Archive for the ‘2013 Seminars’ Category

3 Lessons from the 2013 DVRT Master Trainer Course

Posted: November 6, 2015 by dannytwoguns in 2013 Seminars, Articles

It is the two year anniversary of one of my favorite continuing education events of all time – the 2013 DVRT Master Trainer Summit. We’re just shy of me being 3 years as a DVRT Master Trainer and tomorrow/this upcoming weekend, I get to teach my first Level I and II Certification combo. I hadnt posted this blog here and some of the stuff is obviously a couple years old but it is definitely a worthwhile read for fellow fitness professionals, clients and fitness enthusiasts to the power of the DVRT program…

“This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of officially becoming a DVRT Master Instructor and attending the 2013 DVRT Master Trainers Course in Phoenix. It immediately followed the Results Fitness University Mastermind meeting/seminar and they combined to make one of the most powerful weeks of my life both in business and personal life.

RFU Group

(Group shot at the Results Fitness University Mastermind)

There were a ton of lessons and action items I took from both events overall that I cant wait to apply but a few from the Master Trainers Course stand out. Here are three lessons from the course…

Clean and Press Test Lessons

DVRT Clean and Press Test

A component of the weekend was to see accurate weights and parameters for the upcoming Clean and Press Test that will be implemented to become DVRT certified. I was initially undecided on whether or not I was a fan, but the weekend absolutely solidified me as a fan of it.

The test is a powerful community builder, which I will get into in my next lesson but it was also very impactful personally to me. I didn’t pass the test yet, getting 41 of the 50 (2015 update – the test is now standardized at 40 reps) that was the goal but I will in the future as one of my next goals and learned a lot in the process.


I’ve always had a significant injury history and have always been injury prone which made my training for it a little more challenging/slower than most, but I was still able to do it even though I had been frustrated at my own limitations initially from past experiences, as my body often fails me when pursuing impressive physical feats.

But the DVRT system(s), its principles and the Ultimate Sandbag allow me to train competitively and at an impressive level even with all of my limitations whereas other implements and systems did not. It is what initially drew me to the system and was exemplified by the Clean and Press test. It truly is a system and implement built for anyone and their fitness, lifestyle and performance goals.

The Clean and Press Test also brings some more responsible high intensity to an industry that seems to lean towards irresponsible intensity more and more as it progresses and that is definitely a positive step.

DVRT Corrective Course and DVD

For those of you who know me, you know I am an FMS Level 2(+) and corrective exercise junkie and enthusiast so saying that I was interested in a combined effort from my two main fitness passions in corrective exercise and DVRT is an understatement.

Over the weekend, DVRT Master Instructor Mitch Hauschildt spent half a day giving us the inside scoop on his and DVRT’s corrective exercise protocol and the DVRT Corrective Exercise DVD. The blending of the DVRT system and its principles and a corrective exercise approach is the perfect union. Seeing them in action was definitely a great insight and Im looking forward to delving more into the DVD and experimenting with some of the correctives we were introduced to over the weekend.

DVRT Corrective

(Mitch demonstrating a thoracic spine/shoulder mobility corrective)

Corrective exercises may not always be “sexy” but when they are applied to the people who need their gaps filled in and their imbalances corrected, they are imperative and the Ultimate Sandbag, DVRT and its implements of progression, instability make complete sense. I’ll keep updated as I experiment more with the DVRT based correctives.

The Power of Community

DVRT Master Trainer Group

Two main things stand out to me in terms of community over the weekend. The first was during the Clean and Press Test. Normally, in terms of motivation Im usually very intrinsically driven and don’t get very hyped up or motivated from external stimuli. The Clean and Press Test and the fellow DVRT team and Master Instructors however, changed that.

Between the fellow trainers doing the test, those doing the test alongside me and the trainers who were cheering us along and counting our reps, the energy in the room was ridiculously high and motivating. Fellow DVRT Master Instructor, Rich Mejias counted my reps and was right in my ear motivating me through when the reps were getting hard and my lungs were burning and was the main reason for the last five or so reps that I wasn’t sure I had in me. The energy in the whole room was indescribably elevating and amazing.

The second was the overall power of connecting with like-minded and motivated fitness professionals. The dinners, hang outs and time in between events and seminars networking and getting to know this new and amazing group of people was incredible and just as important and powerful as the organized events themselves.

In the past I have overlooked the networking aspect of a lot of events, keeping to myself and doing my own thing. The course and the amazing people I met made me realize that was not a wise or productive decision and I will be changing that approach going forth.

Twoguns and Fury

(The two best names of the DVRT Master Trainers, myself and Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner)

Those were the main lessons from the Master Trainer Course as well as learning the ins and outs of teaching a DVRT Workshop and Certification, which I cannot wait to hold/host my own (foreshadowing! 🙂 ), so stay tuned for that. As always, let me know what you think either on here or on Facebook.”

I think if I had to rank how good each Functional Training Summit was, the Long Beach one would be at the top. I had the privilege of attending all three and being able to soak in as much knowledge as possible at all three and the Long Beach one was definitely at the top, though that isn’t intended to sell the other two short but the way the presenters and topics ended up laying out for me, I definitely got a ton out of this one. Here are some Random Thoughts on the Long Beach Functional Training Summit.

Who and What I Saw

I stuck with the same approach I used from the two previous Functional Training Summits for the most part and when I could saw both a presenter’s lecture and hands on sessions. Stuart McGill had two separate presentations that I was really looking forward to and he didn’t let down.

Dan John’s lecture while being on Sunday, the last day at 8am was still my favorite lecture of the weekend and possibly of the whole trio of summits. He has a way of making the complex, painfully simple and is amazing. If you don’t know who he is look him up. Stuart McGill’s content is worth mentioning in the top category as well. He is the leading researcher when it comes to lower backs and back pain and the one who brought the dangers of repetitive flexion to the mainstream. Hint: If you havent stopped doing crunches, stop. He also has a freaking sweet mustache.


Topics I saw both lectures and hands on were…

Stuart McGill – “Mechanisms and Training Techniques Used for Elite Performance”
Stuart McGill – “Painful Backs : Cause, Corrective Exercises and Progressions to Performance”
Lenny Paracino – “Assessment and Problem Solving for the Hip Complex”
Kelly Starrett – “The Dysfunctional Shoulder : Pain, Performance and Solutions”
Mark Verstegen – “Barefoot Training : Benefits, Pitfalls and Programming”

The lectures only that I attended were…

Thomas Plummer – “Building a Training Brand”
Rachel Cosgrove – “How to Run a ‘Drop Two Jean Sizes Challenge’ With Your Clients”
Dan John – “The Baby Boom Generation Continues to Boom”
Dennis Keiser – “Power – The Key to Performance”

Memorable Quotes

“If your food has cartoon characters on it… seriously… stop! Eat like an adult.” – Dan John
“Fill the gaps. Then bring these gaps up to standard.” – Dan John
In regards to programming… “When you are building an “engine,” you need to know what race you are running.” – Dennis Keiser
“Core stability drives everything that is athletic.” – Stuart McGill
“If you cant physically write down on a piece of paper – “why”… Don’t do it!” – Stuart McGill
“As trainers get better, they always learn that less truly is more.” – Stuart McGill
“If abs were meant for flexion, they would be a hamstring.” – Stuart McGill
In regards to injuries… “Stop focusing on the victim (injured knee) and not the criminal (dysfunctional hip).” – Lenny Paracino
“If it doesn’t scare the crap out of you, you aren’t dreaming big enough.” – Thomas Plummer
In regards to lack of mobility… “If its not pathology or catastrophe… it’s your fault.” – Kelly Starrett
“You don’t run to get fit. You get fit to run.” – Mark Verstegen quoting Mike Boyle

“As trainers get better, they always learn that less truly is more.”

This seemed to be the recurring theme throughout the weekend from all of the presenters and I agree whole heartedly. I cant think of too many times with current clients that hit a stagnation, where the answer is that they do more. Most of the time is that they do what they are doing but better, such as taking out running and adding some strength training or sometimes it’s even that they actually do less.

In a current society where we’ve went from sitting on our ass all day to thinking that you need to be dead on the floor and/or vomiting and this is the normal cool down…

CrossFit CoolDown

It’s no wonder there are those misconceptions. Dont get me wrong, if you aren’t doing anything, get off your ass and strength train. But the whole crush yourself all the time people, stop. As I get better and better as a fitness professional, Im realizing more and more that the answer is always “better” and not “more.” The make you tired endless burpees, push up, run around the track workouts not only don’t make you any better and only make you tired but they actually make you worse because now your body still has to recover from something that didn’t actually do anything for you.

Dan John said, “Strive for perfection in all things. Your client’s goals should revolve around mastery.” And it makes complete sense. I’ve said this before but getting tired might be a byproduct of your workout but that isn’t the goal of your workout. This isn’t an excuse to not work hard, but you have to work smarter and better.

Playing In The Middle Of The Road Is Sure Death


This was in my notes specifically from Thom Plummer’s presentation, which was the first of the 3-day summit but it was also reiterated a couple more times in different variations throughout the weekend and seemed to be the secondary theme of the weekend. The bottom line is that no one ever got anywhere worth going to by being average. This goes for fitness goals, performance goals, career goals, etc.

I’ve been described as “obsessive” at times. But I’ve never agreed with it (for the most part haha). Mainly because it was never an obsession, it was just an absolute and adamant refusal of average. If Im going to do something, it isn’t only going to get done but it’s going to be fucking excellent.

Being average doesn’t require too much effort or sacrifice but being excellent certainly does. Whatever excellent may be to a specific person may differ but we will always be able to differentiate between average and excellent without effort. I genuinely want to be a catalyst for people to change their lives through fitness and being average at that is not an option.

I say pick a goal. And to quote Dan John, “Your goal is to keep the goal the goal,” which seems simple but is rather profound. Defy average and only don’t do anything that isn’t conducive to your goals, but crush them and get excellent outcomes and results. No excuses, realize you are capable of far more than you think you are and do it. It really is that simple.

The Chicago Functional Training Summit was a little over three weeks ago. With a busy time putting things into action from the weekend before at the Results Fitness Mastermind/Mentorship and the Summit itself, I haven’t gotten around to writing about it yet. I was pretty exhausted from the back to back weeks/weekends of traveling during the summit but still got in some great experiences including getting to bullshit with Mike Wunsch quite a bit, which I enjoyed.

Here’s some random thoughts from the Chicago Functional Training Summit…

Who and What I Saw…

I went with the same approach that I did with the Providence summit in that I saw both the lecture and hands on session of each presenter when I was able to do so. I definitely like that approach because you get the full understanding of each topic as it is impossible for the presenter to get through everything in just the lecture or just the hands on.

Topics where I saw both the lectures and hands on were…

Eric Beard – 6 Steps to Thoracic Mobility
Jason Glass – Rotational Power Slings
Craig Liebenson – Building the Resilient Athlete
Michael Mullin – Principles of Posture Restoration for the Sports Clinician

The lectures only I saw were…

Fraser Quelch – The Evolution of Training
Chuck Wolf – Core Connections
Charlie Weingroff – Cracking the Stretching Code
Rick Mayo – You Gotta Have Layers

And then the one hands on only I attended was…

Josh Henkin and Metabolic Stability Training

And it was a blast. I had the honor and privilege of assisting fitness and Ultimate Sandbag guru, Josh Henkin in coaching and instructing the hands-on presentation… and easily had the best socks of the day.

Chicago FTS

The session emphasized Josh’s methods and philosophies of his Dynamic Variable Resistance Training model including how we can progress and regress exercises with more than just adding or subtracting weight to it. It was all things we covered in the Level 1&2 DVRT Certification a few months ago but it was my first experience as an “expert” at one of the biggest fitness profession events. A humbling and interesting experience indeed.

Chicago FTS 2

Josh and the DVRT coaches split up and tackled the massive group and it was a great experience to say the least. Coaching the fitness professional is definitely different than coaching clients as I was used to. Big thanks for Josh for the education and the opportunity.

Memorable Quotes

“People with desk/sitting jobs are TWICE as likely to die from heart disease opposed to those who do not.” – Eric Beard
“A good workout should leave you with more than it takes away.” – Craig Liebenson via Pavel Tsatsouline
“Never lose science, principles and what is proven to work but never forget to have fun either.” – Fraser Quelch
“Earn the right to rotate. Anti-rotation has to come before rotation.” – Jason Glass
“Efficiency is the enemy of fat loss.” – Rick Mayo
“Bootcamps, Crossfit… they’re all a race to the bottom and a price war. You are better, charge for it.” – Rick Mayo
“I have a 70 year old woman at my gym who can deadlift 300lbs. You know why she was able to do that? Because I never told her she couldn’t or shouldn’t. ” – Thomas Plummer
“Posture isn’t static.” – Michael Mullin
“Don’t stretch for competency, stretch only when there is competency.” – Charlie Weingroff
“We deem an exercise functional by its result, not what it looks like.” – Charlie Weingroff via Gray Cook
“You didn’t lose flexibility from X, you lost flexibility because you trained like an idiot.” – Charlie Weingroff

The Answer

Craig Liebenson in his lecture “Building the Resilient Athlete,” quoted SFG/formerly RKC and kettlebell expert Pavel Tsatouline… “I find it ridiculous when an athlete spends 45 minutes on esoteric correctives, then half heartedly lifts a baby weight in some sissy move… he has turned into a hypochondriac, constantly scanning his carcass for aches and pains, real and imaginary. An athlete pre occupied with his rehab/prehab is micromanaging his body.”

Craig’s response to this was – “Don’t forget your function as a professional, the pendulum swings both ways.” What he meant was we have two extremes the pendulum has swung to. The side that chases the make you tired at all costs and leads to injury through irresponsible working out and the side that only does corrective exercises or lifts baby weights because they don’t want to get injured or “bulky”.

My answer (and the right one 🙂 ) is that it falls somewhere in the middle. You have to get strong/lift heavy and work hard but you also need to do those things on a solid foundation built on proper mobility, stability and functional movements. If one doesn’t have those, you need corrective/FMS based exercises in order to do so. But that doesn’t mean you cant workout hard on the things you are capable or competent at.

We need to be mobile through the thoracic spine, hips and ankles and stable though the core, lower back and knee and those are all related. A lot of people have a weakness there that needs to be addressed, so we address it and the hit the things hard that need to be/we can. Getting tired is a possible byproduct of a good workout but it certainly isn’t the goal.

The pendulum has definitely swung too far in the direction of the goal being making you tired, pointless and potentially dangerous workouts from the sitting on a machine, lift light and easy it had been. As usual, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Correctives aren’t just for wimps, lifting heavy wont hurt you or make you bulky if you don’t want it to and is the answer to fat loss and feeling better.


I’ve been slow to jump on the breathing bandwagon that seems to have consumed the fitness profession lately. I’ve had exposure and heard a lot from it the in the past six months to a year but I just wasn’t buying it. I don’t know if it was because I was just being stubborn or not having a full understanding. But either way I wasn’t buying. Until the Chicago summit.

After seeing Art Horne’s presentation and hands on of “Atypical Training Strategies for Injury Reduction and Improved Performance” in Providence, now seeing Eric Beard’s “6 Steps to Thoracic Mobility” and Michael Mullin (of PRI which has brought dysfunctional breathing and corrections related to them to the mainstream)’s “Principles of Posture Restoration for the Sports Clinician,” as well as seeing Results Fitness incorporating it while I was there for the mastermind, I’ve given in and started experimenting.


I’ve mainly been experimenting on myself so far but it seems that I’m sold enough to start experimenting with clients in their programs in the near future. The short (of the very long and complicated of it, oddly enough) is that people generally have dysfunctional diaphragmatic breathing and generally breathe through the upper chest/shoulders, dont inhale with proper expansion or exhale with control leading to dysfunctional posture, mobility, stability and movement patterns among other things.

There are other interesting points in breathing such as its impact on sympathetic hormones and neurotransmitters or the “fight or flight” response, but that’s for another time. I’ll be sure to keep updated as I experiment but it is definitely the “new thing” in fitness so we’ll see what happens.

I probably lost half of the readers in that breathing thought as it is, so I’ll end it here for now. As always, let me know what you thought, liked or disliked. Talk to you soon.

Here’s the 2nd installment of the Providence Functional Training Summit series. Reader’s seem to like the Random Thoughts post where I go on tangents and talk about whatever so it seemed fitting to do one dedicated to things the summit made me think about. Let’s start with some take home quotes…

Random Memorable Quotes

“Dream so big that when you go to pick it up, you fart” – Thomas Plummer
“If you want what others don’t have… then do what others don’t do.” – Bill Parisi
“Anyone can make you tired, but who can make you better?” – Martin Rooney

Martin Rooney Sprint
“If you’re on fire enough, you will make people burn.” – Martin Rooney
“In the beginner’s mine there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Jon Torine via Shunryu Suzuki
Talking of his son wanting to practice lacrosse in the backyard… “What is the point of “getting a sweat” and he was like who the hell cares Im freaking 9 years old” – Jon Torine
“When we take the more is better approach, all we do is get worse.” – Gray Cook
“Its 2013 and I still see people doing things from 1990… are you shitting me?” – Coach Dos
“The next big thing is going back to the basics, not killing people.” – Art Horne


In his “Build Better Athletes” lecture, one of Coach Dos’ principles was “Comfort truly is the enemy.” He followed it up with time to work is for work and you need to out train or out work your opponent/competition EVERY day.

This holds true for your business or for your fitness goals. Complacency builds nothing. You have to always strive to be better. Have a better business, lose more fat, gain more muscle, be a better husband/wife/father/mother, whatever. Nothing ever came to lose who sat around and waited for it or didn’t work hard to get it. Nothing great ever came without sacrifice.

Getting into the gym 2-3 times a week in the summer in Erie when we only have those 3-4 months, if that, of real sun isn’t easy. Sticking to your diet/lifestyle when friends, coworkers, family want to day drink or BBQ unhealthy food choices in that evasive sun, takes some self-discipline. Know your priorities and follow them. But don’t forget to have some fun.

Dan and Nolan 2

You can still spend quality time with the people you want to, just do a little food planning. You can still enjoy the sun and go to the beach, just do it on an off day of workouts or do it after your workout is done.

Remember why you are doing things. Whether it is to fit into that bathing suit with a smidge of confidence, whether it is simply to gain a smidge of confidence, whether it is to get better at your sport, whether it is to play with your son or daughter more often, or better yet to be able to see them grow up. Take time to live life but don’t forget all of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle that you are striving for.

Do something that makes you uncomfortable. Get out of that comfort zone and do something amazing or something you thought or “knew” you couldn’t.

The exception is your vacation. Enjoy it as much as you can. But don’t forget to get right back on once you get back. (This also assumes you take only one vacation haha).

Evidence Based Training Approaches

One of the trends in the fitness profession is that of “evidence based training” or evidence based approaches. This essentially means that unless there is significant research to back something, you don’t apply it or see it as valid or effective.

My opinion on it had been that research is definitely a positive thing but a lot of times people handcuff themselves with it. Simply experimenting and seeing that something is effective and working well is more than enough of a reason to continue trying it and getting results with it even though there isn’t any research behind it.

Greg Rose in his presentation said that, “Research/evidence based approaches are the enemy of innovation.” Martin Rooney when asked why his hurricane metabolic training methods made people lose fat and build muscle at the same time, responds with “I don’t know, because I’ve done it and seen it work on myself and hundreds of athletes.”

If people are getting better, healthier, leaner, strong, less injured and moving better through something that hasn’t been through the research trials, then I see no reason to not use it full force.

If something Im doing now, turns out to be shown ineffective or harmful by research, then I have no problem stopping it and admitting I was wrong but until then I am always going to err on the side of innovation and it was great to hear multiple top level coaches saying the same thing.


The Functional Training Summits bring the highest level of education from the highest level of presenters available in the profession. And all high-level fitness professionals, physical therapists, strength and conditioning coaches agree in an anti-crossfit stance… and they don’t hide it.

Mike Boyle and Gray Cook have been strong advocates against it and it’s good to see more and more high end professionals voicing out publicly against it.

It was approximately five minutes into the Pre-Conference special, “The Future of Exercise Program Design : A Standard Operation Procedure” when the first jab of the weekend was thrown at crossfit.

It was Gray Cook with the quote, “Workout of the Day… is that a program or a playgram?” WOD or workout of the day (or in some circles “with out direction”) is the staple of crossfit and is essentially random programming thrown at you to make you tired. It is exactly what Gray said, a playgram, which isn’t effective for any goal that isn’t simply making you tired.

CrossFit Arms

Pay a fitness professional to make you better and achieve your goals. Not make you tired and convince you it’s doing something positive.

That’s all for this one. Be sure to let me know either on here or FB what you thought of it, liked about it or any feedback at all.

Im currently settling back into the swing of things after attending the Perform Better Functional Training Summit and while it was a fast paced, information packed weekend, Im ready and excited to start implementing some of the things I’ve learned.

I took a different approach this year than I did last year. Last year at the Providence summit, I attended only the lecture sessions (the summit offers a choice of 2 lectures and 2 hands-on sessions every 75 minute time slot). Each presenter has a topic and each topic has a corresponding lecture and a hands-on session. This year, with plans to attend all three summits I had the opportunity to attend a presenters lecture as well as hands-on so I could get the full experience of the topic and presenter.

The lecture only’s I attended were…
Thomas Plummer – Building a Training Brand
Duane Carlisle – The 5 Pillars of Speed Development
Coach Dos – Builder Better Athletes
Jon Torine – Programming : More Than Sets and Reps
Gray Cook – Exploring Functional Movement
Exploring Functional Movement Lecture
Picture of Gray Cook’s lecture. Lets play who can find the back of my head?

All were great with a lot of take home and actionable information, especially the building a training brand talk from Tom Plummer as the business topics always interest me the most. What I want to focus on now is the lectures plus hands on sessions that I attended, particularly two of them.

The lectures as well as hands-on sessions that I attended were…

Bill Parisi – Becoming a Legendary Youth Performance Coach
Martin Rooney – Hurricane Training : Metabolic Work Made Simple
Greg Rose – Developing Rotary Power in Athletes
Art Horne – Injury Purgatory : Atypical Training Strategies for Injury Reduction and Improved Performance

For now I want to focus on Bill Parisi and Greg Rose. Both of their topics were centered around training youth “athletes”, I use the quotes because they are all athletes in a sense even though they don’t all necessarily compete. Martin Rooney blew me away in both his lecture and hands-on, this will be a post in itself in the near future but not what I want to focus on right now.

I am in the process of starting my youth performance and fitness programs here in Erie and these topics were perfect timing for me. I’ve had the itch and desire for a while and finally got the ball rolling after attending the IYCA Summit.

Bill Parisi – Becoming a Legendary Youth Performance Coach


Bill Parisi owns the Parisi Speed Schools franchise and has a ton of facilities across the country and is one of the leading experts in youth performance training.

A couple of take homes from his lectures…
– Today’s youth are the first generation not expected to outlive their parents. Kids and teens are so out of shape and move so poorly that even with the plethora of positive changes in technology and everything else, we’ve regressed so much that they will have a shorter lifespan than their parents.
– Youth performance/fitness coaches have a responsibility to be a role model and an impactful coach in an era where; the average parent has under 40 minutes of meaningful conversation with their teens each week, the average teen sends 3,000! text messages a month, and 91% of teens admit to being bullied.
– Communication is paramount and equally as important as the training itself.
– Build mastery in the foundations/fundamentals, don’t worry about all the fancy stuff
– Make it fun, challenging and safe
– Teach them how to warm up, then teach them movement, then teach them strength
– Teach them recovery – no teens sleep enough or eat anywhere near adequately

His hands on session focused on the build mastery in the fundamentals aspect of his lecture. It is easy to get caught up in all of the hype of the fitness industry and the “make them tired at all costs” approach and variety for the sake of variety current trends are taking but kids and teens are moving worse and worse each year. You can’t get a metabolic or performance effect from training if they don’t have the foundation built and the fundamentals mastered.

Master the fundamentals and then move on to harder variations of the fundamentals. Seems crazy simple but hype, marketing and crossfit seem to make us forget.

Greg Rose – Developing Power for Rotary Athletes

Along the same lines of why I wanted to see both of Bill Parisi’s youth performance sessions, I wanted to see both of Greg Rose’s because he works a ton with youth athletes, particularly golfers and has amazing theories and facts about the development of children as athletes, starting at 4 years old.

He stated that there are “4 windows” of development in youth athletes that determines their success as an athlete as well as their fitness level. The windows are speed 1, speed 2, strength and power. The athlete who hit all four of those windows growing up and developing are the ones who become elite athletes or have the highest potential to be one.

To paraphrase a 75 minute lecture explaining this, the long and short of it is there are points in development where you are growing fast, this is around 4-7 years old for girls and 5-8 for boys, which correlates to the speed 1 window, and puberty, which correlates to speed 2 when you should train fast, hence being called speed windows. These speed windows need to address speed and mobility as you cannot build strength without it and additionally strength cannot be built in the absence of testosterone, which puberty brings.

The strength window comes after the onset of puberty when testosterone can make strength and muscle gains stick and goes into the college age years. This isn’t to say that power isn’t trained to some extent then but the official sport specific power window follows once speed and strength have both been established in the college and “graduate school” age years.

Each phase has specific training adaptations that will yield the best physical result and should focus on those only. His hands-on session went over his warm up he uses which emphasizes quality and functional movements starting from lying on the ground, to quadruped (on all fours), kneeling and then standing, like the approach we take at Twoguns Training Systems.

The main aspect of the hands-on revolved around how you screen and assess an athlete or clients potential for performance using a vertical jump test, sit up and throw test, a baseline “shotput” throw test and a seated chest throw test as well as some methods of training he uses for reactivity and power in youth athletes.

What does all this mean?

Both lectures and both hands-on sessions essentially debunked the main industry myth that you can’t train children/youth. While it is certainly responsible to say that you shouldn’t but a barbell on a 6 year olds back or have a 12 year old do crossfit but research and logic shows that there not only are but there should be encouraged training methods for children and youth athletes, you just have to find the approach and methodologies that suit them best.

I am in the process of starting my youth fitness and performance programs. I think it is a definite need in the industry and especially in Erie to get kids moving better and more often and this weekend was definitely a great step in the direction of making them better and healthier. Stay tuned for more information as I progress through it and start it up.

Perform Better One-Day Learn-By-Doing Seminar – Phoenix

Posted: January 21, 2013 by dannytwoguns in 2013 Seminars

With one of my 2013 goals being to go to as many educational opportunities I could, when I heard there was a Learn-By-Doing in Phoenix, it was a no brainer that it would be my first stop on my continuing education tour. My childhood best friend moved to the Phoenix area a few years back and it served as a good opportunity to catch up with him and get some learning in as well (also adding no need to spend on a hotel room either haha). Plus the line up was stacked.

I’m going to start a little series throughout the year where I summarize and give some thoughts on the events and seminars I attend. This line-up of presenters was definitely a good one and didn’t disappoint. Here is the breakdown of them and their topics.

Lee Burton – Functional Movement Screen Myths Exposed : What You Should Really Know

I had seen Lee in Long Beach at the Functional Training Summit and saw him a little more closely and in depth at the Functional Movement Screen Workshop and Certification a few months later.

With Lee Burton and Gray Cook (the founders and developers of the Functional Movement Screen) you always seem to learn something new or have an “Ah I get it now” moment that you didn’t have before. This time was no different. Seeing him present with a now thorough understanding of the FMS that I didn’t have either time before really helped things sink in.

His presentation focused upon how with the FMS gaining more and more popularity also comes more and more people misunderstanding and at times completely butchering what it is actually about. He reinforced facts about how the “goal score” of the FMS is a 14 (with symmetrical 2’s and no asymmetries) and not a 21.

He also emphasized how the FMS isn’t simply about “what corrective exercises do I need?” but more about what one actually needs to avoid doing that could be making them deficient in the movement pattern in the first place, whether it be lifestyle or something being done in the gym. My main point that resonated with me was that the FMS is about improving performance in the grand scheme and its goal is ideally to eliminate the need for corrective exercise as much as possible.

His hands-on portion focused on the Y-Balance Test and the mobility tests of the FMS including an ankle mobility screen.

Mike Boyle – Functional Coaching

I originally saw Mike at the Providence Functional Training Summit and regularly interact on his forum and one thing about him is that he is one of the best teachers in the industry. He has this simple, direct and to the point way of explaining things that pretty much anyone can understand.

For those not familiar with Mike Boyle, he is widely known for (and not of his own doing) for the boom of functional training. He is a well-known for almost exclusively advocating single leg lower body exercises over bilateral and he makes a very valid case for it. He is also an outspoken advocate for true “functional training” (not what its become butchered as) and against Crossfit as one of the things wrong with the industry.

“Functional Training” has gotten a bad rap in the recent years as the new buzzword with everything from a Squat to a Turkish Get Up to a One Eye Closed Standing on One Leg on a Bosu Ball Overhead Press seemingly falling into the umbrella.

His hands-on component focused on teaching and coaching single leg hip dominant exercises such as bridges and deadlifts.

The single leg deadlift, I’ve found is one of the harder exercises to teach and coach and his hands-on was an extremely helpful insight to how to make that smoother and easier.

Some of his lecture take home points…

– “Functional” changes with each person and what is functional for your high school athletes isn’t necessarily the same for your middle-aged female fat loss client.
– Not all function is good function. Function causes dysfunction. Good function is good.
– He showed a video of a couple of his female athletes doing a single leg squat variation and asked what plane it was in. The assumed answer was sagittal plane but realistically there are major muscles doing major stabilizing in the frontal and transverse plane as well and for the vast majority of athletes, that is completely functional.
– “To me, Crossfit is like a frat. You pay people a lot of money to do a bunch of stupid shit and then throw up at the end.”

He made it a point that functional training leaves people moving better and most importantly feeling better. He gave an example of how 9 times out of 10 when a client comes to him and says “their knee hurts, what do they have,” the answer is “a wicked case of weakness” or poor training/programming.

Getting people stronger, moving better and feeling better should be the goal of “functional training” and that doesn’t come from random one leg bosu exercises or running 400m in between high rep snatches sets.

Todd Durkin – The 10-Day IMPACT Solution

Todd Durkin is one of those guys who when he enters the room, absolutely everyone knows he is there. Not in that annoying and obnoxious way, but in the way that he emits so much energy to everyone in the room, you can’t help but get sucked in.

I saw him in Providence but only went to his lecture then. Seeing him in his hands-on component this time around is a completely different aspect. His presentation was on his 10-Day IMPACT Solution which is a fat loss promotion he runs at his facility to get new clients in the door and spark a fire in his current clients. It is definitely something I am contemplating incorporating at Twoguns Training Systems. He is a great motivator and finished asking, “What are you doing to do this year that sets you apart from your competition and from yourself last year?”

When it came time to start the hands-on portion of the day, my group didn’t start with him and seeing a couple groups go to his before we did definitely made everyone look forward to his. He took us through a variation of his group training sessions and there is definitely no slacking at all from anyone. It was a fairly simple combination of three circuits (lower body, upper body and movement drills) but the energy he gets out of everyone was crazy and he got everyone moving and moving hard.

Todd Durkin
Myself (left) and Evan (right) with Todd Durkin after he kicked our ass

Alwyn Cosgrove – Training the Executive Athlete

Alwyn is one of the, if not the leading fat loss expert in the industry as well as the owner of one of the most successful training facilities in the country. His topic was on a new market in the personal training industry, the executive athlete.

In the past there was been two main markets, the athlete and the fat loss client. But recent trends like mud runs, tough mudders etc that now give the former athlete or the fitness enthusiast something to compete in and work toward has yielded a new breed of client.

I had been thinking about this new type of client for a while and the “success” of things like Crossfit serve as proof that this new type of client exists and need a proper training program (which they don’t get from Crossfit) to safely succeed in their goals. Alwyn detailed special considerations for this specific population and how they differ from other markets of clients and did a great job of doing so even though he was under the weather.

Since he was under the weather and didn’t want to get people sick in his hands on, one of his coaches and program designer, Mike Wunsch as well as sandbag training expert Josh Henkin ran the hands-on session. Alwyn noted the sandbag and “asymmetric and alive” training as part of the future due to its constant instability and constant demand on the core.

The session went through their RAMP warm up protocol, a couple of interesting core progressions and then different ways to load and increase the difficulty of training with the sandbag without having to increase the weight of the sandbag itself. It left me with some good ideas to immediately implement as well as a pair of sore glutes to sit on a plane on the way home. Twoguns Training Systems clients got to feel some lateral lunge progressions with the sandbag too when I got back so I could share the fun.

The Phoenix One-Day Learn By Doing was a great kick off the 2013 learning season and definitely left me excited for the upcoming Perform Better Functional Training Summits over the summer.