Client Testimonial: Gelie


This month marks a year since I joined SICFIT Scottsdale and I wanted to take a moment to briefly recap the amazing experience it has been!

I “discovered” SICFIT, because one of my Passport members, Jesse Holland, kept showing up at networking events and after one of our conversations I decided I’d go check them out.

Truly, I had NO idea what I was walking into.

I’ve been consistently going to the gym since college and after Aris was born, I “ran” off my baby weight. But timing is everything … and when I met Jesse, I was pretty burned out on my daily routine of “gym and running.”

So when I walked into the SICFIT facility, I very quickly realized this was no regular gym. NICE!

SICFIT is all about Strength in Conditioning. It’s about being fit, being strong and lots of squats wink emoticon It’s more than just a gym … if you embrace it, it truly does become a lifestyle change, even for someone like me, who was already well acclimated to daily exercising.

This was a completely new and different way of working out … and if you know anything about me, you know I like a good challenge! I was “in” from the moment I stepped foot into the door … of course, I didn’t tell Jesse that wink emoticon

I started attending the group fitness and body weight classes and slowly (b/c I’m just kind of slow sometimes), started to learn the skills, proper form and most importantly get stronger. As everyone else, I’m always concerned about getting hurt, so I took my time with everything and really focused on just learning the techniques.

Simultaneously, I also attended the community classes that SICFIT holds about food. I learned all about Paleo and can honestly tell you that when I stick to eating clean, it makes a world of a difference on every aspect of my life. I don’t eat 100% Paleo … but pretty darn close.

About 7-8 months in, I finally felt like I “got it.” At this point, I was familiar with the most basic movements practiced at SICFIT on a comfortable enough level to start experimenting with heavier weight. Once again, I was getting stronger, more fit and more squats. Did I mention the squats?

In January of this year, two of the coolest things happened! I was awarded athlete of the month (what?!?! me??? really??) and passed the Level 1 test. This test is just a fun way (not really fun, lol) to see how fit you are.

It’s a series of 11 movements and some I was totally not comfortable with (70 sec hand stand, 80 squats in 2 min, and 500 unbroken jump ropes) but I decided I’d go for it and see what happens …

I think you can still pass at 80%, but once again, if you know anything about me, you know I don’t do anything less than 100%. That’s just not really an option … so I was really going for it!

I’m still not sure how I did it … but I got my Level 1 band and passed at 100% (including the 500 unbroken jump ropes). Boom! Not a bad way to start the year. It felt pretty amazing!

A year into it, I’ve never been as fit or as strong and I KNOW so much more.

My point in sharing this is because SICFIT has made an awesome impact on my life and I love sharing things that truly matter.

I know what it takes to build, maintain and support a community and the awesome team at SICFIT does this daily, Najla Joy Kayyem, Luke D. Kayyem and the rest of the team …

It’s been an honor and pleasure to be a part of something so cool and should you decided you are ready to do yourself a favor and get into the best shape of your life, I’ll be happy to give you an introduction!

Locations in N. Scottsdale, S. Scottsdale and Chandler.

Thanks for reading the long love letter! wink emoticon


‪#‎sicfitstrong‬ ‪#‎likeagirl‬ ‪#‎cantstop‬ ‪#‎wontstop‬

Happy Birthday Najla!


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, June 15, 2015

She’s the brains and the beauty behind the gym you’ve come to call home. She’s the warm smile who only needs to meet you once to remember your name, your kids names, and what your goals and motivations are for Strength in Conditioning. She is the fire starter leading the way for entrepreneurs to create not only a thriving business, but one that allows them to thrive in their live’s outside of work as well.
To the talented, inspiring, and beautiful wife, mother, friend, business person, and all around shining spirit — Happy Birthday, Najla!
Run + Row + Airdyne + Jump Rope
14 Minute EMOM
Even Minute: 10 Kettle Bell Goblet Squats
Odd Minute: 10 Box Step Up
SPORT: Weighted Step Ups
50 + 40 + 30 +  20 + 10
Double Under or Single Under
Air Squats


Improving Shoulder Flexion for Overhead Lifts


 Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, June 13, 2015

Here’s a quick assessment and corrective exercise for tight shoulders that may be limiting overhead range of motion.  The assessment allows you to see if you have enough shoulder flexion for pullups, presses, and overhead movements.  After taking the assessment – if your range of motion is limited perform the following lat stretch before reassessing your range of motion.



To perform the following assessment stand with your back against the wall.  First note if your low back is in contact with the wall.  If your hips are tilted forward (anterior pelvic tilt) and low back arched (allowing space) – tuck your hips and flatten your low back for the exercise.

Also note if the back of your head is touching the wall and the ease with which your thoracic spine and ribcage are able to maintain this position.  Good anterior core stability is needed for a neutral pelvic and low back position.  Thoracic extension is also required for a stable shoulder blade position to allow for good arm movement.

Slowly raise one arm upward overhead with the palm facing in and the elbow extended.  Note your ability to touch the wall with your arm keeping the elbow extended and low back flat against the wall.

If you are unable to touch the wall, you have limited shoulder range of motion that may be caused by tight lats.



The following stretch releases the broadest muscle of the back – the lattisimus dorsi.  The lats span (on each side) from the hips, to the low back, out to the shoulder blade.  Tight lats can take the hips into an anterior pelvic tilt and produce hyperextension of the low back.  After performing the stretch you can also note your hip and low back position in addition to your shoulder range of motion.

Targeting the Different Lat Fibers

The lat stretch has three positions: a forward lunge that targets the upper lat fibers (by the scapula), a side lunge that targets the lower lat fibers (by the hip), and in-between position that targets the middle fibers. The motion for the stretch will come from the hips as the band tractions the shoulder (decompressing the shoulder joint).


PNF involves a 3-5 second contraction (on the inhale) followed by a relaxation (on the exhale) into a deeper range of motion.  For the forward lunge the contraction will come from the shoulder blade – as you pull the scapula down the back.  Inhale and hold the shoulder blade down, then exhale and take the hips back as you reach out with the arm.  From the side lunge position you will pull the ribcage down to the hips, before exhaling and taking the hips out to the side as the arm reaches over.

After performing the lat stretch reassess your shoulder flexion – you will find that it is easier to get your arms overhead and maintain a neutral low back position.  Strength the new range after stretching with overhead lifts.

- Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™ –


2 Minutes Jump Rope
2 Minutes Row
Run big lap
Handstand Progression
Ring Tuck + L-Sit
Tabata Mash Up
Sit Ups
Push Ups
Heave Sleds
Walking Rest

That Awkward Moment When you Lift a Stone From Ground to Shoulder


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, June 12, 2015

It’s one thing to lift heavy when we’re working with a barbell. It’s familiar, easy to hold on to, and designed to be tossed around. But what happens when mwe need to move an awkward piece of furniture or put our luggage in an overhead storage compartment on a plane?

We may have the strength to do these tasks from our barbell work, but do we have the functionality? Do we know how to best position our bodies around these awkward objects to lift them safely and efficiently?

If you workout at SICFIT Scottsdale — the original Functional Fitness Gym in Arizona — you do! In today’s workout especially, functional fitness takes center stage because today we will be play with some Atlas Stones! You know, those big cement stones you’ve seen on TV where half human/half hulk men and women throw em’ around in Strongman competitions.

By working with these stones we transfer the skills we’ve learned in our barbell lifts into lifting randomly shaped objects — which we are more likely to come across in our day to day lives. So not only will you be getting a great workout, but you’ll be making your life more functional as well!


10 Minutes of Jump Rope
Minute 1 = 1 Burpee
Minute 2 = 2 Burpees
… All the way to 10
Atlas Stones Skill
10 Minute EMOM
3-6 Atlas Stone Ground to Shoulder
100 Push Ups
75 Air Squats
50 Sit Ups
25 Burpees
900 Meter Run or 1k Row
LIFE: 25 of Each Movement | 2 Rounds


Get Those Dang Dubs


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, June 11, 2015

Double unders… one of those exercises we love to hate! That is, before we learn the tricks and tips to make em’ smooth, seamless, and dare I say EASY!

Coming up next Thursday (6/18) at 7pm Coach Luke will help us turn those dubious double unders into a downright strength! Whether your singles are still shakey, or are looking to smash your old double under PR, this clinic is for you!

In this active, hands-on clinic Coach Luke will help you pinpoint your current flaws in in form and mental road blocks to help you JUMP forward in this skill. You’ll leave feeling confident, a bit sweaty, and ready to tackle the next jump rope workout we program here at SICFIT Scottsdale!

The value you get from this Double Under Clinic is way beyond the 15 bucks it costs to attend. Sign up Today!


2K Partner Row
Switch Every 200 Meters
Kettle Bell Swings
Kipping Pull Ups
3 Rounds
500 Meter Row
21 Kettle Bell Swings
12 Pull Ups
LIFE: Ring Rows + Russian Swings
FITNESS: Jumping Pull Up + Russian Swing 55/35
SPORT: Kipping Pull Up + American Swing 55/35

Healthy Lifestyle Lessons That Last A Lifetime


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, June 10, 2015

At SICFIT Scottsdale, we believe that it’s important to teach our kids healthy habits from an early age. By instilling these values while their young, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will feel natural to our children, making it easier for them to make positive choices through their teen years and into adulthood.

This is why SICFIT Scottsdale and SICFIT Chandler offer our Summer Kids Camp twice a year every summer. During these camp sessions, we use fun and engaging workouts, activities, and games to teach your kids about nutrition, exercise, positivity, teamwork, and self-confidence. The impact of these lessons last much longer than the week of our camp, with the power to positive influence impact child for the rest of their lives!

To register your child or teen for one of our upcoming camp sessions, follow these links!

June 22-26: Lil’ Beasts Summer Camp Session 1
July 13-17: Teens Sports Performance Camp
July 6-10 Lil’ Beasts Summer Camp Session 2


Coaches Choice
6 Rounds | Slow Tempo 5011
8-10 Single Arm Dumbbell Ro
8-10 Stiff Leg Dumbbell Deadlft
2 Minute Rest
3 Minutes
6 Rounds
5 Strict Pull Ups
30 Seconds Lunge
20 Seconds Rest
60 Seconds Jump Rope
2 Minutes Rest
LIFE: Ring Row/Positioned Lunge
5 Minute EMOM
6 Burpees
7 Burpees
8 Burpees
9 Burpess
10 Burpees
5 Burpees
5 Burpees
5 Burpees
5 Burpess
5 Burpees


Sweat n’ Shop Till You Drop with Asics and SICFIT


Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, June 8, 2015

Turn your stroll around the Scottsdale Quarter into a sweat dripping, heart racing, muscle pumping workout! This and every Thursday until August 13th, SICFIT Scottsdale joins forces with Asics to bring you a free fitness class right in The Quarter!

During these classes you will get a great feel for the kind of workouts you can count on from any SICFIT gym in the nation, including the three located around the Phoenix metropolitan area. In all of our classes, we focus on functional fitness performed in a safe, fun, and encouraging environment.

Worried you can’t keep up? No need! Our classes are great for fitness newbies because all of our exercises can be modified to suit any and all levels of ability.

Come check it our for yourself this Thursday night at 6:30 at Asics. After the workout, talk to one of your SICFIT coaches to schedule a free introductory session. Looking forward to seeing you at Asics!


SICFIT Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ
(480) 922-3253

Scottsdale, AZ
(480) 718-5041

SICFIT Chandler
Chandler, AZ
(480) 553-7603

Oh yeah…Send this link over to your friends and family who might like to join you!


5 Rounds
30 Second Squat Hold
30 Second Air Squat
30 Second Push Up
30 Second Top Push Up Hold
Hang Power Clean Progression and Practice
5 Rounds For Time
10 Hang Power Cleans
10 Burpees
LIFE: Barbell
SPORT: 80%


Every Moment is Brand New


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, June 8, 2015

We are not what we have done, or what we will do.

We are not our regrets, or our expectations.

We are brand new in each and every new moment.

We are in a constant state of becoming.

Who do you want to be, right here, right now?

Simply say the word, and you are.


10 Minute Row Clinic
500 Meter Row 60%
2 Minute Rest
500 Meter Row 80%
6 Rounds
8 Dumbb push press x8
6 Kettle bell/Dumbbell Single Arm Row
6-8 Barbell Ab Roll Outs
50 Mountain Climbers
500 Row 80%
2 Minute Rest
500 Row 100%

10 Benefits of Planking


Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, June 6, 2015

Whose up for challenge?! SICFIT Scottsdale has got one for ya. And even though it’s going to demand almost everything you got — it’s gonna give just as much right back to you.

After your workout today, we’re challenging you to hold a plank for five minutes! Do whatever you have to do to stay up there — take side planks, shift back and forth from hands to elbows, take a half plank from the knees — just keep planking!

If you need a little motivation to hold on for the full five, check out this list of plank’s incredible benefits on mind, body, and soul!

Planks Help Us To…

  1. Rehab injuries, especially back injuries,
  2. Move past strength training plateaus,
  3. Improve energy transfer from lower to upper body,
  4. Strengthen and tone the deep core, legs, and arms,
  5. Increases flexibility in the shoulders, hamstrings, and feet,
  6. Straighten out posture by correcting posterior and anterior pelvic tilt (pelvis tilted forward and backwards, respectively),
  7. Relieve stress my stretching and strengthening muscles in the shoulders and legs that get stiff and build tension,
  8. Enhance mental toughness,
  9. Elevate mood,
  10. Induce feelings of empowerment.



Coaches Choice
Heavy 3 Rep Deadlift
WOW #13
12 Minute AMRAP
LIFE: 3 Deadlift + 5 Burpees + 7 Lying Knees to Elbows
FITNESS: 3 Deadlift 135/95 + 5 Burpees + 7 Leg Raises from Bar
SPORT: 3 Deadlift at BW for Men 80%BW for Women + 5 Burpees + 7 Toes to Bar
5 Minute Plank


Thoracic Hypomobility and the Elevated Ribcage


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, June 5, 2015

Your low back pain may be have nothing to do with your low back at all. For many of us, pain in the lumbar spine (low back) is actually caused by lack of mobility in the upper back, or the thoracic spine.

The following video by Dr. Craig Liebenson provides an excellent sequence for addressing thoracic stiffness.

Poor ribcage depression causes lumbar hyperextension and low-back pain.

The low back discomfort during the wall bug exercise is from hyperextension of the low back during the leg lowering.  Athletes that have poor thoracic mobility will extend through the lumbar spine as a compensation pattern.  The ‘ribcage down’ position is essential for low back stability for overhead lifts.

The exercises on the foam roller are great pre-workout drills for athletes who need to improve ribcage position for pullups, presses, and overhead squats.

The graphic below (right drawing) shows excessive ribcage flair, lumbar hyperextension, excessive anterior tilting of the shoulder blade, and overstretched abdominals.  The result is potential low back pain and limited shoulder flexion.



Note how stiffness (hypomobility) in the thoracic spine limits the athlete’s ability to keep his ribs down during leg and arm movement.

- Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™ –

Related Resources

Functional Training Handbook by Craig Liebenson 

Indian run, follow the leader… *Coach lead your army outside & down the road to victory >15
Spend 5-7 min building to a heavy 5 rep seated strict press use dumbells and benches/boxes
A1 x5 rep DB press
A2 x5 burpee long jumps *LIFE/THERAPY lunge or plank **Deconditioned NO JUMPING
A3 x6 touch and go shuffle runs 10’ *LIFE/THERAPY AD or row :30 sec
2 min rest repeat x4
Teams of two. 200 Russian kettle bell swings. Unlimited substitutions. Partner B must hold a slam ball overhead.


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