9 Absolute Truths of Fitness You Need to Know

It’s back to school time for kids in Arizona so it is also back to training season for many athletes. Let’s start with a review of nine key training truths that can help you choose an effective training routine to achieve the fitness results you want.

Kettlebell Swings1.  Did you know that the only way to increase and maintain muscle is through resistance training?

Pound for pound after the age of 30, the person who does not resistance train loses an average of 7 pounds of muscle every 10 years and replaces it with fat.

2.  Did you know it is never too late to start resistance training?

Even men and women in their 80’s can develop muscle mass through resistance training.  It’s the closest thing to the “fountain of youth!”

3.  Did you know running alone isn’t enough to increase lean tissue?

Running is a great way to strengthen the cardiovascular system and the muscles that move us forward in one plane, but does not strengthen the stabilizing muscles in your lateral and rotational planes. So, you MUST do resistance training to increase lean tissue.

4.  Did you know squats are one of the most functional movements ever?

we love squatsAdditionally, squats are king in muscle utilization and caloric expenditures.

Don’t say “I can’t squat because it is bad for me and they hurt.” You are basically squatting every day when you sit down and stand back up which the average person does about 15-30 times a day.

5.  Did you know that experiencing pain during squats can be a good thing?

If you do feel discomfort during a squat, it is due to imbalances in the body. And these imbalances can be resolved with the help of a good trainer and quality training program.

6.  Did you know that “muscle memory” is real?

Pull UpsAs your muscles become smarter with an increasing range of challenging exercises and movements (performance and consistency), the better that muscle memory becomes.

And this means you bounce back better after a little time off and that the muscle you lost will be far easier to regain due to that muscle memory. So enjoy those vacations!

7.  Did that you know that resistance training isn’t the same as cross training?

In actuality, resistance training is complimentary training that provides comprehensive skill development. Cross training expands your skill set to provide performance gains while keeping you injury free.

8.  Did you know that your athletic and fitness idols love training like you do?

Pro athlete workout favoritesLebron James loves kettlebell training and push ups. Michael Phelps loves weighted pull ups and woodchops with the medicine ball. Roger Federer loves lateral lunges with a twist and jumping rope. Usain Bolt loves squats and plyometrics (box jumps).

9.  Did you know that you can get quality resistance training outside of a gym?

AVC Elite Training incorporates a wide variety of resistance training methods that keep your workouts challenging, motivating, exciting, safe and highly effective.

Check out how you can achieve the results you want – without being confined in a gym or membership contract – while having fun…right here in Mesa, Arizona.

Catalina Trail Running Love

On April 11, 2014 I completed the AVC Elite Training Trans Catalina 50K Trail Run for the 3rd time. This most recent time was the absolute best experience of all because I had such great recovery and wasn’t sore in the least – thanks to Amy’s training and coaching!

When I first learned we would be running the majority of the trails in training and in Catalina, I wasn’t sure just how much my body could do since I had never ran more than 5 miles at a time on a trail. Amy was fantastic in setting the weekly limits and pacing as we began the training and as it gradually increased we were all ready for it when April arrived. Surprisingly, running more of the trails helped to break up the muscle soreness that used to happen after just trekking the same distances.

Amy also spent a lot of time educating us on exactly what our bodies needed to do those extra long distances as far as electrolytes, nutrition, proper recovery, heart rate monitoring, not to mention all of the “home care” involvement such as foam rolling, massage, proper sleep, etc.

celebration catalina trail run successMost friends and family members that I have shared this experience with think I’m crazy to want to do such an extreme physical event.

They think I’m even crazier when I tell them I wasn’t sore and it wasn’t that hard. In fact, if it wasn’t for the unusually warm day, I could have gone even further.

But that’s not a testament to me by any means when I say it was easy. I give 100% of the credit to Amy for her coaching and pushing us farther than we ever thought we could go. Would I put this much work into something on my own? I doubt it.

Being part of such a fantastic group of people like the ones involved with AVC Elite Training made the experience fun and motivating. We all have so many funny stories about our experiences and encounters out on the trail this winter.

I will never forget when we were 19 miles in to a checkpoint and the water cooler was gone!  A bunch of us hung out, stretched. laughed and shared snacks and before we knew it there came our leader flying down the road in her Jeep to bring us water.

When I look back, I can see the real life Trail Run TRW Mesa AZchanging experiences happened during the entire journey and the weekly training.  I found joy in getting to know my best friend better as we talked for hours on the trail while receiving encouragement as Amy would pass us and tell us we were doing great.

The bonding and fun we had was wonderful as we shared Margarita Shot Blocks on the trail with friends. It was an overwhelming sense of accomplishment after every single Saturday in our training and then the “grand finale” in hitting the Trans Catalina Trail. Thanks Amy!
~ Chris K.

Do you share our love for trail running? Then stay tuned for an upcoming announcement on the next great AVE Elite Training program and you could star in the next fitness success story!

Minimizing the Risk for Piriformis Syndrome

A common disorder that often rear its’ ugly head for athletes is Piriformis Syndrome.

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis SyndromeBasically, it is pain created by the piriformis muscle pressing on or into the sciatic nerve. Understanding the causes that lead to Piriformis Syndrome (PS)  is key to managing it and hopefully preventing it in the future.

The Cause of Piriformis Syndrome

The cause of PS basical falls into two categories – biomechanical inefficiencies or overload.

Biomechanical Inefficiencies

Basically, biomechanical inefficiencies relate to muscle imbalances within the body. These imbalances can be in flexibility and strength. They can also be due to faulty body mechanics or in gait disturbances (running or walking with your toes pointed out too far or in), in poor posture, or just how your body moves in general.

Other causes can include spinal issues, improper alignment, tight stiff muscles and or fascia in the low back, hips and buttocks.


Overload simply means the muscles were worked either too hard or too long without adequate rest and recovery. Below are common examples of overload in addition to some less obvious causes.

  • Going running after spending a few months sitting around, not doing much.
  • Increasing your mileage too quickly – even if you have been running consistently.
  • Increasing interval intensity aggressively – stressing your body when it wasn’t ready.
  • A spur-of-the-moment intense game of tennis or golf with little preparation.
  • Sitting for extended periods of time – whether at a desk, couch, driving or traveling via airplane.

In fact, any form of sitting for extended periods of time will shorten the piriformis muscle which in turn will place pressure on the sciatic nerve. Ouch!

There are other factors that can cause PS, but typically these are main reasons for this most uncomfortable and sometimes very painful conditiob.

PS foam rollingAVC Elite Training continually works on keeping muscles balanced, flexible and strong. In addition, proper recovery and rest is constantly stressed along with being responsible with good home care such as foam rolling.

Piriformis Syndrome doesn’t have to be your destiny if you train smart.