Archives for 2017

Fitness Gift Ideas

Well, it’s just about here! Of course I’m talking about Christmas! We are only 5 days away. I wanted to give you some gift ideas for a fitness enthusiast or just the person who wants to get going with a workout routine or an improvement in their nutrition.

Back Mechanic 





If you or anyone you know has back pain you need this book. Stuart McGill is the world’s foremost authority on spine health and back pain and this book is a step-by-step guide on how to fix yours. His research and methods have completely revolutionized fitness training. How do you know if your trainer or chiropracter is with it? Are they having you do crunches? Then they’re not.

Why Me Want Eat

We all have issues with food. If you or someone you know struggles with food, eating, and body image issues, conventional self-help or diet books might not always hit the right note. This one takes a different tone and is simply fantastic. The author, Krista Scott-Dixon is one of the heads of Precision Nutrition and has changed the way many coaches approach nutrition. This is not just a diet book. It’s actually much more important. Oh, and it’s very funny too.

Foam Roller

Almost all of our members start their sessions with a foam roller. You should too. If you haven’t used one before it might be a little wierd and uncomfortable at first but, trust me, if you give it time within a few weeks much of that will go away and it will actually start to feel good! One thing to remember here is that the more uncomfortable it is, the more you need to do it!

The New Rules of Lifting For Women

In my time training people I’ve seen a huge change in the way women approach strength training. It’s been great to see that women are realizing that being strong looks greats, feels great and is incredibly empowering and healthy! In truth there shouldn’t be a big difference in the way that men and women strength train but although this book has been around for a while it is full of great workouts and nutrition advice. If you know a woman who wants to get started strength training (and she should) this book is a great way to start.


How can you fit an entire gym in a duffle bag? Bands! You may be very surprised to find out that one or two resistance bands can give you one heck of a full body workout. Bands are perfect for people who travel a lot, don’t have a lot of money or room for equipment or even want to take their workout outside. On the site I gave you they’ll even give you some free workouts so you can learn to use them. We use bands all the time at our gym.

Weightlifting Belt

Weightlifting belts have a pretty specific use. They help you lift more weight! If you know someone who has some ambitions to really push some weight around with their squat or deadlift, a good belt is a must.

Well, I hope I was able to give you some ideas albeit a little late. Let me know if you have any questions to help you pick out that special gift for someone.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way
Discover Your Strength!



December 2017 – Emily Jensen

Castro Valley Fitness – Member of the Month

December 2017

It is our pleasure to recognize Emily Jensen as our Member of the Month. Emily has been a member of CV Fitness for 3+ years.

She just competed in her first Power Lifting Meet last month. She decided to compete because she wanted to challenge herself to do something scary. Throughout the process she has experienced increased physical and mental strength along with learning to trust hard things even if it’s scary. Competing is very empowering and she recommends any woman to follow her example.

Since joining CV Fitness she is in the best shape of her life. It has helped her manage depression and helped with her positive self-talk. She finds CV Fitness a place that welcomes people from all walks of life. There is a lot of support and encouragement for everyone working on their own personal goals. She likes the connection between her workouts and what she does in her daily life.

Her advice is to be patient, be kind to yourself – don’t compare yourself to what others are doing in the gym, give 110% and celebrate your own personal victories, ask questions and try things that are scary.

The three words that describe Emily’s experience at CV Fitness are “welcoming, supportive and empowering.”

What The Heck Am I Talking About – Breathe

Hello and welcome to the next video in the “What The Heck Am I Talking About” series!!

We give all sorts of cues at our gym and sometimes I like to break down what we  really mean when we’re giving them. Today we’re talking about breathing. You might be thinking “I breathe everyday!!” and you’re right but this may be not be as simple as you think. Especially if you have any kind of shoulder or back pain!

Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way

My Top 16 Post-Thanksgiving Leftover Thoughts

Hello everyone! Most of the time in my posts I cover a specific topic. I’m always thinking about fitness and training and I like to write about what I’m seeing and thinking about with our members and everyone else, too! Every once in a while my mind gets a little jumbled with lots of thoughts and in those cases I like to ramble a little bit. Today is one of those days, so here are My Top 16 Post-Thanksgiving Fitness Leftovers Thoughts.

  1. If you have pain and aren’t taking what you’re learning in the gym, movement-wise, and applying it to your life outside the gym you are missing a HUGE AND NECESSARY piece of the puzzle.
  2. If you have pain and you aren’t learning proper movement patterns inside the gym, you need to find a different gym.
  3. Without consistency you really don’t really have much of a chance to reach any meaningful goal or achieve any meaningful results.
  4. No matter your goals, you should have some strength training in your exercise program. That includes all the runners out there! 
  5. If you have shoulder pain you have to address your posture and breathing patterns if you ever want lasting relief.
  6. When strength training you simply have to push yourself. The last few reps of your set should be challenging. It’s not a punishment to add more weight! It’s the price you pay for being awesome!!! 
  7. You know what you need to do with your diet. You’ve got to honestly and unemotionally look at the reasons you’re not doing it.
  8. To the Moms out there. If you don’t take some time for yourself you will never be truly happy. P.S. Your husband and kids want that for you, too!!
  9. If your exercise program includes only pushups, squats, planks and brisk walks you’ll be doing much better than the vast majority of people.
  10. As hard as it may be sometimes, acting like you think a reasonable adult would act will generally move you in the right direction.
  11. Most people are much stronger than they think. They have to get a little comfortable with that fact and feeling.
  12. Don’t overreact to every little tweak you feel. Most of them don’t mean much.
  13. When it comes to nutrition questions either eating slower, eating more protein and/or eating more vegetables is usually a decent answer.
  14. Back pain is almost never about your back.
  15. Being too flexible is just as bad, if not worse, than being too stiff.
  16. If you properly train for strength you will improve your cardiovascular health and flexibility as a result. Just doing cardio and stretching will not improve your strength, though.

I hope a few of these resonated with you a little bit. If so, I’d love to hear how! Just send me an email, call or text.

Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way
Discover Your Strength!


November 2017 – Carrie Hilderbrand

Castro Valley Fitness – Member of the Month

November 2017

Carrie Hilderbrand @carrie_hildy

It is our pleasure to recognize Carrie Hilderbrand as our Member of the Month.

Carrie has been a member of CV Fitness for 3+ years. She is one of our very strong power lifters whose sense of humor keeps the gym laughing.

Since joining CV Fitness she has found improvement in her strength, mobility and her mood. As a woman, she finds that feeling strong is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. She also feels that the best thing you can invest in is yourself. Her investment has paid off because she can deadlift an impressive 330 lbs!

Her advice is to set goals, keep an open mind and take one workout at a time. Not every workout will be your best, but keep at it and don’t make excuses. Always push yourself and continue to set goals.

The three words that describe Carrie’s experience at CV Fitness are “strength, camaraderie, and support.”

…And Here We Go!

This is a wonderful time of year.

This is a stressful time of year.

This is a strange time of year.

Yes, all of these things are true.

Now that Halloween has passed we know what is upon us:

The Holiday Season!!!!

                          OH NO!!!!!

I’ve seen quite a few holiday seasons and I know one thing. This is the time of year when things go on hold. We have lots of things happening. Family, work, get-togethers, shopping, dinners. All of these things cause us to forget about ourselves just a little bit and before we know it two months have gone by!!

We’ve all heard the statistics that tell us that people gain somewhere between 4 and 10 pounds during the holiday season each year. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I do know that the people who keep up with their workouts, or even start an exercise plan (yes, you are allowed to actually start something this time of year) ALWAYS feel better come January, and the ones that don’t? Well, let’s just say they don’t feel all that great.

I want to give you two strategies you can use to make sure you stay as consistent as possible during this time.

  1. Schedule it! Have you ever told yourself that you’d fit in your workout “when you had time”? How did those workouts go? I’m pretty sure they didn’t go at all. Listen, if we wait for our schedule to magically open up it’s never going to happen. Get your w0rkout on your schedule and JUST DO IT! That is your time!
  2. Do something! I know things get crazy but you can still go for a walk right? You can still do some squats and pushups for 15 minutes, right? The point is, just do something. You’ll feel better in the long run.

In any case, I really hope you buckle in and enjoy the ride of the 2017 Holiday Season. It’s here whether you like it or not!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness


What The Heck Am I Talking About? – Long Arms

Hello and welcome to the “What The Heck Am I Talking About?” series! In this series I break down some pretty common cues we use at Castro Valley Fitness and explain what they mean and why we use them.

Today we’re talking “Long Arms”.

If you have shoulder problems, and it seems like just about everyone does, I can almost guarantee that you have postural and breathing issues. Watch this to see what we do at Castro Valley Fitness to help with these things.

Let me know what you think.

October 2017 – Katy Wright

Castro Valley Fitness – Member of the Month

October 2017

It is our pleasure to recognize Katy Wright as our Member of the Month.

Katy has been a member of Castro Valley Fitness for 5 years. She started with personal training and then moved to Bootcamp. She likes starting her day with exercise and enjoys the larger group of people. We can count on Katy to keep the group laughing.

Since joining CVF she finds that she has improved her consistency, her strength and is able to bounce back from minor injuries faster. The low key, family friendly, and personal touch keeps her coming back each day at 6 a.m.!

Her advice is to not give up – you’ll see results.

The three words that sum up Katy’s experience at CVF are “positive, happy and challenging.”

What The Heck Am I Talking About?

At our gym there are certain cues that we give on a pretty regular basis. I was having a conversation with one of our members, Steve Tirado, and he brought up that there may be some confusion with what some of them mean and what we are looking for people to do when we say them.

In this video series we’re going to be covering some of those cues, what they mean and what we are looking for concerning them. First up is “Chest Up!”



What One Thing Can Improve Everything?

What if I were to tell you that there was one kind of exercise that improved all others? That there was one thing you could work on that would help you lose weight, get stronger, move better, feel less pain, improve your flexibility and improve your mobility?

Well, there is!!

strength training

Strength training!

Yes, strength training can do all of that!

The mistake people make is that they think strength training has to look like this.

Well it doesn’t. It can look like this.

strength training

Or this.

strength training

Or this.

strength training

OK, maybe not this last one but she’s so cute!!!!

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that strength training can and should be adaptable to anyone, no matter what your condition or goals! In the strength training module of our Clearing the Confusion video series I talk about our Foundational Five exercises and how the value lies in the movement themselves, not the tools used to perform them. That may be a little confusing so let me give you an example.

Let’s take another look at some pictures I showed you above.strength trainingNow, it may look like these people are doing completely different things, but in reality they are doing the same thing! They’re just using different tools. Blaine, the guy on the right, is using a barbell and approximtely 950 pounds of weight. Katy, on the left, is using a kettlebell and approximately 18 pounds of weight.

Strength training should be challenging but that is relative. What is challenging to one person may not be to another and vice versa, but as long as what you are doing IS challenging you can get the same benefit from it!

strength training

What I’m trying to say is that strength training can help you! You may not think so, but here is the deal. If you can

  • Stand up and sit down you can Squat
  • Go up one stair you can do Step-ups
  • Pick something up you can Deadlift
  • Walk you can do Carries

These are only a few examples but I hope you can see what I’m saying. Anyone can do this and anyone can get all sorts of benefits from it. Here are some of them:

  • Improved strength
  • Improved body composition
  • Improved bone density, which is incredibly important for women
  • Improved mental state
  • Improved posture
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Improved immune function
  • Improved joint strength
  • Improved joint function
  • Improved mobility
  • Improved range of motion
  • Improved stability
  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved nutritional partitioning
  • Improved cardiovascular conditioning
  • Improved daily life function

For all of these reasons we really emphasize resistance training at Castro Valley Fitness.

I hope I was able to help you figure a few things out. Let me know what you think!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS

Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way

Does All the Information About Fitness and Nutrition Confuse You?
Check Out My Free “Clearing The Confusion” video course!
Clearing The Confusion <===CLICK HERE