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Function and Fitness Blog
Function and Fitness Blog
Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Why Do We Use All These Things?

If you’ve been in our gym you’ll notice that, while we don’t have traditional machines like you’d see in a big box gym, we do have a lot of different tools. We in the fitness industry call these tools “modalities,” but we’ll use the word “tools” for the sake of not sounding… well, like tools.

Some tools you’ll see in our gym:
  • TRX straps
  • TRX’s Rip Trainer
  • DVRT’s Ultimate Sandbags
  • Medicine Balls
  • Kettlebells
  • BOSU Balls
  • Dumbbells
  • Foam Rollers (Woohoo!)
  • and our BELOVED Sled (“beloved” is up for debate by some of our clients)
When you look at the list (which is just a selection of what we offer) you might wonder just why you need all these tools. They all provide different and specific offerings. For example, TRX’s Rip Trainer is great for training rotational movements, and TRX straps allow someone to gain a sense of balance before we load them up with weights such as dumbbells or sandbags. I won’t go into all of their offerings here, but ask any coach in our gym and they can give you an explanation of just why we would use a sandbag versus a barbell for a specific exercise - and vice versa, why a barbell might be better than a sandbag for another exercise.

Also, different tools allow you to progress people safely. For example, before we hand someone a kettlebell during a single leg Romanian dead lift, we might have them do that same exercise using the TRX straps. Pressing down into the TRX straps during the exercise allows them to stabilize themselves and really understand HOW the movement should feel. You master the movement and then progress it by adding weight.

One common goal that all the tools share: they were all created to help you move better and to feel stronger - kind of like our goal at the gym!

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Coach Jess
5:00 AM

The Perform Better Summit

This past weekend my fellow coaches and I attended Perform Better’s One-Day “Learn-by-Doing” Summit hosted at the LA Convention Center. During the summit we heard lectures from four guest speakers and then attended four afternoon work-out sessions led by those speakers, all in an effort to become better coaches for all of our clients.

Todd Durkin, the first speaker of the day and owner of Fitness Quest 10, encouraged us all to create more “WOW” moments in not only our coaching lives, but in our professional lives. Just what is a “WOW” moment? One of those magical moments in life that just makes you sit back and say “Wow.” Maybe it’s that moment comes when you’re sitting on a mountain peak after a 3 hour hike, or second 47 after you finally finish that 45 second endurance burst of mountain climbers in the gym. Whatever it is, we all want those “Wow” moments - so let’s go out and get ‘em!

Lee Burton, of FMS (Functional Movement Systems) was our second speaker. Functional Movement System’s motto is “Move Well. Move Often.” That’s exactly what Burton’s lecture was about - how can we screen for dysfunctional movement patterns and then protect and correct them? If you see us doing more ankle mobility exercises where we seemingly tie you in knots, you can thank this guy.

Rachel Cosgrove of Results Fitness was up next. Her lecture focused on how to connect to female clients. From addressing yo-yo dieting (and how it impacts your body composition over time - yikes! Ask us about that one) to getting your clients away from that scale-obsession, Cosgrove gave us all tips on just how to create a transforming experience for our female clients.

Martin Rooney of Training for Warriors rounded out the morning lecture series with a rousing rendition of Queen’s We Will Rock You (seriously, he did). He reminded us coaches that we always need to bring the entertainment to our classes, ‘cause let’s face it, if you aren’t having fun, exercise can be a real drag.

The afternoon was filled with four 35 minute sweat-creating workout sessions, and you better believe we picked up some fun new things to share with you to help you “Perform Better.”

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Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Putting the “YOU” in Positive Self-Talk

It might sound silly, but during that next workout try “YOU can do it” instead of “I can do it.”

According to a study that was published online in the European Journal of Social Psychology in 2014, talking to yourself in the second person when you are giving yourself encouragement in the gym may actually boost your performance more than using the first-person.

As the study’s co-author Dr. Sanda Dolcos, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, explained, “People are used to receiving and giving advice in the second-person, and they seem to prefer using the second-person pronoun to psych themselves up before engaging in action.”

How the study’s authors arrive at this conclusion? They asked 143 undergraduate students at the University of Illinois to write down advice for themselves before working through a series of anagram puzzles. Half of the 143 students were asked to use first-person while the other half wrote in second-person.

The students who wrote in second-person completed more anagrams and appeared to have a more positive attitude when working through the anagrams. “We were not surprised and had previous research showing people spontaneously use ‘You’ in situations that require high levels of self-control and action,” said Dolcos, “as well as situations following a negative event.”

So next time you need a little more encouragement try “You” instead of “I” - and also trust that all of your coaches will be encouraging “YOU” too!

PSST! Here's your chance for 5 extra tickets in our monthly drawing: mention the catch phrase "Positive Self-Talk" to any of the coaches! 

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Coach Jess
8:45 AM

Muscle Earthquakes

You’re pushing for that final rep when all of a sudden it’s like there’s a miniature earthquake happening in your body. But what causes our muscles to shake and is okay if they do?

We will always encourage people to push themselves during a workout, and shaking muscles often “prove” that you’ve hit that max effort. But those tremors might also be a way of your body saying, “hey, hold up!”

While these muscle trembles are common, and shouldn’t scare you too much, it’s also important to pay attention to them.

Here are some reasons your muscles might be freaking out:

You’re deconditioned. For a lot of people just getting back into the gym, the shaking can be a sign of working muscles that haven’t been worked in a long time. Yes, you have glutes, and yes, they will be surprised when you start engaging them again.

You’re not sleeping enough. Lack of sleep can cause muscle tremors. Remember that our bodies grow and heal when we’re getting in those precious zzz’s. According to Shape (http://www.shape.com/blogs/fit-list-jay-cardiello/why-your-muscles-shake-during-hard-workout )lack of sleep can “cause your muscles to stay in a catabolic-like state.”

You’re going too hard. When we first get back at the gym - or if we just feel super motivated to get in shape for the first time - it’s not uncommon to try and push ourselves to the limit.  When we’re working different muscles it can cause them to get wobbly. Ease back and lighten up the load. We don’t want you to injure yourself or have other muscles jump in to help compensate. We have so many ways and tools to help progress you - so if we give you a lighter load, don’t take it as “I failed,” take it as “I have to earn that progression safely.”

You’re dehydrated. As explained by Greatest , “When the body gets low on fluids (which can also cause electrolytes to get off kilter) the connective tissue has trouble doing its job— including transmitting signals from the brain down to the muscle fibers.” Yikes! Makes me want to drink some water right now!

A number of different factors can contribute to that 3.0 magnitude earthquake happening in your quads. While it might not be something to get too shaken up about, it’s definitely something you want to pay attention to.

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Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Muscle Earthquakes

You’re pushing for that final rep when all of a sudden it’s like there’s a miniature earthquake happening in your body. But what causes our muscles to shake and is okay if they do?

We will always encourage people to push themselves during a workout, and shaking muscles often “prove” that you’ve hit that max effort. But those tremors might also be a way of your body saying, “hey, hold up!”

While these muscle trembles are common, and shouldn’t scare you too much, it’s also important to pay attention to them.

Here are some reasons your muscles might be freaking out:

You’re deconditioned. For a lot of people just getting back into the gym, the shaking can be a sign of working muscles that haven’t been worked in a long time. Yes, you have glutes, and yes, they will be surprised when you start engaging them again.

You’re not sleeping enough. Lack of sleep can cause muscle tremors. Remember that our bodies grow and heal when we’re getting in those precious zzz’s. According to Shape (http://www.shape.com/blogs/fit-list-jay-cardiello/why-your-muscles-shake-during-hard-workout )lack of sleep can “cause your muscles to stay in a catabolic-like state.”

You’re going too hard. When we first get back at the gym - or if we just feel super motivated to get in shape for the first time - it’s not uncommon to try and push ourselves to the limit.  When we’re working different muscles it can cause them to get wobbly. Ease back and lighten up the load. We don’t want you to injure yourself or have other muscles jump in to help compensate. We have so many ways and tools to help progress you - so if we give you a lighter load, don’t take it as “I failed,” take it as “I have to earn that progression safely.”

You’re dehydrated. As explained by Greatest , “When the body gets low on fluids (which can also cause electrolytes to get off kilter) the connective tissue has trouble doing its job— including transmitting signals from the brain down to the muscle fibers.” Yikes! Makes me want to drink some water right now!

A number of different factors can contribute to that 3.0 magnitude earthquake happening in your quads. While it might not be something to get too shaken up about, it’s definitely something you want to pay attention to.

Tags: