April Member of the Month – Eric Nelson

It is our pleasure to recognize Eric Nelson as the CV Fitness Member of the month for April 2019.

Eric joined CVF a little over a year ago after listening to one of Mitch’s presentations.  He had back pain and a hurt ankle that were restricting him from doing the things he loved – playing baseball, golf, and hiking.  He thought he would have to give these things up because they had become too painful, but his performance has actually improved.

CVF has helped him gain confidence to do physical things without being afraid of immediate pain.  He is no longer tentative and he doesn’t think about his back every time he moves.  He has experienced gradual and steady improvement and is confident there is more to come.  His improvement is so much more than he expected.

He is consistent with his workouts as he wants to stay healthy and feel better — and there is no disputing the results.

He enjoys the CVF community.  His three words that describe his experience are “steady, positive and satisfying.”

A Fitness Challenge To Help Your Back, Hips and Knees

You can’t go on social media without seeing all sorts of ridiculous fitness challenges. Plank challenges. Burpee Challenges. Abs challenges. Personally I’d rather eat glass than do a 5 minute plank. The kicker is that you know that most of the people doing these challenges are planking with somewhat less than good form.

I saw an Instagram posted fitness challenge the other day that wanted you to work out twice a day for 45 minutes each time and have no cheat meals for 75 days, along with about 4 other demands. Sure. Let me put my entire life on hold for the next 75 days to show the buff guy in the picture how awesome I am.

NOT!

Listen, if you want to try some of these things then please be my guest. You get to push yourself a little and maybe if you do it with a group it can turn into a fun thing. I’m the last person to tell someone to stop doing any kind of exercise they actually enjoy.

That being said, I thought I’d propose a fitness challenge that can actually help you and that you can even do while watching TV!

OK. Here it is. For the next seven days I want you to spend 30 minutes doing this:

Egoscue Supine Groin Stretch – Do 15 minutes each leg

It doesn’t look like much, but this simple stretch is the best thing I’ve found to loosen up your hips, back and shoulders and help improve your posture from the hips outward and you know my that your entire posture is set from the hips outward.

What does the Egoscue Supine Groin Stretch do?

This stretch focuses mainly on a muscle called the Psoas (pronounced SO-az). This is a long muscle that runs from from your lumbar spine on either side, down to just below your hips. See in this picture.

The Psoas is one of the muscles that are responsible for allowing you to move your thigh toward your torso as in this picture.

As a group, these muscle are called the Hip Flexors and the Psoas is the biggest and strongest of them.

The problem with the Psoas is that due to modern society’s tendency towards sitting, it can get pretty tight, and due to it’s attachment position at the lumbar spine, that tightness can cause postural problems which result in back, hip, knee and possibly even shoulder pain.

What the Egoscue Supine Groin Stretch does is help regain length and function in the Psoas. This helps put your body in better posture and helps reduce back pain, hip pain, knee pain and also possibly shoulder pain.

How do I do it?

Let’s refer to this picture one more time.

Egoscue Supine Groin Stretch

It really is pretty simple, but there a couple of important things to be aware of. Let’s go over it.

  1. Lie flat on your back with one leg straight and the other hip and knee bent to about 90 degrees and resting on a box or chair.
  2. The foot on the straight leg needs to be propped against something so your toes point straight up.

Keeping your toes pointing straight up on the straight leg is what allows the psoas to release and stretch. It’s also very important to have an object holding the foot straight up, not just you holding it. If you are keeping tension on the leg to hold it up under your own power,  the psoas will not relax.

If you experience back pain in this position it is likely because your psoas is a little extra tight. In this case, you need to elevate the straight leg like in this picture.

When you start the stretch, contract your thigh for a few seconds. You will likely feel the contraction close to your knee. Repeat this every 5 minutes or so. As you hold this position over time you will feel the contraction higher up your leg. When you feel that change, drop your leg a little lower.

I like to do this while watching TV at night. I’ve been through several seasons of Homeland and The Walking Dead this way. Half the show on one side and half on the other. I’ve been doing it long enough that I get a nice release from 10-15 minutes on each side although I still like to do 15-20. If you haven’t done this before it might take a bit longer. I remember the first time I did it, it felt like nothing was happening for a while and then all of a sudden my leg just started vibrating and relaxing like crazy. It was quite an experience.

What’s the challenge?

My challenge to you is simply this:

Do this stretch for 30 minutes per day (15 minutes on each leg) for the next seven days. That’s it. I’m pretty confident that you will feel some pretty powerful results. What’s most important is that you will start to realize the importance of your overall posture in how you feel and move every day.

I have found this stretch to have a massive impact on back pain, hip pain and knee pain. It very well may be the best thing I’ve found to help with these things and no, I’m not exaggerating. If you need more convincing just do a quick Google search for “Egoscue Supine Groin Stretch” and look at what comes up.

Also, if you want to have a little more fun with this challenge please post a picture on Facebook or Instagram or both. Tag me in it (Facebook or @mitchrfitness on Instagram) and use the hashtag #CVFitnessSupineGroinChallenge. Write how you feel in your post. I’ll be doing it, too.

Good luck and have fun!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, Egoscue PAS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way
Mitch@CastroValleyFitness.com
510-755-9191

 

March 2019 Member of the Month – Jen Petroelje

It is our pleasure, and with the enthusiasm of her workout peeps, to recognize Jen Petroelje as the CV Fitness Member of the month for March 2019.

She joined CVF four years ago because she wanted to start exercising before menopause.  Her personal training sessions three times a week allow her time to pay attention and focus on herself which is an unexpected benefit.

She has lifted far more weight than she ever thought she could and she credits that to her gym cheerleaders who give her lots of encouragement.

She set a goal last year to hike to the bottom to the Grand Canyon and then back up – a 27 mile trek.  She trained for six months and after a lot of hard work and many, many lunges and step ups, she made that goal!

Exercise has become a habit.  She finds it nice to feel strong and building strength came as a surprise. It’s not unusual to see her and April 2018 Member of the Month Nick Chavez ending their workouts with a rope and medicine ball slam relay that makes you feel tired just watching them.

She says the people make CVF fun and her advice is to follow the 5 Keys to Success.

Your Five Keys to Success

Today we are going back to basics. I can talk (or write) your ear off about all sorts of different fitness or nutrition topics. At Castro Valley Fitness we have conversations about all sorts of things along those lines but none of that really means much without the basics.

As you can see from this picture:

5 Keys to Success

we have what we feel are the 5 Keys To Success written on our wall. I can pretty much guarantee that if you aren’t achieving results then you aren’t doing one or more of these things.

Let’s get into it.

  1. Be consistent.

Simply put, nothing works without consistency. Any kind of real lasting improvement must be done intentionally, and that doesn’t happen without consistency. Very few meaningful things in life are accomplished all at once. It’s usually the end product of a lot of hard work.

  1. Work hard.

If consistency is number one, then hard work is 1A. There is no substitute for simple hard work. There are no secrets to anything, whether it’s losing weight, moving better, getting more flexible or stronger or anything else. When you exercise, work to the best of your ability and push yourself appropriately. Remember this: without consistency and hard work, nothing else matters. You won’t get anywhere.

  1. Be engaged.

If you have a coach, do your best to listen to their cues so that you get the most from your efforts. Pay attention to how the proper form and posture feel. Don’t just go through the motions. What are the things you’re doing supposed to be helping you with? If you can’t answer that question than how are you supposed to know what is working and what isn’t? If you don’t know that, then you are basically just throwing things against the wall and probably wasting your time.

  1. Ask questions.

Believe it or not, there are reasons behind a good exercise program. If you have any questions at all about your program ask your coach if you have one. If you don’t, then do some research and find out.  We love it when our members ask us about their program because we love to talk about this stuff! The more you know about why you’re doing what you’re doing, the more you can get out of it. By the way, if your coach can’t tell you why you’re doing something, that may be a red flag.

  1. Follow your program.

Any good program is written with your goals in mind, and there should be a reason behind everything. From the exercises themselves to the number of sets, reps, the order of the exercises, the rest periods and everything else, you and your goals should be taken into account. If you simply follow the program, you are giving yourself the best chance at success. By the way, if you don’t have a program you need to get one! There’s a million books out there and I also know a very good gym that could help!

Do you know a good gym?

I feel pretty confident that these keys can really help you out. If you feel like you’re having trouble with any of these things, please drop me a line and let me know. We’ll figure it out together!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, Egoscue PAS, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
510-755-9191
Mitch@CastroValleyFitness.com

February Member Of The Month – Helen DeLisser

It is our pleasure to recognize Helen deLisser as the CV Fitness Member of the Month for February 2019.  She has been a member for three years.

Helen is a Chiropractor with her own practice in San Leandro.  She was referred to CVF by neighbors.  She joined with the goal of improving her core strength and also needed the commitment of a workout schedule that had some flexibility. She was experiencing some knee issues at the start and wanted to stabilize her knee to improve her ability to walk and run.  She regularly walks her dog in areas with uneven sidewalks and wanted to protect her knee and reduce the chance of falling.  She also doesn’t want to lose the ability to run with her dog.

CVF has helped Helen find a balance between being available to her clients and time for her workouts.  She always has a smile on her face and a great sense of humor.  She finds the most improvement is in her strength – not only can she lift more, she can lift things more easily and straighter.  She feels her overall movement is better and more stable.

Her advice to the CVF community is to still watch your diet even if you are coming into the gym two to three times a week.  Also, be committed – just come in when you are scheduled regardless of how you are feeling. You will always feel better after.

January Member of the Month – Matt Lim

It is our pleasure to recognize Matt Lim as the CV Fitness Member of the month for January 2019.

Matt has been a member for a little over a year.  He found CVF through Yelp after “gym hopping” looking for the right gym close to home.  He was doing mostly HIIT workouts, but wanted to build his strength.  His goal was to gain muscle and look and feel good.  He works hard at every workout and it has paid off because you can see his progress.

He likes the quality of the programming and the variety of a new workout each month. He likes how the workouts can be adjusted to accommodate how he feels on any particular day. He feels it is well worth the investment in his health.  His workouts are also a stress reliever for him.  He likes the CVF community and felt “the love” as soon as he came through the door especially from familiar faces.

Matt is always in a good mood with a smile on his face.

His goals for this year are to continue building his strength and improve his body definition.

He finds CVF challenging, supportive and fun.

5 Easy Ways To Get Better Results in 2019

Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you all had a great holiday season. 2019 is upon us!!!! I hope you’re looking forward to it.

I know this is the time of year a lot of people set their goals for the next 12 months, so I wanted to give you a few ways to help you achieve even better results in 2019.

Here we go!!

  1. Don’t use your age as an excuse. This is going to be a new rule we have at Castro Valley Fitness starting this year. If you keep telling yourself that you are going to feel lousy because you’re getting older than you will. If you tell yourself that it doesn’t matter and you can keep getting better than you’ll find that to be the case. Don’t make me write more about self-talk please!
  2. Be engaged. Don’t just go through the motions. Think about what you’re doing. Feel what you’re doing. Understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Ask questions. I promise you that you’ll get so much more from an exercise if you do these things. Are you feeling planks in your arms or shoulders? Do you think rows are an arm exercise? If you answered yes to these questions then you need to engage.
  3. Understand that exercise has very little to do with weight loss. If you want to lose weight and you think that exercising alone will do it, I’m sorry to tell you that it won’t. Diet is AT LEAST 80-90% of weight loss. Exercise can be an important and very helpful component, especially in the long run, but please hear me on this. IF YOU DON’T WORK ON YOUR DIET YOU WILL NOT LOSE WEIGHT!!!!! 

    Weight Loss Is About Diet!!

  4. Be consistent. This is simple. You won’t get results if you don’t show up. I’d rather someone have ten “B” workouts than 3 “A” workouts.
  5. Work hard. You don’t need to work out like a crazy person to get results, but you do have to work hard. You know if you are or not. Don’t lie to yourself. Are doing 10 squats at a weight you could do 20 squats with? Are you taking 90 minutes to do a 60 minute workout? 

These are just a few ways to make sure that your 2019 is even better than your 2018. Some may apply to you and some may not but I hope that this at least gets your mind working a little bit.

Remember that 2020 is coming whether you like it or not so please don’t look back a year from now and regret not doing something.

Let me know how I can help.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, Egoscue PAS, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
Castro Valley’s Premier Fitness Facility
We Help People Discover Their Strength

 

 

December Member of the Month – Diane Anderson

It is our pleasure to recognize Diane Anderson as our December Member of the Month! You may be saying, “Wait a minute here. Isn’t she a trainer? That’s not fair!” Well yes, she is a trainer, but she has also been a Member of Castro Valley Fitness for over 7 years.

A little over 12 months ago Diane was diagnosed with Cancer. She didn’t know what her future held. She started her chemo and still came to the gym whenever she could for own workouts and also to train our other members. All through that time she had one goal she wanted to meet: Compete in a powerlifting meet in November.

She fought through everything and competed last month. She did more than just lift, though. She matched her squat and bench press all time bests with 264 lbs and 137 lbs respectively and hit an all time best with her deadlift at 325 lbs! She did this despite having to start almost from the beginning with all of her lifts during her treatment.

Obviously, this is very impressive but what really matters is how she inspired every one of us at the gym by fighting through and always being the best she could be, both with her own training and also training our other members.

The three words Diane uses to describe her experience here are thankful, support and perseverance.

Thanks for everything, Diane!

Your Feet, Pain and Posture

So much of the time the feet are the missing link for people when it comes to pain and performance. Think about it. Your feet are the thing that connects you with the ground and lets your body know where you are, how to move and what to feel!

If you have knee, hip or back pain I’m betting that you have some issues there that need to be addressed and if you just want to perform better in the gym getting your feet working better can be a HUGE improvement.

In this video I’ll show you a simple test that will let you see what is going on with your feet, knees and how it relates to your hips and back.

Let’s talk feet!

 

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness
Mitch@CastroValleyFitness.com
510-755-9191

November Member of the Month – Julie Navarro

Julie Navarro is our Member of the Month for November.  She has been a Boot Camp and Personal Training member for 4.5 years.

Julie added walking to her regular workouts about six months ahead of a trip to Bryce Canyon in Utah.  She wanted to increase her stamina, so she could really enjoy the hikes on her trip – not to mention keeping up with her two granddaughters.  You can now find her at Lake Chabot every day, rain or shine, enjoying her 5-mile walk. She likes to work out first thing in the morning as it helps her throughout the rest of the day.  She has found that walking is easier than when she first started because of her increased stamina, balance and, of course, her strength since joining our CVF family.  She likes her full body workout in a gym without machines.

She likes the personal attention she receives and having other members around her same age.  The three words Julie uses to describe CVF are “fun, healthy and stronger”.