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

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.

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.

Why Should You Try Boxing?

Boxing Is Fun

Enjoying something is probably the number one reason why anybody ever got good at anything. The one thing boxing has over many traditional fitness exercises is the added element of good old plain FUN! If you ever plan to be successful at anything, it helps if you find the experience enjoyable. Otherwise, it becomes work, becomes a chore, and you’ll quit before you ever get a routine going. This is the problem with many traditional workout routines.

Literally EVERYONE we’ve seen that puts on a pair of gloves for the first time has fun. Hitting the focus mitts becomes a game and they enjoy the challenge. There are so many pieces of equipment in the studio and so many skills to master that boxing never becomes boring. Even after the boxing session ends, clients feel inspired to go home and watch videos online to become inspired by other boxers. There are very few exercises that leave this lasting impression. Can you imagine someone going home and fantasizing about burpees? Give boxing a try and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

Boxing Is Challenging & Great For Your Health 
Many people understand that boxing is challenging but have the perception that boxing is going to war, and they imagine themselves having to throw and absorb punches like Rocky. Let me give it to you straight: that’s not the case at Performance Locker. Our classes are for people who do not want to get hit in the face! You will be physically challenged learning how to move efficiently and effectively, all while hitting real targets (not the air). All of our classes are designed for any ability level and everyone is welcome to try! Boxing improves your cardiovascular system, bone density, and helps to reduce stress.
Boxing Improves Confidence
Boxing is a great confidence booster. The sport molds fighters out of average people.

Boxing is challenging but when you overcome those challenges you will feel so confident in yourself that you can do anything that you set your mind to!

Performance Locker offers boxing on Tuesday’s at 6:30pm – Thursday’s at 12pm –
and Saturday’s at 7am. Boxing gloves provided or you can buy your own on-site.

 
Sign Up for Boxing Right Now  » Click Here to Register! 

*Supporting researched provided via an Article by Johnny N from Expert Boxing

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 🙂

Small Tribe Tid Bits

At PL We Don’t Exercise.. We Train. We Practice. We Move.

Our friends over at StrongFirst did an excellent job describing the difference between exercising and training, “Exercise: Requires motivation, and the willingness to endure something boring. Training: Requires selecting a skill, and the willingness to practice it. Exercise that doesn’t mentally engage you is difficult to stay consistent with. Losing interest is not your fault… You need details to focus on and to continually improve. You need a skill to practice…” In Small Tribe Training that is exactly what we do; we practice skills and learn
how to move functionally. Check out these Small Tribe Tid-Bits to get more out of your next session.

Agility is not just for athletes. The ability to change direction at a high rate of speed is a necessary skill for all humans who wish to live an active lifestyle. The trick to good speed and agility training is to go as fast as you can, not as fast as you can’t. Each individual needs to move at the speed that allows them to maintain the standards of the movements we work on every day.

Learning how to efficiently rotate and generate rotary force is a lesson in linking movements and unity in the body. Too often, workout programs are full of overly simplistic movements that never teach the body how to move as one unit. Unfortunately, it is simply not possible to build functionality by just focusing on one piece at a time.

Are you ready to break the mold? Are you ready to build a life without limits? Know someone who would benefit from secrets your have learned at PL?

Contact us now to schedule your FMS (Functional Movement Screen-Test) from there we will help you find the Membership/Classes that best fit your needs and schedule.

Call 989.884.1702, or Stop-in During Open Tour Hours Wed 11-4, Thurs 1-6, and Fri 12-5 or e-mail sam@performancelocker.com to get started!

Learn More About Training at PL » Click Here

Looking at Heart Health from Another Angle

February is national heart health month, a campaign designed to bring awareness to the habits and behaviors necessary to foster and maintain cardiovascular wellness. You have probably seen a number of post or articles this month from various sources telling you to make sure to get 20 minutes of exercises at least 3 times a week (“exercise” defined as activities that increase heart rate for a period of time) or detailing the benefits of strength/resistance training on heart health. All of these things are true and the intention of this information to to provide simple and actionable information to increase your longevity.

The problem with simple approaches is they sometimes leave things out. The simple path can often omit large pieces of the puzzle and leave us with an incomplete understanding of the bigger picture.

When discussing Heart Health one thing that is almost always left off the table is mental well-being. Sure we talk about “stress” and lowing stress is good for your heart but the actions steps toward this endeavor tend to be less actionable and more ambiguous.
In short your mental state has a massive effect on your physical being. We find ourselves in a wold filled with constant stimulation which has been shown time and time again in various studies to stimulate with is called the Sympathetic Nervous System. This none more simply is our “flight or fight response”.

Imagine you are in a room and the fire alarm goes off, this is in essence what it feels like with your sympathetic nervous system kicks in. That rush of adrenaline and extreme focus scanning your environment for danger and assessing the situation. Once the fire alarm goes off everything returns to normal and you begin to feel more relaxed and at ease, this is called your parasympathetic response (the switch that gets your mind and body back into the rest and digest state). What if the fire alarm never goes off? Have you every been in a room with an alarm was going off for far too long, what did that feel like. Notice how you were extremely stressed, agitated and angry?

Our constant stimulation through artificial lights and electronic devices has show to not allow our body to switch out of the sympathetic response, keeping our minds in a steady state of low grade emergency mode. What do you thinks this is doing to your heart?
Hearts like all muscles need to rest, when it is living at the red alert state is never gets to, like any machine parts that don’t get to rest burn out.

So if you are a hard working individual, goal driven professional, athlete, weekend warrior or simply have a stressful job day maybe adding more stress through exercise is not what your heart needs to be healthy. Maybe it’s time to pump the breaks a bit and gets some recovery but flipping the rest and digest switch. How do we do that?

Yoga, foam rolling, massage, increased sleep, less screen time, reading, meditation are some of my favorite methods. All are readily available and a few are free or very low cost. If this is a foreign subject to you it’s ok to get help. I took me a long time working with some really great Yoga teachers for me to finally learn to let go and teach me how to implement some of the yoga principles into my daily life.

Remember the pendulum always has to swing both ways, if you find yourself stuck on one side perhaps its time to find a plan and some guidance to bring things back toward the middle (it can be a really nice place to live 😉

Have You Met Our Friends, Colossus & Rogue?

Have you met our friends Colossus and Rogue?

If you haven’t noticed, our Small Tribe Training cycle workouts have fun names. That’s so we can feel more connected to them when we are sweating. It’s like you’re hanging out with a friend. Except your friend is a superhero and has been trained by a robot with nuclear power. Just kidding. We just wanted to give them fun names.

Small Tribe Training: Strength + Stability | Meet Colossus and Rogue

Why We Do Itclossus-x-men
Strength is a sexy word today but what is it really? At Performance Locker we define strength as the battle between your body and outside forces (like gravity). Functional strength is when you win this battle, moving weight with bad form is when gravity is winning (which means you loose). Strength workouts teach your body parts to work together to produce or resist force (like in real life). We teach your core to connect your upper and lower half and your limbs and joints to efficiently turn stored energy into positive force.

What does that do for you? Builds durability in the body by teaching it to distribute force effectively (like a suspension bridge). The key to good strength training is that it builds the foundation support system (joint integrity & core stability) in conjunction with prime movers (popular muscles, back, chest, legs, etc.). That way your joints can support the force your body is capable of producing leading to greater strength, fewer aches, and long-term joint integrity.

What To Expectrogue-x-men
Strength day is the chameleon of Performance Locker workouts. For some it will look more like a balance or stability training; for some it will be more of a focused movement day; and for others it may be a day where you move some heavy weights. Our coaching methods and programming allow us to make the strength workout focus on what you need most; stability, movement or loaded movement. It will also look different for every exercise you do. Movement patterns your body likes are movements we can challenge, the movements your body doesn’t do as easily are patterns we focus on fixing. The more efficient your movements become, the more layers of challenge we can add. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the fun begins.

How To Get The Most Out Of It
You have to learn to control it before you move it and you have to learn to move it before you can load it. Squats start with good postural and pelvic control. Then, we learn to keep control through movement. Then, we get to add weight. If we add weight to dysfunction it will only strengthen the dysfunction. Ego has to be checked at the door on Strength days. Be realistic with where you are at and you will go far to improve. Be focused in the moment and connected with your movement. Be patient, earn your progression and the strength will come. Keep in mind, the part of the workout you like the least is most likely the part you need the most.

Meet Colossus & Rouge In-Person! Click Here to Sign Up for Small Tribe!