Learning From Our Kids

The primary difference between training adults and youth is that training youth is all about giving them something physically constructive to do with “all that energy.”  For adults, it’s all about giving them some energy by giving them something physically constructive to do.

Youth are little fireballs of energy.  Adults are constantly looking for ways to get energy.  Imagine that if at 40, you had the energy you did when you were 10!  While there are certain neural and physiological factors that create a difference, let’s look at some practical behavioral differences that could help explain the contrast between energy levels in adults and youth.

Kids Sleep:  Young kids go to bed at the same time every night, usually close to when the sun goes   down.  They have a pre bedtime ritual (brush teeth, get in pajamas, read stories, say prayers, other “calm down” activities.)  Adults often go to bed at different times every night with no clear pre-bedtime process of calming down.  Kids don’t go to the playground complaining about the crappy night of sleep they just had.  Poor sleep patterns have been linked to a host of health problems.  Develop a pre- bedtime routine to supercharge your sleep.

Kids Laugh and Giggle:  Kids are always looking for an excuse to laugh or giggle.  When’s the last time you had a real belly-laugh?  When was the last time you got the giggles?  As adults, we have to search for these opportunities to be silly.  There is quite a bit of research on laughing and health.

Kids Move:  It can be somewhat of a “chicken or the egg” phenomenon, but kids are constantly moving.  Some argue it’s because “kids have more energy.”  That is true to a certain degree.  However, creating energy in our bodies is like a perpetual motion machine.  When we move, we create energy.  When we have energy, we want to move.  Our body depends on circulation to create and distribute materials to our cells to create energy.  No movement, no energy.

Kids Don’t Force Toxins Into Their System:  Your car stops running well if you use bad oil, fuel, or other low-grade or downright damaging materials for operation.  Your body works the same way.  While kids can develop poor nutrition habits (facilitated by adults), the amount of downright toxic substances they directly ingest is normally 0.  I’m talking about alcohol, drugs (legal and illegal), smoking, excessive caffeine, and other “adult” vices.  As adults, we know these are not good for our system, but we take them in anyway.  If something isn’t good for your vehicle and you put it in the gas tank anyway, what happens to the car?

Kids Play:  When was the last time you performed a physical activity without an essential, directed outcome?  “Play” is physical creativity.  It helps our body and mind develop the way they should.  Unfortunately, even the amount of play our youth participate in is now limited.  When you watch kids play, what do you see?  Probably a mix of movement, social interaction, and probably some laughing to boot!  Find some play outlets as an adult.  That may mean playing with your kids, joining a sports league, or merely shooting hoops by yourself.

The list could go on.  The point is that as children, we naturally separate ourselves from the things that damage our mind, body, and soul.  As adults we are almost forced to have an affinity for them.  This affects many things, including our daily energy!  I have a saying, “If you want to feel like your 20, act like you’re 7”.   Sleep, move, laugh, and play!

 Brett Klika C.S.C.S. Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10, is a world renowned human performance specialist, motivational speaker, author, and educator. In his 14 year career, Brett has accrued more than 20,000 hours of training with youth, athletes, executives, and every day people.  He uses this knowledge and experience to motivate individuals and audiences around the world through his writing, speaking, DVD’s, an d personal correspondence.

Look Who’s Serious!

I hope you are having a fantastic day! A few weeks ago, I launched a “Get Serious” Campaign that can apply to any aspect of your life–nutrition, exercise, personal development, career, etc. I received many positive comments on the call-to-action and lots of questions via Facebook on what you commit to getting ‘Serious’ about. Thank you for all the great input. Let’s keep the momentum going!

Many readers asked, “What do I eat?” as part of a regular nutrition plan. Well, with the “Get Serious” campaign, I’ll share exactly what I have been eating for the past 4 weeks including what I eat before and after my workouts. Click on the video below to see my routine:


With springtime in the air and summer right around the corner, be sure to prioritize your health and fitness – and spend some time outside to enjoy the beautiful weather! Remember, your physical energy is one of the most precious resources you have and training and conditioning play a pivotal role in your overall health, happiness, and success.

Train hard.
Eat right.
Live inspired.

Time to Get Serious!

Many blessings.


Top Stretches Done In Your Office

If you are like most of the population, you spend the majority of your time sitting. Either sitting at work in front of a computer, sitting for dinner, or sitting and hanging out with friends. I’m here to say that sitting is horrible! Here are some top exercises you should be doing to help relieve some of the common issues associated with poor posture and prolonged sitting.


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 Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, CA. He earned a B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University and completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU. Certifications and specialties include the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, NSCA-CSCS Certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, Spinning certification, FMS training, and CPR/AED instructor status. He has appeared in multiple fitness videos, manuals and magazines; produced his own 2-DVD Set on strength & conditioning for combat athletes, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program, and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

5 Moves MMA Athletes Should Be Doing

I really enjoy developing programs and circuits for my clients and athletes. Over the years, I’ve incorporated every tool you can imagine – dumbbells, barbells, tires, sleds, prowler, TRX, Ultimate Sandbags, Kamagon Ball, Home Depot hardware section creations, and many more.

The more experience and knowledge I acquire, the more I am starting to conform to the “less is more” theory. While I love experimenting and trying knew methods and tools, when it comes to the movements specifically; there are some essential exercises that I will always incorporate into my fighter programs. The variations will change up a bit depending on where we are at in the program, but you will always find them in there.

This is not an exclusive list. I took some liberties with the article and made my choices broad terms. I did pick one of my favorite exercises for each movement I selected though.

Here are my current ‘top 5’.

1. Hip Dominant

My choice: Kettlebell Swing

For lower body training, it is crucial to include hip dominant strength work. The hips are one of the most important areas of the body to train. I love training hip extension with sandbag cleans, tire flips, barbell deadlifts, and kettlebell swings. I realize these exercises will focus on a different fitness component; deadlifts for strength, cleans for power, and bell swings for power endurance. For this reason, I include them all into a full program. Since “power endurance” is critical for MMA, I really like the swing for this category.

2.  Upper Body Push

My choice: Pushups With Sit-Through

I love bodyweight exercises and pushups have been a staple bodyweight exercise for years. When done properly, pushups force you to really engage the entire body. 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.

3. Upper Body Pull

My choice: TRX Rows

When it comes to upper body strength training, I love pulling movements. There is too much focus on the pushing movements and the anterior chain of the body. This is true for every population, from our “desk jockeys” to our professional athletes. We need to incorporate more pulling exercises to help with posture, grip, and backside strength. Some of my favorite tools include dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, heavy ropes, and the TRX. TRX rows are great because there is a quick learning curve for first timers and there are plenty of variations for all levels. I like to have my athletes perform their rows from directly underneath the anchor point with their hips extended to incorporate the lower body as well.

4. Torso Rotations

My choice: Superband Torso Rotations

While I am not a huge proponent of mimicking the exact movements of your sport in strength training, especially with heavy loads, I do see the obvious value in working those same muscle groups to have them strong, powerful, and more injury resistant. Torso rotation exercises have great carry over to the sport of MMA. I’ve used tubing, slosh pipes, Kamagon Balls, medicine balls, and superbands for these movements. I like using the superbands because you can really encourage the hip movement with proper band placement. I want the movement to involve the whole body, from feet to fingertips. To do this, I have the superband coming across the ASIS, which will almost force the lower body recruitment for proper technique.

5. Sprint Work

My choice: Hill sprints

These definitely fall into the “love/hate relationship” category. They don’t take very long to complete but they should still push you to your physical and mental limit. Treadmill, stairs, track, beach, resisted, hills…there is an endless list and some are more effective than others; especially from a biomechanical standpoint. I prefer hill sprints, especially on a softer surface like grass if possible. MMA athletes endure enough pounding throughout the week from all the sparring and joint locks. If we can incorporate conditioning sessions that are “joint friendly”, their body will thank us.

Final Thoughts

If you look at these five movements, we really get an entire body workout; a couple with an upper body focus, a couple with a lower body focus, and they will all increase the heart rate, which is the most important muscle we have. This could have easily been a “Top 20” list as there are so many effective movements out there. I feel this list includes exercises that will give you the most “bang for your buck”. If you want to get stronger, more powerful, and have more “gas in the tank”, integrate these variations into your strength and conditioning program today.

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 Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, CA. He earned a B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University and completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU. Certifications and specialties include the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, NSCA-CSCS Certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, Spinning certification, FMS training, and CPR/AED instructor status. He has appeared in multiple fitness videos, manuals and magazines; produced his own 2-DVD Set on strength & conditioning for combat athletes, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program, and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.

The Wonders Of Pilates

Ahhh, the Glorious Gluteus Medius! Such an important yet overlooked and forgotten muscle. The poor little chap is usually lost in the spotlight to its larger sibling Gluteus Maximus :(.  If we just paid this muscle a little bit more attention and gave it a little more TLC, we could not only avoid possible injury to the low back, but also to the knee, ankle and even the shoulder! We could also experience much more strength and fluidity in movement and become much more dynamic and efficient in sports and life in general. Bold statement I know, but I am standing by it.

In my opinion the Gluteus Medius is the most important muscle in the lower body.  The reason that it is so important is because it is one of the main muscles that control rotational forces throughout the hip.  The Glute’s are very important muscles that become weak, and the Gluteus Medius is probably the number one culprit. So many injuries are caused by a lack of controlled rotation and force in the hip/leg.

Why is correct rotation of the hip so important you ask? Well, if you take a look at the lower body you will find that the hip is the main part that wants to and should rotate. The lower back does not like rotation nor does the knee or ankle. In fact if you look at common knee or back injuries allot of them are caused by forced rotation of the lower back, knee or ankle. The muscle that controls that rotation is the Gluteus Medius and some of the other smaller deep hip rotators.

When athletes have a complaint about their lateral knee pain, more then likely this is caused by a tight IT Band (Iliotibial Band). If you have ever used a Foam Roller on the side of your leg then I am certain that you are more then aware of how tight and problematic the IT Band can be. Well, the IT Band is the muscle (or fascia actually) that comes to the rescue of the weak Gluteus Medius. What the IT Band is trying to do is to control the motion of the leg, which is far better and more efficiently done by the Gluteus Medius.

How do shoulder injuries have anything to do with the correct function and power of the Gluteus Medius you ask? Well, if you look at many sports that have anything to do with hitting or throwing a ball (Baseball, Tennis, Football), over 50% of the balls speed should come from the trunk, the back, hips and legs. Let me say that again OVER 50%! This means that before the shoulder gets involved in the throw or hit of the ball, the body from the shoulder girdle down should generate over 50% of the power that gives the ball its speed and force! If your Gluteus Medius is not working to do this then the result can not only be a less powerful movement (pitch, throw or hit). Make since??

If the Gluteus Medius does its job then the shoulder, knee, ankle, back and the WORLD are a much better place!

How can Pilates help?

Pilates will teach and help to create new muscle memory and patterns. Your brain holds onto incorrect muscle patterns that are developed through improper movement and or over use. It is important to teach the Gluteus Medius to get to work and to stop being so lazy. This is done first and foremost by working with its current range of motion and firing capabilities and being able to distinguish and tell when you are using other muscles incorrectly to compensate.

We have allot of fun tricks and methods in the Pilates room at Fitness Quest 10 to help you awaken that Gluteus Medius and turn it into that powerful and functional Hip Rotator that it was born to be!  Hope to see you in there soon!

-Stephanie Scarbrough
Certified Pilates Instructor & Massage Therapist

Stephanie Scarbrough was born and raised in sunny Southern California. She is a Certified Pilates Instructor and Massage Therapist.  Stephanie moved to Salt Lake City Utah after high school to attend the 1,000 hour Massage Therapy Certification Program at U.C.M.T. After graduation Stephanie moved back to California where she continued her nine year massage career mostly in Chiropractic offices focusing on Injury, Deep Tissue and Sports Massage, but has also worked in Spa’s, Private Practice and was an Instructor of Massage Therapy at Concorde Career College in San Bernardino, California.  She discovered Pilates as a form of rehabilitation for her injuries and feel in love with it. Stephanie then attended The Sheppard Method 450 hour Pilates Certification program in Los Angeles California. She is certified in Pilates Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair and Latter Barrel.

Taste the Healthy Lifestyle. Real Foods For Real Kids

Are your kids “coocoo for Cocoa Puffs?”  Does there breakfast come in the form of pink moons, yellow stars, and orange clovers?  Are they receiving morning nutrition information from a rabbit?  Silly parent!  Trix are for kids!  Unfortunately now, so is obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  Foods and drinks high in sugar are at the “heart” of the problem, no pun intended.  Unless your child is independently wealthy and has the means to drive to the store to purchase food, you are the nutritional gatekeeper.  It’s not an easy job, but it’s an important one.

The last significant societal decrease in physical activity was around the years of the proliferation of the television (the 60’s).  Since then, we have probably decreased our overall activity, but nothing considered statistically significant.  Despite no significant decrease in activity, we have seen a consistent increase in obesity.  Our bodyweight and bodyfat are regulated by the amount of energy we expend vs. how much we take in.  If we are not expending any more or less energy than we used to, we must be taking more in.  Even worse, in attempt to multiply our food supply, keep food costs down, and keep big food company profits up, there is less “food” in what we eat.  At the end of the day, we are consuming mostly flavorings, colorings, and preservatives with a little bit of wheat, corn, or potato product.  Does this sound like something that is good for us?  If this food was prepared in front of us and not behind well-protected doors at food production plants, would it still be appetizing?  Why do we eat it then?  The answer?  We are addicts that learned at a young age that this is an acceptable form of “food”.

Our “taste” for food is formed at a young age.  If high doses of sugar represent “breakfast” when you’re a kid, that’s probably what it will represent when you’re an adult.  The same goes for a high salt, high fat food representing “lunch”, “dinner”, or “snack”.  The tastes in these high sugar, salt, and fat foods aren’t even real tastes.  They are enhanced so that we will have a more significant taste experience, making us want to buy the product again.  If you grow up on this type of food and then have something homemade with whole food products, it doesn’t have the perfect uniform consistency and taste.  It doesn’t taste like “food” to you.  You eventually go to the doctor and receive your certain death sentence if you don’t change your diet.  Now you must re-train yourself as to what food actually “tastes” like.  Due to the high emotional significance related to food and taste, this becomes a daunting battle for your health, and consequently, your life.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting a child have a processed, sugary, fatty, salty treat every once in a while.  The most important intervention with kids however, is to have this regulated by the parent.  Kids can’t make long-term, rational decisions about their health.  Of course a sweet chemical taste is going to seem like a better choice to them. If you fill their breakfast bowl with sugar cereal, their lunchbox with processed lunch items, and their belly with fast food for dinner every day, what are you teaching them?   It’s your job as a parent to teach them that it’s OK to eat that stuff every once in a while, but it’s not actually “food”.  Food is what mom or dad prepares from a recipe and serves at the dinner table.  Try to eat “food” at meals 90% of the time.

Real food can be delicious.  Involve your kids in the process. Take them to the grocery store, especially if it’s a more “adventurous” one like Whole Foods. Let them pick out some crazy looking fruit or vegetable to try. The vivid colors and shapes of most fruits or vegetables are actually appealing to kids if they are properly exposed to them. Show them real food and get them to have an appreciation for it.  Maybe even take them to a garden or involve them in growing a small garden at home.  Spend time when they’re young showing them how to make real food.  Not only do they learn the basics of cooking, they learn that real food is created, not bought in a box.  Finally, when mom and dad complain that real food is “health food,” kids relate “health food” to “tasteless”.  Create a culture of health in the home.

In today’s busy home and work environment, taking extra time to instill better nutrition habits is a challenge.  However, it’s a challenge we must accept.  The alternative is far more inconvenient.  If we continue with our current trend of obesity, our kids that are 5 right now will inherit a trillion dollar health care expense specifically dedicated to obesity related maladies by the time they’re 25.  That’s not to mention the personal impact of poor health.

Create a “taste” for health at a young age to create a future of happy, healthy, pain free adults.


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.

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!


Adrian Vera