About Me

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Huntersville, NC, United States
I have been a fitness enthusiast and athletic competitor my entire life. Studying and practicing ways to improve athletic performance has been a life-long passion for me. I have trained with kettlebells for over 3 years and have completed multiple CrossFit kettlebell certifications. In addition to kettlebells, I use olympic weights, sleds, sandbags, TRX suspension, medicine balls, plyo boxes, pull up bars, rings, dip stations and various other tools to optimize training effectiveness. I am well qualified to share my knowledge and experience to help other people achieve their fitness and athletic performance goals.

November 21, 2011

Mud Run Training

Muddy obstacle course races are popping up eveywhere.  Completing these races can be quite a physical challenge.  Executing these courses requires endurance, overall body strength, hand strength and mental toughness.  Mud runs typically require climbing over tall walls and cargo nets, crawling through mud, traversing monkey bars & hanging ropes, walking across very narrow beams or cables, running through creeks, swimming through muddy water, flipping tires and carrying team members.  All these obstacles are included in a running distance typically 3 - 12 miles long.

I've had the pleasure of training a group of mud runners for over 18 months.  These individuals come from a variety of athletic (swimmers, bikers, marathoners, tri-athletes) and non-athletic backgrounds.

Very nice testimonial from Amy Saunders...

 "I was a high school and college athlete and have competed in distance running over the last 20 years. Since working out with Scott over the last 18 months, I have seen a dramatic change in my strength and conditioning. I ran a PR in the Philadelphia Half Marathon and competed in five obstacle/mud runs during that time. Scott has helped me develop upper body and core strength that I was never able to achieve on my own. My functional level of fitness is at a new level. Scott does a great job of capitalizing on strengths and growing weaknesses into assets. The team work of his training cannot be overemphasized and translates into all areas of life." Amy Saunders, Huntersville, NC (age 43)

Very nice testimonial from Bert Ferraro...

Scott helped get our crew in tip top shape. We originally sought out Scott's help when we were looking to trAin for the USMC Mud Run in September 2010. We knew he trained high school athletes and were interested in his techniques. Scott took a keen interest in our endeavors and took it upon himself to become familiar with mud running. He researched, watched videos and even accompanied us to a "trial" run at the course before race day. By doing this, he was able to fine tune our training to prepare us to do our best at the race. He developed specific exercises in anticipation of the obstacles. Our group has been training with him for a year and a half and we all consider ourselves in the best shape of our lives. Specifically, he has helped me on my weakest areas- core and arms- and encouraged me to use my natural strength of agility to develop my overall fitness level. At 45 years old, it is great to be excited about competing in races, thanks to Scott.

I got so excited about mud runs while training this group, I decided to hit the mud run circuit with them.


What a great way to spend quality time with your daughter...



April 19, 2011

Mark Long Wins Another Pro Golf Tournament

Congratulations Mark!


In addition to consistently working hard on all aspects of his golf game, Mark understands how vitally important it is to be in the best physical condition possible.  Mark currently trains 5 - 6 days per week.  He uses circuit training to efficiently improve strength and endurance.  Mark does a variety of movements involving kettlebells, sandbags, plyo boxes, TRX suspension system and his own body weight.  Mark will tell you that his conditioning regimen allows him to practice longer and with better focus while doing so.  In Mark's recent tournament win he birdied 15, 17 & 18.  Mark's conditioning allowed him to maintain focus without having to deal with fatigue. 



April 12, 2011

Strength Training Summit - Columbus, OH

The following represent some of my key takeaway's from the summit...
For optimum sports performance you must improve both physiological AND psychological
Focus on Dynamic Correspondence.  How well does the training effect performance on the court, field, etc.
Many top basketball dunkers never perform squats.  Their focus in on movement efficiency.
2 types of Jumpers.  Quad Dominant (rely on power) & Hip Extender (elastic reactive).  Optimize the jumpers preference first, then improve overall jumping efficiency.
Focus on Dampening Efficiency.  Minimize ground contact time.  How well we land determines how well we take off.
Sport Functional Strength is a culmination of biomechanical efficiency & neuromuscular efficiency
Power Continuum (very few sports fall into one category):
·         Speed: ability to achieve a very high velocity of an unloaded or lightly loaded limb (tennis, golf, kicking, punching, throwing a ball)
·         Speed – Strength: ability to accelerate the body and achieve a high velocity in a horizontal fashion unencumbered by opponents (sprinting, speed skating)
·         Explosive Power: ability to generate power in a vertical direction (jumping)
·         Strength – Speed: ability to move a heavier implement or opponent (wrestling, football line play, shot put)
·         Strength: movement against maximum or near maximum resistance (power lifting, Olympic lifting)

When testing vertical jump, test max and static.  Ideally, there will be greater than 15% difference in the two.  Less than 15% difference shows that eccentric strength is inadequate.

Plyometric Objectives:
·         Increase concentric power production capability
·         Develop eccentric strength needed to tolerate extreme power absorption
·         Develop reactive strength needed to rapidly recoil subsequent action
Most athletes train only the “taking off” or concentric movement.  You must improve your ability to absorb shock.  Without this training the athlete won’t be able to change direction quickly, because they can’t stabilize the negative forces.
·         Perform Depth Jumps
·         Perform Altitude Drops
Don’t use agility like cardio.  Agility should be treated like weight training reps.  Include adequate rest so max effort is able to be exerted.  Do plyo work before agility work
In Season training is important.  Use high intensity, but low volume.
Quickness is determined by reactive ability.  This takes strength & stability.
Speed / Power training should be done at 90% effort.  Rest between sets should be > 3 minutes.  Don’t succumb to parents who expect you to kick their kid’s butts.  Often times parents think that making kids sore and on the verge of puking every workout is what they are paying for.  Fact is, they should be paying you to improve athletic performance. 
Don’t mix metabolic training with speed & power.  You want to stimulate the athlete, not annihilate the athlete.  Ideally, training should not induce soreness.

December 29, 2010

Random Training Thoughts...


I feel sorry for the people running down the sidewalk of my neighborhood looking miserable.  A well structured resistance training program would help them lose more weight, improve their functional strength, reduce their time investment and in most cases be a whole lot more fun.  Oh…and make them much less likely to get injured.
I want to puke when I see personal trainers having overweight and out-of-shape people doing tricep press downs, dumbbell curls, leg extensions and other stupid isolated movements.  This incompetency should be grounds for Federal incarceration.
Your primary movements should be some form of overhead / horizontal press, lunge, squat, deadlift, step-up and pull-up.  Doesn’t matter what tool you use…bodyweight, Olympic bar, kettlebell, sandbag, dumbbell, TRX Suspension System or cinder block.  After you do these movements justice and want to add some other cute movements, go for it. 
Let’s face it, you have to work hard to get results.  Intensity separates progress from stagnation.  It’s better to push hard through a marginal program v. loaf through a well designed program.
If fitness or athletic performance is truly a priority, don’t let minor obstacles (traveling, poor sleep, work / school stress, runny nose, sore throat, etc.) get in the way of you sticking to your plan.

If you are an athlete or someone wanting to improve your athletic performance focus on the "non-mirror" muscles.  These are the muscles visible when running away from someone. 
If you really want to make dramatic strides in your bodyweight management plan you have to control your eating.  Plan your meals and rarely deviate.  Eat 5 – 6 small meals each day, write down what you eat and invest in Tupperware.  Eating clean requires planning.  You can’t wing this. 
Being competitive is a good thing.  Being stupid is a bad thing.  Stupid lifters are usually trying to lift more than they are capable of using with correct form and a full range of movement.  Examples are the ¼ squat dudes claiming they squat 450, but can’t do 275 parallel; or the 315 bouncing, hip thrusting bencher who can’t do 225 strict.  Do yourself a favor.  Lift the weight under control using the full range of motion and tell your stupid lifting mates to do the same.  
Do not jump on the latest fitness trend or gadget.  Pick a program you like and stick to it for at least 90 days.  Reading Men’s Health or Muscle & Fitness can be a real detriment to sustained progress.

If you are serious about getting stronger and considering joing a gym, ask if they allow chalk.  If the answer in NO, search for another gym.  This gym will be full of people sitting on machines watching ESPN between sets, doing endless variations of bicep curls and standing on Bosu balls. 

September 19, 2010

Sled Training - Safe, Effective & Humbling

Want to punish someone just for fun?  Know someone who is really cocky and thinks they forgot more about training intensely than you will ever know?  Better yet, if they have heard about sled training and think it a joke.  Please send them to me, they will be calling for their mommy to save them in less than 15 minutes.

As a personal trainer and strength coach, I'm always looking for effective ways to train individuals and groups safely.  If everyone who trains with me had great flexibility, joint mobility, no muscle imbalances, symmetrical hips, equal leg lengths, no previous injuries, and the ability to grasp technical movements quickly, I could spend more time on Olympic and Power lifts.

When I train people 1:1 for an extended period of time, I can assess their individual needs and work through a systematic progression until they master even the most difficult movements.  Fact is, I am frequently presented with training groups of people.  These groups typically have a huge range of experience and athleticism.  So, how can I structure the workouts so they are safe, yet very EFFECTIVE?

I use sandbags, kettlebells, battling ropes, hex bars, etc., but one of my favorite new tools is sleds.  Sled training will work the heck out of your hips and legs.  It will also provide incredible metabolic conditioning.  Sleds are appropriate for everyone.  If you train with me be prepared to push, pull and drag sleds in the cul-de-sac across from my gym (aka garage). 

Check out my Sled Fleet below...

May 4, 2010

Strength Training For Athletes

If you train with me you can expect to become proficient at the following movements.

March 15, 2010

ACE Study - Benefits of Kettlebell Training

Recent study conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) regarding the benefits of Kettlebell training.

Below are some comments from the article. I have also included a link to the entire article. This was a very scientific study and a huge testimony regarding the incredible benefits of Kettlebell training.

To analyze the energy cost and exercise intensity of kettlebell workouts, ACE enlisted the help of the research experts at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse Exercise and Health Program. The team, led by John Porcari, Ph.D., and Chad Schnettler, M.S., recruited 10 volunteers, male and female, ages 29 to 46 years, all of whom were experienced in kettlebell training. “They [kettlebell enthusiasts] make these all-encompassing claims about increasing your muscular strength, endurance and aerobic capacity with kettlebells, like, if you do this, that’s all you need to do,” says Porcari. “So we wanted to look and see how much of an aerobic workout you really do get and how many calories you really burn.”

During the 20-minute workout, the average calorie burn was 272 calories, not counting additional calorie burn due to the substantial anaerobic effort. “We estimated oxygen consumption and how many calories they were burning aerobically, and it was 13.6 calories per minute. But we also measured the blood lactate, so anaerobically they were burning another 6.6 calories per minute,” explains Porcari. “So they were burning at least 20.2 calories per minute, which is off the charts. That’s equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace. The only other thing I could find that burns that many calories is crosscountry skiing up hill at a fast pace.”

As our ACE-sponsored research demonstrates, kettlebells can offer a highly effective workout. In addition to boosting your strength and cardiovascular fitness, it is likely you’ll also increase your balance and flexibility, too. And since kettlebell training is so efficient, you may be able to get better results while spending less time in the gym.

The Bottom Line

Kettlebells can provide one heck of a workout. Based on comparisons with data from previous research on standard weight training, the HR and V•O2 responses during the kettlebell snatch routine suggest it provides a much higher-intensity workout than standard weight-training routines. Furthermore, the kettlebell snatch workout easily meets industry recommendations for improving aerobic capacity. “This is good news for people who are looking for a very good resistance-training workout that will also help them lose weight,” says Schnettler. “For people who might not have a lot of time, and need to get in a good workout as quickly as possible, kettlebells definitely provide that.”

Link to the entire ACE http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/research.aspx

December 28, 2009

Use Multiple Tools To Achieve Optimum Results

I love kettlebells.  In fact, I love them so much I pursued a training certification and started a personal training business around their use.  If you pressed me to pick one piece of training equipment, kettlebells would be my #1 choice.  My personal experience and the people I have introduced to kettlebells would testify that they are an awesome training tool and the results speak for themselves.  If you want to lose weight, increase muscular strength, improve overall body movement and flexibility, then kettlebells are perfect for you.  Kettlebells fit perfectly with the "functional fitness" concept.

If you are a competitive athlete, there are other tools that should be added into your regimine to optimize results.  To be a complete athlete you need to be able to run, jump, twist, push, pull, squat and lunge. 




If you train with me, I will frequently have you use the following tools...

Kettlebells
  • Explosive Movements...swings, cleans, snatches
  • Strength Movements...presses, Turkish Get Ups, squats, walking / tactical lunges, overhear / rack / farmers walks, renegade rows
  • Metabolic Conditioning...swings, deck squats, snatches, thrusters
Olympic Weights
  • Power Movements...deadlifts, power cleans, power high pulls, squats
Sandbags
  • Rotational & Core strength...rotational lift to platform
  • Explosive Movements...overhead throws
  • Hip & Leg Strength...Zercher lunges, squats & walks
Medicine Balls (Dynamax)
  • Explosive Strength...miscellaneous vertical, horizontal and rotational throws, wall balls / thrusters
Plyo Box
  • Leg / Hip Strength & Jumping Ability...speed jumps, weighted step ups, box squats
  • Altitude Drops, Depth Drops to improve eccentric response time
TRX Suspension
  • Pushing & Core Strength...atomic push ups, plyo push ups, planks, handstand push ups
  • Pulling Strength...rows
  • Leg & Core Strength...lunges, pistols
Pull Up Bar / Rings
  • Upper Body Pulling Strength...body weight / weighted pull ups
  • Abdominal Strength...hanging leg raises
  • Pushing Strength...ring dips
Dip Station...Pushing strength

Other stuff...weight vest, belt for adding weight to pull ups and dips, jump ropes, bands to increase eccentric load and for building lateral hip strength

WHY USE KETTLEBELLS?

Check Out This Video From Dragon Door

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyN-zhmJPik

Improves Physical Performance

Whether you are a middle age weekend warrior, play football, basketball, soccer or practice mixed martial arts, adding kettlebell movements will improve your performance.

Promotes Total Body Flexibility

When performing the ballistic movements, you will improve range of motion, movement patterns and flexibility of the hips, back and shoulders.

Improves Functional Strength

All of the core kettlebell movements; swing, clean, snatch, press, deadlift, squat, renegade row and Turkish get-up are compound movements that require the body to work as a unit. The key to functional exercise is integration. It's about teaching all the muscles to work together rather than isolating them to work independently.

Improves Endurance

Kettlebells are frequently used in circuit training, high intensity interval training and for single sets that may exceed 10 minutes in duration.

Reduces Body Fat

It’s a proven fact that resistance training using explosive full body movements and high intensity is the most efficient fat burning protocol. In a recent issue of Health Magazine Jillian Michaels called kettlebells the "Ultimate Fat-Burner" She went on to say..."This workout is metabolic, so it burns a ton of calories." "It incorporates explosive movements. It's core based, so it will make you stronger. And it forces your body to use multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which burns more calories."

Rehabilitates and / or Prevents Injury

The acceleration/deceleration of kettlebell movements strengthens connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, cartilage) and increases shoulder mobility strength and flexibility. Many people have made huge improvements in their back strength and resiliency as a result of using kettlebells.

Convenient & Portable

All you need is a very small space about 4’ x 6’ and about 8’ high ceilings. I typically train in my garage, but when the weather is too hot or cold I can get a great workout in my bedroom. I take my kettlebells with me while on business trips and family vacations. I have trained in hotel rooms, local parks, on the beach and pretty much anywhere I can find a small patch of grass. I even keep a Kettlebell in my car so whenever I have the urge I can catch a spontaneous workout.

Time Efficient

You can get an amazing strength and cardio workout in 30 minutes. If you don’t believe me, let’s schedule 30 minutes together sometime soon.

Anyone Can Use Them

Most people think kettlebells are only for elite military forces, college and professional athletic teams and mixed martial arts fighters. Sure these people use kettlebells because their livelihood demands them to be in peak physical condition. I have taken Kettlebell classes in many major US cities and find that most of the class attendees are women. I will anticipate the next question from the ladies… no kettlebells won’t make you bulky. They will give you a very lean, tone and athletic look.

Check out this YouTube Video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-97pH9eBfw

Inexpensive

If you are interested in purchasing kettlebells, I recommend checking out Muscle Driver. Their Grey Version 2 kettlebells are high quality and the lowest price I have found anywhere. I have a link to their web site on the top of my blog.

Fun

Most people find Kettlebell training fun. You can use them for strength and power training. You can use them for long endurance or fast paced interval training. You can use one or two bells at a time. Some people throw them. Some people like to practice juggling them. Of course there are about 12 core exercises, but there are many more if you let your imagination take over.