As mentioned here, strength is our priority. The ATC Center is not the only gym that takes this approach; there are other great gyms that understand these basic tenets, too. However, many don’t. Many gyms specialize in the latest trends, such as sport specialization, metabolic conditioning, or random programing (muscle confusion!). At the ATC Center, each program a client performs has a purpose; there is no random. Every rep of every movement should bring the client closer to their goal. And there is no dogma on the best way to get there. All strength philosophies, techniques, and implements may be leveraged in this pursuit. In addition, the coach and client are always working on assessing progress. What’s working great, and what might need to be adjusted? Or, what does the client love, and what do they dread? Taking stock of these items every few weeks ensures progress on both the physical, and mental spectrums.
Lose Body Fat
Along with proper eating habits, exercise is an important variable in shifting body composition, that is losing body fat while maintaining or increasing lean body mass. Performing total body compound movements against resistance is metabolically demanding both during and after training. To that point, here is a link to a study in which subjects burned as many as 1,200 calories per hour while performing kettlebell snatches, the highest of any activity tested, all while getting stronger, too. Furthermore, increasing metabolically active tissue, or lean body mass, is the most reliable way to increase your metabolic rate, or the amount of calories your burn each day.
Conditioning has many names: “cardio”, “aerobic work”, “metcon”, “endurance training” and others. Furthermore, there are a number of ways to train the quality, from group classes to running to hiking and biking. Where should the trainee prioritize their time? Conditioning work can be broken into two broad groups, low-intensity (walking, hiking, long distance biking), and high-intensity (intervals, sleds, weight complexes, sprints). In truth, the cardiovascular system is complex, and the aerobic and anaerobic systems aren’t as discrete as they sometimes are presented. However, both low- and high-intensity conditioning are important, confer unique benefits to the cardiovascular and muscular systems, and neither should be neglected. That said, the lower intensity work requires minimal equipment and guidance. As such, it makes sense for us to prioritize the higher intensity work in the gym setting. In HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, the trainee engages in short bouts of very intense effort alternated with periods of rest. At the ATC Center, this is accomplished primarily with the use of Airdynes, Concept II Rowers, Prowler pushes and sled drags. Effective conditioning protocols prepare the trainee to tackle any number of physical challenges and optimize various internal systems in the body.
Mobility is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion. Everyone is born with mobility, but may lose it through trauma, like a car accident, overuse injuries as seen in sports, or a sedentary lifestyle, such as sitting in an office chair for eight hours each day. Training at the ATC Center seeks to restore the mobility you were born with through various drills, movement patterns, and exercises. Pushing, pulling, squatting, hinging, lunging and rotating are movements common to all people in all parts of their lives. Restoring proper and adequate joint mobility to perform these tasks correctly is a key to reducing discomfort, pain, and improving performance across a broad spectrum of everyday tasks.
Private and Semi-Private Training
All clients come in for a private assessment. In this meeting, we discuss many topics including the client’s health history, the client’s goals, and potential training schedules. We also discuss the ATC Center’s approach to strength training, and conduct a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) to get a baseline of the client’s movement quality. Based on this discussion and the testing, the client is provided an individualized program. Private training is 1×1, just the client and myself. In a semi-private environment, there may be as many as 6 clients training at once, but typically its no more than 2-4 at one time.
Nearly 90% of the training at the ATC Center is conducted in the semi-private atmosphere. Training alongside your peers creates a great camaraderie with positive encouragement from all the members. Many clients develop great friendships with each other. Training in this environment facilitates a confident environment where each client can push themselves and each other to a new level, and have great fun doing it.
Whether due to time or distance constraints, not everyone can regularly train at the ATC Center. In these instances, some clients come in for one-time consultations. These meetings also include the FMS screen, and may include fitness testing, or skill coaching. The client may be provided with a customized program to be performed remotely. Many clients come back in six to eight week intervals for reassessment.
Ultra-Sound Body Fat Analysis
The ATC Center uses the IntelaMetrix BodyMetrix system to measure and analyze body fat and lean body mass in clients. The BodyMetrix device uses ultrasound to record these measurements. When ultrasound waves penetrate tissue, reflections occur at different tissue boundaries. Ultrasound allows the BodyMetrix to detect the true fat thickness at each measurement point, without painful or embarrassing skin pinching commonly used with caliper methods. By making measurements at multiple points on the body, an accurate body fat percentage can be determined. Ultrasound measurements are extremely accurate, not subject to user variability in execution, and are not affected by hydration, exercise level, and caffeine intake, therefore providing consistent results.