Why We Love the Goblet Squat

The goblet squat is a Gain staple for many reasons. Its easy to learn and extremely effective.

To perform:

Hold a kettlebell by the handles under your chin (like you were drinking from a goblet), keep your elbows tucked, then descent into your squat. Keep the kettlebell close to your body throughout the entire movement.

The goblet squat helps develop lower body and core strength, while improving posture and mobility. Holding the weight in front of your body challenges your postural muscles without placing stress on the spine. Making it a safe choice for those with lower back pain.

It doesn’t require extensive equipment and the amount of weight needed is easily controlled – making it a good choice for beginners. A well executed goblet squat has many transferable skills.

Whether you have experience in the gym or are just starting out, the goblet squat can help everybody move a little bit better.

Taylor Reuillard

@tailored_strength

Why We Love the Goblet Squat

What Defines A Good Workout?

Oftentimes, the answer involves intensity. The harder the workout the better; lifting big heavy weights, getting out of breath, and pushing yourself to the limit (sometimes past it). The fitness industry has developed an “all or nothing” attitude which leads people to believe that as long as they’re giving it their all, that’s all that matters.

Working hard and challenging yourself is important, but it should be at a level that is appropriate for you. Training frequently at a high intensity can lead to extreme muscle soreness, mental and physical burnout, and potential injury.

A “good” workout should be sustainable; It shouldn’t leave you sore 3 or 4 days after. It shouldn’t affect your ability to perform daily activities, in fact, it should do the opposite; It should make you feel better. Of course there will be some initial soreness when learning new movements or getting back in the gym after some time off, but easing into things will make your experience much more pleasant. There is no rush in your fitness journey. Pushing yourself too hard too fast will force you to take time off, leaving you in a constant cycle of starting and stopping something.

Consistent, moderate effort will allow you to train more frequently. It will help you understand your body better and know when it’s appropriate to push it a little harder and when to back off. Intensity is important because it causes change and promotes adaptation; its just not appropriate at high levels all the time.

Your approach to your health should be long term. Being constantly sore or injured from training will prevent you from being consistent. Prioritizing consistency over intensity will result in sustainable, long term progress.

Taylor Reuillard

@tailored_strength

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What Defines A Good Workout?

Why Strength Training 101?

We continue to offer this class and many people often ask us, why? It’s because we’ve had so much success with training people over 50 and many of them were intimidated and unsure what strength and conditioning was. They were nervous about potential injuries and hated going to “gyms.”

Strength training can be scary. It’s often associated with big weights and bulky muscles. That doesn’t have to be the case. At GAIN, we think getting stronger is important for life. It’s important for confidence, independence and resilience.

Why have we had so much success training this population?

There’s no ego here. You don’t have to do anything you aren’t comfortable with or ready for. We meet you where you’re at and guide you along in a noncompetitive environment. Working out isn’t about who is the best, it’s about developing yourself and that’s what we teach. Reasonable, sustainable and individualized fitness.

After seeing the success our clients were having after 2 years, it was a no brainer to create a 4-week introductory course. We go over the basics of warming up, creating tension and stability while moving, teach our fundamental movement patterns, mobility work, interval based conditioning and cool down.

After the 4 weeks you’ll have the confidence to add what you learned into your current training plan or you can progress by starting a customized program at GAIN. We all know that strength training is good for our bones, muscles, brains and our overall well-being. You don’t know stress relief until you’ve slammed a medicine ball into the ground!

Our bodies are complex. Figuring out how to train properly is no easy task. Instead of risking injury by doing it on your own, let us help guide the way in a sustainable way.

You can find out more about Strength Training 101and the GAIN community by emailing or calling Justin at 603-686-6002 or Justin@gainsc.com

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Why Strength Training 101?

Fitness as a skill

I have been thinking a lot about the best way to teach people lifelong fitness pursuits. Strength and conditioning is more than just getting someone sweaty, tired and sore. If you’re a member of Gain, you know that we think training is way more than just that.

Should you get sweaty and tired? Of course, that’s mandatory. But, if that’s all you care about, there’s a lot more to it than you think. Do you need goals to hit? Absolutely, but don’t forget about the process to get there and what you learn along the way.

Your focus on fitness should be process oriented, not just results oriented. We need to focus on skills, not only outcomes. What can you do now that you couldn’t do before? What is easy now that was impossible before?

Strength and conditioning practice is just as much about learning new things as it is getting results. This skill-based approach will yield better results. You can focus on how much you have learned, how many new skills you own (movements and exercises)  and how different you feel.

Adding skills and techniques on top of what you’ve learned before makes exercise more rewarding. It’s also a more sustainable approach that can enhance your life in other ways.  Learning how to do new things is just as important for your body (and mind) as getting tired and sweaty. This lifestyle component, the part where what you do in the gym positively effects everything else – is the bread and butter of our program at Gain. Learning new exercises to challenge yourself or learning how to crawl backwards, no matter how awkward it is, helps you learn something new and will lead to more fluid movement in everything else.

Outcomes are important. And there is a time and a place to be focused on them. There is much more to strength and conditioning though, and that is the process. Putting in the time, developing skills and staying focused on your process and progression. This is just as important as the goal. IMG_2952

Fitness as a skill

Defining a Great Workout During the Holiday Season

How do you know when you had a great workout? Most of us associate with heavy breathing sweaty clothes and accomplishing all of the tasks for the day. What I want you to think about though is a great workout that doesn’t end with drops of sweat pouring off your face. That isn’t always necessary for workout success.

Dedicating an hour to moving each and every day is so important to living a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle. Many of you are coming up on a one year anniversary here. Many more are on two years and some even three!

That’s Consistency. You need that to be successful in anything. Long-term Gainers will vouch – not all of your workouts ended in a puddle of sweat. More than a fair share did and it is important to push it at the right time. But out of the 150 some odd training sessions you had this year, there was a fair share of them that we needed to pull it back, and define the workout as successful in other ways than just breathing hard. There’s days that you’re tired, didn’t get enough sleep, you traveled over the weekend, or maybe it’s just an off day and your mind is on other things.

You can still have a great workout by moving well.

Maybe you’re coming off a cold and you have been laying on the couch for a few days. Doing some easy squats to open up your hips and some inverted rows to get your shoulder blades and upper back moving can be just as valuable as heavy breathing.

Sometimes that’s just what your body needs. So how can you define a great workout – how do you feel after. Not just your mood, we all know that’s going to get better. How does your body feel? Did you have some tightness in the hips or around the knees before you started moving? Has your shoulder range of motion improved? Did you feed your body functional full range of motion movement that it craves? Yes or no.

You see, if you did this, if you took the time to move and to do it efficiently and correctly, you had a great workout. To have a full, all encompassing strength and conditioning program, you need to sweat a lot, breathe heavy and move some weight around. Moving properly though, is part of the package and taking the time to practice that means you had a great workout.

When your slammed for time this holiday season, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can’t get great training sessions. Maybe you were out late last night at a party and those heavy deadlifts are definitely out of the questions today – but coming in to take the time to feed your body movement will help you so much in the long run. It doesn’t always have to be heavy and hard, just consistent.

Defining a Great Workout During the Holiday Season

Single Leg Training – Why it’s important

We try to get at least one single leg exercise into everyone’s program each day. This is an important part of our program – something that builds strength, improves mobility, reinforces good movement and carries over to everyday life.  In sports and in life, a lot of moving (producing and applying force) occurs with predominantly with one side being loaded more than the other. That’s why it is a staple in our strength and conditioning programs.

Just like we view the squat as an essential movement pattern that everyone should strive for, the ability to make this shape on one leg is equally important. These shapes are movements like step ups, lunge variations, split squat and single leg squat variations as well. The same logic applies to the hip hinge, the deadlift shape.

 

 The benefits of single leg training:

More stability. Standing on one leg requires you to create more stability in the body, to resist rotation caused losing a point of contact with the ground. Stabilizing and not allowing your knee to cave in or your foot to turn is the same skill as screwing your feet into the ground when squatting. Without this, you won’t be able to do the exercise effectively.

 

Progressions. There are hundreds of different ways to make a single leg exercise more difficult, allowing for endless refinement of the skill. We can start out with a shortened range of motion, like a low box step up, then progress to a higher box, then add external load, from there you can off-set the load, increase the range of motion even more and so on. With so many different variations, there is always an appropriate exercise to find.

 

Easy to learn. For some people, especially those with back issues, single leg loading can be a more approachable movement. It can allow those with restrictions to get into some deeper ranges of motion early on in training too.

 

Hips! Since one hip is going into flexion while the other one is in extension, you’re getting a unique effect on your body that you don’t get when squatting or deadlifting, when those actions happen at the same time. You can imagine walking – one leg steps in front while the other pulls back.

 

Transfer. It has to transfer, or what’s the point? Single leg exercises are great to build strength, improve mobility and work on balance and stability. All of these things makes for a great exercise that can transfer to other movements in the gym.

We see these shapes outside the gym, so why not practice them? It will make you move and perform better.

 

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Single Leg Training – Why it’s important

Whole 30 – Day 10 – Habit Analysis

Here we are, 10 days into the Whole 30. At this point, the newness of it is wearing down. We’re all starting to get into a routine, cooking more, eating more veggies – it all feels normal now. Hopefully you’re passed the Kill All the Things and headache/hangover phase, too. Now, that we freed up some space in our brain, it’s important to analyze our cravings, habits and routines we have around food.

What makes you want to cheat? What places/habits/routines get you into trouble? Here are a couple examples I’ve noticed in myself.

 

  1. Afternoon boredom

On some days I end up with this awkward time gap between coaching and I’ve got 45 minutes to kill before the evening crowd starts funneling in. When this happens, I convince myself that I need a snack. Without the break, I wouldn’t think about food at all. But that gap makes me want to shoot over to Cumberland Farms for some candy or trail mix (which, let’s be honest, is just candy).

Instead of just trying to fight off my craving, because, it’s not a craving, it’s a habit – I’ve trained myself that I need some food or a break or something to fill that void. I’ve been making sure to take Clem for a walk during this time or work on some mobility or make some phone calls. You can’t out will your habits, you need to replace them with better habits. (I highly recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg if this sounds interesting.)

 

  1. Certain places trigger you

I’ve told some of you about my Diet Coke habit. I don’t drink it often, but I almost always drink it at my parent’s house. Why? Because I always have! It started out as a treat, “Yes! Diet Coke sounds great, I never have it!” Fast forward a few years later and I was having one every time I visited. This lead to eating pretzels while I’m there, because guess what, pretzels and Diet Coke pair together like a rib eye and a Malbec.

I’ve only visited once since starting the Whole 30, but the plan is stick to water, (thanks for stocking my favorite seltzer, mom), and to not raid the pantry like I normally do. I think that means I’m growing up.

 

  1. Friday/Saturday Night Planning

We always grocery shop on Sunday. That means, on Friday or Saturday night, dinner options are typically sparse. We’re good about eating leftovers and using what’s in the fridge, but that can get boring, especially when you’ve been eating the same thing all week. This means a spontaneous trip to the store to get something for dinner or instead, buying some chips and salsa to inhale or ready to eat BBQ wings from Market Basket.

During the week, we stick to a menu. I create the menu on Sunday and stay rigid to it all week. I never planned Friday night or Saturday night. The lack of a plan, however, always leads to eating something undesirable, or less than optimal for me.

 

Now, I’m planning out the Friday night meal ahead of time. Sure, that still means another trip to the store, but I go in with a plan or recipe instead of grabbing what I desire.

 

Those are the big things that I have taken away from these first 10 days. I knew about them of course, but until dialing everything in for the Whole 30, I didn’t pay enough attention to how these small habits and routines effect my day.

 

What sort of habits are you noticing for yourself? Are there any routines you have that trigger certain cravings? What are you going to do to keep yourself successful post Whole 30? I know 20 days seems like it’s so far off, but it’s going to be here before we know it!

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Whole 30 – Day 10 – Habit Analysis