The 8 Pillars
Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Our logo showcases intention. There's a lot of symbolism packed in. Upon examination, you'll note eight stars... these stars are symbolic of the eight pillars, or principles, that shape and guide our training. Every worthwhile gym, trainer and coach has their philosophy on areas of focus... this primer serves as our current understanding:
"The mind is primary," meaning it all starts in your head. A proper mindset will make or break all that you do, both inside and outside the gym. You are capable of many times what you let yourself believe and it's part of our mission to prove that to you. We don't deal in motivation... we deal in discipline. Motivation comes and goes. When you have it, ride it out, but know that it will eventually subside. Discipline remains. Discipline is your weapon in the fight against the voice in your head that tells you no, or it's too hard, or it's too scary, or it's too dangerous, or hit the snooze button, or take the day off, etc. That voice is responsible for so many of your failures and regrets. That voice is the enemy. That voice is what we seek to combat. The bar is raised with every workout completed and your perception of personal potential elevated... this carries over into the real world too. Beyond our in-house training, we stand by the benefits of daily mediation and mindfulness practices as a force-multiplier in the game of life. We advise 10-20 minutes of mediation first thing in the morning, but anytime you can manage is better than nothing at all. Stress is the culprit that clouds the mind and inhibits your performance in all things. Facing your fears, learning from your mistakes, and cultivating a sharp mind are of primary importance. These practices set the tone and the standard for all things to follow.
The human body is primarily composed of water. Every function of the body relies on this balance. A state of dehydration will affect our ability to think clearly, build muscle, reduce fat, and perform at our peak. A day or two without water could mean death, therefore it's importance should be self-evident. We advise 1 ounce per pound of bodyweight, per day... or drinking to ensure clear or light urination, especially first thing in the morning. Hydration is happiness.
The concept of nutrition is heavily debated and often complicated. We aim to keep it simple, as with all things. We think of nutrition as fuel. Fuel for the body... fuel for athletic performance. Regarding weight loss or weight gain, it's a simple ratio of calories in vs. calories out. Eat less than you burn, you lose weight... eat more than you burn, you gain weight. We advise 1 gram of protein and 2 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight, per day. We use fat as the variable to accommodate your goals... minimal fat for weight loss, maximal fat for weight gain. This becomes a individualized approach of calculated trial and error through weekly weigh-ins. For most, we aim to see a 1-2 pound change in bodyweight from week to week. Much less and the process becomes frustratingly slow... much more and we risk a undesirable body composition. For athletes over 200 pounds, the same guiding principles apply, but the rate of change may be proportionally greater. Beyond that, include plenty of veggies with every meal and listen to your body... it's very clear in what it needs and what it can tolerate. Keep it simple.
"You don't get big and strong from lifting weights... you get big and strong by recovering from lifting weights." If physical activity is the ying, rest is the yang. When in the gym, we break down the muscles from grueling physical activity in a healthy and calculated way. When we sleep or rest, our internal systems go to work repairing, healing and strengthening both mind and body. While 6-8 hours of sleep is the generally accepted norm, training like a athlete requires recovering like a athlete. We advise 8-10 hours of sleep per day and highly encourage naps. Routine is key... set bedtimes and wake-up calls are crucial, and rituals to unwind or wake-up are highly recommended. In our society, these elements of good health often go unchecked. Perform an honest audit of your schedule to make sleep a priority.
Strength is a measure of the maximum amount of weight one can move. Strength is the foundation of our programming as we believe it to be the most useful and versatile athletic trait. We believe strength to be a skill and drill it extensively, generally for the first half of our workout, post warm-up. "An example of a strength-based athlete is an Olympic weightlifter; a single lift of a maximum amount of weight is the focus of her sport."
"Related to strength, stamina is best understood as the amount of time that a given muscle or group of muscles can perform at maximum capacity. If you can perform a single bicep curl of 60 lbs., you may have stronger bicep muscles than someone whose maximal bicep curl is 50 lbs., but the other person can be said to have greater bicep stamina if he can perform more repetitions at this maximum weight." Stamina rounds out our strength training and generally constitutes the second half of our workout, post-strength and pre-mobility work. "An example of an athlete who may benefit from increased stamina is a sprinter, who must run at maximum speed for an extended period."
"Endurance is best understood in relation to time. While stamina is defined as the amount of time that a given group of muscles can perform at or near maximum capacity, endurance is defined as the maximum amount of time that a given group of muscles can perform a certain action. So the difference between stamina and endurance is one of focus: while stamina is limited to performing at maximum capacity, the focus of endurance is on maximizing time regardless of the capacity at which a given group of muscles is performing. For example, while a sprinter may focus on stamina and running as fast as possible over a given distance, a long-distance runner may be more interested in endurance: he runs as far as possible with speed a secondary concern." Our endurance training in generally relegated to our few days outside the gym, more commonly referred to as "cardio" days.
"'Flexibility' can be passive, whereas 'mobility' requires that you can demonstrate strength throughout the entire range of motion, including the end ranges." Mobility is "a convenient package to address movement and performance problems through warm-ups, stretching, soft tissue work and joint mobilization. Warm-ups dynamically prepare the body for movement, but it does not solve positional problems. Soft tissue work utilizes foam rollers, massage sticks, theracances, lacrosse balls, massage therapists, chiropractors or even physical therapists for myofascial release. Stretching is done statically or alternating between holds and releases to lengthen the tight target muscles. Joint mobilizations often use bands and other tools of the trade to help increase the range of motion of target joints. In short, mobility is ultimately a preventative approach to prevent injury, speed recovery, improve performance, and age gracefully." The last 5-15 minutes of every workout are dedicated to this worthwhile pursuit.
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