Quest For Fitness Episode 3

In this episode, we talk about the American Ninja Warrior poll on Facebook as well as how to stay on track in the holiday season.

As always, feel free to send your questions for later episodes.

Dip Progressions

When it comes to improving your fitness, you have to constantly keep yourself challenged. In weight training, this is done by increasing weight to increase difficulty. With calisthenics, however, it works  little differently. Challenging yourself and calisthenics can mean changing the angle, changing the depth of the movement, or looking at different variations of exercises for the same muscle group. Whether you’re lifting weights or doing calisthenics most of us are familiar with dips. When I was starting to increase the difficulty of my dips, I add weights. But taking a step back and taking a better look at the exercise I found that the weights are not necessary. As I progressed I moved from bench dips, to elevated bench dips, to parallel bar dips, the straight bar dips, and eventually Korean dips. Before I would progress from one to the other I made sure I was reaching the maximum depth with proper form to make sure I was maximizing my range of motion. One of the things I love most about calisthenics is the near limitless amount of exercises you can do if you get creative. You can find a video of all these dips here.

Want to get fit without paying for a gym membership? Do it all in the comfort of your home or local park with my new book The Calisthenics Quest!

Have questions? Contact us.

Quest For Fitness Episode 2

In this episode of Quest For Fitness, we talk personal training. I get asked all the time, “why should I hire a trainer?” This will answer that. The video also covers what to look for when hiring a trainer.

Have questions? Contact us.

The Quest for Space!

Quest Fitness is growing! Because of this we are moving from a 300 sq. ft. space to a 1600 sq. ft. space! But, don’t worry we are not going far. We signed the lease and now we have some modifications to do. What does this mean for you? Well, we will have more classes including a new yoga class, another trainer (to be announced soon) more equipment (however, still sticking with the minimalist approach), a changing room, and multiple restrooms. The main focus will still be quality one-on-one personal training. Finally, I have to say this is all possible because of the Quest Fitness members. I look forward to continuing to work with you all and offering more services.

Have questions? Contact us.

See my fitness journey.

The Truth In My Fitness

I get a lot of comments on photos and articles that I post claiming that, of course I can do the things that I do because I’ve been fit my entire life. But, I can tell you that is not true. In high school, and my much younger years, I was very active and outdoorsy and constantly exercising, but there was a point in which I fell out of it, and through a good portion of my 20’s I was completely off the fitness bandwagon and started putting on a bit of weight and body fat. I came back onto the fitness scene with studying Taijiquan, and not long after I got into weight training. My primary goal, at first, was to start losing that weight that I had put on. And it was a struggle a lot of ups and downs in my diet anger over not seeing results right away and wanting to give up on more than one occasion. But with a lot of hard work, and a few years of busting my butt, I lost about 20 pounds. At this time I was doing a combination of weight training as well as calisthenics. And when I was doing this calisthenic training I will tell you firsthand that I could not do one single pull-up. After continuing to work for a few more years those pull-ups started coming along as well as hitting those crazy numbers on push-ups. It is honestly been within the last four years that I’ve become more calisthenic focused and it’s not because I dislike lifting weights. It was because I found calisthenics just work better for me. Now looking at some of the crazier calisthenic moves that I’ve been doing I want you to keep in mind that for a lot of those I train for well over six months just to do it for the first time and in some cases it took close to a year just to get it for the first time. So what I’m really trying to say is that this was all achieved through hard work not something that I have always been able to do I’m still striving for new goals just like everyone else, I even continue to watch my eating habits. If you have a goal you need to push for it and there will be ups and downs, but there are people out there that are more than willing to support you towards your goal.

Have questions? Contact me.

Get info on my up coming book.

Earning My PCC

So after a lot of uncertainty, I decided to bite the bullet and attend the first Boston PCC (Progressive Calisthenics Certification). I will admit I had no idea what to expect out of this 3 day, 8 hour a day workshop. First day in Boston I, of course, had to see the sites, because, hell! There is a ton of history here!

Day One of the PCC was a lot of push-ups and pull-up progressions showing how to advance from a beginner to advanced. I even managed to get my first one arm pull-up! After lunch we moved on to human flag progressions. Yup, you read that correctly. So, it was amazing to see how strong everyone was through all those progressions. We finished the day working on the mighty muscle-up. Yeah, I have been doing them for a while, but they showed me how to make them even more challenging by only using my wrists and going slow. ​

​Even better was seeing all the other people getting their first one! That night I got to go out with some friends from high school that I have not seen in almost 19 years. We had a blast! It was like nothing had changed.

Day Two was all legs and core work. There were a ton of first time moves for everyone! Some getting their first pistol or shrimp squats some getting their first front or back levers, for me, I got my first Meathook and Reverse Grip Back Lever! Even finished the day with a bad ass photo with Al and Danny Kavadlo.


Day Three I got to have breakfast with Danny and Al and just shoot the breeze. In class we went a bit lighter focusing on skills like hand balancing. I was impressed to see everyone’s skill level. They were some truly impressive people! After lunch the pressure was on… we had to test for our certification. When my name came up, my heart jumped up into my throat despite practicing this test over and over for the last few months. But I nailed it! After all was said and done, there were hugs all around. We were all like family in the end. I truly hope to stay in touch with my new calisthenics family.


Now, as the only Dragon Door certified calisthenics trainer in Michigan, I can’t wait to pass on all I have learned this long vacation!

See my personal journey.

Have questions? Contact me.

Internal Martial Arts & Calisthenics

Like a lot of people, I started martial arts training in an external martial art such as Muay Thai, and weight training worked great for excelling in that art. I got stronger and hit harder. Now, there is nothing wrong with external martial arts, I respect each art, but they were not for me and I didn’t realize this until my 20’s.

After a small hiatus, and watching late night Kung Fu movies, I gave Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) a try. The art fascinated me with its flowing movement and hidden power. I had to reverse all of my study, and focus on my internal self. I picked up on the weight training and noticed the weight training actually hindered my movement. In the last few years I dropped the weights and went to calisthenics. My movement, quickly improved. But I didn’t really pay attention to the change.

Recently, I had the opportunity to study with Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, a Grand Master in Yang Style Taijiquan, and after his lectures and expectations of movements, it clicked! Calisthenics is extremely beneficial to internal martial arts. Let’s look at the meaning of calisthenics, exercise to achieve fitness and grace of movement. In TaijiquanTaijiquan you need to have every part of your body to flow as one, calisthenics teaches full body control. This is a beautiful match to improve your internal martial art performance. I would never say you should give up your weight training if that is what you love to do, just make sure your training matches what your current goal is.

 

See my story here.

Have questions? Contact me.

Workout Program Coming Soon

I know many people don’t have the ability to meet for training either because of scheduling or distance, so I will be offering “at home programs” for all fitness levels. All of the workouts will be done with minimal equipment so you can do it at home or even at the park. Each level will include instructional videos to show you how to perform each exercise with modifications, if needed. I will also include basic nutrition information. Again, this isn’t a substitute for personal training, but it is a step in the right direction.

The Push-up: King of the Chest Exercises

So many people tell me they can’t do push-ups, but that simply isn’t true! Now, before I continue, I just want to say that there is nothing wrong with lifting weights if that is what you like to do. I, myself, use to lift, but I just found calisthenics to be more enjoyable for me. You have to do what you enjoy in fitness. Now with that out of the way, here is why I love push-ups.


Push-ups, if done correctly, is a full body exercise. It doesn’t just hit the chest, but also the shoulders, triceps, front and back of the core, back and legs for stability. Sadly, not a lot of people use them, and the ones that do don’t always use them properly. Hand placement and body position are key to the proper movement. To help people both regress and progress their push-ups, I have put together a video tutorial to help. Granted, this shows you just the basics; it doesn’t lay out rep counts or tempo to fully progress in a workout. That is best left to meeting one on one with a trainer to build a program that fits your fitness needs. After all, we all progress differently.

As always, Quest Fitness is here to help. In person and video training programs are available. Now, let’s hit those push-ups!

You can find the full video tutorial here.

Have questions? Contact me.

Quest Fitness Challenge 

This year, at Quest Fitness, we will be holding a fitness challenge! For a $5 admission you can enter! (Quest Fitness is not keeping any of it.) Whoever has the best over all improvement wins the cash pot! There are 4 exercises that you will be judged on.

Squats

Push-ups

Knee raises

Pull-ups

Squats must be performed with a minimum depth of top of the thighs parallel to the floor and a full lock out at the top of each rep. Arms may be raised in front, crossed, or placed on top of the head. Heels must stay flat the entire time.

Push-up depth must reach a minimum of 90 degrees of flexion as measured along the outside of the elbow and a full lockout must be achieved at the top of every rep. A straight body position must be maintained throughout the entire range of motion. No sticking your butt into the air or leaving your hips down on the ground.

Hanging knee raises must be performed with the knees being raised above waist level and a full extension of the legs at the bottom of every rep. Swinging shall be kept to a minimum. Arms must remain straight the entire set.

Pull-ups may be performed with an overhand or underhand grip. The chin must clear the bar at the top of each rep and a full extension must be reached at the bottom. Kipping will not be allowed. Chin-ups will be allowed, but you must do the same style of pull-ups both at the beginning and end of the challenge. If you choose to use a assistance band, you must use the same one through the entire competition.

Rests may be taken in between exercises, but each exercise must be completed in a single set. You may pause briefly between reps as long as the position is held (i.e. top of push-up position, bottom of pull-up, etc.)

The entry date starts 1/2 and entry closes 1/9. You will be allowed to take a progress test the week of 1/30, but it is not mandatory. The final test will start on 2/27 and officially end 3/6. Entry will be allowed via Skype or FaceTime. But the $5 must be paid at entry.

Good luck, and may the gains be with you!

Have questions? Contact me.