Group Fitness Training

Sneakers Camp
Designed similar to our boot camp yet without the high-intensity, high-impact exercises, our Sneakers Camp is a low-intensity, low-impact group fitness program for those who are new to group fitness programming, just getting back to exercising, and/or have a past injury history or orthopedic concerns (arthritis, chronic pain, etc.)
Schedule: This is a 8 week program that is held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00PM.

Boot Camp
Based on the Tabata protocol designed originally to enhance athletic performance and improve body composition for Olympic athletes, our Boot Camp class is a high-intensity, explosive group fitness program designed to burn fat and tone muscle.
Schedule: This is a 8 week program that is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-7:00PM.

For those interested in improving speed, agility, reaction, strength, endurance, power, and performance all while burning fat and getting lean this is the class for you. Performed in a circuit fashion, our PowerFit Camp takes training to a whole new level.  Sure pushing heavy weights can help you become powerful, yet to achieve your optimal level of health and performance its best to become PowerFit.

All classes are held at SCCDC located at 114 Lark Street, Cobleskill, NY 12043
For more information contact us at (315) 717-5712 or

Reach your health, fitness, and performance goals by using my “Triple A” approach.

 I have long been a fan of acronyms. For example, “KISS”(Keep It Short and Simple). In part, simply because my memory isn’t what it use to be and also because they help me to organize my thoughts, protocols, etc. Over the years I have taken on other means for “enhanced memory recall” which brings me to my most recent training philosophy I named “Triple A”: Adjustments, Adherence, and Accountability.

By now you have probably heard the phrase “lifestyle changes”.  To me this sounds like a sugar coated way of saying “Your life as you once knew it must now be over!!” What? I can never eat another pepperoni pizza for as long as I live? Ahhhhhhh!! I prefer to use the term “Adjustments”. We can make huge accomplishments in our health and wellness goals by making some simple adjustments in our lives. Park farther away from the store to burn extra calories, use the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. You may find these small adjustments have a “domino effect” leading to other healthier life changes such as starting an exercise program, attending fitness classes, eating more fruits and vegetables and so on. Its never to late (or to soon) to make some adjustments.

     How many of you started something you never finished? Exactly. Every one of US!! Adherence is of key importance. I recently read an article from the National Academy of Sports Medicine that stated “..most diets actually work, it’s the lack of adherence to the diet that prevents weight loss.” In short, in order to achieve the goals set by yourself, your personal trainer, your nutritionist, etc. you must adhere to the protocol. I myself find writing everything down as very helpful. I have been a personal trainer in Cobleskill for over ten years now (I have been a trainer for over 20 years total, man I’m getting old!!) and all of you who have witnessed me working out in the gym would have noted I always had my clipboard and my timer. I log everything accomplished and find it not only fulfilling but also as a means of positive reinforcement. This assists me in adhering to my program. In fact, research suggests that keeping a nutrition and exercise log drastically helps in tracking and adhering to your program.

     Finally, “Accountability”. If your goals are not being reached, someone should be held accountable. If I get you to burn 1,000 calories at the gym and you go home and reward yourself with 3,000 calories worth of chocolate cake, who should be held accountable when you don’t reach your weight loss goals? You may find this example humorous yet research does suggest we tend to “reward” ourselves in this exact same manner.

As I am sure you have heard many times, the hardest part is getting started, or making some adjustments. Once you initiate these healthier adjustments it is imperative that you adhere to them. If you find that your goals are not being reached than it is time to hold someone accountable. Keep in mind, holding someone accountable is not as easy as it sounds, nor does it mean you should drop-kick your personal trainer because you haven’t lost 100 pounds in 12 minutes! However, if you have done everything recommended (and are being honest about it) than you may need to speak with your trainer so he/she can assess your current program and make the necessary changes.

Until next time, Power-Up!

Starting an Exercise Program: Step 1 Pre-Activity Screening

No matter how eager you may feel about starting an exercise program, your first concern should always be safety. After all, suffering an injury or more life threatening condition such as a cardiac event is only going to make your current health and well-being worse. Following through with a pre-activity screening process before increasing your physical activity level is a simple yet effective means of reducing such events from occurring.

One of the more common pre-activity screening forms used is the Physical Activity Readiness-Questionnaire (PAR-Q). This simple, seven question assessment form was designed to help identify those individuals for whom participation in an exercise program may be inappropriate or who may require some form of medical attention before becoming more active. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions on this form it is recommended that you discuss the question(s) with your doctor to see what advice he/she may have. If you hire a personal trainer he/she may request to have your physician complete a Medical Release Form (MRF). Your trainer will fill out the first part of the MRF describing its medical necessity.

It is important to note that the Par-Q is very limited in its ability to reduce the likely hood of injury, cardiac event, etc.  It would be more advisable to see your doctor for a complete physical before engaging in a more aggressive exercise program. However, due to its simplicity and cost effectiveness it does make for a logical place to start.

Until next time, Power-Up!

Starting an Exercise Program: Step 2 The Assessment

What’s the first thing you do when going in for a visit with your doctor? He/she probably has a nurse check your weight, blood pressure, etc. Your physician is establishing baseline measurements. These measurements provide very valuable information in regards to your health and well-being since your last visit as well as comparable data that can be used on your next visit. If you suffer from such chronic conditions as high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity (yes, obesity is a chronic condition) than you can see how important these baseline measurements become.

Ever gain a few pounds since your last visit and think to yourself, “My doctor is not going to be happy with me”? If so than you are holding yourself accountable and that’s a good thing (don’t blame your trainer!!). The point I am making here is that establishing baseline measurements (via fitness assessment) is just as important before starting an exercise program. This way you can monitor for gains (or lack thereof) which will let you know whether or not you are on the right track. Your initial assessment will also allow you to set objective, measurable, obtainable, and realistic goals.

Years ago I always followed the same assessment form for every client I had. This thing was 6 pages long!!! Then I realized my clients all had different goals and were only eager to hear the results of the goals they had set (weight, body fat%, 1RM Bench Press, etc). I finally started to talk less and listen more to what they wanted (unless I felt strongly about a particular medical condition). For example, in the 20 years I have been a trainer I never once had a female say, “I can’t wait to see what my one rep max bench press is”.

So, to review so far in my last blog we discussed the first step in starting an exercise program, the Pre-Activity Screening Process. Now we have discussed Step 2, The Assessment. In our next blog we will be discussing the third step in starting an exercise program, Corrective Exercise Training, the importance of addressing muscle imbalances and postural correction for reducing injury potential and optimizing function.

Until next time, Power-Up!

Starting an Exercise Program: Step 3 Corrective Exercise Training

I cannot stress enough the importance of addressing muscle imbalances and postural correction (before starting an exercise program) for reducing injury potential and optimizing function. I find using the following analogy very helpful.

Consider the front end alignment on your car. If the alignment is off the tires may wear faster on the edges, your car may pull to one side, it may run less efficiently causing you to burn more gas than necessary, and your steering may feel unsteady.

Now try to picture your body full of poor alignments, from your head down to your toes, due to poor posture and muscle imbalances. This leads to premature wearing of your joints causing arthritis and instability, faulty movement patterns leading to dysfunction and pain, movement compensations causing increased energy expenditure and premature fatigue, and putting you at a much higher risk of sustaining an injury.

Corrective Exercise Training (CET) utilizes a systematic corrective exercise strategy to identify and address these movement dysfunctions via a comprehensive movement analysis, followed-up with a corrective exercise protocol to address movement impairments. It is important to note that should you suffer from these muscle imbalances now yet continue to exercise in a more vigorous program you are actually reinforcing these movement dysfunctions and all of the above mentioned outcomes (i.e. arthritis, pain, instability, fatigue, etc).

Until next time, Power-Up!

Let’s Get Started: Periodized, Integrative, Tier Training (P.I.T.T)

Now that we have reviewed the first three steps in starting an exercise program, The Pre-Activity Screening, The Assessment, and Corrective Exercise Training, I will now explain the importance and logic behind following a periodized, integrative, tier training (P.I.T.T.) program.
Periodized- division of a training program into smaller, progressive stages.
Integrative- to bring together or incorporate (parts) into a whole. This would include flexibility, joint stability/balance, strength, endurance, reactive/power, and specificity/functional training.
Tier- one of several layers or levels.
Following along a systematic, progressive training program allows for you to make consistent gains through training manipulations.  It also allows for the physiological adaptations to occur at a desired “level” prior to engaging in the more vigorous activities prescribed at a later stage (Wow, that was a mouth full). In short, following a PITT Program is a safe way to exercise, make consistent gains, and continue to challenge yourself in a progressive manner all while reducing the likelihood of getting bored due to redundancy.
As I mentioned in my last blog it is imperative to first address any muscle imbalances and movement impairments by following along a corrective exercise program before initiating a PITT Program. After participating in a CET program you can follow along my recommended sequential PITT program:

1. Stabilization Training- core and joint stability training. Improves posture, balance, force transference, and back pain.

2. Endurance Training- muscle toning and fatigue resistance training. Increases stamina and lean body mass while reducing body fat percentage.

3. Strength Training- increasing strength allowing for new adaptations, increased bone density, and enhanced blood glucose utilization.

4. Power/Reactive Training- speeds up communication between your brain and your muscles. Helps improve performance, reduce falls, and increase caloric expenditure.

5. Specificity/Functional Training- mimics more specifically the activities you perform on a daily basis for improved functionality and/or sports performance.
Until next time, Power-Up!

Fitness Goals? Just Follow the Evidence.

I feel that educating my clients within my scope of practice is an essential part of being both a fitness professional and health care professional. Currently working on a blog and a newsletter, I will be starting educational videos soon as well. With that being said, I would like to mention the importance of looking for such words as “evidence-based” or “best practices” when reading articles on anything related to health, fitness, and medicine. When using these words the author is telling you the information he/she is providing has the research and evidence behind it to prove its legitimacy.

In our last blog I discussed the importance of following a periodized, integrative, tier training (P.I.T.T.) program. Now I would like to discuss the actual evidence-based training model behind “PITT” training: The Optimum Performance Training (OPT) Model.

The OPT model was developed by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) starting back in 1987. This model was conceptualized as a training program for a society that has more physical structural imbalances and susceptibility to injury than ever before. As I mentioned in our last blog, following a program that progressively and systematically allows any client to achieve optimum levels of physiologic, psychological, physical, and performance adaptations is essential for goal attainment and reduced injury potential.

Based on the scientific rationale of human movement science, the OPT model incorporates all forms of training in an integrated fashion as part of a progressive system, including; flexibility, cardiorespiratory, core, balance, power, speed, agility, quickness, and resistance training. I would like to encourage you to check out their OPT video at to learn more about this evidence-based model.

As an NASM certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, and performance enhancement specialist I have utilized the OPT model for over 15 years in personal training, sports performance training, and physical therapy. As they say in forensics, “Follow the evidence, it never lies”. I will continue to do my best in providing you all with evidenced-based education and training but it will take more than just that. It will take your commitment, consistency, patience, and your willingness to learn for optimum results and longevity.

Until next time, Power-Up!