Train For Life

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


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Stretching Made Simple


Stretching made simple. If you want to work your ‘pushers’ you have to work your ‘pullers’ & vice versa. Stretching & strengthening are the same thing. Your flexibility practice should be a mirror to your strength practice. As much as you stretch in one direction, you need to strengthen that end range of motion. 

After doing a round a traction repetitions (not shown here), I follow my practice up with 3-5 sets of PNF contractions at both the end ranges of motion, stabilizing my pushers & my pullers. This helps your nervous system develop & reinforce new patterning. Give it a try in any stretch you are having trouble with 💪 #hulkstretching #agatsu #agatsufitness #mobility #gymlife #gym #instadaily #instafit #fitness #gymnastics #yoga #yogi #circus #dance #bjj #mma #gymnasty #stretching

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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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Failure is the Path to Great Successes!

My best friend and client Freya’s incredible journey to getting her first muscle up! A year in the making!!!! Just because something is not possible today does not mean that you are efforts are in vain. 
Everyday you practice, win or lose, you are building the steps up that mountain. Approach your practice with the mindset that failure at something is information.
Information that will lead you to the right path. It’s like little red riding hood trying to get to her grandma’s house….If she when she gets to the fork in the road, she is too afraid to make a decision on which way to take because she could run into the big bad wolf, she will never see change. Instead she will sit at that fork, watching the sun raise and set, day after day, but everything will remain the same. 
However, if she’s brave enough to take on the challenge and even if she choose the wrong path, she will now know which direction is the right path.
Moving in new directions and taking on new challenges can be very frustrating and at times seem hopeless. It may seem that you are always taking 5 steps forward and then 5 steps right back. Never gaining any ground. But if you practice with consistency and mindfulness, you will start to notice change in failure. One day instead of 5 steps back, it will start to be only 4.5 steps. Then 4 steps back and so on until you reach your destination. Then a new adventure begins on a different path.
Freya I am so incredibly proud of you…This is just the beginning of an amazing journey for you. So many more adventures lay ahead. Thank you for letting me be a part of it 

“The muscle up has been the bane of my training since I started crossfit with no upper body strength to speak of in 2008. Last year after the open and after many years of coaching clients through their firsts all while avoiding the work myself, I finally decided I couldn’t avoid them any longer.
This past year I worked on them relentlessly, often crying in frustration all by myself (or on the phone with my best friend/sister/coach Sara-Clare)

Today, after just over a year of hard, often boring, always frustrating work…I finally made it to the top of those damned rings. I know this is a basic movement that comes naturally to some, but for those of you out there in the same shoes as me: just know that no matter how far away even your first pull up still is; that muscle up IS possible. DO THE WORK, be patient and don’t give up. 
Sara-Clare Lajeunesse, this muscle up is dedicated to you.”

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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