The weight room

Team – 

The weight room is a relatively simple space – fill a room with dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, plates, some benches and you basically have the framework for a weight room. However, just like your home, there should be much more to your weight room than the framework.

 

CHARACTER

Visit a number of gyms and you will see a lot of the same tools (framework) being used. The one thing you will notice is the different vibe you will get at each.

The people in the gym create the character of that space by sharing a passion for their goals, commitment level, attitudes, and their support for one another. This group of athletes shares a special bond from training together, celebrating successes and pushing through the tough days. These individuals are the heart of the gym.

The coaches who set the standard for quality and pass on their training philosophies also influence the character or personality of the gym.

A weight room with good character, built on inspiring and dedicated athletes, and armed with knowledgeable and supportive staff, provide you with so much more than the notion of becoming more fit and losing a few jean sizes.

 

INTEGRITY

Athletes have no choice but to learn integrity in the weight room. Exercises like the squat, bench press, deadlift, and military press require a high level of skill and if you do not perform them properly, you will likely get injured. Training with integrity – an unwavering standard when it comes to technique – will keep you training safely regardless of if it’s your first set or your last set.

 

CONCLUSION

Safety and integrity in the gym are not optional. A gym full of great character and integrity was my vision when I opened Gunning Elite Training (GET). I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in the past as an athlete and coach, but I’ve learned from them. What I described above is what I believe makes a strong gym, drives success… and is what I know we have going on at GET.

 

I challenge you to take an honest look at your gym and ask yourself the following questions…

  1. Am I being held to a high standard? Are the people around me trying to improve themselves like I am?
  2. Are my training partners humble and compassionate? Is the individual who is deadlifting the most weight helping the newbie unload their weights?
  3. Are you surrounded by others who are helping you reach your goals? Do you find yourself working harder because of the people working around you?

 

In order to reach your goals in a safe and healthy way, your gym must be so much more than a weight room. Although it appears to be a simple space, the athletes and coaches make it about so much more than lifting heavy things. Thank you to the GET Team for making our gym much more than a weight room, every day.

 

Let’s GET It!!!

– Matt

One for the guys

Team – 

As a coach and an athlete, I’m always searching for ways to take the body and mind to a higher level. How can we become stronger, faster, etc.?? We need to think about those things before we walk into the gym. Many times (me included) we get caught up with the daily activities in our lives and we forget what it is that brought us to the gym in the first place. Now, if you are one of those “individuals” who just wants to “maintain” or “tone up” or “use the elliptical and call it a day”, then this blog post is definitely not for you. You might as well just hit that little red X on the top left of this page. As for me, I want to get stronger, faster, bigger, and better. Why? It’s quite simple, I’m a man.

As a society, I sometimes feel like we are getting softer. For example, let’s take a look at some of the events in the Olympics. If you ever decide to research the ancient Pentathlon, you would find out that the event was the ultimate test of physical power and mental fortitude. Athletes competed in five events. First, they’d sprint down a runway and leap as high and far as they could to see who had the best long jump. Then, in a race, they’d sprint across a stadium amid the roaring of the crowd. Next up were tests of full body explosiveness and power with the javelin and discus throw. Now, if those four events weren’t enough to drive the overall testosterone level of the crowd into orbit, the competitors finished with wrestling to demonstrate dominance and strength. Man vs. Man. It doesn’t get any better than that. Sprinting, throwing, jumping, and one-on-one wrestling. Simply awesome in my book!

Let’s take a look at the Olympics now. We have synchronized swimming, badminton, etc.. What?!?! Gag me!  Oh, the modern Pentathlon! You want to know what the events are now? …fencing, pellet guns, and horse jumping. Not exactly my standards of what defines a warrior like the ancient Pentathlon. Then they actually tried eliminating wrestling from the Olympics. Thank god wrestling was recently reinstated. I think the people making these crazy decisions have their skinny jeans on too tight.

It got me thinking… based on my knowledge and research, I built a challenge that I feel puts everything out there on the table. It allows you to see where you are in pound for pound strength compared to your fellow men.

So what’s the challenge?

RULES OF THE CHALLENGE:

The Five Events:

1. Bodyweight Bench Press for Reps

2. Bodyweight Chin-ups for Reps

3. Half-Bodyweight Overhead Press for Reps

4. 1.5 Bodyweight Deadlift for Reps

5. Half-Bodyweight Barbell Curl for Reps

** You get one attempt for maximal reps during the competition.

** There is a 20 minute time cap to complete all five exercises.

WARM-UP

Get a good warm-up in before you start the challenge. I would suggest doing a few sets of each exercise prior to starting the challenge.

WEIGH IN

Start by weighing yourself in on a scale. No guessing what your weight is either, as many people seem to lose 10 pounds before they start this challenge. This might also remind you too of that spare tire you’re holding and that it isn’t “bulking” season anymore.

FORM

Each test has movement standards and form requirements for each rep to count.

Bench Press: You must touch the bar to the chest and lock out each rep at the top. You can pause at the top, but failing to get a rep or racking the weight ends the exercise.

 

Strict Chin-up: Use a shoulder width grip or less. You must get your chin over the bar and lower yourself to a complete hang for one second. You can hang longer if you want, but failure to get over the bar or letting go ends the exercise.

Strict Overhead Press: You must lock out the elbows at the top and come to a quick pause at the bottom. Racking the bar or not locking out ends the exercise.

Deadlift: You must fully extend the hips at the top of the exercise. No bouncing the weights off the floor or pausing for longer than two seconds at the bottom. Touch and go is permitted at the bottom. Failure to fully extend hips at the top and letting go of the bar ends the exercise.

Barbell Curl: You must raise the bar to the height of the chin and lower to full extension for 1 second. Avoid swaying or leaning back at the upper body. Releasing the bar or failure to execute a rep ends the exercise.

SCORING

If you reach 20 repetitions on any exercise, that’s the maximum score. Even if you can do more, 20 signifies the end.

Once you have performed all five events or run out of time, add up your total number of reps. A total score of 100 is the ultimate goal for this test.

The rating scale:

0-9 – Low Man on totem pole

10-19- Skinny Man or Man Boobs

20-29- Average Man

20-39- Wing Man

40-49- Door Man

50-59- Athletic Man

60-69- He Man

70-79- Super Man

80-89- Mega Man

90-100- Ultimate Champ

This is not the overall defining factor for strength but these are some fundamental movements that make your man-card more visible if you’re strong at them. Some people may argue that this challenge requires more strength endurance rather than absolute strength, but to rep out with your bodyweight on the bench press, you first have to be really strong.

The time factor – something I am a huge fan of and incorporate a lot into my programming – tests another area of manliness not often challenged by guys who work out in the gym doing their five bodyparts a week. It tests mental toughness. As your scores improve due to familiarity with this test, so will your mental toughness, which is an added benefit to the strength gains you’ll see as you train to increase your score.

Contact me if you’re up for the challenge. (518) 944-1429

Let’s GET it!!

– Matt

Close the gap

Team – 

One thing I have come to realize is that all people have gaps in their lives – gaps between where they are now and where they want to be. Some individuals have small gaps while others are larger. For instance, if you had no money in the bank but you wanted to be rich, you would have a large gap in the financial area of your life. The same would hold true if you had a high body fat percentage but longed to be lean. An example of a small gap would be if you currently ran a mile in just over 8 minutes, but wanted to shave a few second off to run the mile in under 8 minutes. Morale of the story is, we all have gaps and we all have the ability to narrow these gaps and improve ourselves.

The one thing I have realized is that people who have these “larger” gaps tend to be more unhappy with themselves compared to individuals with the “smaller” gaps who seem to be more content and confident. I feel my job is to help people narrow these gaps.

In an effort to quantify this goal-getting mentality, I have come up with a simple 5-step process that people can apply to the areas of their life that they feel need improvement.

 

STEP 1: Choose a Path

Have you ever gotten in your car, started the ignition and had no idea where you were going? Although this question sounds silly, this is exactly what most people do with their lives everyday. We wake and struggle through the day without a true destination of where exactly we want to go.

Spend some time writing down specific goals you would like to attain in certain areas of your life. Remember that you cannot accomplish goals if you do not first set goals.


STEP 2: Accept Responsibility

Simply stated, responsibility can be defined as your ability to “respond” to a goal. I think that accepting responsibility for the goals of your life is not only a sign of maturity, but also a requirement for closing the gap you face. You must realize that if you are not who you want to be, what you want to be, or where you want to be … you are the only person who can change it. Only you can take the steps necessary to reach your dreams.

I challenge you to spend the next few weeks reminding yourself that the achievement of your goals is up to you.


STEP 3: Welcome Adversity

Adversity is a part of life. If you look at the best books and movies ever made, you will see that no great story starts without some major obstacles being encountered. Usually, the bigger the odds, the better the story. Life is going to constantly throw obstacles at us and the key is facing these obstacles head on , and keeping your eye on the end goal. Be confident in your abilities to persevere.

Remember – we all have our own bestseller, and we each control our storyline.


STEP 4: Take Action

This is a very important step because many times we tell ourselves what we want to do but don’t take the appropriate action to achieve it. So, you’ve completed steps 1-3. You’ve taken all the appropriate steps so far and this is the phase where we implement your plan. This is when you put all your plans into action. It sounds easy but it is often the most difficult. It’s critical that you don’t settle for mediocrity.

Know that you deserve nothing but the best. Tell yourself that every day!


STEP 5: Don’t Give Up

If everything were easy, there would be no words such as accomplishment or satisfaction. When we work hard for something and achieve it, there is no better feeling. Oftentimes, people give up right before the big breakthrough. Remember to stay on course and keep fighting until you have succeeded.


Trust. Believe. Persevere. Beat your gap!

– Matt

 

Nothing worth doing is ever easy

Team – 

We are so excited to be opening up own place. I know my wife is especially excited not to have all of the gym equipment lying around our house anymore. (Lol)

One of the life lessons I am learning during this process is that nothing worth doing is ever easy. There seems to be so many things and so little time but staying focused and determined on the end result has made us stronger, allowing us to tackle whatever is thrown our way.

Our society has created this culture that “everything easier is better” – for example: smartphones, navigation systems, etc… In some cases, perhaps it is. However, I think that misleads people into thinking that everything should come easy. Sometimes I feel like we don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we are capable of achieving. I think it is important for us to challenge ourselves with things that we are not sure we are capable of.

So… similar to this leap of faith that we have recently taken, I challenge you to try something new or do something new that pushes you outside of your comfort zone, regardless of how big or small it is.

I heard someone speak recently and he said, “Don’t try to do your best, just do your best.” You might just be amazed at what you are capable of achieving.

I look forward to the opportunity to help you take on new challenges every time you come through the doors at GET.

Be sure to check out our photos page to see the progress we’re making!

– Matt

To be your best or not be your best? That shouldn’t even be a question.

Team –

I remember my dad telling me when I was younger to “enjoy every minute because you are going to say to yourself one day, “Where did the time go?” Wow! Wasn’t he right.

I was looking at my license today and it hit me – I’m 33 already. Isn’t that a slap in the face. So here I am asking myself “Where did the time go??” It seems like yesterday that I was a teenager without a care in the world. Now all of the sudden I’m approaching my mid-thirties with bills and responsibilities. Ugh.

For the record: I’m not ashamed of my age nor do I dread my responsibilities. Actually, I am embracing the positive aspects of “getting older” such as being mature and making smarter, healthier decisions. This realization, however, has made me see how fast life really flies by. Time does seem to move faster now and it makes me appreciate things more.

So the question is “Are you going to be your best today?” I think this fast paced life we live in causes us to lose sight of this question, or makes us feel too tired to answer it the right way. Sometimes we just need to take a moment and remind ourselves to be the best at whatever we are doing. We owe it to ourselves to do our best, to be our best because our time is valuable. All we can do is give our best and be proud of that regardless of the outcome.

I challenge you: whatever obstacle you face – whether it be at work, at home, or in the gym – tell yourself “I’m going to be the best/do my best in this situation.” You deserve that. You deserve to be your best.

– Matt