Category Archives for "Training"

7 Lessons for a Lean and Fit Fall

Summer is coming to an end, the kids are back in school and there’s pumpkin spice and football feels everywhere.

This is the time of year that many people just cruise along and ride it out. The days get busier, the holidays are coming quickly, there will be weight gain, there will be stress and I’ll just start over in January 1st, right?

Wrong.

There will never be a right time to make a change. You will always have stress, limited time and something else that needs to get done first.

The stars will never align perfectly but wouldn’t it be nice to know how to lose weight and belly fat faster, with less headaches, confusion and boredom?

We’ve had some amazing results from our ladies at Durbrow Performance.

Anna B nutrition

The reality is that for every amazing body transformation, there are ultimately highs and lows. What people don’t always reveal is that this type of change (both mental and physical) is SIMPLE but not EASY.

The real transformation comes when you can put it all together. Confidence. Self esteem. Better relationships. More productivity. Not living scared anymore.

Lesson #1- Get Real and Commit to the Change

Do you know what you really want? Most people do not.

I want to lose 20 pounds” is not the answer that will get you out of bed when it’s snowing, cold and dark.

Understanding your true why and getting real on the amount of work that’s truly involved is the only way to break through and really make a change.

Doing what you’ve always done is probably not going to work anymore. But you can’t beat yourself up over it because that’s the past.

Be kind to yourself, take a minute to step back and look at what you truly want. Get REAL and RAW with yourself.

What will tip the scales now, when nothing has worked before?

Support, real coaching and true goal setting will show you that you don’t have to “suffer” through another diet or crappy workout. The journey can actually be kinda fun.

Continue reading

3 Exercises You Must Have In Your Training Program

I hear questions like this a lot:

What’s the best exercise for X (fill in the blank here- fat loss, conditioning, muscle growth)?

If you could pick one exercise to do forever what would it be?

What’s the best exercise for my _______ (again, fill in the blank- legs, abs, arms, etc)?

The reality is that there are no “best” exercises because it all comes down to your goals. Are you trying to lean out and lose fat? Are you trying to improve your performance? Are you trying to just stay generally fit and feel good?

All of those are valid goals, and most of the people that we work with at Durbrow Performance Training have a nice combination of all of them. That’s what makes training our crew so much fun.

Even if you’re not an “athlete” I truly believe that everyone should train in an athletic manner. This means that there should be some scalable level of:

  • Jumps
  • Throws
  • Sprints
  • Pulling
  • Pushing
  • Lifting heavy things off the floor

IMG_7704

The important thing to note is that all of the things I listed above are SCALED. That means a sprint for one person is not a sprint for another, maybe it’s using the agility ladder or going at a slower pace.

Training in an athletic style is more fun, it burns a lot of calories, it uses all the major muscle groups and it can be done typically pretty quickly and efficiently when it comes to time.

There are hundreds of great exercises and I believe that most have their place in some type of program. Variation is important and within every exercise you can change things like repetitions, tempo, weight and balance. These factors can often make it a totally different exercise.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to dive into my 3 favorite exercises and why they should always be in your program. This is based on the years of training I’ve done on myself and thousands of clients.

You’re probably thinking I’ll say something like Pull Ups, Dead Lifts and Squats. I mean, you get the most bang for your buck, right?

IMG_7710

Yes and no.

Those are all crazy good exercises and I love to program them. However, this post is about the exercises that you should ALWAYS be doing. The three exercises that I’m about to show you are also ones that you can do with a lot of frequency, which is important for consistent improvement.

Lastly, they are very easy to teach, coach, set up and execute. There is a very low risk on each one, they are safe on the joints and they all address areas that 99.9% of people need improvement in.

So without further ado, here are the three MUST-DO exercises:

  1. The Band Pull Apart- this exercise is a staple in my personal program, I do 100 repetitions during each of my strength workouts per week (4 days). I split them up into sets of 20 and perform them before, during and after the session. We also program these into our warm up at Durbrow Performance Training and clients see these as fillers during their training sessions as well.

Why do I love these so much? They are great for improving shoulder mobility, shoulder health, posture and overall upper and mid-back strength. With the type of work that most people do, sitting at a computer or on their phone, the postural corrections are essential and nothing hits it quite like the BPA.

Larger movements like TRX Rows, 1-Arm Rows and Chin Ups are excellent but the BPA is so simple, can be done in higher volumes (and even every day) and targets the smaller muscles in the mid-back that often get neglected because they can’t fire correctly during a larger movement.

 

 

How to use the Band Pull Aparts: 3-5 sets of 15-20 per day, at least 3 days per week

 

2. Bulgarian Split Squats– This is my go-to #1 movement for the lower body. It’s a great exercise to develop strength in the legs and I’m a huge fan of unilateral movements (single sided) because they are much safer and decrease the spinal compression that you might see on a squat or even a dead lift.

The other thing I love about this exercise is the added core and balance development.

The third major thing that makes this a winner is the many ways that you can load this. You can use body weight, chains, dumbbells at your sides, a kettlebell racked in the front, or even bands.

From a beginner who could load this just with their own body weight to an advanced trainee to load this with chains and kettlebells, the movement is just stellar.

Plus if you want to develop strong, lean and totally bad ass legs, this is a MUST for your programming.

How to use the Bulgarian Split Squats: 2-4 sets of 10-20 reps per leg, 1-2 times per week

 

3. Sled Work- pushing, pulling or dragging a sled is my #3 movement because it’s so safe on the joints and produces virtually zero soreness the next day because there is no eccentric component. That means that you’re not having to “slow down” the weight like if you were lowering yourself down into a squat. That’s the most taxing part of an exercise and there’s none of that when working on the sled.

Other benefits of the sled are increased cardiovascular work, the ability to perform higher volume to build up your stamina, multiple ways to load it (you can go heavy and for short distances, light and short distances for sprints, or moderate weight and longer distances) and you can pull, push or drag in all different directions.

Sleds are great as a stand alone training tool, use them on a conditioning day and just perform multiple sets or you can use them during a circuit. Another great way is at the end of a training session, performing 3-4 sets for 50 to 100 feet or our personal favorite, 5 minutes of team pushing (3-4 people) and see how many sets you can complete in the time.

How to use the Sled: 3-4 sets of 50 to 100 feet, mix up the weights from day to day, 1-3 times per week

Looking great and losing fat is awesome of course, but you want to make sure you’re focusing on your long term health and overall longevity of your body. Create the total package with your body- strong, healthy, mobile, energetic and looking damn good.

All of the exercises I spoke about are ones that require a full range of motion, they don’t beat up your body but they do get results. These are the types of movements we always incorporate into our training at DPT. If you’re struggling to get results and your body just doesn’t feel the way you want it to, check out our risk-free 21 Day Academy Jump Start program:

If you’re in Somerville, click here.

If you’re in Manchester, click here.

Lessons From My Failures

Sometimes I take my life lessons from Olivia Pope. If you don’t watch Scandal you need to get on that. Total girl crush right here.

The best thing about Olivia is her famous line “It’s handled.”

My question for you is, are you handling your shit? What I mean by this is are you trying to set a goal, failing and then repeating this crazy cycle over and over, wondering why it doesn’t ever work and things don’t change?

What I mean by this is that YOU didn’t change. You’re expecting extravagant results in a goal but you didn’t change yourself.

Your thoughts, habits and actions didn’t REALLY change.

You just relied on will power and “motivation” to achieve that goal.

Shit didn’t get handled, because it becomes a vicious cycle of…

Set a goal —> get excited —> will power and white knuckle through a few weeks —> decide it’s not worth it —> stop

Success is stopped by many things, fear being a big one.

Today I wanted to share with you a lesson I learned from my consistent failures.

I was scared, big time. I didn’t realize it at the time but here’s what continued to happen…

I would set a goal, do it for a while and then become disinterested. I would stop that process and claim that I didn’t really care about the goal so I wasn’t into it.

I would stop keeping score.

Then I would ultimately just say that I hate setting goals, it’s stupid and I don’t need it.

After doing a lot of personal development I realized my issue…

I was scared. It took a long time to figure this because initially I was like “F that, I’m not scared

I just didn’t know WHAT I was scared of.

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Are You Getting What You Want? Start Examining Your Thoughts

Why don’t you accomplish what you want?

With weight loss, your career, your relationships…

You may be struggling with all of the above or maybe just one or two. Regardless of where you’re stuck, it usually comes down to the same thing.

In studying my own mindset, behaviors, habits and ultimately results, I’ve learned that it is actually very simple but we as humans tend to complicate things (more on that next week).

So what’s the secret sauce to getting what you want?

Don’t believe the stories.

What the what?

Think about it like this:

Thoughts –> Actions —> Behaviors —> Habits —> Lifestyle

When you are trying to make a change, what’s usually the first thing you think you need to change? Your habits or behaviors, right?

Those lead to your lifestyle and things like your non-negotiables, your daily practices and hopefully a happy and healthy life.

But we always skip over the beginning, which is what triggers our actions and behaviors.

Our thoughts.

Or more specifically, the “stories” that we tell ourselves, usually about why we can’t do something.

Stories are things that we have believed or simply never challenged for so long, that they just seem like the normal experience for us.

So what would happen if you just challenged the thought?

It doesn’t have to be much, just simply a yes or no.

For example: I can’t lose weight because I’m too busy to work out

Challenge the statement with a simple, is that true?

Yes or no. No stories, no spinning, no excuses. Yes or no.

That’s all it takes to start out with this, just question the thought. You might realize (as I did, many times) that you simply believe the thought because you’ve always believed it.

Is this going to change you overnight? No way. It will however get you into the mindset of challenging, examining and moving toward a different story in your head.

There it is, your challenge and homework for the week is to start questioning your thoughts and stories. Do this without judgement, just become aware.

I’ll be back next week with more about stories, how we complicate things and why this essentially makes us feel better.

7 Lessons for a Lean and Fit Winter

It’s already the heart of fall, summer is over and now we’re officially moving into the holiday season with Halloween already coming up next week.

This is the time of year that many people just cruise along and ride it out. There will be weight gain, there will be stress and I’ll just start over in January 1st, right?

Wrong.

There will never be a right time to make a change. You will always have stress, limited time and something else that needs to get done first.

The stars will never align perfectly but wouldn’t it be nice to know how to lose weight and belly fat faster, with less headaches, confusion and boredom?

We’ve had some amazing results from our ladies at Durbrow Performance.

Anna B nutrition

The reality is that for every amazing body transformation, there are ultimately highs and lows. What people don’t always reveal is that this type of change (both mental and physical) is SIMPLE but not EASY.

The real transformation comes when you can put it all together. Confidence. Self esteem. Better relationships. More productivity. Not living scared anymore.

Lesson #1- Get Real and Commit to the Change

Do you know what you really want? Most people do not.

I want to lose 20 pounds” is not the answer that will get you out of bed when it’s snowing, cold and dark.

Understanding your true why and getting real on the amount of work that’s truly involved is the only way to break through and really make a change.

Doing what you’ve always done is probably not going to work anymore. But you can’t beat yourself up over it because that’s the past.

Be kind to yourself, take a minute to step back and look at what you truly want. Get REAL and RAW with yourself.

What will tip the scales now, when nothing has worked before?

Support, real coaching and true goal setting will show you that you don’t have to “suffer” through another diet or crappy workout. The journey can actually be kinda fun.

Continue reading

How to Get Better Without Doing More

I’ve been studying a lot about how to get better. What does getting “better” actually mean?

To me it’s just building on yourself based on what you stand for, but working toward making changes in your thoughts, behaviors and ultimately habits.

The title of this blog post may be a little deceiving because it says you don’t have to do more. That’s true, you don’t have “do” more in the sense that in order to improve yourself or hit a goal, you shouldn’t be piling on stuff onto an already overflowing tower.

When I talk about getting better, I’ll use it in the context of fitness or weight loss because let’s face it, that’s where most of us are at.

The first step is to identify your goal. Don’t make up some bullshit goal here because we’ve all done that too and after a week or two if we don’t care enough, we kick that to the curb. As humans we LOVE setting goals because that first phase of setting a new shiny goal is like all unicorns and rainbows, it’s perfect and nothing can go wrong.

Until it does.

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Durbrow Performance August 2015 Client of the Month: Katy Pan

IMG_51281. What is your hometown?

Somerville, MA

2. What brought you to DPT?

It was the end of 2014 and I realized I had no motivation to go to the gym.  When I did make it to the gym, I wasn’t giving it enough effort.  I knew I needed some guidance and accountability to get back into shape.  I found DPT and it has been awesome since.

3. How long have you been training with us?

Since December 2014

4. What do you do in the “real world”?

I’m a research leader for Truven Health Analytics.  I work to help size markets for pharma and medical device companies.

5. What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?

My friends and I do an annual pub crawl and we hit 10 years this year.  We are hoping we can make it to 21 so we can buy our pub crawl a drink.

6. What is your favorite exercise?

I think this changes with each session.  Right now I really like kettlebell swings

7. What is your biggest gym achievement so far?

It wasn’t the fastest, but pushing the sled with a person on it plus the weights

8. What inspires and motivates you?

All my fellow gym classmates.  It’s awesome to see everyone around me try their hardest to reach a higher weight, faster time, more reps.  It keeps me going when I feel like I’m ready to quit.

9. What would you tell someone who has just started or is thinking about joining DPT?

Yes!  Give it a try.  Haha, I remember when I first called and chatted with Callie I asked her “Is this Crossfit?  I don’t want to do Crossfit.”  I’m happy to say it isn’t.  I love that the gym offers both the fitness and nutrition aspect, which are both essential if you are serious about getting healthier.  The monthly seminars are helpful because it reinforces the lessons taught, start going if you aren’t already!

What Do Training in Groups, Canadian Geese and Motivation Have in Common?

I heard an interesting story a few weeks ago, about what groups, Canadian Geese and motivation have in common.

This is ironic that I actually liked this story because as some of you know, I hate birds. Yep, I have a strange fear of them (not the little tiny ones but anything bigger than a chicken). They just freak me out, particularly Canadian Geese.

Besides that, this story is really interesting and you’ll see why having group motivation in either training, nutrition or any aspect of your life will help you get to that goal even faster than you imagined.

Check out the video and the story right here:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/RzRKYXf3MAc[/youtube]

Are You Doing This (hint: you should stop)

I caught myself doing this.
Everyone does it. It’s hard to get out of your comfort zone, so we all kind of do “this” once and a while.
What the hell am I talking about today?
I’m talking about when you have a plan and you “kind of” follow the directions.
Let me give you an example. Sometimes I design my own workouts but sometimes I have someone else do it for me. I’ll either hire a coach or seek out a pre-written program that is designed for my goals.
The program is all written out, perfectly simple and ready to follow and then I say to myself I’ll just switch out this exercise. 
 
I’ll just do lunges instead of step ups. 
 
I hate step ups.
Why am I changing the program, not following the simple rules?
It’s putting me out of my comfort zone. I have to do an exercise that’s hard and that I don’t like.
No big deal, I’ll just switch it.
Are lunges just as hard? Yes, probably, but that’s not the point.
You will start to see this little trend creep in to other aspects. Are you supposed to try and hit 60 grams of fat per day but you “just” have that one more scoop of almond butter which puts you over your target?
It won’t make a big difference.
Maybe not that day, but the next day and the next day, it sure as hell will.
Following the directions seems like a simple concept but when those directions put you out of your comfort zone, it becomes human nature to just make an exception here and there.
Guess what happens then?
Your results become slower and slower.
Next time you think about making what may seem like a little exception or change, think for a minute about why you’re actually doing it.
If you have a perfectly good program right in front of you, don’t make changes. It may be uncomfortable at first but you have to trust the process.
Don’t fall back into your old ways and what’s comfortable.
Getting results is much more than just changing your body. You have to break down the barriers and the small, day-to-day things that are adding up to form your habits and that are slowing your progress.
Take this into action this week and be more conscious of your thoughts and choices.

 

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