Top 5 Training Delusions For Parents of Young Athletes

At Iron Performance Center, we pride ourselves on our staff's ability to train and coach a wide variety of athletes and clients. It may surprise a few of you that many of our members are actually under the age of 18. Many parents trust us to prepare their young athlete for the demands of high school and national level sport performance, a task we do not take lightly. We train our young athletes to be unstoppable forces on the field, court, mat or water through optimized strength training and conditioning. Our young athletes become more dominant specimens and better kids

Recovery On A Budget

We all live very busy and stressful lives. More people are training than ever before with the popularization of fitness branches like CrossFit and group fitness programs. This is excellent but, because of this, it has now become even more imperative that we focus on recovery for optimal health and performance. There are a multitude of techniques and modalities available for recovery, but many are extremely expensive and, as a result, inaccessible. But fear not! My goal with this blog is to expose you to some cost-effective recovery methods, as well as enhance some techniques you are already using. As

Don’t Sweat It: Thermal Stress Therapy Made Simple

Thermal stress modalities have been around for hundreds of years, from the ancient Roman baths to Finnish sauna houses. There is evidence to show that ancient cultures all around the world practiced some form of heat stress therapy. Recently, scientific evidence has suggested heat stress therapy can provide a variety of physiological benefits in a range of populations, including athletes, the elderly, and those at risk for cardiovascular disease and obesity. What is Thermal Stress Therapy? Thermal stress therapy or heat stress therapy is a therapeutic method that utilizes heat or elevated temperature in a controlled environment to provoke physiological

Power Up: Why EVERYONE Should Train Explosive

It seems like we hear the word power a lot when describing athletes and movements in sport, but what does it means to be powerful? Power can get used interchangeably with the word strength, but they aren’t the same thing. Power and strength are related concepts, yet have different properties and real-life outcomes. Strength is simply how much force the body can produce for a given movement, regardless of time. A one-repetition maximum (1RM) is the heaviest weight a person can lift one repetition of for a certain exercise (squat, bench, deadlift). If a person’s 1RM for a back squat

Split ‘Em Up: Why You NEED To Train One-Sided

Most exercise programs worth their weight always encompass the big lifts. Everyone will squat, hinge, press and pull. There's a reason exercise professionals incorporate some variation of these movements and it's simple to understand why. You get the most bang for the buck in terms of gains. Whether you are an athlete training for sport or the average citizen looking to shed a few pounds, the big lifts never really leave your routine. That being said, there's more to designing a balanced workout program. To really take your training (and results) to the next level, we need to dissect HOW

Plant vs. Meat: Which Reigns Supreme?

Proteins are the building blocks of every cell in your body. They make up blood, bones, organs, muscles, and skin. They also play a part in the production of enzymes and hormones. But how do we acquire proteins? Our main source of protein to supply all these body cells and processes come from our diet. This makes it crucial that we eat the proper food to sustain our bodies and all the demands. A misconception of protein consumption is the belief that meat (animal-based protein) is the primary food source to get the recommended protein intake. This misconception has begun

First Responders, A Fitness Emergency

It goes without saying that we rely heavily on our local emergency personnel to ensure public safety and survival in unpredictable catastrophes. Whether you've fallen down some stairs or fallen victim to a house fire, you're reaching for the phone and dialing three digits in hopes for someone to come save you. You are calling the First Responders. First Responders are any emergency response personnel that are first on scene to an accident, catastrophe, crime or emergency. They include Firefighters, Police/Law Enforcement, Paramedics and even Military Personnel. They are the first to arrive and the last to leave the scene

What No One Tells You About “Core”

Abs have become an important aesthetic icon for individuals who are “in-shape” or “shredded”. That being said, the application of the core muscles is more significant to the average Joe / Jane rather than just the looks. When I say "core", I don't just mean that washboard muscle below your chest. The core (trunk muscles) include your abdominal muscles, obliques and lower back (erector spinae). Besides being a popular body part to post on your Tinder profile, your trunk muscles carry two other important tasks: They help prevent the body from performing unnecessary movement (Local Stabilization). They help transfer the force

3 Simple Steps To Alleviate Back Pain

It goes without saying that low back pain is a common ailment among a great many people across the country and the globe. It was estimated that approximately 80% of people will experience some form of episodic back pain at least once in their lifetime, many of which will likely have repeat incidents. Back pain sufferers know that the shock, throb or ache that resonates across or away from their spine is no joke. It is typical that many back pain sufferers seek outside counsel for assistance. Many have a chiropractor, physiotherapist or osteopath to hopefully help alleviate symptoms. Unfortunately,

3 Reasons Why You NEED To Grunt In The Gym

If you've ever been to the gym, you've heard it before. Some jacked up dude under a loaded bar making noises only comparable to rough sex or indigestion. The instantly recognizable "grunter" seems to be a staple in any gym setting. Regardless of how you feel about it, grunting is a primal instinct. It's raw, unedited effort expression brought forth through strenuous activity. It's a natural act that needs to be embraced and TRAINED instead of frowned upon. Some of you may be less than impressed with the act of grunting. Perhaps it makes you feel uncomfortable or awkward, maybe

A Letter To The “Average Joe”

Dear Average Joe/Jane, I hope you find this letter well and that you are excited to finally embrace your true potential. You are about to discover your powers. It’s quite a rare discovery if I may be so bold to say and the potential magnitude of what you are about to reveal is unimaginable. With a little practice and some “pigheaded” stubbornness, you’ll learn to grow and control your gifts. I applaud you on finally getting out of your own way as I’m sure it was a tough (if not THE toughest) decision. We can sometimes

The Trainer Survival Guide: What They Don’t Teach You In School

The fitness industry is a massive unregulated (yet highly saturated) market. There are over 400,000 personal trainers alone in North America with over 40, 000 health clubs or gyms. With such a low barrier to entry, many young trainers are finding it difficult to make their mark, gain quality clientele and actually build a potential career. Many have a firm grasp of physiology, biomechanics and training principles but many ask the same question: How do I set myself apart to attract more people?

Strength OR Conditioning: A Coach’s Perspective

High intensity training has taken the world by storm and is now one of the most popular training styles across the globe. Makes sense as to why; shorter workout time, metabolism is ramped up longer afterwards and you feel like you just conquered the world. All good things. The issue here tends to be the misconception of prioritizing fitness or conditioning over a general strength program. If it sounds like I'm figuratively "shitting" on conditioning, you'd be mistaken. Intelligent conditioning programs are crucial for both athletic success and overall health/well-being. I'm a STRENGTH & CONDITIONING Coach. STRENGTH comes first. Why

Power of the Mind: Why Words Win

What a whirlwind month. Iron Athletics converted over to Iron Performance and started construction on our new training facility: The Iron Performance Center. Although this transition has held up training for a few weeks, it has given myself a chance to step back, reflect, build new systems and learn even more about the greatest profession in the world. Why? To better service the athletes and clients associated with Iron Performance. Throughout this break, I’ve read a shit ton of books and attended the highly respected NSCA Coaches Conference to collaborate with some of the greatest coaches in the field. First

The Road to Shoulder Recovery

The shoulder is one of the most diverse yet unstable joints in the human body. Although it has a range of 360 degrees doesn’t mean we should always take it there. Being a highly competitive wrestler, I hold myself to a higher standard of training and pain tolerance. I naturally feel the same way towards my family (AKA my teammates) in regards to the standard of expectation. Early October 2015, I was preparing for the Olympic Trials for Men’s Freestyle Wrestling in December. At a tournament, I found myself extended with my arm significantly higher than the rest of my

Trusting The Process

As a trainer, I tend to use this phrase a lot. “Trust the process“. Whether a client is starting out for the first time or building on what they’ve already accomplished makes no difference to me. The point is simple: if you believe in what you are doing, you tend to do it better. Now, this can obviously be applied to many professions, however I find it resonates appropriately to the fitness industry. Since it is an unregulated profession, there are many resources that can tarnish the well-being of highly educated and experienced trainers and their programs. Everything from the latest

Addressing the Issue: Fat Loss and Calorie Counting

Its a pretty common goal of many people seeking personal training. Lose weight. I hear this statement at least once every week from someone new. It’s not uncommon for many of us to feel like we should shed a few pounds. Maybe you want to get ready for beach season or fit into an old pair of jeans. Perhaps you want to impress your significant other with a 6 pack or hourglass shape. What do we do? We hit the gym and eat grass. We’ve all heard it before. Exercise and diet to lose weight. Well, here’s the issue. I must

Fighting Fit Over 50

There are many posts and articles out there that really drive home how important it is to stay active, especially as you get older. Simple things you do daily whether it be carrying groceries, walking up and down stairs, or just standing upright can be very challenging later in life! Granted, some people never really hit such drastic points while aging however it is not uncommon for a large portion of society. The fact is, quality of life can be greatly impacted without daily exercise. Posture may decline and balance become poor, but what’s hardest for many people is losing peace

Pokemon Go: The Personal Trainer’s Guide

As of the past two weeks, the newest app taking the world by storm has captured everyone’s attention and inner 90’s child. I’m talking about Pokemon Go. It has taken the series to a whole new level incorporating reality with fiction through use of GPS. It truly defines innovation as the world bolts from their computers to the outside world in search of Pokemon and other trainers. Now, I’m not here to push the new app (although my inner 90’s self is ecstatic and loves the idea of Poke dates) but instead provide insight as to how the app has meshed

Breaking Down Periodization

I was reading an article the other day called The Science of Periodization (link at the bottom) and was thoroughly impressed with it’s breakdown.Being a strength and conditioning coach, periodization is one of the most important parts of developing effective programs for anyone, especially elite athletes. Depending on the demand of the sport, different phases or cycles will need to be implemented in order to attain peak performance at the correct times. Whether the focus be strength, endurance, stamina, power or flexibility, timing is essential so the athlete can effectively compete. This being said, the process of periodizing a program

The Science of “Gains”: Dissecting Hypertrophy

Muscle mass or “gainz” (the “z” is apparently popular) is the most common goal I hear about in regards to male fitness. Most men want to lose excessive weight but build large quantities of muscle to look “shredded”. It’s a pretty big feat (no pun intended) and most people hoping to achieve the lean and mean look struggle to make any progress. So why is increasing muscle size (hypertrophy) a challenge? To answer this, we must first breakdown the science. What is muscular hypertrophy and what causes our muscles to increase in size? Hypertrophy can be defined as an increase in

CrossFit: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

So I’ve finally decided to sit down and write about the oh so popular trend of CrossFit. Just a heads up, it’s a long read. As a forewarning to any crossfitters reading this, stop now. Your ego will be shattered by the truth of CrossFit. Don’t get defensive as this will further prove my points in the proceeding paragraphs. You won’t win this one no matter what crazy WOD (I’ll address this later) jacked you up enough to make you believe possible. Just let it be. I will point out the positives of CrossFit, but they are few and far

Big Box Gyms: Are You Really Living “The Goodlife”?

I was having a chat the other day with a client who recently started working with me and the topic of her previous gym came up. She was at a World Gym facility and we began talking about the type of environment and service that is typically provided. To put it bluntly, the services were poor. World Gym is just one example of a major franchised chain of fitness facilities that have multiple locations across the country. For reference purposes, these are called big box gyms. I can’t say that every big box gym lacks quality service but what I

5 Reasons You Aren’t Performing At Your Best

The desire to achieve a goal puts you in a position of determining priority of your actions. What I mean by this is depending on how strongly you feel about achieving your goal, sacrifices are made in order to make accomplishment possible. For example, if someone wants to go on vacation next summer, they may work more hours in order to save up money to go. This may mean not going out for drinks every other night with friends or buying those cool new shoes in the store. The point is that because you want to travel, you prioritize your rituals

Too Young To Lift?

It is pretty common to hear parents discussing their child’s safety in physical activity and a hot topic is that kids shouldn’t lift weights. They rationalize this statement by commenting how lifting weights early will stunt growth and lead to problems during puberty. Going through high school, I would hear this typically from concerned parents of my fellow teammates during sport seasons. The bar for competition was always getting raised, so naturally we had to get better as well. The answer? Start lifting weights and get stronger. It’s no different today. With the recent Olympics, we saw teenage athletes crushing