schedule blocking and training mindsets (training log 3/21-3/25)

Monday 3/21

Planned off day. As it usually is. Monday’s are the busiest day at the gym. Everyone wants to start their week off right, get into a rhythm and set a standard for their upcoming week or day. This is great, but because of this, I never plan on working out on Monday’s. It just doesn’t work in my schedule and going in knowing that I am not going to train is really helpful – I don’t have to stress about squeezing it in between clients.

Normally, this day is preceded by a good training session on Saturday and Sunday. As stated in the previous post, I needed a few days off from training and didn’t train on either of those days either.

Tuesday 3/22

Since I always plan Monday’s off, I make sure I have a couple hours on Tuesday to get in a really good training session. Blocking out this time in my schedule has been great. I block out the time on my calendar and do everything I can to protect it. I block out two hours because I know that I need a little time to get into the mindset for training. It might take me 30-40 minutes to get moving around and I like to take my time warming up. I need to shift from coaching mode or business mode into workout mode. I’m currently working on getting more efficient at this.

A1. back squat x8 135,135,185,205,205,225,205

These felt great. I have been shifting to my left leg on the bottom of the squat and have been doing lots of different drills to reset my hips. I had a client physical therapist point me in the right direction and confirm that they were indeed rotated out of neutral. I filmed my sets and had training partners keep an eye on me as well. I felt good and didn’t shift beside a little bit on the top end set near the end.

I was also excited that 225 for 8 felt pretty easy. In January, I did 225 for 10, and needed a week to recover. I was sore for the remainder of the week, but nothing more than ordinary.

B1. Rower – 5x 60 seconds max effort, 3 minutes recovery

Wednesday – day off

Thursday 3/24

20 minute aerobic workout

I am trying to make my workouts more and more aerobic to build my capacity for the upcoming 25k. I did:

500m row < 2 minutes

400m run @ 7:30 pace No rest, did 4 rounds, with one warm up, easy round. Took 20 minutes total.

Friday 3/25

Although I need to get more and more aerobic work in, which means less heavy stuff, I am still going to olympic lift once or twice a week. I love the technical aspect of it, I love refining my form. And when you do an effortless, snappy clean and jerk or snatch, nothing feels better.

I did maybe 20, moderate weight, clean and jerks done in singles or doubles. Then did some handstand walking practice since I trained with a former gymnast who effortlessly walked around the gym on his hands. Super impressive.





schedule blocking and training mindsets (training log 3/21-3/25)

Take a Few Days off (training log 3/14-3/20)

I had a mixed up training schedule last week. I even ended the week with 3 days off in a row. Something I haven’t made time for in quite a while, especially since I have been working on building up my training frequency. It’s not easy taking time off. Over the years I have learned to accept that it is better for me in the long run.

I shifted focus on mobility. The areas I knew I should be working on but kept neglecting got a lot work. Forearms, shoulders and t-spine, specifically. Now, after 3 days off, I feel great. I have been sleeping better – I had developed a pattern where I would wake up an hour before my alarm, everyday. This hasn’t been happening since taking a few days off.

On the days I did train:

Tuesday 3/15

front squat 5×10 / 95

Mostly did it as a warm up, along with a lot of jumping and hanging, for my rowing,

5x 60 seconds max effort, recover using only big deep breaths and start again once breathing gets normal-ish.

This was good. I felt great after and got a lot of quality work done. I’ve made some tweets to my rower technique that have really helped my speed and power as well.


A1. snatch 5×1 145

B1. run 4x400m

B2. overhead squat 4×15/95

This was a big aerobic challenge workout for me. I need to get some running in, bt really just didn’t want to run, so I allowed myself to lift first with some good snatches, then did some more squats paired with the running. Overall, good training session.


Deadlift 5×10/ 225

Take a Few Days off (training log 3/14-3/20)

training log 3/12-3/13


This weekend was about practice. Lighter weights, good quality movement and moderate volume. Pavel call this, greasing the groove. The more I train, the more I realized how important skill work can be in the gym. Learning or trying to master a movement is a great way to train, without having to go all out. And I am a firm believer in consistency and moderation over intensity.

Saturday 3/12

A1. power snatch x 2/95 for 10-15 minutes.

I worked on speed here. Trying to be fast under the bar and I was paying close attention to my shoulder position when receiving the bar overhead, trying to make sure I was in a good stable position.

B1. power clean + jerk x 2+1 for 10-15 minutes.

Same thing here, working on speed, being fast and explosive, but also loose and under control. Here, I worked on my first pull, or the part where you lift the weight off the ground to about knee hight. I worked on keeping my upper back and lats engaged to keep the bar close.

Sunday 3/13

My snatches felt great yesterday, and I spend the morning watching slowmo snatch videos. So, naturally, I wanted to do them again on Sunday. Light weights, did about 3-4 sets of 5 at 75 and then a few sets of 3 at 95. Working on the same things, being fast and catching in a good position.

Spend the rest of the time working on some band distracted mobilizations. Specifically hip extension and also hip flexion.



training log 3/12-3/13

What is mobility? How do we Improve it?


Mobility and flexibility often get lumped into the same thing. Many of you believe that mobility is just stretching. Here, I am going to provide a definition of each and then dive in a bit more to what we call mobilizing, which many of you probably will just call stretching, anyway.

Mobility is the ability to have non-restricted range of motion (ROM) maintaining control and proper alignment.

Flexibility is passive range of motion from a muscle, not taking into account how it is interacting with other muscles and joint stability requirements.

Improving one’s mobility, is a great way to improve performance and feel great. It can get rid of constantly tight or stiff areas and can allow you to move more freely without pain or restriction. It can improve the positions you can get into, allow you to access more strength, power and train in a safer manner. Flexibility, on the other hand, probably won’t have the same effects. That’s because improving mobility looks at the whole system, not just the tight or short muscles.

Mobility can be address by looking at the following.

Soft tissue:

We can work on soft tissue restrictions and improving the sliding surfacing of the muscles and maybe even the fascia. We do this by using techniques like rolling on softballs, lacrosse balls and other implements. Most peoples introduction to this self-massage technique is a foam roller. We also try to relive trigger points or points of stiffness or tight feeling muscles through soft tissue work, just as a massage therapist would.

Joint Mechanics:

How is the joint functioning? Looking at the joint, we ask, can it be put in a  better position during a mobility drill to improve the effectiveness of the mobilization? Doing so, can also improve the mechanics of the joint, i.e. how it rolls, slides or rotates, by mobilizing the joint capsule, which is a connective tissue surrounding the joint. You can learn more on the effectiveness of these techniques here:


The effects of caudal mobilisation with movement (MWM) and caudal self-mobilisation with movement (SMWM) in relation to restricted internal rotation in the hip: A randomised control pilot study

Nervous System:

Your nervous system can limit a range of motion because you don’t have the requisite stability to stay strong in that range. This can give a muscle or muscle group the feeling of being “tight.” I talk to these people all the time, people who have chronic “tight” hamstrings, they constantly stretch and see no improvements. This is because they aren’t addressing motor control and the nervous system.

We can work to change this protective mode by using contract/relax techniques (PNF stretching) and being aware of the position other body parts are in and what other muscles groups are doing, i.e. contracting to tell the brain you’re in control and it’s safe.

Breathing  can also improve mobility. Proper, diaphragmatic breathing while mobilizing is a must.

We cannot have a discussion about improving mobility without discussing how it is necessary to strength train. Strength training does a few things to aid in and  provide improved mobility. First, it is a good way to load, challenge and test your positional ability. Can you get into and stay in that shape when challenged with volume or load or speed? Challenging  positions is the foundation of strength training. Resistance training will also improve motor control and stability of the joints, potentially giving you more access.

By getting stronger and moving more freely, you will fell better, have less pain and be able to do more.


On March 19th, we will be hosting a free Mobility Class at GAIN. You can reserve your spot by clicking here.


What is mobility? How do we Improve it?

training log 3/11


Continuing from my theme of pushing it on Friday afternoons, I decided that it was a great day to deadlift. I was feeling good, loose, no achy or sore areas. Sometimes when training, the first rep you do of something tells you how the whole workout is going to go. That happened yesterday when I pick up 135 for the first time. I knew it was going to be a good session.

All of the warm up sets- a few sets of 10 at 135 and a few sets of 5 at 225 – I felt like pushing it a little bit with some weight. Something that I have been staying away from, especially from deadlifting. In August 2015, I had a random tweak in my back that left me out of commission for a while, so I had been sticking to very minimal deadlifting and only occasionally (once every 6-8 weeks) going over 225. The last time I went over 300 pounds was Thanksgiving.

I loaded up 315, which, by the way, is nothing special in the fitness world. A my first single few off the floor. I did another right away. Both felt good so I went for a set of 5 after a few minutes rest (all of this happened in about 30 minutes).

The five was good, solid mechanics, no breakdowns, I needed to know how many I could do. The last set that I did was 315 for 12. It was hard, and was a true test of my technique and positions. I had been working hard to get better and  do a better job of bracing my spine and testing it with some heavy, high rep deadlifts was a way to show what I have been doing is working.

As I get older in my training age, I am become much more interested in seeing if I can go for long instead of going for heavy. I chased a lot of numbers and got pretty strong. I was always hurt, too. I want to know many I can do – how strong are my positions, what are my movements like, can I breathe well under load and do I have the gas in the tank to do it.

This test doesn’t end after the last set either. I wanted to know how I would feel for the rest of the night and the next day. As I am here typing this, I feel great. I felt like a moved some weight yesterday, but no low back pain. Which, for me, is what makes the test successful.

You have to be able to test and retest, see if what you are  doing is working, or if it needs to be tweaked and modified.



training log 3/11

training log 3/8, 3/9

Tuesday 3/8

A1. 200m run

A2. deadlift x10 – 135

Did about 7 or 8 rounds of this. I felt pretty good considering it’s been a while since I’ve done any running. The point of the workout was to get some lifting in, something to focus on technique and speed, nothing super heavy and to get in some good aerobic work at the same time. I took 10 deep breaths before my deadlifts after the moderately paced run, performed the 10 reps then took about 1-2 minutes recovery.

Wednesday 3/9

Ran a 5k-ish (didn’t time or track it)

5×5 kb snatches -24kg

60 minute bike ride

Had to take advantage of the day and get outside.

training log 3/8, 3/9

Movement and Mobility Class

On Saturday, March 19th we are going to hold a free mobility class open for anyone. This hour long class will focus on several techniques to improve range of motion, open up “tight muscles” and show you how to perform general maintenance on your body.

With improved range of motion, you must also have improved control. That’s what mobility is, strength through a range of motion. For this reason, we will also address motor control and stability. Specifically, how to protect your spine and properly brace/ use your core.

When: Saturday 3/19 at 10:30am


Gain Strength and Conditioning

270 West Road UNIT 4B

Portsmouth, NH 03801

Who: Open to members and the public.

Who’s it for: Do you sit a lot and have constant stiffness? Are you not moving a fluidly as you could in the past? Are you a runner and are always getting injuries? Do you love training hard and want to perform better and recover faster? Then is is for you.

How: You will need to sign up for this free class in advance. When the sign up becomes available it will be announced on our Facebook page and through our email newsletter.



Movement and Mobility Class