Functional Strength in Everyday Life

Functional Strength The Fitness Clinic Gym Fort Lauderdale Personal Training

When someone says the word “fitness,” we tend to think of bodybuilders, or sprinters built like gazelles, or basketball players that could jump over a small car. We imagine star athletes at the peak of their physical potential, not functional strength in everyday life…

But of course, fitness encompasses way more.

Fitness is also being able to sit down in a chair and then stand up. It’s being able to walk
up a flight of stairs, and being able to carry your groceries in from the car. It’s being able to walk the dog and throw its toy for retrieval. There are many who take these common day-to-day tasks for granted, but there’s no denying that they too involve a level of fitness. As we get older, it’s important to maintain the strength of everyday life, not only for our health, but for convenience, happiness, independence, and quality of life…

So how do we maintain a functional level of fitness for everyday life, even if we aren’t avid gym-goers? The best strategy is to just do little things every day that will challenge you and keep you in top shape. Here are some suggestions for keeping you up and at it well into your golden years:

See a personal trainer or join a gym and work with fitness professionals. These trainers don’t just work with bodybuilders and athletes! Personal trainers provide you with a personalized plan to address your specific needs, which makes them by far the wisest option for those wanting to be strong for everyday life!

Try getting up from a chair with a neutral spine without using your arms to brace you. This mimics an actual gym-style workout exercise called the box squat, and will, over time, provide your legs with the pushing power to hop in and out of chairs for decades with no trouble.

This one’s a bit cliché, true, but always take the stairs if you can. Those looking for an added challenge can even take two steps at a time. In general, the more you walk and move, the healthier you’ll be, especially later in life.

Build a strong upper back by never wimping out on how many bags of groceries you can take in at once. Make sure you grab close to equal weight in both hands, and try to get them inside in as few trips as you can. This also mimics a common exercise, known as the farmer’s walk. In the gym, your trainer will probably add lunges to your farmer’s walk, but that will come in good time!

Never, never fall into “I’m too old for this” thought patterns. The things we tell ourselves, we subconsciously make into our reality. A professional baseball player would never tell themselves they can’t run the bases well enough, and neither should you tell yourself you can’t walk your dog anymore, or carry a big load of groceries in from the car.

Of course, with all that said, there’s also the reality that as we get older, we can become more prone to injury, especially if we have not exercised throughout our lives. While keeping good physical fitness can go a long way toward helping to build resilience, it’s also important whenever you perform strenuous activity in your day-to-day life to make certain that you do it safely and with good form. The most important factor is watching your back! Your spine has normal curves when viewed from the side. These curves help to better absorb the loads applied to the spine from the weight of the body. Here are some tips to keep your spine in good shape, which will go a long way toward keeping your whole body in good shape:

Always keep an eye on your posture. As we grow older, many tend to “hunch” the upper back, a condition known as kyphosis. Postural kyphosis is caused by poor posture and the weakening of the muscles and ligaments in the back (paraspinous muscles). As you stand and walk, periodically check yourself and make sure that your shoulders are pulled back, your chest is out, your chin is tucked with your head pointing straight forward in a neutral position (not up or down), and your hips are square beneath you (that is to say, you’re not sticking your butt out or rocking your pelvis forward). Your personal trainer is a great choice to assess your current posture and design a plan to help you correct any posture mistakes.

When it comes time to lift and carry something, what they always told you at work is true: bend at the knees, keep a flat neutral spine, and lift with your legs. There is no better way to herniate a disk and never walk without pain again than to lift a heavy object with a rounded back. If you feel your back starting to round while lifting, set the object back down, take in a deep breath, straighten your back and attempt the lift again.

In keeping with these last two points on proper back posture, let’s just round this up by emphasizing further, that at all times, the integrity of your back is paramount. Watch yourself during everyday tasks: if you torque your back to “whip” the hatch down on your SUV, or if you hunch over your knee when bending over to tie your shoe instead of bending at the hips, you’re creating compromising positions that will in time deprive you of the strength for everyday life!

There you have it, some advice on both how to build strength and endurance to get you through a functional day, and also how to keep your body in proper working order to keep that strength – functional strength in everyday life… Use these tips well, incorporate a personal fitness plan, and you’ll be spry and strong well into your seventies, eighties, nineties, and beyond!

Whatever your current level, fitness is personal, and your fitness plan should be too. In this time of personal promises and resolutions, The Fitness Clinic gym in Imperial Square Plaza encourages you to call for a complimentary personal fitness assessment.

If you are already exercising, maybe you could benefit from a more personal customized approach, and if you are committing to starting a new program in the New Year, give yourself the best chance for success. The Fitness Clinic has over thirty years of success stories and you can fit right in with our limited membership and be next. For the greatest chance of success, your best bet is to start your resolutions in December!

Call Fred or Nick at The Fitness Clinic gym, and let’s get you started right now – For more information on the best personal trainer programs in Broward or directed independent training programs, please call us at The Fitness Clinic gym: 954-491-4969, or email in confidence to:

Hydration Before, During and After Your Workout

Guest writer and Certified Zumba Instructor Angela R. Neave suggests everyone knows that we must stay hydrated by drinking water every day. Some doctors suggest drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day, or around 64 ounces. Some sources say as much as one ounce per pound of body weight. On most days it is difficult enough to drink the daily recommended amount of water without worrying about drinking additional water – but it’s important to remember, hydration before, during and after your workout…

However, it is important to replace the fluids lost during a workout from sweating, the body’s natural way to cool itself down during sustained exercise. A good rule: drink 7-10 ounces of water every 15 minutes during exercise to stay hydrated. For an hour long Zumba Dance Fitness Class, that could be 28 to 40 ounces of water, which is probably the approximate size of your water bottle.

Do you need to replace electrolytes during a Zumba Dance Workout? The easy answer is not really. Unless your workout lasts two hours or longer, then water will work. Each person is different, and if you have a concern about whether you need to consume electrolytes during a workout, speak to your primary care physician for a definitive answer.

A great way to determine how much water you need to drink during a workout is to weigh yourself before the workout and then again after. For every pound lost during the workout, drink an additional 16 ounces of water to ensure proper hydration and to prevent dehydration. Further, listen to what your body is telling you. If you feel thirsty, take a drink of water. That is your body’s way of telling you it needs more water.

How do you know whether you are drinking enough water? A simple way is to check your urine color. If it is pale and light, you are well hydrated. If it is yellow or amber in color, you are not drinking enough water in a day. Another method to use during your workout is to pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold it for a few seconds. Once you let go, if the skin returns to normal immediately, you are hydrated. If you skin retains the shape of the pinch, you need more water.

Why is hydration before, during and after your workout so important? Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. If you allow your body to dehydrate, you could experience muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue. Additionally, muscle tissue contains 75% water, so if you are depriving your body of water, your muscles will fatigue more easily.

How to properly hydrate during your workout: drink 10 ounces of water one hour before your workout. During your workout, drink 7-10 ounces of water every 15 minutes. Drink eight ounces of water within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. Drink more if you have lost a pound or more during your workout.

Staying hydrated is a great way to ensure you have a great workout while keeping your body healthy!

Great People work and train at The Fitness Clinic, and they all care. Guest writer Angela R. Neave is a certified Zumba Instructor – check the Zumba Dance Fitness class schedule and come in for a class now. Come in and try the Zumba Dance Classes, no membership is required – Start dancing your way to Fitness. Call Fred Williams at 954-491-4969 for an introduction and tour of The Fitness Clinic. You’ll like the resort fitness club atmosphere – The Fitness Clinic gym, over thirty years of success stories in Fort Lauderdale.

Work Out? I don’t have Time…

Work Out? I don’t have time… The top reason most people claim for not working out is time, but really…TIME? A personal trainer is your best ‘time’ friend. They ensure that you are in and out of the gym in the time you specify – 30, 45, 60 minutes – and you have an appointment! Just like when you get your hair done or get a manicure. You HAVE to be there or you pay for it anyway, that’s why you make sure you get there on time, and that’s a big factor in your accountability. Your trainer helps keep you accountable to your stated goals. You HAVE to be there, just like when you get your hair cut or your nails done – you make time for those necessities, right? What about your physical and mental health? They ought to rank at least even with your hair and nail appearance!

Another reason people often claim for not working out is the cost. They will find it pleasantly surprising that personal training at The Fitness Clinic is very cost effective, and the return on investment is likely better than anything you could do by yourself. Expenses can be further managed by finding a workout buddy and working out with your trainer together. You improve your return on investment, and double your accountability. In that scenario, not showing up let’s TWO people down…actually three, counting yourself. I know people with the resolve to consistently drive themselves, working out and making advances through sheer force of will. I’m not one of those people! I have the resolve to work hard, but I still need to be pushed, and accountability partners really help me. Whatever your individual makeup and resolve, The Fitness Clinic gym and its trainers can help you make the most of your time and money, and make your goals their priority. Talk to them about where you are headed in the remainder of 2016 and beyond, and let them help you get there.

If you’d like to take advantage of the best personal trainer programs in South Florida, call Fred, at 954-491-4969. He’ll help you create your ultimate personal fitness plan, or match you with the personal trainer best for you, include all the elements that match your specific goals and motivation, and he’ll show you where you can find the time, and he’ll help keep you accountable.

Walking Your Dog and Core Stability

Photo: AKC Champion Kelly’s Steel’s THE WINNING TICKET – Therapy Dog ‘Bella’
ShareaPet Therapy Obedience Professional
American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen

If you’ve been reading our blog articles, you know that not everyone comes to The Fitness Clinic with Superhero goals. Some of our clients are just focused on achieving core stability and dependable balance; two important elements in helping you keep your dog fit too. Dogs can help us maintain good physical health keeping each other active and consistent, as well as providing therapeutic calming benefits as they sense, react and attempt to influence our stress levels and moods. So, let’s talk about walking your dog and core stability, and your ultimate fitness plan, including some core and balance-specific exercises.

There is no more reliable and dependable fitness training accountability partner than your faithful dog [or your FitClinic personal trainer]. When you walk through the door they are ready to go – walk, run, steps, ball, Frisbee, Chuckit®‎, you name it … and they will never cancel on you! Your dog depends on you for their health and fitness, so help each other stay active and maintain a good routine – dogs love a consistent routine even more than we do…

One of the best benefits of walking your dog is that it’s an effective workout for nearly every muscle in your body, especially your deep internal stabilizers. Walking your dog is more brisk than walking, but safer and less impactful on your joints than, say, jogging. Obviously, it’s also a lot more fun than both!

The human anatomy is engaged in a ton of different ways when you’re walking your dog, especially on uneven terrain. The quadriceps muscles in the front of your thighs, for example, get worked whenever your furry friend drags you uphill – and downhill walking works the hamstring muscles in the back of the thigh. When working those muscle groups with FitClinic clients we like to integrate some body weight squats, lunges, leg presses and hamstring curls to strengthen the muscles of the legs used in everyday activities including walking and playing with your pets.

The real beneficiaries, though, are your deep internal stabilizers. These muscles are small, and lie underneath all the big muscles. While those big muscles, like the quadriceps and pectoralis major, do the big pushing and pulling, your deep stabilizers assist them by controlling your balance and fine motor skills, and protecting critical body parts such as your spine from harm. That means those are going to be the most worked by all those uneven bumps in the grass, and it’s important to keep them strong so they can prevent any of the nasty injuries you could get from falling! The most practical exercise we like to give clients for these internal stabilizers would be a simple plank exercise. You’ll be able to easily target all of these spine stabilizing muscles, challenged on an everyday basis, by simply performing a couple of sets of a simple but escalating plank exercise.
… we’ve all stepped off the path or sidewalk into soft grass on a walk and you know how that can feel on your ankle – we want to make sure you have the strength and balance to recover from a misstep without serious harm to any joints, or worse, losing your balance and falling. Balance and stability exercises have been a staple of our programs for over thirty years just for this reason. We live and walk around on some unpredictable terrains every day, and it’s important to be prepared for some of those missteps. Standing on one leg for a period of time or using a stability ball can help strengthen those muscles in preparation for those unstable surfaces you encounter as you go through your day. So much of working out is focused on preventing unnecessary injury from the routine activities of daily living! An injury to your deep internal stabilizers results in the nagging little pains we feel when twisting and reaching, and can occur when you are reacting to your dog sighting that squirrel!

Let’s have a quick introduction to two of your biggest stabilizers, which reside in your core. The core spans from the bottom of the neck to the top of the leg, and from shoulder socket to shoulder socket. Basically, if it’s not your head or a limb, it’s in your core.

One of your biggest stabilizers is the transversus abdominus, which is the deepest abdominal muscle. Its main purpose is to contract whenever the body enters any awkward position (such as standing on sloped ground) to protect your spine. It’s known as a “corset muscle” because it generates what is called intra-abdominal pressure, which is the ability to tighten your core to maintain a neutral spine position. Without the transversus abdominus, even just walking down a slope could critically injure your back, so keeping it strong is supremely important!

Behind the transversus abdominus is the mulitfidus. The multifidus is actually a group of several small, identical muscles that attach to the vertebrae of your lumbar spine. A multifidus muscle inserts (or begins) at one vertebra and connects it to the one directly above it. It has a very small range of motion, but together with the other multifidus muscles, it helps fine-tune your posture to help keep you upright no matter what. Stand on a sideways slope and notice how your body is still able to keep your spine perpendicular to level ground. The reason you’re not the Leaning Tower of Pisa is because your multifidus muscles know exactly how much to contract to pull your spine into normal alignment! Weak multifidus muscles can result in poor posture as well as poor balance and stability.

These are just two examples, though. There are hundreds of stabilizer muscles in your body, all of them extremely important, but don’t worry! With the help of your FitClinic personal trainer, you won’t neglect any of them, in the gym with the weights or in the park with your dog; you’ll be healthy and strong. If you’d like to take advantage of the best personal trainer programs in South Florida at The Fitness Clinic gym Fort Lauderdale, call Fred at 954-491-4969. Whether you want to be strong and secure walking your dog without discomfort, or you’d like sport-specific customized training for your student athlete, let us show you how you can incorporate all your goals in your personal ultimate fitness plan – and much more economically than you might think.

I’m a Director of, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, providing canine therapy visits to a range of facilities and their Pawsitive Reading Program available to Broward, Dade and Palm Beach schools. If you are looking for some quality time with your dog while engaged in truly beneficial therapy visits, check out the new website at, and we can make sure you’ve got the stamina and balance to participate to the fullest!

Maximizing Metabolism

How many times have you heard someone say “I just have a slow metabolism?” A statement like this generally means a person has not created a healthy and proper approach to their fitness and eating program.

Metabolism, when used in the fitness realm, means the rate at which our bodies burn calories. We can have a significant impact on this process and dramatically increase the rate that our body burns calories by implementing three key elements to our lifestyle.

1. The Muscle Factor

After 40 years of age our body will lose 1-3% of our muscle each year if we don’t do anything about it. Muscle or Lean Body Mass (LBM) plays a big role in your body’s caloric expenditure each day. Each pound of muscle can mean 40-50 extra calories burned off per day. That’s 15,000 calories each year for just one pound of muscle.

2. The Cardio Factor

When you engage in proper cardio-vascular exercise, meaning sustained Target Heart Rate activity, your body can burn calories at a rate of 100 per 10 minutes or more. Three 30 minute target heart rate sessions each week can add 50,000 burned calories each year.

3. The Food Distribution Factor

Of course what you eat is important in the metabolic process, however when and how often you eat can be even more important. Start your day by “breaking the fast” (eating breakfast). Also, long periods of time without eating or too many calories at one time can have detrimental effects on metabolism. Your body becomes a fat making machine or a fat storing machine versus a fat burning machine.

The next time someone says they have a slow metabolism, ask them if they do any weight training, if they do any target heart rate exercise or if they ever think about when and how often they eat. Maximize your metabolism!

Call me for a complimentary consultation and let’s set up your personal ultimate fitness program – Fred Williams, 954-491-4969.

Fitness Is Easy – Have a Plan, Work the Plan

Let’s take a moment to just be honest here; the hardest part of a fitness plan isn’t when you’re actually in the weight room or on the track…having to taste that spinach salad again isn’t even the hardest part of a fitness plan… The hardest part of being fit is sticking with it. Have a plan, work the plan, and your plan will work for you. I was a founding member of The Fitness Clinic, now right next door in Imperial Square Plaza, over thirty years ago, and I can tell you that consistency is vital to fitness success. The work is hard, but Fitness Is Easy – Have a Plan, Work the Plan.

Sticking to it…it’s the biggest and most common barrier between us, and the health we desire. While it’s been the subject of countless essays and articles, thousands and thousands of people each year will still finally start on the path to fitness… and then stop a few months later.
That’s why it’s so important to the concept of meaningful change, to create a fitness lifestyle — and yes, in order for it to work; it has to become a lifestyle – as integral to your daily routine as eating meals and going to work. In fact, before our list of tips even begins, keep this in mind: you cannot stop at fitness “goals.” Goals are meant to be accomplished, and true fitness is never accomplished, it’s always an ongoing developing process. Realize and accept this, and you’re well on your way already. That’s not to say you can’t set goals within the paradigm of fitness (“I want to walk ten balanced feet on a two-by-four” “I want to bench press 225 pounds”), but once those goals are accomplished, it’s time to reach higher.

So, with that in mind, how does one forge and fulfill a fitness lifestyle? Well, like any lifestyle change, your fitness plan has to include some key traits:

It must be challenging, and yet at the same time it has to be easy. Simplify it as much as you can to make it as convenient as possible for you. If you want to eat healthy, for example, then on a day off pre-prepare healthy meals the day before, or even meals for the week. With good healthy food readily available in your ‘fridge, you can kick aside fast food, snack foods, and store-bought frozen items.

You’ll need to have accountability. That means telling all your friends, and asking them to make sure they hold you to your professed shared goals. Get a gym partner, or better yet, hire a personal trainer to keep you motivated and on track. You’ll be a lot less likely to skimp on your fitness plans if your ego is on the line, and even less likely if skimping means wasting all the money you spent on a trainer or gym. If you’re like me, you do not break appointments, and if you have an appointment for a workout with a trainer, you will be there, come hell or high water! Without the appointment, it’s just too easy to make excuses and miss out on progress.

You have to WANT it. Remind yourself every chance you get of why you want to become more fit and healthy, and make it a priority in your life. This is often the hardest aspect, because – in the moment – we can be prone to impulse. If you don’t remind yourself how important your fitness is to you and why, you may see that cheesecake in the work break room and decide, just for a second, that it’s more important than your promise to yourself. It’s not. Make signs for your refrigerator and bathroom mirrors, and one for the inside of the front door so it’s the last thing you see as you leave home each day – and put a sticky on your laptop or desktop monitor to view as you work so the reminder is constant – it’s ever-present.

This last point requires a bit more fleshing out, because there will be times when your gym partner skips out, or you’re alone in the break room with that devilish cheese cake, or you forgot to prepare your advance meals the day before. That’s when it just comes down to wanting it. Here are some specific tips on how to motivate yourself and ensure that your well-being is always at the forefront of your mind:

Wake up strong by putting a sign over your bed or by your bed. It can say whatever you want, but make sure it’s positive and reminds you to keep your promise to yourself. If you have to put more signs on your desk, fridge, or wherever, then feel free.

Set aside time for nothing but exercise. A common excuse is “I just don’t have the time,” and this excuse is essentially always just that: an excuse. If you watch Netflix for two hours every night or surf the Web, then you’ve found time that can be spent improving your body and quality of life through exercise.

Do everything you can to enjoy your workouts! You’re doomed to fail if you dread going to the gym. Find exercises you really like and keep them in your program. Don’t force yourself to do jumping jacks if you’d rather be running.

Likewise, do this with your nutrition as well. If you detest celery, then don’t force yourself to eat it if you’d rather be eating steamed broccoli. Eat healthy foods, but eat foods you enjoy too.
Ultimately, the best way to stick to your plan is up to you. No article knows how to help you motivate yourself better than you do, so experiment a bit and find what works for you to help you stay consistent.

There’s one last tip before we wrap things up here today, and it’s a big one. First, remember consistency is the most important aspect of any fitness plan. More importantly, however, you should recognize that no one is perfect and everyone will have slip-ups. While it’s definitely not good to have a slice of that break room cheese cake, it’s definitely human, and it’s something we are all going to do. It’s important not to beat yourself up over it and discourage yourself. The most important thing is to always be moving forward, just keep at it, and don’t stress over the road bumps.

Armed with these tips, you should be able to forge a solid plan to get fit and stay fit! Have a plan, work the plan, and your plan will work for you. Good luck! Train with specificity, and train smart…

Call me at The Fitness Clinic gym, and let’s get started right now – For more information on the best personal trainer programs in Broward or directed independent training programs, or a complimentary personal assessment appointment, please call Fred at The Fitness Clinic: 954-491-4969, or email him in confidence at:

Take Your Personal Training Career to the Next Level

Are you ready to take your Personal Training Career to the Next Level ?

The Fitness Clinic is looking for independent trainers with clientele, or the will to build clientele, to train at our facility.

The Fitness Clinic has been in continuous successful operation for over 30 years and offers Broward County’s best personal training programs. There is a good reason we retain our personal trainers year after year. Personal trainers are entrepreneurs, and we provide you with everything you need to build your knowledge, grow your reputation, and expand your client base right along with us.

The Fitness Clinic Gym in Fort Lauderdale has all the equipment you’ll require to provide the highest quality training for your clients.

    The Fitness Clinic – A Gym and Fitness Center with a Private Club Atmosphere

Bring your clients with confidence.
Join us and become the next SUCCESS STORY!

Broad Range of Cardio Equipment
Extensive Strength Training Equipment
NO CONTRACTS Month-to-Month Client Payment Program
Or Personal Training Program
The BEST Personal Training Plans in Broward County
Spinning, Yoga, Zumba and Ballroom Dancing
Physical Therapy
Locker Room and Shower Facilities
Complimentary Towel Service

1. Copy of your current national personal training certification.
2. CPR/AED certification
3. Liability Insurance – $1 million in coverage.
4. A government issued photo ID.
5. All trainers and each client must sign a waiver form (one-time thing) prior to beginning training.

Contact Fred, at

Isometrics and Plyometrics – Your Recipe for Plateau Breaking Brett Renner Personal Trainer NSCA-CSCS NSCA FORT LAUDERDALE GYM ATHLETIC TRAINING BALANCED WEIGHT TRAINING Brett Renner Fort Lauderdale Gym New Year's Resolutions PERSONAL FITNESS ROUTINE PERSONAL TRAINER personal training Soccer Training Specialist Sport Specific Training The Fitness Clinic Gym Training Goals Your Personal Ultimate Fitness Plan

At The Fitness Clinic, we’ve been helping our clients facilitate personal success for more continuous years than any other gym in Fort Lauderdale, and if you are interested in getting the most lifestyle improvement within your personal time constraints, please give us the opportunity to show you how much we can help. Our proof is walking all over the streets of our city! Today, let’s talk about Isometrics and Plyometrics – Your Recipe for Plateau Breaking.

Maybe you’re having trouble initiating a fitness regimen? Maybe you’ve stopped making progress in your current workout routine? Maybe you’ve found your grip strength isn’t what it could be, or you’re not as agile as you should be? Maybe you’re just bored with your current fitness routine? Maybe you have questions for our professionals at The Fitness Clinic, right here in Imperial Square Plaza?

If any of these apply to you, then it might be time to try these two often forgotten but highly effective techniques– isometrics and plyometrics, both guaranteed to help you plow through plateaus and become a stronger, faster, and more ripped you!

So, what are they? Well, to begin with, isometrics exercises are the ones where the joint does not move during performance. The muscle still contracts, but instead of moving the weight, the focus is on simply resisting the weight’s pull. Imagine yourself doing a bicep curl, but instead of curling it all the way to the top, you stop halfway and then just hold it there as long as you can. Some more examples include planks and paused-rep squats.

These are great for building core stability in compound lifts, improving strength, as well as increasing time under tension in isolation style lifts like the bicep curl, all helping you gain muscle strength and mass.

When it comes to building explosive power and agility, though, plyometrics (also known as jump training) are the perfect partner in your workout routine. Exercises such as box jumps, burpees, and jumping lunges require explosive leg drive, which can greatly increase strength gains by training your nervous system to activate every last muscle fiber as quickly as it can, as well as help you move with more speed and agility. If you’re worried about joint strain, confer first with your doctor and be sure to work with a personal trainer to ensure you’re performing the movements correctly, as form is especially important with explosive exercises.

These two different methods work exceptionally well together and should be mixed right in with your regular weight training routines since they’re opposites — so go ahead and try them out! If you need help on how to perform these exercises or how to integrate them into your routine, we can show you exactly how to maximize their benefit in your personal ultimate fitness plan, and how to optimize them for reaching your individual goals.

Plyometrics Brett Renner Personal Trainer NSCA-CSCS NSCA FORT LAUDERDALE GYM ATHLETIC TRAINING BALANCED WEIGHT TRAINING Brett Renner Fort Lauderdale Gym New Year's Resolutions PERSONAL FITNESS ROUTINE PERSONAL TRAINER personal training Soccer Training Specialist Sport Specific Training The Fitness Clinic Gym Training Goals Your Personal Ultimate Fitness Plan

Your 2016 Goals and Aspirations – Personal Update and Assessment

It’s hard to believe how 2016 is flying by. You’ve been confronted with so many opportunities to indulge and lose focus – let’s be honest; are you on track to reach those goals you set as 2016 began, or is it time to re-commit to your fitness goals while there is still time to meet them this year? How good would it feel to smash those goals even if you’re not exactly where you hoped to be? Maybe you were one of those people who flooded fitness centers in January with the best intentions – did you stick with it and see your goals fulfilled? You still have the opportunity now to really make it happen – and you know we are dedicated to help you reach those goals and find that confidence – improving movement, core, balance and strength as you’ve never done before.

Call on us! No one is denying it’s a really daunting commitment, but guiding you through the process is what we’ve been doing successfully for over thirty years, motivating you to stay with your prescribed plan and optimize all year. Yes, you need patience, hard work and a realistic view of what you are trying to accomplish, and our team to see you do it right. Procrastination is self-indulgence, so don’t get caught in that trap; commit to meet your 2016 resolutions after all – get in gear, or find second and third! You can still make a concerted effort to see your aspirations for this year become reality; we know you can do it and you know you’ll be happy you did.

Watch for upcoming articles on Fat Loss, the Core Plank Challenge, the 6 Pack Challenge, Improving Blood Chemistry, Having a Plan, Basic Resistance Training, The Brain-Body Connection in Fitness, Balance, Functional Strength and Movement and more. Articles will appear in the Award-Winning Imperial Point HOA Newsletter, at and on

We work with every age and goal-set across the continuum, and design efficient fitness programs to optimize lifelong functional performance. Whatever your goals, or even if you need help deciding what your personal goals should be, let us help you lay out a plan, answer your questions and provide guidance to move you forward. We will help you turn back the clock; it’s guaranteed for our clients and proven over thirty years. Start today, by asking me about Isometrics and Plyometrics – Your Recipe for Plateau Breaking. Call me at The Fitness Clinic gym, and let’s get started right now –

For more information on the best personal trainer programs in Broward or directed independent training programs, or a complimentary personal assessment appointment, please call Fred at The Fitness Clinic: 954-491-4969

Train with specificity, and train smart…

Perfect Your Breathing – Perform Better Instantly!

Gym Breathing Workout Brett Renner Soccer Fitness Training Personal Trainer The Fitness Clinic Fort Lauderdale

Breathing is one of the most fundamental functions of the human body, and through it we gain a vast amount of our energy, so let me perfect your breathing – perform better instantly!

So why do so many people go to the gym without knowing how to properly breathe?

Oh, I know you can breathe, but can you breathe optimally to help you get the most out of your exercise program? If not, or you’re not sure, this article’s for you!

Let’s begin with diaphragmatic breathing, a technique commonly used by singers, actors, and of course gym goers. To breathe diaphragmatically, sit or stand up straight and draw a deep breath in through your nose. The trick here is that your chest should not expand, but your stomach should! This means you’re filling both lungs completely with air, which press down on the diaphragm, hence the name diaphragmatic breathing. If you want to see an expert breathe diaphragmatically, watch a baby breathe, it’s all belly and this is the best way see and understand the process. This technique is useful for helping the body bring in the maximum amount of air it can, and more air means more oxygen for muscles! This breathing is useful for all kinds of exercise, but now let’s get into specifics.

If you’re doing cardio, it’s important to establish a breathing rhythm that matches your pace. For example, when running, try to take at least two to four steps to inhale and the same to exhale. The most important thing is that your breathing is slow and controlled, in through the nose, out through the mouth.

For weightlifters in the gym, there are a couple different things to keep in mind. If it’s an isolation bodybuilding style workout for reps, like a bicep curl, inhale while lowering the weight, and exhale as you are exerting upward using the biceps. If it’s a heavy compound movement such as a barbell squat, inhale at the top of the rep, trap the air in your stomach and harden it keeping it pressurized. This creates intra-abdominal pressure, which protects your lower back and prevents you from leaking power. Keep that air pressurized and slowly release and exhale on the upward movement. Be careful not to hold your breath too long on the rep, or you may pass out!

With these breathing techniques in mind, you should be instantly able to run farther and lift heavier!

Talk to me about how to perfect your breathing – perform better instantly. If you’d like to take advantage of the best personal trainer programs in South Florida, call me at The Fitness Clinic – Brett Renner, Personal Trainer, NSCA-CSCS, at 815-994-1026. Ask me about Sport-Specific Training – Bring Me Your Student Athletes! I’ll help you create your ultimate personal fitness plan including all the elements that match your specific goals and motivation, I’ll show you where you can find the time, and I’ll help keep you accountable.

Your Student Athlete and Sport-Specific Training

It may come as no surprise that athletes who specialize in a specific sport, from high school football players, to professional swimmers, to amateur marathon runners and dancers…all exercise differently from those of us who just exercise for fitness, general strength, or to gain or lose weight. So here’s the lowdown on your student athlete and sport-specific training, straight from the heart of The Fitness Clinic, where we’ve been helping facilitate personal success for more continuous years than any other gym in Fort Lauderdale …

This article aims to be a helpful primer on what sport-specific training is, including some discussion on the potential dangers of approaching it incorrectly, and why it’s always best for athletes to have guidance and advice from a knowledgeable personal trainer skilled in their sport.  At The Fitness Clinic, we’ve specialized in personalized fitness plans for all our clients for over 30 years, including your student athlete!  So, on to Your Student Athlete and Sport-Specific Training – – –

So what IS sport-specific training? As you can probably guess, it’s simply a method of training in which athletes and their trainers and coaches develop training regimens designed to help the athletes become competitive at a specific sport, such as hockey or soccer.

This is all simple enough, right?  Strength, mobility, agility, flexibility…so many considerations!  So, for sport-specific training, you just find exercises that hit the same muscles and have the same movements you use in your sport, and then do them a lot more, right?
Well … not exactly …

Training is a complex math of muscular balance, integrity, mobility, and flexibility, and it can be easy to focus so much on improving at a specific sport that coaches can compromise the long-term (or even short-term) well-being of their athletes.

A common example might be high school coaches.  They only have four years to build kids from scrawny, inexperienced fourteen year olds into high powered MVPs of their sport. The issue is that due to the limited time span these coaches get to work with their athletes; it can be easy, if not even tempting, to unbalance their training regimen to make big short-term gains. These short term gains, however, can come with a steep cost in the long-term for the athlete.

How so?  The issue is often the false belief that training for a specific sport should always mimic the actions performed in the sport. This is often the single biggest mistake coaches make, and the idea behind it is the cause of numerous other issues in training, even though it’s a myth. While it’s true that training regimens should have some carry-over (“carry-over,” by the way, is how much an exercise translates into an athlete performing an action better in their sport), the reality is that athletes go through those motions enough in practice and on the field, and their actions in the weight room are in fact supposed to counter-act, not reinforce, the thousands of times athletes repeat those motions. The role of sport-specific training then, should not so much be to make them better at the sport, but to keep their bodies healthy and in balance under the duress of that sport. The Fitness Clinic certified trainers who contributed valuable insight for this article are skilled, attentive and concerned with the unique individual needs of each client, and create an ultimate fitness plan that revolves around and adjusts to that client’s specific goals, needs and progress.

As a general rule, 30-50% of an athlete’s training in the weight room should have carry-over into their sport, and the rest should focus on exercises that counterbalance that sport’s movements, to ensure bodily integrity.

Many coaches, though, are either unaware of this fact, or ignore it, and continue to focus far too much on mimicking the movements of the sport in the weight room. Here are just a couple of the issues that arise in training because of this:

  • Push/Pull Imbalance: Working a muscle without giving equal resistance to its antagonist (or, muscle that does the opposite motion). This creates an imbalance in which one muscle is too tight, and overpowering another muscle. Imbalances like these can, over time, ruin posture and pull joints out of place. A simple example of a push/pull imbalance is doing lots of bicep curls (pulling muscle) without doing any work for the triceps (pushing muscle).
  • Lack of Auxiliary Mobility/Flexibility Exercises: This is another very common case, similar to the previous point, wherein the coach overemphasizes primary movements. Even if a coach does include antagonist movements (pushing and pulling, in other words), they may then neglect mobility training, which is vital for joint health!  An example of this training mistake might be a football coach that makes his linemen do lots of bench press. Without copious mobility training, including a multitude of lifts and stretches, the shoulder will quickly round forward, and literally immobilize (former high school football players often cannot even lift their arms above their heads).  As in the last point, this leads to poor posture and horrible pain that may even require surgery down the line.

All that said, carry-over still has an important place in sport-specific training. It just needs checks and balances to keep the athlete healthy, both on the field and in the future.  Here are some examples of exercises with carryover into a sport, and exercises that counteract the countless repetitions of movements that athletes do in practice.  See if you can spot any patterns!

Carry-over: Sprint training and multi-directional shoulder and chest exercises such as pull-downs and bench press.
Counter-act: Reverse wood chops, non-dominant side wood chops, other exercises that target the half of your body not used in batting/pitching.

Carry-over: Typically jump squats, agility drills, and aerobics.
Counter-act: As muscle usage varies wildly from style to style of dance, this would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis by one of our experts.


Carry-over: Tire flips, dead lifts, and other posterior chain work, bench press. 

Counter-act: Shoulder mobility work, deep stretches.

Carry-over: Agility drills, squats and half-squats.
Counter-act: Dead lifts and other glute-heavy work to counteract the constant kicking motions, as well as appropriate upper body work, including pull-ups.

Carryover: Box jumps, jump squats, agility drills.
Counteract: Auxiliary glute/hamstring work.

Carry-over: Box jumps, various frontal upper-body power work, especially targeting the front deltoids.
Counter-act: Extensive shoulder mobility work and strength training for the back.

Carry-over: Agility drills and both aerobic as well as anaerobic cardio.
Counter-act: Extensive back and shoulder strength and mobility work (as a matter of fact, this goes for all sports in which one holds a stick of some sort).

Carry-over: Upper and lower body power work, such as medicine ball slams and speed squats/dead lifts.
Counter-act: More back and shoulder mobility drills, since holding and swinging the hockey stick repetitively can injure both.

So what’s the best way to ensure that an athlete is training properly, not just for their sport, but also for a healthy, resilient and functional body for the long haul? The best way is to consult one of The Fitness Clinic personal trainers!  These certified Sports & Fitness professionals can guide you through these vital years with careful balance, helping optimize top performance as well as helping to plan for the long haul.  Which of the sports above is yours or your child athletes?  Let us know, and we’ll match you with the best trainer, depending on all the factors that make your student athlete the unique and special individual they are.  Sometimes, it takes the attentive eye of a committed and engaged personal trainer to help a specific athlete avoid injury and stay healthy for the long-term, while maintaining a training regimen designed to make them a beast!!

In summary, don’t forget: Train with specificity, but also train smart.

For more information on Your Student Athlete and Sport-Specific Training, our personal trainer recommendations, or a complimentary assessment appointment, please Call me at The Fitness Clinic:  Joe Devlin, at 954-663-3136, and let’s get your student athlete competing at their optimal levels while helping keep them safe and healthy for a lifetime.