Written By: Gerrick King
Although I am only 26 years old, I have worked at almost all types of fitness environments. Commercial gyms, strength and conditioning / sports performance facilities, physical therapy clinics, hospital exercise physiology settings, luxury fitness clubs, and corporate wellness. I have also networked with the fitness field's elite and have studied the craft extensively through schooling, certifications and seminars.
My approach to personal training has been shaped by my experience and exposure to different individuals and work environments in the fitness industry throughout the last 8 years. Throughout this time, I have always stuck with and followed the same training philosophy, "Absorb what is useful, discard what is not". Wherever I go, I try to "pick the brains" of everyone around me and learn and extract as much information from them as possible. I take what I learn and analyze it, then I apply what I find useful and implement into my own training style. I like to think that this mentality and pursuit for more education has kept me quite humble (some of you will probably roll your eyes at this); I am one to admit that I don't know everything.
To me, personal training is about solving problems, people problems. To effectively solve these problems you must first gather information. My approach to personal training comes in 5 distinct stages:
1. Assessment - All new clients are put through a comprehensive assessment process that helps me set some baseline measurements so that I can record the client's progress over time. Utilizing Gray Cook's Functional Movement Screen (FMS), I evaluate and identify any imbalances in strength or mobility that a client may be dealing with. I am also looking for any weak links, pain, discomfort and any postural issues/limitations.
2. Program Design - After gathering all the information from the assessment process, I then start designing their exercise program. The right exercise program will depend on a variety of factors like their age, fitness level, goals, medical history and schedule. The program design stage is the most tedious in my opinion because you have to be able to visualize the client's progress over a long duration of time and plan accordingly. Every exercise that I program has a reason and an intention, I don't put exercises in just to make you sweat (Throwing shade at Orange Theory and F45). I find that a lot of trainers have trouble creating an exercise program that is a perfect fit for their client; a program that isn't too hard but at the same time not too easy for them and also getting them to their fitness goal in the shortest amount of time as possible.
3. Education - This is the phase that differentiates me from other personal trainers. There are a lot of trainers that purposefully program their client's exercises so that the client feels like they "need" to be with their trainer because they can't do it by themselves. And honestly, you'll have those clients that just want to show up and do what their told and leave. I train with the mindset that my clients will hopefully no longer need me later on and will be comfortable and confident training on their own or take my classes. Teaching form and explaining why and how to do certain exercises and having your client fully understand what your saying truly takes skill. My clients should be able to read a program that I write (full of my exercise abbreviations) and be able to complete the workout after working with me.
4. Training (Execution of Program) - When I first started personal training, I was really awkward, quiet and nervous about messing up; it was social anxiety. That quickly goes away with practice, the more personal training sessions you do the better you get at it. I've completed over 12,000 personal training sessions so I think I'm starting to get the hang of it (lol). I'm a pretty quiet person so I've always been more of a listener and people watcher and this shows in my training style. I am more analytical and only like to talk when spoken to or when correcting exercise technique. Actually, personal training isn't hard at all, the set up to get to this point is more difficult. I approach a training session as a scheduled hang out with a friend, I'm only there for support and to observe that the program that I've created is being implemented correctly and efficiently.
5. Repeat - Depending on how many sessions I have the client for, I either repeat the process when their training session package ends or after 6-8 weeks of training. This is significant because this is where we measure progress. I revisit the information gathered from the initial assessment and re-test and measure to see what changes and improvements have been made. Then adjust the program accordingly.
WORD. K. THX. BYE.
Written by: Chris Kulesza
*DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A REGISTERED DIETITIAN OR NUTRITIONIST*
When its time "clean up" your diet, everyone's first move is to get rid of entire food groups and restrict themselves when that's actually the opposite of what they should be doing. There's no need to get rid of entire food groups when they all have benefits to your overall health. For some reason, "cutting carbs" is the first choice for the average person. Carbohydrates are used for energy and fuel your body to move and carry out basic functions throughout the day.
Instead of getting rid of something, my suggestion would be to see what you eat during 5-7 days; write a log. Most people do not eat enough vegetables or protein so first step is too add vegetables to one meal for a week. Following week, try to eat them with every meal. That's a slow start and will be easy to follow and most likely yield results, ie. more energy and alertness, overall well being.
Protein is the other group of food people tend to under eat. "yea I eat enough protein," usually means that person had 4oz of chicken for dinner and nothing else substantial during the day. Protein shakes are convenient but not a life changer, they're just an aid. Try to aim for a serving of protein equivalent to the size of your fist.
These two simple ways to improve your nutrition will help you in the long run and keep you from binge eating since you're only adding foods. I'm suggesting not to get rid of anything. This is a basic approach and will get you on the right path.
Written by: Jason Saran
You’ve tried switching up your workout routine, but your body composition is staying the same. Every lifter whether advanced or novice has hit a plateau in the gym at some point.
Two concepts, progressive overload and time under tension are methods you should incorporate into your training. They have been found to stimulate more muscle growth when added into standard training regimens.
Time under tension training refers to the amount of time a muscle is placed under stress. In this case, we are primarily focused with the eccentric or “negative” part of an exercise. For example, if an an individual is bench pressing, then lowering the barbell to your chest portion of the exercise should be slowed down. An ideal time to shoot for is around 3-4 seconds. Several studies show that this method of training can stimulate more muscle growth than if a lifter chooses to lift for a simple 1 second eccentric movement.
Progressive overload refers to the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise training. In this case, the “stress” we are referring to is the amount of weight you are choosing to lift. For example, in order to increase your 1RM in the bench press, an individual should gradually increase the amount of weight he or she can lift either weekly or biweekly. A normal individual who is not concerned with strength should be focused on the increase of hypertrophic gains that comes with building strength. When focusing on building strength in your compound lifts (bench press, squat, dead lift, weighted pull ups, etc.) you are focusing on building muscle as well. Progressive overload such as adding 2.5 lbs or 10 lbs to your bench press each month has profound effects on building muscle. Several studies show that regimens that increase in weight either weekly, bi weekly, or monthly have been shown to yield higher hypertrophic gains than if the individual decided to use the same weight consistently.
Try using these two methods of training in tandem to maximize your gains.
Burd, N. A., Andrews, R. J., West, D. W., Little, J. P., Cochran, A. J., Hector, A. J., … Phillips, S. M. (2012). Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. The Journal of Physiology, 590(Pt 2), 351–362. http://doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2011.221200
Mangine, G. T., Hoffman, J. R., Gonzalez, A. M., Townsend, J. R., Wells, A. J., Jajtner, A. R., … Stout, J. R. (2015). The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men. Physiological Reports, 3(8), e12472. http://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.12472
Peterson, M. D., Pistilli, E., Haff, G. G., Hoffman, E. P., & Gordon, P. M. (2011). Progression of volume load and muscular adaptation during resistance exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 111(6), 1063–1071. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-010-1735-9
1. Only pursue one goal at a time.
As much as we may believe we're Superman or Wonder Woman we're not. Our ability to pursue more than one goal and successfully achieve them is almost zero. There is only so much time in a day and we only have so much focus or "bandwidth" so we need to focus our efforts and go H.A.M. on one clearly defined goal to be successful.
2. Prioritize what is important.
Whatever your goal may be you have to prioritize it. That means you put it ahead of things that aren't as important. I personally like to block out my time in my schedule for what's important and I make a daily checklist of what I need to accomplish starting from highest priority to lowest.
From a training aspect if your goal was to increase your squat then you should be squatting in your first training session of the week and also prioritizing all elements that will allow that goal to happen (mobility, skill practice, recovery, etc).
3. If it's important do it every day.
If your goal was to increase your deadlift it doesn't mean you should deadlift everyday. It means you do something every day or every training day to make that goal happen. What you do each day may fluctuate between a big task or a small task but the key is to touch your goal every day in some way to edge 1% closer to it.
These days everyone thinks they need to be an entrepreneur, be a business owner or create a "brand."
It's not as easy as the memes and inspirational GaryVee videos want you to believe. I do not mean to
If you want to be a gym owner and build a business that works for you I can tell you through my personal experience that having access to people who have been there and done that will be your greatest asset.
You can try to do it alone but you will quickly learn the harsh reality of the grind. You can read all the motivational books (I did that), take all the online courses/certifications (I did that too) but I can assure you that if you are smart your biggest asset will eventually be a network of other successful business owners who add insight and perspective to your journey.
Networking will help you develop and improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, keep tabs on the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners, clients, and gain access to vital resources that will foster your career development and longevity.
Surround yourself with those who inspire you, support you, provide you with guidance and at times, call you out on your own bullshit.
Happy New Year, this is the first King Strength & Performance blog of 2019. I actually meant to post this earlier but, I got kind of busy. Anyways, here it goes:
Most training programs or gym workouts will have an abundance of pushing movements; honestly, what person doesn't love a good chest day? I admit, I fell under this category. From my experience in fitness, I have observed that most individuals typically begin their fitness journeys on a body part split aka the "Bro Split". A body part split almost always has a bias towards pushing movements. If you're on a body part split routine, you have chest day, shoulder day and arm day, and you're likely hitting your triceps two to three times per week. Your back only gets love once per week on back day.
Pushing = Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Pulling = Back, Biceps, Forearms
There is often a huge discrepancy between the volume of push and pull movements performed in an individual's training program. If you are on a body part split program like the previously mentioned you are probably hitting a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of pulling vs pushing, which honestly is kind of trash.
When programming exercises for my personal training clients or even for group classes I typically try and utilize a 2:1 or even 3:1 ratios of pulling and pushing movements. With the increase in pulling movements, there is also another ratio we have to consider. This one is for Horizontal Pulling (Row Variations) vs Vertical Pulling (Pull-Up Variations). Our consideration with these should be to strive for similar ratios a 2:1 or even 3:1 ratio in favor of horizontal pulling.
So now you're probably wondering why I think pulling movements are important? Hah, I will explain 2 key reasons why and they are actually kind of interlinked.
1. Most people have terrible posture. We are a sedentary society, most of us have office jobs, we sit way too long each day, we stare at our phones excessively and the majority of our day to day work is in a forward posture.
2. Due to our terrible postures, people often have poor shoulder health. Postural issues often lead to dysfunction with shoulder movement and will reduce movement efficiency at the joint, potentially leading to problems further down the line if not addressed.
Addressing more pulling movements in an individual's training program can help reduce the issues mentioned above, improve posture and shoulder health and will reduce the risk of injury in the long term.
Snapple Fact: The average person walking down the street cannot perform a pull-up.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Mastering Pull-Ups
My life's mission is to help my clients reach their fitness goals, which often includes performing a proper pull-up. Using a specific set of strategies that I've developed, I have transformed many of my clients from being a pull-up zero to pull-up hero. Employing these five strategies will have you doing more pull-ups than you ever thought possible!
1. Use a Resistance Band
Place your knee or foot in the resistance band depending on how much the resistance band stretches. You are going to perform a pull-up and begin patterning the actual movement. The thicker the band, the more assistance you will get. As you progress, you can use a thinner band and work your way up.
2. Perform the Eccentric Portion of the Pull-Up
Jump up and slowly lower yourself back down. You can use a box to get to the top because jumping eats up some of your energy. This is the eccentric portion; the lowering and lengthening phase of the pull-up movement.
3. Perform the Strong Component of the Lift
Perform the strong component of the lift, which is midpoint to the top.
4. Perform the Weak Component of the Lift
(The Most Difficult)
Perform the weakest component of the lift, which is bottom (hanging) to midpoint. This is very taxing and utilizes a lot of energy because you have the least biomechanical advantage in this portion of the lift.
Eventually, you are going to start to put this all together. Most likely, you will only be able to perform one pull-up at a time. It will be a bit of a struggle, but we need more than one pull-up in order to develop the strength and capability for this exercise. The last strategy will allow you to cluster repetitions as a set so you can build up volume and the number of reps that you are doing
5. Rest, Pause!
Put it all together by doing one pull-up at a time and rest in between. You can rest up to 30 seconds before performing the next repetition. Over time, you can lower the rest between pull-up repetitions.
Be patient, it takes time.
It can take a few weeks to transition through each of these steps, but if you are consistent, it will come together in time. Mix and match these exercises to see what works best for you.
This is everything you need to know to go from pull-up zero to pull-up hero. Try them out and let us know what you think! Post videos of your progress and use our hashtag #ConsistencyIsKing to be featured on our social media!
I the opportunity to work with Gerrick. They were great sessions and I really appreciated how far he pushed me. He clearly had an elevated understanding of muscle anatomy and would always have thoughtful answers to my many questions. I highly recommend Gerrick.
- T. Luke Sherwin, Co-Founder of Casper
"This place has such a great atmosphere! The owner is top notch and the coaches make you feel comfortable, no matter what level you're at with your fitness. I used to be a bit intimidated to go to gyms and lift weights, but not here. They make you feel at home and I always get a great workout. Everything is clean, bathrooms are nice and they have special workouts, workshops and a physical therapist on staff. Great addition to Cranford, NJ. Highly recommend!"
- CLAUDIA P.
"I've been a member of traditional gyms for a while now and can honestly say that switching out and joining King Strength and Performance has been one of the best decisions I've made. It's been about two months since I started training at the gym and I can already see huge leaps in my strength and athletic ability. Not only are the fitness classes themselves A+, but everyone at the gym is so friendly and welcoming. You can really feel the sense of community as soon as you enter the doors and that everyone is pushing each other to be better and stronger in a positive way."
- ALEXA J.