More often than not, when someone experiences elbow pain, this is actually a symptom of a different problem.
By LeighAnn Clark
This doesn’t apply to everyone, some people truly have functional problems at the elbow, but the majority of us who move every day will experience elbow pain for a different reason. That reason is typically caused by a tightness in the forearms.
We talk about everything being connected, and in this case, that logic stands. Training time alone, we pick up kettlebells, we row with the jungle gyms, we squat while holding dumbbells. As coaches, we coach up to keep the grip light, no “death grip” involving the thumbs. Sometimes though we still grip as hard as we can, whether because we’re afraid of letting go or simply forget that a tight grip is not necessary. And outside of the gym, we’re writing and typing all day long. With all of this activity in our forearms, they’re bound to get tight. But unlike our calves or our hips which we show a lot of love and attention every day, we don’t think about the forearms the same way. But we should. The forearms are used in our everyday lives and we need to make sure that they’re being taken care of. If we don’t, these tightnesses are bound to start pulling on our joints, and before you know it, painful elbows are a new reality.
Kettlebells are great metabolic tools, but when trying to increase the challenge of our swings its not always about weight, especially in a timed workout.
By Greg Hammons
To really get the most out of a given load with swings you should be able to control the intensity of the swing. Meaning being able to swing at different levels or intensities at any given time. If we choose a load that is too heavy we only will only have one speed one gear and we will only be able to hang on go along for the ride and the Kb pulls us where it wants to go. So before we go bigger make sure we can go harder, without losing our form. If we are driving the Kb as hard as we can and we still have more in the tank, then it’s time to go up to the next load.
My time at A|M fitness has been a great experience. Having good coaching has been amazing.
They put together a serious program and a great message. They teach you proper form and movement, they are always there to answer any questions, and have been paramount in my transformation. The members have been friendly and motivational as well. AM fitness is a great place for positive growth and change.
A client recently asked me to help with setting some goals.
By Mike Harland
This also prompted me to speak about successful goal setting strategies with our upcoming trial members and then I thought it would be a good idea to speak about it here.
Too often we get fixated on our long-term goals, which is fine, but sometimes frustrating when we don’t see drastic changes in short periods of time. That frustration can sometimes lead to self-sabotage or us giving up, which is something we want to avoid at all costs.
So, this is how I’d strategize how to reach my weight loss goals:
1. Think of your long-term goal and write it down.
2. Now, this is very important. Remind yourself what healthy weight loss targets are for yourself. We will need to remember this information for the next step. We know that 1 pound per week is a safe and healthy weight loss target and 2 pounds a week is considered an aggressive weekly weight loss target. I’ll use 1.5 pounds per week for this post.
2. Divide your target weight loss by your healthy average weekly weight loss targets. The answer will be how many weeks it will take you to accomplish your goal.
Example ~ I want to lose 30 pounds. A fairly aggressive weekly weight loss target would be 1.5 pounds per week. 30 divided by 1.5 would come to a total of 20 weeks.
3. Allow for a variance – Every week may not be your best week, so I’ll add 4 extra weeks to reach my target, allowing me 24 weeks to reach my goal.
With this in mind, some weeks may be better than others. There may be weeks where you exceed your 1.5 pounds, but you don’t want to start depending on this. Just make sure you stick to what you’re supposed to be doing and consider the extra weight loss a bonus.
Set smaller goals
We thrive off of reward. It excites us, makes us happy, and drives us to continue. This is a very important part of the process and needs to be addressed. It was also a major talking point during one of my talks.
4. Set smaller daily goals that are not weight loss related – If your meal plan calls for 4 meals a day, celebrate when you eat your 4 meals and don’t cheat.
5. Set smaller weekly goals that are not weight loss related – Set a goal of exercising 3 times a week. Celebrate each week that you accomplish this.
These small tasks and accomplishments will eventually add up. Think about it this way, if today you had $1 you wouldn’t think it was worth much. I mean, there isn’t much you could actually buy with it, right? But if you decided to put $1 aside every day for 100 days, you would then feel you had saved up a fairly significant amount of money.Weight loss is the same way and when we start to add up our small daily and weekly goals, we will then come out with a substantial result. Don’t rush the process. You’ll have good weeks and you’ll have bad weeks, but in the end, if you do it right, you will have long-lasting results from doing it the right way.
Shoulder Internal Rotation (IR) is a key piece of mobility that a lot of us are missing but we don’t necessarily know it.
By LeighAnn Clark
If you aren’t sure whether your IR is lacking, test out the S mobility drill and check out the range of motion in your bottom arm. The goal is to reach the bottom arm as close as you can to your mid-back or higher if you can. Chances are one arm will have better IR than the other, but if you find that there is a significant difference between the two arms, or if you notice that either or both arms are nowhere near your mid back, then IR is something that you will want to work on improving.
The reason that this is so important is that if we are missing any of our IR, it can lead to unhealthy compensation patterns like allowing the shoulder to roll forward. The last thing we need is a shoulder injury when we try to compensate on a high pull or a clean.
To clean up your shoulders IR, check out my video for a couple of exercises to help you improve your range of motion!
One of the biggest struggles we see with our clients is their recovery time.
By Mike Harland
We tend to have a great difficulty catching our breath and one of the reasons is that we simply aren’t breathing right. We have a very shallow breath and it’s usually taken at a very rapid pace. Since we are not breathing properly and oxygen is being consumed in an efficient manner, our recovery time isn’t as fast as we would like it to be.
Below is a video on how we can make sure that we are breathing properly. I will also follow this up with a technique on how to breathe stronger, but first we need to master this part.
Working at a desk all day long can take a toll on many parts of our body.
By LeighAnn Clark
The shoulders are one such place that get hit the hardest. Most of us know that we don’t sit in a good position when we are at our desk all day, but we don’t always fix it. Why not? Though it can be such an easy fix to pull the shoulders back and straighten out the back, some of us don’t know how best to get into this position because we’re so trained to lean over the desk.
Check out my video for two easy way to lock the shoulders and the lats behind you to help you stay in a good upright position. Try them out anytime you’re working at your computer, whether sitting or standing, and use them to help you reset the position every once in a while when you notice you’ve started to slip back into old habits. Here they are!
Recently we added roughly 1,200 square feet of training space, as well as renovated and added to our current training floor.
By Mike Harland
Below we will post some pictures, but I’d also like to share what the ultimate goal of the expansion was.
Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard to make our Small Group Training, Semi-Private, and Private coaching the best in the area. The addition allowed us to add everything we need to do that. Here’s a list of some of the new equipment: 2 Goliath Power Cages, 2 bench presses, 4 high and low pulley systems, 4 pull-up stations w/TRX Force suspension trainers, multi-station unit that includes leg press, leg extension and much more, lying leg curl, Jacobs Ladder, Rower, AIrdyne Bikes, and a turf section!
My favorite part of the entire renovation was something I had done for my sister and mother. If you’ve been following A|M/me at all, you will know that this is a family business. It’s named A|M because of my children Alex and Mason. I truly do this for them to have everything they need, to learn the business world and what it takes to be successful, and to see the difficulties of small business. Well, my sister has helped with A|M more than most of you know. She’s helped me personally more than anyone knows and is one of the strongest, best people I know. I wanted to do something for her and my mother, so below are two ribbons I had Ashley Lodovico paint for me.
These two ribbons symbolize so much. They are a sign of strength and life and remembrance. They help (me) to remember that our time is limited and we need to celebrate and cherish life. Every single second of it. They remind me that the power of community is unstoppable and that just simply believing we can be stronger will help us to accomplish anything we want, including beating cancer. They allow me to always have my sister and my mother with me.
So, I hope you like the pictures and would love to give you a tour of the facility to show you what A|M Fitness can do for you.
We talk a lot about improving hip mobility but sometimes we don’t think about how important the ankles are.
By LeighAnn Clark
Squats are one of our most used and most important movement patterns. Building mobility in our ankles will help us to improve our range of motion in our squats so we can squat stronger and heavier. If you haven’t yet, check out Coach Greg’s video for a more in depth explanation of the benefits of building our ankle mobility and for a few tips on improvement. Check out my video for a few more dynamic stretches to really help you get in the right direction!