Upcoming ‘Hip Hinge 101’ Workshop at GAIN

I just want to fill you in on something that I am really excited for. On August 21st, we are hosting Matt Ibrahim’s and Zak Gabor’s ‘Hip Hinge 101 Workshop.’ 

Matt and I were introduced through a mutual friend whom he met at a powerlifting meet. I had been a long time follower of his on Instagram, so when he asked if they could host at GAIN, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. 


Matthew Ibrahim is a strength and conditioning coach, licensed massage therapist, physical therapy rehabilitation coach, writer, speaker, and founder of Movement Resilience, a blog geared toward enhancing the fields of human movement and athletic performance. His work has been featured in Breaking Muscle, the CrossFit Journal, Juggernaut Training Systems, Lifehacker, ReebokONE, Sports Rehab Expert, STACK, and The Personal Trainer Development Center.

In his current practice at Boston Physical Therapy & Wellness in Medford, MA, Matthew continues to focus on performance-based training and manual therapy with an emphasis on improving the health of his athletes and clients both from a strength and conditioning standpoint and soft tissue management standpoint. He is also a sports medicine provider for Clinical Athlete, a global database designed to help connect athletes and weightlifters with healthcare practitioners.

Matthew’s clients have included professional athletes (NBA, NFL, NHL), competitive Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting athletes, CrossFit athletes, competitive age-division endurance athletes (marathoners and triathletes), collegiate-level sports programs, and high school athletes.

He teaches the educational Hip Hinge 101 Workshop alongside his colleague, Dr. Zak Gabor, and has been a guest speaker at EXOS at Google Headquarters, The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, the New England Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association annual convention, Tyler English Fitness Systems, Barry’s Bootcamp, Undergraduate Exercise Physiology and Doctorate-level Physical Therapy schools, and corporate wellness programs.


If you want to reserve your spot, click here.

You can read one of Matt’s latest blog posts of Juggernaut Strength, here.

Upcoming ‘Hip Hinge 101’ Workshop at GAIN

Intern Perspective, Part II

The following is our intern, Nate’s 200-hour internship report that he had to hand into to his professor for credits. I think Nate does a really nice job here of explaining how we program, select exercises and modify to each individual trainee. -JM

Enter Nate…

Since my first 100 hours my responsibilities have not changed a tremendous amount. I am still coaching clients and taking them through their workouts. I have started writing programs for clients which is a new responsibility for me, however, I am not independently writing them. Justin and I have written programs together with me coming up with a rough draft, and then Justin and I refine it.

The biggest change in my experience at Gain at this point is seeing the progression of exercises that Justin makes with his clients, and simply seeing the progress that the clients have made in these past months. Seeing clients who first started at the beginning of my internship to be where they are now is really a profound realization because what they have gone through is completely life changing.

This has definitely reinvigorated my love for this field because the change these people go through after starting with Gain is so incredibly amazing and inspiring that you can’t help but feel good about what you do.

This internship has taught me that not everything has to be perfect, and that standards to adhere to are a waste of time because what works for one person may not work for another. And when working with the general population that realization that everyone is different and requires different and specialized attention is imperative.

One flaw I learned about this summer was that I was under the belief that everything needs to be perfect, and everything has to be a certain way whereas now I know that neither of those are true. Some movements take time and throwing a million cues at a client will cause nothing but confusion. If a client only goes halfway down on a bench who cares. Are they hurting themselves? No. Are they feeling the right muscles? Yes. Then it doesn’t matter if it is only half the range of motion; in time they will fully bench, but if it is only the first few weeks it is totally fine if it is not 100% perfect. Movement is not something that magically happens in a day, it is something that takes time and figuring out how things should feel, and how to do them without compromising any muscles or soft tissue.

The typical client at Gain is part of the general population and is 40+ years old. They typically are experiencing pain in some part of their body, and they typically have not worked out in the past 10 years. This type of clientele means that the gym has to have screenings of each client to see where their ability to move is, where they have impingement, and what issues that might have that we have to be aware of. Based off of the assessment a program can be developed that meets the needs of the client. All programs have the same basic set up in terms of three exercises per superset, typically three to four sets of each exercise, and have a warm-up and finisher. Even the movement that is being done each day for the clientele is similar such as day 1 is almost always a squat day, day 2 is a upper body day, and day 3 is a hip hinge day.

What exercises that each client does is vastly different from one another which makes the program extremely variable meaning the template that Gain uses suites most anyone. For example, someone may be doing a barbell back squat on day 1 while someone else is doing a bodyweight box squat with half range of motion. Or on day 2 someone might be barbell bench pressing while someone else is doing a dumbbell floor press. The programming has to be able to cater to the needs of the individual. We all as humans need the same fundamental movement patterns, however, we are all at different stage of mastering that pattern meaning that we have to train that pattern differently in accordance to our skill set in order to progress. If I were doing half range of motion box squats I would get very little out of the exercise because I can already do a deep squat, but for someone who is still at the foundation stage of learning a movement that half range of motion box squat is exactly what they need in order to reach that next check point so that they can keep progressing.

Because of the skill variability of our clientele the facility has to cater that meaning it needs very basic equipment, but also equipment that can handle a very progressed client. So there is dumbbells ranging from 3 to 120 pounds, there are airdyne bikes, barbells, sleds, ropes, rubber plates, boxes of varying heights, a rower, and a ton of bands. The facility is very minimalistic, but has everything it would ever need. The trick is to get creative with the exercise selection because it allows you to not have a ton of equipment, but still be able to give the client what they need in order to progress.


Intern Perspective, Part II

Lower Your Standards


I see too many people get overwhelmed by their goals. They join a gym because they want to get stronger, fitter, lose 10 pounds and are trying to eat healthier too. They are half in on a bunch of different goals, instead of being determined and focused on one.


Your plate is too big, you want to do too much and it will only lead to failure. What I’m going to convince you of here, is by having one main focus, the other things you want to accomplish will fall in to place. I want you to set your bar lower. Expect less from yourself. We all see where we want to be – 15 pounds lighter, stronger, faster, you name it. We all have these goals, and we want to set out and do a total overhaul.


The overhaul method, hardly ever works. Remember, you’re a person, you have a full-time job, spouse, kids, hobbies, and you probably like to sleep and eat, too. That’s a lot! We are all busy, our health gets neglected until we decide that we have crossed the line too and become “unhealthy.”


Instead of trying to do a total life overhaul, I want you to pick one thing. One simple thing that you can do each day that will help you achieve all of your desires.


Let’s say you want to clean up your diet. Right now, there is no semblance of a diet. You grab whatever for breakfast on the way to work, head out with your co-workers at lunch and go out for dinner or take out most nights. Since you know you’re slipping on your health, you also want to workout 3 times per week, run twice a week and quit drinking.


Instead of going cold turkey on all your eating habits. Start with one meal. Commit to eating a better lunch every day. Pack it ahead of time or in the morning before work or commit to cooking breakfast at home each morning. Once you master that, you can add another habit. I like to see 10 days- 14 days before adding another habit. Let’s say you nail it with cooking breakfast each morning. Now, you can tackle your work out goal.


If you want to train 3 times per week. Make your goal to train twice per week. This will increase your adherence to the habit because it is easier to manage. It’s less overwhelming and if you get 3 workouts in each week, you’re going to be thrilled with your commitment and progress.


Setting the bar lower prevents you from beating yourself up over something. If you take a big piece of the pie and want to work out 5 times per week, as soon as you miss one, you’re failing. Life is crazy though, of course you are going to miss one! Set the bar lower and buy yourself some buffer space for when life gets in the way.


For the past 2 years I have been trying to develop a meditation practice. I get hot streaks when I comply every day and then there’s times that I can’t seem to get motivated. I started out using a 10-minute, guided meditation. It was helpful and I enjoyed doing it and sensed the benefits after a month or so of practice. But, 10 minutes was too long. I started coming up with excuses each morning and would reach for my phone to scroll through Instagram instead. Right now, I’m on my longest streak of daily meditation. I was finally able to commit to a long term practice by lowering my expectations. Instead of 10 minutes in the morning, I shoot for 5. Now I’m up to 7 minutes after about 8 weeks.


It is no coincidence that my workouts have been better in the past 8 weeks. I have more energy, I’m more focused during them and actually look forward to it. I know that it is because I’m taking a few minutes in the morning to set the tone for the day. Focusing on one thing, consistently, leads to other good things happening.


By expecting less from myself, I was able to do more. Take a look at your goals. Are the realistic? Or are they just a list that you wish would magically happen? Try to find where you can expect less from yourself to increase your compliance.



Lower Your Standards