Balance is Key in Hormone Health


Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, August 11, 2015

From losing weight to managing mood swings. From building muscle mass to releasing toxins. And from our children growing up big and strong to keeping our digestion on track. There isn’t much that our hormones doesn’t impact. And when it comes to hormone health, the name of the game is “balance.”

At SICFIT Scottsdale, we work hard to provide you with all the tools and information you need to rebalance your hormone system, and keep it that way. We provide the space, equipment, and proper instruction for the exercise you need. We’ve got  the education and encouragement you need to keep your diet clean. And we support you in all the other healthy habits you make on a daily basis.

To further support our SICFIT family and the surrounding Scottsdale community in their journey towards hormone balance we are excited to announce our free Hormone Education Clinic. This clinic will be lead by nationally acclaimed hormone expert, Rudy Dragone from Chambers Clinic, and hosted at our Scottsdale gym location on Thursday, 8/20, at 7pm.

RSVP to or call 602-722-5627 and reserve your spot. Seating is limited!

Until then, check out this info-graphic from for some helpful facts that will aid in your balancing practices!

how to balance hormones naturally

Source: Wellness Mama


1k Row
Dynamic Hips + Shoulders
10 – 8 – 6 – 4 – 2 – 1
Back Squat
Ring Row
Kettle Bell Swing
Rest 20 Seconds Between Each Movement
Rest 2 Minutes After Each Set
Ascending Weight Each Round
20 Burpees
100 Jump Rope
10 Burpees
50 Jump Rope
20 Burpees 100 Jump Rope


*SCALE accordingly based on Newbees in class

FITNESS/SPORT double unders

THERAPY walk out plank + calf raise

Cooking with the Kayyems ‘Practically Paleo’ Seminar


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, August 10, 2015

Looking for some fresh ideas this school year to keep your family eating clean without spending a ton of time in the kitchen? Then you will not want to miss SICFIT Scottsdale’s Cooking and Nutrition Seminar, Cooking with the Kayyems!

In this fun, dynamic, and tastey seminar, Luke and Najla will share with you the tips and tricks they use to keep their household healthy, vibrant, and strong. These two will provide a ‘practically paleo’ approach to determining which foods to stay away from and which ones to stock up on. They will also be dishing up some of their family favorite dishes — everything from quick and nutritious breakfasts for those busy mornings, to boxed lunches your kids will love, to simple weeknight dinner solutions, and even much more!

Please join us this Thursday, 8/13, at SICFIT Chandler or Friday, 8/14, at SICFIT Scottsdale at 6:00 for this educational, interactive, and yummy ‘practically paleo’ cooking seminar – Cooking with the Kayeems. Register here!


5 Minute PVC Work
8 Minutes Building to a Heavy 3.2.1 Push Press
3×5 Push Press
3×10 Strict Press
8 Rounds
2 Push Press
5 Touch-n-Go Shuttle Runs
9 Laying Leg Lifts
1 Minute Rest
50 Mountain Climbers + 30 Second Plank
50 Mountain Climbers + 20 Second Plank
50 Mountain Climbers + 1 Minute Plank

The 2 Most Potent Exercises You’re Not Doing


Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, August 8, 2015

The two most impactful and underutilized exercises that I teach athletes on a regular basis are for the diaphragm and feet.

Many athletes are told to ‘just breathe’ and/or wear orthotics for their flat feet – this advice leaves athletes helpless when it comes to strengthening the feet and improving core stability (via the diaphragm).

In fact, exercises that train diaphragmatic breathing and intrinsic foot strength are foundational exercises for learning to lift heavy weights and execute bodyweight exercises like single-leg squats and running.

As coaches, it is important to empower athletes with direction, confidence, and capability. Orthotics have their place and can spare the knees and low back from repetitive stress during running.  But are orthotics the best long-term strategy for a weak or collapsed arch?

Athletes with weak feet and dysfunctional breathing (this is a large percentage of the general and athletic population) can benefit by replacing their pre-workout hamstring stretching with the following drills…

Banded Breathing

The diaphragm functions like a weight belt stabilizing the lower lumbar spine.  If the diaphragm does not fully descend then L4/5 are not fully stabilized.  Banded breathing retrains the diaphragm by encouraging a lateral expansion of the breath into the sides of the abdomen.


Intrinsic Foot Strengthening

We are not born with arches – they are pulled into existence through walking and weight-bearing tasks.  The muscles of the lower leg (as well as the intrinsic muscles of the foot) can be trained to restore the arch over time.  While this often also requires extensive soft-tissue work, athletes can benefit from simple foot exercises.

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

 Related Resources

FlexibilityRx: Intrinsic Foot Strength and The Short Foot Position
Seth Oberst: The Short Foot Position and Neuromuscular Readines
Dr. Andreo Spina: Developing Instrinsic Foot Strength

Dynamic Movement
Movement Prep
8 Minutes
100 Meter Row Partner Sprints
WOW 13 | 12 Minute AMRAP
3 Deadlifts + 5 Burpees + 7 Toes to Bar
LIFE: Lying Knees to Elbows
FITNESS: 135/95 + Leg Raises Hanging from Bar
SPORT: Bodyweight for Men / 80% Bodyweight for Women


Foundational Work on the Power Clean


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, August 7, 2015

The Power Clean. More than just a weightlifting exercise — this movement requires strength, coordination, speed, focus, and a relentless attitude that is determined to put in the time and energy to get it right.

If you find the power clean to be one of the more difficult exercises we do here at SICFIT Scottsdale, you are not alone. As one of the most complex lifts we perform, there is a steep learning curve that demands consistent practice. In other words, the best way to get better at power cleaning, is to spend time with that barbell, drilling all of the points of performance, over and over and over again.

In today’s class, we provide you with an opportunity to do just that. We will be spending 20 minutes working the power clean progression. This doesn’t mean we will spend 20 minutes simply repeating the power clean. It means we will spend 20 minutes drilling each and every section of the power clean individually — honing in on that sections that we experience the most difficulty with. Then and only then, will we link all that we worked on together in the full lift.

The real gains we make in the Power Clean (or in any variation of the Olympic Lifts) are not made during a workout. They aren’t even made when working towards a one rep max. The real gains are made in the training sessions, where we drill the basics so deeply into our kinesthetic memory that it becomes difficult to do them wrong.

The real gains are always made first by laying the foundation. For only with a solid base do we have the stability, strength, and structure to expand our potential to ever great heights.


4 Minute Row
3 Minute Jump Rope
2 Minute Burpee
1 Minute Reverse Lunge
20 Minute Power Clean Progression
8 Minute EMOM
2 Deadlift + 2 Power Clean + 2 Front Squat
1 Minute Plank
1 Minute Left Side Plank
1 Minute Right Side Plank
1 Minute Forearm Plank
1 Minute Push Up Plank

Last Free Fitness Class at Asics Next Thursday


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, August 6, 2015

Break out your calendars folks because Thursday of next week marks SICFIT Scottsdale’s final free class at Asics in the Scottsdale Quarter. We have had a blast putting the FUN in FUNctional fitness over the last few months! And for our last class on 8/13 at 6:30pm, you know we’ll be going out with a bang!

If you or someone you know if looking to make a change to their lifestyle, attending this free class is the perfect way to experience first hand what the most elite gym in Scottsdale is all about!

Join us next Thursday to meet our coaches, get a taste of our fitness philosophy, and feel impact of our brand of functional fitness. In fact, you’ll probably feel it for a few days! But embrace the burn! It means its working!

Extend this invite to your friends and family! The more the merrier!

What: Free Fitness Class at Asics from SICFIT Scottsdale

Where: The Asics Store in the Scottsdale Quarter

When: Thursday 8/13, at 6:30pm



1k Row or 3 Big Laps
10 Curtis P’s w/ Barbell
5 Working Rounds
10 Laying Knees to Elbows
10 PVC Overhead Squats
50 Pull Ups for Time
5 Push Up Penalty Per Break 
11 Minute AMRAP
5 Burpees + 7 Push Press + 9 Push Ups
LIFE:1 Round Fast + 1 Minute Rest | Barbell


Training Stability in the Split Squat


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Single leg and single arm exercise boast a ton of benefits like gaining strength, building muscular endurance, and improving balance. Perhaps the most powerful benefit however, is that they strengthen our ability to stabilize our bodies in space during dynamic movements. The capacity to remain stable and engaged benefits all aspects of our fitness by laying the foundation for safe, powerful, effective workouts.

Today we will train several single leg/arm exercise, one of which being the Bulgarian Split Squat. This exercise is performed much like a lunge, except the back foot rests (sole facing up) on a box or a bench, with the back knee bent down towards the floor. The front foot is positioned so that at the bottom of the movement, the front knee is stacked over the front ankle.

To get the hang of the Bulgarian Split Squat, warm up with no weight. Lower the back knee down to the floor with control by bending into the front leg. Keep the front knee tracking in the same direction as the second toe, to prevent the knee from caving inwards or pressing excessively outwards. You may find that performing this exercise with no weight is plenty of challenge — and it is. But if you’re feeling balanced, controlled and strong, grab a couple of dumbbells or kettlebells and hold them farmer’s carry style while performing this exercise.

The positioning of the feet in Bulgarian Split Squat make it a great exercise for training the stabilizer muscles of the legs, glutes, hips and core. The benefits of this, along with today’s other single leg and arm exercises, will enhance every aspect of your training. Practice them earnestly and with mindful intent when they are programmed (and even to supplement on your own) and watch as you performance in other areas in the gym sky rockets!



Single Leg & Single Arm Movements
4 Rounds | Add Weight Each Round
8-10 Seated Dumbbell Single Arm Press | 30 Second Rest Between Sides
1 Minute Rest
8-10 Seated Kettle Bell Single Arm Row | 30 Second Rest Between Sides
1 Minute Rest
8 Single Leg Step Up | 30 Second Rest Between Sides
1 Minute Rest
8 Bulgarian Split Squat | 30 Second Rest Between Sides
2 Minute Rest Between Rounds
Tabata Mash Up
5 Rounds | 1 Minute of Work + 20 Seconds Rest
Push Ups
Sit Ups
Air Squats

Cooking With the Kayeems Back to School Nutrition Seminar


Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, August 4, 2015

With the beginning of the new school year just around the corner – along with those rushed mornings of lunch packing, homework checking, and carpooling — now is a great time to develop a nutrition strategy that will keep you and your family eating clean all year long!

Najla and Luke Kayeem have tuned healthy eating and weekly food prep into an art and are extremely passionate about sharing their tips, tricks, and ideas with the community. Join them at SICFIT Chandler on 8/13 at 7pm or at SICFIT Scottsdale on 8/14 at 6pm for their hands-on and tasty nutrition seminar, Cooking With the Kayeems!

In this class, Luke and Najla will discuss the basics of a practically paleo diet, share recipes for easy meals and snacks, offer suggestions on how to keep you and your family on track even during the busiest weeks, and much, much more! Best of all, the Kayeems will be whipping up some of their favorite dishes and snacks so you can try them for yourself! Be sure to come hungry!

We encourage you to bring the whole family, to get everyone on board with this year’s game plan for clean eating! The cost of this seminar along with the food provided is $25 for one person, $45 for two, and $75 for four. E-mail us at or to reserve your spot!




Partner Stretch
Band Mobility
Hang Power Clean
10-12 Push Press | 8-10 | 5-8 | 3-5 | 1-2
30 Box Ups Each Leg
30 Second Side Planks
2 Minute Walking Rest
1k Row + 10 Push Ups
750 Meter Row + 20 Push Ups
500 Meter Row + 30 Push Ups
LIFE: 3-5 Rounds | 250 Meter Row + 10 Push Ups


Instructor Training Program 9.0 – Continuing Education for Coaches and Gym Owners


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, August 3, 2015

Part of what it takes to be a great coach is being continually committed to refining your craft. Earning your coaching certificate is only the beginning. To be a truly impactful coach, the education process is forever.

At SICFIT Scottsdale we like to think of ourselves as a school of fitness. We are passionate about spreading the powerfully positive impacts of high quality, elite fitness training. And this weekend, we are extending this passion to our fellow coaches and gym owners as an opportunity to continue their education in our Instructor Training Program 9.0 (ITP).

In this two day intensive seminar, the pros who do it best at SICFIT will cover all aspects of grab coaching and gym ownership. Here are some of the topics that will be covered:

  • The unseen realities of coaching
  • Creating a memorable experience
  • Running a premium FUNctional FITness gym business
  • Movement coaching
  • Scaling
  • Injury prevention/management
  • Programming for various types of athletes
  • Understanding team dynamics
  • Media relations
  • Retail transactions
  • Networking
  • Marketing
  • Much more.

If you’re ready to take your coaching or gym ownership to the next level, join us this weekend for the SICFIT Instructor Training Program 9.0. To register call us at 480-922-3253!


Barbell Work
4 Rounds
10-12 Front Squat | 8-10 | 5-8 | 3-5| 1-2
20 Second Rest
5 Pull Ups
15 Sit Ups
20 Second Rest
20 Second Row
2 Minute Walking Rest
3 Rounds
Single Arm Waiters Walk 40’
4×10 Leggels | Up and Down | Side to Side | Half Circles | Flexion and Extension
12 Burpees
Small Lap Sprint
9 Burpees
Small Lap Sprint
6 Burpees
Small Lap Sprint

Fixing the Overextended Athlete


Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, August 1st, 2015

This blog is a follow-up on; “The Extension Intolerant Low Back” which looks at extension based low back pain.


 #1: Remove Extension

For individuals that are on their feet for most of the day it is important to wear shoes with more cushioning. Resting one foot on an elevated surface while standing creates a little bit of hip flexion.  Running, in particular, can aggravate the low back of individuals stuck in extension – causing repetitive strain to the low back.

Lower and upper body movements that involve end-range extension should be avoided.  Bench pressing with an arched back, weighted overhead pressing, and reaching forward for objects with an arched back all need to be initially avoided.

The superman exercise in particular should be avoided – which involves compressive end range extension to the lumbar spine.  This is analogous to removing sit-ups and crunches for the flexion-intolerant low back.

#2: Assess Posture and Movement

Lower Crossed Syndrome

Lower crossed syndrome is characterized by anterior pelvic tilt and an overextended lumbar spine.  Tight hip flexors pull the hips into an anterior pelvic tilt which weakens the glutes and forces the low back and hamstrings to take on the workload during squats and deadlifts

The single leg glute bridge is a good way to assess whether the glute max is functioning as the primary hip extensor – or if the low back and hamstrings are overactive.  Glute bridges and hip thrusts both strengthen the glutes and stretch the hip flexors.

Spondylosis & Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a forward slippage of the lumbar vertebrae and aggravated by lumbar extension.  These individuals need to incorporate flexion-based exercises to reset the positioning of the lumbar vertebrae and develop low back endurance during low-level tasks.

It is important to avoid hamstring stretches with both lower crossed syndrome and spondylolisthesis. The hamstrings feel tight because they are constantly eccentrically preventing the hips from going into an anterior pelvic tilt.  This protective tension is preventing forward slippage of the lumbar vertebrae.

The Thoraco-Lumbar Junction

The thoraco-lumbar junction is where the thoracic spine and lumbar spine meet.  Stiffness in the upper thoracic spine (T2-T9) and hips often leads to overextension in this area during overhead movements especially.  It is important to mobilize the upper thoracic spine and also improve thoracic rotation.

Chiropractor, Marc Heller, points out that, “The psoas and diaphragm meet at the thoracolumbar junction. The superior cluneal nerves traverse through the psoas. If the psoas or diaphragm is dysfunctional, it can create problems or reinforce dysfunction at these spinal levels.”

The lats stabilize the back at the thoraco-lumbar junction.  Tight lats can take the pelvis into an anterior pelvic tilt.  It is important to both release tight lats especially for athletes that are pressing weight overhead.

 #3: Exercises

Exercises for the extension-intolerant low back should train core stability at the low back during arm and leg movement.  Extension-intolerant individuals will substitute lumbar extension for hip extension and shoulder flexion.  The focus should be on maintaining a neutral low back curve, training a ribcage down position, while integrating breathing into movement.

Someone in an extended posture may be better off starting with a dying bug variation than a bird dog – where the back is flat against the ground so that they can feel what is like to be in neutral.  They then can progress to a more challenging anti-extension exercise like the ab rollout.


The Kolar Wall Bug is a great beginning exercise for training a neutral back during hip extension.  The Kolar Wall bug gives an athlete feedback – allowing them to feel their low back flatten into the ground as the leg lowers (extending the hip).

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

Related Resources

Tony Gentilcore: Extension Based Back Pain
T-Nation: Lower Back Savers
Breaking Muscle: Why Slouching isn’t the only Bad Posture

20 Minutes: Row + Run + Airdyne
10 – 8 – 6 – 4 – 2
Kettle Bell Swings
Goblet Squats
10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Push ups
20 Meter Bear Crawl Between Sets
5 – 10 – 15 – 20 – 25
Air Squats  + 30 Single or Double Under Between Sets
10 – 8 – 6 – 4 – 2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 10
Kettle Bell Alternating Single Arm Snatch
300 Meter Row 300 + 10 Burpees
200 Meter Row + 20 Burpees
100 Meter Row + 30 Burpees



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