Train For Life

Mobility instructor Agatsu.com workshops, courses & online training designed to help you become supple, strong & smart

Squat Like A Boss!

Are you getting the most out of your squat?

Here’s an article I wrote for ONNIT Training Academy on how to improve the range of motion and stability in your squat technique.

Follow the steps and I guarantee you will see and feel huge gains!

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Meet Gerry, 67 & Training for Life

“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Socrates

Let’s face it. Life is easier when you are stronger, faster and more agile. In training we should always consider the ultimate goal, quality of life. We are all growing older everyday, but its how we train ourselves that will make all the difference.

No one ever says I’d love to feel my body ache with pain, watch my muscles atrophy while I lose bone density and count the wrinkles in my face as the days go by. Instead I would like to train for better quality of life and move through each day with power and grace. For this to be a reality and not just some far off dream, we must pay attention to the way in which we choose to train.

The pinnacle of all training is to master one’s own body. ‘We cannot expect to control resistance from an external force unless we conquer it within our own bodies first.’ Shawn Mozen

Now it is my pleasure to introduce you to Gerry, 67 and training for life.

Here’s a quick interview I did with him on how and why he trains.

When I met Gerry a little over a year ago, he was in great shape health wise. He ate the right, slept enough and worked out regularly. However he was in bad shape mobility wise. He had the drive to participate in various activities such as running and climbing but had hit a road block. He could not longer perform to his expectations. Squats, overhead arm positions and co-ordinating movements and were huge obstacles for him.

I could see how badly he was willing to work at getting his mobility back, not only to train and hopefully one day olympic lift, but for better quality of life. I helped him along the way to his goal, but truly admire and respect this athlete as he did the work each day.

Name: Gerry

Age: 67 in three days!

Employment: Full time editor

Previous Training: I started with running in June,1972. This was a bit before the running boom. One of the best trails in Toronto, Moore Park Ravine, was about one hundred yards from where I lived, so I was lucky. Once my fitness caught up with what I was trying to do (about 5 weeks), I was hooked. I’ll never forget the pleasure of that first “easy” run, when all of a sudden, I felt I could run forever.

Main Goals: At this point in my life, my overriding goal is to maintain mobility. By that, I mean the ability to move easily and with strength. I always want to be fit enough that, when a friend asks if I want to go for a run, or climbing, or just workout, I can say “yes”.

Focus of Your Training: I want to maintain a routine of “balanced” fitness. My routines contain elements of functional fitness, oly lifting, cardio (via running, eventually to include track work and tempo running), stretching and mobility work.

I have a weekly plan and write out each workout before I do it. Now I always do movement preparation, then my workout, and always finish with stretching and mobility work.

Challenges That You Faced: The biggest challenge all along has been to get shoulder mobility. I never thought it would come, but it has. Again, this Saturday I was  doing OH squats, now with 70 lbs with perfect form. Alex (Varbanov) was there and got pretty excited, he thinks I might have a good full-squat snatch in a few months. He could be right.

An important note, my lack of shoulder mobility led to an injury which took me out of training for several months. The snatch was just too hard on my shoulders and I was Oly lifting 3 times a week. This time, I’m confident, if I’m careful, this won’t be a problem.  I did oly lifting twice this week with no problem.

Mobility Work That You Found The Most Helpful: The two exercises I now use most are the concentric and eccentric shoulder stretches you showed me on the day you took my picture. But the best thing I got from you was an appreciation of doing mobility work – up to then I’d done just stretching. Now I really work on movement preparation and I tailor what I do for the workout to come. And I’ve gotten pretty good about stretching after a workout.

A Training Week In Your Life: This is still developing, but I’m aiming for two workouts a day, 2 days on and 1 day off. If I can, I’ll eventually move to 3 days on, 1 day off. Sometimes, I also sneak in a few exercises (dips, supine pull ups) at work.

This is my schedule from Aug 19 – 25:

Sunday 19: Am workout – functional
PM workout – run, functional

Monday 20: Rest day (after workouts on Sat and Sun)

Tues 21: AM workout – functional Noon: Dips, supine pull ups

Pm workout – olympic lifting with Alex, back squats Wed 22: AM workout – functional

Thurs 23: Noon: Dips, supine pull ups PM workout – run, functional

Fri 24: Rest day

Sat 25: AM – run, functional
Afternoon – open gym: wall ball, back squat, push press

What Activities Do You Enjoy: Any sport. Gymnastics!!!!!!!!! Movement with strength and grace, who wouldn’t want that?

Your Inspirations:I’m inspired by athletes, dancers, artists who strive to be the best they can be. I love people who are always searching for ways to get better, who won’t settle with “good enough”.

As a 67-year-0ld Crossfitter, I was struggling with my loss of range of motion. This was giving me a lot a trouble, especially with the overhead squat. Sara showed me a many mobility exercises to fix the problem. Now, I move more freely, am more open and I can do my overhead squats with an erect posture, and my shoulders have opened enough that the barbell is in the correct position – no more falling forward.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have thought an “old guy” could regain so much mobility. Thanks, Sara!’

BOOTCAMP WORKOUT- BULGARIAN BAG & ROPE CIRCUIT WITH AGATSU TRAINER SARA-CLARE LAJEUNESSE

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Here is a quick Bulgarian Bag and Rope workout for you from Agatsu trainer Sara-Clare Lajeunesse. For more videos and training info follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/AgatsuKBs and check out Sara’s blog https://saraclare.wordpress.com You can also download the FREE Agatsu App for Iphone/Ipad and Android-Search Agatsu


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The Number One Thing You Can Do To Make Yourself a Better Trainer

Many of us know that practice does not make prefect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. To become better at our training, jobs and lives, we must pay attention to the ways in which we practice in order to perform to our full potential. To be a good role model, well rounded athlete and teacher we must not forget that whatever time we put into our physical practice, we must put into our mental growth as well.

How can you bring more to your training and your clients training if you keep running them through the same old ‘hamster in the wheel’ routine?

You need to be greedy for yourself and always want more. Finding new training challenges, practicing and conquering them ensures that you will keep raising the bar for yourself physically. However, once your have achieved your goals, how do you go about discovering new ones?

To demand more from yourself you need to be informed. The number one thing you can do to make yourself a better trainer is to study. To be a great teacher, you must be an even better student.

 Here are some easy steps to follow to help you keep a good study practice. 

 -Research Something New:

This is a must and should be done minimum once a day. Set aside time for studying in your schedule. Even if it starts with 15 minutes each day, one topic a week, by the end of seven days, that can add up. If you are teaching people and taking money from them, you owe it to yourself and your clients to keep raising the bar. It can be anything at all. Gymnastics, free diving, jujitsu, ballet, knife dis-arming, olympic weightlifting, aerial silks…etc. If you don’t understand it, research it until you do. Trust me, if you follow this one rule, you will never run out of things to discover.

-Be a Detective:

Explore all the angles of your new challenge. The next time a client comes to you with a question or issue that you don’t understand instead of turning them away or making excuses to yourself, take on their need and challenge yourself to become informed. As the saying goes, ‘the teacher will appear when the student is ready to learn’. You are the student, never forget that.

-Practice it Yourself:

If it scares you, you should do it. We often shy away from things we do not understand, that’s why we are afraid of them. Don’t be afraid to fail. Go take lessons. Make mistakes. It is only through experience that you can truly understand and learn.

Would you rather go through life avoiding all that you are afraid of, regretting things you haven’t done? Or would you rather practice what you preach and be a warrior? That is the sign of a true leader.

-Teach Others:

Once you have completed all the above steps, the best way to put your knowledge to the test is to share it. Write articles for magazines, blog it, present it to your peers, teach it to your kids, create a youtube channel, the list goes on and on. This is also how you market yourself. The possibilities are endless if you keep your up with your studies.

No one wants to hire or train with someone that does not show constant improvement within themselves. If you are lazy at life, then you will be lazy at your job. You will lack passion for what you do. If you find yourself in this situation, you should either switch professions, or light a fire under your own butt and start to uncover all the options and angles your career could take. Challenge yourself to be better. Research, Explore, Practice and Teach. Think of yourself like a shark. A shark must be constantly moving forward or it dies. A trainer must be constantly moving their own training and clients forward or their value as a teacher will die.

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