What I Learned At Fitness Quest 10

I recently completed my summer internship at Fitness Quest 10, and was asked to summarize my experience there. I could write a book about everything I did and learned this summer so instead I chose to write my top six moments:

6- I have to start it off with coaching and spotting the NFL players. I saw first-hand how hard these elite athletes have to train to be where they are. It was definitely memorable.

5- Training other coaches and trainers at IDEA inLos Angeleswas really exciting. I was in charge of the agility ladder and later in the day the battle ropes.  I had to coach up to at least 50 trainers on how to perform the set drills. Keeping up the excitement and yelling for an hour was not as easy as I thought but I got through it and all-in-all was a success.

4- Coaching the summer camps was great but the best part was just socializing and learning more about the kids from the Quest 10 Kids camp to the Elite college aged camp. The kids came every day with a smile (sometimes tired but with a smile) and were ready to work. They were there every day to get better, and our staff reassured them to keep working hard.  There was even a moment when the interns and campers got into some intense boot camp football games. Even Kyle (Director of Marketing) got out of his office and showed some of his football skills.

3- I could have put this group with the summer camps above but since it was an offsite camp I felt they deserved its own number. TheScrippsRanchHigh Schoolfootball team was a great coaching experience. Coach James and Matt led the workouts accordingly but I was there for three weeks coaching aside them. The most important key I learned from coaching there was how to communicate with a team of large numbers. At times the older kids would get out of hand but in the end they all trained extremely hard. As a collective group they were probably the most athletic camp so far which gave the coaches the opportunity to really push them to train harder.

2- The coaches and faculty at FQ10 was amazing. From the beginning they were helpful and welcoming. The culture there is more like working with your family rather than co-workers. All the coaches are experienced in their field so whenever I had a question they were quick to answer it. Coach Brett was extremely helpful and was always a great resource to go to. We spent more time with Coach Jeff then anyone else. We coached both Quest 10 Kids and Varsity Speed camps with Coach Jeff. I personally learned a lot from him, from how he would set up his warm up, how he designs his circuits, and the proper warm up. He mixed up the warm-ups in every camp so I was exposed to a lot of drills and fun exercises. I could write all day about everything I learned from each coach so I’ll just end it here. Thanks Coaches!

1- Finally, my friends that I came to know over the summer. There are six of us so we came up with a fitting title as the “Super Six.”  Big shout out to Big Tone, LP, Sean, Kelsey and CD! I want to thank all of them. I really learned the most from them because I would see them from 8:00 in the morning to sometimes 7:00 at night. We were our best critics and still worked really well together.  Last week we finished our summer together with a dance that Jeff asked us to do. Everyone should check it out on YouTube, I guarantee you’ll love it. This was the best summer ever and I wish the Super Six the best of Luck!  Oh and like Big Tone says “Get Big or Die Tryin.”

Best,

Adrian Vera

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Coaching Tomorrow’s Elite Athletes

Hi everyone, it’s Adrian again! As I said previously, I’ll be writing about the summer camps we have here at Fitness Quest 10. This week I’ll be talking about the FQ10 Elite Camp.  My last blog post was about the camp for our young athletes, but this week is about our camp for our oldest athletes. This camp consists of athletes ranging from senior year of high school up to individuals in their 2nd year of college. At their age, these athletes have keyed on one sport. Since these athletes play at higher levels than all the other camps, we schedule the class four days a week rather than three days a week. The first day of camp we test them on vertical jump, pro shuttle, 20 yard dash and the 300 yard shuttle. After they go through testing, we give them their personal workout schedule that they will go through during the duration of camp. The program is designed by our athletic director, Brett Klika. He has designed the program where the athletes work as a team on upper body plyometrics, lower body plyometrics, strength training, acceleration mechanics, and agility training. In our upper body plyometric modules, the athletes always work with some type of medicine ball. Lower body plyometric vary from hurdles and bands to simple squat jumps… it depends on the athlete’s workout schedule.

The elite athletes definitely have the most demanding workout.  Their conditioning is so exhausting, but we always try to add some type of fun element to it. Elite kids make it very competitive so it’s almost not even a game, but the goal is still conditioning. One unique characteristic of the elite camp is that they all share the common goal of getting better. They are all highly motivated athletes striving to become better athletes. As a whole, they finish strong and I’ve noticed that they like to push each other. Well, I kept this blog short and sweet! Have a great week everyone!

Best,

Adrian Vera

Shove it! Top Pushing Moves

By Doug Balzarini

Over the years I’ve made clear my preference to posterior chain/pulling movements over pushing exercises. I feel that, for the majority of the population, the benefits of backside exercises far outweigh their anterior chain counterpart. Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t like pushing exercises. In fact, pressing and pushing are staple movements in all my programs. They are essential for a well balanced routine.

Whether you are a professional MMA athlete or an “everyday population” client, make sure you include effective, functional pushing exercises into your workouts. The list could go on for pages with all the variations and various tools that one could use…I’m going to share four of my favorites.

1. Chest Press

The chest press is the “go to” exercise for developing the pecs, anterior deltoids, and triceps muscles. If you want a well-rounded routine, you should include some form of a chest pressing movement into your weekly program. In the video below, you will see the ‘Dumbbell Floor Press’. Compared to the traditional bench press, you will lose some leg drive with this variation; however, I feel it’s a bit safer for the shoulder joint and still extremely effective for developing strength and power in those upper body pushing muscles. Exercise in video below: Dumbbell Floor Press

2. Pushup

I love bodyweight exercises and pushups have been a staple bodyweight exercise for years and years. Search on YouTube and you can find hundreds of pushup variations out there…some I question the reasoning behind and some I love. When done properly, pushups force you to really engage the entire body, testing you from feet to fingertips. This variation below will add an additional challenge to the shoulder joint, your obliques, and your hip mobility. Keep the entire body “stiff” and engaged throughout the movement to protect your lower back and shoulders. Exercise in video below: Pushup with Toe Taps

3. Get-Up Variations

Kettlebells and sandbags are my tools of choice when talking about the get-up. This exercise is a great full body exercise in terms of both strength and mobility, especially for the glutes and hips. I included it in with these “pushing” exercises simply due to the fact that we are pushing our bodies away from the ground and working the anterior chain a great deal. It is essentially a static press exercise for the shoulder.

My two get-ups of choice:

Sandbag ½ Get-Up  

This is the closest “crunch exercise” you will see in my consistent routines. As long as you lead with movement with your chest and roll onto your elbow and post up onto your hand, you will limit the spinal flexion that occurs during the movement. Check it out in the video below.

Full Kettlebell Get-Up

I love this version for shoulder-health reasons. When performed correctly, you must keep your shoulder “packed”, which will ensure the scapula is stable on the thoracic spine and the surrounding muscles are fully engaged. It helps keep the shoulder strong and safe. Be sure to include Get-Ups to ensure you are getting a true core workout.

Exercise in video below: Sandbag ½ Get-Ups

4. The Prowler

The prowler is the best tool for developing both pushing power/acceleration and metabolic conditioning at the same time. The Prowler, and all its variations, is a lock to always make my list for best equipment on the market today. The exercise below is the most standard movement you can do with the Prowler. Simply load up the weights, grab the handles, get in a proper forward lean position, and get pushing. I like to incorporate the Prowler into a circuit, as a stand along exercise, or as a finisher at the end of a workout (see “finisher” article here). Be careful not to get the “Prowler Flu”!

Exercise in video below: Prowler Pushes

To see these exercises in more detail, as well as 100’s of other movements, click here.

“Everyday Population”

Proper pulling/posterior chain movements are a must if you fall into the “9-to-5 client” category. As long as your program is sensible, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t include a couple pushing exercises into your weekly routine. Incorporate with proper flexibility exercises for the chest, hips, and ankles (another article in itself) and you are on your way to reaching your goals.

“MMA Athlete”

We want to build both the strength and endurance in your front side. “Long strong” is a favorite term of mine in the industry. It refers to your ability to stay strong in the later rounds of a fight; to have the will and endurance to fight on…a lot of that is mental preparation and a lot of that is proper strength training. Incorporate these movements into your routine and you are more likely to stay “long strong” and have your arm raised in victory after the bell rings.

Make sure you incorporate pushing exercises into your weekly routine to ensure you are maintaining balance in your program.

About Doug
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). He is also the strength coach for the Alliance Fight Team in Chula Vista, CA. A Massachusetts native, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University. Since moving to San Diego he has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU, obtained an ACE Personal Trainer certification, the NSCA-CSCS certification, a Spinning certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, FMS training, and received his CPR/AED instructor status. He has also appeared in 8 fitness videos, written numerous fitness articles, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

Prior to working at Fitness Quest 10, Doug worked for the American Council on Exercise as the Continuing Education Coordinator where he was responsible for managing over 400 continuing education providers.

For more information please visit www.todddurkin.com, www.fq10.com, and www.dbstrength.

Inspire Millions

Americans are no longer chubby, portly, or overweight.  We are corpulent, obese, and rotund.  We don’t move like humans are supposed to move.  We don’t eat like humans are supposed to eat.  We are not just merely dying from this plight, we are suffering.   What would happen to a Cheetah if we fed it Cheetos and made it sit idle?  It would get sick, it would get depressed, it would develop pain and it would die.  Why? Because Cheetos are not what Cheetahs are supposed to eat, and sitting idle is not what cheetahs are supposed to do.  As cruel as the above treatment may seem to an animal, many Americans live, embrace, and defend their “right” to this scenario.  After all, there is a robust, nearly unchallenged industrial machine to support it. Unchallenged, until now.

This is a call to action.   A much higher calling than sculpting a six-pack, toning thighs, selling gym memberships or slinging miracle supplements.    It’s a call for our society to lift each other up off the couch and move.  It is a call to educate each other to eat food instead of chemicals.  It is a call to INSPIRE MILLIONS to stop suffering and live like humans are designed to live.

You don’t have to be a personal trainer, life coach, or physician to grab a loved-one’s hand and say “let’s go for a walk”.  How do you know if you are walking fast and far enough?  When someone no longer needs to pull you off the couch to go for a walk.  You don’t have to be a dietician, nutritionist, or chef to select food that is actually “food” and not merely a chemically-induced taste.  How do you know what “real food” is?  The ingredients list should be the food itself.  For meat, well, if you know what the animal’s name was prior to being on your plate, it’s probably safe to eat.

We don’t have to be hot, ripped, toned, shredded, sculpted, or beautiful.  We need men, women, and children to get off the couch, stop eating poison, and get out of pain.  Everyone can contribute.  Do something today, right now to change the way you live or INSPIRE someone else to do the same.  It may not happen overnight, it may take time.  Person by person, household by household, city by city, state by state.  Working together, we can stand up and INSPIRE MILLIONS to be happy, healthy and pain free.  After all, that’s how humans are supposed to live.

We at Fitness Quest 10 are going to contribute to the cause by posting a variety of “2 minute challenges” on our Facebook page.  These challenges may include short workouts, flexibility, quick meals, motivation, and a variety of other aspects of wellness.  Two minutes may be all it takes to start a chain reaction to change someone’s life.  Once these challenges receive 5,000 views on Youtube, or 100 total “likes” on Fitness Quest 10, Brettklika.com, and Underground Wellness through Facebook, we will post another 2 minute challenge.  Pass it on to someone you think you can help change their life!

Brett Klika C.S.C.S., Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10, is a human performance specialist, motivator and educator. A graduate from Oregon State University, Brett has directed sport camps all over the nation. While in college, amidst playing club soccer and lacrosse, Brett worked with the strength and conditioning department for 3 years. A year long resident sports performance internship at the Olympic Training Center brought Brett to San Diego. Brett’s work with the Olympic athletes, as well as local high school athletes nurtured a passion for creating excellence in individuals.

5 TRX Moves with a Bench

Athletes and clients are always looking for new ways to challenge themselves. I believe the TRX is a tool that can challenge any client regardless of their experience and ability. For TRX veterans looking for advanced movements, I have a number of videos on my You-tube page: http://www.youtube.com/takeaimfitness.

The latest installment involves some traditional TRX exercises with the addition of a bench that you would find at most fitness facilities. By adding the bench to a number of exercises, your strength, balance, coordination and core stability demands are greatly increased. Use caution when executing these exercises and be sure you are proficient in them, and any other exercises, before having your clients or athletes perform them.

Here is a brief breakdown on the 5 exercises:
1. TRX Row with Elevated Feet

By elevating our lower body for a TRX row we are now closer to parallel with the ground, making the exercise extremely challenging. I prefer to keep a neutral grip (palms facing each other), elbows by your side, and your spine neutral throughout the movement.

2. Elevated TRX Roll-out

This is a favorite exercise of mine due to the full-body control that is required. All the spinal stabilizers must be firing in order to maintain proper technique and your posterior shoulder/scapula stabilizers must be engaged the entire time. Use a slow, controlled manner as you extend your arms and body out to your end range.

3. Elevated TRX Single Leg Squat (Pistol)

In addition to the increased balance component, the addition of the bench allows the “free” leg to extend out a little lower than if you were to perform this exercise on the floor. This is a good alternative if you don’t have the ankle mobility in the working leg or hip flexor strength in the free leg to perform a pistol on the floor. Be sure to keep your arms relatively straight and try to keep your weight on the heel to the mid-foot while maintaining an upright posture. Extend the hip and stand up tall to complete one repetition.

4. Elevated Suspended TRX Hip Press (Bridge)

I love using this exercise with my MMA athletes due to the demands of their sport. They require a great deal of strength and endurance in the hips and glutes and this exercise targets this area nicely. If you plan to add weight it’s best to have a trainer or partner nearby to assist you. A great exercise when performed on the floor; add the bench and you are able to get a greater range of motion through the hip joint.

5. Elevated Suspended Hip Hikes

Similar to the bridge exercise above, being elevated up on the bench allows us to drop the hip lower than when performing the movement on the floor. Make sure your shoulder and elbow are in a safe alignment and use a controlled tempo throughout.

Get with these movements and let me know what you think!

About Doug
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). A Massachusetts native, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State College. Since moving to San Diego he has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU, obtained an ACE Personal Trainer certification, the NSCA-CSCS certification, a Spinning certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, FMS training, and received his CPR/AED instructor status. He has also appeared in 8 fitness videos, written numerous fitness articles, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

Prior to working at Fitness Quest 10, Doug worked for the American Council on Exercise as the Continuing Education Coordinator where he was responsible for managing over 400 continuing education providers.

For more information please visit www.todddurkin.com, www.fq10.com, and www.dbstrength.com.
Want to use the article above? As long as you include the bio blurb at the bottom, you are welcome to use the article in your own publication.

“2 for 1 Special” – TRX Movements

Here are 5 TRX movements we utilize that involve alternating between two exercises. You will perform one rep of one exercise followed by one rep of another exercise and continue to alternate back and forth for the desired number of reps. Using the interchanging sequence requires a bit more coordination and core stability. We use these with healthy clients and feel that, as long as they are executed with proper form, are safe, effective movements that will challenge you in a fun, new way.

Here is a brief breakdown on the 5 exercises:
1. TRX Bicep Curl to Row

This is a pretty popular interchanging sequence that you may have seen before. Perform a TRX bicep curl with your palms up and your upper arm parallel to the ground. After one rep of your bicep curl, rotate your hands to a neutral grip and perform one rep of a low row with your elbows down by your side and your spine neutral throughout.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_2eiv7lyeA

2. TRX Pistol Squat to 1-Leg Balance Reach

When performing the single leg squat (pistol), keep your arms relatively straight and try to keep your weight on the heel to the mid-foot while maintaining an upright posture. After each pistol rep – hinge from your hip, maintain pressure into the handles, extend your heel towards to back wall, and lower down into a balance reach or deadlift position with a neutral spine throughout the exercise.

3. TRX Curtsy Lunge to Lateral Lunge

Begin by lowering down into a reverse lunge position and reaching the rear leg diagonally back to the 4 o’clock position (if looking at a clock). On the way up bring that rear leg way out to the 9 o’clock position and line up the ankle, knee, and hip joint while keeping the trail leg straight. Head and chest should remain upright and feet should remain forward throughout the exercise.

4. TRX Burpee to Scorpion

After the pushup portion of the burpee, you will perform the scorpion by rotating your torso and bringing the “free leg” under your body and then rotating your torso the other way to bring that “free leg” over your body. Next, return to the pushup position and drive that knee up before standing tall to complete one rep.

5. TRX Row to Triceps Extension

Keep a neutral grip for your row exercise and pull explosively enough to carry you through and under the anchor point where you will go right into an overhead triceps extension movement. This will also be done in an explosive nature so that you can return back to the row position. Make sure the strap length is fully shortened and only offer this to healthy and experienced TRX users.

Get with these movements and let me know what you think!

About Doug
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). A Massachusetts native, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State College. Since moving to San Diego he has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU, obtained an ACE Personal Trainer certification, the NSCA-CSCS certification, a Spinning certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, FMS training, and received his CPR/AED instructor status. He has also appeared in 8 fitness videos, written numerous fitness articles, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

Prior to working at Fitness Quest 10, Doug worked for the American Council on Exercise as the Continuing Education Coordinator where he was responsible for managing over 400 continuing education providers. For more information please visit www.todddurkin.com, www.fq10.com, and www.dbstrength.com.
Want to use the article above? As long as you include the bio blurb at the bottom, you are welcome to use the article in your own publication.

Todd Durkin’s IMPACT Fitness Challenge

Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 8:00am

Location: Road Runner Sports : San Diego, CA

Details:

Searching for San Diego’s Fittest on February 26th at the first annual IMPACT Fitness Challenge at Road Runner Sports.  Join Sandy Feet Events and Fitness Quest 10 for some butt-kicking excitement. This event will feature some serious athletic challenges from Todd Durkin and the Fitness Quest 10 team. Todd Durkin and Fitness Quest 10 have trained several professional athletes including Drew Brees, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Aaron Rodgers to become World-Class in all they do.  What are you doing to become World-Class?  Come and be a part of this one of a kind event. Stick around after the event for a yoga cool down, refreshments, guest speakers, and a health and fitness expo.

Get ready for some fast paced fun! Prizes will be given for most hard core, most effort, & most spirited  🙂 Awesome prizes from our sponsors will be awarded to the top 3 overall males and females. Medals will be awarded to the top 3 in each age category. There will also be plenty of chances to win sweet raffle prizes from Road Runner Sports and others throughout the day.

Register NOW and SAVE! $49 for Adults. Price goes up after Feb 1.

Challenge will include: 8 different stations including things like GTS Pull ups, Heavy Battling Ropes, TRX Rows, 300M Shuttle, Heavy Jump Ropes, Bosu Release Challenge, and more!

The way it works…Participants will receive points at each station other categories will be judged by fitness instructors, points will be totaled during the cool down period and awards will be announced after.

Stick around: After the event there is a mega health and fitness expo at Road Runner Sports. Get all of the latest tips and tricks from the best. Sample products and workouts and see what else is out there that you are missing! To become a vendor at the expo please contact info@sandyfeetevents.com

Sign Up today! http://sandyfeetevents.com/impact-challenge/