Archives for December 2009

Only One Body

Wow! We are driving up to Oregon right now and I just read an absolutely outstanding article by Michael Boyle. Its not too long so read it and get some perspective on your body and health going in to the new year.

Have a great holiday!

Sorry if this post looks a little wierd. I'm doing it from my phone. I haven't done this before.

Mitchell Rothbardt, CPT ACE
Mitch Rothbardt Training
Discover Your Strength

All I Want For Christmas Is…

All I Want for Christmas is…

Hello, everyone! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! This week, since the Christmas shopping season is officially upon us, I wanted to talk about what I’m sure is foremost on everyone’s mind: what to get your favorite fitness columnist (me) for Christmas! Here we go.

1. More people using free weights as opposed to machines. Pretty please?

2. Robert dos Remedios’s new book Cardio Strength Training (available Dec. 22). The real way to train for fat loss.

3. People exercising with intensity and purpose. A bad plan done with intensity and purpose will get better results than a good plan done with neither.

4. A Gymboss from A great, cheap and convenient interval timer. Keep those rest periods tight!

5. The ability to have people not shrug their shoulders during rows.

6. More people realizing the true value of health. You can’t bring your awesome HD plasma TV to the hospital with you while you recover from heart surgery.

7. A foam roller. If anyone doesn’t know what this is or how to use one, do yourself a favor and drop me a line. You will love it.

8. A DVD of Pumping Iron. If you’re not ready to lift some weights after seeing this, I don’t know what to tell you.

9. A Liftstrong sweatshirt. Liftstrong was first a CD filled with 800 pages of training articles that was put together by the excellent trainer Alwyn Cosgrove after he survived cancer. Twice. All proceeds went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A few months ago Dave Tate from started a Liftstrong clothing line. All proceeds also go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Go to and get a hoodie. They’re only $24.95, they’re super warm and comfortable and they make you look like you could squat a truck. You’re awesome!

10. People understanding the simplicity of good nutrition. Base your diet around lean protein, fruits, vegetables and water and you’re 90% of the way there.

11. People finding the fun in fitness.

12. Rush finally getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I know this isn’t fitness oriented, but come on! Tom Sawyer! Spirit of Radio! 2112! Xanadu! They should have been in ten years ago!

Anyway, that’s about all I have for now. I think what I really want most of all is for people to discover how good exercise can make you feel. I have never heard someone say, “Wow I’m really sorry I did that,” after a good workout.

If you need some hints on what to get a fitness enthusiast in your life for the holidays, just drop me a line and I’ll see if I can help and don’t forget to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. I’ll talk to you soon.
-from the Castro Valley Forum, December 9 2009
Mitch Rothbardt
Discover Your Strength!

The January Rush

Ho Ho Ho, everybody! It’s getting to that time of year again. You know what I’m talking about. Office gift baskets, gingerbread houses, pumpkin pies. And soon it’ll be time for the annual “I need to lose 15 pounds” New Years Resolution. This results in the annual January rush at your gym which leads right into the annual February “gym-gets-back-to-normal-because-the-January-crowd-stopped-coming” celebration.

Now, I’m all for New Years Resolutions if that’s what people need to get their goals and their heads straight, but while goals are important, knowing how you’re going to reach those goals is just as important. The reason that February’s gym attendance goes back to normal is that most of the people from the January rush have no idea how to construct a workout program, don’t see any results and therefore give up. I’m going to try and help you with a few tips so that you don’t become one of those February gym casualties.

1. Specify your goal. Don’t just say, “I want to get in shape.” That doesn’t really mean anything. Think about what getting in shape means to you. Does it mean losing 15 pounds? Does it mean being able to play with your kids without back pain? Does it mean increasing your strength or balance? If you don’t really know what you want, then how do you expect to formulate a plan that gets any results?

2. If you want to lose or gain weight you must realize that diet is the most important thing. If you’re not prepared to make changes in how you eat, any progress you make will be seriously compromised no matter how hard you work in the gym.

3. If you want to lose weight concentrate on full body, big muscle movements such as squats, rows, and presses. Do quick bursts of high intensity cardio, not endless slogging on the treadmill or bike.

4. If you want to gain weight concentrate on full body, big muscle movements such as squats, rows, and presses. Do quick bursts of high intensity cardio, not endless slogging on the treadmill or bike.

5. Read numbers 3 and 4 again and remember what I said about diet. While there are certainly differences between a weight loss program and a weight gain program, the differences aren’t as big as you might believe, generally speaking.

6. Exercise with intensity! The best program ever written will bear little to no fruit if not performed with intensity. Don’t be one of those exercise zombies blankly shuffling from machine to machine!

I hope this gives you some idea of how to get started. If you need some more ideas or tips please drop me a line or an email, or just ask Santa how he maintains his athletic shape. (He’s definitely a powerlifter.) Also, don’t forget to consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program! Have a great Thanksgiving!

-from the Castro Valley Forum, November 25, 2009
Mitchell Rothbardt
Discover Your Strength!


Hello everyone. I know it’s been a little while. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I just wanted to let everyone know what I’ve been up to.

First, as far as my training goes, I’ve been training with a group of powerlifters. It’s been great. These guys are real strong and they’ve been helping me with my form and programming. I’ve noticed a difference already as I’ve hit a new PR in the bench. 265! It’s getting there. I also hit a 20 lb. PR in the three board press with 305. I’m really excited about this and I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress. If you’d like to read my training log, you can go here. Suffice to say that the weights I’m struggling with are these guys warm up sets, but I’m trying to put a few pounds on and I’m working hard. You never stop learning.

Second, my clients are getting great results and I’ve started something new at Express. Semi-private training groups. I’m doing three person fat loss groups. Because of the small size of the group I am able to give everyone the personalized instruction and programming they need, but at a much lower price. It’s more than half off our usual gym rates. I’m really excited about that. We had our first group last Saturday and everyone had a great time. We’re doing it on the weight floor, with weights and intensity. Two things that most gym-goers need desperately. I still see people with zombie-like faces shuffling from machine to machine and it makes me sad.

Mommy, please don’t use the Ab-Coaster
Anyway, that’s pretty much what is going on right now. I will be posting my latest article on Thursday, so please check back for that. It’s about how to stay with your goals this year.
As always if anyone has any questions or comments, please send them my way. Call me or email me. I love to answer questions and it gives me great ideas to write about.
Have a great day and check back on Thursday for the article. See you then!
Mitchell Rothbardt
Discover Your Strength!