Friday Workout 6

This week’s workout is a tough one. The exercises are pretty hard to master but I still wanted to throw it out there. If you don’t feel like you can perform these exercises well, that’s fine. I do show you an easier version.

It’s a great workout to get your hips strong and moving well. It hits your core as well and gets that heart racing!

I was getting out of breath just shooting the video!


One Arm KB Swings

One Arm KB Snatch

One Arm KB Clean

One Arm KB Waiters Walk

Do Each for 30s with weight in one arm

Rest 30s then switch arms.

Do 4 rounds

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness

Let’s Be Healthy

There are some things I’ve been hearing over and over lately. One of them is the value of health.

The main talk right now is about how being healthy helps with the virus we’re all dealing with right now. That’s not a surprise.

The truth is that this can be a time where we start to really prioritze health and everything that comes with it.

Watch the short video to see what I mean.

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


Friday Workout 5

We’re going to focus on strength again today, but a little differently.

We’re going over some tempo work which can be a great way to practice form and also a great way to make a light weight feel heavy.

Let’s go!!

Tempo Squats – 4 sets of 6-8

Tempo Pushups – 4 sets of 6-8

One Arm DB Row – 3 sets of 10-12
Step-Ups – 3 sets of 10
Dead bugs – 3 sets of 12
(Do above 3 exercises as a circuit)

3 Position Toe Raise – 3 sets of 10

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness

2861 Grove Way



What Are Your Responsibilities?

If you know anything about ACT Therapy you know the most important thing that it teaches is “psychological flexibility”.

It’s defined as “the ability to stay in contact with the present moment regardless of unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, while choosing one’s behaviors based on the situation and personal values.”

(Click the link for a great article about it.)

In regular language, it means the ability to step back from an unpleasant feeling, evaluate it without judgement, and then react in a way that is consistent with your real values and how they relate to the situation.

In even simpler terms, it means “Being OK With Not Being OK”.

emotional eating

Needless to say, life at the best of times can be challenging, so where we are right now is allowing for a whole lot of psychological flexibility practice. I don’t want this to be a whole post on the value of psychological flexibility, but suffice to say that it’s very important if you want to live a full and vital life. Let me know if you have any questions about why.

What I’m trying to get across is a long-winded way of asking

“What Responsibilities Do We Have To

Ourselves During This Time?”

I know just asking that may open up Pandora’s Box.

You may be thinking that I have the answers for you. Some kind of perfect exercise and nutrition program.

Sorry, I don’t.

This is a question that only you can answer. What I can do is give you a little guidance, though.

I’m not as wise as Gandalf but I’ll do my best.

1 – Take care of yourself

There’s a reason that flight attendants tell you to put your mask on before you tend to your kids. You can’t help someone else until you help yourself.

This stands for right now, too.

If you’re stressed and irritable do you really think you’re being the best parent, spouse, employee or friend you can be? You have to take care of yourself at least to some extent if you’re going to be any help to anyone else right now.

Here’s the tricky part, though. Take some time and figure out what form that takes for you.

Notice how I said “for you.” Don’t try to figure it out by going on Instagram and seeing what your favorite fitness celebrity is doing.

Maybe a workout is what you need. Maybe a walk. Maybe reading a book. Maybe sewing a brand new infinity scarf!

Who made that?

Maybe none of these things.

The point is to do something that fills you up. This is important! Do not just blow it off!

2 – Work On Your Psychologically Flexibility

Understand that whatever you do won’t be perfect. Not because you aren’t capable, but because

There Is No Such Thing As Perfect!

Use that psychological flexibility to understand that we are looking to make progress in whatever form that takes.

Think of it like this:

We want to head in a certain direction here. Towards progress. Let’s call that direction “west”. We will never arrive at “west”, but we can move in that direction. We are always trying to think in terms of “progress not perfection”.

All that may sound good, but how do we work on psychologically flexibility?

It’s a big process and being that I’m not a therapist I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can get you started.

I want you to think of one thing you want to accomplish over the next few weeks. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, and as a matter of fact it may be best to start off with something small, but it does have to mean something to you. That is a crucial piece of this. It may be as simple as journaling a few times per week or learning how to cook lasagna.

Next, I want you to come up with a step-by-step plan on how you are going to do it.

This plan should be very manageable and scheduled out.

Next, I want you to follow the plan no matter what. Even if you don’t feel like doing it.

Especially if you don’t feel like doing it!

Remember the definition: “the ability to stay in contact with the present moment regardless of unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, while choosing one’s behaviors based on the situation and personal values.”

Especially the last part: “choosing one’s behaviors based on the situation and personal values.”

That means doing something because you know that it’s important to you even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

The trick to starting on this process is making those steps manageable and also making sure you really want what you think and say you want, and know why you really want it.  By the way, if all you can think of right now is losing weight, I guarantee you need to go much deeper into that last part.

I’m sure you’ve heard some version of this, but I’ll say it again. We can’t control this situation. All we can do is control our reaction to it. I know that’s not easy but it’s all we ever have.

I hope this helps a little. Please let me know if you want to talk through some of this stuff. It can very hard to do when you’re in the middle of it but it’s important to realize that you do have responsibilities in all of this. They just may not be what you’re thinking.

Take care.

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way





Friday Workout 4


It’s been a little while since we’ve done a good old-fashioned strength based workout so here we go!

It would be great if you could wrangle up a heavy backpack or maybe a filled up milk jug if you don’t have any weights at home.

Here We Go!

Squats – 4 sets of 8-12

Pushups – 4 sets As Many Reps As Possible

Good Mornings 3 sets of 8-12

Split Squat/Reverse Lunge 3 sets of 10 or One Leg Stand 30s ea leg

Hooklying Reverse Presses 3 sets of 15

(Do Above 3 Exercises as a Circuit)

Plank 3 sets of 30-45s

Let me know if you have any questions.

Stay safe!

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness


A Squat Variation Tutorial

I hope you’re doing OK.

For obvious reasons it’s been a little while since I’ve talked about the benefits and how-tos of a specific exercise so I figured why not today?

Let’s talk about one of the most important exercises anyone can do.


Just about everyone does some kind of squat variation at Castro Valley Fitness and there are reasons behind each one.

On the whole squats are a great exercise that work almost every muscle in the body in one way or the other as well as teach basic hip movement and coordination.

In this video I go over some of the variations we use and tell you how to do them and why.

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

Friday Workout 3

Here is this weeks Friday workout.

It’s a doozy!

We call this a Reverse Ladder.

You do 9 reps of each exercise then take a short rest.

Do 8 reps of each exercise then take a short rest.

Go all the way down to 1 rep. The video explains it all.



Straight Leg Deadlift

Two Arm DB Row


Front Good Morning

Let me know if you have any questions. Take care and stay safe!

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness

2861 Grove Way


2 Simple Things To Help

I couldn’t think of what to write about today so my incredible wife (the star of the video you can find here: What Are We Going To Do?) suggested that I write about why I can’t think of what to write about.

I alway try to write my posts so that they have some sort of takeaway or angle that people can get something new from but with what is going on right now it seems like there is a lot of overwhelming information and stress and anxiety right now. It feels like anything that little old me has to say is kind of minor in the scheme of things.

Then I thought of my old apartment.

Bear with me. I promise there’s a point coming.

As a young guy living in a small apartment with my cat Sadie, there were times when maybe the overall neatness of it wasn’t quite top notch. Eventually it would start to irritate me a bit and I would actually get the urge to clean. When I’d think about where to start it would feel overwhelming (there’s that word again). What I would do in that situation was take a mental step back and just decide to pick up or clean one thing. It didn’t even matter what that thing was. Dust the TV, pick my jacket up off the floor. It didn’t matter because that one thing, whatever it was, would lead to the next thing. If I dusted the TV then I’d wind up dusting the stereo next to it. If I picked up my jacket I’d pick up whatever else was near it. One thing would lead to another and soon enough I’d have a clean apartment.

Still not with me? What I’m saying is that in these times when things are stressful and overwhelming it’s important to simplify. Do one thing at a time. It’s very easy to be paralyzed by everything.

Today I’m just going to give you two simple things that I hope will help get you through this.

1) Take a step.

In our online Castro Valley Fitness Community virtual meeting (it was supposed to be in-person, but you know the story) one of our members was talking about a project she was supposed to do that has been  put on indefinite hold, although it will have to finished sometime.

One of her big issues we’ve been helping her work through is her tendency to procrastinate. Having a project with no deadline isn’t helping with that. We asked her what the very next step is on the project and we put a deadline of this Friday for her to do it. In this Friday’s check-in (we do invidual check-ins every Friday) she has to report on her progress and let us know how she is going to break down the rest of the project.

The moral of the story? Just do the next thing. I’m paraphrasing a Martin Luther King Jr. quote here: Take the next step. You don’t need to see whole staircase.

2) Be OK with not being OK.

I don’t know too many people who are doing great at the moment. I don’t need to go into the reasons why. I don’t care how “together” you are or think you are, this sucks.

What will make it worse is thinking you need to figure out how to be OK with all of this.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT for short) teaches us the importance of “psychological flexibility”.

Psychological flexibility is defined as the ability to stay in contact with the present moment regardless of unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, while choosing one’s behaviors based on the situation and personal values.

In other words, being OK with not being OK and behaving in accordance with that.

One thing that can help greatly with this is understanding that you’re not alone. motivation

Another thing that came up in our meeting yesterday is the role of social media. One of our members was starting to revert back to some old thought processes we’ve been working through due to some social media posts.

I’m not going to be someone who rails against social media as the root of all evil. To me, it’s a tool. Like a hammer or a baking sheet. Those are great if you need to nail a board together or make cookies, but not so great if you want to wash your clothes.

What I’m trying to say is that, for the most part everyone on social media looks they have it together. Don’t buy it. Everyone has problems. Especially now.

I hope this helps a little. Please let me know if you need help with anything else. I have time these days!

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





Friday Workout 1

Whenever you do work with the weight in just one arm you are working your core. In today’s workout we are going to cover your whole body in this fashion. Let me know if you have any questions.

30s for each exercise with weight in left arm

Rest for 30s then repeat with weight in right arm


Reverse Lunge

Freestanding One Arm DB Row

Straight Leg Deads

One Leg Stand

Friday Workout 2

This workout may be a little different for you today. If you’re anything like the people I’ve been hearing from there has been a lot of stress, sitting and just plain feeling bad right now. That usually leads to some different kinds of aches and pains or maybe just more of the ones you already have. I definitely experienced this myself. (You can read about it here: I Was Pretty Down)

These are the exercises I use as a general warm up with a little variation depending on what I’m doing that day. They are great at getting the body moving better and getting the muscles that should be working, working and the ones that should be releasing, releasing.

They come from Egoscue which is a form of exercise/physical therapy that focuses on full body posture and movement as a way to improve pain and performance. (I happen to be a certified Egoscue Postural Alignment Specialist.)

In any case this workout should take you about 20-30 minutes. If this is the first you’re doing some of these things you may not be able to do all the reps or hold for the entire time yet. (I’m thinking mainly of the Gravity Drop and the Supine Foot Circles/Point Flexes). That’s fine. Just do what you can and build up.

Here’s the video:

Static Back – 5 min

Gravity Drop – 3 min

Downward Dog – 1 min

Runners Stretch – 1 min each leg

Standing Quad Stretch – 1 min each leg

Upper Body Spinal Twist – 1 min each side

Supine Foot Circles/Point Flexes – 40 reps


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