FEAR

Fear.

Fear is biggest hindrance you will run into when trying something new, reaching a goal or making a change.

We idolize those we view as “fearless”, people we perceive don’t have the same fear, doubt and worry that we do.  We believe this characteristic is what allows them to live a life we strive for; since we have fears it’s easy to feel as though we will never be like them or do the amazing things they do.

Fear is not only natural but necessary.  Fear is an adaptation that has allowed our species to survive as long as we have by providing checks and balances.  Fear is hardwired into our brains and its sole purpose is to make us pause and take inventory before trying something new.

Fear is like a worrisome friend who’s job is to assume everything will go wrong, the buzz kill of the group, the one who reminds us that hanging out on the roof after a few drinks or saying “I’ll be right back” before going to investigate a strange noise is not a good idea.

The reason we are so hard wired for fear is during a more primitive time it was a much bigger part of our day.   Fear kept us alive from wild animals, hostiles, poisonous foods; sever weather and a number of other thinks with in each given day that could kill us.

In today’s modern world we actually have very little be afraid of, most the for mentioned are not a part of our daily lives anymore so our incredibly imaginative fear centers have learned to invent things to be afraid of in an effort to keep their skills sharp.

Which brings me to my point; no one is fearless.  We all have fears but the truth is most of them are not rational.

Fear is hardwired into us and driven by self-preservation will always come up with reasons why we should not do/try something unfamiliar just in case it might be dangerous.  Those fears are like a car alarm; their job is to make us pause and evaluate the situation.  What most of us forget or don’t think about is that our actions after that point are entirely up to us.  We are in control, not fear.  Next time your fear alarm goes off play a little game called, “What’s the worst that could happen”.  For me that serves two purposes; first I can look at all my fears surrounding an issue and realize the majority of them are unfounded or illogical.  Second it makes me look at the worst case scenario and ask myself, “can I live with that?”  If the answer is no than I can pass on the experience/decision with no regret.  If the answer is yes I can go in with confidence and not FEAR failure/the unexpected. Either way I walk away happy and in control of my own destiny, fear is a shitty driver.

A Closer Look

A Closer Look at the FMS and Small Group Training
Anyone interested in training at Performance Locker will notice something different when first introduced. Performance Locker is not a come-and-go-as-you-please environment and one of the most obvious differences starts before your first training session ever begins. Each member of the PL studio is taken through a Functional Movement Screening (FMS). The FMS is a seven movement assessment that helps our team of certified trainers and instructors personalize each experience to fit your particular needs.
The FMS lets us know your strengths and weakness and helps us identify any cracks in the foundation of your movement patterns. This information helps us determine two important training variables; what movements you need to be doing to correct weaknesses or imbalances; and what key movements could potentially cause more harm than good.
During Small Tribe Training and Chalkboard Sessions each client wears colored wrist bands so the coaches can easily identify your areas of strength and weakness. The bands let PL coaches know when it is ok to push you and when we need to adjust a movement to provide you with the best-suited modification. This is all done stealthily, thanks to the band system, so you never feel like you are singled out.
Don’t get too comfortable with your bands though – the goal is to get rid of them!  We spend time in each Small Tribe Training workout actively correct imbalances so you can improve movement patterns and get rid of those bands. Once you are “cleared” of all bands you earn the coveted Black Band and become a Movement Jedi (that band you get to keep)! You also get to put a tick mark on our “kill” wall which offers a running tally of successful band losses from amongst your fellow PL family members.

Fix Your Bands At Home 
 

» Click Here to Learn How

What Are Yoga Teacher Credentials & Why Do They Matter?


Hello Yoga Nerds! 

Well, maybe you aren’t a yoga nerd but were just curious about a new blog. In either case, welcome!

Today’s journey is all about breaking down those acronyms the yoga world has suddenly become quite attached to and why knowing them matters for students.

Long ago, becoming a “yoga teacher” was similar to an apprenticeship. A master teacher, or guru, would allow a pupil to follow him (it has almost always been a him, as yoga was originally predominantly practiced by men; this is still the case in India). This guru and pupil would spend years together practicing not simply the poses (“asanas”) but also the eight limbs (“sutras”) of yoga. Eventually, the guru would announce the student to now be ready to teach.

The path to becoming a teacher today is often quite different. There are weekend workshops that students can attend in order to be able to teach others immediately afterward. There are also teacher trainings that are thorough and rewarding but do not have the acronyms attached. Finally, there are Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance approved yoga teacher trainings-and our first acronym: YTT.

Yoga Alliance is the largest nonprofit representing the yoga community. The nonprofit came about in the mid-90s after teachers in the U.S. had been debating the need for a standard guideline for training teachers. This is because not all teacher trainings are created equal. While not perfect in its oversight, Yoga Alliance has formed a minimal standard to meet each of the levels of certification: Registered Yoga Teacher 200 hour (RYT 200), Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hour (RYT 500), Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher 200 hours (E-RYT 200), Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hours (E-RYT 500), Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCYT), and Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT). In addition, there are designations for schools, but we will stick with just teachers for now.

To look at it simply, if the designation includes a number, that is the minimal number of hours that teacher has formally trained. An “E” designation has met additional requirements and can now train other teachers either through continuing education workshops or full teacher trainings. A teacher’s education is not complete here, however, as Yoga Alliance requires continuing education hours in order to maintain credentials.

Why do these acronyms matter? Perhaps in some ways, they don’t. For instance, most teacher trainings will take money, and no matter who signs up, anyone who pays can obtain certification. Second, even with the standards, not all teacher trainings are identical. There are different formats, styles, focus, and education, just like at colleges and universities. All forms of training are supposed to meet the curriculum guidelines encompassing techniques, training, and practice; methodology; anatomy and physiology; philosophy and ethics; and practicum. Other teacher trainings offer additional hours and materials, such as reiki certification or requiring students to participate in as well as observe a set number of classes taught by an experienced instructor.

Ultimately, what the acronyms offer to students is a little insight into their yoga teachers’ experiences. While it is incredibly important to mesh with a teacher’s personality and teaching style, it is also important to know that your teacher is knowledgeable. Yoga Alliance has created a set of standards for both teachers and schools in an effort to create growth, diversity, and access to safe practices for students. This is perhaps the most important aspect for a student looking for a teacher: knowing that your instructor has met specific qualifications and has the skillset to guide you through your practice safely.

I’ll see you on your mat.

Light and Love,

Paige, MA RYT 200

For the curious readers, here is a list of your Performance Locker Mind Body Team:

Samantha Samson-Miller, 200 RYT (Be the Love Yoga Registered Yoga School)

Dr. Maureen Mead, MD, 500 RYT (Union Yoga Registered Yoga School)

Paige Trisko,200 RYT (Be the Love Registered Yoga School)

Charise Mcclendon, Certified Pilates Teacher Recognized by Pilates Alliance  (Balanced Body)

We are honored to be a part of your journey!

For further reading and the nitty gritty breakdowns:

Click Here for Yoga Alliance Standards and Click Here for Yoga Alliance Teacher details!

Meet Alana The Perfect All-Around SUP

Meet Alana The Perfect All-Around SUP
In this video, Casey introduces the Alana an All Around Stand Up Paddle Board by Naish designed specifically for women paddlers.
If you have you been dreaming about owning your own paddle board, come visit us at Performance Locker and test any of our Naish demo boards! We are here to help you find the perfect paddle board.

We proudly sell Naish boards simply because, we wanted to offer the community top of the line, professional, and high-quality boards that will last ride after ride and year after year.

All of our SUP sales come with a free paddle, a private lesson, 2 SUP Yoga classes, and 10% off up to $250 of Quiksilver or Roxy gear good for six months after purchase! E-mail info@performancelocker.com for more details.

More “Cardio” is not the answer

It seems to me that “cardio” has become the Penicillin of Fitness.

High blood presure? More Cardio.  Carrying a few extra pounds? More Cardio.  Feeling tired and low on energy? More Cardio.  Gain muscle, get faster, become a millionaire…… all through more cardio.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by my sarcastic tone cardio will not fix all your problems, infact there a many that average American face that increased cardio will actually make worse.

Cardio is so “over perscribed” simply becasue it’s easy.  It’s easy advice to give and easy to take action on therefor it gets over used.

We should know by now the easy fix is not ususally the best or most effective one.  The changes that lead to long term sustainable results are often more complex and can be difficult to implement.  I’m not try to be a downer just a realist, change is tough.  It is more difficult to take an objective look at lifestyle choices as the cause and fix of any issues we might be having. How much sleep am I getting?  What am I doing to manage daily stress levels?  What is my daily processed food intake?  How much activity am I getting?  How much time do I spend outdoors?  What foods work best with my body (just because someone else calls it “healthy” does not mean it agrees with you)?

In the end more cardio becomes the over simplistic answer to a more complex question.  For the average American (you and me) more cardio can actually be a huge problem.  Most of us are sleep deprived, under nourished and over stimulated; never forget that exercise (as good as it is) is still stress.  What happens when you take someone who is not getting enough sleep, eating food they can’t obtain nourishment from and constatnly at a 11 level freak out at home and work because the big report deadline is on the same day as little Johnny’s soccer game and add more stress to their week?  The math on this one is not hard to do.

The take away her is two-fold;

First, think balance.  When we look at the big picture adding more cardio doesn’t’ fit but to see that we have to zoom out and try to see the whole picture.

Second; Sometimes things are complicated.  We love simple, easy and actionable but life is not always that way and that’s ok.  It’s ok to seek answers and search for truth and it’s ok to get help along the way.  My experience is if a piece of advice can fit into a Twitter post there is probably more to the story and deserves some more diving into.

Yoga Pose Breakdown: Savasana/Corpse Pose

Savasana/Corpse Pose
 
1. Lay down onto your back. Keep neck long and chin tucked. Create space for your underarms to breathe.
2. Let your body feel heavy here. Feet rest towards the corners of your mat and can fall open in opposite directions.
3. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Stay here for 5-10 minutes.
4. To come out roll to your side and curl into a little ball. Don’t rush coming up, take your time.
 
Pose Benefits: Savasana naturally boosts the immune system and restores and relaxes the body’s energy by calming the nervous system. This pose also calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. Corpse pose also can reduce headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and reduces blood pressure.
 

Deepen your practice at Performance Locker. Our teachers combined bring over 10 years of experience to our studio. Sign up for class online at performancelocker.com/yoga

Sam Samson RYT 200

What is your Criteria for a “Good” Workout?

How do you judge a “good” workout?

What do you look for after the experience to determine if your training was valuable?

Sweaty?

Tired?

Sore?

If that is the case why don’t you come over to my house; the roof of my garage needs to be leveled, my lawn needs to be cut and I need some post holes dug for a fence I want to put in.  I guarantee you will leave sweaty, tired and sore and it will only cost you $75 per hour.

Metrics are important, we want to have the ability to measure the effectiveness of an experience in the gym but choosing the wrong metrics can only give you incorrect info.  Choosing the correct metrics will give you reliable data and feedback while choosing the wrong ones can devalue even the best experiences.

So if sweaty, tired and sore are not effective metrics for judging a fitness experience what are?  In a functional training environment where we are working toward improved movement capabilities how sweaty someone gets simply does not work for us for a number or reasons.  Ability level plays a huge factor, the more advanced my movement skills are the more intensity I can create within an exercise.  For someone who is just learning (or relearning) how to squat or deadlift it does not make sense to push that level of intensity since they are trying to learn the pattern.  How do you even measure “sweat”? Seriously? I sweat when brushing my teeth so it’s guaranteed I’m going to drip buckets every time I step onto the training floor.  My wife not so much, so does that mean that all of my workouts are “better” then hers because I sweat more?

So how do you measure a good workout?  I don’t know if you can honestly.

An effective training program is making improvements over time, it’s not focused on a single workout but each workout exists as a step along the journey.  Along that journey some workouts will be more challenging some more restorative and others more “skill practice”.  We feel a standardized movement assessment that can be easily repeated is the only way to truly measure over time if your workouts (as a whole) are being “effective”.

So instead of looking at each workout and checking the tired, sweaty and sore boxes think more long term and look for experiences that leave you challenged yet not beat up and hungry to return to apply the lessons you learned towards your next experience.

What Does it Mean to be “Functional”?

Functional Training; a phrase that often used in fitness but rarely understood.

What does it mean to be functional?  What seperates a true functional workout from one that adopts this monicker yet fails to live up to it’s promises?

Functional training/exercises or workouts have a direct tie in to basic human movements.

The workouts or exercises strengthen primal movement patterns.  At the advanced level functional training seeks to create efficiency in those primal movement patterns.

We define primal movement patterns as the basic ways that humans explore and experience their environment; crawling/climbing, running/walking and swimming. If something does not “strengthen” one of these patterns it is not a “functional” exercise.  Wait a minute, what about squatting, deadlifting, pulling and pushing?  Don’t worry they are all there. Those are the foundational patterns that allow us to walk, run, climb, etc.

The most effective functional training practices look a lot like sport training; where movement skill are substituted for the sport specific skill.  For example, good tennis players consistently work on the fundamentals.  They seek to master the “simple” aspects of a forehand shot then repeat, repeat, repeat until it becomes automatic.  This way when they are on the court there brain is available for higher level processes such as strategy since it is not being dragged down by the step by step instructions of how to hit the ball.

When we deadlift we are teaching the body to stabilize the lumbar spine and maintain a neutral position before actively flexing and extending the hip.  This one relatively simple joint action is one of the primary building blocks for walking and running, even though the exercise does not look like the end product it still has a direct correlation.  In short it is more often than not that when someone has a fault in their deadlift pattern they also showcase a movement compensation in their walking or running gait.

A true functional training program seeks to break the body down into key joints and look at their ability to perform their preferred tasks.  Certain joints are responsible for mobility and are where “movement” come from while others should be “stable” resisting change in position (or movement) to maintain the bodies structure.  In a functional training program we identify each of these areas and make sure they are doing their jobs and their jobs only.  If they are not we look to “correct” the issue buy selecting exercises or techniques that will help mobilize stuck joints or create improved stability in others.

The final and most important piece of the puzzle is that functional training has to per personalized.  There is no blanket approach here (believe me I’ve been looking).  We are only able to offer someone a truly “functional” program when we are able to address the personal dysfunctions they may have.  Without that personalized data it is impossible to correctly design a program or workout for that (or any) individual.

So where do you go from here?  Come on in to Performance Locker where we can take you through the FMS movement screen and identify what your personalized “functional training” goals are 🙂

Yoga Pose Breakdown: Upward Table Top

Upward Table Top

1. Start in a seated position, bend both knees with soles of the feet firmly planted on the mat. Feet hip distance apart.
2. Place hands behind you, fingers pointed towards your toes, and spread the fingers out. Let both shoulders melt back and lift your heart forward. Stay right there if you are already feeling the stretch.
3. If you wish to deepen the pose inhale engage the core and lift the gluts off the floor until your shoulders, hips, and knees are level like a table top. Stay there for 5 full breaths.
4. Exhale to slowly lower back down onto the mat.
5. Hug your knees into your chest and wrap yourself in a big hug.
6. (Optional) You can lay back and take a few moments for Savasana or Corpse Pose to help your body relax and restore.

Pose Benefits: Upward table top pose stretches the shoulders, chest, and ankles. This pose strengthens the arms, wrists, back, and core.

Common Mistakes: Turning the hands outward. Pushing the ears into the shoulders (do your best to keep the neck long). Sink the hips down in the full version. Caving into the chest.

Deepen your practice follow the link below to register for class:
www.performancelocker.com/yoga/

 Sam Samson RYT 200

Yoga Pose Breakdown: Seated Forward Fold

Seated Forward Fold

  1. Begin seated with legs straight out in front of you and flex through the feet like you’re trying to push your foot flat into a wall.
  2. Inhale lengthen the spine and sweep arms overhead. Reach out through the fingertips and exhale to relax the shoulders.
  3. Inhale to prepare and exhale hinge from the hips as you fold forward. Hands soften to chins, ankles, or around the feet if available. Only go as far as you can keep the spine flat/straight. If the spine curls or rounds back off in the stretch.
  4. Take 5 breaths here and focus on the integrity of your spine. Use inhales to lengthen the back and exhales to melt further into the fold.
  5. To come out safely reach the arms out in front and come back to a tall seated position, hands rest at the heart.

Pose Benefits: Forward bends stretch the hamstrings, spine, and shoulders. This pose can help relieve headaches and stress!

Common Mistakes: Rounding the spine in order to reach the hands closer to the feet. Keeping the feet relaxed when they should be flexed to help stretch the back of the legs & feet.

Like what you see? Click Here to join us for class!

Sam Samson RYT 200