Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

Some Rant Mode Fun

Posted: April 28, 2014 by dannytwoguns in About Me

Good ol’ fashioned rants always seem to be a big hit among readers. One I posted a week or two ago was shared a bunch and everyone seemed to love it. I tend to do a little ranting on occasion and didn’t necessarily want to post a FB status rant once a week or multiple times a week but since people liked them I figured as I would go on my rants, I would write them down in a blog post and then post it once there has been an adequate amount of ranting done.

There was a day last week where it was one of those days where I saw two separate ridiculous fitness related things on FB locally here that made me want to comment, rant and rave and cause a ruckus. However, positive Danny Twoguns refrained. But I figured it would make for a good little rant.

1. Your workout should give you more than it takes from you. There is absolutely no value in getting tired for the sake of getting tired. Your workout should be focused around making you better. You may fatigue and be tired after a good workout but you should be feeling better than when you walked in and there is no merit in doing something just to torch you, make you tired and hinder your recovery. Do things that make you stronger, make you better and get you toward your goals faster not slower.

Everything in your program should be there for a reason, and a responsible one at that.

Suzanne B&A 2

Over 20 pounds down but a completely different posture in 8 weeks – No make you tired workouts for her – Just make you better ones.

2. This is a hard pill to swallow but the last set of people you should be listening to about diet advice is your peers – unless of course, they are telling you the recommendations they got from a professional and even then that is likely individual to them if it came from a reliable source. Tough love, but true.

In my last rant I talked about how your diet needs to be individual to you and you find that through experimenting with your own under the guidance of someone who knows what they are talking about. Finding someone who knows what they are talking about is easier said than done but it certainly is not found through what your friends sister in law read in people magazine.

When someone asked for advice for how to lose fat or overcome a plateau, I heard…

– “The problem is you aren’t eating enough – eat more.” Now this is a real thing but rare and most likely not your issue. The average person does not train hard enough, frequently enough or actually not eat enough calories to have to eat more. There are those people, but you are most likely not that person.

– “Don’t eat after 6pm.” Myth and not true. It could have at least said “No carbs after 6pm” and even then I would have debated that one also. But don’t eat after 6pm? Sucks for you if you get out of work late multiple days a week…

– “Eat a good big breakfast.” Myth. General Mills and the Agricultural Association told you this. There is a lot of actual science research that shows how beneficial NOT eating breakfast is. The last thing your body needs first thing in the morning is a massive insulin spike. Clients have commented how much more productive there morning is after implementing skipping breakfast.

– “Shakeology,” “AdvoCare” “random MLM scheme” – Faceplant. Just no. There are no miracle supplements that will get you around old fashioned hard work.

Face Palm

This topic may need further elaboration later but it is one that definitely gets me. Im fully aware that some people have gotten great results with one of these sub-par shake, supplement, whatever schemes. But 99 times out of 100, these are people who went from Zero anything in terms of diet and training into it and then got some results. But the reality is these people would have succeeded on any strict program they stick to because of the dramatic change that it was and you make your absolute best gains when you are starting out not because that program is magical and great for everyone. This is also why these people tend to rebound so drastically.

It also helps that they make money off of you buying these things from them as well. There is a reason you don’t get recommendations for these kinds of cleanses and whatnots from experienced fitness professionals who have put their time in learning the right way to do things.

– “Eat a damn big mac and shock your system.” Really? There is research and merit to a cheat meal or small window of a cheat (not a full day). But there is never merit to a big mac.

The quality of your food matters. Not all calories are created equal. 2000 calories of chicken and broccoli is not the same as 2000 calories of big macs. Regardless of what your high school health teacher told you.

– “Switch up your training. Shock your muscles!” – If you are training correctly, your program/programming wont let you stagnate. There is never a legitimate need to completely overhaul your program. Muscle confusion is a myth propagated to sell you p90x and crossfit.

It is unfortunate but the best way to get truly sustainable and amazing results is to hire a competent fitness professional. I understand that finding one is easier said than done as some parts of this rant came from the doings of personal trainers but finding someone to help guide you through the mess that the fitness industry has become is the best way.

Piss on Average

3. I recently had a strategy session in which the prospect told me she wanted to be able to come and go as she pleased, if she wasnt feeling the workout that day she wasnt going to come and she just “wanted to get a workout in every now and then.”

Guess what I told her?

“We’re probably not a good fit for you.” She was surprised but I told her all those things she said is exactly NOT what we do here at Twoguns Training Systems.

If your goal is to be average – We’re not for you.
If you dont want to make a change – We’re not for you.
If your workout is something you can just take or leave… We’re not for you.
If you want a workout that is just going to smoke you, make you tired and not make you better? We’re not for you.
if you want something cheap and takes no effort – We’re not for you.

And that’s okay, there are other options that would suit you better.

If you arent any of those things above and you want to make a major change, workout hard in order to get better and accomplish your goals while making a commitment to not only yourself, but to the gym, my team and I? Then we are absolutely for you, complete beginner to “advanced.” We don’t discriminate on ability level like some of our competitors. There is nothing too intense for you because we are good enough to scale everything down exactly to your level.

Here is a chance for you to make a change – the Swing Into Summer Transformation Challenge

Rant mode over. Please post your thoughts and comments on the Facebook thread and let me know what you think.

A client and I were talking about one of Twoguns Training Systems Core Values, to constantly be learning and improving and what continuing education seminars/certifications/events I had lined up or going on in the future. She gave me the idea that it may be interesting to write a little post to give people some insight as to the things I am learning and the certifications or seminars I am attending or going to.

It is a busy time for me in terms of continuing education as I have a bunch of things going on at once and some events I’ll be traveling to, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is important to me to always strive to be the best and learn as much as I possibly can in order to provide the best service possible to clients.

BodyMAP Certified Coach


I attended the BodyMAP Certification when I was in California in late February and it was truly a game changer. But just attending the course didn’t make you actually certified. To do so, you have to perform 10 BodyMAP Assessments and Case Studies and write a dissertation on them and the BodyMAP System in order to become certified. Im finishing up the case studies and have began working on the dissertation and should be officially certified in the near future.

I also received a recording of a recent BodyMAP Certification (one I haven’t attended) so I’ll be delving in there to get even more learn on with the BodyMAP goodness.

Training For Warriors Level 1

TFW Logo

If you follow me regularly on Facebook, you’ve seen Ive been on a little bit of a Martin Rooney/Training for Warriors kick as of late. Martin Rooney (founder of Training For Warriors) has been one of my long time favorites in terms of fitness professionals both for his ability to motivate and his wealth of knowledge in terms of training but particular metabolic training. He is definitely top three in fitness mancrushes, no homo, not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Martin Rooney Quote 2

For those who have experienced the Twoguns Training Systems “Hurricane” Metabolic Workout, that is completely influenced by the Training For Warriors Hurricanes.

The live Training For Warriors Level 1 certification has been that one event that I have been eagerly wanting to go to but logistics and location have never added up and when the online certification opened up, I jumped on it and am currently taking it. It is a 4 week course and after only watching a couple of the modules (it is essentially a live course filmed into different modules in a membership site), Im glad I didn’t wait for a live one.

Here is a quick rundown of it for those not familiar, from the Training For Warriors website.

“What separates the TFW system from other training programs is its holistic approach to training. TFW encompasses detailed warmups, speed training, strength training, endurance training, flexibility work and nutrition all of which are based on a comprehensive evaluation process. These training modalities are all applied based on the 12 guiding principles that are the philosophical foundation of the TFW system. As a result of this principle-centered approach, the TFW system offers endless variety while still focused on producing constant gains.”

Cant wait to start applying some of the greatness from this certification.

Killing It With Kettlebells

I attended the Kettlebell Athletics Certification this past Fall and am attending the StrongFirst Kettlebell Level 1 Certification in July, but both of those center around kettlebell training technique and coaching. The Kiling It With Kettlebells Certification focusing around building up a kettlebell-centric large group personal training program. Even though Twoguns Training Systems already offers the best large group personal training program in the area, the course offered a great opportunity to “sharpen our sword” as well as expand the possibilities of future large group programs we can hold.

This is a live event in the beginning of April that Im definitely excited about. It is three days long with one of those days including an 8 hour workshop with another fitness professional mancrush, Dan John. Each year Dan John has been one of my favorite presentations at the Functional Training Summits as he has a way to make what seems complicated, painfully simple and doing so in a way everyone can understand and chunk down all while being funny and educational. His book, “Never Let Go” is one of my favorites as well. Very excited for this event weekend.

Those are the three on the immediate radar for continuing education and our constant pursuit at learning. There are a few more on the horizon and scheduled now, but not until the end of May, in which could be the start of a potential and would be epic 5 week continuing education tour. We shall see.

For now, any questions or curiosities related to any of the above, feel free to shoot me a message here or over on Facebook. Always be learning and improving.

Random Thoughts – 9/8

Posted: September 8, 2013 by dannytwoguns in About Me

Things are busier than ever lately and I cant complain at all. In case you missed it, here are a few things on the horizon…

Monday, September 16th – Back to School Transformation Challenge (for teachers and school administrators) start (8 week challenge, Monday, Wednesday and Friday 4pm @ $300)
Saturday, September 21st at 12pm/Noon – Get With the Program Book Signing and Grand Opening @ 2220 W 50th Street (off Pacific and Grandview)
October 1st – Transition to new facility
Mid-October – Rock Your Jeans/Drop Two Sizes Transformation Challenge

Definitely going to be an exciting new couple of months for everyone involved and Im absolutely looking forward to it. Here are a couple random thoughts in the meantime…

Training to failure is training to fail

This is a popular quote among top strength coaches and fitness professionals and the antithesis of certain communities in the industry. I was once again reminded of it in the recent release “Off the Floor,” a manual on the deadlift by Dave Dellanave. I find it one of the more valuable pieces of advice. In my clients programming as well as my own, adopting this philosophy has not only gotten clients better and more frequent results but it has also cut down on nagging pains and ailments.

There is a time and place for maxing out and maximum intensity but it is the far minority to simply getting stronger, progressively and consistently without ever pushing the absolute in the set. As the industry leans toward the leave yourself in a puddle of sweat and puke crossfit mentality and getting tired for the sake of getting tired, it’s always a good reminder that smart training always trumps training yourself into the ground and training yourself to fail.

“Luck is a word lazy people use to describe people that are hustling”

This is one of my favorite quotes from “Start” by Jon Acuff. This goes hand in hand with a Thomas Jefferson quote I posted on Facebook last week that said “I find that the harder I work the more luck I seem to have.” These quotes apply to just about everything I can think of. It’s true for my business, it’s true for my fitness and strength goals and it’s true for you and your fat loss, performance or strength goals. The best and most optimal results come from those who hustle and those who continually keep their goal, the goal and only do things conducive to those goals as often as possible.

Filling in the gaps

Another training related one. This was a big take home from Dan John at the Functional Training Summit in Long Beach. One of the values of having a coach or fitness professional in your corner is the ability to get an objective view of your own training. Dan John notes that if it were up to him, the majority of the time in the gym would be spent doing push exercises, specifically the bench press, because he is good at them and he would never do any pulling or rows, because he hates them and is bad at them.

And it is human nature. We tend to do the things we are good at and avoid the things we are bad at. He noted the important to “fill in your gaps.” In the grand scheme of function – push, pull, squat, hinge, split stance, single leg, symmetry etc, we need to emphasize the areas where we are below average at.

For me personally, Im good at deadlifting, bilateral exercises and lower reps, so I’d do it often. And Im awful at anything lower body (that isn’t a deadlift), unilateral exercises, core and higher reps. So for the past 6 weeks I’ve made it an emphasis to fill in my gaps and it has certainly been an interesting experience. Its humbling because you get your ass kicked by things that shouldn’t because you are so inefficient at them but always has shown its benefits tenfold in strength, performance and aesthetics. Definitely has influenced my programming greatly.

Little Gratuity

I was on the phone setting up an appointment for a weigh in and assessment with one of my new clients for the Back to School Transformation Challenge and after we set up the appointment she said, “Thank you so much for doing this.” She hasnt even started yet and is excited for the life changing decision she has made. It made me smile. Her gratitude and excitement made me grateful and excited as well. I will always be grateful for and love having the ability to change peoples lives for the better and don’t take that honor and privilege lightly. Just wanted to take a second to thank everyone who has given, currently gives and will give in the future, the ability for me to be a catalyst in their fitness journey.

Couple Big Announcements…

Posted: August 27, 2013 by dannytwoguns in About Me

As usual it would seem, it has been a busy week and time for me and Twoguns Training Systems. We’ve officially taken on our first intern who started this past Monday and it is a good thing because there have been some big developments lately…

Get With The Program Book Signing

As announced prior, the Get With The Program book I co-authored will be released on September 19th. To celebrate and at the request of many of you, we are going to be having a book signing on Saturday, September 21st. I will have copies of the book for sale and I’ll be signing and dedicating books as well. There will also be some food, fun stuff and other things like raffles and the like.

Time is still a little tentative but the location leads to another pretty big announcement in that the Book Signing will also double as a Grand Opening at our new facility…

Movin On Up…

There have been a few whispers around because well, it’s Erie but it has come time to officially announce that myself and Twoguns Training Systems will be upgrading and moving out of Nautilus. We’ve been looking to grow and progress as a business and it doesn’t look like it will be able to be out of Nautilus, mainly from a core values perspective. But that has lead to a great opportunity…

Twoguns Training Systems and Lewis Fitness & Performance have teamed up to combine the leading innovator in fat loss in Erie and the leading innovator in sports performance in Erie under one roof. This is the perfect opportunity to join forces with one of the few innovative and like-minded professionals as well as expand and continue to grow the way we have.

The address is 2220 W 50th Street. Off of Grandview and Pacific Ave. The grand opening party will coincide with the book signing on September 21st so a great time. Keep your eyes and ears peeled as more information comes out.

Back to School Transformation Challenge

We’ve also kicked off the launch of the Back to School Transformation Challenge specific to teachers.

-Weigh ins and measurements will be held on the week of September 9th
-The challenge itself will start on Monday, September 16th and run through November 10th (full 8 weeks)
-Sessions are Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 4pm (perfect time for teachers)
-Full nutrition and diet program for your fat loss needs
-Grand prize and prizes for the biggest transformations

Price is $300 for the full 8 weeks.

Any other questions please contact Dan, either on Facebook (Danny Twoguns) or email twogunstrainingsystems[@] (minus the [])

Random Thoughts – 6/24

Posted: June 24, 2013 by dannytwoguns in About Me

Im currently getting back into the swing of things and recovering from an action packed few days at the Results Fitness 2-Day Mastermind and Mentorship and the 1-Day Results Fitness Sales Secrets Revealed Seminar, with a head spinning full of information and action items I cant wait to put into action and continuing changing lives and changing the way fitness is done. In an effort to continue that trend, I’ve put together a random thoughts post for everyone to enjoy…

Everyone Needs a Coach

“If you’re not where you want to be, why aren’t you getting taught by someone who is?” – @Jonathan Sprinkles

This seems like a fitting way to start since as I mentioned, Im returning from learning from my coaches, two of the best fitness professionals and fitness business minds, Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove. One point we reinforced is that everyone’s “hard” and “easy” are different.

My “easy” comes in the aspects of training and getting clients their fitness/performance results in a timely fashion. My “hard” comes to the aspect of business. So what did I do? I hired a coach to help me.

What does this mean to you? If fitness, fat loss, performance isn’t easy for you, there is an easy solution… Hire a coach to guarantee success in your fitness goals. I happen to know the best one in Erie rather well who guarantees success in your goals.

Rachel Dan Alwyn

Danny Twoguns is the only fitness professional in Erie endorsed by leading nationally recognized fat loss experts, Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove.

Obesity as a Disease

Earlier in the weekend, I posted an article in which nutrition specialist and PhD; John Berardi detailed his thoughts on the AMA’s announcement that obesity is now considered a disease. For those who missed that you can check it out HERE if you didn’t catch it on facebook already.

The long and short there is that medical professionals treat diseases but medical professionals are in no way equipped to treat something that is as much lifestyle related as anything else. While there certainly are medical reasons someone could be overweight or obese, I don’t think it’s out of line to say that the majority of the time it comes down to nutrition and exercise, an area where doctors don’t receive nearly enough education to provide effective solutions for.

Prescribing, “diet and exercise” is far too narrow and there are still doctors who tell their patients that squatting is bad for their knees and they should run instead. Even the bad personal trainers and fitness professionals don’t even recommend that anymore.

I Don’t Hate Jogging/Distance Running, It Just Isnt Effective for Fat Loss

In preparation for potentially doing my first “mud run” of sorts in the near future, a client asked me why I would do it if I hated running. The answer is I’d do it to have fun with friends and clients in a team building atmosphere and like the sub title says, I don’t hate running overall, I just dislike it in terms of doing it with a goal of fat loss (because it doesn’t work) or continually doing it if it causes you pain. Hint – if it hurts don’t do it.

One of the few bad ass “endurance athletes” I’ve come across, Alex Viada put it better than I can in a recent interview with Jamie Lewis over at Chaos and Pain.

“I thought it was pretty damn excellent- one of the best systematic breakdowns of the limitations of steady state LSD [long, slow duration] type training, any why the costs FAR outweigh the often limited benefits. I definitely agree with most of your points- I would NOT recommend long duration steady state cardiovascular work for most folks. It makes it hard to maintain muscle, harder to gain strength, and it’s not ideal for staying lean (you’re taking in huge amounts of calories to fuel energy… take in too few, and you’ll drop muscle. Take in too many, and you’ll just get fat. Long distance training doesn’t make your body want to add on lean mass). Add on to the fact that I agree most of us aren’t “born to run”… neither you nor I is built much like a Tarahumara.”

Bottom line, people who should do long, slow duration type cardiovascular activity are people who…
– Don’t have a goal of adding lean mass (burning calories at rest to get lean)
– Don’t have a goal of fat loss
– Are a competitve endurance athlete and have to train for the events (and should still be doing at least two days of strength training and injury prevention training)
– A high level competitive bodybuilder or powerlifter who cant risk the more taxing recovery of more effective cardiovascular measures as it would take away from their more important training goals

This isn’t to say Im against clients doing mud runs and such. I like them as something to do for fun, on occasion but certainly not as an effective means for fat loss or performance goals.

Choose Yourself

On the trip down to Pittsburgh to fly out and my flight to Los Angeles for the week/weekend, I finished listening to the audiobook, Choose Yourself by James Altucher. It’s also in print as well but he adds additional insights in the audio version that are worthwhile.

But regardless, I really enjoyed this book and got a lot of motivation and action items out of it. He has some great thoughts, some non-traditional, that really make you think and reflect on what you are doing and what you could be doing differently or better.

For my current clients, potential clients and fellow fitness professionals, there is something for everyone in this book and as I listen to it for a 2nd time, this time with a pen in hand the whole time, I’d definitely recommend checking it out and making yourself better.

No link or affiliate link from me. Go to Amazon, go to iTunes, go wherever. Just check it out.

The summary as seen on Amazon…

“The world is changing. Markets have crashed. Jobs have disappeared. Industries have been disrupted and are being remade before our eyes. Everything we aspired to for “security,” everything we thought was “safe,” no longer is: College. Employment. Retirement. Government. It’s all crumbling down. In every part of society, the middlemen are being pushed out of the picture. No longer is someone coming to hire you, to invest in your company, to sign you, to pick you. It’s on you to make the most important decision in your life: Choose Yourself.

New tools and economic forces have emerged to make it possible for individuals to create art, make millions of dollars and change the world without “help.” More and more opportunities are rising out of the ashes of the broken system to generate real inward success (personal happiness and health) and outward success (fulfilling work and wealth).

This book will teach you to do just that. With dozens of case studies, interviews and examples–including the author, investor and entrepreneur James Altucher’s own heartbreaking and inspiring story–Choose Yourself illuminates your personal path to building a bright, new world out of the wreckage of the old.”

That’s it for this post. As always, let me know what you liked/disliked etc and don’t forget to check me out on Facebook and leave a like or comment.

Fun Friday – Random Thoughts III

Posted: April 26, 2013 by dannytwoguns in About Me

Get With The Program

I’ve been a little behind on just about everything the past couple weeks. The little free time I do have has been spent on some traveling and seminars/workshops but mainly working on my chapter and contribution to the upcoming, nationally published book, “Get with the Program.” The deadline for the first edit was today and I sent it in. It’s still kind of crazy to think that I will be a published author when the book comes out in August but I am super appreciative of everyone who has helped in the opportunity and process of the book as well as everyone who has helped get me to the point in my career where I’m good enough to be able to write a book. So a big thank you to everyone there.

Elite Training Workshop – Boston

I continued my year of getting better and continuing education this past weekend as I traveled to Boston through all of the events to see the Elite Training Workshop. This was one of the events that I hadn’t planned on going to in the beginning of the year but when I saw the lineup, it was a no brainer.

The first day was a business day in which Pat Rigsby and Ryan Ketchum teamed up to present “7 Elements of an Extraordinary Fitness Business.” Having seen both presenters speak multiple times in the recent past I was curious as to how much new information I’d take out of it and they definitely didn’t disappoint. My main take home was one of Ryan’s points in which he said, “You aren’t too busy. Work double time for half the time in order to own your time.” Being busy for the sake of being busy gets nothing done and I’ve already made a conscious effort in getting more done in less time this week and it is definitely working.

The second day was the workshop and training side of things day and it had a ridiculous line up that looked like this…

-Eric Cressey – Understanding and Coaching the Anterior Core (this presentation might result in a blog post in itself)
-Mike Robertson – Rebuilding Your Fitness Facility/Athletic Development for Everyone
-Dave Schmitz – Getting Game Ready
-Tony Gentilcore – Training Effect : Trust Me, Your Clients Arent Delicate Flowers (a Fight Club quote in the title, you cant go wrong even a little)
-Mike Reinold – Integrating the Hip and Core For Optimal Function and Performance
-Smart Group Training – Taking Group Training to the Next Level

Rather than go into detail on each presenters and their topics on this one I just want to emphasize a few of my take homes and “ah-ha” moments.

– There are a plethora of considerations when it comes to training the anterior core and approaches have to be different when you are dealing with someone who stands all day in spinal extension (Eric used baseball players but this also applies to everyone who stands all day, including myself) and someone who sits all day or in front of a computer screen all day.
– No matter how many times you see the “Band Man” Dave Schmitz you always learn something new and he never disappoints.
– There are also multiple considerations in training and coaching the thoracic spine and shoulder mobility depending on the client’s lifestyle, needs or sport. The common cue “chest up, shoulders down and back” applies a lot of the time but not for everyone, particularly overhead athletes or people will certain postures.
– I need to be looking into Mike Reinolds information and products.

My Main “Ah-Ha” Moment

When Smart Group Training presented their hands-on workshop, it was the last presentation and I was suffering from a little bit of fatigue and information overload but landed a huge “Ah-Ha moment” as my mentors Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove call it. It describes that moment where something just clicks in your head and makes you say “ah-ha”.

Steve and Jared of Smart Group Training are great guys and have definitely put their time in learning and getting better in the industry. They’ve done a lot to change generic and shitty group bootcamp workouts where everyone is doing the same thing and poorly at that into a more personalized personal training programs simply done in groups.

My “ah-ha” moment came when they were organizing and doing their workshop. I watched and thought to myself, “You know, I do everything their doing as well, if not better than they are and they’ve been traveling and presenting at seminars as experts in the field.” It was definitely a shot of confidence and made me realize how far I’ve come, how much I’ve learned and to keep doing what Im doing.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give myself a little plug here. If you haven’t checked out my group personal training programs, you probably should. It’s a glimpse of where the fitness profession is headed and combines high quality personal training with the affordability and motivation of training in a group. No generic make you tired and not better workouts here.

“Jammin” Jesse

Speaking of the group personal training program, my former Rock Your Rolls Off contestant and group personal training success story, Jesse posted over on his blog about his story and experience with me and the Twoguns Training Systems team. Be sure to check it out and let he and I know what you think. You can check that out HERE

Fun Friday – Random Thoughts

Posted: March 29, 2013 by dannytwoguns in About Me

In my quest to start blogging a little more regularly and actually sticking to it, I’ll be posting each Friday with things like random thoughts or random things that arent necessarily long article type blog posts. This week I’ve put together a few random thoughts that I’ve encountered during the week.

Should Athletes Do Crossfit?

I recently had a discussion with a woman who was looking for her daughter to start training for her freshman year of collegiate soccer and was thinking about doing crossfit to do so as well as a discussion with a high school athlete himself who had actually been doing crossfit to train for collegiate football. Not the best ideas.

All opinions about crossfit for the general population aside, because you can argue that it gets results for some people as long as it doesn’t get them hurt or whatever (though I wouldn’t) but what you cannot argue is that crossfit makes athletes better at their sport. It doesn’t at all. (I would also agree that there are the cases where some crossfit boxes do it better than others and hurt people less than others, so no passing judgment on specific crossfits from me.)

Guys and Girls Kipping
Kipping is useless/pointless all the time, but this is still funny

Regardless, athletes need a progressive program fit to their sports needs that includes explosive power, speed and agility, strength, injury prevention, mobility, stability etc in addition to specifics to a given sport (such as shoulder accommodations for throwing athletes, jumping for basketball etc).

Random exercises done for time combined with other random exercises for time as well as randomly running in between will not accomplish any of the multitude of goals and needs an athlete has. Added to the main fact that crossfit statistically injures a lot of people and athletes not only need to not be injured but need to take specific measures for injury prevention during game time.

Training for the crossfit games? Do crossfit. Training for any other sport? Find a strength and conditioning coach.

Diet Long Term Success

I had planned on not talking about this but it drives home a good point so I figured I’d share now that the smoke has cleared somewhat.

Nautilus and Rocket 101 did a “Rock Your Rolls Off” Challenge about a month ago that included trainers each getting a contestant for 6 weeks to see who made the most progress. My contestant and client, Jesse wanted to throw every diet change in the book into his lifestyle and I held my ground to stay progressive and have him gradually add things in to promote constant, sustainable progress with the goal of losing fat and maintaining lean body/muscle mass.

And he did just that. In 6 weeks, he lost a total of 24 pounds, 20 of which was fat, but placed “second.” The “winner” of the contest lost 40 total pounds, 20 of which was fat and 20 of which was muscle/lean body mass.

RYRO Finale
Myself and my Rock Your Rolls Off Contestant, Jesse 24 pounds lighter

This was obviously done with crash dieting/a starvation diet, which is the wrong way to do it. He actually is now worse than when he started at 40 pounds heavier because the dramatic amount of muscle mass he lost will negatively affect his metabolism in a significant way and getting that muscle back isn’t as easy as losing it.

In fat loss pursuits, the goal has to be to preserve your muscle mass. It’s dense, quality mass and most importantly, it burns calories at rest and keeps your metabolism going strong. This is done through an exercise program that focuses on strength work and resistance training as well as a diet that gradually introduces changes, not throwing every diet rule you know in at once or starving yourself. This also helps with sustaining the lifestyle because you never feel overwhelmed with the changes.

“Power” and the General Population/Fat Loss Clientele

Martin Rooney said, “People didn’t stop sprinting because they got old, they got old because they stopped sprinting.” This can also be translated to, “People didn’t lose power because they got old, they got old because they lost power.”

In programming, a lot of the times explosive or power exercises get neglected. Whether it’s because the trainer/lifter simply doesn’t know any better, have enough knowledge to know how to teach the specific exercises or do them safely or doesn’t have the equipment to do so.

The average general population fat loss client probably doesn’t need to do power exercises like a clean or a snatch with a barbell. They’re complicated, they require high levels of mobility, stability and core strength and they don’t lend themselves well to those with pre-existing injuries. Pre-existing injuries can also be the reason that people cannot sprint either. But where does that leave us with power or explosive exercises?

There are a lot of options but the two I want to key in on are the medicine ball and the kettlebell. Both are extremely versatile tools that allow the lifter to lift explosively and powerfully in an easy to teach, pre-existing injury friendly way.

Once a client has the hip hinge pattern mastered, the KB Swing isn’t too far off of a progression and is one of the best all-around power exercises there is and a foundational exercise in our fat loss programming. Medicine balls are even more versatile in that literally every client can do an explosive exercise with them with a variation of the medicine ball slam.

At Twoguns Training System we’ve seen a lot of increased results and success with the specific addition of power exercises in fat loss clients and that is based around the kettlebell, mainly the kettlebell swing and the medicine ball as well.

That’s it for this Fun Friday. Be sure to let me know if you have any thoughts.

IYCA International Summit

Posted: March 26, 2013 by dannytwoguns in About Me

I have been training athletes in some fashion essentially since I started training/coaching in general and I have been contemplating starting a specific youth training and conditioning program for quite a while now as there is absolutely a growing need and I have a passion for it.

So when I had the opportunity to go to the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA)’s annual summit last weekend, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn from some of the best youth conditioning minds in the world and see if it was a route I wanted to pursue.

It was definitely a great time, filled with a ton of information from a great lineup of presenters. Here is the rundown…

Day One

Day 1 started with Eric Cressey who kicked off the event with one of the best overall presentations of the weekend. He presented on “Mobility In Athletic Development Programming” and mainly emphasized considerations for the hypermobile athlete/client. He noted how these clients don’t need to and shouldn’t stretch in the traditional sense (even though they tend to love to) because the focus should be on their ability to stabilize through a natural range of motion, rather than the excessive one they already have.

The main takeaways I got from this was his screen (called the Beighton Score) for testing hypermobility as well as reinforcing the fact that “tight is a garbage term.” Just because someone describes what they are feeling as “tight” doesn’t actually mean the muscle is tight or needs to be stretched. Having trained a lot of females who are more mobile than they should be, (as well as scoring a 5 out of 5 myself on his hypermobility screen) there was a lot of key information here for me.

Next up was Wil Fleming and his presentation on “Explosive Power”. I was already familiar with his product, “Power Evolution” so this one was a lot of reinforcing of material but it was definitely worthwhile to see how he tied everything in and uses “non-traditional” tools and power exercises as well as the “standard” ones like the barbell and Olympic lifts (the clean and the snatch).

As someone who in the past hasn’t been a fan of teaching the Olympic lifts to the younger population this presentation was good both for showing me that I probably should be doing those variations more as well as having the ability to have alternative exercises and variations for those that aren’t ready for them, have sport specific considerations or injury considerations.

Next up was Toby Brooks and Evidence-Based Practice. This presentation focused around applying research to influence programming. One of the take home lines was “statistics never lie but statisticians do.” He talked a lot about how to evaluate research and how not everything out there is credible and ways to be able to see that.

Dave Gleason followed with “Evaluating and Assessing For Maximum Results.” I had heard of but wasn’t too familiar with Dave before this presentation and he is definitely one of the guys in the industry where there is absolutely no doubt where his passion completely is. You can just tell he loves what he does, making kids healthier and better and it comes off in everything he does.

He talked about his methods for evaluating and assessing his youth clients and enforced that everything they do is an assessment and needs to be evaluated. “As soon as they walk in the door you start assessing, body language, movement, everything.” He emphasized the importance of the need for the client/athlete to feel successful as well as having events to show how much they have developed/improved and where they have progressed to.

By this point in the day, lunch was setting in as was all the knowledge and ideas running through my head and I didn’t know how much attention I had left but the last two definitely had my attention. Next up with Jim Kielbaso and “Making Speed and Agility Training Useful.” The presentation focused around bridging the gap between what the athlete does in training or practice and what result they get on the field or in life from it.

He emphasized how speed, sprinting and movement are skills that need to be trained and taught. Clients’ just getting better at a drill doesn’t necessarily mean they move any better when it comes to game time. The biggest takeaway from this for me revolved around him going in depth on acceleration and sprint mechanics and the progressions used to get to a full sprint. Just having people sprint and move quickly isn’t enough, they have to learn what to do and how to do it well and I’ve overlooked that in the past.

Last presentation for day one was the “Band Man” Dave Schmitz with “Resistance Band Training for Speed and Power”. I’ve seen Dave a couple of times before and he is always a great time and just radiates energy. The passion he has for fitness and for resistance bands cannot really be summed up in words and is something you have to see in person. He went over speed drills in general first and then how to use resistance bands to increase the effectiveness of them. The best part was how he incorporates deceleration training using the bands.

Athletes and clients don’t get hurt when they are moving, they get hurt when they stop or change direction and deceleration training and injury prevention is one of the most important parts of strength and conditioning and the methods he uses to train them are extremely effective and Im looking forward to incorporating them into my athlete’s training.

Day Two

The morning of, there was a bonus workout with the “Band Man” Dave Schmitz. He put the group through a band warm-up followed by a speed and agility workout and emphasized partner resisted band training. It was definitely a fun change of pace from how I’ve been lifting lately and even though I’m no longer an athlete, I will be incorporating some of the things he taught us in my workouts in addition to my athletes workouts.

Day 2 changed it up a little from Day 1 in that there were choices for presentations rather than only one presenter per time slot like Day 1 had. First up was Melissa Lambert with “Enhancing Mental Performance in Athletes” and Ryan Ketchum with “Scoring Triple Digit Athletes.” I usually like to catch the business presentations when I can so I chose Ryan.

His presentation was based around a blueprint with the goal of having 100 athlete clients in your business. He emphasized the importance of leveraging your network as well as taking advantage of clinics and academies to bring people in and give them a taste of what your long term athletic development programs are all about.

For someone thinking about starting up a structured youth program, this presentation was extremely beneficial and one of the best presentations of the weekend.

Next up was Corey Taylor with “The Art of Coaching” and CJ Easter with “The Truth About Speed.” I chose CJ because I wanted to know more about speed and sprinting after seeing Jim Kielbaso’s presentation and wanting to know more.

It was good I did because his presentation was full of progressions needed to teach sprinting and the proper drills to teach the mechanics as well. He went over progressions and exercise for speed mechanics, dynamic speed development, bilateral and unilateral stability, bilateral and unilateral explosive exercises as well as speed endurance exercises. Lot of take home information in this one.

Next up was Pat Rigsby with “7 Game Changers” and Pam MacElree with “Kettlebell Warm Ups and Conditioning.” The first two decisions really were no-brainers for me in terms of who to see, but this one had me thinking for a little bit. I’ve seen Pat before and he always has great business ideas and always gives at least one big take home that resonates and leads to a lot so I didn’t want to miss him, so I chose his. Since I’ve been working with kettlebells a lot lately, I thought Pam’s would be great as well and wanted to see her but went with the business side again.

Pat defined a game changer as “something that if missing and implemented will have a major or profound impact.” A couple ideas, I’d heard or read him talk about before and have already implemented, but there were a few that I hadn’t that got some ideas going.

My main take home from his presentation was during his “Marketing and Selling Effectively” game changer. He said “Don’t let someone (a potential client) go to an inferior product/trainer because you are lazy.” Recent events in the gym I work out of hit home directly for me and made me realize how I’ve been dropping the ball on “marketing” lately. He emphasized you can’t only market when things are going slow and neglect it when you are busy, it is a constant.

Next up was Ben Bruno with “Program Design for Large Group Training” and Chris Mohr on a nutrition topic, I don’t know the name of. This makes it obvious that I chose Ben’s presentation. I’ve known Ben for a while and didn’t want to miss his first speaking opportunity, plus it is a topic that is definitely where the industry is going. He had technical difficulties with having his presentation show up but he still gave a good talk.

He explained his template for his athlete’s group training sessions, his reasoning and his top give group friendly staple exercises. It was a solid foundation including tri-sets consisting of a coaching intensive exercise followed by a simpler exercise that doesn’t involve as much coaching (think pull ups, inverted rows, goblet squats etc) and finished with a core stability or mobility/corrective exercise.

Last up for the weekend was a stand-alone presentation, “Complete Athletic Development” by Mike Roberston. Mike talked about his “R7 Approach” to athletic development which included release, reset, readiness, reactive, resistance, regenerate and recover and all of the details. Mike emphasized the need to own your knowledge and stay in the scope of what you know and what works. He told a story of a presentation he was at where the clients issues were a result of his eyesight and fixing his eyesight solved his movement issues.

He said this was an ah-ha moment for him in that he knew all he needed to know to help people the best he could and things like a person’s eyesight causing their dysfunction was something unrelated for a strength and conditioning coach or trainer to focus on.

There was a ton of great, take-home information over this weekend and an absolute no-brainer for anyone who is interested or already trains the youth population. My main take homes were to start a general youth conditioning program for younger “athletes” not just my competitive high school athletes I’ve currently been training as well as details and intricacies of sprint mechanics and speed and agility training that I’m looking forward to implementing with myself and clients. Stay tuned for both, I’m looking forward to it.

Be sure to let me know if you have any thoughts in the comments or on Facebook.

2012 in Review Part 1 – Things I’ve Learned

Posted: January 14, 2013 by dannytwoguns in About Me

It’s always good to sit back and reflect over the past year when a new one begins to see how much progress you’ve made as well as things you might need to work on. Im going to put together a couple posts looking back on 2012. First one is things I’ve learned and am doing better as a result of getting better over the year.

1. “Investing in yourself pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

One of my goals for 2012 was to start investing in myself and my business through continuing education. It wasn’t always possible financially but as soon as it was, I wanted to make it a point at getting exponentially better. What better way than to learn than directly from the experts in the field about what’s working and what’s new with the latest research, trends and information in the fitness industry.

In 2012, I attended the Perform Better Providence Functional Training Summit, the Long Beach Functional Training Summit, an FMS Workshop and Certification Seminar, Fitness Business Weekend and the Results Fitness “From Counting Reps to Revenue” Seminar.

It is no coincidence that my business’ monthly revenue has tripled since the month before I attended my first seminar. Each one has made me infinitely better than I was before it and I cannot wait to start my 2013 continuing education tour and keep getting better.

2. If You’re Not Assessing You’re Guessing

A formal, measurable and scientifically researched assessment, that is. In my programming for myself and clients, I had been assessing clients all along but it wasn’t always the same and it didn’t always tell the whole story, even though at the time I thought it did.

In came the Functional Movement Screen. I had been hearing about it for some time but figured what I was doing was sufficient. It wasn’t until I read an article on corrective exercises (I don’t remember which) that something clicked that I needed something measurable to give me a systemized game plan from what I found during the assessment. The obvious answer was the Functional Movement Screen.

Getting certified in the Functional Movement Screen and becoming a Functional Movement Specialist has allowed me to apply an assessment that gives a person’s strength and weakness and formalized systems in how to train and treat those dysfunctions with corrective exercises. This simple addition and implementation has clients moving better and with less pain as well.

3. The Warm Up

I used to think that 5 minutes on the treadmill and a couple prowler/sled walks was an adequate warm up. Everyone has been there and done it (some are still doing it) and it falls short in that it only really covers core temperature elevation and the lower body in the sagittal plane.

A good and thorough warm up needs to address range of motion (haven’t found too many clients that don’t have tight hip flexors), activation of certain/sometimes inhibited muscle groups (glutes and thoracic spine for examples), mobility (particularly hips and thoracic spine) and general movement preparation in all three planes, all on top of the standard core temperature elevation.

Now, every client in every session goes through a complete warm up, covering all those bases. It’s an easy area to neglect but really focusing on an all-encompassing warm up has yielded great results in preparation for the workout as well as getting people moving better.

4. Everyone Needs a Coach

This is along the same lines as #1 but a little different. Whether you are an athlete looking to get better at your sport, a middle age non-athlete or former athlete looking to get back into shape or a business owner looking for the rise to the next level… you need a coach.

It wasn’t that long ago where I still had the mindset that if someone had a product or service to sell meant that they were trying to “sell you” or get one over on you. I remember my reaction one time was “Well of course he is telling me I need this kind of product, because he is selling that product.”

Just because someone has something to sell you does not mean they are trying to get one over on you and offer you nothing for your money.

While there are certainly an excessive amount of examples on the internet and in person that don’t deserve your investment, there are certainly some that do and offer a great service. I got to the point where I was growing past what I knew and how to progress, particularly on the business side of the whole owning a personal training business and needed some guidance and buying a business product or book here and there wasn’t enough anymore. Just like I tell potential clients how they need a coach for training (with the answer usually being me 🙂 ), I needed one in an aspect I wasnt confident in as well.

So at the end of 2012, I applied for and got accepted to a mentorship program with one of the leading training gyms/owners in the country. I can’t wait to see what great things it has in store for me.

5. Everything is a Tool in the Toolbox

2012 seemed to be the year of the new training implement, whether it was the TRX Suspension Trainer, Rip Trainer, Sandbag, Battle Ropes, Kettlebell etc. With the boom of the “functional training” movement came the boom of the Kettlebell Guy, the TRX Guy etc with it.

While it is easy for anyone to get caught up in one tool to fix all your fitness needs, the reality is an all-encompassing, well rounded program involves multiple implements just as it involves multiple bodyparts, multiple planes of movement and so on. Everyone seems to get caught up in the “one tool fixes all” mentality but that is just too limiting to be effective.

It also makes it easy for people to forget that one of the most effective training implements is simply our bodyweight and movement and only after we are proficient in those do we even need to progress to a different training modality.

6. Train Clients with Programs not Workouts

I have definitely been guilty of this in the past. In the end, there has to be a goal and there has to be specific steps along the way in order to get to that goal, not just workouts. I’ve never been guilty of the “make them work out until they vomit and can’t walk the next day” mentality like some competitors but I was guilty of simply giving the client a good effective workout each day and thinking that that was the best long term approach, but it isn’t.

A good program has an end goal in mind and specific, progressive and measurable components as well as periodization in order to get you there. It takes more time for me but I’ve seen it is a big thing in what separates the bad/average trainers and the above average trainers.

I didn’t really notice just how much I had progressed in the past year as a person, trainer and business owner until I took a step back and looked at where I was and the things I was doing in 2011. 2012 was definitely good to me and I’ve learned more in that year than the 5 before it combined. Here’s to 2013 being the same way.


Posted: October 17, 2012 by dannytwoguns in About Me

My name is Danny Twoguns and I currently operate a personal training studio inside of Nautilus Fitness in Erie, Pennsylvania. My main offerings are Semi-Private Personal Training, Large Group Personal Training and Strength and Conditioning emphasizing in the rotary athlete (baseball, lacrosse etc).

Ive been a trainer/coach for a little over 5 total years seriously/full time. In the beginning, I was working the front desk at a Gold’s Gym (the now defunct Gold’s Gym Garden City Park, NY) as a way to pay the bills throughout college because I had just lost close to 100 pounds and enjoyed lifting as well as a newly active lifestyle. It was there I became a certified personal trainer and started training clients. Quite a few years later, I have been working at Nautilus Fitness (where I did my undergraduate internship) for over 3 years and doing personal training there for the past two of those years.

Ive been running Twoguns Training Systems and independent contracting out of Nautilus with a business based around clients getting real and tangible results as well as becoming one of the leading fitness authorities in Erie. As I write this, it is the second month of operations at my new studio (which is located inside of Nautilus Fitness), and we have big things in store for the immediate future.

Ive generally stayed away from the “internet world” and the “blogging world” in terms of my business, fitness and me writing mainly because I firmly believe that there are a lot of fitness and training blogs where the author has no business knowledge wise to be maintaining a blog and giving advice or instruction on the field. Im in the school of thought where you have to spend the majority of your time actually putting your time in, training real people to get real life experience before you have anything worthwhile to say.

This past weekend I attended Fitness Consulting Group’s Fitness Business Weekend seminars where a few of the presenters emphasized having a website and blog to help spread your message and philosophies and I decided it was about time to make the jump.

With that said, Ive been doing some great things in the business and in the Erie area and am confident that I have the knowledge and experience to be worth listening to and provide substance worth reading. As my business and I grow, I want to help more than just the people I meet with and train in person on a daily basis and I think this blog will be a good outlet for that.

My main goal with this blog going forth will be to mainly be an educational resource for the Erie, Pennsylvania area. I want to make the city of Erie leaner, fitter, sexier and stronger. My goal is a minimum of two posts a week, hopefully exceeding that as we go along. You will be able to take away some quality health and fitness information as well as a look into what we are doing at Twoguns Training Systems. Stay tuned.