Trainer Blog

Progressions in the loaded carries: improving symmetry

Carrying “odd” objects around: dragging limbs fallen from a tree, carrying water softener salt or dog food from the car to the house, lugging luggage through the airport, etc., are inevitable demands of life.   Few things are as disempowering as not having the ability to navigate those types of tasks. Here’s the great news:…
Read More

Diversify your vegetable dishes with these easy to make sauces

We hear from many of our students that once they’ve improved their nutrition habits by eating more vegetables , they (or their kids) get “bored with the same old thing” day after day.   As an extension from the recent post on veggie prep, here are a couple of ideas for livening up the palate when there aren’t…
Read More

Introducing loaded carries: the first four to try

Having grown up in a farm rich area in Southeastern Wisconsin, I can say for sure that carrying heavy things around for long periods of time will leave you a weird kind of strong.  I distinctly remember catching up with an opposing discus thrower at a track meet against one of the teams from a more…
Read More

prepare to eat more veggies

We fitness professionals approach nutrition with varying degrees of personal interest and investment.   For some of us, food is just fuel (yes, I think they’re missing out too!).  For others, it is a tool to manipulate body composition, drive performance, optimize health, etc.   For Patrick and me, food is a big part of lives.…
Read More

kale and carrot salad

Kale and carrot salad The kale and carrot salad is always a summer and fall favorite in our home.  The dressing is a mayo base with the flavors coming from fresh ginger and garlic, a little pop from the wasabi powder and peppercorns  and a nice balance of acidity and saltiness from the rice vinegar…
Read More

Troubleshooting the push up part 2: arm position

Push-ups can be one of the most effective exercises around to help “tighten up” the back of the upper arms, and the back of the armpit area.  This is one of the often cited areas that people want to improve muscle tone in by strength training.  In order to get the most out of the…
Read More

Troubleshooting the push-up part 1: the core

The push-up is one of those quintessential exercises that has probably been around since we humans had enough leisure time (or military need) to play around with strength training.  A good push up will develop upper body pushing strength, core strength, and improve posture.  Done well, the movement  develops tone in the shoulders, chest, arms,…
Read More

Troubleshooting the plank

If the plank seems to you like an exercise that is too easy to master, you’re right! We trainers think planks are great.  Almost everyone should have the ability to get into some sort of plank.  It can be elevated or even standing, but the ability to defend the position of the spine while it…
Read More

BEEF! For the week...

Beef is my favorite protein source.   For years, beef has been tossed back and forth from wonderful, nutritious staple of the national dinner table to cancer causing, heart clogging, dietary demon.   Even now, there’s still disagreement about it, and probably will be for years to come.   Lately, the debate has turned toward…
Read More

What is "neutral spine" and why it is important for you?

“Neutral spine” is one of those terms that we fitness professionals throw around pretty casually.  We refer to the concept in terms of maintaining a neutral spine position while completing a movement related to strength training or building flexibility, etc.   I have used the term recently in both the troubleshooting the deadlift post and…
Read More

Troubleshooting the Goblet Squat

The squat is the one of the two essential lower body patterns for strength exercises.  The other is the “hinge” family, of which we touch on here in Troubleshooting the Deadlift.   The squat is not only an immensely useful movement in activities of life, but is an excellent way to build a more useful…
Read More

Troubleshooting the Deadlift

Troubleshooting the Deadlift The deadlift could be argued to be one of the most valuable exercises in all of fitness.  The movement represents the safest and most efficient way to pick something up off of the floor and put it back down.    Beyond its usefulness in real life applications, the deadlift is one of the…
Read More

Setting up for nutrition success: daily food prep

Achieving success towards fitness goals is definitely a challenge.  Typically, it isn’t the 60 minutes of training that is the most challenging part.  If your goal is weight loss (or weight gain for that matter), the challenge is in the kitchen, not usually in the club!   Don’t let the challenge stop you from getting…
Read More

The Best Workout for Weight Loss When You "Don't Have Enough Time"

I’m always amazed at how many people I meet don’t have time to “work out” but want to lose weight. More often than not, it’s simply their ideas about working out for weight loss that are holding them back from making terrific progress towards their goal.  I’m here to let you know that you CAN…
Read More

an awesome way to make fall veggies

OK, so bacon is really a wonderful thing…  It makes “plain” tasting veggies very tasty.   This can, however be done without the bacon of course.   If you choose to include it, this is how I like to do it.  It leaves the flavor in every bite, and adds a nice textural element at…
Read More

Getting the most out of a workout when you can only get to the gym one time in a week

For me, this time of year happens to be filled with lots of travel.  When I am home, I want to be at home with my family so getting to the gym on a day I wouldn’t normally work is out of the question. Because things are so busy, I must make the most of…
Read More

Filter By Category

About Mark

I am a busy guy; husband, father, coach, mentor, gardener, outdoors man and cook are the primary hats I wear. To be the best of these I can be, I stay physically prepared for all those pursuits, and feed myself in a way that allows me to keep up the pace. I can help you to take the next manageable step in fitness and wellness to get you closer to your ideal self.