For you to know where we’re going, I believe it to be very important for you to know where we’ve been.
The Road to Primal Fit
My Personal Story from Fitness Pro to Business Owner
By Owner and Creator Matt Pack
For you to know where we’re going, I believe it to be very important for you to know where we’ve been.
My Personal Story from Fitness Pro to Business Owner
By Owner and Creator Matt Pack
Circa 1998- Where it all started
Circa 2001- First Company
Circa 2004- A new start
Circa 2010- Wearing two “hats”
PF360 Present & Future
Here is a link to some pics that can be added to this piece…
I have one paragraph or two to add featuring the why. Why go bigger? I’m also going to add the rendering pics of the new facility.
If you read this, I thank you. I feel it is a story that was worth telling. It’s all coming together now and I appreciate all of you being part of the story. I wouldn’t be telling it without you.
With the build out of our Primal Fit expansion I believe it’s fitting to see where it all started; a time line of my professional fitness career if you will.
When I was a kid…
I’m going way back to 04′-07′ with this video. It’s a video montage of clips training clients while at the former Downtown Athletic Club off of Brickell in Miami. Great clients, friends and memories were formed here. It’s where I built my clientele from scratch after relocating from Washington D.C.
My story in Miami begins here, what a ride!
Part. 2 of my journey to our 5200sq/ft expansion.
This “half” garage is where Impack Total Fitness transformed to what now is Primal Fit Miami. In this video I was working with about 200 sq. /ft. of indoor space with the majority of the action happening outdoors in the driveway and parking lot. This is where my idea for semi-private and small group training really took off.
During this period I was training mainly general population and a hand full of athletes. There are only so many people that are brave enough to work out in the South Florida humidity with the smell of a dead possum lingering in the air.
Despite that business was picking up and training space was running out. It was time to talk to the wife about taking her side of the garage.
The Road to Primal Fit- Part.3 The Garage Take-over
I’ve always thought it was incredible how decisions or events good or bad ultimately determine your future or path. Allow me to explain and I’ll make this quick…
I moved from Blacksburg, VA to Washington D.C in 1998 to attend and play Basketball at Marymount University entering there Exercise Science program. I won’t bore you with the details but this is where I started my career but more importantly where I met my wife. My wife just happens to have been born and raised in Miami graduating from THE “U”. Me being from Blacksburg Virginia a whole another world and a VA Tech fan led to our first date. We married in 2003 and eventually re-located to Miami in 2004 where this story begins.
I’d like you to think back to a decision you may have made that altered or had a significant impact on your life. As you can see from my story if I hadn’t to have decided to pick a school that I could play Basketball and study Exercise Science that was close to home I would not have met my wife. If I didn’t meet my wife that day at Fitness Image Results back in the year 2000 I would have never re-located to Miami, seen my daughter Lyla being born or had the opportunity to have met any of you. Pretty cool how life turns out right? Maybe you can elaborate on a similar story that’s happened to you down in the comments section, I’d love to hear it.
Something similar takes place in 2008 while training in half of my home garage. What you don’t know is that I had no intentions of training FULL time out of my garage. In fact I had no clue what my long-term plan was, just leaving The Downtown Athletic Club I was training all over Miami not only my home. I think I’ve trained in every Condo in the Biscayne Corridor not to mention every private gym, home, park, empty field, pool or beach. I trained people where ever they needed me, doing whatever I had to. I didn’t know any better, this is all I knew.
One day at my wife’s displeasure, I decided to go play basketball with a friend. Who would’ve known on this day one of the worst things in my life would happen. All I remember is laying on the court not being able to move and being transported to Aventura Hospital by ambulance. It was there that they determined that I had ruptured both of my patellar tendons. Not one but TWO!!! Hearing the doctor say that I wouldn’t run again for 12 months was mind-numbing. As you can imagine I was devastated. I would have surgery and be in the hospital for a full week and then on the couch for another week. I couldn’t move, sleep, or train my clients. I was in a wheel chair for 3 months and my legs were in full extension for 6 weeks. Being totally dependent on others was tough and this was the hardest time in my adult life.
Back to the Garage…
Being in a wheel chair and in full leg extension didn’t allow me to drive. How would I train clients? How would I make a living? No choice. The Garage will be my full time gym going forward. So after one week in the hospital and one week on the couch I began working again at 5am rolling down the wheel chair ramp we installed on the back porch, which led me to my office. In this video I show a tour of my “office”, the actual two-car garage where I built my clientele and if it were not for that knee injury, who knows if I would’ve needed the FULL GARAGE. If it were not for that knee injury, Primal Fit Miami may not exist!
Part 4. Impack Fitness- Gladiator Conditioning
In this video compilation, I’m showing my style of group training around January of 08′ in its infant stages. I’m not sure I even knew what Cross-Fit was although I was coaching “Cross-Training” with odd objects and Ol’ School training implements. I developed my style from mentors such as Brooks Kubik, Charles Poliquin and Paul Chek to name a few. I use to call it “Chaos Training”, a term coined by another mentor James “Smitty” Smith from the Diesel Crew. It just made so much sense. Combine big multi-joint movements together in a circuit fashion with minimal rest. During this video, I was so far away from my early days of Body-building and attempting to isolate every muscle.
Coming to South Florida in 2004 with this style took some “Huevos” if you know what I mean. Miami is the KING of Body-building training and it probably still has the crown in 2014. I remember walking up in The Down Town Athletic Club with kettlebells, sandbags, kegs filled with water, and battle ropes. I’m not sure they knew what to make of me! We were doing workout “finishers”, pulling and pushing trucks in 03′. It’s the way I rolled. I have a tattoo on my right arm written in Mandarin Chinese. People often ask me what it means and I jokingly say, “kick me” or “Sweet n’ Sour Chicken”! What it actually says and this has been confirmed many times is, “make your own path”. I’ve always done things a little different. My way is no doubt different, but it gets results and my clients have a good time doing it. Isn’t that what really matters?
I feel like I’ve grown so much from these days as my program design and exercise selection has evolved considerably. I cringe at the form I let slide by on some of these old videos. I’ve always said what I did five years ago I’m most likely not coaching anymore. I’m always searching for a more effective way to get the best result. If I find it, I’m not afraid to scrap what I’m doing and move on to something more useful. I’ve always had such a thirst for knowledge when it came to exercise and nutrition. My passion for reading and attending workshops, seminars and certifications during this time of my career was a big part of my life. Since 2000 I remember always seeking out the people in my industry getting the best results. I would then find where they lived or what products they had for sale and pay them for their knowledge. Staying on the cutting edge of your craft keeps your mind sharp and your clients happy. Never be afraid to evolve.
The Road to Primal Fit Miami– Part 5
What a ride! Blood, sweat, and sometimes tears was our motto for our Impack Strength and Conditioning friends and family. We had house moms doing Strong Man workouts.
We have over 400 YouTube video’s with hundreds of thousands of views that were shot from that back yard. I will never forget those days and only the people that experienced it will know what I’m speaking of. You know the saying, “all good things must come to an end.” It was time for an evolution, good-bye to Impack Strength and Conditioning and hello to Primal Fit Miami.
Primal Fit Miami Before:
Primal Fit Miami After:
When Carolyn Ryan created this awesome PFM commercial, I thought I had hit the big time. I mean, look at this place! It had doors, air conditioning and turf for our sled and Prowler work. No more humidity of South Florida, dead animals in the bushes and mosquito bites. People were going to love it! Little did I know that my existing “hard core” clients were not as excited as I thought?The main reason we made the transition from the Garage was to reach more people. The Garage was just too extreme for most and I needed to make it more “friendly” for those that wanted to join us but not willing to brave the heat. My idea worked as after the move, word of mouth spread and membership was growing.
What I didn’t think would happen was my old Garage clientele wanted to go back to the ally for some of our old workouts. They were missing the hard-core atmosphere that we had left behind. I was honestly a little shocked! I believe they held their Garage workouts as some sort of a badge of honor and viewed our new training headquarters as “regular” gym. They had essentially said that we had gone SOFT!
Till this day, we still get requests to go back to the alley to re-create what had gotten so popular. Though we do play outside on a regular basis, the garage and alley have turned into Grace’s and my home gym. Don’t worry though guys, with the new square footage we’re moving into, Alley Challenges and Prowler Suicides are coming back. Be careful what you ask for!! Lol.
The Next Chapter…
I don’t mean this is the final chapter by any means, but hopefully my final location. The stress and sleepless nights that go along with building a business is enough to break a man. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about moving back to the garage.
I’ll spare you the details of the planning process it took to get here but I can tell you it started in September of 2013. Lease negotiations, seeking and choosing the Architect and General Contractor, and the most important of all, finding the money to fund the project. That’s just the beginning, don’t get me started on the permit process, dealing with the City and County, and all of the politics that comes with this. Having gone through this twice now I can honestly say it will be my last.
So why all of the trouble?
I’ve asked myself this many times. Maybe it’s the challenge of building something and growing it. Maybe it’s taking the “road less traveled”, or maybe it’s just the fact that I want to create the best training experience and change as many lives for the better that I could. Maybe it’s a little of all three.
One thing is for sure. Helping people makes me happy. There is just no better reward than having been involved in the process of taking someone from Point A to Point B.
It’s not just weight loss for me.
What’s most important to me is increasing self-esteem, self-confidence, improving posture, increased energy levels, improved blood labs and better sleep. It’s the things that you can’t necessarily see that I take so much pride in.
It’s a high for me. It’s like a drug and something that I chase.
It’s why I left the garage and it’s why I’m expanding from 1400sq/ft to 5500sq/ft.
Trouble? No trouble at all.
It’s all worth it in the end knowing that you’ve helped create the go-to place in Miami Shores for health and movement.
I’m so excited to welcome you to the newly expanded Primal Fit Miami opening early 2015.
Here we go again!
To empower, guide and positively affect each member on their journey to optimal health and fitness.
Our Target Market-
35-60 year old business owners and professionals that want a training effect, want to move better, feel better and look better but not at the expense of injury or their health.
What is Primal Fit Miami?
No shiny machines, fancy ab gadgets, shake weights, Zumba or Aerobics classes.
We are a Small Group Personal Training Gym and for the last 20 years we have utilized a structured tried and true weight training system that has produced Strong, Mobile, Lean, Healthy and Injury-Free people.
We are ALL athletes in one way, shape, or form so you can expect to MOVE, FEEL, and with lots of hard work LOOK like one too.
Primal by definition means first or of upmost importance. We believe that It’s very important to get people away from sitting on machine’s typically seen in big box gyms and get them standing and moving again. The majority of our lives are spend in the seated position whether at your desk or in your car. At Primal Fit we do things a little different….
We don’t sit and isolate ONE muscle group, we STAND and we train the entire body through Primal Movement Patterns.
What are Primal Movement Patterns?
As human beings, we are designed to push, pull, squat, lunge, hinge, climb, crawl, rotate, walk, run and sprint.
These “Primal Movement Patterns” are at the core of Primal Fit’s signature weight training system that has literally changed 1000’s of lives over the last 20 years.
The Primal Fit Difference
Small Group Personal Training
With 2-3 Certified Fitness Coaches overseeing a max of 4 people each we can cater to each person based on their fitness level, health history and there goals. Because of this 1:4 coach to trainee ratio we are able to not only make personal training more affordable but also give that individualized attention seen in a private setting but now in a small group. You’ll get the same great results, at a fraction of the cost and having and a lot more fun while you’re at it.
We want you to know that the field of exercise science changes rapidly and it’s for this reason that we have stayed clear of much of the latest exercise technology and popular fads that are commonly present in the media and the majority of larger fitness establishments. PF Personal Training is a “new school” breed that takes an “old school” PRIMITIVE approach… We believe in working hard, but smart. We believe in being strong but mobile. Lastly, we believe in looking good but not at the expense of being healthy.
Primal Fit Miami has not only chosen the Group Training format to increase the affordability to our customers but over the years training in this manner we have seen an overwhelming dedication and commitment that isn’t traditionally seen in the one-on-one setting.
The Primal Fit Personal Training System is proven to increase commitment, a healthy competition amongst friends and peers, with a BIG dose of accountability that can only lead to some serious RESULTS.
This is a weight training system that helps trainees build useable muscle, lose body fat, improve cardio all while decreasing risk of injury through innovative restorative techniques.
Primal Fit proudly invites you to take advantage of the area’s first one stop shop to complete health and fitness.
One on One Fitness Coaching (off-peak hours) Stretch Therapy
Mashing Nutritional Coaching Body Fat Analysis Restorative/Mobility Sessions
Who is the client we are seeking?
A note from a mentor of mine Thomas Plumber:
The future of the fitness business belongs to the people who hate us most.
About 17% of the people in this country, and less than that in most other countries, belong to any type of fitness facility. This means that 83% of us do not belong to gyms, have had bad experiences and have quit gyms or are so afraid of going to a gym they don’t even try.
What this really means is that 83% of the people in this country see no value in what we offer or have tried us and hate us. Why?
Because we can’t speak beginner and are so far removed from a true beginner we can’t understand them. We over train the first few visits, leave them sore and humbled, talk about nutrition as if it is black magic voodoo, put them into groups too soon with people who are far ahead of our new clients and then set unreasonable attendance goals that only a purest 25 year old trainer could hit.
Or because we staff our gyms with people who have never been out of shape and have no true empathy with someone who struggles with weight and personal image issues. We say the right words, but are actions never match those words.
Young and perfect coaches dressed in workout bras and tight shirts aren’t role models; they represent everything the new potential client most hates about us. We are an egotistical industry full of selfie-taking idiots who would rather talk about themselves than help anyone new…. and often this viewpoint isn’t wrong.
Most importantly, people hate us because we assume the reason they are fat is because they are lazy. Maybe a few are, but vast majority need leadership, gentle guidance, early success and reframing through a long-term understanding of what fitness is and how to live a healthy live in motion. So many want help, but we blame their inaction on them instead of considering maybe, just maybe, they just need a plan and some support.
The fitness industry won’t grow until we grow up. The industry will not expand until we understand that gyms have to cater to those who need us most, but who don’t fit into the model we currently offer. If you want a more successful gym or business, start with the idea that maybe the best things you believe about yourself is what is keeping the world away from your business.
Is this trainer/coach that Thom speaks of YOU!
How could you be relating better to the people that need our help the most?
It’s NOT about YOU
It’s about the client, their needs and their goals. One of my favorite sayings is that we must give the member “a little of what they want and a lot of what they NEED.”
How to Create a “WOW” Experience…
The second step is once you have your semiprivate model in place and it’s working, you have to create a wow experience. What I mean by that is you must create this value, this customer service value. It’s not just all about the work out. The customer service must be there.
This is one of the things that most trainers fail to recognize. We must be professional. You must show up looking good with a uniform on, preferably a collar shirt with a logo on it. Not a t-shirt with trainer written on the back. You must look the part. Clean-shaven, hair groomed, teeth brushed, have nice breath and deodorant on; NO cologne. You’re not going on a date but you are making a statement, a statement that you take your profession and business seriously. It’s important that you give them a wow experience. It’s not just about the training or the work out. It’s very important that you put a high standard on how you present yourself and that your customer service skills are on point. I’m going to go real deep on the customer service and some of the tricks that we use at Primal Fit Miami that really create that raving fan.
Don’t just show up on time; show up 10 minutes early, fully dressed and ready to put on a show.
You must be engaged and ready for SHOW TIME!
You’re totally into the client, you’re smiling, your personality is on, and you must leave your problems and your troubles and all negativity at home.
People don’t want to hear your problems or how bad your day has been. It’s about them, not you! When you’re with your client, they’re paying you a premium; you have to create that value so they don’t even think twice about what they’re paying. The service you’re providing is “top notch”; it’s not as much about the training session as you might think. That wow experience is crucial. This is another great way for us to separate from the competition.
It’s not about YOU, It’s all about the customer EXPERIENCE!
It appears everyone has a trainer story. Most people have seen or heard a story or a have a negative experience that involves something unprofessional a trainer may have done. Whether it was how somebody put them on the treadmill for 20 minutes to warm up while they talked on their cell phone. How somebody was eating during the training session. How the trainer may have done something inappropriate like touching someone the wrong way.
How somebody was talking to girls during their session or not paying attention. How somebody didn’t show up at all, maybe they totally overslept and left them hanging. In any case, most of these examples are common sense and it’s obvious you can’t charge a premium rate and run a successful business doing things like that.
We love what we do at Primal Fit Miami and on an everyday basis we are involved in altering or bettering an individual’s life and it’s something that we don’t take lightly.
As PF Coaches, we hold ourselves with the highest of standards as we are on the front line of defense.
What we say and how we influence are clients and members can seriously affect the outcome of their healthiness a very positive way.
Movement and diet are like medicine and we have the power to PREVENT sickness and illness with our recommendations. Think about that for a second before meeting your next client today.
Maybe you’ll take your job a little more serious knowing the power that you possess.
Maybe you’ll keep up your continuing education by seeking the best in your field to learn from.
Maybe you’ll show up on time wearing a uniform.
Maybe you’ll re-think picking up your cell phone during a training session.
I challenge you to step up your game today. I’d like to see you strive to be a fit professional not just a “personal trainer”. I honestly believe if you realize just how important you are then maybe you’ll act and dress the part.
If you really care about changing lives and believe that we should carry ourselves at a higher standard than share this to other fit pros, coaches and trainers. Let’s prove to the world that we’re more than just jocks and muscle heads.
We are businessmen and women with a passion to change lives.
We are Fitness PROFESSIONALS!
Believe it, strive for it, and act like it!
The Primal Fit Miami Modus Operandi
Creating the “One Stop Shop” of Health
I believe as a Gym owner and Fitness Professional you should do the very best to put your members in the best position for success.
Quality training programs and injury prevention is a given but having the right team and referral network to provide things like Meal Delivery (www.primalfitfuel.com), a Nutrition Lifestyle Coach like Heather Holder, Genetic Testing and Hormone testing from Gains Wellness, restoration tools from RecoverME Cryo Therapy and Body Restoration like Cryo, Compression Therapy, Stretch Therapy and Acupuncture (Ronel Corbin) is icing on the cake.
We are in the business of changing lives and I can’t do everything needed to help someone by myself. I don’t have the knowledge, nor do I have the time.
Creating a team of health Professionals around your members not only gets them better results. It sets you apart from your competitors, increases perceived value and credibility, attracts potential members, referrals and leads while simultaneously improving member retention.
Moral of the story…
We stick with what were good at and refer out to everything that we’re not.
Primal Fit Partnerships and Alliances-
Onnit Academy- Durability, Steel Club, Steel Mace, Kettle Bell
Ki-Hara- Mashing and Stretch Therapy
Animal Flow and The Body-weight Athlete
Aligning with organizations like the one’s above allows us to stay on the cutting edge of Exercise Science and giving our clients and athletes the best information possible to reach their desired result in the safest and fasted manner.
I’ve been writing programs for my clients and myself for almost 20 years and though it doesn’t exist I’m still trying to write the perfect program.
Learning should never stop.
Program design is an art and should always have a rhyme and reason.
Unfortunately, knowledge of effective programming is what’s lacking, in not only the general population working out on their own, but sadly most personal trainers know very little when it comes to writing workouts for their clients.
If you’re training solo or you’re a trainer who specializes in making people tired, creating dangerous ineffective workouts with no “method to the madness” than shame on you!
Remember that it’s easy to make someone tired, sore, or even make them throw up.
It takes experience, skill, and knowledge of anatomy, exercise selection, reps, sets, tempo and rest periods to take your goals from A to B.
Each day/session has a different focus. For instance…
The Method to the Madness
Primal Fit Miami’s Strength Training programs are written based on what’s called Undulating Periodization or VRT Ie. The Variable Repetition Training Model.
The “A” workouts are designed to increase strength by using heavier loads with lower reps and more sets (4X8).
The “B” workout sessions are designed to increase muscle mass (Hypertrophy) by using lighter loads with higher repetitions (3X12).
The “C” workout sessions are considered “Metabolic Conditioning”. By using “heavier” loads with higher repetitions (3X12) and minimal rest between sets, you will create a huge caloric deficit not only during your training session, but also most importantly afterward the training session.
By using these 3 very different training qualities (Strength, Hypertrophy and Metabolic Strength Conditioning), you will be able to build on one quality without losing another one. This allows us to see gains throughout the year without hitting plateaus that are commonly seen.
Perform the “A” sessions on Monday, “B” sessions on Wednesday’s and the “C” sessions on Friday’s.
These sessions are meant to be repeated for two weeks in a row focusing on improving technique, increasing load and performing more work.
Fill in off days with “Cardio” sessions that I sent you earlier and or mobility/restoration sessions.
A simple, not easy program design strategy to help our clients move, feel and look better while at the same time alleviating pain and preventing injury. I will argue that a balanced strength-training program mixed with soft tissue mobilization and a consistent individualized stretching/mobility program is all the correctives that you may need.
“If you’re not assessing, you’re just guessing.”
From the moment our clients walk in the door, my staff and I are watching body language, gait, and a host of other things happening in the pre-hab and active warm up portions of our training sessions.
The session begins and we’re back at it. Assessing, coaching and cueing everyone, “chest up, knees out, double chin” etc…
I know I’m going against the grain here but I’m convinced that when someone has an injury or pain they don’t always need an individualized corrective exercise program or Physical Therapy session.
When in doubt, refer out…
Training around pain, NOT injury, is part of the job and I’m convinced with the system. Below you will see that not only can you effectively prevent injury, but also rid yourself or clients of common aches and pains.
Who’s our “Tribe”?
I’m often asked whom we serve and treat and how we assess them.
In our case the majority of our clientele would be “general population” business owners and professionals between the ages of 35-60 years old looking to lose body-fat and feel better.
They are like most of the population spending a large majority of their day in the seated position.
They drive to work seated.
They work at their desk seated.
They workout seated and then they repeat it all over again the next day.
This very common scenario will eventually take its toll on your health and body showing up in low back, hips, shoulder, neck, or knee pain or some with a combo of it all.
This clientele without fail will usually be “stuck in flexion” but not always and showing:
Tight pecs, tight neck flexors (SCM and Scalene’s), tight lats, tight hip flexors, tight rectus abdominals, weak serratus anterior, weak upper back, weak lower traps, weak low back, weak glutes, weak hamstrings, and weak lower abdominals.
They also but not always lack:
Ankle mobility, hip mobility, thoracic spine rotation, thoracic spine ext.
The goal in designing this persons program would be to “open” up the anterior portion of the body and “wake up” and strengthen the posterior aspect of the body. It’s easier said than done but ultimately we want to do the opposite of what they show up with and not reinforce the dysfunction that they may already have.
Programming is a science no doubt, but not rocket science and once you understand the human body, “assess” enough moving people and know your population and niche, it’s more common sense than anything else.
First things first…
I believe that all good coaches should be asking themselves questions like who, what, and how.
Who’s my client?
What do they want?
How can I get them there the fastest safest way possible while helping them move and feel better?
Who do you train? Do you really know the clientele that you are serving, who your niche actually is?
If not, there is a good chance you may not be helping them as much as you could. In order to truly help someone you should know everything about them. You should be an absolute expert in that particular population.
Is it a particular sport?
Bodybuilding? Geriatric? Woman?
What is this population’s ultimate goal?
Increased speed? Increased muscle mass? Improve bone density? Lose body fat?
How do they spend their day?
Are they seated? Standing? Desk ergonomics? Night shift?
What is the common stress demand that they encounter?
Work stress, home stress?
Are they married?
Do they have children?
What are their eating and sleep habits and common choices and mistakes made?
Health history, medications?
What motivates this person?
To effectively communicate, engage and positively effect, you must know your clientele’s goal, lifestyle and personalities like the back of your hand.
Now for the fun part…
The Program Design
After answering some of these questions and knowing this person, you can then begin choosing movement patterns from the following categories:
Bi-Lateral vert/horizontal- Shoulder press/Push-up Uni-Lateral Vert/horizontal- Single arm shoulder press/Single arm cable press
Bi-lateral vert/horizontal- Pull up or chin up/barbell bent over row Uni-lateral vert/horizontal- Single arm”W” Cable Pulldown/Single are Db row
Squat and hinge-
Bi-lateral hip/quad dominant- Trap bar deadlift/Barbell Back Squat Uni-lateral hip/quad dominant-One leg RDL/Step-up
There are literally hundreds of exercises you could plug in this formula above. You are truly only limited by your imagination.
We can even take it even further?
Rotational pattern’s– Presses, Pulls, Wood chops, Grappler, Med Ball
Crawl pattern’s– Contra-lateral, mult-directional, prone, supine, bear, crab etc…
MUT (movement under tension) – Loaded carries and walks (kb’s, sandbags, partner)
Core and “anti” core patterns– ab wheel roll outs, Paloff presses, Club Bell anti-flexion, anti-extension
Conditioning– sprint/hill work, battlerope, med ball slams, versa-climber, air-dyne etc…
Correctives– Blackburn mob’s, shin-box, halo’s, prone cobra, crab reach, scorpion reach’s etc…
Tumbling– rolling patterns Animal Flow– Traveling forms, flow patterns and sequences Gymnastics– ring work and body-weight ie. Levers, planches, cart wheels, parralettes Hand balancing– wall and free standing
A “traditional” strength program-
SMR– Foam roll SCAM (Stretch hip flexors, Core Four Matrix, “activate” Glutes and Mobilize Hips Stick work Active warm-up
A1 Trap bar deadlift– Hip dominant leg A2 Flat bench Db – bi lateral horiz. Push A3 DB renegade row- uni-lateral horizontal pull B1 Bulgarian Split Squat– uni-lateral quad dominant leg B2 Kb Push Press– bi-lateral vertical push C1 Jungle Gym Skull Crusher– single joint isolation with abdominal component C2 Jungle Gym Scarecrow– bi-lateral pull/lower trap work
An Un-conventional Training Program
Restoration/Conditioning session using a similar formula Pre-hab
8 movements, 45s ON, 15s OFF 2min break and 4 rounds.
Rotational Lunge– transverse plane, uni-lateral, hip Dom w/mobility, Loaded Front Step– Prone closed chain uni-lateral w/ thoracic ext and hip ext Alt Tripod– supine close chain, uni-lateral w/hip ext (Glute activation), shoulder stability and thoracic rotation Alt side kick through– prone, closed chain, uni-lateral w/ core stability, anterior sling activation and conditioning Bicycles-supine, core stability DB Halo– core stability, shoulder mobility Static Beast- prone, closed chain, shoulder stability, core stability Blackburn Mob– posterior chain activation w/ scapular mobility and humeral internal rotation
As you can see each one of these movements has a particular purpose for a desired outcome that tackled strength endurance, stability, mobility, dynamic flexibility or conditioning.
There should always be a rhyme and a reason for every movement chosen.
You can also see that this isn’t a typical session. This would be more of a restorative session with a conditioning component. In fact you could even program something like this for an off-day or active recovery session.
A client’s training program should be created with a “method to the madness” utilizing primarily movements/patterns taken from lists and categories’ such as these. This is a great system/template to organize a well-structured strength and conditioning program.
In my opinion the goal of the Fit Pro is first and foremost the client and creating smart and balanced programming.
Balanced to me means choosing more standing (open chain) and ground based (closed chain) movements utilizing a good mix of upper and lower body multi-planar and bi-lateral/unilateral patterns. We choose more “pulls” than “push’s”, more hip dominant vs. quad dominant and more unilateral vs. bilateral with the majority of movements performed from standing than sitting.
The main goal is simply to get people to stand up more and MOVE!
This programming not only gives them the training effect they are seeking but also a lot of what they “need” more of.
In most but not all cases an approach like this will inadvertently address imbalances or asymmetries subsequently alleviating if not eliminating all together most people’s common aches and pains.
It’s like magic and I’ve seen it time and time again.
Open or lengthen what’s short on the anterior chain.
Strengthen and activate the posterior chain.
Increase ROM and mobilize joints that are designed for mobility while stabilizing joints that are designed to be stable.
Mobile, Stable and fully able.
If it seems simple it’s because it really is.
The great thing about this approach is that it doesn’t take a two hour assessment a Physical Therapist or a “corrective exercise” program filled with Bird Dogs and balancing acts to address someone’s aches and pains.
Please don’t misunderstand me.
I’m not against Physical Therapy or any other screening or assessments you may be using. In fact we use the FMS and I have a great PT in our own facility and I’m sure she would agree that the large majority of what people are missing could be achieved by improving the quality of their tissue, increasing mobility and simply getting the person stronger.
Most people in our society are simply weak and sit too much. It’s totally possible to give your clients “correctives”, a good training session and have some fun along with it.
It’s all in the design of the program. Think outside the box and you can improve multiple training qualities all at one time. A little creativity can go a long way.