For the month of June, Quest fitness will be offering a special fitness package! The Adventure Season Package includes 3 one hour training sessions or 3 half hour massages, 1 fitnesses assignment and 1 group fitness class for only $90.
As any martial artist can tell you, one can only progress in their training if they are actually training! However, seminars such as the Chen Taiji Seminar led by Master Chen Bing can be quite vital to one’s progression. Master Zhichao Ling owner and head teacher of Master Ling’s Oriental Martial Arts (based in Noblesville, IN) hosts this event each year. They are in their year of putting on these events, and as a student who has been to each of these events, I can honestly tell you that my appreciation of taiji (and Chen form in particular) has grown exponentially afterwards. However, my understanding and martial arts growth only happens when I actually train in these lessons upon my return.
I write this to note that you only get out what you put into any seminar. And in this seminar there is a wealth of knowledge. Students who are interested in taiji for the martial arts applications, meditation, flexibility, strength, and form can get what they seek from the seminar. This recent event (May 17 – 19) was three days of training. Friday was training with swords. Saturday was Chen form. We learned the He Xie form. The following day was martial arts application.
I came to tai chi roughly 9 years ago from an external background. I had trained in Karate, Ninpo Taijutsu, and Judo. I took tai chi to gain more experience in an internal martial art, plus I knew it was a good way to calm the mind (which I really needed at that point in my life). With my sifu, Ray Shonk, I was able to learn more about moving from within to explodingoutward. I was able to strengthen my balance and, probably best of all, I was able to manage my vertigo issues that I have been battling for years. So, after nine years, I wasn’t a novice to tai chi, but no matter whether one is a novice or a veteran of tai chi, there was something for everyone to study and practice.
Most of Saturday was spent training in the He Xie form. Roughly six hours of standing on one’s feet and moving, only to restart all over again allowed for us to focus on how our body was moving. Concept such as “being heavy” and “keeping the joints open” were focused on and we learned how our bodies felt while we were in an “open” state or a “closed” state. After being on one’s feet for that long, and holding postures for minutes on end while Master Chen Bing corrected how we stood, really took a toll on our feet, but this was (in my opinion) one of the most rewarding parts of the seminar.
Sunday was martial application day! This day was probably one of the most fun simply because the group that I went with (Quest Fitness, of course) is all about application. Learning how to use the He Xie form to defend against punches, how to parry, and ward off were all interesting since our training is a little different from this.
All in all, direct transmission from a descendant of the famed Chen family was an honor. With this being my third time attending these seminars I knew that the energy from these events come from the practitioners who are learning. Every time I go to Master Ling’s Oriental Martial Arts, I feel like I am coming to a second home. The people there are so welcoming and the conversations are enriching. These are the times where I learn that tai chi means different things to different people. This is something that Master Chen Bing knows all too well, and it is evident in the structure of the seminar.
So to anyone interested, I would wholeheartedly recommend this event. For as long as Dr. Ling and Master Chen Bing put these seminars on, you will see me there. I hope to see you there, as well.
During the years 460 to 377 BC the prominent physician Hippocrates strongly recommended physical activity and proper nutrition for good health. Fast forward more than 2000 years to the 1990s when the medical profession formally recognized that physical activity is vital to the body’s health.
In 1992 the American Heart Association explained that a lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, which placed it alongside smoking, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and hypertension. In 1995, both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine announced the importance of physical activity as a public health initiative. They published a consensus statement by a panel of the National Institute of Health advocating physical activity as important for cardiovascular health. Then, in 1996 the surgeon general of the United States released a written report on the health benefits of physical activity.
People too often think lifting weights until their muscles fail or jogging five miles a day is proper exercise. This myth was the focus of the CDCP/ACSM Report published in 1995 which showed that significant health benefits are attainable with moderate amounts of physical activity, such as a 30 minute brisk walk, 15 minutes of running, or 45 minutes of playing a sport such as volleyball. This does not have to occur every day of the week, just two to three days.
Not everyone should jump into a new fitness regimen. It may be necessary to get clearance from your doctor. This is recommended for people with outstanding medical conditions such as heart issues or a family history of heart conditions, pregnant women, or people with other serious medical conditions.
Once you are cleared for physical activity you should meet with a fitness professional such as a certified trainer. Trainers can help you discover the proper modes of training to begin. They can help prevent plateaus in your training as well as aid in injury prevention. A good trainer will explain how long your workouts should be, the right intensity for your workouts, as well as how often you should be exercising to start. It is also important to communicate openly and honestly with your trainer so you can reach your health and fitness goals in a healthy and safe manner.
Have questions? Contact us.
Many people out there, including myself, like to push hard through their workouts to achieve the best results possible. But, did you know that it is possible to over train? With overly intense workouts many amateur and professional athletes could experience a decline in both performance and physiological function. This could extend over the course of weeks, months, and even years. This is overtraining, and the precise cause of the decrease in performance is not yet fully understood. The most current research has pointed to both physiological and psychological causes.
Overtraining can occur with the three major forms of training, including resistance, anaerobic, and aerobic workouts. Yes, everyone that works out experiences some form of fatigue during repeated days and weeks of working out, so not all exercise fatigue situations can be classified as over training. The fatigue that follows one or more training sessions is typically relieved after day or so of proper rest as well as proper calorie and carbohydrate rich diets. Yet, over training is characterized by sudden decline in both your performance and physiological function, and it is not remedied after a day or a few days of reduced training or rest.
There are multiple symptoms that are linked to the overtraining syndrome, and are usually identifiable only after the individual’s performance and physiological function have begun to suffer. Many of the symptoms can vary from individual to individual, and that can make it difficult for the coaches, trainers, and the athlete to identify the issue as overtraining. It could be a sense of loss of muscular strength, coordination, and exercise capacity, and in some cases generally feels like fatigue. Other big signs of the overtraining syndrome are: a change in appetite, body weight loss, sleep issues, changes in mood such as irritability, restlessness, or anxiousness, a loss of motivation or concentration, possible feelings of depression, and a lack of appreciation for things that you would normally enjoy.
The causes of overtraining syndrome can often be a complex combination of emotional and physiological issues. It could be unrealistic goals, emotional demands of a competition, the fear of failure, and other high expectations can be a source of emotional stress. Because of this over training can typically be accompanied by a loss of competitive desire and a loss of enthusiasm for your workouts.
It is important when you’re working with a coach or a trainer to have open communication with them. If you feel you are starting to over train it’s important to sit down and have a discussion. Ways to recover from the overtraining syndrome could include a reduction in training intensity, getting a massage or taking a complete rest for a period of time. Don’t forget, even the best athletes require rest from their training. Recovery can be just as important as your workouts.
Have questions? Contact us.
If you have checked out my book, “The Calisthenics Quest”, then you have a small idea of what calisthenics is all about. But, what is progressive calisthenics? Calisthenics or as it is translated “beautiful movement”, is using your own body’s weight for fitness. But just like in any other fitness routine, you have to progress and, in some cases, regress. Let’s face it, after a wile those push-ups, pull-ups and squats are going to get a bit easier and you will have to add in a ton of reps to get that burn… or do you? There are many ways to progress your calisthenics workout without boosts reps or adding weight. So let’s look at some options…
First, look at slowing that tempo down. Sure you can now knock out 30-50 push-ups, but now try it slow with a tempo of 3 seconds down and 3 seconds up. That time under tension can be killer and your muscles will be burning with far less reps.
Another option is to increase the range of motion. A few good examples are, instead of bringing your legs to 90 degrees in a squat, go all the way down bringing your butt to your heels. In push-ups bring your chest all the way to the floor, or in pull-ups try pulling your chest to the bar. Full range of motion makes a big difference!
Finally, try to progress to a more challenging version of the basics. This can be done is many different ways. First look at the push-up. You can knock out lots of classic push-ups, so now try bringing your hands closer together or try them with your feet on a bench to change the angle. Of course, if that isn’t challenging enough, you have the one arm push-up. Pull-ups also have many varieties to choose from. Try progressing to the archer pull-up or even commando or L-sit pull-ups. As far as the squat goes, yes they can be made more challenging. Try the archer squat or the Bulgarian Split Squat. If you feel really adventurous, you can also try the pistol squat or the shrimp squat. They will not only challenge your strength but also your balance.
When it comes to progressive calisthenics, never be afraid to try new things but never forget the classics. They will always have their place in your routines. Keep advancing your Quest!
Have questions? Contact us.
Saturday September 15, 2018 8:00 am-6:00 pm
Please join us for this free family friendly event! Take free classes, get a complimentary mini massage, and receive a free consultation with a personal trainer. Also, don’t forget to enter the raffle to win great prizes!
★Enjoy beverages and snacks.★
★No appointments are necessary, just visit and see our beautiful space!★
Full Schedule of Events:
7:45 am Coffee and Questions with Ray Shonk, Owner and Trainer
Meet the Quest Fitness Crew: Ray, Kenny, Tani, Dani, and Meg
8:15 am Sun Salutations and Balance Poses with Dani
Join this 45 minute all levels vinyasa yoga class to empower your day!
9:00 am Beginning Tai Chi Class with Ray, Robert, and Gerald
No idea what Tai Chi is? This is the class for you.
9:30 am Intro to Kid’s Tai Chi Class at Quest with Ray and Kenny
Meet the Quest Fitness Kids Crew: Corbin, Devin, Oscar, and Mason
Challenge Mason to a push-up contest!
9:30 am Static and Dynamic Posture Clinic with Tani
Learn to help avoid lower back pain from common posture problems both seated and standing.
10:00 am Tai Chi Forms and Weapons Demonstrations
Sit back and be amazed as our instructors and advanced students perform Tai Chi forms including Sword, Spear, and Fan
10:00 am-12:00 pm Free mini consultations with our certified personal trainers
10:30 am Calisthenics is What Now? with Ray
Why is our “bootcamp” class called Beast Club? What are calisthenic exercises? Ray will give a short lecture with Q&A time, and then lead his legendary Saturday Beast Club. Try the club free today!
11:00 am-11:45 am Beast Club: Speed Agility Cardio
11:45 am-12:30 pm Beast Club: Strength Power Core
12:00 pm-2:00 pm Free mini massages with Meg, our State Licensed Massage Therapist.
1:00 pm Beginning Tai Chi Class with Robert, Gerald, and Brian
No idea what Tai Chi is? This is the class for you.
1:00 pm Mini Flow and Hip Openers with Dani
Join this 30 minute all levels vinyasa yoga class to increase range of motion and flexibility by relaxing your hips..
2:00 pm Hula Hoop Fitness with Tani
Learn Hula Hoop basics and watch Tani demonstrate more intense routines that are perfect for your personal quest.
2:00 pm- 5:00 pm Free mini consultations with Ray and Kenny, two of our certified personal trainers.
3:00 pm-5:00 pm Free mini massages with Meg, our State Licensed Massage Therapist.
4:00 pm Boffer Basics with Kenny
Follow Kenny’s well developed program for sword training, both one and two handed sword versions.
5:00 pm Restorative Flow with Dani
Join this 60 minute all levels vinyasa yoga class to release tension and prepare for a relaxing evening.
In September of 2017, Quest Fitness underwent a huge change. We moved from a small garage to a big new 1600 square foot location. This was a big leap, but very worth it! In the last year, we have continued to grow, first by adding a new Yoga class with Dani, then bringing in our own massage therapist, Meg, and finally bringing in 3 great trainers, Erica, Kenny, and Tani.
Quest has also managed to put on some amazing events, as well! My favorites so far have been World Tai Chi Day and the seminar led by celebrity trainer Danny Kavadlo. But now it is time for the next big event: the anniversary of the opening of Quest Fitness! To say thank to everyone out there, we are opening our doors not just to our many loyal clients, but also to the entire public. Stop in and meet the entire Quest Crew, meet with a trainer for free, try out a class at no charge and even get a massage from Meg! The event will be September 15th starting at 8am until 6pm. No appointments are necessary, just swing in and see us. Snacks and beverages will be provided and we will be holding a raffle for more great prizes! I look forward to seeing you there!
Have questions? Contact us.
To call the event with Danny Kavadlo an “experience” is a great understatement! First lat me say, running this event with my Calisthenics mentor and friend was an amazing honor! The day started with sign ins and meeting some new friends from out of town, all the way from Wisconsin. For putting this together with short notice, we had a great turnout. As the class started we went around the room each one of us introducing one another, and everyone seemed like minded with Calisthenics and fitness.
We started the class with squat progressions, beginning with the most basic, using a bench or partner to assist. We progressed through full squats, archer squats, split squats and even the pistol squat. I’m thinking everyone’s legs got a little cooked there.
Once we finished legs, we hit the push-ups. Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking. Not everyone can do push-ups, but in this class we prove that wrong. We started with the knee push-ups and moved into elevated push-ups, and like every thing else we focused on perfecting the movements and queues to aid others. Then we hit the floor working on classic push-ups, staggered and archer push-ups, feet elevated and many other including the handstand push-ups.
We finished the morning by taking a trip to the bar… the Pull-up bar. Yes, I fully understand that pull-ups are difficult, but we had something for every level of fitness. Getting started on the pulls we hit Aussie Pull-ups, a.k.a bodyweight rows. I have to say, everyone here killed these! Then, we moved on to flex hangs and pull-up negatives. We had a strong group, because again everyone nailed these. We discussed the chin-up, pull-up and other variations like the commando pull-ups. Of course we finished this section with the mighty muscle-up. Then, we took a much needed lunch break, took some photos, signed books and chatted it up.
Upon our return from lunch, we hit hand balancing, starting it off with frog and crow poses. For some the hand balancing was a bit new, for others it was a chance to show their skills. We knocked out the tripod, and the headstand, and for a few attending the Elbow Lever! I was impressed with everyone’s performance.
When we moved on we hit some ab training both on the ground and on the bar. We all hit the basics with knee tucks, knee raises and leg raises. As we progressed, a few people tried Skin The Cat, Back Levers and even the Front Lever! These are not easy if you are curious.
To finish off the workout, we hit flags! So many people got their first flag! We covered a large variety of them, too! I cant tell you how overly impressed I was with everyone! “The beauty of the experience is that no matter what level a practitioner was at, everyone can do a push, pull, and squat exercise. You need not be able to do a full human flag in order to train with Danny Kavadlo or learn from the experience,” one of the attendees, Gerald Browning, stated.
When we hit the closing of the seminar, Danny gave an amazing lecture on calisthenics progressions, building programs and even being a better trainer. A lot of great questions came out from the group as we wrapped up and chatted it up. Because of the great turnout and the level of fun we had, Danny and I decided we may try to make this an annual event with new material each time. I want to absolutely thank everyone who made it out, and a special thanks to Danny for flying all the way out here to teach the class!