I want to give a little shout out to my pops for his consistent love, leadership, playful spirit and letting me think I’m pretty rad when it comes to the outdoors.  I mean, I feel like a bad ass when I get to tell people I go backpacking every summer, have hiked many 14ers, and started skiing when I was 3.  Then, I remember two things: one, I grew up in Colorado and look like a novice compared to the masses and two, all props go to my Dad for instilling an adventurous, healthy lifestyle in me from the get go.


Here are 10 memories of connecting with my Dad through movement and how he led by example as my young, impressionable eyes watched him each day.

10.  When my brother, sister and I were little, our parents would make a blanket bed in a wheelbarrow and as we all laid in it and gazed at the stars, they would take us on a walk. (Great full body workout for all you dad’s and mom’s out there)

9.  Screaming with excitement and thrill as my wide eyes watched trees fly by in the birdie-light attached behind my Dad’s mountain bike. (It’s hard to beat a good bike ride  when it comes to a cardio and leg workout)

8.  Taking our dogs on morning walks together before heading to the bus stop. (getting your body moving first thing in the morning boosts your metabolism and mood for the day)

7.  Sharing his daily jogging journal with me…way before I had any interest. (setting goals and keeping track of them is essential to any program, especially a health and fitness program)

6.  Having a stretching poster hung up in their room I would sneak in and imitate the pictures.  (daily visual and mental reminders can help keep you on track)

5.  Spending hours with me at rhythmic gymnastics, encouraging me and giving me tips with his little knowledge of the sport. “That looked good, do that again!”  (having a health coach or person who can encourage you and help you along your journey is a must)

4.  Starting the tradition of annual backpacking trips, completing sections on the Colorado Trail each summer!  (getting outdoors, getting physical and out of your comfort zone is a great way to change up your daily routine)

3.  Taking me on mountain bike rides, without any mental prep of the challenging terrain I was about to encounter.  (trying new things and being open to new experiences and new opportunities is key to life and certainly has applications to a healthy lifestyle)

2.  For his diligence and dedication to walking.  He keeps a pedometer and hits 100,000 steps each week!  (setting achievable yet challenging goals will help keep you engaged in exercise and in life)

1.  He accepts when I challenge him to a running race…even when he knows I’m gonna beat him ;)  (spice it up with a little competition)

As I reminisce on the many memories and on-going adventures that are inspired by my Dad, I am so very thankful.  With fitness in mind, doing this exercise made me realize that movement, the great outdoors and a sense of exploration has been instilled in me from a young age.  Looking over this list, I love the theme of movement without structure.  He loves these activities and wanted to enjoy them with his kids because it was playing, sparking curiosity, connection and laughter.

Now, I still search for the bigger feelings beyond getting sweaty.  This comes in all forms from the rush of a bike ride, working out in a group setting or with a friend where I can connect and have the accountability of someone else there with me, playing with a new piece of equipment, learning a new exercise, or preparing for an upcoming race or competition.

I challenge you to think of someone who inspires you to get active.  Take five minutes to make a list and feel the motivation as you physically write down the ways you are grateful and enjoy moving your body!  A, this is brilliant as your mind can only hold one thought at a time, make it a positive one.  B, it will give you ideas of how you can inspire others to get active as well!  Just this morning a best friend and I wanted to meet for coffee…we put a physical twist on it, we chose to walk at the park with our warm beverages and chatter.


I offer my thanks to all those fathers and men who have given their time and devotion to help bring this gift of movement to life.  Personal thanks to my daddy for your living example of health and active play.  I so look forward to our upcoming backpacking trip!

Lizzie :)

Vulnerability is all we need!

How many of us think of vulnerability and weakness synonymously?

We often times think of someone who is vulnerable as meek and timid, attempting something that may completely crush them emotionally, making them seem weak.

I will be so bold to say, that I believe that vulnerability is not weakness!

To describe it further, vulnerability is emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty, and it fuels our daily lives.  Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.  To be seen, to be honest, to take a risk is courageous. It is vulnerability that allows us to face our greatest fears, to ask ourselves to be better. When we are vulnerable we are willing to fail, we are willing to make mistakes, and we are willing to accept who we are.

But in order to be vulnerable we have to talk about shame. Shame is the evil enemy, that can thwart us in our quest to stay vulnerable.  Shame is a belief that “I am bad.”  Shame gets in the way of meeting our highest level of self-efficacy.  It is self-efficacy and self-acceptance that is needed to remain vulnerable and continue to face fears without being afraid to fail.

Why do I bring this up?  Simple… what I do for a living is labeled by most as a ‘personal trainer.’  What I like to call myself is a ‘behavioral change specialist’.  I believe that my career is based around me helping others create new behaviors that allow them to succeed and face their greatest fears.  Unfortunately that equation requires me to encourage someone to face their fears and be completely vulnerable.

Vulnerability is that powerful because it is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.  To create is to make something that has never existed before.  To change is to adapt, and adaptation requires failure.  Failure is sometimes one of the biggest fears we must overcome when seeking a fitness goal.

So, what I will leave you to ponder is: Are you willing to be vulnerable?  Because vulnerability will take you more places, and allow you to accomplish more things for yourself, than pride and resources ever will.

Move More!
Hayley Hollander

One of my Favorite Videos and Shame Researcher, Brene Brown, uncovers what vulnerability and shame is all about in this TED Talk.


Begin with “Why?”

In my latest search of something good to read, I decided to take up a book recommendation by a colleague.  The book is, “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek.  Profound in its title, and inspiring in its message, I thought I would share some it’s great little nuggets with you all.

“There are leaders and there are those who lead.  Leaders hold a position of power or influence.  Those who lead inspire us.”

You may think of someone in your life who you believe is a true leader, and you also may distinguish them with a certain set of characteristics.  These characteristics are very unique, and most of the time stand a part from anyone else you may know. If we dive a little deeper, we could say that they are great leaders simply because they inspire people to act.

Think about that for a minute… when someone ACTS, they have to overcome a whole lot of obstacles to accomplish what it is they are inspired to do.  But in that true moment of inspiration, where we are eager to face anything that comes our way, no matter how challenging it is; more often than not it is because our sense of purpose or belonging or similar beliefs are matched with what is inspiring.  “For those who are inspired, the motivation to act is deeply personal.”

Here we meet a true leader’s bottom line… they start with the WHY!

When we start with the why of what or how we would do anything, we have a purpose.  When we have a purpose it is deeply rooted and individual.  An underlying recipe for a great leader is one who knows how to recognize their why.  The next step to leadership is matching your actions and words with your WHY.  And for those who seek to be inspired by true leaders, they are not drawn by the gold medals, or large bank accounts, or a powerful position; instead they are inspired by the fact that someone overcame obstacles with the same set of beliefs as their own.

In those rare moments in life when we are inspired by someone, we act.  Sometimes we act to belong, or to share, or to overcome, or even to make a difference; but no matter what OUR actions that occur as a result of someone’s leadership, often times will lead others too.

So, I ask you, what is your WHY?  And how can we match our (ATP’s) WHY with you?  Because ultimately, when we share similar beliefs in one another we are inspired to act.  Whether it be to act through sharing time for movement, or maybe just to listen to others needs, or even create an opportunity to have fun while getting movement… WE want to lead you to a healthy lifestyle simply based on YOUR OWN WHY!

Move More,
Hayley Hollander

Take a look at Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on “Starting With Why.”

Want to get MELTed?

Want to get M.E.L.T.ed?

I know, I know you might be asking… What does M.E.L.T. mean?

I thought the same thing when I first heard about it two years ago.  I had the opportunity to take a M.E.L.T. class from the creator  Sue Hitzmann at IDEA World in 2010 and was blown away at how amazing and refreshed I felt afterwards.  M.E.L.T. stands for Myofascial Energetic Length Technique.  I know, I know… a lot of BIG words!

Let me explain what the BIG words mean.  Do you every wake up in the morning and have aches and pains?  Do you ever reach your arm up high in the air and feel the rest of your body talking to you, specifically from the rib cage down?  When you set your feet down on the floor in the morning after getting out of bed, do your feet ache? Or maybe you just have this nagging pain, that no amount of stretching can take care of?  What most likely is speaking to you is your connective tissue.

Your connective tissue is the glue that holds the whole body together.  It’s interwoven into all of the layers in our body.  It attaches our muscles to our bones, distributes forces, resists forces, and has nine times more nerve endings that our muscles.  Our connective tissue makes us into the shapes that we are, establishes our posture, and communicates between all the systems of the body.  OUR CONNECTIVE TISSUE IS AWESOME AND IT NEEDS OUR ATTENTION.

The M.E.L.T. Method is a way to self-treat and bring our connective tissue the attention it needs.  Through a series of specific techniques we can awaken our gunked up connective tissue, rehydrate it through certain movements and massage techniques, allowing us to redistribute fluid flow and keep our systems running at full speed.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the M.E.L.T. Hand and Foot Instructor Training with the creator Sue Hitzmann, and I am excited to share this new way to rejuvenate the body and gear us up to participate more whole-heartedly in the movements we love without missing a beat.

If you would like to join me for the very first FREE M.E.L.T. Class it will be held on Friday April 20th, 2012 at 5:30pm.  The class is limited to 10 participants, and is on a first come first serve basis.  To reserve your spot, please contact me via phone/text 702-285-4549.  Allow me to show you how to use the M.E.L.T. method to make you feel better, move better, and decrease stress?

Move More!

To see the M.E.L.T Method in action check out this video:

Inspired…. and more!

This week one of my clients told me something that brought tears to my eyes and made me feel the most accomplished I have ever felt in my short lived career.

It was something so simple, but made me realize my deepest desire in what I do for living had been met.

You see last year, I hit several remarkable milestones in my career…
– I became a published author for one of the most renowned online fitness resources, PtontheNet; not just once, but two times over.
– I presented at IDEA World fitness conference alongside some of the industry’s best on an international stage.
– I was promoted to Master Trainer for TRX and became responsible for developing future instructors in the industry.
– I had the honor of teaching 4 mentorships to a private career college to new trainers coming into the industry.

I recall feeling proud in each of those moments and recognizing their significance in my journey, but still they didn’t surmount to the moment that happened this week.

My client, who was home for spring break from college, told me she had a project in her class where she had to give a speech on someone who inspired her.  She said that it was one of the easiest speeches she ever had to give, and wanted to thank me for everything I had taught her.  She felt confident that she could be healthy and live her life in the best way possible because of how I had trained her.  She concluded by saying: “You inspire me.”

I was overwhelmed by the feelings that came after she told me.

I got into training, because someone INSPIRED me too!  Someone taught me what exercise and living a healthy lifestyle could do.  I got into training because I wanted to inspire others. It really all boils down to that. So when she said I inspired her, I FELT COMPLETE.

Inspiration by dictionary definition is: “A divine influence.”

I believe that to be inspired, we must not only be influenced to do something, but we must feel that in our pursuit those that grace our path in hopes of helping; listen to our needs physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Stimulating us in every aspect of our being, and showing us that we are capable of accomplishing whatever we set our mind, body, and soul to. Inspiration comes when someone believes in us more than we believe in ourselves.  The moment when that belief from someone becomes a reality in proof of what our own actions accomplish is when we are inspired.

Many of you have entrusted me in helping you in your pursuit of health and fitness.  I do not take it lightly that you have given me that responsibility. I only hope that in your journey towards reaching your goals you can be inspired too.

Inspiration requires two things… An obstacle to overcome, and a belief that we can overcome it.

So my challenge to any trainer in the industry is to supply a belief in your clients. And my challenge to any client seeking health and fitness goals is to find someone who believes in your ability to reach those goals. But most importantly, trainers should ask this KEY question when interviewing clients: “In what ways to you believe I can help you?”

“When we find the why, we find the way.” (Paul Taylor) And when we are on the way, it is the ‘belief’ that we can that allows us to figure out the HOW.

Move More,
Hayley Hollander
(For more info on building inspiration from the first encounter with a client visit and look into the Program Design Questionairre)

Foot Fetish Part 3

Topic: Myths about barefoot running

Intended audience: Runners

Essay Map: Educating yourself about the facts of running barefoot (if that’s your goal), will allow you to safely transition from thicker soled running shoes.

I’m back with part 3 of Foot Fetish. In the second post, we went over two reasons why barefoot running could be detrimental to people who are overweight, or have bad knees. In part 3 we will look at orthotics and plantar fasciitis.

Once again, you’ll be reading direct quotes from Nicholas A. Campitelli, DPM, FACFAS. I will place my views, and opinions in underlined italics with my initials AH.

“Barefoot running, minimalist running and natural running are all terms that describe running in a manner that allows our foot to function the way it was designed (or has evolved). This happens through the use of little or no shoe at all. Many runners suffering from chronic injuries are adopting this way of running and are experiencing relief of symptoms to find themselves running with enjoyment and a more relaxing form.”

The key word is many not all. AH

I too have been cured of a running injury, which I suffered from for over eight years after transitioning my gait to that of a “barefoot” runner. Without further ado, here are the 10 myths of barefoot running.”


Cured is a provocative word to use, as it might lead readers to assume barefoot running will cure them as it did the author. As a DPM I’ll guess that he might have started some sort of regimen to help in his ”curing” i.e. flexibility, mobility, and/or strengthening exercises He also could have added a warm up ”movement prep” and “cool down” to his routine. AH


How Do Orthotics And Plantar Fasciitis Come Into Play With Barefoot Running?

I can’t do barefoot running because I need to wear my orthotics. Orthotics has become more over-utilized in the practice of podiatry then ever before. It is very common for me to see runners present in my office with plantar fasciitis, a normal arch, cushioned running shoes and orthotics they have worn. When running barefoot or in a minimalist shoe, we do not need to control motion at the rear-foot because heel striking is not occurring and “excessive pronation,” as described by Root, does not occur. While we have numerous studies that do not support the use of orthotics for running injuries alone, it becomes a challenge to convince the patient they are not needed.

I have plantar fasciitis so barefoot running would be too painful. This article was not intended to discuss the pathomechanics or treatment options of plantar fasciitis. However, we are anecdotally seeing resolution of symptoms in those who adopt this style of running. One potential explanation is the development in strength we see to the intrinsic musculature, specifically the abductor hallucis muscle, which is a primary supporter of the arch.

Another overlooked phenomenon is the fact that the majority of running shoes place your ankle into plantar-flexion. This forces the body to compensate by increasing lumbar lordosis and increasing pressure to the heel as opposed to having more even distribution throughout the foot.

As a Fitness Professional, I am faced with these two obstacles all the time. What can I do? Well, I can’t diagnose, as that’s not in a Fitness Professionals scope of practice. I will not challenge or criticize the clients Dr. or who ever prescribed the orthotics. If the client chose their treatment on their own I would not criticize them either. All that would do if create a wall and devalue us as professions, not to mention coming off appearing like a know it all, and we all know those are the ones that really don’t know anything at all.

I would instead offer other options, modalities of exercise if you will, self-myofascial release with a tennis ball (soft) and slowly progress to a baseball (medium), then a golf ball (hard). Vibration training i.e. Power Plate would be a good way to “melt” the connective tissues beneath our feet (hydrating), while at the same time, triggering muscle contractions in the foot, which would strengthen the foot. This would improve our natural arch support and likely reduce plantar fasciitis. If you work with the client as a “guide on the side” versus ordering your clients “sage on the stage” you’ll empower them, which will make them more open to various methods of exercises, some of which might be the “one’ that finally helps your client overcome their discomfort. AH



Short and Sweet… and To The Point!

For many of our fans who have attended our boot camp classes, you’ve experienced a type of work out that involves short periods of intense exercise followed by light exercise or rest.  You may think its just the way we run the class, but actually there is a method to the madness.

You see we are programming intervals, and what Arthur and I are so diligently watching on the heart rate screen is that you are all working anaerobically and then recovering to an aerobic zone.  In the world of personal training, we call it interval training.

Interval training provides the body with intense bouts of exercise followed by light bouts of activity to allow the body to recover.  During the intense bouts of exercise, the body is in need of delivering oxygen to the working muscle more quickly as the demand placed on the body becomes greater and greater through the duration of the exercise.  You will see your breathing rate increase as the working muscles are seeking more oxygen, and then of course your heart rate will increase too to deliver that oxygenated blood to the working muscles.  During interval training, as the exercise intensity increases there is a point when the body can no longer deliver oxygen to the working muscles quick enough; so our body instead uses our Anaerobic (without oxygen) energy system.  Think of your Anaerobic energy system as the stuff already stored in the tissues for fuel (its like a stop and the ‘convenient store, instead of the grocery store- simply quicker energy).

When we train anaerobically our heart rate is increased, our breathing is labored, and its difficult for anyone to sustain intense exercise for very long.  So, if it feels intense and it’s hard to sustain, why even bother training this way?  Well, there are MULTIPLE benefits to training this way.

1- Your body burns up to 5 calories for every liter of oxygen consumed
*When we increase our heart rate by doing more intense exercise, we increase our oxygen intake, and therefore increase our caloric burn.
2- What goes up must come down!
*When we increase our heart rate and oxygen consumption during intense exercise, our body will seek to go back to it’s homeostatic state.  We burn many calories to get back to our resting state, through replenishing cellular supplies with much needed nutrients, and using up nutrients to repair the worked tissue.
3- Increased aerobic capacity
*When training in the various heart rate gears and you go up and down frequently, it allows us to increase the strength of the heart as a muscle, as well as improve cardiac output during and after exercise.  One long term benefit will be an increased anaerobic threshold, or the ability of the body to utilize fat and oxygen for fuel without turning anaerobic too quickly; allowing us to sustain exercise for longer before feeling fatigued.
4- Increased Lean Muscle Mass
*By doing interval training we are stressing the tissues at the cellular level, promoting growth and regeneration both hormonally and structurally.

Bottom Line… We burn more calories, we train the ENTIRE body (cellular and structural), and we build a healthy cardio-respiratory system equipped to meet the stressful demands of everyday life.

So, before you think you need to go out and do a long sustained workout at a steady state intensity; ask yourself if you want more bang for your buck and keep it short and sweet and to the point, loaded with high intensity intervals!

Move More!
Hayley Hollander



Foot Fetish part 2

Topic: Myths about barefoot running

Intended audience: Runners

Essay Map: Educating yourself about the facts of running barefoot (if that’s your goal), will allow you to safely transition from thicker soled running shoes.

I’m back with part 2 of Foot Fetish. In the first post, we went over the a few perceptions on barefoot running like how it leads to stress fractures, and how if you have flat feet, you’ll need support. In part 2 we will look at weight, and knee issues.

Once again, you’ll be reading direct quotes from Nicholas A. Campitelli, DPM, FACFAS. I will place my views, and opinions in underlined italics with my initials AH.

“Barefoot running, minimalist running and natural running are all terms that describe running in a manner that allows our foot to function the way it was designed (or has evolved). This happens through the use of little or no shoe at all. Many runners suffering from chronic injuries are adopting this way of running and are experiencing relief of symptoms to find themselves running with enjoyment and a more relaxing form.”

The key word is many not all. AH

I too have been cured of a running injury, which I suffered from for over eight years after transitioning my gait to that of a “barefoot” runner. Without further ado, here are the 10 myths of barefoot running.”


Cured is a provocative word to use, as it might lead readers to assume barefoot running will cure them as it did the author. As a DPM I’ll guess that he might have started some sort of regimen to help in his ”curing” i.e. flexibility, mobility, and/or strengthening exercises He also could have added a warm up ”movement prep” and “cool down” to his routine. AH


I weigh too much. While this is a common excuse to not run, being overweight is not reason enough not to run barefoot or in a minimalist shoe. In 2010, Leiberman and co-workers were able to demonstrate that habitually unshod runners were able to generate smaller collision forces than shod heel strikers.6 In other words, by forefoot striking, we decrease the force that transmits through the lower extremity, thereby reducing torque forces to the ankle, knee and hip joints.7 Clearly, we can see that if people weigh 250 lbs., they would be placing more force through their joints by heel striking then by landing on their forefoot”.

I agree that you can decrease the force transmitted through the body by changing your strike, however I believe the writer is overlooking a critical component. If someone is overweight, odds are they have not been exercising regularly, could be sedentary, but most importantly not conditioned to start a running program. When I say unconditioned, that could mean that the individual might not have the cardiovascular endurance of more importantly the muscles, and connective tissues of the body lack the strength and endurance to handle any type of force transmitted through the body. AH.

Would Bad Knees Inhibit Barefoot Running?

“I have bad knees. Osteoarthritis of the knee is a common concern among many runners, especially older individuals who have run the majority of their lives. There are many theories as to why running is bad or even good for your knees. So many in fact that elliptical machines were invented to be used as a form of exercise similar to running without causing excess pressure to the joints.8 However, these elliptical machines do not reproduce anatomical motions and an in vivo force analysis reveals there is less force with walking than with an elliptical trainer”.9-11

You can’t out run time, age will eventual catch us all, and osteoarthritis is an age related condition. I have not read the study on elliptical machines versus walking, however from personal experience, both are less stressful to my body than running and the elliptical machine can get me to train all my cardio zones better than walking. What I would suggest though is that you may want to talk with your doctor in regards to supplementation like joint support. As a personal trainer what I would recommend if you haven’t yet, is to start a mobility/flexibility and strength program. I would emphasize the ankles and hips, because allowing full ROM in those respective areas could take some of the workload (force transmission) away from the knee, and transmit it throughout the rest of the body like we are designed to do. AH.


“As I noted previously, we know that ground reactive forces are greater with heel strike in comparison to unshod or barefoot runners who adapt a more forefoot strike pattern.6 Numerous studies have demonstrated higher ground reactive forces and mechanical stresses to the knee while running in traditional running shoes as opposed to barefoot.12-13 A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at patients with knee osteoarthritis over 12 months and found no difference between wearing a lateral wedge orthotic versus a control flat insert.14 Similarly, a systematic review of literature demonstrates that external knee adduction moment and pain associated with knee osteoarthritis is higher in individuals wearing sneakers in comparison to those who do barefoot walking”.15


When I complete the 10 Myths of barefoot Running, I will post all of Nicholas’s bibliography for referencing.



Campitelli A. Nicholas (2012 January) Tackling the 10 Myths of Barefoot Running. Podiatry Today Volume 25 Issue1.

Moments of Movement

I recently was intrigued by an article I read on PtontheNet written by Mr. John Berardi, a leading nutritionist, author, and presenter in the fitness industry.

He relayed his feeling of frustration about the constant inundation the media portrays of ‘quick fix’ diets and workout plans.  I mean, can we really get in shape in just 10 minutes a day?  Berardi, despite his angst, decided to take a whole new look at these quick fixes, and while applying fundamental principles made the complex simple for one client.

By instilling small, attainable goals for his ‘tester’ client he was able to help her achieve a larger goal of ‘maintained weight loss.’  His simple program looked like this:

Monday – 6 minutes of sprint intervals on the treadmill
Tuesday – 10 minutes of bodyweight circuit training
Thursday – 6 minutes of sprint intervals on the treadmill
Friday – 10 minutes of bodyweight circuit training
[That’s right, only 32 minutes of exercise per week.]
Her dietary strategies were equally simple:
Weeks 1 and 2
– eat normally, however eat each meal slowly and eat about 4 total meals each day
Weeks 3 and 4 – with each meal, eat protein, legumes, and veggies (while avoiding white carbs)
Weeks 5 and 6 – one day per week, eat whatever you want
Weeks 7 and 8 – if still included, skip fruit and calorie-containing drinks

Simple right?  That’s what I thought!

Which made me wonder if I have been overwhelming my own clients with too many to do’s in their workout programs. If not, then I say to you “maintain the course.”  If yes, then I apologize, and may I encourage you to instead look for “Moments of Movement.”

Let’s keep it simple.  Look for moments during your day to move. Move in your own way, and for as long as you have time to in each moment you choose.  Break up your moments, and allow the body to do what it likes to do.  These moments, collectively by the end of every week can help you get to your goal. 

For example, my client Mary spoke of one of her memorable moments of movement.  On a long car ride, across several states, and accompanied by two aunts who loved to move, found themselves playing “Auto Aerobics.”  This moment of movement was a game in which all the passengers in the car took turns coming up with an exercise/movement they could do with their arms.  After much laughter, many silly movements, and almost an hour of passed time, they found a moment of movement that they will never forget.

As with Mary’s example, let’s keep the complex simple, and just move!  And to all of my clients… I want you to worry about having fun and moving when, where, and how much you want… I’ll take care of the rest when I see you.

Until then… MOVE MORE!
Hayley Hollander

To see John Berardi’s article in full click the link:
Exploring Fitness Minimalism

Foot Fetish

Topic: Myths about barefoot running.

Intended audience: Runners,

Thesis: To help runners sort through the facts and fictions of barefoot running.

Essay Map: With the proper education you can enjoy barefoot running (if that is your choice). This article will help better prepare you for the road ahead.

I stumbled across an article on Facebook, posted by Rodney Corn from Podiatry Today. The article was called “tackling the 10 myths of barefoot running”. Written by Nicholas A. Campitelli DPM, FACFAS. In the upcoming blogs, I will post sections of the article so we can digest this information a little bit at a time. This will give us time to fully digest some of the concerns that can come about from barefoot running.  I will have some input of my own which will be underlined with my initials AH.


“Barefoot running, minimalist running and natural running are all terms that describe running in a manner that allows our foot to function the way it was designed (or has evolved). This happens through the use of little or no shoe at all. Many runners suffering from chronic injuries are adopting this way of running and are experiencing relief of symptoms to find themselves running with enjoyment and a more relaxing form.”

The key word is many not all. AH

I too have been cured of a running injury, which I suffered from for over eight years after transitioning my gait to that of a “barefoot” runner. Without further ado, here are the 10 myths of barefoot running.”


Cured is a provocative word to use, as it might lead readers to assume barefoot running will cure them as it did the author. As a DPM I’ll guess that he might have started some sort of regimen to help in his ”curing” i.e. flexibility, mobility, and/or strengthening exercises He also could have added a warm up ”movement prep” and “cool down” to his routine. AH


Barefoot running leads to stress fractures. Without a doubt, the most common concern with barefoot or minimalist running is the development of a stress fracture. While there have been documented cases of this in the literature, stress fractures occur as a result of a change in activity without gradual adaptation and are not directly related to the shoe gear or lack thereof.1 We actually should see a decrease in the likelihood of stress fracture given the change in stride and cadence that one acquires while running barefoot.

  I bold faced this sentence, because I felt was an important statement. AH

Stress fractures occur secondary to overuse without the body having adapted adequately as proven by Wolff’s Law.3 In fact, if we adhere to Wolff’s law in theory, we should see weaker bone trabecular patterns on those wearing cushioned running shoes due to decreased intrinsic muscle strength, resulting in a proportional decrease in the force acting on the respective bone.”

Trabecular patterns: an irregular meshwork of stress and stress-related struts within a cancellous bone.

I have flat feet and I need support. Lees and Klemerman have demonstrated that there is no correlation between foot type and running injuries, specifically with a pes planus deformity.5 During barefoot running, we avoid heel striking and land more on our forefoot or midfoot. Once the forefoot strikes the ground, pronation of the entire foot begins (not isolated pronation of the subtalar joint) and continues until the point where the heel touches the ground. Arch height becomes irrelevant, as does the commonly described concept of pronation with the heel striking the ground first. With a forefoot/midfoot strike, pronation is very beneficial and helps to absorb shock.”

On top of that studies shows and research articles state that flexibility, mobility, and strength exercises can reverse flat feet as one of the causes associated with flat feet is weakened muscles and other connective tissues. AH


Campitelli A. Nicholas (2012 January) Tackling the 10 Myths of Barefoot Running. Podiatry Today Volume 25 Issue 1.

Emotional Eating?

I came across a story I was reading in a book recently, that sounded eerily familiar to a majority of the situations my clients describe to me.

The story spoke of a woman (we will call her Sarah), who was trying to overcome compulsive overeating. She described a daily routine in which she would come home after a long day of work, have dinner, and plop on the couch to read a book and unwind.  Only to have a thought bubble up in her head, containing an image of the ice cream sitting in the freezer.  She would manage to push it to the back of her mind, but only to be presented with it a few minutes later.  She would continue to push it away, only to have it more insistently come back to her, until she would finally give in and grab a spoon.  Sarah would find herself standing at the kitchen counter, staring in somewhat of a trance while spooning out the ice cream.  And before she knew it, the spoon would reach the bottom of the container. Feeling disappointed, guilty, and extremely bloated she would make her way back to the couch vowing to never do that again.

Sound Familiar?

The book, The One Thing Holding You Back, Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection, presents the idea that emotional disconnection is why we fail to reach many of our goals.

The human brain is wired to avoid painful/unpleasant things and seek out pleasureable/happy things (Maslow Motivational Theory).  Regardless of whether or not the stimulus that is being presented to your brain is external (like a hot stove), or internal (like low blood sugar), your brain will interpret the stimulus and try to provide the body with a way to react… One in which we avoid pain and experience pleasure.  With an external stimulus of a hot stove our brains would tell us to avoid it because… well, that would be down right painful.  And an internal stimulus of low blood sugar, would prompt us to eat something so that we don’t get a headache or feel hunger pains.  Here’s where emotions come into play…

Emotions are physical responses to internal/external stimulus.  An external input, like an insult for example, will convey an emotional response of hurt.  An internal input, like missing a friend, will convey an emotional response of sadness.  These emotions cause us to FEEL!  Sometimes, because we are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, we will avoid certain emotions because they are unpleasureable to us.  When we avoid emotions, analyze emotions, assess emotions, bargain with emotions, and even judge emotions we avoid feeling.

My point is… emotions are meant to be felt! When we avoid emotions we are teaching ourselves that they aren’t pleasureable. When situations arise where those emotions come to the surface the brain recognizes them as negative, causing us to instill a behavior (like eating mindlessly) that overwhelms us, confuses us, and downright stalls us in our pursuit.  Emotions provide us with information that thoughts alone can’t.

We must embrace our emotions to succeed!  We must actually experience what the emotion is telling us, move through it, and recognize that its okay to feel it.

So bringing it back to frustrated Sarah; after working to experience her emotions, she discovered that in her nagging thought process of eating ice cream, came a feeling in her stomach reminding her of being a young girl jumping up and down.  That young girl loved ice cream, and anxiously wanted to get into the freezer. In her emotional thought process Sarah, felt the anxiousness of the little girl, reminding her of the attention she wanted to so badly as a child.  And the anxiousness quickly turned to sadness… Sadness that she would typically avoid feeling, by giving in and eating the ice cream.  The sadness stemmed from the divorce of her parents at a young age, and the lack of attention that came after it.  With Sarah’s new resolve to experience the sadness, to process it, and to allow her body to no longer feel threatened by the ‘sadness’, she was able to finally put down the spoon and begin to lose the weight.

Whether your compulsive eating is ice cream or chips, candy or pizza… before you go blaming your eating habits on a lack of willpower.  Brave an emotional gut check, you might be surprised at what you find. Emotions are our friends, feel them, and you will prosper.

Move More!
Hayley Hollander

To learn more about emotional connection, and the 2×2 process behind connecting emotionally, check out the book.
Cushnir, R (2008) The One Thing Holding You Back, Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection, Harper Collins, New York, NY


Accountability (Adjective)
Defn’- Of a person, organiztion, organiztion, or institution- required or expected to justify actions or decisions; responsible.

It is this time of year, this wonderful blissful time of year, when all the goodies, parties, social gatherings; begin to pull us away from keeping our health in check.  We forego the gym one night because we need to stop at the store instead, then we neglect to wake up to our early alarm because its just to cozy in our bed.  We find ourselves eating more than we normally would, and even eating a lot of sweets too, only causing us to want to take a nap in our ever so rare moment of free time. 

Aw yes, you know this is you!  I’ll even admit its me too… but I’m not going to give you the cliche advice and tell you to work out whenever you can.  Go for a walk, offer to do more chores and help out (although all of these things would be a HUGE benefit), what I am going to tell you this holiday season is to find a buddy to keep yourself accountable.

That’s right… a BUDDY!  Just like ‘Buddy the Elf’ would never allow any of his loved ones to have a bad day… you must do the same.  Whether your buddy is a friend, family member, co-worker, or neighbor, find a buddy that will help you push through this hectic month.  A buddy that will workout with you, helping you stay on a regular schedule.  A buddy that will check in with you, and ask you what you are eating for dinner.  A buddy that will encourage you, and help you find solutions to the roadblocks that are getting in your way of your toned little holiday butt!

When we have someone to help keep ourselves accountable we are more likely to stick to our programs.   When we have a friend that encourages us, those things that we would justify in our head, aren’t so justifiable to your buddy.  Your buddy will give you the look:  The “Are you serious? That sounds ridiculous!” look.  Having someone to keep us accountable not only gives us that extra ‘umph’ to stay on track, but also can give us meaning, purpose, and comfort in what we are trying to do.

Knowing that your friend is waiting outside in the freezing cold for you to do your morning run, can sometimes be that little wake up call that will get your warm body out of bed.  We can find relief in a buddy as they are struggling to fight those same battles we are.  Buddies offer us empathy.  They have the same goals in mind, and are overcoming the same obstacles we are to stay in shape.

So, before you give up on staying in shape this holiday season… Don’t forget there is someone else out there in need of a buddy!  You can help them and they can help you :) 

Get your ‘Buddy Plan’ started off right… come and participate in the Great Las Vegas Santa Run on Saturday December 3rd, 2011 at 10am at Town Square with Team ATP.  Your registration includes your santa suit, and we will be having a costume contest with prizes for the best ‘decked’ out santa suit.  Please let us know you will be joining us so we can forward you the meeting instructions for the morning of the race.  The link to sign up is below.

Hope to see you there!

Stay Healthy,
Hayley Hollander (P.S.- Anyone want to be my buddy?)


Have a drink on me!

With the weather changing from extreme heat to colder temperatures, it is as important as ever to make sure you are properly hydrated before, during, and after you exercise. “Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but athletes have an even greater need to maintain proper hydration. Water is the most important nutrient for life and has many important functions including regulating temperature, lubricating joints and transporting nutrients and waste throughout the body” (Quinn 2011).

What can happen through dehydration? With as little as a 2% decrease in your body weight through sweating, your heart will begin to work harder to circulate blood. Muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, and heat illnesses i.e. heat exhaustion and heat stroke have been known to occur. Some of the causes of dehydration include inadequate fluid intake, excessive sweating, not replacing fluids lost during and after exercise, exercising in dry extreme weather, and drinking only when thirsty.

Everyone is different when it comes to how much we sweat, how much fluids we lose through exercise, and how our hydration levels are to begin with. That being said it is difficult to provide “SPECIFIC” hydration guidelines for us to follow. Two simple assessments to see if you’re adequately hydrated are,

Monitoring urine volume output and color:

A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are hydrated; dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.

Weighing yourself before and after exercise:

Any weight lost is likely from fluid, so try to drink enough to replenish those losses. Any weight gain could mean you are drinking more than you need.

How do we lose water/fluids through exercise? I’m of the opinion that we must know before hand what the environment that we are going to train in is like. We “CAN” control how we eat, sleep, move, rest and hydrate, but we can’t control the elements that Mother Nature throws our way. We are at her mercy and to an extent the same goes for our landscape (topography). Here are some things to consider,

High Altitude:

Exercising at altitude increases your fluid losses and therefore increases you fluid needs.


Exercising in the heat increases you fluid losses through sweating and exercise in the cold can impair you ability to recognize fluid losses and increase fluid lost through respiration. In both cases it is important to hydrate.


Some athletes sweat more than others. If you sweat a lot you are at greater risk for dehydration. Again, weigh yourself before and after exercise to judge sweat loss.

Exercise Duration and Intensity:

Exercising for hours (endurance sports) means you need to drink more and more frequently to avoid dehydration.

OK, so how much water and or fluids should we consume before, during, and after we exercise? If you are training regularly, you will probably need between one half and one whole ounce of water (or other fluids) for each pound of body weight per day. To determine your baseline range for water   requirements, use the following formula:

Low end of range= Body weight (lbs.) x 0.5 = (ounces of fluid/day)

High end of range=Body weight (lbs.) x 1 = (ounces of fluid/day)

For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, your approximate water requirement will be between 75 and 150 ounces each day.

When to Drink Water During Exercise:

Begin the day with a large glass of water each morning, whether it’s a training or a rest day. On training days, the following schedule works well for most athletes:

Water (Fluid) Intake Schedule

Before Exercise:

Drink two to three cups of water (16-24 oz.) within the two to three hours before your workout. Drink 8-10 fl oz. 10-15 min before exercise

Weigh yourself immediately before you begin your workout.

During Exercise:                                                        

Drink one cup (8 oz.) of water every 15 minutes.

If exercising longer than 90 minutes, drink 8-10 fl oz. of a sports drink (with no more than 8 percent carbohydrate) every 15 – 30 minutes.

After Exercise:

Weigh yourself immediately after you finish your workout.

Drink two to three cups of water (16-24 oz.) for each pound lost during exercise.

How Much Water to Drink During Endurance Exercise:

If you are exercising at a moderate to high intensity for more than 90 minutes, you will want to consume more than plain water. You need to replenish glycogen stores with easy-to-digest carbohydrate. Sports drinks can be an easy way to add the necessary energy. For longer workouts, choose a drink with 60 to 100 calories per eight ounces and consume eight to ten ounces every 15 to 30 minutes based upon your preference.

For those exercising in extreme conditions over three, four or five hours, you’ll need to replace electrolytes. A complex sports drink, NUUN tablets, or other foods will help provide the needed calories and electrolytes required for continuous performance.

“Although rare, athletes can drink too much water and suffer from hyponatremia (water intoxication). Drinking excessive amounts of water can cause a low concentration of sodium in the blood – a serious medical emergency” (Quinn 2011).

Until next time,




Quinn, E. (2007 December, 2) ACSM clarifies indicators for   replacement.

Quinn, E. (2011 April, 15) What to drink for proper hydration during exercise?

Quinn, E. (2011 August, 24) How much water should you drink?

Is your Heart Healthy?

Cardiovascular disease or CVD is one of the leading killers amongst North Americans today, and although there are some UNcontrollable factors that contribute to CVD, like genetics; There are many factors that we CAN control.  One of the most important factors is PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.

All movement is GOOD, but when it comes to the health of your heart, movements that ellicit different heart rates are very important.  Schwartz & Schwartz state that “A lack of heart rate variability and heart rate recovery are percursors to cardiac morbidity and cardiac mortality.”  So, when it comes to exercising smart for your heart, heart rate variability and the ability to recover from higher heart rates is important.

One of the most accurate ways to measure just how hard your heart is working during exercise is a heart rate monitor.  The heart rate monitor will give you second by second feedback, allowing you to adjust the workouts to the appropriate intensity to match your goals and improve your overall heart rate variability and heart rate recovery.

At the beginning of the summer, ATP clients Linzel and Polly both began their workouts with slow heart rate recovery (for Polly), and difficult heart rate variability  (for Linzel).  They worked very hard and completed weekly workouts consisting of interval heart rate circuits, and steady state training in differing heart rate gears.  Take a look at their video to see just how much they’ve improved.

A BIG congratulations to Linzel and Polly, and all of their hard work, it truly has paid off, and your ‘heart rate’ shows you that.  For more information about which heart rate monitor to get, or how to program your workouts for improved heart rate recovery and variability contact us at

As always… stay healthy,
Hayley Hollander

Fitness Designer? Part 2: Acute Variables

Six steps to a better program design

Part 2:

Explain how it serves to allow for proper progression/regression

In part one, I explained the 6-step program design model, and what it entails. In part two, I will show you how to regress and progress the Acute Variables.

1) Speed

A) Slow B) Medium C) Fast


2) Movement

A) Known B) Somewhat Known C) Unknown


3) Stability

A) Stable B) Moderately C) Dynamic


4) Force (weight)

A) Low B) Moderate C) High


5) Complexity (Movement)

A) Simple B) Moderate C) Complex


6) Surface

A) Stable B) Changing C) Dynamic


7) Base of Support

A) Wide (Stable) B) Narrow C) Varying (Movement)


8) Volume (Sets + Reps + Intensity)

A) Low B) Medium C) High


9) ROM (Range of Motion)

A) Small (Initial Range) B) Medium (Self Selected Range) C) Large (End Range)


All of the Acute Variables are written in “bold italic”, and the corresponding letters underneath represents there progressions; A= Beginner, B= Intermediate, and C= Advanced. How can we apply the AV (Acute Variables) to the 6-step program design? Let’s take a look, (you may need to refer back to part one of this three part article for reference, Sept. 12th post “Fitness Designer?”

Movement Performed: Squat

Client: Let’s say our client is a beginner who is new to exercise.  No health issues and no injuries. Their goal is to learn how to squat and in the future add challenges to their squat.

1) Orientation: Standing 2) Action: Squatting 3) Device: Bodyweight 4) Footprint: Neutral hip width (XXX) 5) Handprint: Anterior @ shoulder height and 6) Threshold:  Acute Variables (1-9), 1) Speed: Slow, since they are new to exercise, slowing the movement down will allow them to control their body better. There’s two sayings I particularly enjoy “Slow is smooth, and smooth becomes fast”, I heard from a friend of mine, and “Speed kills”. 2) Movement: Known, people squat everyday in some form or another. 3) Stability: Moderate, since my client doesn’t have an injury or is recovering from one, I will let ASK them to try to squat without holding on to anything.  I could always modify if their having trouble stabilizing, by having them hold on to a railing (A) Stable), or when they are ready to progress, I can have them squat down and stand up in the balls of their feet (C) Dynamic). 4) Force (weight): Low, my client will only be squatting their bodyweight (Keep in mind that the clients weight and strength level, can have a different affect on them, and can have a significant influence on their ability to control their Force (weight). 5) Complexity (movement): Simple, A basic down/up vertical drive. Moderate could be a down/up with a rotation at the top of the movement, and Complex could be a marching in place squat with a bicep curl to shoulder press. 6) Surface: Gym Floor, a nice flat stable surface. A Moderate surface could be squatting on a BOSU (blue side up), and a Complex could be on an INDO Board (on a roller). 7) Base of Support: Wide, if your base of support (Footprint) is wider than the center of gravity, you will have more stability i.e. Shoulder width. Moderate would be to have them stand with their feet closer together i.e. hip width or together. Varying could be a single leg (pistol) squat. 8) Volume: Low, maybe 2/3 sets, 5-7 reps or 30 seconds, and rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how they feel. If they had a heart rate monitor, I may go off of their zones and goals. Finally 9) ROM (range of motion): Medium (self select range), since my client has no injuries and is healthy, I will ASK them to go a low as they can without feeling any strain/pain. Unless I see something very abnormal that could result in injury, I will let my client explore their ROM.

This was just an example of how a fitness professional or a fitness enthusiast could utilize the 6-step program design, and the AV to mix up their exercise/movement program. This style of programming allows for a lot of creativity and play between the client and trainer, not to mention add a little fun to a routine. In part three, we will wrap up the 6-steps to a better program design, by putting this model into practice with various drills in view of integrated anatomy.



Michol Dalcourt. Institute of Motion. 6-steps to a better program design. IDEA World Fitness Conference, Los Angeles, Ca. August 2011

What Motivates Us?

Even though our job title is ‘personal trainer’, and the world calls us ‘personal trainers’. Bottom line… we are really behavioral change specialists.  We are hired to help people change the behaviors that got them to where they are at in that very moment. So we are left to figure out exactly how we are going to do that.  And we ultimately ask ourselves “What Motivates Us?” 

Ever wonder why sometimes giving rewards or punishing a person for a lack of performance never truly works?  In the book “Drive” by Daniel H Pink, there are numerous studies that prove to us time and time again that our belief in rewarding hard work, or rewarding a job well done, or giving a gift or prize to the fastest person actually hinders our performance.

I thought about this a little bit; in the book it gives more description to employees and the work force, but the same can be compared to exercise.  Think of all the PE teachers out there that give out prizes for the quickest mile finisher, or allow students to sit out from gym class if they do good on their test.  Or a parent that tells their child to go run around the park for hitting their sister.  All this is implying to the person who either receives the prize or gets the punishment, is that exercise is an awful thing so I either have to give you a prize so you will feel inclined to do it, or I have to punish you with exercise giving it a negative connotation.

Now as fitness professionals we have the ability to change this… and this can start in our programming from the get-go.  You see, exercise is believed to be work and not fun… and we need to change that if we are going to have any influence on the staggering and rising statistics of obesity.  The book goes on to say, “Whats more, for some people, much of what they do all day consists of the routine, not terribly captivating, tasks.  In these situations, it’s best to try to unleash the positive side of the Sawyer Effect by attempting to turn work into play- to increase the task’s variety to make it more like a game, or to use it to help master other skills.”  Now, the Sawyer effect in the book is referring to the counterintuitive consequences of extrinsic rewards.  Rewards that are given as an ‘if-then’ action elicit a negative response, where they extinguish intrinsic motivation, diminish performance, crush creativity, crowd out good behavior, encourage cheating, short cuts, and unethical behavior, they foster addiction, and they encourage short-term thinking.

So, you may be thinking to yourself, well within my program design how can I avoid using rewards but still get my clients to do the things they need to do to get to their goal?  I was wondering the same thing… it’s a whole new mind shift.

First, we have to build credibility in the task itself.  We need to offer a rationale for why the task is necessary to begin with.  If we can explain how what we are having them do will help them get to their goals.  A task that is inherently hard or uninteresting can become more meaningful to them and therefore they are more invested.

The second thing we can do is acknowledge that the task is boring.  That statement may scare you a bit… and the truth is scary. But when we acknowledge that the task is boring this is where we play the empathy card.  We can play on emotions of acknowledging how they are feeling, instead of giving them an award to complete something as is a normalacy for boring tasks, thus reiterating that it is boring, making it even more dreadful.

The third thing is to allow people to complete the task their own way.  Think autonomy here and not control.  Although there might be an outcome we are looking for within the exercise or even the workout.  Here is where we state the outcome we need, and instead of specifying precisely the way to reach it, give them freedom over how they do the job.  This will actually deter from the task in number two as being boring.  And within the Gray Institutes realm of triangulation of movement we can allow the client to move with variety, self-selecting where they want to go.  Making training variable, giving them ownership which fosters autonomy and allows the mind to become engaged in the task.  Taking away the need for reward.           

Focus on creating programs that have Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.  Autonomy will give them an outcome that needs to happen while giving them the ability to choose how they want to get there.  If they don’t like to run, then don’t make them run, but instead find an activity they like to do that will get them to their goal.  With Mastery, give them a task that is challenging, but only to the point where they are still successful, and as they master certain levels of the skill, they are driven to accomplish the next level.  Presenting someone with a challenge that encourages them to continue to strive to be better will only play on their own intrinsic motivators.  A program that has mastery, is demonstrated in exercise adherence and satisfaction from the client.  Lastly, purpose is the ‘why’ of what they are doing is worth it to begin with.  Purpose is what we pursue, it is the catalyst behind putting in all the effort to get to their goals.  Be sure to provide meaningful reasons of ‘why’ that correlate to the individual’s goals, and it will remind them the direction they are going when the going gets tough.

Ultimately what motivates us to do anything are tasks that encourage autonomy, mastery and purpose.  When we supply these in our training programs, we build a foundation to help encourage change, not only in their body as their tissues are left to guess what is happening and adapt, but also mentally as we are giving them workouts that are challenging mentally/emotionally/and physically.  If we find tasks that give AUTONOMY, MASTERY, AND PURPOSE then we as personal trainers are recognizing that we really are behavioral change specialists.

So, before you revert to a reward or punishment, think carefully about the message that conveys to the clients’ motivation towards exercise.

Hayley Hollander

Fitness Designer?

This week we will begin to take a look at one of the many ways to design a program.

The reason why I say “many ways” is because there should never be in my opinion “ONE “ way to do anything.  Variety as the say is the spice of life. The program I will be discussing will come from The Institute of Motion (IoM) and it’s director Michol Dalcourt. Michol presented this concept at the 2011 IDEA World Conference as “6 steps to better program design” and he broke it down to three main objectives; (a) explain the 6-step program design model. (b)Explain how it serves to allow for proper progression/regression and (c) Put this model into practice with various drills in view of integrated anatomy. IoM (2011). In part one of my three-part breakdown, I will introduce the 6-step program design model. Allow me to preface the model by stating that the body has to constantly battle forces. “Gravity and Ground Reaction Forces (GRF) are two paramount’s we deal with everyday.”MIchol Dalcourt (2011)

How we move through those forces and how we apply them to a training program can mean the difference between progressing and regressing our fitness levels and coincidentally our health. The six main steps outlined in this program are orientation, action, device, footprint, handprint, and threshold. Let’s review briefly what each step represents and/or entails;

-Orientation: Refers to which way your body will be positioned in relation to gravity and ground i.e. standing, sitting, lying face down, face up etc.

- Action: What movement are you going to perform? What is the body doing? Are you changing levels? Are you using stationary force? Are you using locomotion?

-Device: What tools or external load are you choosing? TRX Suspension Trainers, ViPR’s, Kettlebells, Barbells, and why?

- Footprint: Refers to your stance and/or foot Action you are performing.

-Handprint: Refers to your hand position or hand Action you are performing.

-Threshold: Applying acute variables i.e. sets, reps, time, rest, weight, range of motion (ROM), speed, etc.

For the fitness professionals reading this blog try implementing this six step PDM into your own workouts first, see how you like it. Does it add a new/different dimension to your routine? Once you feel you have a basic grasp of the six steps and have practiced it, try slowly integrating the six step concept into your clients routine. Remember, “regression is a must, progression is earned” Acea Theroux (2011 TRX ITC).

In part two I will explain how the six step design model allows for proper progression /regression of our Actions.





Michol Dalcourt- Institute of Motion, 2011 IDEA World Fitness Conference, Los Angeles, Ca


Acea Theroux- TRX STC ITC Sept. 2011, Instructor Candidate.


Vector Variability

One of the most common excuses I get from clients who say they don’t like to run is:  “I hate running in one direction, its boring!”  I don’t blame them, the body doesn’t like it either, that’s why it is so boring.  There really is no challenge for the brain and the tissues of the body adapt to the stress of linear movement.

But what if you changed the paradigm of how you trained all together?  What if instead you went for a run and had to change your feet patterns every 30 seconds, or had to use your arms differently?  What if you played a game with a ball that required you to run all over the place for 30min?  Would you still be bored?

Probably not!

Your body will thank you too.

A Vector is a direction and magnitude of a force.  Changing the vectors on the body, changes the forces placed on the tissues, leaving the tissues of the body to guess how to respond.  We call training in this way vector variability. When we train with vector variability we keep the body guessing, and we feed the system smart information.  Our mind can become united with our movements, and we bring FUN back into the equation of exercise.  Check out this short video with ATP client Lori Grieco and how we integrated vector variability into her workout.

So, next time you pick up a weight to do a bicep curl, think to yourself… how many different ways can I do this to keep my body guessing and still get the same result?

Stay Healthy,
Hayley Hollander

Alleviating Pain: It’s the shoes!

The second of a series of blogs on staying healthy

Last I left you I mentioned the idea of working out barefoot or in minimalist shoes to strengthen the all-important foot.  Knees hurt?  Lower back hurts?  If so, there is the strong possibility the pains in the aforementioned areas originated down below the knees.  By now, most of you already have heard why due to the popularity of barefoot shoes – Our feet have basically ‘turned off,’ due to heavily cushioned shoes and orthotics, and become weaker.  This in turn has lead to unnatural changes in pronation, gait, etc..

What does this have to do with your aching knee or back?  Everything, duh.  Let me explain by example:

Okay, stand up.  Seriously, stand up.  Do so in a bilateral stance with your feet about hip width.  Now, rotate your torso side to side and pay attention to what your feet are doing.  They should be rolling side to side as you rotate.  In short, that is pronation and supination.  Now, do it again but roll in both feet and focus on keeping the inside of each foot in contact with the floor as you rotate your torso.  In other words, don’t let your feet naturally roll side to side.  How does that feel?  Not so good I would expect – especially in your lower back.

Do it again, but this time, roll both your feet to the outside.  As you rotate, don’t let the inside of the feet touch. Once again, didn’t feel as good as when you allowed your feet to roll side to side huh?

Now, think about what happens when you walk without proper pronation and supination, or worse, run miles at a time.   Because (breaking news) your hips rotate back and forth contralateral to the shoulders when you walk or run, and your feet should pronate and supinate to properly distribute the forces it encounters.  When the feet don’t do their job the rest of the body can’t move like it’s supposed to.  Think of the pressure you felt in your lower back when you rotated without allowing the feet to roll naturally.  Multiply that by a few thousand and now you can see why pain can develop in the lower back or knees.

In short, that is why it may be a good idea to wear shoes that allow the feet to do what nature intended.  Just do so in moderation.  Don’t, and I mean DON’T, go out and buy a pair of Vibram FiveFingers and run a 5k.  Your calves won’t appreciate it.  Start off walking around in them for a half hour or so.  Wear them as you strength-train.  If you intend to run in them, try jumping rope first for 30 seconds to a minute to begin with and build up.

So now you are saying “eureka!”  I have found the cure to my aches and pains.  Not so fast Sparky – what you found is the start to recovery.  As I mentioned in my last blog, the entire posterior chain needs to be strengthened to combat problems caused by the modern lifestyle.

Next, we’ll go back to basics and discuss some of my favorite exercises for strengthening the rear such as the deadlift, the good morning, and the squat.

Chris Lewis

Defining what we do

In my Hsu’s

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. -Lou Holtz

Functional Training? Functionalist?

In the fitness industry, “IT” words can sell what ever it is that you want to market. One of the all time great words is “Core”. Another one that been thrown around for quite some time now is “Functional Training”. This week, I will discuss Functional Training, not to bash it or edify the term, but to simply explain it.

Functional Training:

To examine each part in an attempt to determine the role it plays in the operating of the system (body) as a whole. When any part fails, this creates a problem for the whole. These failures and/or dysfunctions upset the equilibrium of the system and could become a problem physically, emotionally, and mentally. This may negatively affect one’s behavior and lifestyle.

For the Fitness Professional, anything that impedes the body’s ability to achieve its goal is by definition “dysfunction”. The system will take care of itself as a whole first and will do so at he expense of its individual parts. It is this constant struggle between what the clients or we want (Extrinsic Goals) vs. what we or the clients needs (Intrinsic Goals), that could eventually put the health and fitness of everyone at risk.

To “Functionally Train” one must try to examine and understand how different postures, movements, behavior patterns and lifestyle choices affect the way we “Function”.



By. Harold A. Widdison and H.Richard Delany

Social Problems: Definitions, Theories, and Analysis

Chapter 1 from Annual Editions: Social Problems 10/11

37th. Edition by Finsterbusch 4

Facilitating a Learning Environment

One unique task that personal trainers have when designing programs and picking exercises for their clients is to find ways that allow the client to move within their bubble, with proper timing and rhythm.  Timing and Rhythym is a sticky thing, because its something that should happen naturally as the body learns the new movement.  Once the body knows what to expect and what to do, it starts to create a synchronized pattern of movement.  The challenging thing for the trainer is that we can’t ‘tell’ the body when, where, and how to move… WE MUST ASK IT.  When we allow the body to show us how it wants to move, we can learn so much more from the client, and it is in that moment that we can truly learn how to pick exercises that facilitate a “learning environment” for movement with proper rhythm and timing.  Rhythm and timing looks like the body is harmoniously moving without even thinking about it.

In this video, watch as ATP client Tracy, is learning how to lunge in different directions with rhythm and timing.  We utilize yoga blocks, in a stacking formation to facilitate a response of slowing down and getting a full range of motion… and even more important, ITS FUN!  The brain is thinking of the blocks, and the body is telling the brain where it wants to go with the blocks.  How cool is that?

How will you facilitate a learning environment for you and your clients?

Stay Healthy,

Hayley Hollander

Alleviating Pain: From the Bottom up

The first in a series of blogs regarding alleviating pain.

Back hurt?  Knees hurt?  Rotator cuff aching?

If so, there’s a strong possibility the root of the problem stems from your poor movement patterns.  Am I placing the blame squarely on you?  Not at all.  In general, many of the damaging movement patterns we all have developed are due to environmental factors.  That’s right – it’s society’s fault.

We are descendants of Homo erectus not Homo sit-and-typus. For hundreds of thousands of years we walked erect, hunted prey, gathered food and lived a pretty active existence.  It’s really only in the past 150 years our lifestyles began to change to the point of where it is today.  Now – instead of spending most of our day standing upright and moving – we sit and type for hours at a computer (hunched over at the shoulders I may add), sit and drive a car, and at the end of the day sit and watch tv.  The average human must spend at least 10-12 hours a day in an internally rotated position.  But we don’t have these big brains for nothing.  To combat this damaging lifestyle of inactivity we created exercise.

And for a lot of us, it goes like this:  After spending hours internally rotated, we drive to a gym where we pound away on exercise machines and do endless numbers of crunches.  Which does what?  Further compounds our internal rotation.

How do we combat this problem of epidemic proportions?  Simple – strengthen your posterior chain.  In other words, strengthen your behind.   This includes the muscles of the scapular region, the spine, the hips, and the back of the legs.  In general, I recommend doing three and even four posterior related exercises to every anterior one to relieve that internal rotation of the shoulders and that pelvic tilt.

But I want to take this a step further (hence the title).  By looking at our fascial lines, in particular the superficial back line, we see it originates at the bottom of our feet.  By leading the attack against the modern lifestyle by strengthening our feet, we will gain a solid foothold for the rest of our program – no pun intended.

And we can do so quite simply by working out barefoot or in minimalist shoes…To be continued. 

Chris Lewis

Using SFT Syntax to add variety to your exercises

Ever get tired of doing an exercise the same way over and over again? Ever wish you could add a little something to your favorite exercise to make it more challenging and/or fun? Say hello to SFT (pronounced “safety”) Syntax. SFT is an acronym for Sagittal, Frontal, and Transverse Plane movements. Sagittal Plane movements are forward and backwards. Frontal Plane movements are side to side. Transverse Plane movements are rotational.

When training with the SFT Syntax, we use letters to dictate the beginning position which directs us where to move our limbs i.e. hands and feet. As you’ll see in the video Hayley will call out 3 letters for which I will position my arms before executing the movement, in this case the dumb bell chest press. Each letter is called out in a specific order correlating to the acronym SFT. The first letter alway refers to the S.agittal, the second will be for F.rontal , and the last letter will be for T.ransverse.

In the S column there are 3 letters to choose from X=Neutral (feet and/or hands side by side about hip or shoulder with apart),R= right foot or hand forward, and L= left foot/or hand forward. The F column also has 3 letters X=Neutral ,W= wide stance (a liitle wider than shoulder width), and N= narrow stance (inside hip width). Finally the T column has 3 letters X= Neutral, I= Internal rotation of the hands or feet (turning towards the body), and E= external rotation (turning away from the body).

Play around with the SFT Syntax to add variety to your routines.

Have fun,

Arthur Hsu

A Creative Environment!

Sometimes one of the best ways to spice up your workouts is to change your environment and then creatively figure out ways to use what you have around you to workout.  Whether you’re on the go and travelling all the time, or maybe you have a quick 20 min lunch break and want to get a workout in to maximize your time, your environment can be giving you a whole lot more than you think.  Take a look as ATP client Jon S. does his latest workout in his backyard and makes his workout fun and inventive.  Enjoy… and let’s see your next workout in a different environment!

Stay Healthy,

Hayley Hollander


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