First update of 2015!

I looked at the blog the other day and realized it's been a really long time since I posted anything, so I decided to give a quick update on what I've been up to!

New Website:
A lot of last year was focused on getting the webpage up and running and that is done now. My friend Deb surprised me with a complete redesign for Christmas and I think the new page is amazing. I think it's a great face for the business and looks sharp. I love that we have two different blogs now and there's lots of ways I can add to the page to make things even better in the future.

We also added some guest bloggers and now we have a client blog! You can check it out here:

I really like this for a lot of reasons. I get to hear things about their training from a perspective that I wouldn't get just by asking how they are doing. I am entertained  by what they write and I think that it's fun to read. I think it gives prospective clients a new view into training with me that they wouldn't otherwise have. I can tell people about what it's like all day long but to hear from an existing client and to watch their journey is invaluable. I have heard positive responses about the client blogs and I'm really excited to follow their progress.

The Gym:
In addition to having access to Genuine Fitness LLC's personal training studio, my clients and I also have access to the Garage Gym and Coffee Club, conveniently located next door. This is due to a cooperative agreement between Aaron and Randy. This is really exciting for me because it means I have even more space and tools available to give my clients a challenging session and we can change things up. We'll also be adding showers sometime in the next month. I'm really excited about all of the changes happening at the gym! You guys help to make this happen by training with me, being consistent and showing your friends all of your hard work!

My Training:
I've really focused a lot of my own training on kettlebells and powerlifting. I've learned a lot from reading books and articles and watching videos by RKC, SFG, Pavel Tsatsouline, Brett Jones and Gray Cook. I really read these guys' works over and over and practice, practice, practice. My current weight used for most of my swings is 70lbs. I do Turkish Getups with 53lbs. I think I'm ready to go up to 60 but I may have to use a dumbbell because we don't have a 62lb kettlebell in the gym. My next closest jump with my available kettlebells would be to the 70lbs. My clients have definitely felt the results of all of my study. It's not uncommon to come into the gym and see them doing Halos, Windmills, Swings, Turkish Getups and all kinds of other kettlebell training exercises.

I turned 39 last week! At 39 years old, I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm stronger than I've ever been. I'm running faster and for extended periods of time. My explosive power is still increasing with training. I think aesthetically I look better than I ever have. Reflecting on how far I've come makes me excited! When I first started this journey I was fat and miserable and sick and weak. I could barely get 95lbs off of the floor when I first started seriously deadlifting 3 years ago, and now (after a break to get hernia surgery to repair damage from when I was heavy) I'm pulling 325lbs with no straps and no belt, and I'm still making gains. I consistently grow and learn because I'm still making progress and finding all of the best things that work for me and for my clients.

My Clients!:
I've really expanded my client base! For a long time my main focus as a trainer was in helping people lose weight. This was great because there's plenty of people that need help and I can relate really well to the challenges that this population faces because of my history. In the last 6 months or so I've started really training a lot of other types of people. Many of my clients are women of college age or older who are struggling to put weight on their frames. Many of them want to have abs or bigger, stronger butts. I am successful with these clients because I read a lot of work by Bret Contreras. He's kind of a big deal where fitness and butts intersect and he's done all of the work for the rest of us and isn't afraid to share it. I learn a lot by following his writing. I also have a number of clients who are new to lifting and want to learn the best way to do it without injury. I specialize in injury prevention and strengthening imbalances to help you stay in the game longer. Injury interferes with training and must be eliminated or reduced. Learning to train with proper form goes a long way in keeping your joints, muscles and bones healthy. I do a modified screening inspired by the Functional Movement Screen (written by Gray Cook. There's that name again!) with all of my clients and we really work to address any problems that we come across. I've also done a lot more work lately with clients who are interested in working around or strengthening old injuries, everything from torn ACLs to spinal discectomy! I really enjoy the challenges this presents. It helps to keep me learning!

Final Thoughts:
One last thing I want to say - I'm really disappointed that there will be no Portland Tough Mudder this year. I really enjoyed last year but logistics may keep me from being able to do Seattle's Tough Mudder. I'm considering either trying to work that out or limiting myself to doing Warrior Dash in 2015. I still haven't decided, but I'd like to put a team together if I'm going to. If anyone reading this blog is interested in joining Team Better, Stronger, Faster Fitness at the Tough Mudder in Seattle or the Warrior Dash in Portland area, message me and let me know! Your messages may help turn the tide of my decisions. That's all for now! Thanks for reading!
I'll leave you with pictures of my super cool in-progress tattoo. It's an anatomical view of the rotator cuff muscles and the other muscles of the shoulder. I expect to continue this view all the way down the arm and over part of my trunk eventually. I think it's awesome and it may be a fun way to illustrate things to my clients eventually.