Dec 192014

I thought it appropriate to write a little excerpt on why we are a different facility than your average gym. As many of you know, FTF is heading in a great and positive direction. We are consistently growing and progressing in the latest fitness information and trends as well as our programming and coaching.

When considering fitness facilities and gyms, it is important to understand what is going on behind the scenes. we know as a consumer you have choices all over the place. There are gyms with the name CrossFit®, there are strength and conditioning facilities and there are globo gyms as we call them in our world.

FTF falls under the strength and conditioning gym category. We started as a CrossFit® based facility in 2009. We were affiliate number 800. There are now over 10000 affiliates world wide. FTF Clovis has since de-affiliated and we are honest about that. The affiliate name was moved to the gym in pasadena about May of this year as a business strategy to help advertise the new location.

It is the belief of this coach, that quality has changed within the CrossFit® community and that’s where we started taking a serious look at our affiliation with other CrossFit® gyms. It is also where Coach K started re-evaluating programming needs for the gym, the members and the community being built in not just the Clovis location, but the gym in Visalia he was a part of for a year, the gym in Oregon, (MOC-FTF) and the gyms in Texas that we are associated with (CrossFit Copperfield, Fit Strong United CrossFit, BTX CrossFit, at one point San Marcos CrossFit and soon Rox Functional Fitness in Dallas). We started looking at what the needs of the community were, where the highest risks were and re-designing the programming and adding in components that were more in line with the philosophy of the Specific Adapation to Imposed Demand (SAID) Principle and the Progressive Overload Principle. We also want to recognize that we now have a more holistic approach through the following Philosophy:

FTF Fitness uses a comprehensive approach using all components necessary to develop an athlete to their highest level of performance with the lowest risk of injury with emphasis on functional strength and neuromuscular efficiency. (In English, we use high intensity functional fitness as a piece of what we do in a comprehensive program to produce the best results with the lowest injury rate.) With our experienced coaches at every FTF Licensed gym, and our extensive background in multiple areas of fitness, we are able to provide an individualized approach to each member that comes through our doors to help them focus on their goals within the programming.

We also want to look at each individual as an individual through the model of Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual wellness. We know these components of wellness tug on each other and while performing physically is a fantastic way to get into some degree of fitness, the person as a whole must be considered when being coached, mentored and trained. This means we are expanding our training for our coaches into a much higher level to help them understand some of the lifestyle aspects that may affect our members and clients in the gym as well.

What does this mean to you, the consumer? It means that we will never say anything bad about the CrossFit® training methodology as it is one tool in the toolbox of achieving ultimate fitness, however it is not our primary focus as a facility. Our primary focus is the member that walks through the door, their needs, their desires and helping them achieve their goals through our multi-faceted programming. Our coaches at each FTF Licensed gym have had extensive training on the FTF systems and programming. They are also accustomed to the multiple methodologies used in the programming. You will find in our class based training setting that people will have different focusses based on their skill level, their needs as an athlete and their goals. It also means that we will ensure you are getting the coaching and training you need.

We are excited about the direction FTF is headed and what we are doing We are excited about our community and the members that attend our facilities every day. We are excited that we have the opportunity to change lives through a multi-faceted approach. We are a team of coaches that has your best interest in mind. At each location, we focus on quality over quantity. We want the best for our members and look for your needs to be fulfilled.

Remember, in anything you do, you should be able to ask the question “Why?” and be able to receive an answer.

We look forward to having you as a member of an FTF Fitness Facility near you!

Dec 082014

On December 13th, 2014, FTF Fitness Clovis will be hosting a workout helping to raise funds for one of our passions,  Kids in Fitness.  This organization is an AMAZING organization working on helping to place foster children in gyms and facilities such as ours.. it’s time to give back!  Let’s do what we can to help this amazing organization out!   More details on time and workout to be posted soon!


The story of Linder Kids: 

Ashley Linder, a former foster child and now CrossFit coach and athlete, started LinderKids with the desire to improve the lives of eligible foster youth through fitness and community support. She was removed from an abusive home and spent her formative years in foster care. Within this situation, she was unable to participate in physical activities or benefit from the therapeutic team building dynamic of sports and fitness; undoubtedly one of the best opportunities during this crucial developmental period. While in the Navy she discovered an amazing functional fitness protocol and sport called CrossFit. She fell in love with the positive community culture and the constant continued self-improvements experienced due to hard work and dedication. Thus the idea was planted in her heart to start a foundation that afforded foster children the opportunities she never had and to experience the awesomeness of CrossFit.

Foster children are often robbed the opportunity to participate in sports due to lack of funding, no parental support, or are moved from family to family so often they can’t consistently be involved in extracurricular activities. This is where LinderKids comes into action and bridges this unfortunate underprivileged inequality.

 Through fitness and community the mission of LinderKids is to improve the lives of eligible foster youth. 

After being accepted as a sponsored athlete, each child is connected to their local CrossFit gym with their membership completely covered, proper athletic shoes put on their feet and workout clothes on their backs. Their sponsorship does come with responsibilities on the athlete’s part however: On an individual basis they must maintain academic proficiency towards graduation and volunteer a minimum number of community service hours each month.

Here’s What We’re up Against
At any given time there are 473,000 children in foster care in the United States.
99% of these foster youth have sadly been abused
Only 50% will receive a high school diploma!
40% of foster youth experience 5 or more placements in a span of 2 years
50% of former foster youth will be homeless during their first two years after leaving foster care
State funding only partially covers the cost of BASIC care for foster kids
Each year an estimated 20,000 young people “age out” of the system. They are often 18 and still desperately in need of support and services. Studies show that without a lifelong connection to a caring adult these older youth are often left vulnerable to becoming statistics of poor decisions and risky behaviors.

Your Impact:

 To love these children is truly the answer. By sponsoring a gym membership we are giving them the gift of a second family, community, structure, compassion, self-discipline and a fighting chance to beat the odds and not become another statistic. By setting academic standards we are positively encouraging a standard of work ethic so they can reap the benefits of playing hard. By encouraging community and selfless service we are showing them the world doesn’t run smoothly without teamwork, they can make a difference, and they are not victims and are valued as leaders who are cherished and needed. They are athletes full of potential and they are loved.  We must not let them fall through the cracks due to their unfortunate circumstances and abuse.

Nov 122014

Have you seen the latest and craziest things are doing in the sport of functional movement?  It’s been insane with back flip muscle-ups, pistol jump overs and all kinds of good things.  While it’s been AMAZING to watch, it has ALSO been interesting to watch the trend of what is happening in Strength and Conditioning gyms as well as high intensity functional fitness facilities worldwide.

These movements are sexy to say the least, taking a high amount of skill and determination to complete.  The athletes completing them are nothing less than excellent caliber.  The challenge…. now we ALL want to try them….  but should we?

This is a simple reminder about the basic and fundamental movements of strength and conditioning.  You see, many of the programs that are being written out there from the basic gym level to the competitor level have started to drift from the simple and most basic movements.  When I started coaching over 2 decades ago, we focussed on the basics day in and day out.  the fundamental and rudimentary skill sets that would allow our clients and athletes to test their abilities in a more complex pattern later down the line.  We have become a very impatient industry expecting to get ourselves safely and effectively into a muscle up, bar muscle up, reverse musle up, butterfly muscle up, kipping pullup, back tuck and whatever craziness lays ahead right away.  However for probably 80% of us (maybe more) we probably shouldn’t even contemplate trying these movements for quite some time, if ever.

Wait Coach,  it sounds like you are telling me NOT to push myself out of my comfort zone?  Absolutely NOT!  What I am telling you is to consider what you are doing and to look at your fundamental skills FIRST.   let me give you an example.


In order to perform a strict pull-up, we know that we may have to work months on end performing strengthening exercises, etc. to help develop the muscles required to perform this movement.  BUT what most people do is SKIP this step and move right on into that more efficient movement- the kip.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I use the butterfly kip ALL the time myself unless I am training for strength or I program Strict pull-ups (which is good to do for a change in your workout program here and there) BUT I have alos been performing strict pull-ups for a number of years in a previous fitness life.

The risk far outweighs the benefit in many instances when people begin to kip their pull-up too early.  Let’s think about why this fundamental and seemingly easy (with a kip) movement may be detrimental later on IF you haven’t focussed on the fundamentals (and not with a fucking resistance band)

When we complete a strict pull-up, there comes a point where our muscles may disengage due to strength, mobility etc.  If we don’t know what this point is, then when we go to “kip”  there is a point where we will also disengage thus increasing risk to our shoulder joint.  (remember I said increasing risk, not causing injury) As we Kip, if we “drop” to the bottom, it increase the amount of force applied across the joint and can increase risk.  Notice again, i did not say NOT to do it,  I am just warning of the risk involved IF you have not developed your strict pull-up first.  The kip is actually a very technical movement requiring timing, power and proper structural integrity and activation of the “lats”, rhomboids , “traps” and even biceps, forearms and a whole heck of a lot of other muscles.

SO, let’s step back even further now that I have beat a dead horse with the pull-up.  The fundamentals of movement come from a core set of movements.   One agency’s view is much different than another, but I think you will find that most Strength and Conditioning coaches agree, that there is a core group of both lifts and bodyweight movements that will help to progress you further as an athlete by becoming an expert in those fundamentals.  And it will vary for each athlete and their goals.  this is why S&C Coaches are invaluable!!


Step back from your program for a moment and really examine if the core movements are being addressed weekly.  I know for FTF, we address core movements all the time and mix it up a few times a week with the basis of the program STILL based in the fundamentals.  Think of it this way, you have to learn to use your feet before you can walk or run.  It may even take baby steps to get things accomplished, but don’t run away from the basics too early.  Remember that this can hinder your progress.

One other thing, ensure you are throwing in accessory work on the smaller more intrinsic muscles used in joint stability and joint integrity.  These muscles should be a priority a few times a week to ensure they are being properly engaged and not in a workout.  They are like any other muscle and need progressive overload in order to make the appropriate growth to handle the loads the joint is able to sustain!

Also consider the movement pattern versus the movement standard in your training program.  If the training program is built around how you move, and not the standard, it will more than likely be more successful for YOU.  we do want you to move better and be able to function in the full range of motion of YOUR body, but that may take work and again, will come from working the fundamentals.  If you try to practice a Snatch long before you have developed the mobility to move through a proper movement pattern of an overhead squat, then we have just increased our risk of injury.   Catch my drift?

Want to know more?  Stop by FTF and ask questions OR shoot me an email if you have some of your won fundamentals you feel you need to work on and I will ensure one of our amazing coaches helps you get what you need out of your program!  We want you to succeed, but we want you to stay healthy and progress as your body sees fit (See what I did there)

More to come on this topic soon… as in how to start breaking up movements to start practicing the advanced stuff!

Nov 102014

Since today is about honoring our Veterans,  here is a little workout we will be doing.  This is for our Veteran’s!


9 minute AMRAP

100-meter sprint

11 sit-ups

11 air squats

100-meter sprint

22 sit-ups

22 air squats

100-meter sprint

33 sit-ups

33 air squats


add 11 to the sit-ups and air squats for each additional round


2-minute rest and reflection



9 minute AMRAP

100-meter sprint

11 pushups

11 box jumps (RX 24”/20”)

100-meter sprint

22 pushups

22 box jumps (RX 24”/20”)

100-meter sprint

33 pushups

33 box jumps (RX 24”/20”)


add 11 to the pushups and box jumps for each round


On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War. This Armistice Day was later re-named to Veterans Day.


At exactly 11 a.m., each November 11th, a color guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honors to America’s war dead during a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.


- The 11 minutes of work and the 11-based rep scheme represents the rich history of Veteran’s Day.


- The two-minutes of rest/reflection represents this moment of silence at the tomb of the unknowns.


- The 1st round of work represents Veterans of wars past, and the 2nd round of work represents Veterans of present and future wars.


- Modified versions of classic military exercises are meant to help connect Veterans and the greater community to connect after the accomplishment of shared hardship during this WOD.

Oct 292014

“It’s too cold”

“I’m sore”

“That looks tough”

“I don’t want to do burpees”

“Oh shit… thrusters and pullups?!?!?!”

” I don’t have the time”

“It’s too expensive”

And MANY other things and excuses we could come up with.  You know what they say about excuses…  me either.. it’s ok!

Truly, one of the greatest things we are good at when it comes to our fitness and health is coming up with excuses that get in the way of us taking care of ourselves.  We find things to occupy our time and instead of putting our health and fitness first in our lives as a priority, we tend to put it on the back burner as “I’ll start tomorrow”.  For many people, tomorrow turns into next week, which turns into next month, and so on…. you get the picture!

1) Fear- we have discussed this before as a part of the mental game of fitness.  BUT this one pertains a little more to gyms of our nature,  Strength and conditioning facilities AND CrossFit gyms.  I will throw this two gyms into a similar category for this discussion, and maybe throw in the Globo gym, the MMA gym and many other styles of high intensity and functional fitness gyms.

a) We see a trend of people saying they are afraid or intimidated by these styles of gyms. –  They feel they must be “In Shape” before they join a high intensity fitness gym.  My question is this.  WHY?  Aren’t we finding a fitness solution and a fitness program we enjoy doing?  Not only that, aren’t we looking for a program to fit our goals and fitness styles?  Also, make sure you do research on the gyms you are intending to join.  Not all high intensity fitness gyms are the same.  Some are geared to have more complete programs, some are based on the CrossFit® Methodology, some are based on strength and conditioning foundations that take into account your individual differences (Perhaps there is a an FTF gym near you that does this) , Some are based on other functional fitness systems (TRX, Boot Camp, etc)   It will do you justice to research these facilities before you make a choice to join.  Try out a class, see what the coaches are all about.  Try out a free session with a trainer.  But don’t feel like you have to “get in shape” before you make a change to get in shape, whatever that is for you.

b) Fear of injury-  This is a valid concern.  If a fitness program is based in the principles of Specificity and overload principle, and appropriate training is applied, the risk of this should be decreased.  What should be understood is there is risk in ANY type of fitness from running to yoga.  Injuries happen in every type of fitness.  What is important is to understand risk versus benefit.  Our job (in particular at FTF) is to maximize benefit and minimize risk.  We provide a progressive overload program with a periodization plan and a balance with volume and intensity.  Research the program you are desiring to participate in and ask why it is programmed the way it is.  What’s the science behind it.  How is it going to maximize your benefit and decrease your risk of injury.  Spend time with the owner and learn their philosophy if you can.  Take it slow in the beginning and allow your body days of rest to recover in between high intensity exercise bouts. Manage sleep, drink a lot of water and watch what happens as you increase your ability to become the “Fitness” you want.


c) Fear of looking silly in an environment- OK, so let me tell you about a few classes I have taken,  a few when I was working as a fitness manager at 24 Hour Fitness in Folsom, a few when I was living in Fresno at FTF Clovis, and even as recently as this year with some of my friends and my sister down here in FTF Pasadena.  So, there I was, a trainer and fitness manager with aspirations of becoming a bodybuilder.  So I was much larger than I am now.  I was weighing in at about 195, and moved very methodically.  One of my clients at the time loved taking a class from Eddie Clark, one of the best “aerobics” instructors in the Sacramento area.  Well, I told her if she reached her goals, I would join her for one of Eddie’s classes.  Well, apparently that inspired her, because about three months later, I found myself in the back of an aerobic dance and fitness class.  If any of you have seen me move, I am the perpetual white boy with hips that only work when I am moving weight around quickly, especially back then.  (I have since learned how to do the chicken dance, two step, swing and can do the macarena, but that’s about it) So, there I was, in the back of this class, with Eddie shouting out and moving like a dance God at the front of the room, and I am trying desperately to keep up, with kicks to the left and kicks to the right.  I think I kicked two or three of the other members while trying to do a turn with a back flip or whatever it was (Because it might as well have been even though i think it was just a hip turn)  Well, come to find out, when I turned around and as I am trying to shake my ass and learn new dance moves,  behind me, I knew there were windows that were pointed towards the rest of the gym.  I had made enough of an ass out of myself in theis class that there were about 30 people lined up outside of the window chuckling at my misfortune of coordination or lack there of.  I politely waved and kept doing my thing.

Class number 2-  Yoga.  WHAT THE FUCK!!!!   OK…  I have done yoga before, but nowhere nearly as laughable as when I took it with my sister at FTF Pasadena.  My sister and I are a little opposite in terms of our approach to life.  For those of you who know me,  Know I am fairly intense, passionate and of course a little excited.  My sister, bless her soul, “heyyyyyy  brotherrrrr.  How’s it goin man” in a very chill voice.  Everything she does is mellow, chill and zen.  She has found the same passion for fitness as I have and loves to teach yoga.  Well,  If you can imagine someone with my energy level, who works out a few times a day, and has no patience for sitting still and how I might perform in a yoga class.  First, I had to figure out what Chataranga meant.. because I just wanted to know.  then I had to try to get in downward facing dog.  Now bear in mind, I have short legs and long arms, so this is not the most comfortable of positions for me.  My hips are ultra tight, and my shoulder flexibility even after working on it because of injury is well… less than maximal.  SO, here I go into downward dog and sure as shit, my hamstrings cramp… I mean not like.. oh it will go away in a second, Like GET A RAZOR AND CUT MY HAMSTRINGS OUT NOW cramp!!  (I know you’ve had that before)   so I start dancing in place.. which we have already discussed my dancing abilities.. so imagine now that I have a broken wing and am dancing on it!!   As that subsides, I then decide I am really going to focus and pay attention, so I do…  and as we get towards the end of it and we are doing our relaxation phase,  I literally start snoring… not figuratively… LITERALLY start snoring like I was in full REM sleep…  so loud I woke myself up!!!

Class number 3-  Zumba….   with Fatima Montenello when she was teaching Zumba at FTF Clovis.  OK.. remember I said I can’t dance… yeah.. Zumba didn’t work out well for me either.  I had a blast but… well.. let’s just say i entertained everyone for an hour!

So the fear of looking silly in a class, to be honest with you, no one in the gym really gives a shit about what you look like while doing the class… they are so focussed on not looking silly themselves that they aren’t paying attention to you…

We are going to discuss more about fear in part 2 of this article,  BUT I want to move on to a topic that I think hits us in the fitness industry as an interesting excuse:

2) “I don’t have the money” – Hmmmmm   let me think about this for a second.  IF you are looking into a membership at a gym and in particular a strength and conditioning facility that runs classes and/or looking to hire a professional coach/trainer I am going to break this down to the ridiculous.

Gym membership at the average functional fitness facility – around $150 per month (I said average…  this is regional and also company dependent and depends on the philosophy of the owner) -

OK guys…  $5 a day to be coached at a professional facility.   yes, to improve your health, you need to give up one of the following: one cup of coffee from Starbucks (Albeit hard, start drinking coffee from a coffee maker at home) , One soda at lunch and one at dinner (Trade it out with water and you’ll feel better too) , one extra drink the night before (Yeah, a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with dinner can add up quick and it’s not good for your results overall) , Let’s face it.. one night out a month ) On my nights out, I think Wells Fargo sits right there and just waits to cut up my ATM card) , 6 times of eating at home instead of eating out (the average meal out is about $20 and the average at home meal can be made for 5-10$), Two Monster Energy drinks a day (you’ll have that from the new energy level you have from the fitness program you are embarked on).  THIS is the cost of your gym membership to these facilities.  Now, imagine if you did ALL of that at the same time.  Trainers are a LOT more expensive than a membership to a full functional fitness facility but definitely have their place and their purpose on the road to your fitness goals, but as you can see, it might be easier than you think to start cutting costs and finding a way to improve your health and fitness.   This is only PART of the cost savings you’ll have…
I will delve into more topics in part 2 in a few days!!  For now, please enjoy and start thinking about what excuses you make to get out of your health and fitness program.  Add some of those excuses to our Comments.  we want to hear what blocks you from your program!