The Danger Zone!!

We’re heading towards the Danger Zone! No, I’m not talking about Top Gun. I’m talking about the holiday season.

Every year I see people fall into the same traps. I know it’s not easy, but I also know that there are ways around it that can help you actually enjoy this time with your family and friends instead of stress over it.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

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

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Just Say No!

I was having a great conversation with one of our members a few weeks ago. She’d been having some trouble with consistency in getting to the gym.

I asked her a question. “Would the things that are getting in your way really be that much worse if you took just an hour to get a workout in?”

I’ve said this many many times before, but the number one most important thing when it comes to getting results is consistency. WITHOUT CONSISTENCY NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!! Do I need to say that again?


This is why I am on a campaign to get you to “Just Say No!”


What do I mean? I mean put your workout time on your schedule and JUST SAY NO to anything that would mean missing it. I guarantee you that the world will go on if you take an hour to yourself.

Listen, I know that things are crazy out there. We all have 1000 things that are screaming for our attention every second of every day. I know how hard it can be to balance all of it out. I also know that these things are not going anywhere, and that even though we are absolutely convinced that it will all fall apart if we step away for one second…..



it won’t.



So I ask you to just try it this week. Pretty please for me?


Put your workouts on your schedule and just do them. Whatever you have going on forget about it and go. See what happens.

I’m guessing that what happens is that you wind up feeling pretty good about doing something positive for yourself.

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



3 Things You Should Know About Cardio

One of the most potentially confusing things about exercise is cardio. I always hear people say they “need to do more cardio” when they want to lose weight that. Well, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Today I’m going to let you know three things you might not know about cardio, how it relates to weight loss and how you can get it to work better for your goals.

Let’s get started!

  1. You don’t burn that many calories when you’re doing regular cardio exercise. I’m sorry to tell you this, but you just don’t. For example, if you run at a 12 minute mile pace for a half hour, which for many of us is pretty darn fast, you’ll burn off about 250 calories. That means that if you’re feeling like you deserve a little something like this for your efforts: You will actually be taking in somewhere between 150 and 300 calories in excess of what you just burned! On top of that the better you get at running, the fewer calories you will burn as your body becomes better and more efficient.
  2. For weight loss, interval-style cardio training is the way to go. As we talked about last week strength training is the most important exercise you can do for weight loss. Having said that, if you are going to do some cardio, interval-style cardio the way to go. Interval-style cardio has the additional benefit of raising your metabolism after you are done. In other words, you will continue to burn additional calories even after you stop exercising. Now to get this to really work you must push yourself pretty darn hard, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you, right? 
  3. You can get creative with your cardio. At our gym we do all kinds of things to get that cardio effect. You don’t have to just walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. We do different kinds of circuits. Try this one: 10 squats, 10 pushups, and a 30 second plank. Do each exercise as fast as you can (with good form, of course). Rest 30 seconds between each set and do 4 sets. If you’re not breathing heavy afterwards, re-read what I said above about working hard.

Well, I hope this gives you a few ideas you can use to help get more out of your cardio training. Please let me know if we can help.

Have a great day!

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

5 Ways to Help If You Don’t Like Exercise

I know I’m lucky. I like to exercise. I love it, in fact. I love it so much I made a career out of helping other people do it. Having said that, I know lots of people don’t exactly feel this way. I’d have to hide my head pretty deep in the sand not to realize that many people don’t like exercise at all, including some of the people I work with right now! I’ve got to say that sometimes I kind of feel like the vegetables that are pushed to the side of someone’s dinner plate.

don't like exercise


Having said that, I really do believe that everyone can benefit from appropriate exercise and I’ve yet to hear someone tell me they regret coming in after a workout, no matter how they felt beforehand.

Today I’d like to give you a few hints on how to get your exercise in even if it’s not your favorite thing to do.

  1. Schedule it. This is number one for a reason. Put it on your calendar and don’t let anything get in the way. Sure, things happen from time to time but deep down you know when you’re just using outside things as an excuse. One of our members Sue, just told me that she looks at her sessions the same way she looks at her job. You don’t skip work because you just don’t feel like it do you?
  2. Find people. At our gym we do everything in groups. We use personalized programs but people are just doing “their program” with other people there at the same time. The best thing about this is that our members get to know each other. They become friends and that makes their workouts more of a fun get-together. That way even if someone doesn’t exactly like exercise all that much, the community makes it a nice place to be and that makes the exercise more fun and effective!
  3. Understand the benefits. As much as you don’t like exercise I’m pretty sure you understand the benefits of it. Better, strength, flexibility, mobility, decreased pain, increased bone density, improves immune system function, better confidence, etc.
  4. Do something you like. OK. Like may be overstating it, but if you absolutely hate lifting weights or running or body pump classes than try to find something else. There are a ton of options!
  5. Forget motivation. This clip says it way better than I can. Take 4 minutes and watch.

If you don’t want to watch it essentially she essentially says that we are hard-wired to avoid things that are difficult and scary. The more we wait for “motivation” the more this hard-wiring kicks in and that means WE DON’T DO ANYTHING! In other words you’ve got to just suck it up and do what you need to do.

I’ve worked with hundreds of people over the past 8 years and I know these five tips have helped many of them, including the ones that don’t like exercise. I think they can help you, too. Have a great day!

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