Remembering 9/11, One Rep at a Time


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, September 1, 2015

More than a day of great tragedy, U.S. Citizens remember 9/11 as a day that brought us together and made us stronger.

Fourteen years later, we rekindle this flame by inviting our patriotic brothers and sisters to once again join together to become stronger. On 9/11, join your local SICFIT gym for a free memorial workout to honor the lives lost and the lives forever changed by this most significant day in US history.

Rep by rep we will work together to overcome the challenges that this workout presents as a metaphor to the challenges we can conquer when the hearts and minds of our great citizens are united as one.

Sign up online or by calling any of the four SICFIT locations hosting this event. If you’re registering for the Scottsdale location, scroll through the right-side events banner and click on the class time you would like to attend.

Looking forward to seeing lots of new faces to honor this day. Please share this link with your friends and family and invite them along as well.

SICFIT Scottsdale
 Scottsdale, AZ
 (480) 922-3253

 Scottsdale, AZ
 (480) 718-5041

SICFIT Chandler 
Chandler, AZ 
(480) 553-7603

 El Paso, TX 
(915) 307-1720


OLY Snatch Progression
12 Minute EMOM
Odd Minute: 3 Power Snatches
Even Minute: 5-7 Burpee Box Overs
LIFE: Walk Out Push Ups
7 Rounds: 7 Power Snatch + 21 Double Unders
LIFE: 7 Hang Power Snatch 45/35 + 30 Single Unders
FITNESS: 7 Power Snatch 75/55 + 21 Duble Unders
SPORT:  7 Power Snatch 95/65 + Double Unders

What is a Functional Movement Screen?


Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, August 29, 2015

This past weekend I attended the Functional Movement Systems Level 1 and Level 2 seminars, the following are my main take-aways.

The Functional Movement Screen

The Functional Movement Screen is a standard operating procedure for assessing functional movement, providing a baseline for movement competency.  The 10-15 minute screen scores seven patterns with the intention of identifying dysfunctional movement and asymmetries.  The objective screen provides a framework for corrective exercises, which then can be evaluated in their effectiveness of improving movement patterns.

Movement competency lays the foundation for strength capacity and skill development.  Gray Cook emphases the point that athletes should not add strength to dysfunction.  The FMS determines whether or not an athlete can ‘access’ a certain movement pattern.


The performance pyramid’s foundation is functional movement on which functional performance and functional skill rests.

Four Primary Objectives

A: Philosophy of the Functional Movement Screen

Screening movement allows for a qualitative metric for determining movement competency.  Fitness training measures quantitative metrics like strength, power, speed, and endurance whereas a qualitative metric looks at how well an athlete can perform developmental movement patterns like squatting, lunging, stepping, reaching, leg raising, and rolling/crawling (ipsilateral/contralateral movement).

B: The Functional Movement Screen

All of the seven movement patterns require a balance between mobility and stability.  Motor control is having all the right components of a movement at the right time.  It answers the question of how well you can create movement into your extremities while stabilizing the core.

“Mobility is addressed first because adequate stability cannot be present with reduced mobility.  After mobility is improved static and dynamic stability are trained – If you just stretch you will have naïve range of motion.”

Mobility: Active Straight Leg Raise, Shoulder Mobility

Motor Control: Rotary Stability, Trunk Stability Push-Up

Functional Patterning: Inline Lunge, Hurdle Step, Deep Squat

#1: Active Straight Leg Raise

It was highly stressed that the ASLR is not a hamstring test – there are a lot of factors that determine an athlete’s ability to disassociate hip flexion of one leg from hip extension of the other leg.  The ASLR determines an athlete’s readiness to hip hinge (deadlift), run, lunge, and reflectively stabilize the core during leg movement.

The Straight Leg Raise is the Highest Priority of the Functional Movement Screen and is targeted first if dysfunctional or asymmetrical.

#2: Shoulder Mobility

A key point for shoulder mobility was to address thoracic rotation when a shoulder asymmetry is noted.  Aim to improve thoracic rotation, then thoracic extension.  Shoulder mobility is dependent on good thoracic and cervical spine motion and reflective stabilization from the diaphragm.   Two things the shoulder loves are compression and distraction – the kettlebell can be used for each (turkish getup, suitcase carry).

#3: Rotary Stability

The essence of the rotary stability test is being able to maintain a neutral spine during arm and leg movement.  The rotary stability test screens both ipsilateral and contralateral arm and leg movement that comprise rolling (throwing) and crawling patterns (walking/running).

#4: Trunk Stability Push-Up

The foundation for the pushup is the plank.  The pushup is not a shoulder exercise it is a core stability exercise.  The plank is extremely effective at improving bad posture (upper crossed syndrome).  A common compensation during the pushup is rotation (twisting on the way up), which indicates poor rotary stability (anti-rotation).  In this case the prime movers are incorrectly engaging before the stabilizers.

#5: Inline Lunge

The inline lunge is a representation of good deceleration, whereas the hurdle step represents the capacity for acceleration.  Ankle mobility comes into play with the inline lunge, hurdle step, and deep squat.

#6: Hurdle Step

The hurdle step is a good example of the layering of the movement patterns – requiring a good active straight leg raise, rotary stability, and trunk stability.  Hip and ankle mobility are also required while balancing on one leg during the stepping pattern.

#7: Deep Squat

If an athlete does not have good ankle mobility, trunk stability, and hip/shoulder mobility they will not be able to be able to squat well.  Improving the straight leg raise or rotary stability strengthens the squat pattern.  Gray Cook has said, “Maintain the squat – train the deadlift” – which goes back to the straight leg raise as the foundation for both bilateral and unilateral movement.

“We used to first go after the deep squat – we now go after the six patterns underneath it.”

C: Scoring/ Interpreting Results

The scoring for the screen is a 3, 2, 1, or 0 on each exercise.  Three is perfect form, two is completion of the screen with dysfunction, one is a failure to complete the screen, and zero indicates pain – whether or not an athlete completes the exercise.

3: Perfect
2: Cool
1: Not Cool
0: Pain

The screen is completely objective – scoring is done during the screen – without interpreting the results till afterwards.  Scores of zero (pain) should be evaluated by a medical professional.  What matters is not the total score – but identifying dysfunctional movements (1’s) and asymmetries.

“Asymmetries always take priority since they create the highest risk for injury.”

D: Correctives

Conditioning is adaptations in structural integrity or performance overtime.  Correctives are immediate positive responses in movement to corrective exercises.  A single leg deadlift can be used as a conditioning tool or corrective exercise.  The difference is how and why the exercise is used.  A corrective exercise addresses a dysfunction of a specific individual.

The essentials of corrective exercise were covered in depth – breathing, the chop and lift, deadlifting, and rolling.  Deadlifting is not about chalk, blood, and sweat – it’s about learning to hinge through your hips for daily activities.

Coaches should integrate correctives into workouts – an athlete with a shoulder mobility restriction can do a rib roll to improve thoracic rotation between sets of goblet squats.

FMS Training Cycle

The FMS training cycle is based on identifying the corrective pattern, mobility competency, static motor control, dynamic motor control, then and performance.

The art of correctives is taking an athlete to the edge of their ability.  Giving an athlete with dynamic proficiency static drills is like taking someone who is in advanced algebra and putting them into basic math. On the other hand, it is important to recognize when an athlete is using a high threshold strategy for a low level task.

One of the most useful concepts of the FMS corrective philosophy is, “Sometimes what we remove is more important than what we add.”

Dysfunctional movement or asymmetry during a movement pattern like the active straight leg raise provides a template for what related exercises should be avoided until correctives are applied to the movement pattern that supports that exercise.

Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light

If an active straight leg raise is dysfunctional or asymmetrical there are exercises that can be categorized under red light, yellow light, or green light (avoid, use with caution, train).

Hip hinging should be avoided (deadlift, kettlebell swing).  Step-ups, squats, and split-squats should be carefully observed during training. Upper body training, core work, and half-kneeling exercises are all green light and potentially useful for correcting the dysfunctional pattern.

I highly recommend that coaches and athletes go through a Functional Movement Screen and integrate some of the key concepts into their current training philosophy.

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

Related Resources

Functional Movement Systems
Pre-Hab and the 80/20 Functional Movement Screen 


800 Meter Run or Row
Burgener Warmup
Movement Prep
15 Minutes to Build to Heavy Clean and Jerk
LIFE: Hang Power Cleans and Push Press
50 Box Jumps, 24″
50 Jumping Pull-ups
50 Kettlebell Swings, 1 Pood
50 Walking Lunges
50 Knees to Elbows
50 Push Press, 45#
50 Back Extensions
50 Wall Ball Shots, 20#
50 Burpees
50 Double Unders

Make Test Day a PR Day


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, August 28, 2015

At SICFIT Scottsdale we do not treat every day like test day. We believe that this is the smartest and the most effective way to progress towards our fitness training goals.

If we lifted to our max, sprinted our hardest, or went for max reps every day (or even several times a week) our strength and fitness goals would suffer. We would be pushing our bodies to hard and too often to give them adequate time to recover and rebuild themselves.

Instead, the SICFIT methodology is to train at a sustainable intensity, always with the intention of increasing this capacity. When we approach our workouts from this perspective, we get stronger incrementally and safely.

Then, when test day finally arrives — like it did today — we get to show ourselves just how far we have come.

At SICFIT Scottsdale, training days set us up for success so that on test day, all of our hard work pays off!


5 Minute Roll Out and Dynamic Stretch

15 Minutes to find 3 rep max Back Squat
15 Minutes to find 3 rep max Press
15 Minutes to find 3 rep max Deadlift
5 Minute Plank


It’s Time to HPSU! Handstand Push Up That Is!


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, August 27, 2015

Handstand push ups make great party tricks… if we’ve got ‘em down pat!

Though we don’t necessarily recommend busting out your handstand pushup while schmoozing at a party… But if you really wanted to, SICFIT Scottsdale wants to make sure you can!

(I’m sure we don’t need to mention this, but if there is alcohol involved at said party, please stick to the schmoozing and leave showing off your HPSU for the gym!)

Tonight at 7pm, SICFIT Scottsdale is offering our Handstand Push Up Clinic at SICFIT Scottsdale and SICFIT Chandler. Whether your still building the strength and confidence to get upside down on the wall, or you’re looking to make your current handstand pushups faster, stronger, and more efficient — this clinic will be exactly what you need!

We will cover all the important mechanics of the HSPU, plus be providing individual guidance on what you need to work on personally. One this is true for all of us however — that after  this workshop, you’ll be a few steps closer at adding the handstand pushup to your list of party tricks!

HSPU Clinic



Dynamic Warm Up
Band Mobility
PVC Rotations
5-7 Minutes Building Heavy 5 Rep Push Press
5 Rounds
5 Heavy Push Press
7 Touch-n-Go Shuffle Runs
9 Toes-to-bar
2 Minute Rest
LIFE: 9 Laying Leg lifts, Sit Ups, or 25 Crunches
FITNESS: 9 Hanging Leg Lifts
30 Sit Ups + 30 Second Plank
20 Sit Ups + 20 Second Plank
10 Sit Ups + 1 Minute Plank

Free Intro Session at SICFIT Scottsdale


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Each and every fitness journey follows its own unique trajectory…

Some of us may have been avid movement enthusiasts since we were children, and are currently pushing ourselves to new limits by training for a triathlon, functional fitness competition, or SPORT.

Others of us enjoy a good sweat and can’t get enough of that post-workout high. We love the way working out at SICFIT Scottsdale makes us feel inside and out — and don’t plan to quit this FITNESS game any time soon.

And others still know we need to make a change to improve our health, and are finally committing to doing just that. For us, SICFIT Scottsdale is one hugh step forward to changing our LIFE.

Whether your goals are for SPORT, for FITNESS, for LIFE — or maybe even all three — SICFIT Scottsdale has the dynamic and personal approach to FUNctional fitness you need to call our gym home. Schedule a free intro session with us today by calling 480-922-3253. Follow us on our Facebook page to keep an eye out for new special offers and events!


Dynamic Movement
1 Mile Run or 1800m Row
50 Push Ups + 50 Air Squats + 10 Burpees
Walk Small Lap
800 Meter Run or 1k Row
25 Push Ups + 25 Air Squats + 10 Burpees
Walk Small Lap
400m Run or 500m Row
15 Push Ups + 15 Air Squats + 10 Burpees
Walk Big Lap

25 Minute AMRAP
Run or Row 300m
10 Push Up
10 Air Squat
5 Burpee
Walk Small Lap

Make Your Vision a Reality!


Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What do you get when you combine a little sweat, some creativity, good company, and a whole lot of positive energy?  You get a Vision Board party, that’s what!

Join SICFIT Scottsdale and Inspiration tomorrow night (8/26) at 6pm as we take some time to visualize our goals and manifest them first on our vision boards, and then in our lives!

The evening will begin with a bodyweight workout to get the energy up and the creative juices flowing. Using the energy from our workout we will then shift our attention to creating our vision boards — the physical representation of all that we are working towards in every dimension of our lives from the physical, to the financial, to the spiritual.

This event is going to be fun, focused, and powerful! Join us tomorrow night  and over the next few months watch how the visions you create unfold in your life!

To make sure your spot is reserved, sign up here!



Barbell Work
4 Rounds
Front Squat | 10-12, 8-10, 5-8, 3-5, 1-2
20 Second Rest
Max Effort Pull Ups
5 Burpees
20 Second Rest
20 Second Row | 80%, 90%, 100%
2-3 Minute Walking Rest
3 Rounds
8 Single Arm Kettle Bell Swing Each Arm
6 Box Step Up Each Side
30 Mountain Climbers
30 – 20 – 10
Sit Ups + Double Unders (or Single Unders x3)


One Minute at a Time


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, August 24, 2015

Every minute on the minute, you have a task to complete. Every minute on the minute, your mind needs to focus on one thing and one thing only. Every minute on the minute, we’re asking that you give everything you’ve got. Every minute on the minute, its time to turn down the voice in you head that says you can’t and turn up the one that knows you can. Every minute on the minute, its time to show yourself just how strong you are.

At SICFIT Scottsdale we embrace new challenges as often as we can. Today we dish out a challenge every minute on the minute. Each one a new opportunity for you to meet that challenge head on and blow it out of the water.

By the end of our training today, you’ll be ready for all of the many challenges we face, minute by minute, not just in the gym but outside of it as well. When we meet our challenges one minute at a time, it’s inevitable that we also get stronger, one minute at a time.


Coaches Choice
10 Minute EMOM
1 Round Oly Complex
3 Deadlift + 2 Hang Power Cleans + Push Press
8 Minute EMOM
5 Push Press
5 Minute EMOM
Back Squat
5 Minute EMOM
5-10 Burpee Pull Ups


Training the Posterior Oblique Subsystem


Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Posterior Oblique Subsystem (POS)

The posterior oblique subsystem is comprised of the gluteus maximus and the lat muscle on the opposite side – connected by the thoracolumbar fascia.  This is sometimes referred to as the posterior oblique sling and part of the fascial continuity that Tom Myers refers to as the Back Functional Line.




  • Distributes transverse plane forces during rotational movements,
  • Co-contraction of the glute and contralateral lat stabilizes the sacroiliac joint,
  • Transfers forces from transverse plane into the sagittal plane during gait,
  • Important for rotational movements like swinging a golf club or during throwing,
  • Provides stability to the pelvis, spine, and extremities during squats and deadlifts

Training Considerations

The POS prevents unwanted rotation during walking and running allowing for a stable SI joint.  During rotational movements like throwing, swinging, and twisting the POS transfers forces between the upper and lower extremities.  Whole body pulling movements require integrated motion between the arms and legs.

Movement dysfunctions are often the result of poor motor control.  Altered timing of muscle firing is different than just having a weak muscle.  Muscles need to contract at specific times with other muscles during different movement patterns.

This article will focus on using the reverse lunge with arm reach for training the posterior oblique sling.  A training progression can include supine, prone, half-kneeling to split-stance exercises.

Examples of each include the high post position of the Turkish getup (supine), bird-dog (prone), half-kneeling press with load in opposite hand (half kneeling), and a lunge with a twist or pull.


The next article will examine the role of the thoracolumbar fascia in optimizing movement through the posterior oblique subsystem.

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

Related Resources

Dynamic Chiropractic: Dynamic Activation of the Posterior Oblique Chain

Functional Patterns: Conditioning the Posterior Oblique Sling


 Coaches Choice
Teams of 3-4 | 1 Person Works at a Time
1000 Meter Row
100 Kettle Bell Swings
100 Sit Ups
750 Meter Row
75 Kettle Bell Swings
75 Sit Ups
500 Meter Row
50 Kettle Bell Swings
50 Sit Ups
250 Meter Row
25 Kettle Bell Swings
25 Sit Ups
LIFE: 1 Minute of Rowing+ 10 Kettle Bell Swings + 10 Sit Ups at a Time

How to Prepare for Your First (or Fortieth!) Competition Day


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, August 21, 2015

Whether you are new to the world of competing or have done so many races that you don’t even buy the t-shirt anymore, the preparation for competition day is equally vital to your competition success. What do you eat? Drink? Bring? Wear? These are all necessary questions with answers that can be the difference between a first place and a third place.

Let’s start at the beginning, the night before a competition. As the old saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Be sure to pack everything you may need the day of competition, and check it twice. There is nothing worse than reaching for your wrist wraps or running shoes at the start line and coming up short-handed.

Make yourself a checklist in the weeks leading up to the event of what gear you use in training. This list should be as encompassing as “shirt, shorts, sports bra…” because competition-day jitters can sometimes make you forget even the most basic of necessities.

Be sure to have a high-carb dinner the night before, but do not eat anything you haven’t eaten recently. If you usually eat sweet potatoes with your protein source, just double your typical amount of sweet potatoes and add in an extra serving of fruits or veggies. The worst thing to add to a stomachache from competition jitters is a stomachache from a big bowl of pasta that your body hasn’t seen in years!

The same principles go for food during competition day; keep it simple and familiar. If you are doing an endurance event and cannot stop to eat, practice eating protein bars or gel packs on the go during your training. It’s better to find out that a gel pack will send you straight to the bathroom on a training run rather than finding it out during the competition!

If your sport has downtime between events, pack meals and snacks that you’ve had in the last week. Keep protein bars, fruits, and veggies handy for quick breaks and simple meals that don’t have to be reheated available for longer breaks. Be sure not to have anything that may give you an upset stomach or a sugar crash later on, like cookies or candy.

The most important thing to bring to any competition is your water bottle! Depending on the venue, water may be unavailable or just downright expensive to purchase. Avoid become dehydrated by bringing your own gallon of water or a few extra water bottles filled to the brim. Drink before, possibly during (depending on your sport), and after your competition. The more you sweat, the more you need to refill that water depletion in your body.

What you wear will be highly dependent on your sport. Whatever that sport is, though, be sure to dress appropriately for the venue. Wear longer shorts or capris if you’ll be running long distances and your legs may chafe. If your sport is outside, lather up the sunscreen. For heavy sweaters, stick to a dri-fit material to wick away moisture and keep from feeling weighed-down by a drenched cotton t-shirt. Again, stick to the familiar. If you have worn it in training, it is probably safe to wear on competition day.

The most important competition day tip of all is to stay positive and leave knowing you gave everything you’ve got!

SICEST of the Southwest III Competition

500 Meter Row
Movement Prep for Wall Balls and Pull Ups
Ring Tucks + Hollow Rocks + L-Sits
Kipping Pull Up Progression
500 Meter Row + 10 Wall Balls + 10 Pull Ups
500 Meter Row + 20 Wall Balls + 10 Pull Ups
500 Meter Row + 30 Wall Balls + 10 Pull Ups
LIFE: 10 Ball Slams + 10 Ring Rows
FITNESS: 20/14 Wall Ball
SPORT: 30 Wall Ball + C2B or Strict

Eat What Gorillas Eat: Plant-Based Protein!


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, August 20, 2015

Perhaps you have heard this one before… or maybe you have even uttered it yourself, “Oh, I could never go plant-based, I need protein.” Every argument against a plant-based diet stems from the myth that plants cannot give our bodies the protein we need to thrive.

That myth is just that- a MYTH!

Vegetables, beans, and legumes contain all of the protein necessary to fuel workouts and keep us going all day long. Adding fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and beans is easy and goes a long way to adding protein and nutrients to any dish. A cup of broccoli contains about 5 grams of protein, a cup of baked beans is about 12 grams of protein, and even a cup of oatmeal will add 6 grams of protein! Sprinkle some sunflower seeds on your salads, throw some sautéed peppers in a stir-fry, or grill some eggplant and pineapple slices on shish kabobs.

One of the best ways to incorporate more plants into your diet is to keep washed, cut veggies and fruits in the refrigerator. If it’s easy to access, it’s easy to incorporate!

Mix up your normal post-workout shake with a plant-based version such as pea, soy, hemp, or rice protein. If protein bars are easier to get down post-workout, some great plant-based bars are Vega, Clif Bar, Purefit, Kind bars, Lara bars, No Cow Bar, 22 Days, Caveman, and Squarebars.

Get the whole family on board with a plant-based diet by going “Meatless on Mondays” and challenging yourself to turn a family favorite meal into a plant-based version. If tacos are a classic in your household, swap the beef and cheese out for some pinto or black beans and guacamole. If you just “can’t live without cheese,” then try a vegan version! A vegan version has all of the cheesy flavor but none of the animal product in traditional cheese. Some great brands of vegan cheese are Daiya, Follow Your Heart, Tofutti, and Go Veggie. These can be found at local grocery stores like Whole Foods and Safeway.

One of the easiest ways to stay on a plant-based diet, or any diet for that matter, is to keep it fun. Have the kids each pick a “vegetable of the week” at the grocery store. It can be something common, like carrots, or something totally strange, like artichoke. Look up ways to cook it (carrots steamed in Rosemary are heavenly) or put it in a recipe (artichoke dip is a personal favorite!) and try out the final product together. You’d be surprised at how delicious a plant can turn out to be!

Even desserts can become plant-based by adding some naturally sweetened fruits. An apple with peanut butter, fruit salad, caramelized pineapple, berry cobbler, fruit juice popsicles, and cherry tarts are all delicious dessert options. Eating a plant-based diet is easy, healthy, and packed with protein. Still not convinced that plants can give you enough protein to be strong?

Next time you encounter a gorilla, ask him if HE gets enough protein from the plants he eats!



300 Meter + 300 Meter Row
5 Rounds:
10 Push Ups
10 Sit Ups
10 Air Squats
10 Ring Rows
10 Lunges
Walk 1 Lap
Build to Heavy Double Power Clean
10 Minute EMOM
3 Hang POwer Clean + 1 Push Press or Jerk
3-5 Minute Walking Rest
“Stairway To Heaven”
5 Minute AMRAP
Box Ups
LIFE: 18-20”
FITNESS 20-24”
SPORT: Box overs 24”

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