How a powerlifting competition may be the best thing for your training

The look that I get from people when I mention that they should consider competing in a powerlifting competition is usually priceless. I usually get that, “Are you crazy?!?!” look. Then I have to explain to them that I am dead serious and that it may be the best thing for their training. As I am reflecting on my recent powerlifting competition last weekend, it allowed me to think and come up with some reasons why you may benefit from participating in a competition.

  1. Training vs. Exercising– There is a big difference between training and working out. If you are simply going to the gym to workout with no greater purpose than getting a sweat on or going through the motions, then you are simply “exercising”. By signing yourself up for a competition, your visits to the gym now have a reason or purpose. You are working out and preparing for your competition. You start paying more attention to the weights you are lifting, keep closer track of your lifts/progress and logging your workouts more consistently. Each workout is a piece to the puzzle of the bigger picture, and you continue to build off of each workout. You are now training, preparing for something. This usually has a chain effect too because as you try to build off of each workout, you start realizing that nutrition and recovery are part of the process and need to be incorporated as well. This is where the real results usually emerge.
  2. Body Composition -When you talk to people about their goals, the majority of the time it involves body composition. Whether someone is trying to lose weight, gain muscle or tone up, it usually involves some type of body change. The problem is that a lot of people don’t associate getting stronger as something that will improve body composition. Those people couldn’t be more wrong. When it comes to body composition, people usually think about extreme diets, lots of exercise and cardio whereas strength training involves slowing down, resting between sets, and getting stronger. As the focus to get stronger becomes the main priority, you will pack on more muscle, which will help to burn fat and make you look leaner/more toned. All of those initial goals that everyone talks about end up being the bi-product of training for a competition and getting stronger.
  3. Powerlifting Community– Every time I participate or even go to watch a powerlifting competition, I am always amazed by the energy and camaraderie of the people there. I seem to always walk out with this new appreciation and excitement to get back into the gym and train harder. It reenergizes me and keeps me focused on my training. I think it is important to stay motivated and not just go through the motions with training, which can be so easy to do when dealing with the stresses of your life, work, etc… You become a part of this underground community, people you’ve never met, and we are all working toward the greater goal of becoming better and stronger versions of ourselves. It is a really cool thing.

So I challenge you to consider competing in a powerlifting competition. I guarantee it will instill a sense of confidence and achievement you’ve never felt. It definitely gives me an extra sense of confidence, not because of how much weight I lift, but because I set out challenges for myself and conquered them. I step out of my comfort zone every time I compete and learn more about myself as a person in regards to facing adversity, and I become a better person because of it.

Lets GET it!!!


GET News: February 2016

February 2016 bannerCheck out the Gunning Elite Training Monthly Newsletter to see what’s new, helpful tips, reminders, and more!

What’s happening – Team Updates

GET Smarter: Mark your calendars and sign up for the last few GET Smarter sessions, offered from 8-9am on select Saturdays this winter. All sessions are FREE to members, $15 for future members.
What’s still on tap:
KETTLEBELL SWING – This Saturday, March 5 at 8am
The kettlebell swing is a low-risk exercise that simultaneously torches fat, builds strength, and improves cardiovascular fitness. Join us to review the key components of the kettlebell swing.
CORE – March 12 at 8am
Are you a fan of core work? Regardless, do you really know what it is? What it isn’t? In this session, we will debunk core misconceptions, help you define what it means to have a strong core, and give you tips to maximize your time spent on “core exercises.”

Strength in Action

Watch this video for an overview of the Romanian Deadlift (RDL), and tips for making this movement more effective.

As we are all aware, GET is about teamwork. We are stronger together and GET better together every day. So, in the spirit of togetherness and with “family” at the core of GET…

GET to Know – a few of our STRONG COUPLES

Geoff & Chris “Competition is fun, and healthy!”

Geoff and Chris

Geoff: Chris is a strong woman, both physically and mentally, and she makes me want to be better.

Chris: Competition is fun! Geoff beats me at most things…ping pong, bowling, etc. but I still love to compete with him and I am totally obnoxious when I am winning! We laugh! It’s fun!

To us, being a strong couple means being there for each other – staying healthy together now and in the future. Fitness has always been a part of our lives in one way or another. While we still have yet to train together (one of us needs to be home with our three kids), we look forward to sharing what the workouts were with each other. We talk about it every morning. Whoever goes to the gym that day comes home and tells the other what they did. We’re in no rush to have our kids so grown up that we can both be gone at the same time.

GET is a perfect fit for us. Everyone is so positive. (Except for Bill, he’s an ornery bastard… Ha!) Matt and Casey are always pushing us and supporting us and are passionate about creating a family culture at the gym.

Jay & Vanessa “Always work as a team.”

JAy and VanessaWe drove by GET several times and then several people recommended it to us as an awesome place. When we looked at the website, we really loved how it was a husband & wife team and the idea of the small group training. When we called Matt to set up a time to meet, his enthusiasm and passion for fitness lured us in.

We knew we wanted to work out together because we didn’t want to spend time apart since we both have crazy work schedules.  When we decided to give GET a try we knew we had found our place. Not only were we enjoying working out and getting stronger as a couple, but we were also meeting and making new friends.

Joining GET enabled us to blend our time together and fitness into one. Working out together allows us to support each other and give one another encouragement when we need it most (like on those really tough finishers!).

There’s nothing like the close-knit bond of the GET team. We love being a part of it, and have gotten so much more out of it than we expected.

Editor’s note: If you didn’t know…Jay & Vanessa will be welcoming a strong little boy (future GET team member) to the world sometime in May!

Mike & Caitlyn “A couple who works out together stays together.”

Mike and CaitlynWe love GET because every workout brings a new challenge. There are days when one of us may not feel like we can get through a workout but it helps to have each other to maintain our motivation and consistency. Working as a team to stay fit and motivated every day adds something great to our relationship.  Laughter and having a good time is something we both value greatly and GET doesn’t let us down, we always have something to smile about when we’re there!

Derek & Lisa “Be honest, be kind, work hard, and have fun!”

lisa and derekAfter passing by GET one night (and Derek noticing all the Rogue equipment) we stopped in to chat with Matt. We decided to join the team, and the rest is history!

Our shared goal is to get to the gym together as often as we can, but with our crazy schedules and two kids at home it can be a challenge. Whether we are scheduling our workouts, preparing meals, or managing the home – everything is a team effort. Derek won’t let Lisa leave the house without breakfast and a protein shake, and Lisa won’t let Derek eat pizza for dinner as often as he’d like. ;0  )

As a strong couple, we respect one another’s goals, encourage each other to work hard, and look forward to a future full of life, love, and kettlebells. Our favorite part of GET is all of you! From day 1, we have felt welcomed and supported on this journey.

Motivation Tip: If there’s ever a day you don’t want to get to the gym, just play CT Fletcher’s “It’s still your MF set”…Derek plays this for Lisa a few times a month! NO EXCUSES! (Warning: Video not appropriate for small ears.)

Fueling Your Fitness:

Good reads on fitness and nutrition

10 Ways to Remain Athletic as you Age

The Simple Hierarchy of Fat Loss

46 Best Supermarket Shopping Tips Ever

Recipe/Meal Ideas

Braised Short Ribs

Chili-Lime Popcorn

GET News: January 2016

January 2016 banner

Check out the Gunning Elite Training Monthly Newsletter to see what’s new, helpful tips, reminders, and more!

What’s happening – Team Updates

GET Smarter: Mark your calendars and sign up for this winter’s GET Smarter sessions, offered from 8-9am on select Saturdays. All sessions are FREE to members, $15 for future members.

GET Members…To sign up/attend for FREE, simply “cash out” for a GET Smarter session on Mindbody –> then sign up for the session you’d like to attend. Questions? Ask Casey.

Reoccurring Auto-Pay Packages: As of January 1, all GET Fit packages will only be offered online on a reoccurring/auto pay schedule. (Including: GET Fit Individual, GET Fit Together, and GET Fit Military Discount) Why Auto Pay? No more remembering when to renew your package AND now you can sign up beyond the end date of your current month package!


  1. Sign in to your Mindbody account on a PC/Mac (not a phone or tablet) –> 2. Click the “Online Store” tab –> 3. Click on “Contracts” –> 4. Carefully select which package you are purchasing and follow the prompts to complete the purchase.

Note: Your credit card on file will be charged each month (12 occurrences) on the same date which is based on the date you first purchase it on. If you need to put your account on hold or cancel at any time – we just ask that you give us (at minimum) 1 week notice to change your account appropriately. Other Questions? Ask Casey.

Strength in Action

shoulder posture video Watch this video to learn more about three exercises that we do to improve shoulder health and posture.




Lacey Lacey…GET’n after it with some weighted pushups – keeping full range with the added weight for multiple reps. Remember – any movement (regardless of how simple) can be progressed. Challenge yourself!



GET to Know – Caitlyn Drumm

CaitlynHow did I GET into this? I started GET about 7 months ago after our neighbor introduced Mike and I to Matt and Casey. It was growing harder to stay self-motivated and get to the gym every day, so we decided to try out small-group fitness with a range of training. We had no idea how much we would love the small-group approach!

You might not know…that I was in an all-female A Cappella group, while attending SUNY Albany, called Serendipity, and I rowed crew all four years of high school as well as after college for the Albany Rowing Center.

Where am I from? I was born in Baldwinsville, a suburb outside of Syracuse, NY where most of my family still lives. I have one older brother who resides in Buffalo, NY. As of now, I love the Capital District/Adirondacks region and plan to be here for a while!

What do I do for fun? Hmm…Cooking, baking, drinking wine, watching movies, and hanging out with our dog just about sums it up!

My Favorite Exercise…I just can’t get enough sled pushes! I used to dread them when I’d see the orange cones set up in the parking lot, but I have grown to love them.

My favorite thing about GET…is the strong sense of family that surrounds it. A family that pushes each other to reach their highest potential every day. The dedication of Matt, Casey, and the whole GET team is something that I admire and that keeps me coming back!

Fueling Your Fitness:

Good reads on fitness and nutrition.

18 Habits That Can Make You FatLIVE STRONG, Katherine Brooking

A fitness-focused New Year’s resolution that’s worth makingPrecision Nutrition, John Berardi

Recipe/Meal Ideas

5-Minute Avocado Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Easiest Way to Cook Butternut Squash (Or Acorn Squash, or Sweet Potatoes, etc.)
**Hate cutting squash in ½? Save yourself a trip to the ER by reading this article!**


GET News: December 2015

December 2015 banner

Check out the Gunning Elite Training Monthly Newsletter to see what’s new with the team, plus… GET helpful tips, reminders, and more!

What’s happening – Team Updates

GET Smarter: Check out the winter GET Smarter schedule here and mark your calendar! GET Smarter sessions will be offered from 8-9am on select Saturdays. All sessions are FREE to members. Future members are $15.

Annual Holiday GET Together: Join your fellow teammates to celebrate the holidays at Nové Italian Restaurant (Wilton) on Saturday, December 19 at 7pm. ($25pp, cash bar available. Sign-ups and $ due no later than 12/11.) A festive gift exchange will take place if you’d like to partake. Rules: Gift value should be $15-$20. Your gift must start with a “G” “E” or “T”…example/ ‘Golf balls’ OR ‘Eucalyptus scrub’ OR ‘T-shirt’

**Bonus Opportunity** If your gift has 2 or all 3 letters in the name/description.

Strength in Action

Turkey Trot 2015On Thanksgiving morning, the GET team + family and friends gathered to run the 14th Annual Christopher Dailey 5K Turkey Trot in downtown Saratoga.

Did you run? Click here to see your results.

Ruksgiving 2015

Toga’s first “Rucksgiving” was held on Sat, Nov 28! 20+ people (GET Team and more) came out with their bags filled with canned goods, ready to help fill the First Baptist Church food pantry. Thanks to our local OCR/GET Team Member, Chris Perrone, for bringing this global OCR effort to Ballston Spa!

The Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is a low-risk exercise that simultaneously torches fat, builds strength, and improves cardiovascular fitness. Watch this video to learn how to perform the movement, how to avoid injury, and why you should incorporate this movement into your workout if you aren’t already.

GET to Know – Richard Romano

richardHow did I GET into this?… I first started training with Matt one-on-one about four-and-a-half years ago, pretty much by accident (I had joined High Rock Sports & Fitness really just to use the treadmill a few times a week and things snowballed from there). It has been great to see the GET team grow into such a supportive family.

You might not—in fact, probably don’t—know… I have been a professional writer for (zoinks!) 20 years and have written or co-written almost a dozen books, mostly on either graphics hardware and software or various aspects of the printing industry. Gripping page-turners, they are. I also write for a number of trade publications. I sometimes end up in The Saratogian as I am one of several alternating writers of the “Film Forum Buzz” column (I have been a Saratoga Film Forum board member for longer than I can recall). I have also had a stage play produced, and three others given staged readings, in the dramatic mecca of Johnstown, N.Y. (You know what they say: first Johnstown, then Broadway.)

Essentially, I am a delivery system for words.

Where I am from (a small planet located somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse?) I have had a rather nomadic trajectory which runs like this: Born in Brooklyn (in 1967, 28 days after Pink Floyd released their first album), raised near Boston, schooled in Syracuse, lived/worked in NYC for nearly a decade, spent three years in LA (most of it stuck in traffic), and finally ended up in Saratoga in Fall 2000, where I hope to stay until well into my dotage (which should be along any day now).

What do I do for fun?… Fun…I’ve heard of that. Um, well, going to Syracuse for football, basketball, and lacrosse games (although whether that’s “fun” or “soul crushing” is often a matter of debate), seeing live music (best show ever was The Hold Steady at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Mass., in 2010, second only perhaps to Pink Floyd at the Carrier Dome in 1987), movies (the older the better), books (favorite author Charles Dickens and/or Douglas Adams, favorite contemporary author Haruki Murakami and/or Christopher Moore), and (most) every year I compete in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. And, of course, just hanging out with friends. I may try snowshoeing this winter, which I have been saying for about a decade now.

My favorite thing about GET… That it exists! Specifically, that it is an environment conducive to not only achieving whatever fitness goals I may have (and I’m still finding new ones), but doing so in a setting that’s not hyper-competitive, but still pushes me. Oh, and the dogs.

Fueling Your Fitness: Good reads on fitness and nutrition.

What you don’t know about willpower: Why popular ideas about determination and drive are all wrong. – PRECISION NUTRITION, Krista Scott-Dixon

The 5 Most Common Deadlift Mistakes – TNATION, Tony Gentilcore

Where Fitness Professionals Go Wrong When Training Women – Tony Gentilcore

Prevent Winter Colds with Immune-Boosting Foods – ACTIVE, Gavin Edley

Recipe/Meal Ideas

Rosemary Turkey Breast (crockpot recipe)

Lentils with Wine-Glazed Winter Vegetables

GET Smarter – Winter 2015/2016

Join any of the GET Smarter sessions coming up this winter to learn about what you’re do (or not doing) in the gym! FREE to GET Team Members with active membership, $15 for future GET Team Members.


FUELING YOUR FITNESS: This session will review WHAT habits enable us to successfully manage nutrition, and HOW to improve overall nutrition for better health and wellness. PLUS, we’ll talk about how to set yourself up for success, mentally and physically. January 16


SQUAT: The squat has been labeled ‘The King of Exercises’ – and for good reason. In this session we will review the basics of the movement pattern, and help you determine which squat is best for you. Plus – we will do a deep dive on the back squat… the proper set up, execution, and safe spotting techniques. January 23


DEADLIFT: Although simple in nature, this exercise can be very dangerous if performed incorrectly. We will discuss the benefits of this movement, as well as proper set up and execution. February 6


BENCH PRESS: Like other strength movements, set up and body positioning is key to success. It is important to understand the best body position and set up for you! Plus, we will touch on Power Lifting as a competitive sport. What the sport can offer you, upcoming competitions, what you can expect to see/experience, and more. February 13


KETTLE BELL SWING: The kettlebell swing is a low-risk exercise that simultaneously torches fat, builds strength, and improves cardiovascular fitness. Join us to review the key components of the kettlebell swing. March 5


CORE: Are you a fan of core work? Regardless, do you really know what it is? What it isn’t? In this session, we will debunk core misconceptions, help you define what it means to have a strong core, and give you tips to maximize your time spent on “core exercises.” March 12


**BONUS **  Topic TBA March 19