Movement & Strength Training
Private Coaching / Consultations
34 Degrees North
Cirque Du Soliel
Personal Strength and Mobility coach
DEGREES & CERTIFICATES
AFAA Certified Fitness Trainer
CrossFit Level 1 Certified Instructor
Associates Degree: Massage & Occupational Therapy- Swedish Institute
Certified Massage Therapist, CAMTC
Esalen Massage Practioner
Myofascial Release I, II, Unwinding
Physical Mastery & Movement Exploration
Functional Strength Training
Mobility & Natural Movement
Handbalancing, ang gymnastics
Corrective Excercise & Rehabilitation
Fitnesss & Flexibility
Body Sculpting and Weight Loss
All of the great successes and joys in my life are a direct result of my passion for physical mastery. I feel compelled to share with others my knowledge of movement as well as my philosophy. I believe that moving well with strength and awareness are quintessential to living a happy and fulfilled life.
I've spent over 20 years as a physical culture enthusiast, traversing many avenues of strength, fitness, and mobility. From functional strength training, bodybuilding and crossfit, to yoga, parkour, pilates, and dance. In addition, I have spent over 15 years as a massage therapist, working with professional athletes, circus artists (Cirque Du Soleil "Totem", "Iris"), dancers, chiropractors, physical therapist, personal trainers, and everyday folk. One of the greatest lessons I've learned from working with such a diverse population is that everyone, even professional athletes need stronger cores.
The main functions of the core are; to create structural alignment, Stabilize the mid-line, and generate movement. Without proper alignment and Mid-line engagement, we can overextend certain structures in our body. Eventually we may find ourselves with a range of injuries or dysfunctions. This is why core awareness and movement mastery have become a cornerstone of my practice.
Mid-line Stabilization = Core Stability/Strength.
Mid-line stabilization is the unification of the spine, skull, and pelvis as one solid structure.
As a movement coach I identify physical limitations in others and help people overcome them. Physically speaking, there are two major roadblocks that individuals have: either a lack of strength, or a lack of flexibility (or both). These two functions of the body are so intertwined that its somewhat counter-intuitive to treat them differently, so for ease lets refer to the healthy expression of the two as "mobility". For the development of functional mobility (strength/flexibility) I have organized a system of movement (Origins of Movement) based around perfecting alignment in 4 key positions and exploring all means of exiting and returning to those positions. By following the natural progressions that a child develops while transitioning from infant to toddler, core strength, awareness, and mobility are gained rapidly in the areas they are needed most. This begins with the subtlest of movements and progresses all the way to an acrobatic level (if desired). My Origins of Movement series spends a considerable amount of time working on the ground where slow and controlled movements are practiced and Explored in order to increase our active range of motion and our core strength. Groundwork is essential for staying youthful as it requires and confers strength and flexibility. Children build and maintain agility through repeatedly grounding themselves and recovering. Origins of movement is about returning to the movements of our youth, and reclaiming that primal ability. Beyond the ground work is the increased awareness of our hips and spinal alignment and their role in standing, walking, balancing, and lifting, all of which are complex movements we take for granted and generally perform mindlessly. In essence, humans develop the majority of their core strength in their formative years and then spend the rest of their lives walking in a manner which takes very little effort. By exploring more deeply how we stand, walk, and sit we can bring awareness into all of our movements and become more centered in our bodies and our lives.
Primal - Relating to an early stage in evolutionary development; essential; fundamental.
What's the secret ingredient to achieving all of this? Curiosity!
Explore with fascination our potential for movement or lack there of. By playing with our range of motion and learning our bodies natural movement patterns we will gain an incredible amount of self awareness and physical prowess. This process of exploration will awaken muscles and unlock movement capabilities we have merely forgotten. As we integrate more completely with our bodies, we will identify the roots of our dysfunctions and weaknesses, and better understand how we may go about correcting them. More than any system of movement I can bequeath to you, these philosophies of movement allow you the freedom to heed your body's own calling and intuit a movement practice personal to you and your maximum health and enjoyment. Exploration is the the key to mobility…. And practice is the key to strength.
When it comes to strength there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Compound, multi-joint, functional movements practiced with as near perfect form as possible is the not-so-secret means to a functionally strong body. Today every trainer on the block is a "functional strength" trainer, or at least that's what they claim. I can tell you from what I've seen that in truth most are "conditioning specialists". These trainers choose movements which can be used to improve strength but chain them together or have you perform high repetitions (challenging your stamina) instead of challenging your strength. As a recipient of this sort of training you feel thoroughly sore, worked, and cardiovascularly challenged. I won’t argue the benefits of this sort of conditioning, but I will point out that this is not “true” strength training. Strength training involves the progressive increase of resistance over time and is dependent on higher intensity and rest periods. Intensity in this case does not refer to your perception of the overall workout experience, but the intensity of the individual exercise, rep, or set. Intensity increases by either adding weight or resistance, or in the case of body weight movements, performing more challenging progressions. One example would be squats; if you are perform 15 reps and follow that up with a set of pushups without rest, you are not strength training. If instead you perform a set of weighted squats which are so heavy you can only execute six reps, then you are definitely strength training. Typically for strength training we focus on a few key exercises or movements and practice them with high resistance and low repetition. Strength training can also be seen as a sort of skill training. The exercise you are focused on is challenging, and you want to get better at it, so while you practice that movement, you are looking for greater and greater alignment, a nuance of activation throughout different parts of your body, incorporating and activating latent strength in areas of your body you didn't realize were involved in the movement.
This concept comes as a surprise to most people, in part because of cultural beliefs that working long and hard hours must inherently bring the greatest results, but in the world of strength, less is more, particularly when it comes to volume (reps and sets). Using an analogy, when you return home from the grocery store with a car full of bags, you can either take ten separate trips or you can take in as many bags as you can possibly carry. I've always performed the latter in life. This is strength training in a nutshell. Higher intensity for short periods and then rest. When strength training is practiced properly, 1-3 days a week of training are all that is needed to stimulate the body, and because the overall drain of the system is less, you will actually feel less tight, stiff and sore.
Though I love lifting heavy things, I employ weightlifting in only a limited capacity, either lifting from the floor to over head, or squatting. Outside of these 2 areas their are far greater benefits from developing an advanced body weight practice that no amount of weightlifting practice will give you. Learning the ways of using the human body poised against gravity for the development of strength is itself an endless path of self discovery and evolution.
Think of your movement education like you would any other form of higher learning- do you want a degree or the knowledge that it represents?. Sure you can train merely for aesthetic goals or to lift some specific weight as a badge of your achievements, but why not invest in yourself by learning how to move and train properly today and benefit from it for the rest of your life!