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MOVEMENT IS MOTIVATION

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We all lose our motivation from time to time. To deny that means you are lying to yourself. We lose motivation for any number of reasons, including loss of interest, stagnation, injury, life stressors, poor lifestyle habits, the absence of achievable goals, etc.

Acknowledging the fact that your motivation is lacking is important. In order to find your groove again, first you need to get honest with yourself about what’s holding you back. What are your hurdles? What are the benefits you are withholding from yourself by stopping at the excuses?

For myself, I know for sure that if I didn’t workout on a regular basis that I would be a grumpy sack of shit 100 percent of the time and make everyone around me miserable. I would also be upset with myself for not taking the necessary steps to take care of my mental and physical well-being and my lack of follow-through would then compound on my already irritable self. There I’d go, down a negative spiral impacting other important areas of my life.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that possible outcome is enough to at least get me in my truck to start driving to the gym. And, as many of you can probably attest, getting your physical body to the physical gym is often a major obstacle.

I had this exact discussion with one of our members the other day. I told her that if she can just get here (TCS), it all gets better. She agreed.

If you are still stuck behind a wavering motivation, another valuable tool you could implement is a “pros & cons” list. Simply list all the positive things about a specific decision, as well as the negative. Most likely, your “pros” list will overflow with the many benefits that stem from working out. Your “cons” side of “I just don’t want to” won’t work, my friend.

Look, if you can find  a compelling reason (by being real with yourself) to get your ass in the driver’s seat of your car and drive to the gym, 80 percent of the work is done! Listen to some kickass music on the way and try to enjoy the commute. The next step is simply to walk onto the black mats. From there, gyms like TCS take the wheel and tell you what to do next. If you notice that you’re still in a shit mood, GET MOVING!

I don’t care what you do. Just start moving. Don’t waste time filling up your water bottle or doing some super complicated band stretches - JUST MOVE!

Why is this so important? With movement comes motivation.

Think about it. When you leave the gym, are you in a better state of mind than when you came in? I can almost guarantee that you said yes.

When you  start to work your body you increase blood flow, heart rate and respiratory rate. Your body releases endorphins and produces more dopamine and serotonin, which are some pretty potent hormones that stimulate positive actions and states in the body.

There is a lot of science behind this, but the science doesn’t really matter in this case. Results matter.

So when I say movement is motivation, you can see that by simply moving as soon as you step foot in the gym, you start a chain reaction of positivity that will ultimately result in a great workout.

Get moving.

WARM-UPS SUCK, SO DON’T DO THEM

I will be the first one to tell you that warming up is for the birds. Ask anyone that goes to the gym on a regular basis if they take warming up seriously, and I guarantee that 99/100 will say that they don’t. In fact, I can probably describe the typical “warm-up” to you right now with surprising accuracy:

  1. Walk in

  2. Set your shit down

  3. Scan the gym for who’s where and what’s open

  4. Swing your arms in a “wannabe-Michael-Phelps” manner

  5. Pull a foot back to your butt and hold for a fast 3 count, then perform the same movement on the opposite side

  6. Swing your arms again, but this time in circles

  7. Walk to the nearest squat rack or bench and GET TO WORK!

How close was I? Hahaha. That’s what I thought. Some of you are probably reading this and saying, “but I foam roll, too.” Great. Is it a conscious effort to prep your muscles for the work ahead? Or are you using that roller as a back support while you check the Insta for any new likes?

Look, I get it. I don’t like warming up either, but it’s a necessary component to a successful workout and  to staying healthy over time. I know we all know this deep down, but it’s one thing to know something, and another to put it into practice.

So here’s what I’ve found to be helpful when I want to just jump straight into a workout and skip the warm-up.  First, I write up a light workout. The key word there is workout. This is really a trick I play on myself. I still include some of the things that I would do to warm-up along with several movements and exercises that I enjoy. In other words, I build my warm-up into my workout.

For example:
Set the clock for 6-10 minutes. In that time, simply move consistently from task to task without taking a break.

  • 20 High Knees

  • 20 Butt Kicks

  • 10 Air Squats

  • 5 Push-ups

  • 10 Ring Rows

  • 20 Jumping Jacks

  • 20 (sec) Elbow Plank

You see, these are all straightforward movements that will do an excellent job warming up your body’s muscle tissue, joints and gradually ramping up the Central Nervous System (CNS) in preparation for something harder. Not to mention the fact that, if you frame it as a workout in your mind, you are much more likely to actually do it and get the ball rolling for a better workout.

Obviously, the exercises, rep scheme, and duration are all variables that you can play with. In fact, sometimes I just push/pull a sled for 5 minutes straight. Doesn’t get more basic than that.

The point is that it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you do something that accomplishes 3 things:

  1. Your joints, and body as a whole, should move and feel more primed for movement than when you started.

  2. You should have a light sweat going with an elevated heart/breathing rate.

  3. Your lack of motivation to be at the gym should reduce after a decent warmup. With movement often comes motivation. If you’re dragging ass, the best thing you can do is start the clock and just move. By the end, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll have new energy to tackle the rest of your session.  

After you clear the first warm-up hurdle, you can get more specific with the direction of your workout. You can prep for specific movements and gradually load your body so that everything is primed for the real, sexy work. But, as you now know, your workout starts with the warm-up.

NEW YEAR STARTS A NEW LIFT LIFESTYLE

by Jen Shaw

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I love a new year, a new start, a trash dump of the year before, and a beginning that I can recreate for myself and others. One of my biggest fears in life is being stagnant. Being someone that harbors huge goals yet does not take the steps to change in order to meet those goals. Someone that has big dreams and never lives them out. That’s my nightmare. A new year provides internal forgiveness so if you didn’t do what you needed to do in the prior year, you have a fresh start. I encourage anyone reading this to take note of the goals that didn’t happen, trips that never occurred, habits promised but never forged, books never read, relationships never fostered, and forgiveness never granted. Do it. A new year brings new meaning into the picture.

Today is day 14 out of 90 in the 2019 Lift Lifestyle health and wellness program. I start this program in the new year for all the reasons above and more. This lifestyle program takes sleep, nutrition, and confidence to a whole new level. Just two weeks in and people are setting PRs in the gym, sleeping better, and most importantly, they are thinking about what they are eating. They are looking at the plate of food in front of them and deciding what energy that plate will give them.

This program is about looking at food as a way to fuel our lives. Food is energy and its time to start thinking about what the hell that actually means. We need food to survive. It’s that simple. We need calories to make it through the day and glucose to work our brain. What complicates this formula is a lack of awareness, a complacency, and the myth of being too busy.

Lack of Awareness

People can tell me ten facts about their fancy smartphones but cannot tell me the difference between a protein and a fat. Seriously, it’s actually that bad. To most of the people reading this, you have food accessible wherever and whenever you want or need. You don’t have to forage or eat some random berries that you found after hiking for miles in a forest. You can go to Whole Foods, H.E.B, Central Market, etc., and have an array of fresh whatever-you-choose. Yet that doesn’t happen. You don’t know why you aren't sleeping but damn you sure need some bread and cheese. This signals a complete lack of awareness of the energy and nutrients you consume.

Complacency

There is literally nothing worse than using a quote … but I’m going to do it.

 

“If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.”

Thomas Jefferson

Change is that simple. Doing the same thing day-in and day-out for years and expecting something to change is insane. Not exercising daily, eating a ton of crap, and not sleeping will inevitably take its toll. You have to wake the fuck up and do something. Something must change and you have to intentionally decide to do it yourself.

The Glorification of Busy

My eyes cannot roll further back into my head when someone asks me how to reach a goal. I give a straightforward answer, and there typically reply is, “I am too busy for that.” Being busy isn’t a thing. I acknowledge that it’s a big step to come to me and ask how to reach a personal goal. There were thoughts that set the conversation in action. Maybe even months of wondering if a goal was even possible. Then taking the initiative to have a vulnerable conversation with someone you trust just to brush the answer off by being too busy? NO. I just can't let that happen. There is time, let’s figure it out!

Step 1: Tell someone what you want. Share with a friend or loved one. Say it aloud. Make it real AF.

Step 2: Make a list of your day, minute by minute. Is each minute serving you? Are you actually physically doing something each minute? (No, the answer is no.) Are you even doing anything between 3:45pm - 4:15pm? What can you do in that time to help you reach your goals? Be real, you can make time in your day. Rearrange things and shift priorities to where they should be.

Step 3: Realize everyone is busy and you are not special. While it does take longer for some folks with work, travel, kids, school, and everything it’s NOT impossible for anyone. It just might be on a different timetable or take a few more steps than you are comfortable with.

Goals in this program are all over the map. Most deal with losing weight, gaining muscle, losing fat, sleeping better, fitting into old clothes, or just to feel better. Sleep and food are the answer. How you get there is up to you. Follow the steps: seek help, organize, and recognize your own personal timetable.

If you are in the same spot, pitted against what seem to be insurmountable goals, I encourage you to join this program. Start now, renew your goals, and stop making excuses.

POSITIONING FOR MORE POWER IN YOUR BENCH PRESS/PUSHUPS

I think we can all agree that the push-up and bench press are both some of the most commonly performed movements in the gym. And, if we're being honest, most people need to spend more time working on their "pushups" and less time worrying about how many plates they load on the bar - but maybe that's just me.

In either case, we all know (at a fundamental level) that you need to be able to properly position your body and activate the appropriate muscle groups to get the most our of each rep. Unfortunately, many people go into auto-pilot and do the same ole' shitty movement for every rep only ingraining poor patterns. Being conscious while performing seemingly simple movements is incredibly important and often neglected.

In an effort to assist y'all in your quest for better movement and bigger numbers, I spent a little bit of time in front of the camera explaining a very simple concept that I think will really help y'all out when performing any type of horizontal press. Check it out below and let me know if you find it valuable. 


COMING SOON: CrossFit Strongman Course

TCS will be hosting and leading the CROSSFIT STRONGMAN COURSE on Saturday, October 21st 2017.

Having the privilege to host and lead these courses is something that we are very thankful for. We absolutely love introducing coaches and athletes to the basics of Strongman and helping them get past any preconceived notions of what Strongman is and who it's for. We also really enjoy helping attendees discover how to appropriately implement this fun and highly effective training method into their programming back home. 

The course is non-stop and action-packed. We do some lecturing and demoing of each movement, but then we provide y'all with more than enough time to practice and get very comfortable with the implements and the movements. We break down each primary movement into fundamental progressions then smooth out the steps until everyone is moving with quality and confidence. It doesn't take long - and really, that's the beauty of Strongman:

Strongman movements are the truest form of "functional training". This stuff is already hardwired in each of us and because, deep down in our genetics, we know this stuff, the learning is actually just remembering.

Now, I may be biased, but these courses are an absolute blast! In fact, one of the most common reviews we get after holding a SM Course is that it was the most fun the attendee has had at a certification. That's what we strive for - a fun, action-packed day of moving heavy stuff(with good technique) with a group of cool, supportive people to bring it all together.

If that sounds like something you or someone you know would enjoy, SIGN UP. If you have questions about the course, contact us. 

We hope to see you there!

HOW TO BUILD A HEAVY BAG

It's been a while now, but we shared a video on how to build a sandbag for general purpose use. In that video, we briefly discussed the massive ROI building your own sandbag has when compared to spending big money on more traditional training equipment like barbells and bumper sets, which, of course, are great if you can swing the price tag and have space for it all.

For those of you that can't, or that train in the tight quarters of your garage, or who just want to include more odd object training into your program, we also discussed some of the sandbag exercises that are MUSTS. These lifts and exercises place a huge demand on you and provide a unique training stimulus that is difficult to replicate. 

Now, in an effort to provide y'all with more of the same (hopefully) valuable info, we wanted to show y'all our new heavy bags that we purchased from StrongFit, and how they can further diversify your training possibilities.

These bags are more durable and can handle much heavier weights - offering an alternative to atlas stones and/or kegs, both in shape and training stimulus, but won't destroy your floor when dropped. 

The video below is the "how-to" build your heavy bag. After you've made yours check back here for more vlogs on all the possibilities you have when it comes to training with the heavy bag! 


NOW YOU HAVE A SANDBAG. HERE'S WHAT TO DO WITH IT!

Out of the endless sandbag exercise possibilities, there are three exercises that are crucial for developing your grip strength, mid-line stability as well as providing you with a massive ROI. The sandbag clean, Zercher squat and get-up are those BIG 3.

Once you've read through each of the brief descriptions of these sandbag exercises, check out the video at the bottom to really drive each movement home. We recommend you start putting in to your programming as soon as possible. And, as always, have fun with these exercises! Feel free show us how you performed your sandbag exercises or drop us a line with any questions you may have.


THE BIG 3


1. SB Clean
This exercise teaches the lifter to generate power. It starts just like a Deadlift. Back flat, midline tight, and arms locked out. By quickly extending your hips and driving your feet through the ground, pop the sandbag up and drop into a receiving position to catch the bag.

2. Zercher Squat
This exercise is great for midline control, building leg strength and requires that you maintain proper posture while squatting, which will keep you safe and efficient. Support the sandbag with your arms forming a "basket" in front of you with palms facing up. The sandbag should be placed in the crooks of your elbows as you engage your lats in order to keep the bag close to your body as you perform your reps.

3. Get Up
This exercise can be performed any number of ways, but we encourage that as you start out, that you take it slow, hit each progression with intention and find good positions throughout the entire range of motion. When done in this fashion, the sandbag get-up recruits nearly all major muscle groups with the completion of just one rep. To say that there's a big return on investment with this movement would be an understatement.


HOW TO BUILD A SANDBAG

If you are someone that trains out of your garage, you probably have a limited area for a ton of more traditional equipment. Not to mention, the cost of buying all of that stuff is enough to deter even the most hardcore worker-outers. But don't stress. The answer is very simple and very inexpensive: build a sandbag.

Sandbags have become more mainstream recently due to the growing popularity of strongman, but there are many of you out there that are still missing the boat. Implementing sandbags into your training program has a multitude of advantages, but two big ones are:

1. They are inexpensive and easy to make. Major ROI.

2. They more accurately represent the types of object manipulation we face day-to-day. Let's just simplify this by saying that sandbags provide a more real-life experience than a barbell. Evenly distributed weight on a convenient barbell doesn't really happen in nature....just a thought.

Now, contrary to the name, you don't want to literally fill a bag full of sand and go crush a workout. Trust me, that's a bad idea. You'll find that to be a major pain in the ass to use and clean up after. Just picture coming out of the ocean and rolling around on the beach - that pretty accurately depicts the outcome. 

Instead, watch the video below. Chapa and I walk you through the process of building a solid general purpose sandbag. The video is a long one at 6 minutes, but I think that if you are serious about your training and creating a well-rounded program, it will totally be worth it to you to watch. Then, after you build your bag, we will be sharing another blog covering the 3 sandbag exercises you NEED to be doing to get strong. These exercises provide major bang for your buck - especially when performed with the sandbag, so you'll want to stay tuned for that one. 

Until then, get that bag built!


3 COMMON FAULTS TO AVOID WHEN DOING RDLs

The Romanian Deadlift, commonly known as the RDL, is one exercise you definitely need to incorporate into your training if you're looking to increase posterior chain strength. But like all movements, doing it properly will provide the most bang for your buck and keep you healthy for the long-game.

The  most common faults that occur while performing RDLs are:

  1. Rounding the low back
    This usually occurs because the athlete does not have control of their mid-line position or the athlete is attempting to go lower than there hamstring mobility will allow.
  2. Bar drifts away from body
    This fault can be seen when the athlete is not properly engaging their lats to pull the bar back against the legs in an active position.
  3. Too much knee flexion
    Again, this often occurs when the athlete attempts to go further than their mobility allows. But it can also be related to a poor understanding of pushing the hips back to stretch the hamstrings. 

An overarching concept that you'll find to be helpful is to only go as far down as your body will allow while maintaining proper positioning and activity. Everyone's range of motion and body mechanics are different, so don't get caught up forcing ranges of motion that aren't there yet. This will only lead to injury. Give it time and some solid effort to move as perfectly as possible and the benefits will soon follow.  not there to keep from possible injury.

Be sure to check out the video below. Joey Chapa, TCS's newest intern, breaks down the RDL and the concepts we've talked about above with some of the very best demonstrations ever performed by some dude with a great beard. HA!
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO YOUR MID-LINE.

As a coach, one of the most valuable things we can teach our athletes is how to control their mid-line. All too often, athletes and general fitness enthusiasts are exposed to physically demanding movements and positions without first establishing proper control over the musculature that is responsible for keeping their pelvis, low back and rib cage in safe, solid and efficient positions. Obviously we want this safety and efficiency present when moving our body through space, as well as when we move external objects through various ranges. As you can imagine, not having this control is a recipe for poor, potentially harmful, movement patterns to develop, which will eventually lead to injury. It's just a matter of time.

The good news is that we have ways to turn this trend around and build beneficial movement patterns and habits. It's not too late.

The video below is designed to help you introduce the Dead Bug Extension in a way that will be extremely valuable to both your newbs and seasoned athletes. This is one of those things that will only make you better - as long as you and your athletes pay attention to the details and move with intention. 

Check it out.


WEEKEND NUTRITION SURVIVAL GUIDE

By: Jen Shaw

The weekend...A.K.A. killer of all diets, is more often than not where people break. What is it about "the weekend" that makes people jump off shit pier and ruin everything? Even if you are absolutely perfect Monday through Friday you will completely blow your goals if you food orgy pizza and beer for two days, or even one full day. 

So, in an effort to help you battle the weekend slip-ups, I want to share the rules that I abide by. They might seem dumb or maybe even minuscule....but you they're the keys to coming out of the weekend on top and in control.

RULES OF THE WEEKEND

1. There are no "cheat days" so stop. 

First, stop using the word "cheat." It's super negative and means you are doing something wrong which you are not, you are living. However, going on a sugar bender all day will absolutely ruin you. Yes, you can recover from it and move on for sure. However if you are involved in anything like "GET RIPPED" that only lasts six weeks you are really stunting your progress. 

2. NEVER ever treat yourself on Sunday night.

Sunday night is usually the night before you are back at the gym and lifting heavy. Treating yourself on Sunday night will sabotage your workout and possibly how you feel when you wake up Monday morning. Only good things Sunday night. 

3. If you MUST have a bad meal, do it at lunch - not dinner. 

It's much harder to recover from a treat if you have it at dinner. Eating bad and then going to sleep leaves you feeling like crap in the morning. So after your treat at lunch drink water, nap, eat a good dinner and have all the good things before you sleep. 

4. NEVER EVER drink after you eat your last meal of the day. 

I cannot stress this enough. Have you ever woken up anywhere between 2-4am sweating and your heart racing and beating out of your chest? That's drinking, and sugar. I suggest you have your cocktails before dinner, then eat, then water. Wine after meals, the worst. All of that sugar just sitting there waiting to crush your sleep at 2am. 

Try it and let me know how it works! 

GET RIPPED 2017

It's that time again! Get Ripped is kicking off on New Year's Day at noon. At the kickoff all terms will be discussed, and all the questions will be answered. 

This year we will take six weeks to dial in and focus on sleeping, eating, and working out. These all seem so simple, but are extremely difficult to tackle alone. We all know how hard it is to break bad habits and replace with good ones.  You will have access to a group food log, weekend conditioning, and support from me and an amazing group of women who are in it with you. 

GR provides accountability, support, and education to reach goals in and outside of the gym. This program is open to anyone here in Austin, or not! You can easily do this program online.


IMPORTANT DATES:

Registration closes December 31st, midnight.
Kick off- January 1 at NOON. 
First official day- January 2nd
Last official day- February 12th

SIGN UP


FUUUCK!

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We've all had those workouts and/or movements that ended up being much harder than we anticipated. In fact, I just experienced a devastating workout that only involved a heavy bag of sand, some squats with said bag and some gut carries. OUCH!

After each set, I let out a long, painful, exaggerated F-bomb. This is what we call "immediate positive feedback". This type of reaction let's you know you're in that work zone and not just pretending - which is important to distinguish.

The reason I bring this up is that recently, my long-time mentor and friend Dennis Marshall(Owner and Head Coach of CF Garden City), beautifully described a very simple idea that I wanted to share.


"It seems like there is a rapidly growing pool of "Accessory" movements in the CrossFit world that athletes are adding to their training program. While this is a great, and perhaps long overdue, development, the proliferation of these exercises through social media is potentially leading to as much, if not more, confusion as it is education. "Well, this guy/girl is doing it, so I guess I should as well?" There is only so much time and energy we can all dedicate to training and the majority of this must be directed towards our top priorities and biggest "bang for your buck" movements, workouts, etc. To pick and choose "this" and "that" movement "just because" can distract us from putting in the real work that will yield the greatest result. 

One of my favorite litmus tests for whether a movement is worth incorporating on a regular basis and dedicating significant time and energy towards is the response it elicits immediately upon completion. I'm generally looking for something along the lines of "Wow, that's harder than I thought" or simply any expletive (as demonstrated in the video). The more dramatic the response the more valuable the movement and the more frequently it should show up. Once the response is less dramatic it's time to move onto the next one." - Dennis Marshall


I am no where near the wordsmith that Dmarsh is, so I tend to boil things down to their most simplistic elements. To me, all of this means:

Simple. Not easy.

And that, my friends, is something I will always believe in.

CLOSING THE GAP: DOMINANT vs. NON-DOMINANT GRIP STRENGTH

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Did you know that as grip strength improves, so does overall strength? The two have a strong correlation, and if you think about it, this makes perfect sense. You can't pick up what you can't grab. That's the way it is and has always been. It's a self-preservation tool that lives deep in our DNA from when we first figured out how to use these limbs of ours. 

It would then be logical for anyone looking to improve their strength to put some serious effort towards building hand strength. More specifically, it would also be beneficial to minimize the difference between the dominant and non-dominant hand. The more balanced we are, the stronger we are. 

In the video below, I share just a couple ways that you can work on creating balance between your dominant and non-dominant hand. As you'll see, these tips are by no means ground-breaking, revolutionary ideas, but rather simple, everyday things you can do to develop that balance between right and left. 

It'll be kind of crazy to realize how much you subconsciously rely on your dominant hand. To break this habit will require awareness, so whenever possible, tap in and challenge yourself to use that other hand. You'll be amazed with the results!


ATLAS STONES: SMOOTH IS FAST


As strongman training methods become more and more popular (YAY!), newbs are being exposed to implements and movements that they've never done before - which is AWESOME! However, just like any new skill, you must understand the concepts and techniques, then apply quality practice - especially when first introduced.

In an effort to help some of you strongman newbs dial in your atlas stone technique, this video is all about performing the stone shoulder smoothly rather than rushing through it with reckless abandon.

In general, it is my opinion that performing any movement with fluidity will increase your overall speed. This is especially true with the atlas stone. Just remember: Smooth is Fast! 


NEED A KICKSTART? START WITH THE BASICS.

Summer is over, kids are back in school, you are at work. But I'm guessing that you probably had some summer cocktails during your vacation(s), which means you probably took some time off from the gym. Is anyone out there feeling a little more puffy and out of shape after this fun summer? You are not alone. Time to get back to basics and clean it up!

Starting on September 18th I (Jen) will lead a three week nutrition program to get everyone back to the basics of eating clean. This program is designed for the nutrition novice, the guru and everyone between. You can be a current TCS client, or just a member of the Austin community ready to make a change with your eating habits. Everyone needs a kickstart sometimes, right? 

this program INCLUDES :

  • TCS SPEED class on Sept.  24th and Oct.8th @ 730am
  • TCS Conditioning Class on Oct. 1 @ 9am
  • Detailed food list to make it easy
  • Measurements
  • Monitored food log
  • One on one time if needed
  • Accountability! 

Benefits:

  • Better mood
  • Better sleep
  • Clothes fit better
  • More energy
  • Clearer skin
  • Actually being hydrated
  • With all of these things your workouts become better as well. You are able to put more effort into it, use more weight, move your ass faster.

Important Dates:

  • Kick off meeting Sunday September 18th at 11am. 
  • Official Start - Monday morning the 19th.
  • Official Finale - Monday October 10th (after final measurements).

SIGN UP HERE

SIT-DOWN: RACHEL LASSETER

Oh Rachel...where do I start. She loves wine, animals, steak, food as a whole, dirty memes, other people's babies, and power cleans. Hates sandbags :) 

Rachel is married to one of Travis's long time clients, Ryan. They were married not long after we opened TCS. After the honeymoon Ryan said "hey my wife might want to start working out so I am sending her up here to you." These are my favorite- I never know if the dude is telling his wife to come, kindly suggesting to start working out, or who knows. But once I met Rachel- I knew for sure Ryan was not telling this chick anything! HA! LIFT was definitely her decision.

Rachel was working out and seeing zero results. Dealing with a long time injury and frustrated she decided it was time to make a move. 

We started out with a month of personal training sessions to get her going and used to the way things work. She is naturally mobile and when I said "squat" she just went ass to grass...and that's when every coach is like YESSSS. She picked up things pretty easily...minus the name of equipment/movements which was pretty entertaining.  Every move we did was new to her. A lot of women would have been pretty intimidated and not come back, but Rachel just kept coming back for more and results came quickly. 

Rachel started off squatting the barbell. That 35lb bar kicked her little ass all over the gym. Today her max is 125 and really that looked a bit easy. She has gotten incredibly strong, and just keeps improving on everything. 

There has only been a couple of workouts where I thought she might punch me. Usually that somehow involves a sandbag. But she has a great internal voice that tells her to keep going and she always finishes. That is a quality that sets her apart from others. 

I love seeing her name on the roster because I know she will be walking up with big sunglasses and a smile soon...and everyone else is happy too because she is a team player in class, and such a great happy person!


SIT-DOWN: KYLE L

Kyle is relatively new to TCS, but has already made a huge impact at the gym with his positive attitude, sense of humor and hard work. Not to mention, he's got some of the best hair in the gym - and he knows it. Hahaha.

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I really can't say enough about Kyle's work ethic. From day one, Kyle has always brought his best effort, regardless of what his shift may have looked like or whether or not their new baby girl, Iona, slept like shit. This consistent effort has obviously resulted in some real progress(#gainZ) for Kyle. He's become stronger and more mentally and physically capable to do hard work. But honestly, the thing I'm most proud of Kyle for is his vastly improved ability to find proper positions while lifting. In the beginning, this was a huge hurdle. We had to essentially start from square one and rebuild his lifting technique, which is very difficult, but he never let ego get in the way and never stopped working at it, which has paid off BIG for him! 

This type of mentality is exactly why Kyle makes TCS a better place. He's here to get better, even if it means slowing down, swallowing his pride, and putting in the time and effort to do it the right way - even it may not be the easy way.


 

 

SIT-DOWN: ALLISON

Allison has been with me for years. Hundreds of workouts, happy hours, events, job changes, everything.  Like many of the LIFT girls we see each other more times a week than friends or sometimes family. I notice hair changes, body changes, personality changes, stress, sadness and happiness. Allison and I have seen all of these with each other over the years. 

Recently she came to me after some major life changes wanting to start a new nutrition plan. I always suggest Renaissance Periodization first. If you are willing to count, measure and surrender to the process, RP is for you. After a short chat she was on board and ready to go!

Months later many people in the gym have noticed the changes. She is squatting more, pressing more, and overall a better athlete. Yes, a lot of this is contributed to making the nutrition change. The rest is your attitude, ambition, drive, and determination in the gym. It's all about the implementation. She took all the information and decided it was time to make a change. 

In the past Allison was okay being the smallest and lifting the lightest weights. That's how it went. Then she wanted more, and as a coach I was so excited to see her take this step. She shows up four to five times a week ready to rock. No complaining, just doing. 

Other people in the gym have noticed how strong she has gotten....because she is catching up with them! I could not be more proud of this chick. She decided she wanted to make progress. Goals, plan, workout, nutrition....SUCCESS. How can that be better planned out?