The Unoffical Start of Summer – Memorial Day

Has anyone in your family served in the military?

If they’re anything like mine, I bet they have some memorable stories.

My grandfathers side of the family has a rich military tradition with each generation serving. None more prestige in my eyes than my grandfather.

He served in WW2, stormed the beaches of Okinawa, fought the war in several countries to come home and met the love his life and raise 13 children. (Most through adoption)

I listened to all his stories, as he loved to tell them.

What stood out most through those stories was his pride and sense of honor that came from his service.

I get goosebumps even thinking about his stories. No one was more influential in my life than him.

As I grew older I wanted that same pride, honor and tradition.

I wanted to be just like him and at 17 years old I enlisted in the military. . . It changed me life.

I went from a household full of drug abuse and neglect, to seeing the world, and becoming part of a family that built life long bonds that are irreplaceable.

I will always see my accomplishments small when I compare them to the man I looked up to so much.

The reason I bring this story up is that this Monday is Memorial Day.

A day to remember and honor those who served in Our Armed Forces.

The military is what got me excited about fitness.  So its only fitting every year with my gym we honor those with a workout.

This Monday we will be doing the workout known as Murph. 

Memorial day Murph, has become somewhat of a staple in the fitness community.

This unique Memorial Day tradition will take place at Derby City on 5/28/19 @ 11am.

Consider this an invitation to join me and countless others who will participate in honoring our service men and women.

If you have any question please don’t hesitate to let Chewy or myself know.

Look forward to seeing you there.

– Joe


 

How to Improve Ankle Mobility

On a previous video of mine, I received a question from Nicholas regarding soreness in his calves after he tries to rolling them. This is a common problem with many new lifters and those lifters who do not perform mobility or recovery exercised on their calves.

Using any combination of these three stretches will help you to improve your overall calf mobility and will help to reduce pain and tightness you may be feeling.

Stretch #1 – Standing Calf Stretch

For this stretch you will want to find a wall, pole, rig, etc. that you can use to support yourself. The stretch starts by facing the support and placing your heel as close to it as possible. Keeping the knee straight and leaning forward, hold this stretch for the desired length of time. You should feel this through your entire calf.

Stretch #2 – Achilles Stretch

This is similar to the Standing Calf Stretch except now we will be squatting down a little more and pushing the knee forward. You should feel this in your Achilles tendon.

Stretch #3 – Modified Goblet Squat

Start by getting to the bottom of your squat and holding. In this position, slowly shift your weight from side to side. You can use your elbow to help press your knee out to achieve a deeper stretch. This movement is great for when you are on the go and don’t have access to a support structure for the previous two movements.


 

How to Train Around Injuries

There we are…

Remember when you where a kid.  Its Christmas Eve, the excitement, eagerness to open presents, unable to sleep.

Anxious, excited, adrenaline coursing through your veins, you just can’t wait to get started!

This was the first time I remember having that restless eagerness feeling.

Now this is me any time I’m about to start a new training cycle, its the next chapter in my story.

A few weeks ago, I competed in the Kentucky State Championships.

I won my division, and set four state records.

I took some time off, ATE ALL THE BAD FOOD I COULD, and got ready for the next cycle.

So with all that adrenaline and eagerness to start my next training cycle, I ignored the pain in my knee from the competition.  Simply put, I thought I’d be good to go after a week off.

I was wrong….

It’s adding a lot of limitations to my training.  Over the past 20 years of coaching, I’ve seen many athletes get injured, and simply not train at all, I’ve fallen victim to in myself.

I’m not sure what’s going on this time, its three weeks before I can see my physician to get it checked out.

But I can tell you this time I’ll not stop training, I’ll simply be training around the injury.

Keeping that motivation and keep moving toward my next competition.


 

Strength Training For BJJ : Don’t Do it?

I can’t believe it!

The fact I would ever have to a rebuttal video on if someone should or should not do strength training.

Of all things, for such a physically demanding sport that requires explosive speed, STRONG ligaments, and muscular endurance.

Specifically talking about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

It goes without saying, I’m a little bias on strength training and lifting weights.  But I can even respect the articles authors opposed option and passion on the subject.

To just simply tell any athlete in a physically demanding sport “muscles are bad” is well……insane.

Honestly not only is it bad information, but its irresponsible.

I was recently tagged in an article in Jiu Jitsu times, stating that Jiu Jitsu athletes shouldn’t do strength training.

There reasons listed you should not do strength training for BJJ.

 

It takes to much time…

You wont have any mobility….

You’ll be slow…

You’ll get beat…

 

More so it seem the authors bias opinion stems from “he doesn’t lift weights here is why you shouldn’t either”

I’ve never seen or studied a  particular instance where proper strength training provided negative results to an athlete and their respective sport.

Outside of a medical reason, you should absolutely be implementing strength training into your normal routine.

If you’re simply struggling and don’t know where to start, don’t worry we do have a 10 week strength training program, specifically for Jiu Jitsu athletes, that is about to release!


 

This Is How I Got Big Quads

For me, my gym is more than athletes and members.

I spend more time with these people, than I do anyone else.

Building relationships and memories, as cliché as it sounds, through blood sweat and tears.

Every athlete I train, I can identify their physical identifying trait. 

I would bet if you ask anyone what mine is, it would have to be my smile…..

Yea right!

Legs, Quads, Turkey Drums, call them what you will, my physical identifier is by far my quads.

Any sport I’ve participated in, they’ve always got noticed.  I’d have to call myself a liar if I said I didn’t take advantage to show them off…..I worked hard for them.

But what did I do?  The answer may surprise you…

To me they’re just legs.  They help me move weight from point A to B.  But to some of my athletes at the gym, they’re abnormal quads.

Due to the abnormality, I’m often ask what should they do to get their quads larger.

Short answer…..everyone is going to be different, I sure was.

This video was requested on how I grew my quads, I always took it as a joke when people ask me…

It was never something I’ve really considered anyone would be interested in.


 

What Are Best Ab Exercises ?

What is the best exercise to get six pack abs?

Arguably the most common question in the fitness industry and one of the most irrelevant.

I’ve seen some amazing athletes come through gym, with abs looking as if they just step straight off Abercrombie & Fitch poster.

Because they have abs, the perception is they’re strong. This is not always the case…

Some abs are built for function, some for show.

To really tap into your potential for general fitness or any sport, we need a well balanced and stable core.

Stabilization is the key to success with all fitness.

If we’re lifting weights, throwing a ball, swing a bat, mixed martial arts, or running.  Our power, control, and success will be made by having established positioning.  Which originates from our core.

There are literally thousands of core (ab) exercises, with new ones originating each week.  Some useful, some flashy, some are not needed.

Like everyone, I have my favorite exercises. 

Weighted Sit Ups

Planks (and variations)

GHD Holds (Glute Ham Developers)

These are just three of my favorite, its not the only ones I put into my programming.  All simple and effective to building a stable, tight, sometimes flashy, core! 


 

Missing Lifts & Lessons Learned

Not any time soon will you find me as the poster child on how to handle a missed lift.

Like you, I have my bad training days.

I’ll miss a lift, throw something, say a few words I’d never say in front of my daughter, pout a little ….eventually process why I missed the lift, digest it only to try again.

After reviewing some of my failed lifts, it made me realize as a gym owner, as an athlete, and as a coach I need to share this with my members.

Some of them I look back on and find hilarious.

But it shows that even as a coach we go through the same struggles each day as our athletes.

All to often social media is filled with the highlight reels of accomplishment, but not the struggles and failures that got us there.

As if it diminishes the achievement. When honestly it just reflects humility and shows we’re all the same.

Missing a lift can cause a serious mental block for the next attempt. How we deal with that missed lift can impact future lifts.

Record your lifts, to have something to reflect back on. Share it with friends, coaches, or send it to me. So you can learn a lesson from that missed lift, to improve and learn how to deal with it in the future


 

Best Accessory/Assistance Exercsie : To Build Strength

 

Strength!

We’re talking pure, uninhabited strength! You want it, I want it, we all want it.

I’m commonly ask “what’s the best exercises to get stronger”.  Which is irrelevant question, what works for one does not work for all.

That said, I do have a my favorites that have helped me become stronger through the years.

I’m not talking about our traditional lifts, Bench Press, Back Squat, Deadlift.  Or even the advance lifts, Snatch, Clean and Jerk.

More so what exercise are the best accessory work, or some call auxiliary work, to help develop a sound, solid, STRONG base for strength.

The Single Arm Row.

One of the easiest, purist, bang for your buck exercises you can do in the gym.

Single Arm Rows (one arm rows) help us build stronger lats and rhomboids,  In turn allows us to push, pull, and squat more weight.

This is however an exercise EVERYONE seems to do different.  THAT DOES NOT MAKE THEM WRONG!

Different variations of the exercises and different placement allow us to work different muscle groups, allow stronger emphasis and focus on our weaknesses.

If its not something you currently add to your training, I would strongly suggest doing so.  


 

Workout Motivation

Training….

What motivates us to workout?

It’s time consuming, stressful, exhausting, and at times unpleasant.

Recently I had a discussion with friend about people who NEED motivation to start training. We didn’t see eye to eye, but that’s the beauty of discussion and seeing the other persons point of view.

Which aloud me to have some self reflection. Ultimately when we first decides to workout, what is the reason?

Hopefully it comes from a genuine place of self improvement. From general observation and personal experience, when we seek out motivation to convince us to start training, sticking with it can become problematic.

Take me for example, I did six years of competitive CrossFit. For the past 2 years I honestly did not want to do it anymore. I didn’t tell a soul, because to me it seem like I was admitting of giving up.

So I looked for outside motivation to keep me in it, music, inspirational quotes, motivating videos, new gyms, and training partners. I continued to do CrossFit because I was good at it, and thought I could take it places.

I no longer did it because of my own personal growth, ultimately abandoning it all together. That false sense of motivation will not last. Its a short term fix, plugging the hole of a already sinking boat.

To truly stay motivated we have to want to improve ourselves.  Watch the full video for more!


 

We Have Some Exciting News For You!

By now you’ve heard how 98% of those who participated in our last strength cycle set new personal records for their Bench Press, Back Squat, and Deadlift.

Almost immediately I was ask when the next strength cycle would start?

Today starts our next strength cycle, which will focus on Snatch and Clean & Jerk.

Dont shy away from these, just like the last program these may be newer movements to you, but our coaches are there to help you understand and develop these movements.

These lifts are pivotal in developing overall strength and creating explosive power. Building lean muscle ass and loosing weight in the process!

What can you expect during this strength cycle?

  • During this strength cycle you will have two programmed class days that will be focused on weightlifting. These classes will include primers/warmups, technique, and strength work.
  • Each class will be led by one of our coaches, all who have experience preforming and coaching these lifts.
  • In addition to the two programmed days, there will also be two additional days of strength training available. These days will be optional and can be completed outside regular classes. In total, everyone will have access to 4 days of strength training revolving around the Olympic Lifts.

How will the strength cycle be structed at the gym?

  • Monday – Snatches, Back Squats
  • Wednesday – Clean Jerks, Front Squats
  • Friday – Auxiliary Training
  • Saturday – Make up & Skill Work

We will also be bringing in a renowned Olympic Weightlifting coach to lead a seminar halfway through our cycle. He has helped to improve many lifters technique in the past and has coached a top 5 Nationally Ranked lifter as well as a National Record Holder.

At the end of the 10 weeks, we will be holding an inter-gym Olympic Weightlifting competition. At this competition, all participants will have the ability to attempt three lifts at both the snatch and clean and jerk with the goal of achieving the highest total possible!

They will always teach and correct all movement to ensure your safety. The Olympic lifts are fundamentally safer than the traditional lifts.

We are all looking forward to these next 10 weeks and seeing the improvements that are made throughout this cycle.

If you have any questions regarding the cycle please see Joe, Hussey, or any of our other Strength and Conditioning coaches.