Women’s Strength: STRONG is not a four-letter word.

CALLING ALL WOMEN!
Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Just have a baby? Want to feel better in your clothes?  Are you just tired of feeling terrible in general?  We totally understand.  Getting started on any fitness program is a daunting task and you probably feel like you’ve tried everything but nothing has been working.

It’s hard enough to take those first steps into the gym, full of treadmills, muscle heads, and mirrors. It can be really intimidating and confusing.  When you finally do go, what should you do? Spend an eternity on the elliptical?  Maybe lift a few weights?  What exercises should you do? What weight should you use and for how many reps?

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You start doing what you think you should be doing according to the latest issue of Cosmo. You “put in your time” for a few weeks and don’t see any difference in how you feel or how you look in the mirror and you realize – there has to be a better way. One that works, that challenges you, and most importantly is something fun you will look forward to and want to stick with.

The good news? There is! At Contemporary Athlete, we offer a class specifically designed for and attended by only women. This class is designed to get your heart pumping, your metabolism revving, and your muscles firing. On the surface, we don’t look like your typical “gym.”  There’s no treadmills, no elliptical machines, no muscle heads, and best of all…. NO MIRRORS.  Just women learning how to move weight around safely, effectively, and with a purpose.

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We use various equipment, such as TRX, kettlebells, medicine balls, and more to help you reach your goals.  Classes are 60 minutes in length and limited to 10 women each to ensure adequate coaching and optimal results. What will you get out of it? Strength, confidence, a feeling of empowerment, and the knowledge that you are consistently moving towards your goals with changes you can see and feel.

There isn’t any choreography to learn and we are not your typical bubbly instructors yelling things like “no pain, no gain!”

  • We will tell you to get a heavier weight.
  • We will teach you how to safely move and use it.
  • We will tell you to keep going.
  • We will see you struggle and tell you in a normal tone of voice “come on, you got it.”

Why not get ahead of the new year fitness rush and give yourself the gift of strength for the holiday’s?

Contemporary Athlete offers this 7 week program starting December 5th. It takes place on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm, and Saturday mornings at 9am.

Are you ready to make a life altering change? Click here to get in touch with us now.

The Road Least Traveled

“It’s easy till you own it.”

 The best advice I have ever gotten was, “Protect the CA no matter what. That community is special and that is its super power. People will come and go but you are at the heart of it. You are what brought them all here. Protect it.”

I very recently stood at the top of a hill, on tired legs, coppery taste in my mouth, and a bright blue sky in front of me. It was a crisp day out near Bennington, Vermont, the fall harvest surrounding me on all sides. As I looked out at the scenery, cool air kissing the sweat of my skin, tears were streaming down my face. Everything hurt and the sleepless nights and emotional roller coast I have recently been on had me shot to hell.

I’m happy to see September of 2015 disappear into the fucking far off distance, much like all the miles I put in just running in the countryside. Not knowing where I parked my truck or how to get back to it. I just wanted to run. So I did. Owning your own business is a glorious pursuit of suffering. I meet people and they think it’s all daisies and rainbows and freaking unicorns because I have the middle of the day “off” or I get to “set my hours” or it must be “fun, like teaching recess.” But it’s not. It’s about as far from that as you can get.

This may sound like a rant, and maybe it is, but it’s also something more. This business is personal. You spend your time playing movement specialist, strength coach, mentor, therapist, food guru, educator, relationship developer, weekend/evening janitor, cheerleader, and then at the end of it ask people to pay you for all of that.  It’s always too “expensive” and you get to carry that guilt around with you all day/week/month/year. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and you have to part ways. You lose them to the next big fad or their “friend started doing X great thing and I think… I’m gonna go do that. Thanks though!”

The days roll together, you get up when its dark, you leave when it’s dark, you program classes and sessions until you hear your alarm go off telling you to go back to the CA. You adjust for clients’ injuries or they go MIA and set your meticulously developed plan back 4 months. Your lack of “time” drives your friends away, or they give up on you, your relationships implode (or explode), and sometimes you take a flame thrower to your life (I mean who really needs clean laundry or food anyway?)

Because it’s PERSONAL and you want to HELP people, you show compassion. You discount memberships, let them float to keep clients making progress during tough times, and you dig into your own pocket to keep the lights on.  All while watching your bank account cross into the red. Then you swallow what’s left of your pride and do your best not to brutalize somebody the next time you see them with that golden glow. You know the one, the one you have after getting home from that vacation they took. That vacation you just saw being posted on Facebook. The one with the amazing sunsets at the beach, while drinking a fruity cocktail with their feet in the sand (mmmm sunsets, I’m pretty sure if I saw the sun I would catch fire at this point).

As the owner you get to hear about that great race they had this past weekend or the places that they are going to next month. Or that fat piece of cake they just shoveled into their face that fucked up their macros. You know the one from Cheesecake Factory that they are going to complain about when they didn’t lose any weight this week and how it’s your fault. The workouts apparently aren’t hard enough or the weights are too heavy, etc.

“That community is your super power and you must protect it at all costs.”

Those fucking words lead all your decisions. “No, I can’t go out to dinner. I have no money because I had to buy another medicine ball.” “No, I can’t do that wicked awesome race with you. I haven’t really slept in 4 days and I can sleep in till 6:30am tomorrow. Oh and I’m broke because I just put my last $20 in my gas tank to get me to work.” “No, I don’t want to go stand at another race like a freaking asshat and watch people pass by me like I don’t exist.”

As I stood at the top of that hill crying about all of that loss, and feeling sorry for myself for the first and last time in 3 years, I made some hard decisions about the future of the CA.  And with that, I felt the ease and warmth of unburden wash over me. I felt better, lighter. The sky looked bluer and I could see the apples on the trees from the farm below, which looked fantastically tasty. I thought “I’m going to go down there and eat one of those damned apples and sit on my ass for 5 minutes.”

With all of that said, the CA has a new CFO, and I can now get back to doing what I do best, what we here in the CA do best. Making stronger, faster, grinders. Billing, marketing, and sales are all up to somebody else. Somebody better equipped to deal with them.

“Protect the CA no matter what. That community is special and that is its super power. People will come and go but you are at the heart of it. You are what brought them all here. Protect it.”

-Dave

CA & 9 Miles East Sports Nutrition

Contemporary Athlete & 9 Miles East Sports Nutrition

If you’ve been training at CA during any point in the last year, you’ve definitely heard the name “9 Miles East” more than a few times.  All those times you walked in and saw brightly colored coolers stacked by the door, or saw someone with their head buried in the 9 Miles cooler looking to choose their dinner for the night.  Their name has become pretty popular amongst the CA community and there’s a damn good reason why.

They’re bridging that gap we all struggle to overcome – making eating healthy easy, delicious, and convenient.  Adam Costello, director of the Sports Nutrition program for 9 Miles East, was kind enough to take this opportunity to further explain the ins and outs of what their subscription has to offer.

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You’re training hard and spending a lot of time at Contemporary Athlete. Good! You should be!  Maintaining a regular training schedule is one of the best ways to stay healthy and feel great.  Keep doing what you’re doing but don’t forget about fueling your body with highly nutritious, healthy food.  This is where 9 Miles East comes in.

Train hard at CA and pick up your post-workout meal from the 9 Miles East fridge or go all in with our Sports Nutrition Subscription.  Nothing compliments your training better.  Don’t worry about trudging back and forth through supermarket isles or carving out time to cook a healthy meal when you have so many other important things vying for your attention.  Let 9 Miles East Farm help you.

We’re a 29-acre vegetable farm in Schuylerville, NY.  We grow veggies, cook them in our commercial kitchen, add high quality ingredients we can’t grow, and deliver them to busy folks in the Capital Region.  We have 15 different varieties of our GO Box meals along with a growing number of healthy soups, stews, and hot entree options. Our meals are a strategic mix of macronutrients that will help you fuel properly for a training session and recover quickly.  We want to help you achieve your athletic goals! 

You can purchase individual meals directly from the cooler in CA.  Grab your meal, swipe your credit card, and enjoy! It’s that easy.  Interested in having 9 Miles East Farm help you eat healthy throughout the week?  Sign up for the Four Week Sports Nutrition Subscription.  Each week you’ll receive a cooler delivered to CA filled with 5 meals:

1 GO Box – A bed of baby greens topped with a grain like quinoa, veggies from the farm, high protein toppings like sunflower seeds or roasted almonds, and our side dressing

2 GO Box Pros – GO Boxes with high-quality chicken                      

1 GO Basket – A to-go box stuffed with a grain, roasted veggies from the farm, and chicken.  Heat   the GO Basket up in a skillet or microwave

1 Soup or Stew – Healthy, hearty, and made with ingredients from our farm and others around the area

$45 each week, delivery included

We want to make it easy for you to enjoy healthy, local food.  You can check out our website (http://www.9mileseast.com/) for more information about the farm and what we offer.  You can sign up for the Sports Nutrition subscription on our square space (https://squareup.com/market/9-miles-east-farm-llc).  If you have any questions or ideas about how we can improve our service please don’t hesitate to call or email Adam Costello (518-810-3731 OR Adam@9mileseast.com).

 

Special Limited Offer

9 Miles East Farm is offering 50% off for the first week of their 6-week Contemporary Athlete Sports Nutrition Program that will be offered with the CA Ninja 101 program registration.  That’s just $22.50 for 5 meals during your first week of subscription ($4.50/meal).

Ninja 101 is a $564 value being offered for just $349.  Make sure to sign-up ASAP and get this fantastic bundle at a reduced cost.  Training designed for you, food prepared for and delivered to you.  You just have to sign-up, show up, and eat up!

 

And don’t forget!  9 Miles East is hosting us for another farm dinner on Sunday October 11th at 5pm so make sure to sign-up on front desk!  Only 20 slots are open, $20 a person.  See the farm firsthand and try some more of the amazing food they have to offer!

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:

Coach:

(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

Synonyms:

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
    movement.
  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

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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)

Contemporary:

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

Athlete:

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

Goals:

  • 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.

Strength:

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

Speed:

  • 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

Tenacity:

  • 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.

Risk:

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

Reward:

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

Performance:

  • 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

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)
Join me: Instagram, Twitter

Training Affect: Self-Coaching

In a sea full of sharks, be a f****** Megalodon.

The Lake Placid Ironman is closing in on us, Sunday actually; I started to think about something I am privy to see that many other people are not, unadulterated unwavering confidence. (As a personal note: I interestingly enough do not have this trait.)

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            As a coach I see a lot, but what I learn most comes from my youth athletes. It reminds me so much of something that I think we forget, or lose track of, or it is drilled/beaten out of us. It’s not always about what you know, or what your level of ability is, or resume, or CV. That sometimes, many times actually it’s strictly about self-confidence, and within that. Many times you just gotta “fake it, to make it”.

Kids are just as scared as the rest of us, but interestingly enough they are masters of self-talk. The thing that allows them to pick up weights way heavier, or run further, or swim harder, or sit in guard on the verge of sleepy time longer than anybody thought, is that they self-coach, they are their best cheerleaders, and they can teach us to engage what I like to call the “Megalodon Affect”

megalodon-size

C. megalodon is regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history, and likely had a profound impact on the structure of marine communities. Fossil remains suggest that this giant shark reached a maximum length of 14–18 metres (46–59 ft), and also affirm that it had a cosmopolitan distribution. Scientists suggest that C. megalodon looked like a stockier version of the great white shark.Carcharodon carcharias.- (Wikipedia)

Athletes are competitive by nature, right? No, they learn it along the way. They learn push their limits, trust others, self-coach and self talk. The hype-up is so important. The Megalodon Affect is all about that. To be a shark, you need to act it, to not be afraid of those swimming in the ocean around them, and to know you can stand with them no matter what. The ability to talk yourself out of your limits, because honestly all those limits are, is fear.

So find that moment, that time when you pushed past your fear, and channel it, talk yourself back onto the cliff, and then run and jump into the abyss knowing that you will land, that there is nothing to fear, and that in order to survive amongst sharks all you need to do is not back down, and to just keep swimming, wide eyed and on the hunt.

baby-shark-costume

Training Mistakes: Barbell

Training Mistakes: Barbell work

If all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.

What are you trying to get from a training session? What is the appropriate tool for the job? I frequently find that the barbell is the go to tool for most people. Weightlifting here in America has found itself in resurgence thanks to Cross-fit really putting it in the spotlight with their WODs and Games. I honestly think this is an amazingly exciting thing.

I even think the barbell is an all-encompassing tool for achieving appropriate resistance. That being said is it the right tool? 9 times out of 10. No. No it is not. I love to lift heavy stuff. When I think about the anatomy of a training session what is my ultimate goal for client(s) and for myself.

STRENGTH, right?

You would be dead wrong.

MOBILITY is the correct answer.

Mobility
mo·bil·i·ty
1.) The ability to move or be moved freely and easily.

BDWT Squat

(minimum squat to 90 degrees)

Without mobility, you cannot truly develop great strength. If you can’t bend, move, accelerate and decelerate through a full range of motion then there is no reason to attach yourself to an object that:

1.) Limits range of motion.
2.) Requires great range of motion to be effective.

The barbell is your graduate degree. It comes from moving you, your own personal physique effiencently. In multi dimensional planes, under control, then and only then can you really consider yourself capable to move on to adding resistance, this is especially the case in a bilateral activity such as barbell training. So before you decide to go and grab a bar, load it up and then move poorly. Ask yourself. How are my push-ups? How are my pull-ups? How are my mountain climbers? How are my bodyweight squats? Is my full range of motion getting better? Am I capable of doing good squats to 90 degrees without pain, discomfort, or valgus collapse? If the answer is No, then choose what will make you better.

Be excellent at the simple things and everything else will fall into place.

Dave Back Squat

(It’s a goal not a standard, always remember that)