Strength Training

Tired of your gym? Not a “gym” person? We’ve got you.

By Dr. Kyle McCrobie & Heidi Shalek

As 2018 draws to a close, you may find yourself evaluating your fitness routine or thinking ahead to your health and wellness goals for next year- it’s totally normal! Should you join a gym? Should you download a fitness app? Should you check out that boutique fitness studio? Should you do an online program like a Couch to 5k? Should you change your eating habits or get a meal prep service?

With so many options and information floating around, we hope we can point you in the right direction by answering one question: What IS the difference between a big commercial gym and a small fitness studio like the TR? (And why should you care?)

We think it’s safe to say that most people are in agreement about what they dislike about the gym- whether they go or not.

#1. It’s a process to join.
#2. It’s crowded.
#3. It’s usually dirty.
#4. Personal trainers bombard you with their sales pitches.
#5. Creepy gym goers try talking to you even when you have headphones on.
#6. You feel stressed about what to do for your workout.
#7. You’re worried you’re not doing the exercises correctly.
#8. You feel a little self conscious while exercising.
#9. You do everything you can to drag yourself there multiple times in a week.

At the TR, none of the above happens. At the TR, you might even start to look forward to exercising. Why? Because in a small studio environment your program is adjusted specifically for you- even in a group class. Your workouts are appropriately challenging, not inherently painful. With consistent practice, you will know what you are doing and understand why you are doing it. Most of all, you’re making progress you can measure and FEEL. The coaches will make sure you’re getting the most out of the exercises you’re doing by correcting your form. Not to mention that each one of our locations is spotless, the clients are friendly and the music is on point.

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Lift Heavy Things (And Don’t Forget to Have Fun Along the Way)

by Hua Chin

An Ironman triathlon is not a joke.  It is one hundred and forty point six miles.  Yes, you read that correctly: 140.6 miles.  A 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride followed by a full marathon of 26.2 miles on foot.  People often think of it as the ultimate goal, the achievement of a lifetime in less than 17 hours.  It is possible, but people must be prepared.  It is a full-time commitment.  One that can take 20 or more hours a week to train for, and up to a year of daily workouts.

I decided to do one in 6 weeks.

Let’s retrace my steps, and my decision to do something so brash.

As I continue to mature into a still competitive athlete, I cannot lie, I have been bitten by the Ironman bug.  Something about getting as much strength and passion out of my body and mind really plays well to my psyche.  Why would one push themselves for up to 17 hours of work?  Why would someone endure endless blisters, long lonely training runs, and daily triple workouts?  Because of the finish line.  Because crossing that finish line knowing you put 100% of your soul into completing this seemingly impossible task is rewarding to me.

But it is not for everyone.

As an ex professional athlete, and someone who still can (sometimes) compete at the pointy end of the stick, the Ironman dream works for me.  But it doesn’t have to be your dream.  Unless you are winning races, qualifying for world championship events, or setting masters records – training should be fun.  An everyman athlete should use a training plan as an escape from their everyday life.  Working out is a lifestyle not a chore.  The moment it becomes a chore, you should reevaluate.

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6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Train with Kettlebells

by Jenny Cunha

 

I became a SFG kettlebell instructor in order to challenge myself and fine-tune my abilities.  Going through the training and certification process not only gave me the opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches, but made me focus on the basics in order to push my own endurance and strength.  I’m so glad I embraced the challenge, and I’ve got six good reasons why you should train with kettlebells too.

 

#1 – Skill Acquisition Learning and practicing a new skill, whatever it may be, improves confidence and cognitive function- both of which have a positive impact on your health and well-being. You can increase your focus and involve your brain in your workouts by using a tool that requires a higher-level of technical skill and understanding – the kettlebell.

#2 – Versatility The kettlebell may be the most versatile, stand-alone training tool, period.   Inline with the specific goals, structure and timing of your program, the kettlebell can be used to focus on mobility, strength, power or conditioning. A well-rounded training program starts with good movement at its foundation. From there, you can progress in a logical sequence, building strength and then power. The kettlebell can be used every step of the way.

#3 – The Sweat Factor It’s no secret that a good sweat can be satisfying. Physical activity has long been shown to have incredible health benefits, including the ability to lift your mood. Research has even proven that exercise is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. Regardless of whether exercise actually releases endorphins (jury’s out on that, believe it or not), stimulates norepinephrine production to help combat stress, or simply enhances communication between your body’s physiological systems, it’s undeniable that it’s good for your body and your mind.

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What Is “Good” Training?

by Alex Tanskey

 

I often feel like I’m a salmon.  Not in a bad way.  More in a “swimming against the tide of outdated fitness information” way.

But sometimes, that tide is just too strong.

Whether it’s someone’s preconceptions of training, or previous experiences with other trainers/coaches, people are often surprised when they go through one of my sessions or classes. There’s this idea that in order for training to be “good” it must be 1) hard, 2) intense, 3) bodybuilding style, and/or 4) cardio based. And really, it doesn’t need to be any of those four.

 

So let’s start with what “good training” is not:

  1. Good training isn’t how high you can get your heart rate.
  2. Good training isn’t how much you sweat, how hard you breathe, or how sore you get.
  3. Good training doesn’t involve punishing yourself, for whatever reason.

Those thoughts are exactly why so many people – trainers included – get burned out so quickly. After all, most personal trainers don’t last beyond 1-3 years, and the drop-off in gym attendance by March illustrates the fleeting nature of New Year’s Resolutions.

So what makes for good training?  Here are three things it should encompass:

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When Maren met Marci

by Maren Kravitz

Marci Karplus began personal training at The Training Room in March 2011. Since then, Marci has completed 337 personal training sessions. With the exception of summer travel, a few injuries and life’s minor twists and turns, Marci has remained committed to training twice a week for the past five years.

Beyond her commitment, what makes Marci’s story unique is her late arrival into the world of fitness. Marci picked up running at the age of 58, after a news program mentioned that Jill Biden was running five miles a day. “I thought well heck, maybe I can do that,” Marci said. “Nothing like having a role model.”

Marci got hooked on the exhilarating feeling she got from running. Cautiously increasing her mileage, Marci worked up to four weekly runs – ranging from three to ten miles at a time. Marci loved it. “Running at a slow pace allowed me time to get lost in my thoughts, while enjoying the scenery around me,” said Marci.

 

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Within the first year of taking up running, Marci began to get sidelined by aches and pains in her knees. Determined to get stronger and continue her running, Marci began training at the TR and enlisted the help of physical therapists.

Marci was diligent, completing her physical therapy exercises and making sure she took an appropriate amount of time off running to rest her knees. Unfortunately, Marci continued to feel the same knee pain each time she returned to running after a break. Unbeknownst to Marci, a foot surgery dating back 25 years was the cause of her knee pain and eventual end to her running career.

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Dear Training Room:

When we receive a letter like this from one of our clients, it reminds us what a great job we have as coaches, and how fortunate we are to work in the fitness and wellness industry.  Helping people learn how to move well and get stronger so they can enjoy life is quite simply, the best thing ever. 

 

 

July 26, 2016

 

To: Training Room

 

I found out about the TR through a friend. One day I ran into him at work and complimented on how great he looked. He then started to tell me about TR and kettlebell training. He had hurt his back as well and we pretty much experienced the same pain. We both were on the same page how Meds, PT or even a chiropractor wasn’t helping. Seeing how he looked and felt I decided to look into the TR. I asked who he recommended and he told me about a kid, Kyle. November of 2016 I called and made an appointment with Kyle. I had no idea what to expect which I am sure Kyle knew since I showed up in jeans and a sweatshirt for the assessment. Before I started I could hardly walk or stand without having pain. I was miserable every day. I am a very active person and just turned 50 and this injury had stopped me from most activities I enjoyed. At first when I started I thought, “Is this going to help at all?”. The exercises were something I never did and seemed very weird to me. But within the first month I started to feel better and was able to do things I couldn’t do before.

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Two Cues to Instantly Improve Your Push Up

by Rob Colameta

 

Whether you’re personal training, in TRAC class, circuit training, or even at outdoor sports conditioning, you’re guaranteed to run into the pushup. I’ve seen a lot of different people do the pushup and have found myself using the same two cues to help people get the most out of this popular and really effective strength exercise.

#1 Reach

Most people finish their pushups like this:

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In reality, that’s not too bad. Note that his hips are in-line with his shoulders, he’s not arching his back, and it looks like he’s holding a solid plank at the top. However, he’s missing out on some serious shoulder benefits by not reaching his hands through the ground.

If he thinks about “reaching” at the top of the pushup, you’ll see his shoulder blades come around to the sides of his torso, like so:

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It’s a subtle change but very easy to correct and guarantees you the awesome shoulder benefits that come along with doing the pushup correctly.

#2: Use Your Whole Body

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Client Spotlight: Leiter K.

By Chris Mullins

 

Leiter began training with me back in January 2015 to incorporate strength training into his running routine. He had gone through physical therapy to rehab a calf injury sustained while running back in August of 2014, but was still experiencing some lingering effects. His initial assessment revealed some common imbalances, as well as high training volume. Put these two elements together–repeated overload on a compromised foundation–and it’s not surprising that Leiter’s body started to break down. So the approach was simple:

  1. Address imbalances
  2. Reduce training volume (# of days and total weekly running mileage)

However, as always the approach may be simple but the implementation is rarely easy. Fortunately, Leiter is a fantastic client with an aptitude toward structure and routine. Without further ado, here is Leiter’s story.

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Client Spotlight: Whitney Y.

Whitney’s struggle with anxiety and depression let her to pursue exercise as a way to improve her mental health.  We’re so grateful that she took the time to answer a few questions and share her story…

 

What initially brought you into the The Training Room?

Mental health. Like many people, I have anxiety and depression and last June, I decided to try exercising as a way of managing. I felt anxious about joining a large gym and knew I needed one-on-one attention. I sent an email to the TR explaining my situation and saying that I desperately needed help. I put myself out there and within hours received a response from Heidi who scheduled me for a fitness assessment and set me up with personal training. She suggested I start with Kyle, and almost a year later, I feel better than ever! Now, exercise is a way of life – my friends even jokingly call me Ms. Fitness, which is a far cry from the person who ran off a treadmill a few years ago shouting “I will never set foot in a gym again!”

What has been your favorite part about your training?

I love the education I’ve received since joining the TR. Each trainer spends time explaining what we are doing and why, taking the time to increase my knowledge about fitness, exercise, and movements. I bring out of town friends to the TR at times and I love that the trainers are consistent with teaching proper form and educating guests. They show their passion and knowledge and in turn, it is passed down to their clients. That, my friends, is my favorite part!

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Client Spotlight: Paloma D.

It is our dedicated, consistent and hard-working clients that remind us every day of the power of exercise, setting goals, and accomplishing them.  We asked one of our frequent class-goers, Paloma D, a few questions about her experience at the TR and what has contributed most to her success.
When did you begin training at the TR and what brought you through the door for the first time? 
I began training about a year and three months ago, in February 2014. A combination of things brought me through the door for the first time. My friend Ellen had suggested we try out TR since it is so close to both of us. Some time went by after that suggestion and what eventually actually brought me through the door was the impending doom of wearing a fancy white dress in front of all my friends and family, just a few months away at the time. Once I had the motivation it was pretty easy to get into the habit of going since I live so close to TR1 (I can be out my door and on the bike in like three minutes if I’m in a hurry.)

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Client Spotlight: Sallie B.

Meet Sallie, a student at Wheelock College who is wrapping up her studies this spring. Sallie ran on the Wheelock cross-country team for a few seasons and had begun to experience some discomfort that is all too common with high-volume running. She came to The TR looking to incorporate strength training into her routine to get stronger, improve her running mechanics and, in her own words, “make the most of my body.”

 

One of the best things about training Sallie is that she always shows up to her sessions with a big smile and a fantastic attitude. (In fact, she has been known to smile in the middle of a Turkish Get-up.) We put together a training program that would fit into her busy schedule and address areas that have caused her problems in the past. Last fall, a stronger, leaner, and more badass Sallie completed her first two half-marathons six weeks apart, injury-free.

 

Here is Sallie’s story, in her own words:

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To Stretch or Not to Stretch? Part 2

By Chris Mullins
In part 1 (last month) we learned that just because a muscle is tight doesn’t mean it needs to be stretched. We also learned that there have been quite a few studies (such as this one from Stephen F. Austin State University and this very comprehensive re-analysis from the University of Zagreb, Croatia)  that static stretching prior to exercise may actually inhibit athletic performance. However, this doesn’t mean stretching is completely pointless. It simply means you need to establish which muscle(s) and type of stretch is right for you, then ensure you are doing it correctly.

 

How? The case for stretching.
Let’s simplify this for a moment: almost every muscle in the body has a counterpart that performs the opposite function. Biceps and triceps, quads and hamstrings, all the way out to the muscles that open and close your hand. Also, muscles are dumb.

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SFL Certification

by Regan Crane
     Here it is, my very first blog post on my experiences as a female trainer at The Training Room.  After reading Alex’s genius blogs where he so eloquently expresses his opinions on such things like burpies, to his experiences traveling and the short comings of costumer service, I have decided to join the blog world.  While it may not read like Shakespeare or Tanskey, I’ve still got something to say.
     Last month, as some of you may know, I attended a certification course called SFL – Strong First Lifter.  After training for 4 months, I felt ready to join this group of elite lifters, and prove that I could also be a part of the Strong First team.  I was really excited to learn new barbell techniques in hopes of improving my client’s lifts and my own.  Power lifting is something that I’ve grown passionate about, and I was hungry for more training.

Squinting, Stress, and Turkey Necks

by: Dan German
We have all found ourselves sitting at the computer enthralled in reading an online article, perusing social media websites…or even reading this newsletter. Next thing you know, you’ve moved your head forward, squinting at the screen, and jutting your chin forward.
This Neanderthal-like position requires the muscles of the eyes to work harder. The closer you are, the harder the muscles work. Over time, constant tensing of these muscles cause chronic tightness, headaches, poor movement and pain. In rare cases vision can even be driving back pain.

Training Room TRAC: Strength & Conditioning x2 Week

 

 

 

TRAC (Training Resistance And Conditioning) is a twice weekly, structured and progressive group training program.  Each 60-minute training session is tailored to your individual needs.  TRAC sessions meet on a M/W or Tu/Th schedule at 6AM or 6:30PM.  Advance sign up for one time slot is required at the beginning of the month.  Because the program is progressive, mid-month sign ups are not permitted.

What to expect when you sign up for TRAC:

– participant assessments and functional movement screening

– functionally sound movement training integrated with strength training and conditioning twice per week

– individual workout charts provided for participants to track their progress each month

– 16 participant maximum, divided into 4-person sub groups

– accountability, motivation, and structure with two certified personal trainers leading every workout

 

PRICING:

1 month TRAC – $200

3 months TRAC – $560

SIGN UP NOW