Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

5 Ways to Change Your New Year’s Resolution Story This Year

Posted: December 23, 2016 by dannytwoguns in Articles



Did you know that 92% of New Year’s Resolutions are not kept or failed?…

In January 2016, 77 million people downloaded a fitness app on their phone. This number predicted to increase 25-50% for January 2017 with “wearable” fitness technology becoming the “new thing.”…

In the United States… there are about ~322 million people…

Of those ~322 million people, approximately 50 million are a member of a gym – ranging from “big box gym” to boutique personal training studio and everything in between…

Of those 50 million who have a gym membership, only about 12 million actually go.

And there are statistics that show of the 12 million who actually utilize their gym membership, 8 million are personal training clients.

So non-personal training clients who actually go to the gym – 4 million people out of ~322 million.

Those are not good statistics at all. But the first thing people tend to do in the New Year is to “go join a traditional gym.” It doesnt work and it isnt your fault.

motiv-things-that-make-you-go

And the “New Year” is tricky. It is an incredibly high “top of mind” fitness time of the year. Which is good and bad, especially in the context of the above statistics.

The New Year tends to get ‘poo-poo-ed’ on by fitness professionals, personal trainers and the like, because the over-arching theme of people starting a New Year’s Resolution on January 1st and then that resolution being complete history and forgotten by February 1st is a very real fact and far too common.

“Failing” in the New Year is incredibly common – 92% common.

But rather than “poo-poo” on that trend… We (our gym and the fitness profession altogether) are going to take a different perspective on it.

We are going to take accountability and ownership as a representation of the fitness profession at large that it is our fault for that trend, not yours.

Because it genuinely isnt your fault.

It is the fitness industry’s fault.

Knowledge Bomb
That is a Knowledge Bomb 🙂

Far too often what ends up happening is, it is the method, methodology or fitness practice that has failed, not the person who is doing said method/methodology/etc. But the way the person has viewed it is “I failed” and then that narrative becomes, “I am a failure at this “fitness thing / goals / etc”.” Rather than the more accurate, “the fitness industry has failed me.” Which statistics unequivocally say the traditional model has failed.

When given the right “fitness tools” for the right situation for the right person, more often than not people succeed. It is just too often people approach it with the “round peg” in a “square hole” scenario.

It is a strange mindset shift to take but it is true… p90x didnt work for you not because there is something wrong with you, rather that p90x fails for 95%+ who do it. The same can be said for things like AdvoCare, Thrive etc. It isnt a coincidence that every person who it “worked for” just happens to make large commissions off getting you to buy it and the hundreds/thousands of people who it didnt work for, we dont hear from. But that is another post entirely 🙂

To put these words into context and action, the following is 5 ways to change your fitness story this year…

1) Avoid the Fad(s)

motiv-snake-oil

And there are a lot of them that pop up in the New Year especially.

We use to say that the hard part of reaching fitness goals was getting the motivation and accountability to actually do it among our myriad responsibilities. But as mentioned, in the era of “fitness mis-information” we currently live in now, we have the added struggle of what do we actually do? How do I know what works and is genuine rather than a snake oil salesman?

The primary way to decipher whether or not something is a fad is to run it by the “Is this too good to be true?” filter…

– Put this glorified caffeine patch on and boom! You’ve reached your fitness goals.
– 24 days of overpriced, under-qualitied supplements and boom!
– 15 minutes a day and boom! You’ve reached your fitness goals.
– Lose weight without dieting!
– Lose weight without working out!
– Lose weight without dieting or working out! (This is also called starving)

Etc etc. Anything that is trying to sell you on the notion that it doesnt take consistency, accountability and some effort is just selling you. It doesnt have to be (and shouldnt be) gruesomely hard and ridiculous, but it does take some effort and consistency of that effort. You should leave your workouts feeling better than when you walked in yet know that you got a workout.

2) Mindset Matters

growth-v-fixed-mindset

Aka – Know the difference between holding yourself accountable and beating yourself up excessively over little things that matter incredibly minimally over the long term. We can elaborate on fixed vs growth mindsets (as pictured) another time as there is a lot of value to that, but the aforementioned is what I want to emphasize here.

Since we specialize in fat loss and transformations for females, we see this all the time. Whenever they make a less than ideal choice whether it be alcohol, sugar, missing a workout or any tiny setback that is “cheating” from their intentions, the mental abuse and guilt they put on themselves is often far worse and more detrimental to their fitness goals and pursuits than the actual small choice they made.

The brain doesnt differentiate stress. It only knows stress – whatever the stimuli may be. Some stress is good, like correct workouts, and some stress is bad, like mentally abusing yourself with guilt over a small indiscretion and it has effects, both acute on your mindset and long term in your ability to be confident in yourself / your ability to succeed.

When something happens like you made an unplanned poor food decision / alcohol decision, or something caused a missed workout – Acknowledge it, potentially being self-aware as to why it happened in order to avoid it in the future, and then move on. When we get a flat tire we dont torch the whole car, we fix the tire and move on.

3) Dont Ignore the 4 Wheels on the Car

motiv-4-wheels
Not exactly what we meant but close enough…

Another car analogy? Stick with me 🙂 This one resonates really well with a lot of people.

When it comes to fitness, fat loss and lifestyle goals, the analogy we use is the four wheels on a car. Most people approach their fitness goals as if they were driving a car with only two wheels. That is fine if you are a bicycle but not if you are a car.

The four wheels to make your car aka you fitness goals run efficiently and effectively are workouts/training, nutrition (the two most people acknowledge), sleep and hydration.

Sleep and hydration, WTF!

I know, I know. They may not be the sexiest but their importance cannot be denied. Possibly even more important than the other two.

To expand on the analogy to drive it home (punny! :p )… If one of your 4 wheels, both on your car and your “fitness four wheels” is slightly flat or under-inflated, you will be able to drive along for a little while until you have an issue, but if one wheel is completely flat or you have 2 or more under-inflated tires it wont be very long at all until there is an issue that needs immediately addressed.

The “car” most people drive is two slightly under-inflated or under-inflated tires (workouts, nutrition) and two very under-inflated or completely flat tires (sleep and hydration). We wouldnt treat our car that way, your body is no different.

In terms of hydration, the first question people typically have is – how much? And that always depends on multiple factors including bodyweight, bodyfat, level of activity, how much you currently drink, how often you sweat etc etc. But the first answer and always the start is, more than you are currently.

Sleep – easily the most important factor that doesnt get enough attention or emphasis. 8 hours of sleep with 9 hours in bed is a requirement. So many positive and beneficial things happen when you sleep from recovery, to hormone optimization to brain function to metabolic processes to how your body interacts with insulin, (I could go on) and everything in between.

8 hours, non-negotiable, unless you have a newborn.

Drive a car that has four optimal wheels 🙂

4) SMART Goals

motiv-smart

SMART is a popular acronym for how to set goals that are most conducive to reaching them.

Specific – Lose 10 pounds of fat vs Lose weight or even Lose 10 pounds.

Measurable – Similar to the above but in the context of can you track progress and can you measure the outcome?

Achievable / Attainable – Can the goal be physically accomplished? “Lose 100 pounds when you weigh 180 pounds” isnt attainable. Change the story from I will lose 20 pounds of fat in 6 months to I will lose 3.25 pounds of fat a month for the next six months.

Realistic / Relevant – Does the goal matter to your overall? Is it relevant to you and what you want to do.

Timely / Time-Based – It is human nature, we are all better when there is a timeline attach to something. If there isnt, human nature is to procrastinate because “you will get to it.” Have a specific timeframe gives us an urgency that isnt there otherwise.

5) Invest in Yourself / Hire a Coach

Rachel Dan Alwyn
Our coaches, Rachel and Alwyn Cosgrove

Tying into the above statistics, it is absolutely no coincidence that of the 12 million people who go to a gym regularly, that 8 million of them are personal training clients…

2 out of 3 people who go to the gym regularly are personal training clients and that is because it is the absolute best recipe for success.

There are two primary benefits/aspects to a coach that cannot be duplicated. One is the expertise they bring to put you on the right path for where you are to where you want to be based upon where you are currently at physically. Yes, when you hire a fitness profession or personal trainer you should have a specific program written specifically for you based on an assessment done to you to find out what you specifically need.

And also, the accountability and motivation aspect…

One of the most common myths we always rally against is the “Just not being where you want should be motivation enough” and just because p90x told you that you should just inherently have the motivation to make a change and get to your goals or you are a broken weirdo, doesnt make it true. Because it isnt at all. There are so many aspects to motivation and habit change that are not inherent or just there.

It is completely normal that the vast majority of people need multiple layers of motivation and accountability to reach their fitness and lifestyle goals. And an expert coach is the major piece to that. It is how it works and the statistics do not lie.

If this resonated with you and/or you are interested in truly making a change in the New Year, we are by and far the best option in Erie to get you to your fitness, lifestyle and fat loss goals.

We have multiple programs starting in the New Year. If you would like more information, simply fill out the form below and we will contact you.

24 Mindset Shifts and Fact About the Core

Posted: March 29, 2016 by dannytwoguns in Articles

We specialize in “middle aged” females and with that comes the inevitable “menopause belly” and for those not quite there yet, hormonal issues related to the same area. Twoguns Rockstar, Netty talks about just that in her guest blog, check it out if you havent. And it tends to be the place that females or all ages after puberty, hormonally, tend to store bodyfat. That is part of the reason that the “core” has become such a buzzword and a popular “problem area”.

It also leads to a lot of fitness misinformation because it is such a popularly targeted area. The more popular something is the more bad information and snake oil there is on it and something as buzzy and popular as the core, I dont know if high quality information can overpower all the misinformation, but Im going to try 🙂

So here’s 24 mindset shifts / random thoughts / myth debunking facts all about the “core”

1 – The best exercise for your midsection will always be table pushbacks.

What are table pushbacks, you say? It is when you have a bunch of food on a plate in front of you and you push it away 🙂 AKA a comical way of saying that “abs are made in the kitchen”.

The best ab exercise is broccoli.

2 – Spot reduction isnt real. Doing endless crunches will not burn the fat off your midsection. You cant spot reduce fat, with training or diet. No amount of core or core isolation work is going to burn fat off your midsection. The body works as a unit and burns fat and builds muscle as a unit, you can spot increase muscle mass to a point but spot reducing fat doesnt exist. Sometimes I cant believe that that still is a thing that needs debunked.

3 – Speaking of crunches – it amazes me people are still doing these. There is so much research in abundance on the deleterious effects of constant spinal flexion being harmful to your spine that this is one of the no brainers in the fitness profession. Plus it promotes the exact posture we are trying to fix.

3a – Im not saying all (unloaded) spinal flexion is bad, we need to be able to flex the spine. Just not repeatedly over and over under load doing crunches (more on this later).

4 – “Drawing in” and “bracing” are not the same thing. Drawing in is detrimental and disadvantageous to any goal we want and bracing aka “putting your armor on” is how the can support the core, lower back etc and make everything stronger.

5 – Speaking of bracing, “hard” or bracing type exercises that require tension and “hard” stability is only one aspect of the core. Reflexive stability or the ability to fire quickly and transfer force is a pivotal and often overlooked aspect of the core.

6 – Your core is essentially the trunk of your body in which appendages come out of. Too often the core is simply thought of as “the six pack” muscles or the abs in front. But the anatomical core is similar to a cylinder. By that I mean it has… (one could also argue the glutes belong here too)…

A front – “six pack” / ab muscles
A back – spinal erectors / lower back muscles
Sides – Obliques, Transverse Abdomins / “love handle” area
A top – Diaphragm / Breathing or Respiration muscle
A bottom – Pelvic Floor

Cylinder

7 – This is one of the best core exercises we have. It is one of the best pelvic floor exercises we have in our arsenal as well as reflexive stability and anti-extension. We call it “Bubblegum Fart Ball” even though that isnt its real name.

 

8 – Position matters. The overextended / rib flare position leaks energy. “Ribs down and in” with thorax (upper part of your trunk) directly aligned over your pelvis/hips is the goal. An analogy I use with clients is if there is a force coming straight down through your head from above, everything should be stacked to stabilize, there should be no bending backwards (extending aka instagram posture) or being forward (flexing aka slumped over the desk sitting posture).

9 – Core stability is definitely related to mobility. “Tight muscles” is very rarely the case for lack of mobility (though it sometimes/rarely is). The ability to stabilize is under-emphasized and a major player in mobility. It is why some people can touch their toes seated but cannot do the same while standing.

It isnt hamstring tightness if they can do it seated even though they may feel tone/tension in the hamstrings while standing. It is lack of stability in the core and/or hips that is preventing them.

10 – “You cant shoot a cannon out of a canoe” is still one of the best analogies for stability needing to precede power/strength training. You have to have the adequate foundation in order to build on it. Be a battleship, not a canoe.

11 – Training and loading the core is about the “Anti”…

Anti-Rotation (resisting rotation)
Anti-Extension (resisting the spine extending or what would look like a back bend)
Anti-Flexion (resisting the spine flexing or what look look like a crunch or bending forward)
Anti-Lateral Flexion (resist the spine bending the the side)

It is why a Pull Up in the top few of the highest core musculature activation in EMG studies. It is meant to resist the movement that happens around it.

12 – Number 11 referenced loading and training the core through “Anti” type exercises. One of the most misinformed aspects when it comes to the core and more particularly, the spine, is that while unloaded it shouldnt move at all.

This isnt true.

What we do under load and what we dont without load are too completely different things. A spine unloaded needs to be able to move and excurse range of motion. It is why people who have back pain have trouble moving certain parts of their spine and people who dont have back pain, can move it more freely. The lack of it being able to move is part of the pain.

Unfortunately, this “bullet point” needs its own full length post with pictures and videos but the main point is, what the spine/core needs to do in deadlifts and loaded exercises is not what it needs to do unloaded and in regular movements. (I reiterate this point a little different later.)

13 – An inconspicuous way to really hit the core is to perform exercises while really “owning” the 1/2 Kneeling position aka, being on one knee.

8 20 PF R Half Kneel RT Chop

This is a Chop pattern done from 1/2 Kneeling. Im going to talk about the Chop itself in 14 but this point is simply about 1/2 Kneeling and its demand on the core. It is essentially standing on one leg, without the stimulus on the ankle, so we get the same benefit, just slightly more stable which allows us to do more things.

14 – The 1/2 Kneeling Chop as seen above bringing the weight across via down and in and the 1/2 Kneeling Lift (bringing the weight across via up and out) is a great example of a sneaky core exercise. You move the implement 3-dimensionally and diagonally on a stable torso so it has to not only resist a diagonal and three dimensional force but has to do so from an asymmetrical base. Double the core demand, double the benefit.

The key is to really focus on that 1/2 Kneeling posture and nothing moves except your arms and the implement. The way the core does in life and true movement.

15 – When training the core, increasing load is initially a lot less effective than manipulating levers or points of stability to challenge the movement. The longer the lever the more load and torque. Same goes the for decreasing points of stability like lifting an arm or leg on plank variations.

16 – Training of the core should progress as in the neurodevelopmental model. Supine (on your back) to sidelying to quadruped (on all fours) to 1/2 Kneeling (one knee as above) or Tall Kneeling (on two knees), transitional (move through prior components) and then integrated. You can do these at the same time if ability allows in the situation, but there is value in owning all of those postures, especially post pregnancy or injury.

16a – As in regular training progressions, you have to own the sagittal plane (front to back) before you can move on to frontal plane (side to side) and transverse plane (rotationally). One builds off the prior. And you need all of them. Too many training programs solely emphasize front to back and up and down aka the sagittal plane. Real life doesnt work this way.

16b – If you think Dead Bugs are “just an easy exercise” it is extraordinarily likely you are cheating through them or performing them incorrectly. Your neck needs to be neutral, you lower back has to be on the ground, your ribs have to be “down and in” and the up knee has to be at or above hip height and the down leg needs to (progress to) fully straightened but not on the ground.

12 11 Mandi Good Dead Bug

17 – There are “schools of thought” in the functional training community that will say if you arent standing and stabilizing, you arent training the core in a truly “functional” manner. And I dont necessarily disagree, but the caveat has to be mentioned that you have to build up to being able to do that from a progression/regression standpoint.

Thus doing things in the positions and postures talked about earlier (supine, quadruped, kneeling etc) that build the foundation for standing and stabilizing are inherently functional because they are serving that same function. So their function is to build to more “functional core patterns” which inherently makes them functional. Sorry for the word game haha.

18 – We sit too much, which puts our hip into flexion (the position your hip is when you sit is called flexion of the hip/shortening the hip flexor) and that leads to them potentially being “tight” in people.

We can debate about hip flexor stretching later but the point here is that just because we spend too much time sitting doesnt mean we shouldnt train the core via hip flexion with things like mountain climbers (done correctly), pikes, leg lowerings etc. It builds a stable core and also influences vital movements, like gait and sprinting.

Renee Pike

19 – We teach bracing and stiffness of the midsection and core during exercises to create stability and we need to. But as also need to be able to not walk through life like a robot who can only brace his core and spine. The spine and core need to move in a soft, reflexive way in low threshold activities like walking. It is one of the harder things to tackle with “lower back” people who need to strengthen their core. They get so tied up in high threshold things that they never get stronger in the other half of the battle, reflexive things like walking. Hence the injury cycle of that person continues.

20 – Typical “bro” exercises that have gone to the wayside as a result of the functional training era like rows, bench press and military press can become great core exercises when you do them asymmetrically/1 arm at a time (typically with dumbbells or kettlebells) and do them heavy.

One of the sorest my obliques/side area ever were was when I did a heavy one arm kettlebell press training session by Dan John.

21 – Loaded Carries are an underutilized and extreme bang for your buck collection of core exercises. Pick up something heavy, whether its at your sides, “in the rack” or overhead, stabilize and carry it at a steady pace.

22 – Speaking of “bang for your buck,” I get asked rather often what the best core exercise is or some variation of that question, sometimes along with holding a piece of their midsection (in which I reference what is said in #2). The first thing I’ll say is that the best core exercise depends on you, because where you are strong, where you are weak, what you need overall and everything in between will determines that best exercises for you.

With that said, if pressed to choose, I would probably go with the Ultimate Sandbag (USB) Single Leg Diagonal Bag Drag. Asymmetrically moving implement on an asymmetrically loaded base gives a ton of bang for your buck.

But it is advanced and assumes you’ve mastered the USB Lateral Bag Drag, the USB Single Leg Lateral Bag Drag, the USB Diagonal Bag Drag and all other global pre-requisites for it to be the best fit for you.

 

22a – Id be remiss if I didnt also mention the Turkish Get Up as one of the best bang for your buck core exercises as well. It wont give you the same “ab burn” the USB Single Leg Diagonal Bag Drag will but it is just as effective. “What muscle does that work?” The answer is yes. Mobility, stability and strength wrapped in one great exercise.

 

23 – When we talked about the “cylinder” earlier we mentioned the diaphragm as the top of that cylinder. It is an integral part of the core and needs to be trained just like any other muscle. We do that through breathing exercises.

This can be a ridiculous rabbit hole to jump down and I wont do that here. But for the most part, breathing is not the same thing as respiration and owning our inhales and exhales fully and deeply has a lot of value and is actually something people are not very good at and should be. This goes for in relaxed postures as well as in lifting and doing exercises.

24 – If you cant touch your toes, the best core exercise for you is exercises that get you to or promote you touching your toes. We often talk about “things that make you human”. Touching your toes is one of the foundations. As is getting your arms overhead without arching your back/flaring your ribs or unlocking your elbows. An advanced one is having the ability to deep squat (it doesnt have to be under load, but you have to be able to do it).

Squat Bottom

Squat low and squat often 🙂

That wraps up our 24 fun facts about the core. If you have any thoughts, questions or elaborations on any points, feel free to send me a message at the Twoguns Training Systems facebook page and let me know.

Have you ever said…

“This will finally be the year Im going to lose weight and get into shape!”

Or…

“This year things will be different!”

The New Year is often an exciting time for people that symbolizes a whole new opportunity to turn things around and make things better. Unfortunately failing to achieve their new years resolution(s) is far more common than succeeding at them.

Sound familiar?

Most people will make a goal but then put nothing in place to help them or keep them accountable. It is really no wonder most fizzle out by March, if not February.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone – we hear it often every December/January. So I’ve got a pretty good idea of why most people come up short in their good intentions.

We’ve talked about the “Anti-New Year’s Resolution” before but I want to tackle the New Year’s Resolution and things we can do – and avoid to set you up for as much success as possible in 2016.

Over the years as a fitness professional, there have been some common themes among the people outside of our gym that are the reasons you may be setting yourself up for failure and not success…

1 – Trying to Run a Marathon Like a Sprint

Losing fat and building a healthy lifestyle is like a marathon – it’s going to take time. “The quicker it happens, the less sustainable the results” is a fair guideline. It is why quick fixes dont work. If you didnt earn it, you cant keep it.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Its going to take time to change your habits so don’t set unrealistic goals. Small steps are better than a big leap. Enjoy the journey, because that is what it is.

While sprints are effective for fat loss and marathons are not when to comes to training, you have to approach the lifestyle like you’d approach a marathon.

Martin Rooney Sprint

2 – Unrealistic Eating Plan

Im looking at your Mrs. Chicken and Broccoli Every Meal, 5-7 times a day.

The best nutrition approach is one that you can stick to. That obviously doesnt mean you are on the carbs and sugar diet because it is one you can stick to, but the mistake people always make is the first thing they manipulate is what they are eating. I think this is mainly from not knowing the right things to do so they go with the “easiest” in terms of knowing what to do.

And then they are sick of chicken and broccoli every meal so comfort is found in peanut butter and ice cream instead.

An approach that manipulates hunger hormones, meal frequency, timing, carbs etc before simply worrying about the type or quality of food is more sustainable and actually more effective as well.

3 – Not Chunking Down Your Goals and Tracking Your Progress

What doesnt get measured, cant get managed.

People make resolutions because they know they’re important, but they’re hard. With each passing week, more people give up on their resolution. Setting the right goals matters, but putting systems in place to track and measure are even more important.

First, if you want to lose 100 pounds, focus on the first 10 and then the next 10 after that. Celebrating the little wins as your progress helps you continue whereas worrying about the bigger goal makes it seem insurmountable. What’s the quickest way to eat an elephant? One bite at at time.

When you chunk down your goals you start to have small successes, which are the keys to long-term success. So instead of thinking I’m only 1/10th of the way to my goal, you’ve shifted your mindset and have already completed one goal; to lose 10 lbs.

Second, and this may seem counter intuitive to the example in the first point, but it is to measure success and track goals centered around habits. In order to lose that first 10 pounds, aim for at least 3 workouts a week, ideally 4. So your first month goal may be 4 weeks in a row of at least 3 workouts. Hitting that goal will certainly help toward losing that 10 pounds.

But the important part is we’ve made the habit the goal, not the outcome.

4. Trying To Do It Alone

We see this more in males than we do females, but it certainly exists a lot. “Im going to do it at home” or “I know enough on my own” or not having a support system in place are setting you up to not succeed. A support system and community is integral and vital to succeeding.

There are numerous studies showing how working in groups dramatically increases success in a fitness program. It is why 1 on 1 personal training is (or should be) a thing of the past. It is less effective because the more support, the better the results.

First, share your goals with your friends and family so that you don’t feel alone in your pursuit. In joining a gym, make sure that it is a community build around reaching goals and supporting each other and you’re not treated like just another number. Better yet, if you get a barcode when you sign up, dont sign up there – you are a person with a name. And the absolute quickest way to reach your goal is to hire a highly qualified coach to get you there as efficiently, safely and quickly as possible.

8 22 Metabolic Rooney Pose

5. Starting With The Wrong Exercise Program

This kind of ties back into #1 – most people go from doing barely anything to trying to do advanced workouts in a day. And this is a sure fire way to either injure yourself or be so sore that it takes you a week before you’re able to do your next workout.

The best thing you can do before you get started is to get an assessment done by a highly qualified fitness professional. I’d go as far to say absolutely do not hire anyone if they do not take you through a thorough assessment both verbally and physically.

Late last year (2105) a former client’s daughter was pressured into a “free” personal training session at a gym in the area, no assessment, no care for her abilities and that one session left her hospitalized with rhabdomyolosis. It is an extreme example, but it exists and it is completely unacceptable.

If left to our own devices, most people do the things they are good at or the things in their immediate comfort zone when the reality is success in your goals is found by adamantly attacking all of your weaknesses while maintaining your strengths. It is part of the reason women respond so well to strength training when it comes to fat loss and not yoga. Strength training is addressing a weakness and yoga is simply facilitating their strength.

Martin Rooney Quote 2

6. Focusing Only on Cardio

It is 2016 and I really cant believe this is still a thing. But alas, every January cardio machines are jam packed even though science has distinctly proven it isnt an effective modality for fat loss.

One of the biggest myths in fitness is that if you want to lose weight you should focus on cardio. This is also a great way to tell the difference between a fitness professional who knows what they are talking about and one who does not.

Whenever a new client is in for their strategy session, a very common question when Im showing them the facility is “where is all your cardio?” and if Im being a smart ass and know they can handle the joke, I’ll say “We dont have any treadmills, ellipticals or stationary bikes because we only have things that work” and then show them the sleds, battle ropes, medicine balls etc and explain why strength training and high intensity interval training is by and fat the most effective route to fat loss.

Everything we do is based off science and actual research, not because someone at some point said it and science simply does not support aerobics for fat loss.

If you really want to maximize fat loss, a mixture of strength/resistance training and high intensity interval training is the way to go, this is proven by science and a plethora of real life examples especially here at the gym.

Jumping on the treadmill or bike for an hour may help you lose weight, but it wont help you lose fat and takes a whole lot more time and infinitely less bang for your buck time wise And last time I checked, most people dont have 12-18 hours a week to workout, they have 3-5. Dont spend time on things that dont work not matter how adamantly people espouse them.

7. Comparing Yourself With Others

Forget all those pictures you see in the magazines or on Facebook or Instagram. Most of those pictures have been edited, photoshopped or taken 217 times to get the right lighting. They are not real life, they are highlights of people’s lives. When is the last time you saw someone post a picture saying, “Wow, do I look terrible today”?

Use other’s for motivation and accountability, not for comparing your success to theirs. When it comes to fitness, we are all unique snowflakes that are different from one another. From genetics, to workout history, to nutrition history, to the way people individually move there is no accurate way to measure how much progress you will make versus another person, there are too many individual variables so you have to play on a scorecard that is wholly your future self vs your past self and no one else.

Chari BA

No Photoshop, just a real life example to show you what is possible when you truly commit to making a change.

Our next Fit in 42 program starts on Feburary 1st. It is the ultimate life style transformation program and there is absolutely nothing else remotely close in Erie. If you are truly ready to make 2016 your year and eliminate excuses – fill out the application below.

Fit in 42 – February 1st Application

“Just The Tip” Tuesday Compilation

Posted: December 13, 2015 by dannytwoguns in Articles

Part I of the most recent “Just The Tip” Tuesday Quickies where we give you a short and sweet but powerful dose of knowledge to help in your fat loss, training and workouts.

Evolving the Glute Bridge

Posted: November 29, 2015 by dannytwoguns in Articles

I have a laundry list of injuries and ailments that I wont bore you with as Ive talked about them quite a few times, but to say they are anything but excessive would be an understatement. This constant propensity for injury is one of the primary things that drew me to the DVRT system in the first place. It seemed no matter the training program, injuries, limitations and random bad luck always seemed to derail me – everything but the latter went away when I fully immersed into DVRT…

The ability to progress and regress exercises without adding or decreasing weight blew my mind initially. I mean, really, isn’t that how we are always suppose to make exercises harder or easier by just changing the weight? Then as I dove deeper, finding ways to progress exercises while actually decreasing load spoke my too often injured joints and muscles oh so directly. Oh, but wait, I won’t get strong right? Well, I loved the idea that old time strongmen had, make a light weight feel heavier.

Why? You find out where you holes and weaknesses really lie. You find out the truth if you are gym strong or real world strong. Where do we go from here?

When the concepts of DVRT Restoration (stay tuned for more details) were in the talks, I knew this was something I had to be a part of – “bridging the gap between corrective exercise and strength training”. Simultaneously improving movement capacity and competency while getting strong(er) in the process is the best of both worlds.

The MAX Lunge is one of the “sexier” DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercises, but it is also one of the more challenging ones. There is an incredible demand of 3-dimensional stability and strength required. But what if we flipped it on its back? Literally…

10 13 USB Restoration Side by Side

The same amount of 3-d dimensional stability and strength as well as the same pattern done in a more stable position. One of the “buzzes” around the fitness industry is training “from the ground up” and our progressions can and should work the same way. A lot of people find the MAX Bridge just as if not more challenging than the MAX Lunge because compensation isn’t really possible in the MAX Bridge as we sometimes see in the MAX Lunge especially when speed increases.

We have two variations in which we use it.

One is the MAX Bridge itself…

 

The goal is to transition the Ultimate Sandbag toward your hip as you bridge up as high as you can and return back to neutral – similar to the MAX Lunge. This challenges single leg strength as well as the anti-rotation of the Ultimate Sandbag.

Then we can emphasize the challenge of anti-rotation element by holding the top of the one leg glute bridge and going through the diagonal pattern with the Ultimate Sandbag, like in the video above.

Goal here is to hold the top position with hips fully extended and no rotating side to side. Nate is demonstrating the “medium” tempo. It can also be done with a super slow tempo or a dynamic tempo depending on the goal.

Which variation challenges you more will depend on you specifically. Some people have a hard time resisting rotation as they bridge and others have a hard time stabilizing at the top while resisting rotation.

Either way, these MAX Bridge variations are a great way to not only dial in your MAX Lunge as well as build a bulletproof lower back and a strong core.

Building the Rotational Snatch

Posted: November 9, 2015 by dannytwoguns in Articles

This past weekend, we had the honor and privilege of not only hosting, but teaching the DVRT Level I and II Certification combo. I had taught a workshop and asssisted at a few certifications but this was my first solo certification and it was an amazing experience all around. Attendees loved it and I had an absolute blast teaching it. Stay tuned for either the end of the week or next week when I write up some thoughts on it.

For now I want to talk about one of the most advanced DVRT exercises, the Ultimate Sandbag Rotational Snatch. It is a humbling exercise for a lot of people and rightfully so, it is definitely at end of the progression spectrum and very okay if people never progress to doing it. I was the demo example for the Rotational Snatch when I assisted Josh Henkin at the Perform Better Functional Training Summit in Providence and obviously demonstrated it this past weekend as well and it is definitely an exercise that takes some fine tuning and some practice, so we usually get a lot of questions about how to perform it or build up to it.

PB Prov Snatch

In building up to it, we have to lay the foundation and own all of the progressions leading up to it. It is a complicated exercise that has a lot of depth to it.

People love to gravitate toward the “sexy” exercise, because well, it’s sexy but the most important aspect when it comes to training and getting the results you are looking for is that the best exercise option for you, is the one that meets you at your ability level and you can perform correctly and efficiently, not the advanced exercise you don’t perform well. I personally dont do a whole lot of these, my shoulders and upper back much prefer clean variations over snatch variations. The reality is the USB Snatch and Rotational Snatch may never be for you and that is completely okay, but for those who it may be for and those who want to build up to it, we have you covered.

I’ve broken it down into two tiers, one is the traditional snatch tier and two is the rotational tier, which we have a video for below. You don’t have to be able to complete tier one to move onto tier two, you can train them concurrently and I’ll break down how at the end.

The first tier that isn’t in the video below is that you have to own the sagittal plane or front to back/straight up and down progression…

The Ultimate Sandbag Deadlift
The Ultimate Sandbag Snatch Grip High Pull
The Ultimate Sandbag Snatch

But being able to perform the movements traditionally doesn’t necessarily mean you can automatically do it rotationally, that is where tier two comes in. I don’t think people spend enough time owning rotation at each step, so I want to break each one down a little bit…

(Side note – I just now realized I say the word “complexed” at the end of the video. I sincerely apologize for the poor grammar 🙂 )

First, the Rotational Pressout. This teaches your core how to stabilize a moving lever as well as stabilize over rotating hips. This is important because the rotation does not come from the trunk, it is a stable plank over pivoting or rotating hips.

The Rotational Overhead Press takes it one step further. Now we can challenge the core from a more disadvantaged lever while challenging the upper body and arms to stabilize over the rotating hips as well.

The Rotational Deadlift ties in the same principle as the Rotational Press, except now the upper body is loaded and the core and arms as well have to stabilize as the hips are moving.

Once those three are mastered, DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training principles tell us we can progress the exercise through speed of the implement – enter the Rotational Clean. This is the end goal of the progression for a lot of people and that is okay, it is a great one.

All the benefits of the Rotational Deadlift, with not only a dynamic component, but the anti-rotation of the core required at the top to decelerate is incredible and a stimulus that is hard to mimic. Your core has to fire incredibly to prevent simply ‘spinning away’ with the Ultimate Sandbag.

This one one of the reasons we spend a lot of time building rotational strength prior. The other primary reason being having the ability to not rotate through the core but rotate through the hips. Two aspects that need practice.

Once that is mastered, the last step is to switch to the snatch handles and use all the same principles of the Rotational Clean, except bringing the USB overhead. When we’ve mastered the pre-requisites, this step is a lot more natural.

A quick breakdown…

Master the Ultimate Sandbag Deadlift and Rotational Pressout then progress to the Rotational Overhead Press.

Master the Ultimate Sandbag Training Rotational Deadlift and the Snatch Grip High Pull.

Master the Ultimate Sandbag Training Rotational Clean and the traditional Snatch.

Finish with the Ultimate Sandbag Training Rotational Snatch – safely and effectively.

For more information on not only the only DVRT Cerfified Facility in Erie but the only facility in Erie that teaches certifications to other fitness professionals, feel free to contact me HERE.

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.

DVRT C&P Test

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.”

What DVRT Means to Me…

Posted: November 2, 2015 by dannytwoguns in About Me, Articles

Twoguns Training Systems and LEWIS Fitness & Performance are hosting the first ever DVRT Level I and II Certification in northwest Pennsylvania this weekend and I couldnt be more excited to continue to grow DVRT. 3.5 years ago, DVRT changed the fitness landscape for me in every way and it is an honor to grow it.

There are better places than this post to see exactly what DVRT (Dynamic Variable Resistance Training) is, but this is what the program means to me specifically.

Dan Bio Pic (2)

We all know a person or may be that person, where anything physically related comes easy or at the very most, with a slight bit of practice. And since all things physical and athletic come easy, so do things like fat loss, muscle gain and other aesthetic endeavors. We all hate those people right?! 😉 Just kidding of course, but it does seem like things are a lot easier for them.

Well I am the exact opposite of that person. And Im guessing you are more like me than the aforementioned type of people.

As I write this, I turned 30 years old today and I have an orthopedic and injury history list longer than those double my age, mostly through no fault of my own. I’ve been called an “old man” since High School (and even before) from all of the injuries, creaking, cracking, popping etc. If there was a body shop for people, I would be first in line.

It has always been this way. If I were to list all of the injuries and ailments, we’d have an article so long no one would read, but I’ll list the major landmarks…

In 2nd grade, I broke my arm. Both bones of the lower arm (radius and ulna), the bone of your upper arm (humerus) and also dislocated my elbow in a fall on my elementary school playground.

Multiple and various injuries (stitches, shoulder dislocations (4+), knee and hip injuries etc) occurred over the next 10 years including a scare in which it was thought I broke my wrist but no other major orthopedic surgeries until…

In 12th grade/my senior year I “blew out” my knee in pre-season baseball (simply rounding 2nd base on a hit) and had an arthroscopic surgery to repair it. I had missed most of the previous season due to shoulder injuries as well.

One year later, I had a more invasive surgery on that same knee to fix what the previous surgery wasn’t able to and had what they called an Osteochondral Transfer Graft surgery which in non-doctor speak could be described as a teenage knee replacement – they graft bone/muscle/ligaments etc from another part of my leg into my knee. The size of what they took out was bigger than I thought my actual knee was.

And last fall, I broke my arm in a freak accident… (more on this below)…

Stitches

But now, all these unfortunate experiences could easily have turned me off from all physical activity, but instead, I used this time as inspiration to lose 100 pounds over the next year (after the knee surgery) and officially started my journey into training and the fitness industry (although I was doing everything wrong but that is another story – aerobic training for fat loss, right? Cue eye roll…).

Things didn’t become roses just because I lost the weight. A bad shoulder injury that resulted in more surgeries (among other things like not losing the weight correctly) caused me to regain the 100 pounds I had lost – and then a few more. When you don’t lose weight the right way, lose it too quickly etc, you damage your body and inevitably gain the weight back – and that’s exactly what happened to me.

And that is what officially sparked my journey to learn anything and everything fitness – at first to fix myself and then leading to helping other people not have to follow the same path I did. My story is not unlike so many other fitness professionals I know and love. Those who got into fitness as both a means to help themselves, but for a larger purpose to genuinely help others. And I think that is and always will be the key, wanting to genuinely help others.

But finding how to fix myself was easier said than done. There isnt a magical end to this injury story.

Incidentally and literally exactly one year ago (as I mentioned above) as two weeks ago, I broke my arm in a freak accident. Again, one to this day, no one else has seen happen to anyone. Im one of a kind lucky 🙂

Traditional training methodologies and striving for impressive strength feats are simply not possible for me, this is a message I apparently tried to ignore but I tried for a long time because I thought I was “supposed to” but only spun my wheels…

To this day, my Deadlift PR stands at 485 with a questionable 495. Ive never attempted 500 or above without it tweaking something in my upper back, grip or hamstring. I can barbell squat 315 pain-free during the workout, but the next few days are a completely different story. Before you jump on the “he must have bad form” idea, I’ve had top strength coaches watch me and nothing is wrong with technique. However, when you have suffered enough injuries to build the orthopedic wing at a hospital, sometimes not all lifts are for you!

And it took me a while to realize that that is completely okay.

I spent my time trying the “traditional” means of getting strong

I say none of this in any way to impress you, but rather impress upon you that traditional “feats of strength” and traditional training methodologies based around progressing exercises with absolute load do not work for me at all and most likely don’t work for the “average person” either.

And again, that is completely okay. It took me a long time to accept this because this is the exact “foundation” that “everything we learn” initially is based off of. A principle that a lot of other people and programs still ignorantly cling to.

“How can this guy get clients amazing results but he keeps injuring himself and cant even train himself?” Was a constant limiting belief in my head, especially in my “early days” of becoming a fitness professional.

I rarely struggle with this myself to this day, but it does happen when various injuries and limitations creep up for no apparent reason but I can find acceptance with it because it is what inevitably led me to Josh Henkin and DVRT, then continuing the pursuit of knowledge and becoming a DVRT Master Instructor and completely exemplifies the beauty of the DVRT system.

How am I able to get stronger, progress in the gym and get in/stay in shape when all of the other ways have failed me time and time again?

Dynamic Variable Resistance Training.

Being able to progress and regress exercises through plane of motion, load position, stance position and stability of the implement not only gave me injury free and pain free ways to get stronger, but it got me and my clients amazing and sustainable results in the process.

Want to make a 50 pound Ultimate Sandbag feel like hundreds?

Ultimate Sandbag Training Shouldered Stagger Stance Squats with a 3 second eccentric and a 3 second hold at the bottom. Pain free, completely safe and delightful “torture” err… fun.

Mandi STG Shoulder Squat

But for me it is more than a system and more than exercises.

It is the elimination of frustration and feeling like I could never make progress or get stronger. The ability to feel like I can do something physically impressive, get stronger and not get injured while doing so? For over 25 years I didn’t have that.

How do I become strong and my best fitness without also suffering through pain? That is what DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training allows me to do. Even now a year removed off that freak injury that completely derailed me, I am able to build back due to the system. I don’t have to feel restricted to any one exercise, I can find the RIGHT exercises for myself.

 

Fitness should fit the individual, not the individual being squeezed into a program. 

The reality is most people are more like me (hopefully not to the extent though 🙂 ) than they are “those people” or “that person” I mentioned in the beginning and they can find passion through truly getting stronger, more safely and injury free.

Confidence.
Progress.
Strength.
Results.
And the ability to be able to do the same with my clients and truly change their lives and mine for that matter – that is what DVRT means to me.

My fitness journey will hopefully last a lifetime, constantly striving to be more connected to my body, overcome obstacles, and lead by example.

Putting the Personal in Group Personal Training

Posted: October 26, 2015 by dannytwoguns in Articles

I’ve always loved the individualization, progression and depth of writing client’s customized programs. The depth and the individualization you could give a client always fascinates me. I always describe it as “adamantly attacking weaknesses and asymmetries while maintaining and utilizing strengths.” This is the beauty of a customized program, everything can be addressed.

But that usually led me to having a harder time when it came to large group personal training programs because it was hard to create that individualization for each person and I wasnt content with just throwing exercises together in a group like we so often see.

That was because it was important to me that it is still personal training, just done in a motivating group. I had a client literally describe our group personal training as this – “It amazes me how you can give me more personal attention and workout customization with 15 people in the session with me than my old 1 on 1 personal trainer gave in a 1 on 1 session.”

The “group fitness” and “group personal training” landscape has changed a lot over the past few years. The problem with group fitness as it was (and sometimes still is), that the Zumbas, the BodyPumps – the model where the aerobic instructor is in front of the room cheerleading while the group performs whatever they can in a sink or swim type fashion was okay for motivation and getting people into the gym, but it didnt actually get them results and was often discouraging because if you couldnt do something or something was easy, your only option was “go slower or faster” or simply add or decrease weight.

There has to be more to your training than simply adding or decreasing weight to make things easier or harder.

Now group has evolved into the “functional training space” and doing things and modalities that are more effective came to the forefront – kettlebells, TRX, medicine balls etc. But just because you have all the “functional” or fancy equipment didnt help the fact that these exercises get programmed and the user is left to well do it if you can and if you cant, it either looks horrible and you do it anyway or you simply cant do it. The “problem” with the functional training type equipment is that they usually involve more coaching to be performed correctly and in the average “group” model – there isnt much actual coaching, just pump up and motivation.

So we have to put the personal in group personal training. I hate seeing videos of other gyms in the area posting their group sessions and their push ups look terrible, their kettlebell swings make certified kettlebell professionals wince and it simply looks like no one is doing anything right even though the music is load and the person leading the session is chanting motivational sayings. Also all of their groups tend to be high intensity or metabolic based – which neglects the most important aspect of fat loss and move better/feel better and perform better training – strength training.

That isnt how you change the way fitness is done.

DVRT (along with Ultimate Sandbag Training) with its depth, built-in progressions, regressions and complexity has revolutionized the individualization aspect for the client but still in the group model of training 15-25 people at once. We are also honored to be the ONLY DVRT Certified facility in Erie and northwest Pennsylvania.

DVRT Certified Facility

Our large group personal training program is broken down into what we call “Superhero Strength” sessions (because we are superheros, duh 🙂 ) where we emphasize strength which could include a density model, where we do certain exercises in supersets or in tri-sets for a specific amount of reps and get in as many sets as we can do in a given amount of time or we do a 6-8 exercise circuit/rotation with a timed interval of 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off or 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off or a strength based complex. Strength training (whatever that means to your ability level) is king.

We also have Metabolic sessions where the goal is a high intensity interval based approach where the goal isn’t necessarily to go up in weight and get stronger, it is the cardiovascular or metabolic effect. These are usually done in circuits and not a density model with the same approach with say a 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off approach or varying the work to rest ratios (which is beyond the scope of what I want to talk about in this article) and is a perfect addition to your program for your goals, not the foundation of it.

The beauty of DVRT and Ultimate Sandbag Training is that it has complete application in both Superhero Strength sessions (and all its types) and the Metabolic sessions as well.

The key that we’ve found when it comes to programming for large groups is that you need it to be simple enough so that everyone remembers and knows what they should or shouldn’t be doing but still have ability to progress, regress and program efficiently.

We’ve found that one “regression” and one or two progressions are usually the sweet spot. More than three and people tend to get confused and since the goal isnt simply to do a progression because its there, we have goals that we hit.

And as always, doing a “regression” doesnt mean you suck and you are a bad person, it simply means that your training is meeting your current ability level and the best exercise for you is always the one that meets you at your ability level, not above it.

So let’s get into some details and examples of how we are integrating it into our programming…

Say if a program calls for an Ultimate Sandbag (USB) Overhead Press, the progressions could look like this…

Regression / Shoulder Contraindication – Shoulder Mobility Corrective
Progressions – Stagger Stance USB Overhead Press –> USB Rotational Overhead Press.
— Which progression we would use depends on the client as well as other exercises in the circuit or workout. If there is a core stability difficulty, we would progress to the stagger stance and if there wasn’t, we could manipulate the plane of the movement and the difficulty with a Rotational Overhead Press.

The beauty of this progression is we didnt even have to increase the weight yet.

Now let’s look at a couple of ways we are incorporating some of the more popular DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training and USB exercises while keeping it safe, individual and at everyone’s ability level all at the same time… (These apply to a portion of the density workout as well as a station in a strength circuit…)

USB High Pull

Active Straight Leg Raise / Toe Touch Contraindication – USB CE Active Leg Lowering
Regression / Shoulder Contraindication – USB Deadlift
Progression – USB Clean to Fist or USB Inside-Out Clean.
Advanced – USB Rotational Clean to Rotational Press.

DVRT GB 3

USB Clean (emphasizing USB Clean progressions)

Active Straight Leg Raise / Toe Touch Contraindication – USB CE Active Leg Lowering
Shoulder Contraindication – USB Deadlift
Regression – USB Deadlift, USB High Pull
Progression – Rear Step USB Clean
Advanced – Rear Step USB Clean w/ Slide (- this one is crazy hard)

DVRT GB 2

USB MAX (Multiple Axis) Lunge

Regression/Lunge Contraindication – Split Squat or TRX Assisted Split Squat
USB MAX Lunge – First one side at a time, then progress to alternating.
Progressions – USB MAX Lunge w/ High Pull. USB MAX Lunge w/ Swing.
– Which progression we choose depends on other exercises in the workout. If there is a KB Swing in the workout, we’d choose the High Pull variation and if there was a High Pull or Clean in the rotation, we’d use the Swing variation.

DVRT GB 1

Once you understand the principles and foundation behind DVRT, the possibilities are endless and once incorporated, clients progress and results will absolutely increase because they not only get better more frequently but now you’ve added an aspect of individualization so everyone can train at their level and progress accordingly.

Remember, just because you are training in a group, doesnt mean form has to be bad or you have to be doing something that is way above (or even below) your ability level.

What does “Join The Resistance” Mean?

Posted: September 18, 2015 by dannytwoguns in Articles

More than 1/3 of adults in the U.S. are obese and admittedly sedentary, (this doesnt take into account the people who are sedentary and dont think they are/admit it) and the estimated annual costs of obesity total more than $147 billion dollars, a number which is expected to reach $300 billion by 2020.

That’s insane.

TFW Join the Resistance

Recently we were accepted by Martin Rooney and Training For Warriors​ (TFW) as an affiliate to implement their amazing system to improve what we do Twoguns Training Systems​ in our constant pursuit of always Changing The Way Fitness Is Done in Erie.

One of the main mantras of TFW is “Join The Resistance.” A few people have asked what it means and it is worth explaining as its value is immense…

The world is no longer set up for you to easily live healthy and it very often promotes the exact opposite. Poor food choices have become incredibly easy and convenient to access. Lifestyles and being busy make inactivity incredibly easy.

More sitting, less moving, poor convenient food choices. Less movement, less creativity, shorter lifespan. A “living death” of sorts. Unreached potential.

Right now there are groups figuring out how to create ways to keep people more sedentary to make us less healthy. Fast food companies are more “excited” and adamant about making people unhealthy than the fitness people are for making people better. As a result of these efforts, self esteem, fitness and confidence are being hammered to an all-time low.

People living a healthy and fitness based lifestyle are outnumbered. Actually, the world often portrays this minority of people who are adamant about getting 2-4 workouts a week in, eliminating sugar and processed foods – eating an overall healthy diet, as “obsessed,” “insane” or “crazy.”

Then we have the faux fitness crowds who give fitness a bad name by trying to sell you crap products that dont make you better but make them a healthy commission but thats another story for another time 🙂

“In a world of ever growing rates of obesity, cancer, diabetes, over-medication and sedentary lifestyles, a faction of men and women on the other side of the fight has begun to push back. While outrageously outnumbered in a world in which most people are against them, these men and women persist for that which they believe. These are the new heroes of the Resistance.”

The Resistance stands to make people truly better. Move better, feel better, BE better. To take a stand against the things that give us no value and make us worse. Embrace the positive and eliminate the negative.

Hurricane Group 8 21

The Resistance is not $9.99 a month gyms, overpriced under-qualitied supplements people only push on you because they get a commission selling you, group aerobics classes where you pound sticks on the ground or swing around on a pole. The Resistance is truly aiming to make yourself better – as a lifestyle doing the things that are proven to work and to fight against the things that aim to make us worse and actively trying to be better.

From Training For Warriors…

The Resistance is a clandestine operation. As you read this blog, perhaps you are unsure on which side of the fight you stand. Ask yourself the following ten questions. If you answer “yes” to 6 or more of them, consider yourself a member of the Resistance. If you answer “yes” to 8 or more, consider yourself known as “crazy” to anyone that is not a member. If you answer “yes” to all 10 questions, I am sure you did it with a defiant and proud smile.

1. Have you ever been made to feel guilty while ordering order a salad at a restaurant by your associates?

2. Are you excited that fish oil now comes in flavors other than rotted fish?

3. Do you hate having to explain yourself at family get-togethers about why you are not eating dessert?

4. Have you ever been pressured in a bar by friends because you aren’t drinking?

5. Do you hear “a little piece isn’t gonna kill you,” more than six times per year?

6. Would you be more excited to find out than Blueberries are 2 for 5 dollars instead of Big Macs?

7. Do you think a Friday night, holiday or vacation is a great time to get a workout, not skip one?

8. Are you the only person you know that doesn’t make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight?

9. Do you have a piece of exercise equipment in your house and actually use it.

10. Have you ever been negatively referred to as a “Health Nut”, “Fitness Freak”, or a “Gym Rat?”

Say yes to the things that make you better and no to the things that make you worse. It seems simple and it is an easier said than done proposition, I know.

But you are far stronger than you think and far stronger than you’d ever give yourself credit for.

And you can do it.

8 22 Metabolic Rooney Pose

The Resistance opposes those are generally negative and those people are more abundant than they should be. They dont like when they are taken out of their comfort zone and you making yourself better, makes them realize their inadequacies and shortcomings take them out of their comfort zone and they feel guilty they arent doing the same, so their reaction is to come off negative.

But you can overcome that.

Just because they dont want to reach their potential doesnt mean you cant reach yours. Resistance is healthy. It makes us strong. You won’t get results without it. Resistance is the most important thing you need to develop strength and growth. The whole point of training is learning how to apply it correctly. The same holds true for living a healthy lifestyle. Take the resistance you receive from the opposition and let it strengthen your character, training and resolve.

How to Embrace the Resistance

Difficult decisions will face you at every turn. You may feel like giving in. These two things will help you embrace the resistance…

Change Your “Got To’s” into “Get To’s”

So many unfortunately view working out or eating well as something that they have “got” to do. Members of the resistance, however, are better served when they view it as something that they “get” to do. Instead of thinking about these things as difficulties or challenges, choose instead to view them as luxuries and opportunities. When you switch your “got to’s” to “get to’s” I promise staying a member of the Resistance won’t be a hardship. It will be a privilege.

Add A “To” Onto Your “In”

When you attended school, were you “in” school or were you “into” school? The chances are that you were only in it. To be a member of the Resistance, however, you cannot be “in” fitness or “in” the resistance, you need to be “into” fitness and “into” the resistance. When you get “into” something, not only do you get interested, but your energy becomes contagious and gets other people interested too.

Our Drop 2 Sizes Challenge starts September 28th and is already almost full. If you are interested dont hesitate. Head over HERE and apply so you dont miss out.