8 Reasons to Plank Like a Rock Star

Strength in Conditioning for Monday, July 20, 2015

At SICFIT Scottsdale, it is never a question of whether to plank, but rather how long to plank for! We love this exercise for so many reasons but we totally get it that it can be quite the dreadful experience! So, to help you through today’s planking workout, we thought we’d share some of the benefits that come along with this exercise. When you are mid-plank today, instead of thinking about how badly you want to collapse to the floor, think about these benefits instead!

  1. Firms and tones the entire core — front, back, side, to side, this exercises hits it all!
  2. Reverses and prevents low back pain by strengthening the muscles that support out spine.
  3. Improves your posture by strengthening and toning your ‘stand-up-stright’ muscles called erector spinae muscles that run along your spine.
  4. Improves balance by increasing core strength. (Challenge your balance even more by doing side planks!)
  5. Measures progress easily by tracking your ability to hold this position for increasingly long durations.
  6. Cultivates mental fortitude, as the only thing preventing your from dropping to the ground is your own will power!
  7. Lifts your your spirit because let’s face it, it feels good to be strong and get stronger!
  8. Provides a simple challenge we can succeed at every day in almost any place or at any time!

Choose one or two of these benefits that speak to you and make them your focus during your planking today. Let this focus, combined with the positive energy of your coaches and classmates at SICFIT Scottsdale, be the fuel you need to be a plank rock star in today’s workout!


5 Minutes of PVC Work
Build to Heavy 3-2-1 Push Press
8 Rounds
2 Push Press
5 Touch and Go Shuffle Runs 10’
9 Lying Leg Lifts
1 Minute Rest
50 Mountain Climbers + 30 Second Plank
50 Mountain Climbers + 20 Second Plank
50 Mountain Climbers + 1 Minute Plank
1 Mile Run or Row


Your Unique Motivations


Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, July 18, 2015

Our motivations for working out are like finger prints.  We all have them, but no one is exactly like the other.

Whenever you are struggling with your motivation to come to a class at SICFIT Scottsdale, look down at your finger prints. As you gaze at the uniqueness of each one, remind yourself out loud of one of the reasons you put in so much hard work in the gym.

By the time you list your last motivation, you might as well start putting your gym clothes on, because we guarantee your feelings about hitting a workout will have shifted!

Thank you for making the culture of SICFIT Scottsdale infectiously motivating! We look forward to seeing you this morning for our Saturday morning classes!

2 Minutes: Jump Rope + Row
Run Big Lap
Handstand Progression
Ring Tucks & L-Sits
Tabata Mash Up
Sit Ups + Push Ups
500 Meter Row
50 Air Squats
500 Meter Row

The Rotary Glute Bridge for Rotary Stability



Strength in Conditioning for Friday, July 17, 2015

The glute bridge is a fundamental movement for training hip extension. The glute bridge with posterior pelvic tilt (pelvic lift) is often used in physical therapy and chiropractic clinics to treat low back pain.

The glute bridge is a great pre-workout exercise that teaches the glute max to function as the primary hip extensor.  Athletes with low back pain often recruit the low back and hamstrings instead of the glutes during deadlifts.  The glute bridge also stretches the hip flexors.

The Rotary Glute Bridge

The rotary glute bridge is an exercise that Eric Cressey posted in the video shown below (I have renamed the exercise).  The exercise builds on the traditional glute bridge using the outstretched leg to challenge the abdominal obliques to prevent rotation of the low back.

Anti-movements like the front plank and side plank train the core to resist movement.  The front plank trains anterior core stability, the side plank trains lateral stability, and the rotary glute bridge trains rotary stability.

Avoiding Lumbar Rotation

One of the biggest sources of low back pain is excessive rotation of the lumbar spine.  Runners need to prevent rotation during forward movement and golfers need to rotate through the thoracic spine while stabilizing the low back (preventing rotation).

When the hips or thoracic spine lose mobility – excessive movement occurs at the low back.  While the thoracic spine and hips are built for mobility, the low back needs stability.

It is important to both train rotary stability at the low back and avoid excessive lumbar rotation during low back stretches.

Strength coach Mike Boyle notes, “The biggest mistake we have made in training over the last 10 years is an active attempt to increase the static and active range of motion of an area that requires stability. Most, if not all, of the many rotary exercises done for the lumbar spine were misdirected.”

Physical therapist Shirley Sahrmann in Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes, explains that, “Attempting to increase lumbar spine range of motion is not recommended and is potentially dangerous. Our lack of understanding of thoracic mobility caused us to try to gain lumbar rotary ROM, and this was a huge mistake.”

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

Related Resources

Dynamic Chiropractic: Stop Stretching – or at Least Stop Stretching the Lower Back Into Flexion and Rotation
Eric Cressey: Supine Leg Whip for Hip Mobility and Core Stability



10 Minutes of Jump Rope
EMOM Add Burpee Each Minute
10 Minute EMOM
3-6 Atlas Stone Lifts
100 Push Ups
75 Air Squats
50 Sit Ups
25 Burpees
900 Meter Run or 1k Row
LIFE: 2 Rounds | 25 Reps of Each


Food as Fuel is Tonight!

Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, July 16, 2015

Got questions about what your nutritional game plan should be? Confused about what exactly the paleo diet is? Wondering what some strategies are to get your family on board with clean eating along with you?

We will tackle all of these questions and more at tonight’s Food as Fuel nutrition seminar at SICFIT Scottsdale. In this dynamic and interactive information session, not only will you learn the ins and outs of paleo nutrition and how to make it work for you and your family, but you will leave with a renewed sense of motivation and commitment  to keep it clean in the kitchen!

This one hour class, beginning at 7pm, is free for our members and their friends and family. The more people surrounding you who treat their food as fuel, the more successful you will be at sticking to your nutritional guns. Bring your inner circle to this seminar and that circle is going to get clean, lean, and mean in the gym!


Partner 2K Row
Alternate Every 200 Meters
Turkish Get Up
4×8 Goblet Squats
3 Rounds
500 Meter Row
21 Kettle Bell Swings
12 Pull Ups
LIFE: Ring Rows + Russian Swings
FITNESS: Jumping Pull Ups + Russian Swing 55/35
SPORT: Kip + American Swing 55/35


The New Your Starts With Your First Week… And It’s Free!


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We are in the business of changing lives here at SICFIT. We’ve helped people lose weight so they feel more confident and more energized. Others we have coached through rehabbing old injuries that they thought would keep them out of the game for good. And we have seen countless members undo the effects of their previously unhealthy lifestyles.

Changing lives isn’t only our business, it is our passion. And we happen to be really good at it! But we don’t want to just tell you how good we are, we want to show you! This summer, SICFIT Scottsdale and SICFIT Chandler invite you to join one of our locations for one week of free training!

If you’re ready to change your life, take full advantage of this offer! We’re not promising miracles in a week, but what we are offering is the opportunity for you catch a glimpse of the YOU that you can be. Refer to the flier below for our phone number and call us today to schedule your free introductory session at either location.


Coaches Choice
6 Rounds *Slow
8-10 Single Arm Dumbbell Row
8-10 Stiff Leg Dumbbell Deadlift
10 Strict Sit Ups
2 Minute Rest
3 Minutes
6 Rounds
5 Strict Pull Ups
30 Seconds of Lunges
60 Seconds of Single or Double Unders
1 Minute Rest
LIFE: Ring Row + Positioned Lunge
5 Minute EMOM
1st Minute: 6 Burpees (Or Sub = 5)
2nd Minute: 7 Burpees  (Or Sub = 5)
3rd Minute: 8 Burpees (Or Sub = 5)
4th Minute: 9 Burpees (Or Sub = 5)
5th Minute: 10 Burpees (Or Sub = 5)


Mike Billera has earned SICFIT Scottsdale’s Athlete of the Month Honor’s


Congratulations Mike Billera on earning SICFIT Scottsdale’s Athlete of the Month Honor’s. 

You are the most consistent minor we have had in our program to date.
You Show up and never quit,
you always have a smile on your face and most
importantly you are extremely respectful and polite.
Thank you for your hard word and dedication
to your own personal health and fitness.


Optimize Your Fuel. Optimize Your Life!


Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, July 14, 2015

If there is one thing that we are more passionate about than Strength in Conditioning at SICFIT Scottsdale it would definitely be nutrition! After all, the work we do in the kitchen forms the foundation of the work we do at the gym. It’s step one to any thoughtful and comprehensive fitness plan.

But at SICFIT Scottsdale, we do much more than tell you to watch what you eat and hope for the best. Nope! We set you up for success, arming you with all the information, advice, tips, and tricks you need to knock your nutrition out of the park!

Join us this Thursday night at 7pm for our Food as Fuel seminar. In this free class, we will discuss the ins and outs of our preferred nutrition plan, which is a “practically paleo” diet. “Practically” meaning, yes – there is a bit of wiggle room, and that it is practical to put in place for you and your whole family!

For those of you who can’t make it, below is a recording from one of our Food as Fuel seminars. Please send this link to anyone you know who you feel would benefit from this information. We do hope that you can make it in person however, as the video just doesn’t capture the motivation, inspiration, and commitment you feel by being a part of this seminar first hand!

5 Rounds
30 Second Squat Hold
30 Seconds of Air Squats
30 Seconds of Push Ups
30 Seconds of Top of Push Up Hold
Hang Power Clean Progression
Work to Heavy Single
3 Rounds
10 Hang Power Cleans
5 Pull Ups
10 Push Ups
15 Air Squats
LIFE: Barbell
SPORT: 80%



Final Lil’ Beast Summer Camp Session This Week!


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, July 13

It’s not to late to enroll your Lil’ Beast in SICFIT Scottsdale’s kids FITness and nutrition summer camp! This is our final week long session of the summer. Sign your kiddo up for the whole week or have them drop in for just a session or two!

While participating in our camp, your child will be playing, learning, and growing in an environment that makes exercise and healthy eating fun, exciting… and dare we say… COOL! This culture helps to instill the values of a healthy and positive lifestyle in our children’s hearts and minds, where the lessons they learn will last a lifetime!

Camp is in session this week everyday from 9am-12pm. Register your Lil’ Beast here or bring them by the gym any morning this week and we’ll get them squared away!


PVC + Shoulder Mobility
Build to a Heavy 5 Rep Seated Strict Press
4 Rounds
5 Dumbbell Bench Press
50 Mountain Climbers
6 Touch-n-Go Shuffle Runs
2 Minute Rest
200 Russian Kettle Bell Swings
Alternate as Needed
Partner B Holds Slam Ball Over Head


Post Workout Protein Pointers From Coach Najla


Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, July 11, 2015

Muscles need protein for recovery and growth, and the best time to deliver protein is right after a Strength In Conditioning session. Fueling muscles immediately after intense exercise stimulates both repair and growth.

However, the type, amount and timing for consumption of protein depends on whether your goal is fat loss, performance improvements or muscle gain.

Quantity needed is also greatly impacted by your size and the type of workout you perform. Your best bet? Consult with a nutritionist or personal trainer to discuss your situation and goals.

In the meantime, remember muscles don’t care if your protein comes from a hard-boiled egg, glass of chocolate milk or a protein shake as long as the source is “clean” and the protein “complete”.

Best Protein Options

  • Hormone free whey (dairy) protein isolate
  • Egg protein
  • Leaner cuts of meat (chicken, turkey, deer, beef)
  • Protein shake

Najla’s Favorites

  • Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes
  • Protein Packed Paleo Cookies
  • Egg Quiche Cups
  • Turkey Roll-Ups with Cucumber and Avocado

More isn’t always better. Muscles only need 20 to 30 grams of protein for amino acids (the building blocks of muscle). Anything additional is waste.

Losing Weight?

If you are you trying to loose weight, wait 45 minutes post workout to consume anything. When you do eat, it should be real food – such as a balanced zone (protein, fat, carb) type of meal.


Snapshot of the Kayyem’s Kitchen!

Big, Fun, Dynamic Warmup!
8 Minutes: 100 Meter Alternating Partner Rows
Movement Prep
WOW #13
12 Minute AMRAP
LIFE: 3 Deadlifts + 5 Burpees + 7 Lying Knees to Elbows
FITNESS: 3 Deadlifts 135/95# + 5 Burpees + 7  Leg Raises Hanging from Bar
SPORT: 3 Deadlifts BW/ 80%BW + 5 Burpees + 7 Toes to Bar


What’s In Your Medicine Cabinet?


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, July 10, 2015

This 4th of July weekend I was at someone’s house and opened the pictured medicine cabinet.  Hoodia if you want to suppress your appetite, and anti-diarrheal pills if you eat too much.  If your head is throbbing or your ears are ringing; if you are coughing, inflamed, and or in pain – there is a remedy.  Even sleep pills if you want to “Knock Yourself Out.”

But what does that say about your perspective and approach towards health?  Are you planning to cope with an ailment or do you have healthy habits in place that extend beyond the gym or kitchen?

While you may be on point with your training and dialing in your nutrition – this week take some time to improve one other aspect of your health.  Below are some ways to improve your quality of sleep – you can find out more in this great book.

While most people fail to get 7-9 hours of sleep on a consistent basis – here are some three recommendations to optimize sleep.

Pitch Black Room at Night

The most important sleep factor is how dark your sleep area is – the room should be pitch black.  External light can be blocked with a blackout curtain whereas internal light (clocks, chargers, VCR, etc) can be blocked with black electric tape.

Avoiding Blue Light Before Bed

Sleep is governed by hormones; melatonin secretion at night prepares us for sleep, whereas cortisol levels should be low at night and high early in the morning.  Avoiding blue light that is emitted from computers and hand held devices an hour before bed supports normal hormone secretion so we can fall asleep.  If you have work to do late at night, consider using a program like F.LUX (link) that changes the color emitted from your electronic device.

Morning Sun Exposure

Sun exposure in the morning helps us maintain our circadian rhythm.  Lack of natural light exposure during the day and artificial light into the evening disturbs this rhythm.   One great tool for people that are not able to wake up to natural light is a wake up light (link).  Thirty minutes of light exposure before the alarm goes off is a much gentler way of waking up – then spend some time outdoors during lunch and watch your sleep cycle improve.

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

Related Resources

Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way To Better Health
Dr. Mercola: How the Cycles of Light & Darkness Affect Your Wellbeing

4 Minute Row + 3 Minute Jump Rope
2 Minute Burpee + 1 Minute Reverse Lunge
Power Clean Progression
8 Minute EMOM
3 Deadlift + 2 Power Clean + 3 Front Squat
1 Minute Plank from Hands
1 Minute Plank Right Side
1 Minute Plank Let Side
1 Minute Plank Forearms
1 Minute  Plank Push Up


Page 2 of 33712345...102030...Last »