About Personal Training

click for sample Personal Fitness Plan [9 pages, PDF]

You can join me for 30-minute or 60-minute training sessions, which are offered many times throughout the week. See the schedule and then contact me to set up a time. I also offer a 4-week “mesocycle” regimen, which includes assessment, cueing, and supervised training. When you sign up for a training cycle, I’ll prepare a detailed, custom training plan for you. I also offer drop-in bootcamps Monday and Friday 9-10AM; Wednesdays at 8:30-9:30AM; and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 6-7PM but please do let me know you’re coming.

Before we start training, you will be asked to fill out a client information form, a waiver, and a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire. You can download them here.

Now I will discuss the three types of training: Power, Hypertrophy, and Endurance. Each one of these styles has a different use and purpose.

Power Training

Power Training is not widely used in personal fitness, in general, but still worth describing. You’ve seen on TV those “Power Man” competitions, or heard the term “one rep max”? Well, that’s where you get into Power Training. The main purpose of Power Training is to create a powerful explosion of technique for a small amount of time. Power = Strength + Speed. You will see it a lot with various types of sports training. To condition Power in Weight training you want do minimal repetitions — 1-6 reps — and maximize weight and rest time. A lot of people don’t really comprehend the purpose of going to the gym and just pushing that one rep with all those plates and all those people standing around them. If you know what you’re doing there is actually a purpose of doing that. The idea of a One-Rep-Max is that you are not working on muscular conditioning and simply maximizing the contraction of fast twitch muscle fibers. Also, you want to allow for more than sufficient rest time. Power takes the most energy of all styles of Strength Training so time is the best way to recover. You do want to recover and be smart about the amount of rest time you want to give yourself because rest is one of the most important factors in preventing injury.

“Fitness plans” (see more videos)

Plyometrics – also known as “jump training” or “plyos”, is one style of sport-related Power training. Plyometrics are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength). This training focuses on moving a muscle from extension to contraction in a rapid “explosive” manner, such as in specialized repeated jumping. Plyometrics are primarily used by athletes such as martial artists, sprinters, and high jumpers, to improve performance; they are used in the fitness field to a much lesser degree.


This is the most common style of training out there. But, does anyone know what it actually means? Do you know why you do this kind of training? This is actually the most practical style because it’s the Bodybuilding style. This is your rep range of 8-12 Bodybuilders are the most jacked because they use Hypertrophy training. What Hypertrophy means is you are actually creating micro-tears in the fibers and as they repair with amino acids or protein, they actually grow bigger. Bodybuilders are not usually the strongest people. I actually know bodybuilder that cannot lift as much as me in certain areas. The reason is they don’t care how much they can lift, but their size and physique. This works for what they want.

This is the “go-to” strategy for working out. The reason for this is it not only builds muscle, but used with light weights it also focuses on muscle definition. If you think of Fitness Models, or the more common Bikini Models, you’ll see the result of that in this style as well. The idea is the exact same, except more sets and less weight. It will still have the same effects of the muscle tears but not as much, and you want to consume a slightly less amount of protein than bodybuilders. Don’t be afraid of muscle mass either, because actually the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will work and the more calories you will burn, the more fat you will burn.


The last type of training a person can do is endurance training. This can be used with the most basic of workout plans, as well as implemented in advanced (see sample training plan). The reason you would do this with beginners is because you want the clients to “get used to” the movements you are working with. As they say the more you do something the better you will become at doing it. The basic strategy when doing this as a beginner is doing 12-15 repetitions, with super light weight. Now, its purpose is very introductory: you want to be able to activate your aerobic capacity. With minimal rest time you are basically pushing limits slowly in your body to adjust to general exercise. It is very different working a physical job even. Just because you lift things all day, doesn’t mean you’re a pro. Even if it was someone who worked in a machine shop or on a construction site for example, but hasn’t worked out in years, I would start them off at a beginner level. They may be strong, but unless they are trying to go for power man competitions; which also requires various movements to be endurance based; they aren’t going to be able to do a full hour of proper training. How many construction workers do you see running at least 15 minutes straight every day? (This is just an example, I’m sure there are many construction workers that actually do train.)

The next way of using endurance training is as an “advanced,” also known as Endurance Plus. This is where you are doing 20+ reps with exercise. This is actually a very good fat burning technique as well. The reason is you need to consistently engage multiple muscle for over a period of time. By doing this, you are forcing your body to burn more calories, because now your heart rate is no longer at a resting level. It’s in fact increasing, as if you would be doing low-paced cardio.

The last kind of style is called Calisthenics. This is also an advanced form of endurance training. What it basically is, is body weight training. For this style you need lots of core strength. People who can flag-pole are examples of doing calisthenics. The best time to start Calisthenics is at the beginner level. The reason for that is because exercises such as Push-ups, Sit-ups and Squats are all examples of it, and those are beginner level exercises. Then you can progress and turn them into exercises like Squat to Squat Jump to Box Jump, which is a sports related progression. Or change up the squat and start adding weight. Above all, though, when it comes to training never let your body get used to anything in the end. Never settle, always push yourself harder.

One of the most important parts of training that is preached a lot with strength and conditioning, is proper technique. It is so very important! One thing that makes me cringe when I go to a gym setting are those that do not pay attention to their form. For example, people who do deadlifts and round their back. Another one is people that do Lat Pulldown and do it behind their head. It really is so terrible. When working out you want to be careful and always keep you spine in complete line. This is called “Neutral spine.” To get Neutral spine, you want to elevate your shoulders, retract (or push your shoulders back), then finally bring your shoulders back down. There are so many injuries out there because of improper lifting technique. Lower back injuries is the most common. NEVER BEND AT THE BACK! Neck injuries, shoulder injuries, knee injuries are all examples of training related injuries. You’d be surprised (or not) how often people have poor technique. Another key to lifting is to always engage your core. Don’t be too lose, but still be relaxed. Engaging your core does not mean suck in your gut, or flex your gut either. It simply means keep it relaxed but working.

Other parts of training that are super important as well are your warm-up, cardio-respiratory, and flexibility.

Warm-Up, and Cardiorespiratory Training

The core of fitness is cardiorespiratory training, or cardio for short. This part of the training process is essential to the program for various reasons. It helps to moderate blood pressure and can lower your resting heart rate. Like a machine, the harder your heart has to work the faster it will burn out. Cardio burns calories as well. Depending on the style of training you want, it can be anything from burning carbs by sprinting, to oxidization (fat burning) by long distance jogging or walking. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced athlete, there is always a form of cardio that’s best for you.

There are rules to how to best train your heart muscle. If you are a beginner, you want to run at a higher percentile for carb burning and very low for fat burning. As a beginner (like, someone who hasn’t trained in years) you shouldn’t exceed 65% of your Heart Rate Reserve. For an experienced fitness buff it’s generally 80-90% of Heart Rate Reserve. And how do you know what beats-per-minute you should be aiming for? This is where you need a trainer! There is an equation that many trainers will use to find out what you should be exercising at. Pushing too hard can cause dizziness and disorientation, even fainting. Having a personal trainer is important: you need to train smart. Pushing yourself is great, but only if you know what you are doing.

There are many benefits to cardiovascular training, including that it can prevent heart disease or even diabetes. Many people live a sedentary lifestyle: they sit around much of the time, exercise little, and eat poorly. This puts a lot of strain on the body, especially the heart! Your heart is a very powerful muscle, but like anything that is organic, it will eventually fail. So the question is, do you want it to fail now under stress, or be relaxed now and fail much later, after you’ve lived a long full life?

Another benefit is, cardio can really get you focused. This is why warming up is so important — this part of training is mandatory, not optional! Here in the Northern hemisphere we tend to get more cold weather, which in itself requires warm up. But even when it’s hot out you need to warm up your body, because there is huge difference in “being warm” vs. “warming up.” Warmups are low intensity; the general rule is that you want to do 40-60% heart rate reserve. Also, you only need to warm up for 10% of your total workout. So in a 60 minute workout, your warm-up is only going to be 6 minutes. This is especially important when you get into flexibility.

Flexibility Training

There are many types of flexibility training. One is called dynamic stretching, or stretching + movement, using the inertia of a moving limb to increase stretch. Dynamic stretching can be used for warm ups in athletic and sport specific training. You focus on increasing the range of motion on one or more muscle groups, as opposed to just specifically focusing on the simple lengthening of a single muscle. But this can be a dangerous style if one does not know how to execute it properly, and is best for trained athletes. Beginners who try to warm up with this kind of stretching might injure ligaments and tendons.

The much safer form of stretching is called “static.” Muscles are like taffy, in that if you stretch while “cold” is like stretching a hard piece of candy. If you stretch cold hard candy it’ll break. But if you put taffy in the microwave and you warm it up first it can stretch for miles! That’s like how your muscles function. Static stretching, like what you do in yoga, is an easy and more natural way of letting your body be able to stretch. You hold a stretch for a minimum of 20 seconds, allowing enough time for your body to relax and adapt to the stretch. Again, you need to warm up before you stretch like this, which is why “hot yoga” is popular.

“Fitness lifestyle” (see more videos)

Like warming up, stretching is another mandatory part of training. The more flexible you are the less likely you are to injure yourself. Focusing on the muscles you work while you exercise is really all you need to stretch out. Remembering to stretch can be a challenge, but don’t skip it! Make it part of your lifestyle. It takes approximately 21 days to make or break a habit — and that’s all there is to it.

Fitness as a Lifestyle

Above everything else, Fitness is a lifestyle, but you need to want to live the lifestyle. It fits into what the Japanese samurai called bushido (see my page about bushido). It takes discipline, dedication, and passion. It doesn’t matter where you are in life. But, if you want the life, do it now and work hard at it! This also directly relates to Martial Arts, as it in itself is a life style. All it ever will be is living your life to your fullest potential, to feel great every day of your life. You are a person, just like every other human — the golden rule of life is to treat others the way you want to be treated, and that also goes for yourself. If you treat your body poorly, you will feel bad. But you can’t just go to the gym and expect you to have a beach body, because it’s also about how you eat and how you live. The ratio is 20% of what you do in the gym and 80% what you do outside the gym, this is how you take care of your body on a daily basis.