The Irony of Cheat Day

Posted: February 17, 2016 by Jesse in About Me

First, if you haven’t read my post about being a fataholic, go do that.

In almost any form of addiction counseling and rehabilitation the patient is separated from whatever substance they’re abusing: alcohol, cocaine, heroin, etc. There’s only one addiction where people aren’t typically separated from their substance of choice, and that is junk food addiction.

I am a junk food addict. I crave it, I think about it all the time. I just ate a wonderfully nutritious meal but if you gave me a pizza I’d still give it a go until I physically couldn’t eat any more. Tomorrow I’d feel hung over, gross, and my body’s first instinct would be to treat that with a croissanwich. A double, with bacon and sausage. Eating like that for many years made me like this:


You may question my use of the term addict, but make no mistake you can become addicted to anything that activates the pleasure centers of the brain. Drugs, booze, even sex and fitness. All those you must separate yourself from to cure yourself. Here we find the irony: the very substance many of us need freed from is the primary reward for your effort. If you’re like me you need to work even harder to make your mind, body and spirit your goal. I haven’t done as well as I could have in other challenges because in each of them all I focused on was my next cheat and how awful for myself it could be. Focus instead on your journey, don’t even plan your cheat. If it happens, it happens, enjoy the spontaneity of the moment, and get back to working on you the next day.

Evaluate 2015 For a Better 2016

Posted: January 7, 2016 by dannytwoguns in Guest Blogs

Coach Nate is one of our coaches at Twoguns Training Systems and the head of Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance, our youth (6-11) fitness and athletic development business. For those that dont know, we call our “personal trainers” – either coach or fitness professional because that is more encompassing of what they are, rather than the perception of the average personal trainer…

Dan and Nate America

That’s him on my shoulders on our 4th of July “America” Workout. “Have fun and get shit done” has been a way people describe us. I think “ridiculous humans, serious fitness” is just as accurate.

Here is a guest blog from Coach Nate about the New Year and starting habits through reassessing the things that prevented you from doing it in the right place…

“As 2016 has quickly come upon us, most of you are looking forward to this new year… We see it as almost a way to reinvent our own image and personalities. All across social media you can find people discussing how 2016 will be “finally be their year”, how they will exercise regularly, eat healthier, work harder at their jobs, save more money, adopt a better sleep schedule, study more, party less, quit smoking, find the love of their life, not being such good friends with Ronald McDonald, among other things. Now don’t get me wrong, I think that all of these things are great goals and lifestyle choices that should be made.

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Flashback to the end of the last couple years, I almost guarantee that most of you who are making these plans for a great 2016 made these same plans the previous couple years. We have established that you are a great planner, you want to become a better you, but you have trouble taking the steps to make the plans a reality. Remember, a plan without action is merely a wish, failing to plan is planning to fail…

The challenge I have for you is to evaluate 2015 to find out why those plans didn’t have action and why those goals were not met. Don’t spend so much time telling yourself, “I need to go to the gym everyday”, find out why in the past year you didn’t get to the gym with any kind of regularity, let alone every day. Maybe you didn’t like your gym, suffered an injury, had scheduling issues and so on. The good news is these are all problems ( or excuses 🙂 ) that can be easily fixed!

Motiv - Sacrifice

You will be amazed that when you have all these different goals, achieving/succeeding in one will greatly help you with another. They’re all connected and help you to spring board to another. Success cross-contaminates other areas of your life. Danny always says “Success is contagious.” (This is also why it is important to surround yourself with other successful people, but that’s another blog).

For the “younger” demographic… Take drinking less alcohol for example: last year a Friday night might look like this; you go out to some shit dive bar, rack up a $40 bar tab, smoke a pack of cigarettes while your there because it’s a shit dive bar that allows smoking. Hit up some form of fast food/pizza on the way home, sleep till noon because your hungover and most certainly missing your workout, eat the rest of your leftover and terrible food that “drunk you” got the night before because your hungover and don’t want to actually prepare something healthy…

For the “not as young” 🙂 demographic… Take prioritizing anything and everyone except yourself, which is something we see so commonly in our Twoguns clients. Your kids, your husband, your job, your friends, anything and everything takes priority, your energy and your time except for the thing so important to actually helping all of those things – taking care of you. And you end up taking care of everyone except yourself. And you are left feeling achey, maybe even in pain, a little heavier than you were last year and worst of all, lacking the confidence and self esteem you deserve…

But this year, it’s a new you… For that younger demo… The new you had planned on partying less. Now if you would have followed your plan of partying less, you would have saved money, helped your smoking habit, not ate crap, had better sleep quality, got your workout in and eaten healthier.

For the older demo… The new you can follow the plan of putting yourself first, making it so that you are physically and mentally able to handle all of the stressors, jobs and duties that you have as supermom and crush them all because you move well, feel good and are rocking that confidence.

Make these connections and realizations you need to make to become the best version of you. Eliminate the things holding you back and add in the positives that will get you there. Make 2016 your bitch!”

One of the best ways to “make 2016 your bitch” is to get on board our New Year New You, 8 week challenge starting on February 1st. Winning team gets a $1000 grand prize, but most importantly the fat loss, habits built and whole new outlook on self esteem and confidence. Contact me on Facebook for more information.

Guest Blog Fourteen – Lynn Craker

Posted: January 5, 2016 by dannytwoguns in Guest Blogs

We have a new Guest Blog up from Twoguns and Fit in 42 Erie success story, Lynn Craker. Honestly, I wasnt exactly sure how it would go when I first sat down in the strategy session with Lynn. She had literally done almost everything else there was when it came to nutrition and training but I was definitely up for the challenge.

And, as it turns out, she just needed something that was individual to her, her needs, her wants and most importantly her abilities both physically and nutritionally and our “anything but one-size-fits-all” model was exactly what she needed. I will let her take over from here…

Lynn After Old Pants


“Where to begin. I’m 45 years old and have struggled most of my adult life with being overweight and ‘undertall’. As a kid, I was somewhat on the thin side until high school when I started to become active in sports like tennis and softball. It wasn’t until college that the weight came on. We’ve all heard about the freshman 15 – I did the freshman 15, the sophomore 15, junior 15 and senior 15!

So during the past 23 years I’ve tried everything under the sun to try to lose weight, and when I say everything, I mean everything.

I tried calorie counting, Atkins, Weight Watchers, the Grapefruit Diet, The Zone Diet, Mono (when I lived on mashed potatoes and vanilla shakes for a month), Weight Watchers again, fasting, Dean Ornish, Weight Watchers yet again (see a trend) and even the newest NutriMost program where you “live” on 500-800 calories a day. They claim you can lose 20 pounds in 40 days. Really?? You think?? Kind of hard not to, minus the rebound and put it right back on thing of course.

I’ve joined a few gyms along the way but never found the right one for me. I can’t stand the idea of walking mindlessly on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Problem is every time I tried something I’d either lose interest or start to see some results and start to cheat the systems. And the results were the same, whatever I lost came back and brought a few more friends with them.

So I think it was July when a former co-worker came into my office. I had been reading her Facebook posts and she kept talking about Fit in 42 and Twoguns Training Systems. So this was my opportunity. I had to ask, ‘Tell me about this program. What’s the deal?”

She was so excited about the program and the results that I knew right then, I had to find out more and completed the online application form. Shortly after I got a call and text from Dan and met with him on a Saturday. The next day I started the program.

I have to admit I was a little intimidated at first. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to keep up during the training sessions. But I soon learned that I was able to handle it. It was all individualized to each of us. I was with 6 other women who, like me, have tried various programs and were now looking for more than a diet, more than just “working out”.

We laughed together, cried a few times and encouraged each other along the way. I was amazed that after just 6 short weeks, I was feeling better, able to keep up during the workouts and was actually looking forward to being the in the gym every day!

But along with the exercise, comes the diet and I think this is the first time that I enjoy what I’m eating and even cooking! It’s a plan that’s easy to follow and for someone like me who tends to take a lot of road trips it’s nice to know I can still enjoy eating on vacation. Now I will admit, I have ‘slipped up’ a time or two and turned to sugar but I know I can get over this hurdle now because of the habits and foundation Fit in 42 has built!

After the initial 6 weeks/42 days was over, I had lost 17 pounds, 4% body fat and around 12 inches off my body. I remember during the weight in I brought in the shorts I wore on day on and they fit over my new shorts with plenty of room to spare! (Pictured above)

Lynn B&A

Here it’s 4 months later and I haven’t felt this good in years! I’m still in the gym at least 4 times a week for both personals and group sessions. I’m down over 23 pounds and 6% body fat as per my last weigh in. I know I still have some work to do but I know I’m in the right place with the right people to help me complete my journey.”

A ton of great stuff from Lynn in there. An approach that takes into account you in every unique way, your training program, your nutrition, your habits, accountability and motivation is the best recipe for success, both initially and in the long term. Fit in 42 is about habits and true lifestyle transformation, not a 42 Day Fix and that is exactly what Lynn demonstrates.

If you want results like Lynn, fill out the same application she filled out back when she started. You can do that here…

Fit in 42 Erie – January 30th APPLICATION

Have you ever said…

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


“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

Fit in 42 Success Story – Kim

Posted: December 15, 2015 by dannytwoguns in Guest Blogs

“Putting your own oxygen mask on first” is a practice commonly accepted while on an airplane, but not often when it comes to how you approach life – particularly when it comes to females in their 40s and 50s. Everyone and everything becomes the priority except for the most important person – you.

Fit in 42 Changes Lives – Both Physically and Mentally. Check out Kim’s Story and see what Fit in 42 did for her and how she learned in order to help those around her, she had to take care of herself first. I’ll let Kim take over…

“When I first signed up for Fit in 42 I felt like I was at Rock Bottom.

I didnt know it at the time but I was probably depressed. I would wake up, have a cup of coffee and some sort of sugary treat, take my kids to school and work from home, where I would keep eating crap and then sit and watch TV. It was a vicious cycle, I was too tired to exercise or cook healthy food. I had just stopped caring about me.

Kim 1

This is Kim in April (2015)

Randomly I came across Fit in 42 on Facebook. I think it was the way they advertised as a ”Reset” or that it was only for serious people, but I clicked it. After meeting in my strategy session a week before the program started, they set it up so I could work out a few times before the start….I never made it.

I just didnt have the will power to go in without someone making me. I was told, “Every workout on Fit is an Appointment, you have to be there , no excuses.” Then on day 1 of Fit in 42 an hour before the first workout, my marriage of 9 years ended….I was a wreck. I remember sitting in the parking lot of the gym in tears debating whether I should go in, but I remembered – NO EXCUSES and I DECIDED it was TIME FOR ME.

I came to Fit in 42 because I wanted to lose fat, but I came out with so much more then that. Just after day 1 I was shocked at how supportive all the other women in the group were. They didnt know what I was going through, but everyone was encouraging, making the workout surprisingly fun. With everything going on at home and in my life I was actually excited to go in every morning. I have never been a workout person, but for the first time in my life I had goals and people helping me get to them.

Kim 2

I remember about 3 weeks into the program I shared with everyone (via our private Facebook Group) what I was going through. The outpouring of support was shocking. How many people were there for me, people that were complete strangers 3 weeks prior were now offering to help me in any way they could.

Fit in 42 was a blast, I lost about 6 lbs in the 42 Day Program. But just like Justin kept saying ”This program isn’t about a quick fix, its about lifetime habits”. Through the skills I learned in Fit in 42, I now meal prep every week on Sundays. I love lifting and being a strong mom. I “only” lost 6 lbs in Fit In 42, but with my new healthy habits I have lost an additional 20! The diligence in those 42 days set the stage and foundation for losing the rest.

Kim 3

At 53, I am stronger and fitter then I have ever been in my entire life. I still have fun and get a couple drinks with the girls on occasion, but I balance it out now. Over the last 6 months I have had to go shopping multiple times for new clothes as my old ones keep falling off me. Fit in 42 got me results, but it also changed my life! I think everyone should do Fit in 42 at least once to learn HOW to be fit!”

Kim 4

If you are ready to change not just your body, but your entire life – Apply for the next Fit in 42. Our next Program Starts February 1st and spaces are already filling up and this program will sell out.

Only serious applicants apply, please. This program is not easy, but it is for all ages and ability levels. The intensity comes from the diligence and adherence, not because the workouts are “intense” they are individualized exactly to you and the intensity comes in the discipline. The change in your life will be worth it in every way!

Fill out the application below to see if you are a good fit…

“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.


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)…


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.

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.