Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

It used to be a regular occurrence that I would apologize for a lack of blogging after not posting for a while and then I got pretty good at providing regular content and updating on a consistent basis. It is a good and bad problem to have because we have been so busy, growing so fast and constantly getting better at Twoguns Training Systems that blogging time has fallen by the wayside. Not a bad problem as we are bigger, busier, more successful and getting clients better results than ever before, but I don’t want that to get in the way of providing content and updating the blog. Things haven’t slowed down but I will get better again at being consistent. I had posted on Facebook in terms of feedback as to what people want to hear about on the blog. I got some really good feedback and will be utilizing that to provide some great content that continues to change the way fitness is done in Erie. And as always if there is anything you are particularly interested in hearing about, don’t hesitate to tell me.

Here are a few things we’ve been up to and some good ol’ random thoughts.

Swing Into Summer

The Twoguns Training Systems Swing Into Summer Fat Loss challenge has been going great. Swingers are getting their swings in and fat has just been falling off of people, as well as building some kettlebootys. The Case Study has been going great as well.

Swinger Saturday

Swinger Saturday everyone was swinging into summer and getting better every day

DVRT / Ultimate Sandbag Training Guest Blog

I haven’t been completely slacking on the writing. I wrote a guest blog over at Ultimate Sandbag Training about Implementing DVRT In Large Groups and some of the ways we have been doing it at Twoguns Training Systems. If you haven’t checked it out, please do, it’s definitely a good read and has a few client cameo pictures in the demonstrations as well.

Speaking of DVRT and the Ultimate Sandbag

We’ve gotten a big influx of new clients and we’ve been doing a lot of strategy sessions and one of the more popular questions that have been coming up has been – “What are those and what do they do?” in reference to our collection of Ultimate Sandbags. If you haven’t been training with an Ultimate Sandbag, you are truly missing out. They’ve become one of the cornerstones in all programming we do for all levels and you cant beat the levels of instability it brings to the table as well as how well the DVRT system itself and the Ultimate Sandbag marry and work so well together.

Most weights like dumbbells, barbells etc, the weight is always “static” – doesn’t change. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a barbell loaded to 135 pounds or a 50 pound dumbbell will always weigh just that amount through the movement. With the Ultimate Sandbag, the weight is always “alive” and unstable and the body has to constantly adapt to its constant shifting and changing. This adds an additional fat loss component and it also adds a functional and real life strength component that “dead” or “static” weight cannot replicate. There is obviously a time and place for both but we are doing some interesting and fat loss conducive things with the Ultimate Sandbag that the Erie area hasn’t seen.

Progression and Regression

I was doing a strategy session with two new clients the other day and they were telling me about experiences in a couple other training protocols and other gyms and we fell onto the topic that there has to be an individuality to your training that involves more than only progressing or regressing exercises by adding or decreasing weight. I say this often but it is true. So many times people fall into the trap of well if its too hard, I’ll just go lighter or if it is too easy, I’ll just go heavier. This is outdated and inefficient.

There are plenty of ways to make exercises easier or harder without relying on changing the weight. You can manipulate the stability of the implement (like using an Ultimate Sandbag), change the position of the load (like holding it in front of you to holding it asymmetrically on a shoulder), change your stance of body position to make it harder and more asymmetrical among other options we utilize as well.

It is a hard thing to explain in writing so I wanted to use one of the pictures from the blogpost and go a little more in depth.

DVRT GB 1

Here we have a station in our large group program that is an Ultimate Sandbag Reverse Lunge. The examples show four clients of different ability levels demonstrating four different variations. But they are doing the same pattern and same exercise but individualized to them, their needs and their abilities. One is using no weight, one is using assistance and two are using the same weight but different variations where we manipulate speed.

Looking from left to right…

The first shows a simple bodyweight reverse lunge. What we would call the “baseline” of the pattern but we can still make it easier or harder as we need based on the person.

The second shows a rotation lunge with the Ultimate Sandbag, loading the lunge and adding an element of rotational and core stability as well as controlling the unstable load.

The third shows a TRX assisted reverse lunge where if we aren’t strong enough to perform a proper reverse lunge with good form, we have the ability to take weight off so we are able to get stronger at the pattern and still get the benefits of the exercise.

The fourth and most advanced variation demonstrated adds to the second clients demonstration and adds a “swing” to the rotation lunge. This adds an obvious metabolic or fat loss component since we are moving the weight fast and powerfully but it also adds an extreme level of core stability to control that Ultimate Sandbag as it comes back down.

Same exercise, different variations depending on your individual needs. That is what fitness should be. No cookie cutter one size fits all stuff we see all too often.

Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance

One last thing, one of which you will be hearing a lot about in the near future is that Erie’s leader in fat loss, Twoguns Training Systems and Erie’ leader in athletic and sports development, LEWIS Fitness & Performance have teamed up to launch the new, Erie Youth Conditioning Association. The program starts on June 16th and is open for ages 6-12 to get going on fundamental and foundational movement skills as well as build confidence and self-esteem through our elite programming.

WHITE_TEASE

That is all for today. Contact me on Facebook for more details or with any questions you have.

In a back to back weekends double whammy of getting my kettlebell learn on, this past weekend I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the Kettlebell Athletics Level 2 in my old stomping grounds of NYC with Jason C. Brown. It was a blast and a great learning experience. A lot of my travels of late with the exception of the BodyMAP Certification (which is in a category in and of itself) have been very business oriented and it was nice to just get into some 100% training related information for a weekend.

KBA Cert Level II

Training Knowledge and Formal Education

I recently stumbled on a direct mail marketing piece from a local gym and it showed a picture from their facility of them kettlebell training… wrong. I think trainers and clients often overlook the power of learning the right way to do things from experts and how much value it has. There is only so much you can learn from a DVD or from YouTube. And I think if people are paying you for your training service (and what should be a professional service), you owe it to them to invest in some formal education on whatever it is, in this case, kettlebells. It is one of the reasons I attended the cert and of course my humble never-ending quest to become the smartest fitness professional in the world, of course.

Another reason stems from when I was talking with one of my mastermind buddies last week about how I think as business owners we realize that the average fitness professional has more training knowledge than business knowledge so we should emphasize business education but it is also important to not forget that if our training service isn’t top notch, all business training will do is make clients realize our training isn’t great at a faster pace, which isn’t good so I never pass up on an opportunity to sharpen my training and programming sword which is exactly with the Kettlebell Athletics Level 2 was all about. Level 1 built the foundation and level 2 showed how to build off of it and progress from it into more advanced variations and complexes.

Power of Complexes and Flows

One of the aspects of the certification was building kettlebell complexes and flows. A complex is essentially, multiple exercises done for a certain amount of reps in succession. An example would be a kettlebell swing x 5, kettlebell clean x 5 and a kettlebell overhead press x 5 done without resting but not transitioning to the next exercise without completely all the reps of the others. A kettlebell flow is similar except the exercises are done for 1 and flow together and then repeated. An example would be kettlebell swing x 1, kettlebell clean x 1, kettlebell overhead press x 1 then that repeated a given amount of time/reps.

Different applications call for different needs for which is best and when but the point is that complexes and flows are a great way to burn a ton of bodyfat as well as get stronger, leaner and faster in a short period of time and the kettlebell as well as Ultimate Sandbag are two great tools to do so. We will be incorporating more complexes and flows into our programming at Twoguns Training Systems on top of the ones we already do to continue changing the way fitness is done in Erie.

KBA Level 2 Group

Group Shot to close out the certification

“There is clearly wrong, but there isn’t clearly right in kettlebell training.”

Quick note, this is not at all to say that form isn’t critical on kettlebell movements. It absolutely is and is actually one of the biggest misconceptions about kettlebell training. One assumes kettlebells are unsafe because people do kettlebell movements unsafely. Kettlebells don’t hurt people, people who are untrained and doing stupid things with kettlebells hurt people. Big difference.

Back on track, the above quote was meant to emphasize how there really aren’t a whole lot of ways to do for example, barbell training lifts like a squat or deadlift correctly, there is pretty much, one. Such is not the case with kettlebells. One of the best parts about training with kettlebells is how varied and differently beautiful a lot of the movements can be. There are clearly wrong ways to do something like a kettlebell swing, snatch, clean, Turkish get up etc (see – Jillian Michaels) but there is also more than one right way to do it as well, which is where peoples “heritage,” experiences and adaptations or movements come in or if your technique is “hard style” or sports style in your movement as well.

One of the things that draws me to Jason C. Brown as a training mentor is he has a way of blending all of the kettlebell training methodologies together. It isn’t right or wrong, it is how they are different, why they are different and where they have certain benefits and where they do not.

The Kettlebell Foundation

The Kettlebell Swing is one of the most effective and fundamental kettlebell exercises. If you would like to learn specifically how to do it, most effectively and safely, Twoguns Training Systems will be holding a Kettlebell Swing Workshop this Saturday at 9am. For more details go HERE and sign up. Last day to sign up is Friday and it will likely be full by then so don’t procrastinate.

This past weekend I attended the Killing It With Kettlebells Certification with Pat Flynn, Som Sikdar and the Dragon Gym, which also included an all new “Reasonableness Workshop” with one of my favorite fitness authorities and presenters, Dan John. Needless to say it was an action packed weekend.

KIWK 2

Group Shot of the Weekend’s Attendees and Coaches

The Killing It With Kettlebells aspect was a combination of kettlebell training and technique, teaching kettlebells specifically in a large group personal training format and business masterminds as well as some knowledge bombs from Pat and Som. The Dan John workshop was also packed full of greatness as well. I plan on elaborating a little more with a lessons post on my fitness professionals blog in the near future but for now I wanted to get down some random thoughts I learned from the weekend that will benefit clients, potential clients and fitness enthusiasts.

Minimalism

One of Pat’s popular slogans is ” – = + ” or essentially, less equals more. It is so easy to get caught up in the next new fad, gizmo, or flat out lies that are so popular in the fitness industry that we lose sight of the 20% of what we do that gets us 80% of our results. Between both the Killing It With Kettlebells portion and the Dan John workshop, the minimalistic approach was reinforced multiple times.

It wasn’t about getting us/the fitness professional to buy in as we are full believers in it already (as we all should be) but the focus was on how to make it appeal to the prospective client or general population. Kim Kardashian and her cayenne pepper cleanse, miracle 24 day cleanses/detox whathaveyous, 6 pack abs in 6 minutes, etc all promise sexy and easy results (and bullshit of course) that draw people in, but the reality is that we know strength training, lifting weights, responsible nutrition with real food and hard work is all it really takes. Unfortunately that just isn’t all that sexy.

Dan John quote, “All true authorities generally teach “minimum effective dosage. Stay away from those who don’t.”

Either/Or

Another Dan John quote – “Either/Or is the lowest level of thinking there is.”

An example would be … either I do (X, Y or Z diet) or Im doing nothing at all and eat crap food all day. The mindset that we have to adhere to something completely 100% or 0% is what prevents a lot of people from accomplishing what they want or need. This goes for fitess, fat loss etc but it really applies to everything.

Im not sure when the average person got into the mindset that if one little bump in the road came up that everything from a healthy nutrition foundation and workout program had to be thrown away entirely. No, acknowledge and accept the bump and get right back on. This “reasonableness” would have the majority of people very close to where they want to be instead of spinning their wheels and looking for the next best easy thing.

Speaking on that same front, to quote Dan John again…

“Eat like an adult. Every diet program out there generally agrees… Cut out sugar. Cut out “cardboard carbs” (carbs that come in a box…). Get rid of Frankenstein fat. Eat your colorful vegetables. Be hungry… sometimes.”

That really is it – with the added caveat that if you fall off, get right back on.

KIWK 1

Action Shot from the Cert of Yours Truly

Done Is Better Than Perfect

An overall theme of the weekend, whether it is a fitness professional in his or her business or a client/fitness enthusiast trying to reach their goal of fat loss, performance, whatever – imperfect action always beats perfect inaction.

“I will start my diet on Monday…”
“I will start working out on Monday…”
“I’ll join the gym on the 1st of (the next month)…”
“Well I have a wedding this weekend so I’ll start dieting/training after that…”

Why cant we start a diet on a Thursday?
Why cant we start working out on a Tuesday?
Hire a fitness professional/Join the gym in the middle of the month?
Why cant we diet before the wedding, enjoy the wedding then keep dieting after?

There aren’t legitimate answers to those questions. Done is better than perfect, some is better than none and action is always the answer.

When All Else Fails, More Kettlebell Swings – Part of the 20% that gets us 80% of our results…

We did a lot of kettlebell swings, as a technique standard, a performance standard and from a teaching standard. The kettlebell swing is one of the most powerful exercises to burn calories, lose fat, build power and of course, the “kettlebooty”.

It is a powerful exercise if you are ready for it and can do it safely. But of course, the problem as I alluded to above is that it isn’t easy and it takes time to learn. This is specifically why we are holding a Kettlebell Swing Workshop on April 19th at 9am.

It is not only going to be a great and invaluable learning experience to get you results faster but it is also where our next fat loss challenge is going to be announced and also a pre-requisite to compete in the challenge, as you guessed it, the new challenge involves the kettlebell swing, so don’t hesitate and head over to the Kettlebell Swing Workshop page, HERE and sign up.

KIWK Cert

Random Thoughts – 3/7

Posted: March 7, 2014 by dannytwoguns in Random Thoughts

It has been a busy few weeks here at Twoguns Training Systems. Whenever I go to the west coast, I always have no problem transitioning timewise when I go there, but when I travel back it always takes me some time to adjust, especially when Im over there for almost a week. But alas, no excuses and we’re officially back on track.

Some fun and exciting things are on the forefront for the near future so be sure to stay tuned for what we’re up to in our quest to get better and change the way fitness is done. Onto some random thoughts…

Fat Loss

The number one thing clients are still looking for is fat loss. At every corner we have another gimmick, another trend or scheme all geared toward losing fat. There are a couple of problems though…

It isn’t easy. It would be nice if it were true but endless jogging/endless cardio and the 4 Minutes to Fat Loss/Ripped Abs and everything in between doesn’t work. And a lot of the times it makes you worse because you burn away your muscle, which burns calories and keep your fat, which does nothing for you and doesn’t look good either.

By no means does this mean you have to run yourself into the ground and kill yourself each workout like some schools of thought would have you believe, but it is going to take some time (2-3 hours per week) doing the right things and depending on how far you have to go in your journey, it is going to take months and for some, years. I tell new clients that you’ll see a significant and noticeable difference in three months – and that is while doing the exact things we know work for fat loss. Imagine how long it will take if you aren’t doing the right things and the things that work. So if it seems too good to be true, seems really easy or is promised to you in barely any time, it doesn’t work. Its unfortunate but its true.

The second “problem” is, It isn’t that complicated either. And unfortunately with that, it’s an investment. An investment of your time, money, effort, and challenging what you are used to or have become comfortable with. It can all be summed up in three things – Eat right, Lift right, and Don’t get hurt. Obviously those things need a little elaboration because there is incorrect or just plain stupid shit everywhere telling us the wrong things, but if you have those three things mastered, sprinkled with a little patience – you’re in.

Outside the Box

We are going over all of this and ten times more at our Hierarchy of Fat Loss Seminar at Saturday, March 15th at 11am. It is FREE to attend, the only thing you have to do is sign up because space is limited. Head over, read a little more and fill out the contact form.

Where Responsibility Meets Hard Work

One of the things that isn’t always easy for the prospective or future client to initially understand is, “What exactly do you do here?” We are certainly not your average gym and we pride ourselves on being the exact opposite of crossfit. So what are we? What I usually say is “We are where responsibility meets hard works in a truly individualized and judgment free atmosphere.”

What people do in the average gym – plod away on the cardio equipment, do a little machine resistance training and if they are ballsy – do a little free weight work (and unfortunately incorrectly as well) is exactly what we don’t do. Burying people into the ground with workouts randomly put together to make you tired (without getting better) is exactly what we don’t do.

Everything we do is individualized specifically to you, what you can do well, what you cant do at all, what you need work on and what your goals are. Our members go through the most thorough assessments in the area all in order to get you the best, more sustainable results in the shortest amount of time that is realistic. If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing.

We are holding a special 1000 Calorie Workout immediately following the Hierarchy of Fat Loss Seminar on Saturday, March 15th at 12pm/Noon. It is designed, obviously to burn 1000 Calories but also to show that you can get a great workout that isn’t endless running and endless things to make you tired and makes you better while getting killer results. Unlike the seminar, there is a fee for this one, $10 for members and $30 for non-members. Head over to the page and sign up.

Dynamic Variable Resistance Training

Last weekend I sent Twoguns Training Systems Coach/Trainer Dawn to the DVRT Level 1 and 2 Certification in New York with mentor, Josh Henkin and fellow DVRT Master Instructors Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner and James Newman. She crushed the Clean and Press Test and after sending in her test will be the 2nd DVRT certified trainer in Erie. So little shout out to Dawn, great job.

DVRT Level 1 DB

After seeing I sent a team member to the cert as well as being a big advocate of it, one of my fellow Results Fitness University Mastermind members sent me a message asking some details about how he should sell it to his coaches/team members as something they should pursue. I told him that coming from a purely training specific point of view, DVRT is part of the future of fitness (right alongside BodyMAP which we will be rolling out soon, so keep eyes peeled close) and if you aren’t on board, you’re missing out and will soon fall behind – both from a fitness business owner perspective and from a end user training perspective.

We are already seeing the move toward a less machine based and more functional based type of training and hopefully we will see the run yourself into the ground workout trend fade soon as well and that leaves us with Dynamic Variable Resistance Training as the forefront in a movement where we have the ability to create fat loss effects, as well as performance related effects more efficiently, faster and safer than ever before.

We are seeing more and more clients in pain, who don’t move well and are deconditioned but we are also seeing the other end of the spectrum, long time former athletes and those in great shape getting run down and injured all the time – DVRT has solutions for both the spectrum ends and everything in between.

The future of fitness is here.

twoguns_logo2The ONLY
DVRT Certified FacilityIn Erie

Little Update and Some BodyMAP Action…

Posted: February 28, 2014 by dannytwoguns in Random Thoughts

I used to make it a habit of apologizing for not keeping up on the blogs but then I made it a priority, scheduled it in my week and was on a pretty good roll for a while of getting two posts up each week and providing content… except for this past week and a half haha, but at least I have a good excuse.

As most of you know, I traveled on one of my west coast continuing education adventures I do every trimester in my pursuit to be the best and always be getting better and I have to say, it is definitely in the top three most impactful continuing education trips Ive been on, if not THE most educational and impactful. It was a great and powerful week.

We started with our Results Fitness University Mastermind and Mentorship meeting. It is always one of the events I look forward to most because having so many elite level fitness professionals in one room helping each other is amazing but this time we took it a step above and just killed it.

Feb 2014 Mastermind Results Fitness Mastermind Group

I posted a facebook status after the event wrapped up – “That first meeting in February (2013) I was nervous, didn’t know anyone, didn’t know what to expect and didn’t know exactly how to grow my business to what I wanted it to be or what it is I even wanted it to be.

Now this February, there was no being nervous, but excitement for the energy and seeing/networking with people we dont get to see often enough. I now have an RFU family, my business has seen a 100%+ growth, many small goals have been accomplished along the way and most importantly, family and friends gained along the way.”

Further proof that you always need to be learning and getting better as well as surrounding yourself with the right people and cutting off those who aren’t. Cant wait to start applying some of the things we went over in the mastermind, it’s going to be exciting.

After the mastermind a few of us went on a private one day coaching with one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the country, Coach Dos. We observed a few of his training sessions with a couple of the teams he trains and spent some time on Q+A and then got some food. Definitely a great time as well.

One Day w Dos Crew

The next morning, I was going to get a workout in before the next event/certification started and was treated to being the workout partner for Alwyn Cosgrove himself on one of his powerlifting template workouts. A few people around Erie don’t know who he is, judging by a few questions I got on my facebook status about the workout but the long and short of it is he is the owner of Results Fitness (the most successful training centric gym in the country) and Results Fitness University as well as the leading authority and expert when it comes to fat loss training and of course, one of my biggest mentors and influences so this was definitely a treat for me and something I enjoyed greatly.

Dan and Alwyn

“Last up” for this post and my continuing education week as well as the main part of this blog post I wanted to touch on was the BodyMAP Level I Certification I took over the weekend. I summed up the weekend well with this facebook status…

Dan and Dax FB Status

As I said in the status, there isn’t much in the fitness profession I haven’t seen or heard or am familiar with so I never expect to be blown away and I was completely blown away. One of those learning adventures where it makes you rethink just about everything you know haha.

The “jist” of the BodyMAP principles is that the brain controls everything. We spent time getting people moving better, improving their performance but the reality is, if the brain (from a primal perspective) perceives a threat, it isn’t going to function optimally and that threat’s result could be decreased range of motion, pain or weakness. The BodyMAP covered how we can assess the brain and its senses in order to improve movement.

In the certification, Dax took one of the participants and coach at Results Fitness and brought her toe touch from only people able to reach slightly below her knee level, with significant pain in her lower back to a toe touch in which her palms nearly touched the floor – completely pain free. She may or may not have fallen in love with him on the spot.

It’s one of those things that is so freaky it is almost hard to believe until you see it with your own eyes. And as I have experimented with some clients and prospects since Ive been home – it certainly works and is crazy how quickly we can increase range of motion or decrease pain in a painful movement pattern or pain in general.

As fitness professionals we are always taught to refer out when people are in pain, which makes sense. But sometimes we end up referring people out to other professions who don’t even know as much as we do and give them an archaic diagnosis. So having the ability to “treat” pain with a simple drill and not even touch the client is a HUGE advancement that Im excited about.

So if you are in pain in general, have a painful movement pattern, restricted ranges of motion and a myriad of other issues (like chronic headaches, dizziness etc) the answer could very well just be a slight issue of your brain perceiving a threat that isn’t actually there. Stay tuned for some exciting things coming from Twoguns Training Systems and BodyMAP.

That is all for today, I’ll be back to the regular schedule next week.

Random Thoughts – 1/31

Posted: January 31, 2014 by dannytwoguns in Random Thoughts

The New Year New You has been going amazing and clients are just crushing it. Proud of their progress so far and looking forward to the amazing transformations we are experiencing.

The Importance of a Team

Clean and Press Practice

Your team makes you stronger

One of the downfalls of the big box gym/average gym is that the whine and dine and schmooze you over in the sales process and sales pitch but then after that, they give you your yellow receipt and then off you go, they forget about you, barely speaking to you again past saying hello to you at the front desk and if they are zealous they remember your name or giving your guidance and structure towards your fitness goals.

For some people, the independence and doing their own thing by themselves is what they need, but for most people it isn’t ideal and research has shown that clients get better results, reach their fitness goals better and have more fun doing it in a group or on a team, which is particularly why Twoguns Training Systems utilizes semi-private personal training for their individualized programs and large group personal training as well.

You always have a team of professionals on staff to help you in your goals and equally important you have a team of peers supporting you in your journey and in theirs. Planet Fitness claims they are the judgment free zone, yet they pass judgment on pretty much everyone. That’s exactly not what we do. As I usually say, we are where responsible hard work meets truly judgment free.

Coaching Day

Just like Results Fitness University has Ed McKay and I’s back in the growth of our business. Twoguns Training Systems has your back in your fitness and lifestyle goals.

Fat Loss “For Dummies”

My buddy and one of my kettlebell mentors, Pat Flynn (of Chronicles of Strength) posted a great and simple blueprint for fat loss that I wanted to share…

“1. Instead of jogging, sprint.

2. Instead of “cardio”, front squat.

3. Instead of “toning”, get strong.

4. Instead of sugar, protein.

5. Instead of grains, veggies.

6. Instead of dessert, well, be an adult.

7. And “Instead of three meals a deal, if it be necessary, eat but one” (Thoreau).”

Simple, but truth.

Change and “Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”

A few years back, I used to be intimidated at the thought of change and having to evolve and adapt. It would stress me out and I wanted nothing more than to just sit back in whatever it was, work, fitness etc, somewhere that was comfortable and just be able to coast. The fact that something like fitness was ever changing and ever growing, was scary and the fact that we’d always have to be keeping up was intimidating and enough to cause hesitation.

I think that only really changed when I attended my first Perform Better Functional Training Summit. It showed me how very little I actually knew and how much I had to learn. But having the ability to learn and learn from the best, took away the intimidation. It caused a complete 180, now I thrive on the fact that I always need to be getting better myself to keep ahead in this field and it fires me up.

A lot of time, people (myself included) get comfortable being comfortable and refuse to step out of their comfort zone so they continue on in what’s comfortable even though it isn’t what is best for them. If you don’t grow, you simply stagnate. I first heard it directly from Alwyn Cosgrove but Im sure he got it form somewhere else, “You have to start getting comfortable being uncomfortable.” Simple but profound. Success is found at the end of your comfort zone. We have to learn to thrive off change and make ourselves better through it. Take the first step, whatever it is and go for it.

A New Luxury

“Is this your only job?”

Business mentor, Thomas Plummer posted this quote the other day…

Working in fitness used to be something you did until you moved on and got a real job. The average fit pro usually lasted less than 8 years and was gone. But that is changing. People now realize fitness can be your life’s work, and that you can spend the rest of your working career doing what you love. The day you declare to yourself and everyone in your life that this is it, this is my choice, and this is what I am going to do until you pry that last kettle bell out of my cold dead fingers, will be the best day of your life. The challenge is to keep moving forward and up so there will be enough money to pay for family and your life. Increasing your business skill set, advancing your knowledge, and trying different aspect of the fitness world all combine to keep you funded and mentally growing, which is vital to stay alive in this field. Many people waste their entire life searching for their perfect place in life, but maybe you have already found yours and you just haven’t yet told the world that you are exactly where the universe thinks you should be. Knowing what you want, who you are and where you are going makes for a very happy person in life and I hope that is you living a life in fitness. – Thomas Plummer

I wouldn’t say it is often, but it isn’t out of the ordinary that someone says to me, “Is this the only job you have?” or “Is this all you do for money?” I try not to be insulted by it because a lot of the time the average in the industry would warrant that question or be described as the beginning of the above Plummer quote or “just spending time until they get a “real” job.

But often Id just like to reply with, “Yeah after my 70-80 hours a week operating and working on and in my fitness business I go to my “real” job,” or “The tens of thousands of dollars I spend on continuing education and being the best that I can be is to get better at a hobby and part time job…” But I don’t because part of me understands where they are coming from – if speaking to the average personal trainer.

I cant think of any other career or profession where there is a bigger disconnect between the potential positive impact you can have on your clients and the actual perception of the profession and the professional/practitioner. But it does look like there is a positive shift coming in terms of the transition from spandex wearing rep counters to actual coaches and professionals in the field and that is a good thing. Until then I’ll keep working on changing the perception, learning more and getting better everyday and continuing to get clients exceptional results because while it may also be my hobby and passion, it is truly what I love doing, full time, forever.

That’s all for this installment. If you’ve made it this far through my rambling, do me a favor and head over to Facebook and comment on my link to this and let me know what you think even if its just “Enjoyed your read” or any other feedback you have, I appreciate it.

Random Thoughts – 1/14

Posted: January 14, 2014 by dannytwoguns in Random Thoughts

It has been a little while since there has been a random thoughts post up with all of the content pieces we’ve been posting so I thought we were due for one. It has been a crazy and busy last few weeks with the launch of the New Year New You transformation challenge and I couldn’t be happier with them way it has been shaping up. It is definitely going to be great and life changing for a lot of new and current members. If you haven’t check it out yet, the deadline to sign up is Friday, January 17th so stop procrastinating 🙂

Star 104 Bridal Expo

Bridal Expo

This past Sunday was the Star 104 Bridal Expo and Twoguns Training Systems had a booth. We raffled off a couple of entries to the New Year New You and it was a blast be able to meet new people and soon to be brides and show them an opportunity to change their life and see how we are changing the way fitness is done. If you saw us there and that’s how you found yourself here, be sure to check out our past blogs to see more about us and check us out on Facebook HERE and HERE.

Everything is Easier When You’re Strong

Here is a quote from one of my brutally honest business mentors, Thomas Plummer…

Here is something to work on with all of your clients this week. Avoid telling people what you do, meaning how you train, your style or your believes, and spend all week telling your clients what the expected outcomes will be if that client works with you. We get caught up on what we do, which to the client doesn’t really matter as much as, “What happens to me if I work with you.” It’s not the tool, it’s the carpenter and the clients will respond much more strongly to someone who projects them into the future. In other words, just focus on the outcomes the client can expect if he or she works with you and much less on the tools you will use to get it done.

This is a great point in terms of what we do. Our priority is getting people exceptional fat loss results and we do that through getting strong and utilizing the best and most effective training tools, programming and methodologies. We happen to use DVRT, we happen to use kettlebells, we happen to use the Ultimate Sandbag and other training tools but they are simply our means to what we do and are the future of functional fitness and fat loss.

This brings me to the point of this thought and the title. The foundation of training for fat loss and what truly works is getting strong and true strength training. How you choose to do it has a few options but it comes down to getting strong through strength training. It wont make you bulky, look like a man (unless you are already a man) or grow facial hair but it will make everything you do in life from carrying kids up the stairs, to bringing groceries in, sprinting to the car because it is raining, for body composition changes like fat loss, chasing a child or grandchild and even for having the wiggle room in your diet to enjoy some dessert or a cheat meal more often. Literally everything in life is easier when you are strong.

Mainstream Media and Fitness

The other day the television was on as I was doing some work and it was a “special new years fitness resolutions special” on CNN or one of the CNN affiliates (why this channel was on, I couldn’t tell you). But regardless the special started and it was broken down into tips/advice for specific fields like medical, nutrition, exercise and one more I didn’t stay long enough to catch.

The first was medical and I didn’t expect too much but the advice actually echoed my last thought and was “In 2014 you need to get strong.” She followed with it is good for your bones and good for weight/fat loss. I started to think this segment might not be too bad.

But then the nutrition part came. I thought it would be eat more protein or eat more fiber or eat less carbohydrates but it was, “eat produce and fruit at every meal.” Blah. Not the worst thing in the world but still not the best especially when no female eats enough protein, eats too many carbs and not enough fiber. I like green veggies at every meal but not fruit. It is a good for you source of sugar but it is still a sugar and needs to be addressed at such and not even at every meal making your insulin levels go crazy. So not too bad a segment, but not great.

Then came the exercise segment to which the “expert” said, “For fat loss and toning the key in 2014 is to do something you enjoy. Enjoying what you do is more important than what you are doing. Zumba, walking, running,…” etc. I face palmed, stopped listening and turned off the television.

Face Palm

Here’s why…

First, I understand that a lot of things are better than doing nothing, but not everything. And then again some things like walking have diminishing returns at a fairly early point. Also, the fact that you enjoy it doesn’t make it more effective, it just means you are more likely to do it more often, which matters to a point but certainly isn’t the biggest factor.

A couple of thoughts on this…

– (Kind of echoing the above…) Strength training is still the catalyst and priority of fat loss whether you enjoy it or not, so you should find time (and/or someone to learn from) to do it and do it right. If you only have 2-3 hours a week to workout, it should be done strength training and with a suitable diet. The best ab exercise is still broccoli.
– Aerobic activity/jogging gained popularity because it was easy and cheap, not because it was effective (speaking in terms of fat loss and fitness here).
– Aerobic activity/jogging/etc are a decent source of exercise only after you’ve put in the 2-3 hours of strength training in the week. The foundation built by it exacerbates the effectiveness of low intensity things. Without it, it simply does not work as well.
– For sedentary, out of shape people who move poorly things like crossfit, insanity and p90x are not better than nothing because of the extremely high likelihood of injury.

The bottom line is you will be more likely to do something if you enjoy it but that doesn’t make it more effective or the thing that works. The key to fat loss is getting strong and strength training. I can understand it not being everyone’s first choice, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that in terms of research and real world application it is what works. If you don’t know where to start, I know some great fitness professionals who have all the answers for you and just need you to show up. Check out the New Year New You to see how.

That’s all for today. We have a couple more blogs coming up in the week including a great fat loss story/testimonial/guest blog from a busy mother of 8. Stay tuned and as always, be sure to let us know what you think and feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Random Thoughts – 12/13

Posted: December 13, 2013 by dannytwoguns in Random Thoughts

Things have been moving along nicely, as usual it has been a while since I’ve been over here but there are not only big things for 2014 at Twoguns Training Systems in general, but there is for the blog as well so stay tuned for sure. For now, we have another Random Thoughts post, ranging from the 21 Day Detox to thinking outside the box to hypermobility in females to fitness success.

21 Day Detox

The Twoguns Training Systems 21 Day Detox Challenge is nearing its halfway point and it is definitely going well. I’ve personally been doing it with the participants and I have to say, it is definitely something that Im going to stick with when it is over. The amount of energy, decrease in feeling “bloated” and overall increased well being I have on the diet is crazy. I already don’t drink alcohol and try to keep sugar to a minimum anyway, so the main difference for me has been the elimination of grains/wheat as well as dairy (which is mainly cheese and greek yogurt because I already don’t do milk etc) so it will be interesting to see which one I should be avoiding most when I start to reintroduce.

Only issue that seems to be coming up among clients is that they are hungry, which I personally don’t understand because the detox doesn’t limit your quantity. I actually eat more now than usually on it. So if you are participating, get to eating more.

“Wow, that’s so tight”

I drove to New Jersey this past weekend for the Perform Better 1 Day Learn By Doing seminar and one of the presentations was by Mike Boyle and in his hands on component, he was going over foam rolling and stretching protocols they use at his facility. I was next to a group of females as we were going through the stretches.

The two immediately next to me, did the hamstring/leg raise stretch as prescribed and both were way further than the average range of motion in the room and well outside the normal range of motion as well – this is called hypermobility – not uncommon in the average female. What I found off wasn’t their extreme range of motion, Im fairly used to seeing that in clients, but it was the fact that as both of them got into the stretch, they both looked at each other and said “Wow, that’s so tight.”

Hypermobile

It isn’t possible to be “tight” when you are at the extreme end of a range of motion. You can feel something in those muscles but it certainly isn’t tightness. It is probably they opposite – a lack of stability to allow you to even get to that excessive range of motion, not mobility or tightness. If you are one of those females (and some males too – Im one of them) who can palm the floor during your toe touch or get into crazy ranges of motions at the hip and shoulders, you need to train stability of those joints far more than mobility.

Our “All or Nothing” Mentality

I was talking to a client the earlier this week and we were talking about general adherence to a healthy lifestyle. The intricacies of it aren’t always simple like how should I workout or what/when/how exactly should I eat but the foundation surely is. You need to workout and you need to avoid foods that you know are not good for you. And most people know that they should eat more protein, eat more vegetables, eat less processed/fake foods and eat less sugar.

So what is the main detractor? I think a major part of it is the “all or nothing” mentality we have with everything…

“Well I slipped up and had (cake/cookies/fast food/whatever), so the day is wasted I might as well eat whatever I want and start tomorrow…”
“Well I slipped up yesterday and had (cake/cookies/fast food/whatever), so the week is wasted I might as well eat whatever and start up Monday…”
“Well I slipped up last week and…” you see where this is going…

Everyone has done it to some extent, myself included. If every time you slipped up, you got right back on board, people would be seeing their goals and lifestyle desires far more frequently. A healthy diet and lifestyle isn’t an all or nothing proposition that once you are out, you’re out. You are always in and it should be looked at as a series of small wins, not one loss that tanks your whole month.

Next time you “cheat” when you aren’t supposed to, make it a point that your next meal is the healthiest one of the week. Protein and green veggies. And you are right back on track. It is no longer an excuse. If you get off, hope right back on.

Outside the Box

Outside the Box

like any time I do a lot of driving, I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks. One audiobook that I listened to start to finish was Colin Cowherd’s “You Herd Me!” which is essentially his musings and philosophies on all things sports related (he is a radio host and sports commentator).

One thing that stood out as I was listening, which seems to be a recurring trend in successful people is that they avoid conventional thinking and think “outside the box.” I really don’t like the term but haven’t found anything better fitting so it is what it is. A great quote, which Im probably misquoting a little is, “If you find yourself in the majority, change what you’re doing,” fits well as well.

Now there is no value in being contrarian for the sake of being so but the reality is thinking outside the box and away from the norm tends to be the best approach. The most popular way isn’t always the correct way. Running/distance jogging comes to mind. It doesn’t work for fat loss and it leads to overuse injuries but it is commonly referred to as the default means of exercise. Maybe because it is cheap and easy but certainly not because it is effective but it could also be simply because that is what everyone else is doing.

The people who most often think “outside the box” also tend to be the most progressive thinkers as well.

Random Thoughts – 11/25

Posted: November 26, 2013 by dannytwoguns in Random Thoughts

There has been a lot going on lately and definitely all good things. The following for the 21-Day Detox has been great and we are getting ready to roll everything out. Here are a couple random thoughts, future happenings and the winner of the free entry into the 21-Day Detox Challenge from the contest…

“Burn the Bird” Workout

The Twoguns Training Systems first annual, “Burn the Bird” workout will be held this upcoming Saturday, November 30th at 9am. This workout marks the kickoff for the 21-Day Detox Challenge but it is also free for anyone, not just members and not just participants in the challenge – everyone. So if you’ve been curious how we operate or your friend who has been asking what you have been doing – here is the time to get yourself/them in here. Enjoy an on the house Metabolic Workout to increase muscle and burn fat at the same time.

Come in and make right what you did wrong on Thanksgiving and don’t let the holiday excuses bog you down.

21-Day Detox Challenge Contest

Last week and earlier today, I posted a picture on Facebook…

Molly 1.5# Weight Loss

Picture is a before and after picture of Molly Galbraith and contestants were asked to guess how much weight she had lost from left to right. Molly weighed 185 in the picture on the left. For how much she lost, guesses included…

16
12
19
28
17
0
22
0
7
14
11
21
3
5
15
12
28
21
17
+12
9.5
25

And what did she weigh in the after picture? 183.5 pounds – a 1.5 pound weight difference.

It is a perfect example that the scale doesn’t matter – even a little bit. Obviously she looks completely different and better, gained a whole lot of muscle mass, lost a bunch of fat, lost some dress sizes in the process and yet – “only” lost 1.5 pounds.

This is why at Twoguns Training Systems, one of the first things we tell people is to ditch the scale, it doesn’t tell the story at all. Measurements, bodyfat, the mirror and clothing/dress sizes are all you need.

To view the blogpost where Molly showed those pictures and the story that goes along with them, click HERE.

As for the winner of the free entry… No one got it right so no one wins.

Just kidding, the two closest were Heidi Noggle and Lindsey Clinger who will each win an entry into the challenge. Congratulations!

Manuals

21 Day Detox Manual Pic

If you have already signed up/paid for the 21-Day Detox, your manual is ready to be picked up. Stop by and grab one or pick it up during your training session. There is 21 recipes, all the rules, guidelines etc. Packed with great information.

That is it for this post, if you have any questions feel free to contact me either here or on Facebook.

Random Thoughts – 21-Day Detox Edition

Posted: November 19, 2013 by dannytwoguns in Random Thoughts

The amount of attention the 21-Day Detox has gotten since my announcement of it on Saturday has been pretty significant. Definitely exciting and I think it is going to be an interesting spin on the average holiday indulgences and excuses. I’ve been getting a few questions and feedback so I figured a post on here would be a good idea.

twoguns_logo2

“Do I have to drink a cleanse product? gag me drink?” or some variation of such.

No, no supplement is mandatory and no “cleanse” product even mentioned. I strongly recommend a multi-vitamin and have those to offer if people choose to but this 21-Day Detox is based more around being an “elimination diet” rather than having to add something. We take away things that are toxic, addictive or just plain bad for you and watch all the benefits occur.

“What can I eat?”

There will be a full food list of what you can eat, a full list of what you cannot and 21 full recipes of potential meal ideas to choose from.

“I thought you didn’t support cleanses and detoxes?”

There is a significant difference between cleanse and detox in my opinion. Cleanse to me says you are taking something to clean you out where as detox doesn’t mean you have to add anything, just as in our case, avoid things.

I openly do not support cleanses like AdvoCare and the like for clients or anyone really. I don’t judge or criticize those that do in any way, it just isn’t something I support. I don’t want to get into too many details here but mainly it’s because they are more of a multi-level marketing scheme than an actual fitness protocol, plus they are expensive. It is about making money, not helping people.

This 21-Day Detox is solely meant to help you the user and requires no other supplements other than a multi-vitamin – just a strict diet plan aimed at detoxing the body from the things you put in it to show you which foods your body does better without. Not to pump you full of more supplements. Again, it’s about eliminating, not adding.

“Can we have whey protein and if so, what kind of protein powder?”

Whey based proteins are out because of the detox protocol of eliminating dairy. Since most of the protein powders people get come from whey, I will be ordering some more of the protein powder I use which is an egg white protein which mixes easy, tastes good and fits in with the detox. Let me know if you are interested in that and I will pick some up for everyone.

“$150 is expensive for a detox.”

I got this one twice and it baffled me both times. Considering that any cleanse I’ve seen, like AdvoCare, costs almost $200 and doesn’t include any training, but rather supplements and you paying affiliate commissions, I find it a bargain to not only get a detox diet protocol, all the things I listed AND 3 weeks worth of personal training from the only fitness facility in Erie operated by a #1 best selling fitness author. The value is killer and so will be the results. I can absolutely understand, “I don’t have the money” but for what you are getting and the value, it isn’t expensive.

“Can I sign up online?”

You have to sign up with me, in person. It allows us to meet prior, get to know each other, do a movement screen/assessment and give you the information beforehand rather than just signing up online and then having it be a more complicated process than it has to be.

That’s all for today. If you still have any questions, feel free to contact me or sign up. Get in touch either on Facebook or call, (516) 510-2665.