all jacked up, joints are achy and not functioning properly….the list goes on. But really, worse than any of the physical challenges, I’m going head to head with well, my head. At this point, it’s become a battle of the brain.

Pregnancy feels like an injury in reverse. There’s really no physical progression at this point and it sure seems like there’s a good amount of regression. The only tangible achievement now is in the moment of showing up and doing what I can. Yay – I hauled myself out of bed and carefully moved some weight!

It’s like falling from the pedestal (you know, the one I’ve put myself upon) – I’ve worked long and hard to achieve a certain level of fitness and strength. I know what I am capable of, or at least what I was once capable of, but it’s slipping away. And with it, the illusion of self-worth, ego, and identity. It’s sad. Real sad. And frustrating. Angering. Embarrassing. It’s change and it ain’t easy. It also turns out that being in this state gets lonely. As a result of my lost endurance, etc., I can’t keep up with most of my fitness community.

As if all of that isn’t hard enough to deal with, there are folks telling me that I shouldn’t be doing as much. “Back it down – you’re pregnant!” “It’s alright to take a break – eat what you want, put your feet up.” “Should you really still be working out like that?!” All well-intended, no doubt. I’ve heard a bunch of nay-saying regarding my continued training as I’ve progressed in my pregnancy and now I’m even nay-saying!

But there is an upside, of course. I get to start fresh post-baby. A new challenge awaits. I will become a new athlete. Different than before. Maybe I’ll find new strengths. Yes, there’s the chance things I was good at before won’t be so great afterward, however I know I’m going to emerge from this period of challenge and change an even better version of the athlete I was. And it’s certainly a great opportunity to explore old perceptions of self.

Pain and struggle can only make me stronger in the end. Every time I want to throw in the towel because I’m getting bigger, slower, less mobile, I get up and train anyway. It’s certainly not impressive but if that’s what I’m really doing it for, then I might as well throw in that towel.

So, how might this apply to my overall fitness journey? I know pregnancy isn’t going to be the last setback or challenge I will ever face as an athlete. Such is life – athleticism, fitness, health – it’s all a journey. When next I’m injured, overtrained, plateaued, burned out, I hope that this experience will remind me that I can recover. Persist. Aim, even without a straight path.

I have to remind myself to finish this journey before I start on the next one. I think that’s really tough too. Who’s got the patience for this kind of work in a world that demands your best, and damn it, right now?! But, the world isn’t walking in my shoes and no one can know the experience I’m having. I also can’t hold onto that like a crutch either. I have to look at the experience, good and bad, and face the hard stuff. Allow vulnerability to seep out and make me uncomfortable, and then use it in my training. So what if I’m not the same?! I am still showing up. I’m still giving it what I can. Brain be damned – I’m not stopping!

Staying fit during pregnancy

This blog post comes from a current client and fellow coach in the industry, Halley Pulli. When I met Halley at the ADK Outdoor Expo and started to talk shop, I just wanted to help her with her goals. It has been a ton of fun so far checking things off her “to do” list. Not to mention doing it with a kid on board, and one in tow. It always makes for some good laughs, and teachable moments!Bender


Fitness run


Staying Fit During Pregnancy


Staying fit during pregnancy isn’t always a picnic – that I can assure you. But, I’m 22 weeks in and still at it.

I started training at Contemporary Athlete just a few weeks ago. At that point I was running 1-3 times a week, teaching boot camp classes, taking boot camp classes, doing no heavy lifting, and occasionally practicing prenatal yoga. My goal was to maintain as much fitness as possible through pregnancy. However, when I met Dave and he introduced me to Contemporary Athlete, I was curious to know if I could go beyond just maintaining my fitness. I wanted to challenge myself to continue to grow as an athlete.


So what does that look like? A lot of the same but now I’m incorporating one-on-one sessions with Dave once a week to hone my technical skills. I take Boot camp Level 1 classes once a week at CA to really challenge my cardio and strength conditioning. I’m doing more heavy lifting and keeping up with the CA regulars, with only minor modifications to some of the movements and weights being moved. I’m still running a couple of days a week (albeit slowly and now with some discomfort), teaching, and taking my other classes.


How are things changing? It takes me longer to recover from strenuous training – getting enough sleep is vital. I MUST eat the extra calories recommended by doctors – BUT I haven’t strayed from my previous healthy eating habits, I just eat a little more. Every single day is different. Sometimes I am capable of more. Sometimes I have to pull back. But I still show up. I still train. Because even if my body says that it’s too much, my mind can handle all the training I can throw at it! Hello, labor and delivery!!


 Why Stay Fit During Pregnancy?


So, why do this at all? Why maintain fitness? Why train and strive to improve my abilities as an athlete when my body is constantly changing and won’t be like this in a few months time? I do it for my health and for the health of my baby. For my sanity. Because I love fitness, training, and athletics. Because I don’t want my post pregnancy climb to be any harder than it has to be. And it’s a major component of my life. Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I slam on the brakes and quit doing my life.

This is in no way an absolute experience. Every woman is different and will experience pregnancy fitness differently. During my first pregnancy I wasn’t allowed to workout due to a complication early on. Once it cleared up, I, unfortunately, was de-conditioned. BUT, I got out and walked, moved every day, and stayed active. With my second pregnancy, I ran my first marathon at 2 weeks pregnant. I didn’t know it. And with some resistance I’ve had to give up the mileage the more pregnant I’ve become. However, I can still put in some good cardio interval training and even log some miles every couple of days. So, I get up and do that – I don’t throw in the towel because I’m not at marathon standing anymore.

My humble, and certainly not expert, advice for those ladies who are concerned with fitness during pregnancy: don’t stop training because you’re pregnant. There’s no reason you can’t keep doing what you were doing before you became pregnant. If you’re dealing with nausea and vomiting, you might be surprised that once you get moving you can feel better. It was one of the only times I felt good during those first months with morning sickness.

Learn to accept that pregnancy will change your body and your ability to do what you were doing before. Be flexible and cut yourself some slack – if you’re still showing up and testing those limitations, you’re still training.

Do what feels good. Still push yourself. Take breaks. Drink fluids. LOTS of them. And fuel properly. Additional calories are required in the second and third trimesters – eat them! Especially if you’re still training. Know that recovery times may be extended for you. Allow for this.

Also, work with a trainer you trust. They can guide you, make suggestions, and help ensure your safety and progress throughout. (Hint, hint: The trainers at CA!)

Stay tuned….I’ll be posting again right before the baby arrives to let you know how training through the second half of the pregnancy went.

Trainer or Coach?

training or coaching rowing

Value: Coaching vs. Training

The evolution of the health and fitness industry has yielded countless changes over the years. Personal training used to be reserved for the wealthy or for the future/current professional athlete. Nutrition knowledge and the globo-gym have become “Wellness Facilities,” and everybody and their mother is a “specialist.”

As I’ve watched the CA develop and my team grow, I’ve also watched everybody else, both locally and distant. They are my markers for the pros and cons of success, competition, mentorship, and even a business model. The one common thread I have pulled from looking at them all is this; not one of them is a trainer or a teacher.

These are people that have their own successful business. They run seminars and clinics, many on the national and international level. They produce books and videos, have online programs, offer certification opportunities. What floored me most is that they are the manifestation of the one thing that has a greater impact than both a teacher and a trainer (those teachers in my family, and those that train at the CA, still your pitchforks and hold off on stringing that noose).

They are a COACH: (Generally a damned good one too!)

So what is a coach? (“Teachers” you might want to think about changing your job title after you read this because those that I know, you fall into this job title much better.)

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


(from the concept that the tutor conveys the student through examinations)

A:  a private tutor

B:  one who instructs or trains <an acting coach>; especially:  one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy <a football coach>

Related to COACH


Guide, counsel, lead, mentor, pilot, shepherd, show, tutor

When I discovered this and it had some time to settle into my brain, I realized why I was a shitty trainer. I had been going about this whole thing entirely incorrectly. I don’t want to have people learn something and then do it. I want them to change and embrace it. Make it their own and then take it out into the world to share. To become their own coach for their family, friends, and anybody they can touch.

Great coaches will get you to be better, act better, inspire others to be better. They will pick you up and get you over your tough spot, support you, kick you in the ass if they have to, listen, lead, follow, be your greatest advocate, your cheerleader, and on occasions even the devil. But the biggest thing they will be is personally invested in your success and doing whatever it takes to help you achieve it.

That takes investment. That investment generally has a cost, which is something this industry is great at NOT understanding. They undercut one another looking for greater revenue via mass consumption. Boiled down concepts, “general fitness” trainers, and site specific band-aids are their solution instead of a cure to an individual person’s problems.

So while you’re shopping for a training facility, think about this. What do you want? A trainer? Or a coach. Understand the difference and remember this: the greater the accountability you want, the greater the cost and the more immediate the impact will be.

P1030377Best seat in the house:

(Noah Chaskin crushing a lifetime 2k PR 6:37 winning his event setting the 2nd fastest time of the day.)

Ego Check: Volume and Viciousness

So I had this really science based, fact check blog planned for today about the importance of bodyweight work as THE platform for success or continued success at any level of athletic endeavor. That without it you can’t lift more, or run faster, or yadda, yadda, yadda. Then I boiled it down to Ego Check: volume and viciousness.

Then I started reading some things. You know, articles on the Internet, blogs, lists, and more bullsh*t about New Years resolutions, and Dr. OZ, and quick fix crap, so I decided to switch it up. So this is one part rant, two parts CA philosophy, and one half-part backflip into the randomized scatterings that are my brain. (Don’t worry, bodyweight Awesomeness will post next week!) [Can you say push-up?] 😉

I have a voracious (<- SAT word right there) appetite for books, and knowledge; and the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know anything about anything, and therefore I need to learn more. (It seems like Sisyphus pushing the bolder, but honestly I love it.) When you stop learning you might as well checkout. Quit your job and find something that makes you happy, and a big part of that happiness is a platform for growth.

So here is something to consider.

  • 2+2 =4, but so does
  • 3+1=4, and so does
  • 9-5=4, and well… so does
  • 64 / 16 =4 and then, well… you get the drift.

There are a lot of ways to get from point A to point B, and no matter what you call it. Or how pretty the box, bow, or gift-wrap is. It all boils down to simple concepts. So let me package 2015 Resolutions simply…

  1. Train SMART
  2. Sometimes hard
  3. Occasionally easy
  4. Stop to look around once in a while, do whatever it is because it makes you HAPPY!
  5. Learn to be a little UNCOMFORTABLE.
  6. Drink a shit ton of WATER.
  7. Eat a vegetable based diet LIFESTYLE.
  8. Training and exercise are not wars with your body, they SUSTAIN it.
  9. Be EXCEPTIONAL at the simple things, this INCLUDES
  10. Stop judging others for what they do. If everybody is moving then guess what; you’re on the same F*cking team.
  11. Check your ego at the door. If you knew better you wouldn’t be taking direction you would be giving it. (<- Also if you believe that, then you need to read more books)

blackboard 1:6

(Just a snippet of what an evening here looks like)

The Contemporary Athlete answer


The answer to THE 3 – year question: What is Contemporary Athlete?

Let me start this with a precursor. “What is Contemporary Athlete?” is a question I hate. There is a darned good reason for that too. For a long time I didn’t (and in some cases still don’t) know how to answer it. When I get asked what it is we do here I generally can’t answer it, which from a business standpoint is a horrible thing. That question is then usually followed up by “It looks like…”

What I have learned from the art world is work that I don’t like, or even loath, is something I need to explore. There is something for me to learn and this question is that very thing. It has freaking haunted me since I opened and I hear it at least once a week. So while doing a lot of really important, yet boring, stuff with the move and install of the new facility, I had a lot of time to spend in my head, thinking, and I think I have a pretty good partial answer.

Contemporary Athlete is a philosophy, and as I learned in my undergrad days, a philosophy is about as hard to nail down as was getting that cute brunette in the front of the class to give me her number. Much like that girl it just took some time, some bad jokes, and a little bit of glitter. (The gym version: hard work, tequila, and a new facility.)

Here are some definitions of words that I think about when I think of this place. (Bare with me this is going somewhere)


  • Living or occurring at the same time.
  • Belonging to or occurring in the present


  • A person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.


  • The result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
  • The terminal point in a race.
  • A pole, line, or other marker that such indicates a point.
  • An area, basket, cage, or other object or structure toward or into which players of various games attempt to throw, carry, kick, hit, or drive a ball, puck, etc., to score a point or points.
  • The act of throwing, carrying, kicking, driving, etc., a ball or puck into such an area or object.
  • The score made by this act.


  • The quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.
  • Mental power, force, or vigor.
  • Moral power, firmness, or courage.


  • Rapidity in moving, going, traveling, proceeding, or performing; swiftness; celerity
  • Relative rapidity in moving, going; rate of motion or progress
  • Full, maximum, or optimum rate of motion


  • Holding fast; characterized by keeping a firm hold (often followed by of) a tenacious grip on my arm; tenacious of old habits.
  • Highly retentive: a tenacious memory.
  • Pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.
  • Adhesive or sticky; viscous or glutinous.
  • Holding together; cohesive; not easily pulled asunder; tough.


  • Exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous


  • Something given or received in return or recompense for service, merit, hardship, etc.


  • The manner in which or the efficiency with which something reacts or fulfills its intended purpose.

So here is the 10-second elevator explanation of what we do and what can be communicated to others. Hopefully this will give them an idea of what happens inside and outside the walls here. It also allows me to make sure this ninja school stays true and pointed in the right direction.

Contemporary Athlete is a strength and conditioning facility focused on mobility, solid fundamental skill development, and power that is geared toward sport specific athletics.

Legs day monday

This is Ninja School

Growing Pains: New Beginnings

It’s been a while since I wrote a new article. I know that, much like in academia, in a social media driven world it’s publish or die.

Sometimes you just don’t have the time to…

  • Run your ever growing business (I can’t say thank you enough, by the way!!!)
  • Run your training groups
  • Meet with people to extend your network so as to offer greater service to your clientele (Those things that will set you apart from every other “gym”)
  • Study for new certifications (Did I mention that I just started the Precision Nutrition Level 1 program?)
  • Make a new Youtube video of yourself or somebody else doing a front squat (you know, to add to the other 700,000 front squat videos on Youtube)
  • Get your own training in
  • Develop your website
  • Streamline your business
  • Work on your advertising plan (What the heck is that!?)
  • Order new equipment and maintain current equipment
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Do laundry
  • Make sure you answer that email you meant to respond to yesterday (10 days ago, sorry Haley! 🙁 )
  • Oh yeah, and make sure all your I’s are crossed and your T’s are dotted when moving into a larger more awesome facility (Yeah!!!! That is happening!)


So writing a new blog fell off the back of the metaphorical truck. Chalk it up to growing pains though. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s a struggle, sometimes you just want to bang your head against the wall, but sometimes (ok, all the time) you want to high five the random person walking into Starbucks just because, well, it’s awesome out there.

That’s where tenacity comes in. If it were easy everybody would do it, right? Actually though, if it were EASY, nobody would be afraid to do it. This is true for training, for racing, and for losing weight.

Just remember that the simple things that are your habits will carry you through. Lift heavy, push your boundaries, run till your lungs hurt. It’s bumpy, and the hills are long, and the water is cold, and the weights like to stay on the ground, and the paperwork is endless. Encourage others to do the same, treasure the view, revel in the silence that creeps into your ears as uncomfortable exertion drowns out the noise, and just enjoy the ride you’re on.

Enjoy the growing pains, because if they are ever gone, then you are either dead or complacent, and that’s just boring.

Questioning Your Comfort Zone

C Snatch

Foreword: Colleen Pierre

When Colleen walked into Contemporary Athlete I was just as unsure about her, as she was about me, and what this place is all about. After the first session I expected, like most people that drop in, never to come back (By keeping my expectations low I get to be really, really excited when you come back!). I didn’t hear from her for a while, then Colleen called me and wanted to train, 1 time, then another, then two times a week, then three… Then there was a goal. With that goal came something so fun for me to be apart of, the unadulterated drive for a goal. Not random “exertainment” but, “Here I am, and this is where I am going.”

Everybody has the potential for greatness. The question is are you willing to suffer just a little to figure out what it is? -Bender

265# pull

(Colleen @ #115, pulling 265#. Like A BOSS!)

I was really good at setting goals in my business, goals for my children, for my finances, goals for eating healthy and goals for just about every area of my life.  They were real, they were defined, and they kept me honest and always striving.

When it came to fitness, my goals were non-existent. I wasn’t really unhealthy or particularly out of shape, so all was trending very status-quo for the past probably 10 years. My standard week included a couple spin classes, some bootcamp-style thingy, maybe a little weight circuit thrown in the mix.  I had two pregnancies during that time that yielded two healthy kids (Robby now 6 and Angie, 4).  I wasn’t overweight, I had energy, I looked and felt fine.  And this is where I could have stayed parked for the next 10 years of my life or more.  It would have been okay, not awesome, not epic, not impressive. This is where a lot of people stay very comfortably parked.  Why? They either lack goals or haven’t set the right type of goals.

When I first came to Contemporary Athlete, I was a little overwhelmed and I didn’t feel like it was a good fit for me.  It was unlike any ‘gym workout’ or fitness environment that I had known prior.  I saw people doing pretty impressive things but I couldn’t quite see myself being one of them.  I left feeling quite certain I wouldn’t come back.  But then it started….this nagging feeling that I should do more than ‘play it safe’, that perhaps I was intended for a greater challenge.  I decided to go back to Contemporary Athlete.

That was 10 months ago and I’ve been training regularly ever since the day I made that decision.  The work is hard, both mentally and physically.  I experience many highs and proud moments and push through the low moments that make me better.  I’m stronger than I’ve ever been physically and in the best shape I have ever been in.  I discovered my niche in Olympic weightlifting and finally have goals.  This coming September I will be competing in my first powerlifting competition.  It will be a challenge for me, but I’m feeling more and more prepared to accept the challenge.  Deciding to train with Dave at Contemporary Athlete has been one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself.

I’m on a journey.  There are bumps in the road, many challenges, highs and lows, bruises, tears, sweat.  But there is a community of people who understand because they are walking (or sprinting, jumping, squatting or lifting) beside me.  We all have goals and dreams and every time we walk through the doors of Contemporary Athlete, we are all moving an inch closer to achieving them.

This journey has made me understand a few simple truths…

If your goals don’t inspire you, it might be time to reevaluate them.

Growth will never happen in your comfort zone.

Don’t fear the unfamiliar, you might be missing something amazing.

C Snatch

Colleen Pierre

Owner of SaratogaMama (website & magazine)
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