Category Archives: Life Health

The Great 8 Movement Patterns

Gobble Gobble to all my November readers and a most crispy Fall to you all.


Have you ever carried all the groceries from your car to the house in one mighty attempt? Have you ever knelt down to tie your shoes? Have you ever lifted your pet in the air as Rafiki did to young Simba? If you said yay to any of these actions, then you’ve completed what the scientific meat-heads call functional movement patterns. Functional movements are real life biomechanical situations that we put our bodies through. Functional movement involves multiple joint movements across various planes of motion. During these complex planes of motion, we the people are utilising many muscles at once to complete these tasks. Many of these functional movements are daily tasks of living that we don’t even consider taxing, strenuous or exercising. Building in these movement patterns or portions of the movement into your exercise routine will help improve your quality of life and resilience.


Before we get to the movements, here are 4 big reasons to add the great 8 movement patterns into your exercise routine. First, we can improve movement efficiency by completing a wide range of motions that we perform every day. The more we train these movements and progress them, we can continue to perform these movements more easily. The second reason leads to increased coordination and balance. By performing these movements in the gym, you will improve overall; strength, balance, coordination and control over time. Thirdly, who wouldn’t want to be more flexible with better overall mobility? Putting our muscles through their full range of motion will help increase flexibility and mobility. This is something we could all use after those long days in the office or binging the holiday Lord of The Rings franchise marathon. Last but not least the addition of these movement patterns can help with the reduction and prevention of injuries. Training your body through movements that you complete every day can help us adapt to the applied stress and become stronger and more resilient. This will also give us more energy to do the same task with less energy or to do more overall work with the energy you have.


Now, brace for impact as I give you the Great 8 Movement Patterns and some exercises that can go along with them.


1) Squat: Front Squat, Fat Bar Zercher Squat, Belted PitShark Squat, Goblet Squat, Barbell Overhead Squat.


2) Hinge: Trap Bar Deadlift, Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift, Single Leg Glute Bridge, Stability Ball Hamstring Curl, Banded Good Morning.


3) Lunge: Dumbbell Lateral Lunge, Kettlebell Step-Ups, Safety Bar Reverse Lunges, Plate Walking Lunge, Body Weight Curtsy Lunge


4) Push: Push-Ups, Dumbbell Bench Press, Barbell Overhead Press, Kettlebell Z-Press, Medicine Ball Press.


5) Pull: Lat Pulldowns, Band Assisted Chin-Ups, T-Bar Rows, Chest Supported Dumbbell Rows, Banded Face Pulls.


6) Rotation: Medicine Ball Chops, Palloff Rotations, Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up, Cable Low to High Rotations, Plank Reach and Pull Through.


7) Carry & Brace: Farmer’s Handle Weighted Carry, Plate Overhead Marches, Kettlebell Off-set Carry, Weighted Plank, Hollow Hold, Banded Dead Bug.


8) Locomotion (Run, Jump, Throw): Stair Sprints, Box Jumps, Medicine Ball Toss, Prowler Push, Skips, Medicine Ball Slam.


Do your body a favor and add these movement patterns into your exercise routine, your future self will thank you. If you’d like to learn more about these movements or how to add them into your routine, I am always here to help.


Don’t forget to sign up for our Thanksgiving day Turkey burn #Powerful & Ryde Dynamic Bootcamp class.


As Always, get bumpy my friends.


What Is Your Favorite Meal?

We all have a favorite food dish out there. Whether it is a “cheat day” meal, a “healthy” meal, a “fun” meal, etc. I am curious to know what is your favorite meal? What food gets you hyped up to eat? I asked some of our trainers here at UF to answer this question so that you all can see what they enjoy eating and maybe this will even give you some new ideas for your own meals:


Dylan Kopp – Thai red curry with chicken and rice


Ethan Raese – He has 3 favorite meals he would like to share with all of you – pizza, sushi, and Oakland’s street tacos


Zain Skalos – Greasy cheeseburger with extra salty fries


Dylan Heisey – Chicken parmesan hoagie


Dahveed Jorge – Chopped cheese or a philly cheesesteak sandwich


Miranda Gard – Chicken parmesan (did she copy Dylan’s answer??)


CJ Jasper –  Homemade pierogi with sauerkraut and kielbasa. Also currently on a big Thai kick, so fresh spring roll and Keemao spice level burn.


Toria Crispin – Steak hoagie with everything added on it (throw on some peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, etc.)


And there you have it! There’s a quick fun fact about some of our trainers and possibly some food ideas to add to your weekly eating list if you’re up for it. 🙂



Halloween Hodgepodge

Hello my spooky scary skeletons!


Time for some classic Halloween Hodgepodge of bone chilling songs, spine tingling training tips, hair standing tales and a horrific announcement.


The pumpkin patch 8-track of seasonal serenades.

– Murder in the Graveyard by Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages

– The Boogie Monster by Gnarls Barkley

– Were Wolf by Carl Bonafede

– Vampire Money by My Chemical Romance

– Pretty in a Casket by Blitzkid

– Wake the Dead by Comeback Kid

– We Drink Your Blood by Powerwolf

– I Still Believe by Timmy Cappello


Hellacious training tips.

1) Never skip leg days or your pumpkin patch will never be full

2) Keeping your used gym socks near you in the dark will ward off all encroaching vamps, warlocks and most other creatures.

3) Candy is fuel and you need fuel to eat candy

4) Keep your gym bags off the floor to avoid tripping and having the slowest monster eat you.

5) If Jack Skellington would have resistance trained, his bone density would have been greater and he wouldn’t have crumbled when he was blown to smithereens. Lift weights for greater bone density.

6) Jesse Eisenberg reminds us in Zombieland that cardio is important. If you want to out run and outlast the zombies, ghouls and goblins you must have quality cardio in your life. A little a day keeps the monsters at bay.


Howl at the Moon or one of the UF staff members because if you attend #Powerful Monday Oct 30, Tuesday Oct 31 and/or Wednesday Nov 1, we’ll be crushing a Halloween Circa Max Out. Get in the spirit and wear a costume and let’s have some fun. P.S bring a friend who is a non-#powerful member and get bonus spooky surprises.


All the best from your Badass Duke of Darkness.



Take Care of YOU

This weekend a good friend of mine told me he was diagnosed with cancer. Far too often in life we see these things happen and don’t know what we can do to help. Physical and mental health are linked together, and we cannot ignore either or we are just creating more problems. I reached out to see how I can help and support this gentleman. He told me he is fine financially, and just needs some good prayers, vibes, and feelings. What he needs is a support system. I told him I am there for him no matter what. Today I am going to ask you to think about how you can support those around you. How can you support those with physical needs or mental needs, and yourself?


Be present.


The adage stands true, “Days are long and years are short.” We all get busy and forget to respond to a friend or family member. I am asking you to try to be more present as we know each moment we have is a short fleeting moment. There will always be more time, time never stops, yet this moment will never come again. Find ways to care about another person in your care.


How can we be more present? Do the best you can to remove your phone, iPad, laptop etc. Listen to the person be sure you hear and see them. This will do wonders for your mental health as well as those around you. Find a way to be present with those you care about. One easy way to do this is to share a meal with someone, anyone that you care about. There are few more intimate moments than when we are breaking bread together.




This is an easy, yet important one. Today I saw that one of our employees is doing an MS bike ride. These have become very popular rides over the past twenty years. I have been lucky enough to volunteer, donate, and help out in other ways for MS bike rides over the years. I have added a hyperperlink for our employees  donation page if you feel like helping out with this cause.


Donations can take many forms, donate to a clothes drive, a food drive, or donate your time to serve someone, anyone.


Take care of your body.


As I began this blog I mentioned that physical and mental health are connected. Here is a short list of ways to take care of both.

  1. Get sleep. We know that sleep matters for health. Attempt to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  2. Eat your fruits and veggies. This is a direct line from a healthy diet to a healthy life.
  3. Exercise. If you are reading this you are probably already do this.
  4. Spend time in nature. Maybe it’s the buddhist in me, but I equate my happiness with the time I spend hiking and biking in the woods.
  5. Appreciate those around you. Show a moment to give some positive vibes to each and everyone you interact with today. Give some gratitude.
  6. Cut yourself a break. We must all understand that we are not perfect. You will trip and fall, just get back up and try again.


Now go out and improve yourself and (y)our world.




Embracing Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15th to October 15th, holds a special place in the hearts of immigrants, particularly those of Latino and Hispanic descent. For Hispanic/Latino immigrants, this month serves as a poignant reminder of their unique journey, their resilience, and the significance of their cultural heritage in shaping their lives. In this blog, we will explore the profound importance of Hispanic Heritage Month to immigrants and how it becomes a platform for them to celebrate their roots.


A Connection to Roots


For immigrants, Hispanic Heritage Month provides a vital link to their roots. Many Latino and Hispanic immigrants come to the United States in pursuit of a better life, but they carry their cultural traditions and values with them. This celebration allows my family and my people to maintain our roots, traditions, stories, and a sense of identity that might otherwise be lost in the process of assimilation. For example, one of the traditions I still do to this day is the preparation of Hallacas(Venezuelan holiday dish) during Christmas. Preparing this dish requires help so all the family comes over, we listen to Gaitas, drink sangria, and we cook, it’s a great bonding experience for our family. We take a lot of pride in teaching our roots and ensuring that our heritage is passed on to the next generation.


A Source of Strength


Immigrating to a new country can be a challenging and often daunting experience. Hispanic Heritage Month offers a source of strength for immigrants, reminding them of the resilience and determination of our community. When I first moved to this country doing anything was very difficult, making friends, asking for help, paying attention in class. I learned about Hispanic Heritage month in ESL class and I was so amazed when I learned about Cesar Chavez or Ellen Ochoa, it made me believe that I had a chance to be like them and that I could achieve anything. Hispanic Heritage month serves as a source of inspiration for us to overcome the inevitable hurdles that our people go through.


A Celebration of Diversity


The Hispanic community here in the United States is incredibly diverse, representing countries from Mexico to Spain, and from Cuba to Chile, among others. Hispanic immigrants from these nations often find themselves living in the same community, this allows for them to not only to share their own unique stories and experiences but learn about the experiences of other members of their community. When I got here one of my first friends was from Mexico and I have never learned more from Mexico before. I was fascinated with their rich history and how different yet similar our cultures were. Not only was I learning about other hispanic countries, I was also teaching kids in the US about Venezuela. The amount of times that I got “where in Mexico is Venezuela in” or “do you guys eat a lot of tacos?” I had to educate people about where I’m from and how it’s different, had to explain that not everyone that is hispanic/latino is illegal, that not everyone eats tacos or burritos. By breaking down barriers, we can dispel stereotypes, promote understanding, and showcase the value Hispanic people bring to American society. This sharing of culture often leads to a stronger connection.


A Celebration of Achievements


Many immigrants from Latino and Hispanic backgrounds who have made significant contributions to American society. From notable artists like Lin-Manuel Miranda who’s won multiple awards and the writer for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton to influential public figures like Roberto Clemente who I’m sure many of you know! Hispanic and Latino immigrants take pride in these accomplishments, as they often reflect the determination and potential of their own journeys.


Hispanic Heritage month gives the opportunity to my people to show everyone what we got, what we’ve accomplished and what we can do in the future. I am proud to be Venezuelan, Happy Hispanic Heritage month!!


Dahveed Jorge

The Supple Leopard

In college, I had a friend and roommate named Will. Will was an exceptional guy. We often hit the weight room together, pushing each other to new limits like good lifting partners do. We both shared a profound interest in the recovery aspect of training. We’d engage in passionate discussions, often pulling insights from various online journals. Our most frequent topic was a book titled “Becoming a Supple Leopard,” authored by Kelly Starrett DPT. The book espouses the idea that, akin to a leopard, maintaining optimal physical readiness at all times is key. Being both strong and agile is the goal. “Becoming a Supple Leopard” introduces many unconventional tools tailored for recovery. As Louis Simmons once stated, “Normal people will only give you normal results.” Sometimes, breaking free from traditional approaches becomes essential to effect the necessary changes, particularly when you’re at the pinnacle of your training and have exhausted conventional methods. If you feel like you’re hitting a plateau after years of training, this book might offer relevant insights to propel you forward. These discussions with Will inspired me to pursue future tracts into recovery and strength training methods once I graduated from college.


Will unfortunately and unexpectedly passed away right when I moved to Pittsburgh 2 years ago. After the funeral, his mother reached out to me and mailed me the copy of his book with a note that said, “He always was talking about this book and how much it meant to your friendship. I think you should have it.” To this day, I utilize this book as a resource for a lot of my training plans and coaching points.


I highly advise you to get your hands on a copy and learn something that might change your life.


Put down your phone and read books.


All the best,

Dylan K.

Tips for Motivation and Discipline

We all know how hard it can be to accomplish goals that we set. Obstacles and stressors can arise on a daily manner that hinder us from taking steps towards completing that goal. Sometimes these stressors and obstacles deplete our energy so much that we lose all motivation, and we feel like we cannot complete the goal we set. This is where discipline comes into play. This means doing what you know you are supposed to be doing even though you have no will to do it. This can be a very difficult thing to do, and I am going to provide some tips on how to be more disciplined when that feeling of zero motivation comes into play:


  1. Write down your goals- I think this is a very important thing to do when attempting a task. Writing down your goals will help bring that goal to life. It gives you a sense of self accountability and responsibility towards that task. It also gives it more value.
  2. Create a constant reminder of your goal- What I mean by this is forcing yourself to see that goal multiple times a day so that it is a constant reminder to yourself of what you should be doing to accomplish that goal. This can be done by listing your goals on your phone wall paper, making your goals a password that you use daily, or writing down your goals on a sticky note and placing that sticky note on your fridge or mirror. These are just some ways but there are several other ways to do this.
  3. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals- This means get yourself friends that have similar goals as you or supportive friends that will not allow you to have triggers that prevent you from accomplishing that goal. This could also mean finding mentors or people that you look up to and spending much time with them.
  4. Do things that your future self would thank you for- What I mean here is doing things in the present to help yourself in the future. Using myself as an example, I hate to think about tasks first thing in the morning when I wake up. I do not want to be half asleep at 4:30 am attempting to figure out what clothes to wear for work, preparing my food for the day, or even making my coffee. Instead, I will prepare my clothes, my food, and my coffee the day before so that I have an easier morning and I can focus on the larger tasks of the day such as teaching a class, training someone, or doing my own training. This is just a small example, but you can do this for many other aspects of life.
  5. Reflecting on your past accomplishments or what you are proud of- I think this is an important thing to do because it reminds you of what you have done in the past and how you overcame other obstacles in life. This reminder can give you the confidence to be able to take a deep breath and keep pushing towards your goal even if you are fearful of the outcome.

In my opinion, motivation comes and goes. It is a human emotion or feeling that we do not always have control over and it is not something we should rely on. Especially when our motivation can be hindered by external factors that are out of our control. Instead, we should rely on discipline in accomplishing goals and if you are ever struggling then you can try some of these tips above to see if they help!


-Zain Train

The Road to Injury Recovery Part 2

After a few weeks of doctor appointments, x-rays, and an MRI scan, I finally have my shoulder injury diagnosis… It ended up being a grade two shoulder separation with a bruised collar bone, which I was excited about because that means no surgery and I will have a shorter recovery timeline!


As I mentioned in my previous blog, things such as injuries are all a part of the learning process in the sport of life. I’m currently learning how to get back to my normal everyday life while dealing with a nagging shoulder injury (along with the concussion as well).


I started physical therapy with my orthopedic doctor’s clinic this past week, and I am already learning a lot about how to build back my strength and how to ease back into powerlifting and biking. My doctor explained the shoulder muscles and possible recovery exercises thoroughly. He said that after about 4 weeks of physical therapy and working hard, I should be good to start lifting again, which is great news because I have missed it these past 6 weeks.


My initial assessment with him showed that my range of motion in my injured arm is very little and that I have a winged scapula that was most likely caused by my wreck and lack of muscle stabilization. After about an hour-long session, we established my initial exercise program to be as follows:


  • External rotation with band and a towel under the armpit to ensure I am squeezing my arm throughout the movement – 5 sets of 10 reps
  • Band resisted bent over rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Band resisted shoulder extension – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Band resisted shoulder retraction – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Shoulder posterior capsule stretch – 1 set of 10 reps (holding for 20seconds at a time)


I would still love to hear any injury recovery stories that you all may have. I appreciate those of you who have already shared, and who have been there to listen to my story as well.


Stay well my friends,



I know that I already wrote a blog about presence earlier this year, but it is something that I need to work on and it is something that we could all be a bit better with. Sometimes we get too caught up in the nonsense of it all or the small things in life. We forget to be present and enjoy the ride. In my case, I can tend to take on a lot of responsibilities that can cause me to feel overwhelmed and cause me to not feel present with my everyday life. However, in the short 27 years that I have lived, I have learned two things that help bring me back to the present and may be able to help you if you are ever feeling down and out.


The first, which may have been rubbed off on me by CJ and Sky, is to travel and be spontaneous. For those that do not know, my girlfriend and I went to Mount Rainier in Washington over the weekend. It was an absolutely breathtaking experience and because of this trip we set a goal of visiting all the national parks in the United States. We have no idea how long that could take and if we may even be able to go to all the parks, but after this weekend we knew we had to make it a priority to travel more. It was an eye-opening experience that allowed me to take a step back and appreciate everything I have in my life. It felt like I had a full reset of all the stress and anxiety over the year and I am now ready to tackle my next goals.


The second, which I found out on my own with some help from my parents who raised me, is to set big goals and give your best effort in achieving them. There is no better feeling in the world then to see all the hard work come to fruition. With this being said, I know that we cannot possibly accomplish every single goal we set and some may come with failure. However, when we do fail then at least we can learn from that failure and gain experiences in the process. Whether we fail or succeed in the goal that we set, and when it is all said and done, we can at least take a step back to appreciate what we have gained in the process and come back to the present.


If you are ever feeling like you aren’t yourself or are feeling down about life, adventure could be a great way for you to find yourself again. So, if you’re in that spot then chase a goal that you have always wanted or book that trip that you have always thought about doing. This will allow you to pursue that natural high instead of other things like drugs, alcohol, or that instantaneous satisfaction from your phone. Life is short so this is just a gentle reminder to enjoy it! We only get one.


P.S. if you smash any big goals or go any trips recently then please tell me all about it! I’m here for the stories!





I was very lucky this weekend as I was able to attend the wedding of a lifelong friend. I was able to see his parents, friends (that I don’t see enough), and just spend some talking to new and old friends. At one point while in the restroom washing my hands I saw the grooms father and I said, “Mr P. I didn’t think I’d live long enough to see your son get married.” Mr P. laughed and said, “You didn’t think you’d live long enough?” Then we went on to have a conversation about my friendship with his son. We talked about friends who are no longer with us, and the ones we can still celebrate with. This led me to thinking about time.


Let me take you back to 1994, I was a young high school fella, music and lifting kept me from losing my mind. Back then that is all I knew. One of my favorite bands going to perform at  Three Rivers Stadium. My uncle John (RIP) waited in line to buy me tickets for my birthday, and I can now always say I saw Pink Floyd. I listened to Pink Floyd’s music non-stop during that time. So many of the songs moved me, “Have a Cigar” is a song about the music industry. The line from that song that will never leave is when the CEO of the record label meets Pink Floyd and asked the band, “which one’s pink?” He doesn’t know his people. It is a constant reminder to take care of the people that work with you.


The Pink Floyd song that impacted me more than any other is “Time.” Tenzing and I were listening to this song just the other day and discussing the importance of time. I am going to share a few of the lyrics here with you.


“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull dayYou fritter and waste the hours in an offhand wayKicking around on a piece of ground in your hometownWaiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshineStaying home to watch the rainAnd you are young and life is longAnd there is time to kill today
And then one day you findTen years have got behind youNo one told you when to runYou missed the starting gun
And you run, and you run to catch up with the sunBut it’s sinkingRacing around to come up behind you againThe sun is the same in a relative wayBut you’re olderShorter of breath, and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorterNever seem to find the timePlans that either come to naughtOr half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperationIs the English wayThe time is gone, the song is overThought I’d something more to say.”
“Time” Pink Floyd
This song reminds me of something my dad said to me, “Time is both infinite and finite.” He would explain that there is always more time, it just may not be time that you have. When people say, “I’ll do it later,” sure later will exist, but will that time be yours?
What is the point of all of my rambling today? The point is wake up, do something, do anything. Time is short and moving fast. So get the workout, read the book, go for a hike, or make some art. It is your time, go use it.
Todd Hamer/ with an assist by the one and only Ward.