Avoiding Injuries

In over 20 years of working as an Exercise Physiologist and a Personal Trainer I have seen many people come in with injuries. Most are looking for ways to fix up their body and move on toward a goal of improved performance, weight loss or just being active. Utilizing specialized corrective techniques that others have taught me such as Muscle Activation Technique, functional movement screenings and overhead squat assessments can be helpful. After such assessments, a corrective model of exercise programming can be used to systematically strengthen and lengthen muscles in your body. This type of programming will minimize stresses on your body in places where it is not wanted. One method of managing tension that can be used to manage tension is foam rolling (Foam Roller Education) or common corrective stretches (Corrective Stretching Learn More). Optimal movement requires addressing areas of need regularly with each week of training.

The key however is to avoid injuries in the first place. Commonly, injuries are more likely while doing household chores rather than during exercise if done correctly. What is more common with gym injuries is a lack of understanding of the exercise, the load on the body, correct form and inappropriate changes in load and intensity.

Over training, sleep deprivation and dehydration are other big factors in injury management. Over training can be avoided with appropriate rest between sets, proper nutrition, adequate sleep and cycling training with an active recovery week. An active recovery week is one in which you still do things at the club or outside, but take a break from the formal program to give your body a chance to adapt and heal. See more on the signs of over training at Signs of Overtraining .

Regarding sleep, eight hours is the gold standard. I am far from a sleep expert, but I can tell you that a lack of sleep decreases the amount of time in REM sleep and decreases growth hormone production in your body. This hormone is needed from healing and recovery post exercise. YOU need this to recover! See more about sleep with some good links at Get more sleep.

Getting enough water can be a challenge for many of us. We think we are drinking alot of fluids, however, look out for those with caffeine as this acts as a diuretic and will dehydrate you quickly when combined with exercise or warm weather. Always push more water if you are drinking caffeinated beverages. A standard rule of thumb is to divide your body wt by two and that is the number of ounces you need at a minimum. Getting adequate electrolytes is also key to good hydration. For more on electrolytes see “Electrolyte Education” .

The philosophy of Training for Warriors National Website for TFW is to first avoid harm. Our extensive planning and foundations of our program are geared to help you build muscle, burn fat and feel good! Want to learn more about how to exercise safely and get results? Contact us regarding our “8 Week Transformation Programs” or Personal coaching\training at Click here to get 8 Week Information

Why Resolutions Fail

It is now 2016.. If you are reading this I bet you established your “New Years Resolutions” a few weeks ago? I have been working in health care and physical fitness now for over 25 years. Year after year I see\observe people making resolutions with the best of intentions. The thing is that no matter how much people put thought, time and energy into the list of things they will do, most will fail.

Why? Why do people fail the something that they have chosen as something so important? Did they not think it through? Do they lack the fortitude to accomplish their goals? Here I present some reasons why people fail at their resolutions. This top 5 as follows:

1) The goal involves a “diet”.

2) Your doing because someone else is doing it.

3) Only involved because you will get a discount on your insurance.

4) Lacking a lifestyle goal.

5) Absence of knowledge, support and accountability.

I despise the word diet! For most it means they are committing to a short-term meal plan or book plan that someone wrote. Most people will only commit to something like this for 4-6 weeks at the most. This is not a change that will help most accomplish goals of getting more fit, living a healthy lifestyle and attaining a healthy weight!


How many times have you done something only because a friend asked you to? Seriously, think about it. I bet numerous times in your life you bought into something do some 30 day program that does not promote a lifestyle change, but starving yourself for 4 weeks and living on shakes. Do I use a protein shake? Yes I do.. however, I do not rely solely on them for sustaining my well-being.


Work site wellness programs have tons of incentives for people to commit to a healthy lifestyle. I know that these programs do create change over time. The problem is that 70% of Americans are still over weight and over 30% of Americans are obese. This number has continued to grow despite the money spent on work site wellness and community education. Why is that? I feel it is a lack of self-respect or being wrapped up in getting ahead financially. Finally, a poor balance in mind, body and spiritual wellness contributes to failure.

What is a lifestyle goal? A lifestyle goal involves adopting a complete change in how your day, week and month are organized. What choices are you making relative to physical activity, stress management strategies and prioritizing choices for meals, social activities and yes the people you hang out with. Do you realize that you are defined by the top five people you hang out with consistently? Is this good or bad? I can not answer this for you. However, if the people you hang with most of the time are not good for your health, maybe you should be thinking about spending more time with people who value their health more. This does not mean your friends are bad people. It means the choice they are making do not align with your goals. Possibly hanging at the gym with people who value their health and overall wellness more often consistently and for a long-term commitment is key!

Finally, for some people, a lack of knowledge or long-term support is lacking. I have seen this over and over again. This is a reality of people not realizing they need coaching to be successful over time. They need someone to tell them when they are off the mark. There is a need for being around others with common goals in community. The environment they place themselves does not con notate a true long-term commitment.

We all, myself included have areas in our life we need coaching on. Are you honest with where you need help? Are you choosing to get help at a certain facility because it is the least expensive thing out there? Or are you choosing a program that give you more than you pay for each month. A facility that delivers quality coaching, long-term programming and commitment to your success? Do you need that? Be honest! Our 8 Week Program will jump-start you and really get to the heart of the matter. Get more info at Get my 8 Week Information

I know there are plenty of places out there that deliver good programs with good intentions and provide many of the things I just talked about. If you are looking for a quality program near Cottage Grove, Mn and want to join thousands of people at over 250 Training for Warrior locations worldwide you should check us out and learn more about our next transformation program. We run high value programs that deliver results when you are committed to changes in your life! If you want to hear more about our 2016 Training for Warriors Transformation Program contact us at: Click to learn more about the 8 Week Transformation

5 Ways To Clear Your Head


Written by: Martin Rooney, founder of the Training for Warriors System

Right now I am staring at both the oddly-shaped hole and water stains in my ceiling…and I am thankful. You might be wondering something like, “Have you lost your mind?” My answer is, “yes.” Well parts of my mind at least and I want to explain how I did it.

When the words “biblical” and “historical” are used to describe a rain storm, you can consider it pretty serious. A few weeks ago, I had such a rain storm hit my house. After a weekend of worrying about the flooding of our local roads, those worries switched to flooding in my house! Two days of straight raining and water first began to drip from our lighting fixtures and then the kitchen ceiling. After a visit by a contractor, our fears were confirmed: underneath our bathroom was so damaged and moldy, the room would have to be completely renovated.

In order for the work to start, my wife and I had to clean everything out of two areas: the bathroom itself and our adjoining closet. I confess. I left cleaning out the closet until the last minute. I didn’t wait because I was lazy, I waited because I knew it would be painful. I was going to have to get rid of a lot of my clothes.

Looking into my closet, you would surely say I have way too many things. (Well, at least that’s what my wife says you would say.) To give you a better picture of my closet, “clothes” pretty much means boxes of over 100 t-shirts, shelves of sweatshirts, hangers that contained polo shirts, a handful of belts and ties, a few pairs of jeans and khakis and 1 suit. That along with a loads of shoes, hats, and sports memorabilia made sure there wasn’t any room to move.


I knew some things had to go. I even had the garbage bags ready. But then when it came time to “clean the closet,” I stalled. Each item has sentimental value. These articles of nostalgia had been accumulated over the years of meets, events and travels. They would be hard to let go. After I spent time scheming how I could hiding them all in the attic, I took my wife’s advice/orders: “If you haven’t worn it in the last year, GET RID OF IT!”

I took action and even though it was painful, most of my closet went into the bag. And you know what? I actually felt better. Although it was tough to make the decision for what went and what stayed, it was liberating. Seeing those filled bags was a rush. This simple act got me thinking. Your closet is just like your mind. There are a number of things that have been hanging in there for a long time and need to go.

5 Things To Clear Out Of Your Head

Today your mind is being packed with information. With work, family, nonstop texts and endless emails, you are overloaded. Just like my closet, there are emotionally charged items inside your head that have to go. Here are five types to remove right now:

1. Grudges

The rule for getting rid of things you haven’t worn in a year worked for me. The same could work for you in terms of grudges or arguments you had years ago. Get in touch with the person and fix it or bag it. Either way, it is time to free yourself from letting these thoughts take up space in your head.


2. Someone Else’s Limiting Ideas

If you wouldn’t pack your closet, attic or garage full of someone else’s stuff, why would you pack your mind with someone else’s ideas? Are you still living up to someone else’s expectations of you? Get rid of those thoughts faster than your M.C. Hammer pants. Not only is it time to fill that space with what you really believe, but you should also put up some new barriers not to let anyone else’s bad ideas back in.

3. Biases and Prejudices

A cluttered closet can be a habit handed down from your parents. That doesn’t make it right. The same goes for the biases and prejudices you may have gotten from them too. Just like your closet should appreciate the beauty of different colors, styles and visions, so should your mind.

4. Negative Thoughts

That old high school jersey in your closet can contain mites and dust which can be irritating to your body. Negative thoughts can do even more damage. Time to rid yourself of the toxic attitude and fill that space with some healthy positive ideas. Trashing your “blame list” of the reasons life isn’t fair would be a good place to start.

5. Outdated Beliefs

Just like your tight jean shorts fell out of fashion, so will a lot of your thoughts. They once thought smoking wasn’t bad for you and egg yolks were dangerous. Maybe you heard all fat was bad, or losing weight is just calories in/calories out. Just remember you thought your velcro wallet was cool too. Time to carry the old ideas that no longer have value out to the trash.

When your closet is cluttered, making choices and valuing what you own becomes difficult. You lose focus and gain stress. The same holds true for the old thoughts in your head. Cluttered thoughts lead to indecision and pain. The key is having the courage to identify them and chuck the useless thoughts into the bag.


As I dropped the bags off at Goodwill, I was energized and happy someone else would benefit from my clothes. Just like wasn’t easy to get rid of my old clothes, getting rid of your old thoughts will be hard. Start with the list above and I promise not only will people benefit, but you will also feel better too.

Tag It And Bag It,

P.S. Want to put some good thoughts in? Check out the TFW Dojo. Want to find a way to purge some of those negative thoughts in our dojo? At Training for Warriors East Metro-Cottage Grove we can and will help you purge the negative and lock onto positives in your life. Contact us today about our 8 Week Transformation program that has changed thousands of people world-wide. Get more info here at Get my 8 Week Transformation Information

Find the Warrior Within

Since we (Optimal Health & Performance) www.optimalhealthperformance.com became affiliated with the international program Training for Warriors (www.trainingforwarriors.com) we have been educating our clients about the top 20 principles of being a Life Warrior!  First we must define “Warrior”.  The dictionary definition states, “a person engaged in conflict”.  Many of us have struggles from day to day in our work, family, health and the list goes on.  Following these principles founded within Martin Rooney’s book “Ultimate Warrior Workout” will change how you tackle maintaining your health and your life!  They are as follows:


20 Principles of a “Life Warrior”

1) A warrior must never let hisher physical conditioning be the reason for defeat

2) A warrior can make no better investment the investment of himher self

3) A warrior must always keep a beginner’s mind and realize there is more that he does not know than that he does

4) A warrior knows the road to success never intersects with the least path of resistance

5) A warrior realizes that life is cumulative, and therefore he chooses to take  nothing lightly

6) A warrior’s job is to do his best.  If heshe has done that in hisher training, heshe has already won more than any judge or referee can give himher

7) A warrior knows that discipline and perseverance are the most important weapons he can wield

8) A warrior is focused on the process, not the outcome.  Although heshe may be measured by outcomes, heshe knows they are made from the process

9) A warrior does not make decisions or wishes; heshe takes consistent action

10) A warrior listens to hisher body.  Not only it hisher most important vehicle, it will give himher the answers heshe is looking for if heshe learns to ask the right questions

Last Set

11) A warrior must be his own toughest critic, yet he must also be open to the advice and criticisms of others

12) A warrior must question hisherself to ever understand hisherself.  If the warrior does not know what they stand for, heshe will fall for anything

13) A warrior recognizes that heshe can not rush physiology and regards training as a long term lifestyle

14) A warrior must understand that hard work is not always as valuable as smart work

15)A warrior accepts responsibility, for heshe knows that in life, heshe is exactly where heshe is supposed to be, as a result of the things heshe either did or did not do

16)  A warrior embraces recover, knowing it is the time that his body needs to adapt from the stresses placed on it

17) A warrior knows that the development of good habits will ultimately determine hisher destiny.  The removal of bad habits is also a good start!

18) A warrior know that the food heshe eats is the greatest medicine, for without good health, a warrior has nothing

19) A warrior knows that before heshe can be honest with others, heshe must overcome the obstacle of being honest with themselves

20) A warrior recognizes that the greatest mistake is make the same mistake!

At our affiliation Training For Warriors East Metro-Cottage Grove we strive to make every workout valuable and deliver on our systems results!  Contact us today for a strategy session and information about getting started with your 8 Week Transformation Program at our dojo!  Click here Click Here-Submit Email and Get Details!

Heart Rate Training

Is it for you?

Heart rate training has been all the rage in the fitness industry in the last 8 years or so.  Entire training concepts have popped up with this idea in mind and use of technology has exploded to try and harness the exciting benefits of monitoring heart rate!   However, I have to pose a few questions first if you are a first time fitness adventurer or long time enthusiast.

But first you should..

So, the first question I would ask you is… “Do you think that monitoring your heart rate will still get you results if you do not change what you put in your mouth?”  In our program we use whole foods first and lifestyle.  I do not care how great monitoring your heart rate is, or how fun it can be..  If you do not see changes because you can not change the rest of your life’s habits.. you are wasting your time!

Secondly, are you even exercising enough to worry about tracking your heart rate.  If you are stuck on the couch watching the latest version of a netflix series and you have not exercised in 2 days???  What are you doing?  There is an international pandemic of obesity that is the worst thing the world has ever seen.  Let’s start with getting off the couch and moving first.

I personally know that for many of you the difference between staying at the place you are with goals of weight loss and or improved fitness and health is in the following:

1) Of course continuing some muscle building classes at our dojo or getting in some intense strength training weekly.

2) Stepping up cardio activity on your own… and and focusing on shorter intense bouts of activity followed by rest.  This is called interval training and there are many different methods (fartlek, HITT, tabatta, etc..) Who really wants to sit on a treadmill for 40 min.. Not me!  I am pretty much done with that.  There are more fun and exciting ways to get the job done.


3) Discipline with your nutrition.  Slow and steady wins the race on this one.  You might not be able to make huge changes immediately.  Start with even one goal related to nutrition, conquer it and move to the next goal!

With respect to intensity, heart rate is the best guide for most of you. I have attached a chart for you to use to get started. This may not work if your on blood pressure medication.  More specific guidance can be given, but you need to spend some 11 time with a trainer at our facility.

HR Chartb

The goal would be to burn and extra 1500-2000 calories per week!

I encourage you to take things to the next level. You deserve the best results possible. Your energy, time and investment will yield better results with more intent focus! YOU can do whatever you set your mind to doing. Manage the time and spend it wisely!   Read below for specific information regarding age and experience related recommendations.

Email questions to tfweastmetro@gmail.com  or brian@optimalhealthperformance.com .  For Questions or enrollment in our 8 Week Transformation Programs go to  https://ohptfw.leadpages.co/east-metro-8-week-transformation/