Archives for June 2020

Friday Workout 15

We’re going for another walk today! It’s going to be a little different though.

The weather is beautiful so let’s get out there!

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness

3 Things About Heading Back To The Gym

The day is coming! We still don’t know when, but it is coming!

If you know what this is from, you are awesome.

What am I talking about?

Gyms opening back up, of course!

In preparation for this I just wanted to give you a few hints on how to restart your fitness program. Even if you’ve been doing home workouts it may not be the same.

There are three things I think can help. Let’s go over them.

1 – Understand that you are not the same person you were three-and-a-half months ago. 

Again, even if you’ve been doing home workouts and doing them pretty hard, give yourself just a little bit of leeway when you come back. We have all been under a tremendous amount of stress and that has an effect.

This is going to have the greatest impact on your strength with your main lifts, especially if you are used to using a barbell and haven’t had access to one.

The only downside to taking it easy is that you’ll find you can go harder. The upside is that you’ll be better at avoiding an injury and you won’t be incredibly sore the next few days.

Don’t worry too much about your strength long-term though. Once you get used to the gym again your strength will return faster than you might think.

My general advice here is just drop the weight you are lifting and do fewer overall sets as you ease back in.

2 – Understand that you’re not completely starting over, either. 

As I said above, you want to start back a little on the easier side, but remember to do that with the intention of ramping back up. Don’t use this as an excuse to baby yourself. You know the difference between starting back in a prudent fashion and just not trying very hard.

You have a foundation of fitness you’ve built up over time and the body will remember where you were if you ask it to.

3 – Just start showing back up.

I’ve said before that the worst part about an injury isn’t the injury itself but the injured person’s reaction to it. This is the same thing.

If you were in a good exercise groove before all this started but you haven’t done much in the last few months, don’t worry about it. You can’t go back and change it. Just head back to the gym. Don’t put expectations on it. Just show up knowing that it’s the right thing to do for yourself.

If it was the right thing to do before, that hasn’t changed. Don’t put expectations on your return, just go back in and do what you can do. You know it will be good in the long run.

Overall, this isn’t all that complicated and shouldn’t be a cause for worry. This time has shown us how important our health really is, both physically and mentally.

Don’t forget that.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, Pn2, PAS, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way

Friday Workout 14

We’re using something a little different today.

A towel!

We’ll be doing some isometric work in a way that we haven’t covered in a Friday workout yet.



Overhead Towel Squat – 10 reps

Towel Pullaparts – 10 reps

Glute March w/Towel Pullover – 5 reps ea leg

Hip Extensions w/Towel Iso Hold – 10 reps

Split Squat Curl Hold – 5 reps ea leg

Towel Deadlift Hold – 5 breaths

Do 3-4 Sets


Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness



Last week someone asked me if I’ve written a book.

I can’t tell you how good that made me feel.

It meant they felt what I wrote. That it helped them in some way. They could relate to it.

That’s special to me.

It’s special because my guiding beliefs on fitness and nutrition are very simple. As a matter of fact one of those beliefs is that fitness and nutrition SHOULD BE simple.

When I look in the nutrition section at the book store and I see “The Blood Type Diet” or the “Drop 20 Pounds in A Month Diet” or  the “Grapefruit Diet” my heart kind of sinks.

I’ve said this many times, but there are a lot of people who have a lot invested in making this all seem really complicated. They do that because they want you to believe

  1. You can’t do it without them, and most importantly
  2. If it doesn’t work for you, it’s your fault.

Imagine if there were a surgery that didn’t work 95% of the time and your doctor wanted you to get it and then would blame you if it failed.

The diet industry in a nutshell

OK. So this is what you’ve waited for.

My diet book.

I’m going to give you an exclusive sneak peek before it gets released to the general public.

Here it is!

The Castro Valley Fitness Diet Plan

“Eat good protein, plenty of fruits of vegetables, plenty of water, some healthy fats, and a good amount of carbohydrates to support your activity, energy and brain function. 

Eat snacks when you want them (ice cream is delicious!) and don’t stress out about all the details. 

If the above is difficult, and it may be if you’ve spent a lot of time overthinking your food choices and dieting, work with someone who can help you rediscover what your body really feels like and do your best to improve your thought process and values around food and your body image.”

That’s it! What do you think? It’s a good read, huh?

You think it’ll be an Amazon best seller?

You think Dr. Oz is going to invite me on his show?

Yeah, probably not.

I know I’m being a little facetious here. That’s kind of the point. You see, the first two paragraphs really are just about everything you need to know about nutrition. No kidding.

We do not have a knowledge problem on this issue.

The third paragraph is where the rubber really hits the road. We’ve been so messed up emotionally around food that we just don’t trust ourselves. You know this applies to you if what I wrote in the second paragraph caused you to shudder a little bit.

I believe, and there is a lot of research to back me up, that by letting go of all the overthinking and stressing we start to allow ourselves to feel what our body wants and needs and therefore start to actually trust ourselves around food once again.

In other words, by letting go we actually gain more control!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, Egoscue PAS, Pn2
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way






Friday Workout 13

In this weeks Friday Workout we are going to do some different kind of core work. You don’t need much equipment. A light weight and a band or a towel.

Plate Squat
Bird Dogs
One Arm Row
Roly Polys
Band Skater Jumps

2-4 sets 10-12 reps

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way

11 Things I’ve Learned During Shelter-In-Place

Well this has been a time, hasn’t it?

I can’t imagine there is anyone who hasn’t done some self-reflection over these last three or so months. If there is, I don’t think I’m out on a limb when I say that they are probably the people who need to self-reflect the most.

Anyway, I just thought I’d do a pretty wide-ranging post today on what I’ve learned, and what has been further reinforced for me over this time. I’m going to cover a lot here so let’s get started.

  1. Stress is a monumental force. Even if you are good at compartmentalizing, it’s still there. It may not scream at you all the time but man does it wear you down.
  2. Times like this are when habits that you’ve developed over time really pay off. Even if you don’t conform to those habits 100%, you are starting from a much better place.
  3. Unconscious shared experience is real. Frequently over the past three months I’ve felt something, mentioned it, and found a number of unrelated people who have felt the same way.
  4. It is shocking to me how many people will easily believe an absolutely bonkers conspiracy theory. (Plandemic anyone?)
  5. Posture is really, really important if you want to stay out of pain.
  6. Proper breathing is really, really important if you want to stay out of pain.
  7. Shakespeare is the greatest English language writer we’ve ever had. (I’ve always known this, but rereading Othello really proves the point.)
  8. I’ve grown an even deeper appreciation for small busineses like mine and how even relatively small purchases can really matter. In other words, take an extra minute and see if you can find something somewhere other than Amazon and please eat at a locally owned restaurant.
  9. Leadership matters. Do I need to expand on what that means?
  10. I believe even more strongly that people are generally trying to do the best they can but it is so very hard for human beings, as a whole, to change.
  11. We are all our own worst enemy. Only once we realize that, can we truly make the changes we need to make for ourselves and society.

Obviously, I have learned a lot more than just these things and I am really trying to learn more every day. Not just about exercise and nutrition, but about myself, my failings, my strengths and how I can a better person.

When I tell my son that we need to learn something new every day, I mean it. It’s important and only by doing that will we continue to grow and live a full, meaningful and vital life.

Take care and stay safe.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PAS Egoscue, PN2, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way


Friday Workout 12

The last few weeks we’ve done some different kinds of things with our Friday Workouts, so this week we are going to bring it back to basics with a good old-fashioned full-body strength training workout.



A1 – DB Floor Press
A2 – DB Rows

B1 – DB Reverse Lunge
B2 – DB Straight Leg Deads

C1 – DB Rack/Waiters Walks

D1 – Get Ups

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness


Thank You

What a week.

The first thing I want to do is thank you. As I talk about in today’s video,  I was a little nervous about last week’s post. It turned out to get more feedback, almost all positive, than anything else I’ve ever written.

It seems a little silly to talk about fitness or nutrition right now, so I thought I’d just talk a little bit about how we are going to process and use these events to uphold and express our values.

I welcome any conversation as long as it is civil. We have a lot of healing to do.

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way