Mission Statement - Fairfield Strength:

To cultivate growth opportunities for children of all ages and abilities, bringing together the learned and the learning, in a spirit of helpfulness and respect, to improve our health and wellness, using fitness and sport as a medium to teach life lessons.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

View From the Creek - 3D Man

Ash Creek was once described as kindergarten by one who left, and as kindergarten gone bad by those who stayed.  My weekend in Burlington CA helped me understand a little more about our journey here.  Our goal should be to train for life - to provide our central nervous system with as much information as possible to allow accurate predictions for any and all challenges that should occur.  All movement is good movement as long as we do not move into pain.  Learning is good - the more we learn the better.  About life, about ourselves and about others.  The challenge is to take the time we need to learn well, after all - we have the rest of our lives to do it.

The words below are not mine but the sentiment is.  Simple is good, less is more.  Take the time to remember well those things that should be remembered.  Our door is always open - as is our hearts and hopefully our minds.  Our goal is to keep it that way until our work here is done  - so until then....  


All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.
These are the things I learned:
  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Picts from Northern Cali

 First Stop - Gorrilla BBQ - Route 1 - Pacifica
 Across the Street -
 Lunch By the Water - what a view...
Trip across the bridge to San Rafel  -

China Camp State Park - http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=466

Harding HS ASE (After School Enrichment)

When my phone rings and I see the name "Cleo" on the Caller ID the first thing that pops into my head is "what does he want now...."  But in all truth it is a very welcome phone call - because Cleo has always been there for me when ever I needed a hand with any volunteer project, team practice session, or training program.  He has helped with U-5 boys and girls right through High School Summer league Soccer.  He was a trainer with Fairfield Strength middle school program and even broke his best watch helping Mary do high carry farmer's walks at Ash Creek.  He is working with Meredeth on an Americorps program designed to bring TRX and Z Health to at risk High School students at Harding and Central High Schools.  Today's request was to introduce Z health to his Harding HS ASE program. 

I love teaching Z - especially to HS students.  Today's class really enjoyed the sesson.  Did some orthokenetic stuff to spark thier interest - then taught the 4 high pay offs to improve range of motion.  Had the priviledge of meeting Dr. Vida Gupta, the faculty adviser to Cleo's program.  She also teaches biology, anatomy, and physiology at Harding.  She was amazed by our Z program and more importantly how engaged the students became.  We had a wonderful chat and she invited Ash Creek to attend her class and help her inspire her children to learn and understand the central nervous system.   It's funny how situations create opportunities - Our true purpose lies beyond our walls - the lives we are blessed to touch will touch many others and allow us to share the gift of Z.   Cleo took some cool video and some photos which we will post as soon as we get them  - stay well George

Today's View From the Creek

Raining Sunshine

Very full day today - maybe I should not have joked about the jet lag.  BARF at 0615 hrs was a challenge - as was getting to sleep the night before.   With KBI style kettlebell training we need to earn the right to perform efficiently.  Joint mobilty - R and I phase Z-Health drills - in strange and wonderful combinations - my toolbox has gotten a little bigger but the ways I can apply these and all of the other tools that I have picked up along this long and wonderful journey is becoming more and more infinite.  Thanks Kenneth for the new glasses - and many thanks to Joe, Mary, Meredeth, Nanette, Donna, Matt, Trish, and Kim for allowing me the first of many trial runs.  We have much to learn and a life time to do so.  Be well.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Jet lag is for wimps

Took the red eye from San Francisco - what a journey - spent 2 days with Kenneth Jay learning his view on kettlebell training - the former "Dane of Pain" has turned into the master of efficiency - train for life is his motto - understand how the brain works - understand how the body is designed to work - all movement is good movement unless it involves pain - the goal is to create efficiency - use only as much force or tension that is necessary to perform the task correctly - dare to learn - dare to know - dare to train for life.  The key lies in preparation - if we prepare properly then our body can predict accurately.  Efficiency comes with a price - it must be earned -  we earn the right to move better through mobility training - R Phase and I phase - this is a very short summary with more to follow.- met some great people - saw some old friends  - not sure I'm glad to be back - definitely glad I went.  The West Coast is so close yet so far -

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Photo night at Ash -

Not real big on the fluff - but we needed some photos to put on the flyer for our next seminar.  all good.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A contented heart....

One of the many visitors to Ash Creek is the heron- peaceful, patient, attentive, and vigilant.  In some cultures this bird held in great respect - seen as the symbol of a contented heart, finding joy in all things.  With joy comes gratitude, with gratitude comes happiness.  ,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Today's View from the Creek - Open House

Very busy day at the Creek.  The Natural Pet Food Outlet had their open house.  We kept our doors open and met a lot of not so strange and wonderful people.  The funny part is that despite our feelings of terminal uniqueness - the faces that came in today were strangely familiar.  The self doubt in the eyes of some, and the false bravado - (no disrespect intended - been there done that).  I have trained with kettleballs before!  The nice part about Ash is that you get what you need - or not.  If you stay we will figure it out together, take what seems like  the long road, and find out that it really was not that long after all - for the right path takes as long as it takes.  And for those who travel a different road I wilsh them well - Peace be the journey - Captain

Rise up this morning, smile with the rising sun, 3 little birds are at my door step, singing sweet songs, a melody pure and true, saying this is message to you, saying don't worry, about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright.  Bob Marley

Friday, September 30, 2011

Today's View from the Creek

Today's View from the Creek can best be described with one word - Incredible!

Seasonably warm with a not so gentle breeze is actually creating a bit of a chop on the normally placid estuary waters.   This is a welcome change from the Seattle like weather we have been experiencing the past few days.  This is New England's Indian Summer at it's very best.  Feels kinda strange - this is the first fall in a very, very long time that I have not been spending my afternoons on the soccer pitch.  The work at Ash Creek is never done, and the lives that we have been privalidged  enough to touch are continuing to change in many wonderful ways.  But truth be told, I do miss soccer - but days like today temper those feelings with satisfaction and gratitude.

We had our 4th session of Senior Z today at Parish Ct.  Elderly Housing.  Anna - our oldests not so old member (I was chastised by Meredith for using the word old when I informed our class that "I'm not going to treat you like old people any more! " referencing the positive changes that have been made.)  Anna started a week later than everybody else - she showed up with a walker and a brace on her wrist and ankle.  She had trouble taking her shoes off and did almost all of the Z drills seated.  If you imaging the perfect great grand mother  - very short, white hair, gentle smile, a light gleam in her eye, and a small golden cross around her neck, and strong hands - that would be Anna.

She arrived at class today with no walker and no braces.  She was waiting for us in the hallway along with the rest of the class (ran just a bit late - go figure).  We did a complete 18 point Z neural formatted as a work out with power breaths interspersed.  We finished with  eye drills and tension.   The entire class stood for over 35 minutes.  The only accomodations were the chairs we used to assist with balance and a book we used to assist Anna with lateral pelvic tilts.

When class was over we reviewed the homework for the next week and asked if there were any questions.  Anna raised her hand.  "I just want to say that I feel better than I can remember.  I went to the doctor yesterday and he could not believe the changes.  I feel like I am getting younger instead of older.

You are Anna - and it is such a joy to share with you what Dr. Cobb has shown us.     Final strory - we had a guy on the Fire Dept named Hank Letch.  He employed a very unique and descriptive version of the English language - He called most people Southie - or soul brother - or Seth, or whatever else came to mind.  And he liked to eat - eat with a passion and an appreciateion that few others can match - especially if the food was free.  When asked how it was his stock answer was "Best I ever Ate!"  Not a lie - because  his frame of reference was always  in the moment - I'm eating it now - so this is as  good as it gets.  So what if anything does this have to do with Anna and Z -  As we spoke we talked about getting old ... or not.  Meredith remarked that she may very well be in the best shape of her life by her next birthday - and I can hopefully say the same thing.   The tools we have gathered that help us  with life and fitness make it possible to get better and better - not just stopping the clock but turning it back .  So live this day - with the promise that tomorrow can be be even better, provided of course that we use this day well.  Peace.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today's View from the Creek

BARF work out today was extreme - on several levels - Power Day with a twist.
Started with 4 HP,  then did a circuit style ladder - of 5, 7, and 9 reps -

  • 5 deadlifts - (double bells) - 30 sec Farmer's Walk - 5 Power Breaths
  • 5/5 alt DL - (single bell) -  30 sec Farmer's Walk - 5 Power Breaths
  • 5 goblet or 5 TRX squats - repeat above
  • 5 KB or 5 TRX push ups - repeat above
  • 5 swings (or 5 trx squats) - repeat above
  • 5 naked (no wt) TGU to elbow each side (hold for 2 sec at top)
RTW complex - heavy bell - 5/5 low - 10 curls - 5/5 low
  • 7 deadlifts - (double bells) - 30 sec Farmer's Walk - 7 Power Breaths
  • 7/7 alt DL - (single bell) -  30 sec Farmer's Walk -  7 Power Breaths
  • etc
and for the final set replace the 7 with a 9 - progressively loading reps.

Finish with a Z Neural that incorporates a lot of hand/foot, wrist/ankle waves and circles.   

Enjoy - 

Monday, September 26, 2011


Thank you for this day,
Please help me to use it well.
Guide my thoughts, my words, and my actions,
Help me to be an example of your peace, your love, your way of life,
Help me to seek and do your will always,
Please watch over my family and keep them safe,
I trust their care to You. 
You have given me much and I am truly grateful. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Z-Health: Movement and The Brain

As you may know Ash Creek Fitness is part of the Greater Bridgeport Obesity Task Force.  We serve on the physical activity sub committee.  At our most recent meeting the discussion centered around picking the "low hanging fruit." In other words, finding low - no cost, easy to implement tactics and strategies that we could use to start actively addressing the obesity epidemic.  Our suggestion (Ash Creek) was to initiate a program in the Bridgeport School System that would use Z health (http://www.zhealth.net/)  Neural Warm Up as a supplemental physical activity.  

The big question centered around whether Z Health Dynamic Joint Mobility training would improve CT Mastery test scores.  The short answer is "YES!!!"  We have been using Z Health Dynamic Joint Mobility drills as an integral part of our programming and have experienced incredible results in a very wide range of clients - from special needs to performance athletes, and from primary grades through the University Level.  For Dr. Cobb's version please read the excerpt from the September Z Health News Letter - Stay Safe - George


The following is copied from the Z Health September News Letter.  For additional information please check out - http://www.zhealth.net/


Movement Nourishes the Brain

If you are a parent, you are all too familiar with the developmental milestones your children went, or are going, through. Infant and toddler check-ups include observing levels of movement, fine and gross motor skills, and cognitive development - among many other things.
Pediatricians pay a great deal of attention to these milestones, because missing a milestone by any significant amount can be indicative of any of a large number of developmental disorders.
While a seemingly vague statement above, the reality is that poor motor skills is oftentimes one of the first indicators that something is wrong in a child - and addressing those missing skills can also be one of the most helpful things you can do as a parent.

The Movement / Developmental Disability Relationship

One of the most common names given to the motor skill deficit is hypotonia. While this generalized term covers a wide variety of related symptoms, the common mechanism at work is that the signals from the brain that travel through the motor nerve to the muscles are somehow disrupted. You can think of it as a bad internet or cable connection - you get pixilated or choppy reception. The same thing happens in our body.

Known Conditions

The list of known conditions is extensive, and growing every day. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke lists the causes to include: trauma, environmental factors, or by genetic, muscle, or central nervous system disorders, such as Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Prader-Willi syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, and Tay-Sachs disease.
In addition to that alphabet soup of conditions thought to lead to motor skill deficits, just last week the University of London released a study indicating that poor movement skills detected in children as young as 7 months are at greater risk for autism than the general population.

"Nature Abhors a Vaccum"

This famous quote, believed to first be uttered by Aristotle, also gives us one of the best-known answers.
Study after study shows that improving motor skill performance is the best way to help the children (and adults) with these conditions. The movement practice not only helps shore up the missing motor skills but also improves cognitive performance.
Or, as John Ratey, author of the bestselling book SPARK likes to say, "exercise is Miracle-Gro for the brain."

For More Information

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Hypotonia (wikipedia definition)
New Insights Into the Implications of Autism Onset Patterns
Poorer Movement Skills at Seven Months in Children at Risk of Autism, Study Finds
Green, Dido, Tony Charman, Andrew Pickles, Susie Chandler, Tom Loucas, Emily Simonoff, and Gillian Baird. "Impairment in Movement Skills of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders." Developmental medicine and child neurology 51, no. 4 (2009): doi:10.1111/j.1469-8749.2008.03242.x.
Vuijk, P J, E Hartman, E Scherder, and C Visscher. "Motor Performance of Children with Mild Intellectual Disability and Borderline Intellectual Functioning." Journal of intellectual disability research : JIDR 54, no. 11 (2010): doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2010.01318.x.
Sorsdahl, Anne Brit, Rolf Moe-Nilssen, Helga K Kaale, Jannike Rieber, and Liv Inger Strand. "Change in Basic Motor Abilities, Quality of Movement and Everyday Activities Following Intensive, Goal-Directed, Activity-Focused Physiotherapy in a Group Setting for Children with Cerebral Palsy." BMC pediatrics 10 (2010): doi:10.1186/1471-2431-10-26.
Peters, Lieke H J, Carel G B Maathuis, and Mijna Hadders-Algra. "Limited Motor Performance and Minor Neurological Dysfunction at School Age." Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992) 100, no. 2 (2011): doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01998.x.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

food from the dark side - THE SHREDDER

The goal of tactical training is to prepare warriors for combat, or athletes for performance.  Be it a soccer player, a firefighter, a medic, or a working mom the reality is that life creates challenges that our training must help us overcome.   We need to be able to adapt.   

If you spend every day eating clean then what happens when a shredder crosses your path - or maybe some chocolate peanut butter ice cream with peanut sauce?   Proper preparation insures performance. So with that said - check out the Shredder at South Pine Creek Deli - and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Ice Cream with Peanut sauce (need some protein to balance out those carbs) at Sunny Daes Ice Cream in Fairfield!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Post BARF Favorite - ON Chocolate Pineapple Hydro Builder Protien Shake -

Ash Creek Shake of the Week -  Optomim Nutritious ON Chocolate Pineapple - ON Hydro Builder with Trader Joes pineapple tidbits and low fat milk.  The enzymes in the pineapple act as natural anti-inflammatory and the taste is great - for the performance athlete   or those looking to maximize their post work out rebuild and recovery this is the perfect mix.

View from the Creek - Raining Sunshine

This past weekend was very full and wonderful.   Day in the Sun took place on Saturday at the Roger Ludlow Middle School Campus.  We found our roots again thanks to the incredible weather.  After spending the past 3 years in the cafeteria and the gym moving back outside was met with a degree of reluctance.  Logistically the cafeteria was easy - we had it down to a science - we have been there and done that.  But Barbara would not back down - she said that " our special guests spend most of the year eating in an institutional setting and need a "day in the Sun" ."  And that is what they got.

Our volunteers did an incredible job - Joe and Mary from Ash Creek volunteered with the food - Joe supervising one of the hot dog grills and Mary was a key player in the distribution sector of our food service. We served over 600 guests - hotdogs and subway sandwiches. Sorry - no chili this year - we could only juggle so many balls without something hitting the ground.  Next year - I promise.   May even have some help.  I hear there may be a few good chili chefs out there who could lend an overburdened firefighter a hand. :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Z Update - Parish CT

Parish Ct Senior Z - Great Stuff Today - We did a full 16 pt Z Neural (standing up) interspersed with 2 or 3 power breaths between every drill. We started at 9 so attendance was a little lighter than usual but those who showed up did incredible. One of the younger members (94 years young) commented on how much better she is moving since we started working together. Wrist circles are still a little tough - but she doesn't need the brace she wore to class anymore! It's such a special privilege to share Dr. Cobb's work - Thank You Z Health!!!

BARF Today

Great Barf Class today - We kept it simple with a work out split that pays high dividends. Set the gym boss for 15/15 and 10 sets. Start your training session with the Z Health 4-High Pay Off's and establish a base line range of motion. (ROM) Perform deadllifts with a kinda heavy single or double bell combo. Then set your gym boss to a 45/15 for 10 sets - Use TRX push, squat, pull, lunge/lunge, push, single leg dl, pull/curl, tricep/lunge, alt pull/bicep, and squat. Follow with RTW, then TGU complex. Finish with some Z.   Enjoy

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Car 3 Spicy Hot Quinoa and Eggs

Try the ultimate 10 am firehouse meal - Quinoa and egg whites with jalapeno peppers and pepper jack cheese.  We made it today at 2's and called it C-3 Spicy Hot Quinoa and Eggs.  Takes about 5 minutes to make - get the frozen precooked quinoa with sweet potatoes and zucchini, fry it up in a non stick skillet with a little olive oil, add some egg whites, cook it like it's fried rice, then add the jalapeno peppers - let it get friendly, then stir in some cubes of pepper jack cheese right before plating.  Scary good. 

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is an ancient food that is not yet well known in North America. It has been cultivated in South American Andes since at least 3,000 B.C. and has been a staple food of millions of native inhabitants. The ancient Incas called quinoa the "mother grain" and revered it as sacred.The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It is exceptionally high in lysine, cystine and methionine-amino acids typically low in other grains. It is a good complement for legumes, which are often low in methionine and cystine. The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids.

Quinoa was used to sustain Incan armies, which frequently marched for many days eating a mixture of quinoa and fat, known as "war balls."

The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It is exceptionally high in lysine, cystine and methionine-amino acids typically low in other grains. It is a good complement for legumes, which are often low in methionine and cystine. The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. Some types of wheat come close to matching quinoa's protein content, but grains such as barley, corn, and rice generally have less than half the protein of quinoa. Quinoa is 12% to 18% protein and four ounces a day, about 1/2-cup, will provide a childs protein needs for one day. The 6-7% fat of quinoa is relatively high when compared to other grains, but it boasts a low sodium content and also provides valuable starch and fiber. Quinoa also contains albumen, a protein that is found in egg whites, blood serum, and many plant and animal tissues. The seeds are gluten-free which makes this a nutritious and flavorful alternative grain for those with gluten sensitivity. Quinoa would be a worthy addition to anyone's diet, supplying variety as well as good nutrition. information taken from http://chetday.com/quinoa.html 

Greek Yogurt - Good and Good For You!

Greek Yogurt from Trader Joe's

Thick, rich, creamy texture defines TJ's Greek Yogurt!
If you are looking for a healthy snack option this is my best suggestion. Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt!  They have 2 flavors - Mango-Apricot and Honey.  When they introduced this product a little over 2 years ago I was hooked on the Mango-Apricot.  Was going through a rather signifigant mango time of life and this was the perfect compliment.  My protien shakes had mango puree, my jerk chicken had mango chunks, and my oatmeal was laced with a big spoonfull of apricot preserves. Life was good.  And then it happened - other people started to find out about Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt.  The healthy living section of the CT Post did an article on the health benefits of Greek Yogurt - Oprah even mentionied it on The View - the stock went from plenty to none - had no choice, had to try the honey.

They say when one door closes another opens - such was the case with the honey.  Crazy good is an understatement - the flavor is incredible - but the texture - the rich creamy texture sticks to your tounge the same way it sticks to the spoon in the picture above is what makes this such an incredible edible delicasy.  Some yogurts run - and well they should - from this great Greek Yogurt.  Enjoy :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Good Sweat

Observation - I feel like my five fingers are filling up with water. Reality – They are.

During one of our training sessions last week Meredith remarked that she can’t believe how much she is sweating. It will be one year come October that she has been training at Ash Creek. She can’t remember sweating that much until recently – but she can remember not being able to stand on one leg without assistance when we did hip circles – and she can remember not being able to do a Turkish get up to elbow – without weight. Most importantly – she can’t remember getting injured or having injury impact her training schedule which has realized steady progress over the last year. We spent a long time building a very strong foundation – now it’s ready to load – and that we are doing. The conversation ended with "At Ash Creek - you earn the right to sweat!"

During BARF class today Jan had the same epiphany. It was the first time her five fingers had filled up with sweat. She was feeling more than a little uncomfortable. She was not used to sweating so much. So we did a pulse check – 78 after a heavy set of dead lifts interspersed with power breaths is really pretty good. We used a high intensity training split designed by Kim Massey that works really well. We alternate Kettlebell deadlifts, swings, or other lifts with TRX or compound movements to build training sessions that fit the needs of each athlete. Todays session included deadlifts, alt. deadlifts, swings, a Turkish get up complex, RKC planks, round the world, and a TRX complex that included one legged dead lifts. The end result is a strong, functional, and aerobically fit athlete that sweats a lot.

So….. Earn the right to sweat – then grab a towel and enjoy. Nothing feels quite so satisfying as a good sweat. (Unless maybe sharing it with a training partner.) Train hard, train smart, and remember to hydrate.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Today's View From the Creek

Definitely one of the 10 best days of the year. As I sit here entering this post the breeze off the creek is delicious and the view incredible. I worked last night at the fire department. We had been up since around 2 am extinguishing a rash of arson fires. At one point we had 3 working (heavily involved) structure fires burning at the same time. Crazy stuff - but hats off to the Fairfield Fire Marshal's office and Fairfield PD for catching the arsonist. Great work guys!!!

So anyway - I was just a bit tired this am to the least. But that changed as soon as I got to AC. The BARF crew was waiting. We did some Z and TRX to get Heather ready for her tennis match today - amped it up for Brian, Chet, and Meredith, who all stayed late for some kettlebell work. AMR Medic Kim D., one of AC's newest members, joined us today. Kim had just finished her shift during which she helped usher in a future member. Congrats on delivering a happy healthy baby girl - number 4 for Kim and the 2nd field delivery in the past month by AC members - Kim Massey delivered number 12 (or 13) 2 weeks ago - Good stuff ladies.

Parish Ct Senior Z was a home run today. We did a full 16 point neural warm up - STANDING UP the whole time >>>> AND we included 16 power breaths - 2 after every body part. Some of our clients remarked that they haven't been able to stand for that long without pain in years. Others said they haven't been able to stand for that long period. Amazing stuff.

On a final note - had a great meeting with Capt. Mike of FDNY yesterday. Came down to learn about AC and what we do with regard to firefighter wellness. He had many good things to say about AC and his visit. The privilege however was all mine. I have great respect for Mike and his/our brother firefighters in the City. We shared some hallowed ground 10 years ago Sunday in lower Manhattan - who could have imagined that we would be sharing Z and KB yesterday. Life has a funny way of bringing things full circle.

Enjoy this day, live it well. Stay safe.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Simple but Simple

Sometimes life gets in the way of our training - let's say for example a major hurricane comes through your town and knocks out the electrical power for 30,000 people and you really don't want to stand in line to take a shower down at Planet Fitness. Or maybe the Utilikilt you ordered from ThinkGeek didn't come in yet, and you really had your heart set on doing swings in a kilt. Regardless - let's say it's been a while and you need to get started again - lets keep it as simple as possible - 200 swings per day (or combo swings and dead lifts) for the next 2 weeks - keep the number at 200 - just vary the weight - if you feel strong use a heavy bell and 2 hands - or a lighter bell and 1 hand. If you don't feel strong use a light bell 2 hands - focus on your form - finish each session with a grease the grove style tgu - break down each movement of the tgu and perform it 3x on each side - with or without weight.

200 swings per day (plus tgu) for 2 weeks
- be creative - use your gym boss - set it for 15/15, 20/10, or even 10/20 for heavy days (training/active recovery) throw in some power breaths during AR or hops, or a short walk. Just because you got a little soft that doesn't make you a bad person - keep it simple

Today's View from the Creek

Very busy day today at Ash Creek - started out with
BARF at 0615. Mark O. joined us today, along with Meredith, Chet, and David. Not an easy day in the least:

Started with the Z Health 4 High Pay Offs
Then performed a progressive TRX circuit that included the following (in order):
Round 1

Push Lunge - 10x Press 5x (x3)
Pulls (row) - 20x
Squats - 5x
Single leg DL (using TRX for support) alt 3x each leg
Squats 5x
Lunges - R/L - 10/10
Squats - 5x

Round 2, 3, 4 - added a few things

Push Lunge - 10x Press 5x (x3)
Single Arm Rotations - from lunge R/L 5/5
Tricep Press - 10x
Double Rotations - staggered from lunge 4x each side
Pulls (row) - 20x
Single arm rows - 5/5
Squats - 5x
Single leg DL (using TRX for support) alt 3x each leg
Squats 5x
Lunges - R/L - 10/10
Squats - 5x
follow this with KB - hip ups
follow this with deadlift or swing complex -
swing/ 20 yd farmers walk/ power breath (x4)
repeat for 10 cycles (10 minutes)
follow this with KB - hip ups
finish with round the world
10 low halo each side
10 curls
10 high halos
10 curls
10 low halos each side
finish with z

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

workout of the day at AC

Today's work out was designed for AC's newest disciple - the infamous Mike Jones. Funny how things work out - (pun intended) The first soccer team I ever coached was a U-10 boys team for the Fairfield Football Club - My son John was a U-8 playing up and they needed a coach to to have a team. Mike Jones was one of our players. Now 23 years old and a college graduate - he is training for the Brooklyn Urban-Athlon taking place in November.

Yesterday was our reality check - when expectations meet reality. Humility is a good thing, especially when it makes you willing. Mike had a 2.5 mile run before we started our training session and it changed the venue big time. Today was a combination of fixing and loading. The TRX complex took about 20 minutes - the big change was incorporating the single leg deadlift in a TRX complex. Start with a single leg deadlift using the trx strap for support or stabilization - toes on the back leg should be pulled back to the shin (dorsal flex) the back leg should be kept straight - from shoulder to heel. 5 reps right - 5 reps left. The best visual example would the bobbing pink flamingo that some people use to accentuate their drink glasses. Not seen that much in the north east - but I hear it's quite prevalent in the Seattle and other eclectic new wave grunge or metro sexual locations. anyway.....

TRX Complex

Round 1 -
Single leg DL - 5/5
Push Lunge - reps
Pull (row) - 20 reps
TRX Squat - 5 reps
TRX lunge R/L - 10/10
TRX Squat - 5 reps

Round 2,3,4
Single leg DL - 5/5
Push Lunge - 10 reps, TRX Press-10 reps,
Push lunge 10 reps
TRX Delt Flys from lung position - (rotation) 5/5
TRX Tricep Press (alternating lunge) 10
Pull (row) - 10 reps,
TRX Bicep Curls - 10 reps
Single arm row, open, reach, pull, recover - 10 reps
TRX Squat - 5 reps
TRX lunge R/L - 10/10
TRX Squat - 5 reps
Turkish Get Ups - Hip ups 3/3 x 3 with halo's
Swing Complex with Power Breaths and Farmer's Walks

ladder up if your a novice - using form as the limiting variable. Focus on one key point or cue per set - from the ground up - example - think "jump" at the bottom
10 swings - 4 power breaths - 20 yard low carry fw
15 swings - repeat above
20 swings - repeat above
10 swings - repeat, 15 swings - repeat, 20 swings - ect.

for intermediate to advanced perform 20 reps for 10 sets
follow this with a tgu complex - hip ups or full tgu -
finish with a round the world complex - 10's - use a lighter bell (at least one size smaller) and focus on the reps and keeping tight. This work out will sneak up on you - so take your time - perfect practice - never to failure.

island of misfit toys a safe harbor during hurricane irene

thanks to all who expressed concerns for AC during Hurricane Irene. We fared quite well. The greatest toll was human Kim and I both worked marathon shifts of 38 plus hours during the height of the storm. The facility remained unscathed with no loss of power Programming is back to normal and the moon over Ash Creek is really quite beautiful tonight

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Z for Seniors at Parish Ct


Week 3 of our senior Z program. The video shows our get out of bed pain free video - or at least the draft.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Zen Garden- a work in progress

many thanks to Rob Ferraro and Lis Gorenstien for all of their hard work in our Zen Garden

this weeks work outs

BARF - Power Day

see better - move better

Craig V

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paridigm Shift - Learn -Earn - Share

Ash Creek Fitness at Parish Court Elderly Housing?

It's Not Exercise - It's Z! Ash Creek started as pilot project designed to combat childhood obesity. Called Fairfield Strength form and function - we partnered with the Fairfield Recreation Department and Roger Ludlow Middle School. Over the years our vision grew to include mentorship and internship opportunities for high school and university students. As stated in our mission statement - our goal is to provide movement training to children of all ages. In that vein we initiated our Z for Seniors program just over 2 weeks ago. We had our second session on Friday - and it was wonderful. Dr. Steve, Meridith, Joe and Mary all volunteered their time to help out. Thanks so much to Parish Court Director Beverly Honychurch and the residents of Parish Court for giving us the opportunity to share what we have learned. You only get to keep it if you give it away. Stay safe.

ash creek shake of the week

Simple but superb - Vanilla Coconut Whey - Coconut water, Low Fat (organic of course) milk, and vanilla flavored whey protein. Mix it together and enjoy - perfect post training drink.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Meal of the Week - Grass Fed Burgers from Whole Foods

Regardless of how hard (or smart) you train the lions share of your body composition change occurs at the gutt level - similar to Garbage In/Garbage Out model used by computer programmers - what we put into our body determines how we turn out. At my fire station we try really hard to eat healthy. Every once in a while we have a meal that is scarey good - tonight was such a case - For protien we picked up grass fed beef hamburger patties from the new Whole Foods store in Fairfield. We also picked up some mushrooms, onions, baby spinach leaves, and Bing cherries. From Trader Joe's we picked up Quineoa, organic broccoli, and Thai Gyoza Potstickers. We cooked the burgers on the grill and prepared the rest on our stove. Tried somethign a little different by reverse wilting the baby spinach leaves by placing the onions we had sauted in olive oil on top of the plated spinach - then adding the burgers, then the mushrooms on top of both - and a little soy sauce on top. Worked great - crazy good - and the bing cherries brought it to another level. Definately worth trying.

View from the Creek

Ben and Rob are starting work on the Ash Creek Zen Garden.
Ben's mom did some preliminary weeding to get the job started.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fairfield Strength This Summer

Hi All -

It's been a very strange year - on many levels. This past Spring is the first season I did not coach soccer in as long as I can remember. This is also the first year in the last 10 that I/we are not involved in the State Nutmbeg games. Seems like I learned how to say no - not gracefully, not by a long shot.

The only thing that makes saying no to things that I love possible is the why. If by saying no to something you love it can somehow contribute to a greater good than missing what you have known and loved becomes doable - not easy - but doable. This past year we sacraficed what we have known for what we have been learning - and we have learned so much on so many levels. The lessons when applied have created wonderful change in many lives that we have been fortunate to touch. It has also resulted in some painful goodbyes - but in the big picture we believe that everything happens as it should, and that we will be re-united with those people we have missed when it is right.

Coach - what the heck are you talking about? Sorry - sometimes I ramble - the past year has been a journey of discovery. We at ASH CREEK have spent the last year learning and perfecting our craft - we will never be done - because each day provides the opportunity for new lessons - and new learning - but what we have discovered is that by using Z health dynamcic joint mobility in conjuction with other highly successful training methods we can help our athletes achieve some pretty incredible changes in movement, pain reduction, and athletic performance. We have applied our system approach to athletes young and old, from impaired to elite, obese to highly conditioned. By focussing on the central nervous system and turning up the volume on our internal power control system amazing changes become routine. Here are some examples -

Emergency Services - Kim Massey has lost over 150 lbs in the past year working with us. She has achieved amazing strength, flexibity, and cardiovascuar fitness.

Seniors - Joe Cafferelli's hip pain is gone and he is moving better than he has in over 20 years.

High School Athletes -

Asst. Fairfield Ludlow LAX and Ash Creek Instructor Ryota Hirata applied the Z health neural warm up with the Ludlow Boys LAX team this spring with amazing results - the team experienced only one injury attributed to inapropriate footwear - no use related injures were reported. Quality of movement, accuracy of shots, and overall performance was greatly improved.

Baseball - Fairfield Ludlowe Baseball Head Coach Keith O’Rourke reported that the athletes trained by Ash Creek Fitness were the best conditioned of any that reported to his training camp this Spring - according to Coach O'Rourke "they seemed like they were tuned in, like thier relfexes were faster and more accurate."

So what does this all mean? The Fairfield Strength Summer programming model has continued to evolve. We have training sessions available through out the summer at our new home - Ash Creek Fitness - 3370 Fairfield Ave., just over the Town line in Black Rock. We run small group trainig sessions and train ALL ages and abilites. As always - our primary goal is to provide the highest quality training that is specifically designed to meet your personal needs and help you achieve YOUR goals. Please contact us so we can share what we have been learning - email at george.gomola@ashcreekfitness.com or visit our site - www.ashcreekfitness.com.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Matt's Post Work Out Interview

Matt Podalski - in addition to being our most favorite person and the official Ash Creek Fitness Meteorologist is also our senior member. Believe it or not - Matt was one of the very first students to attend the the original Fairfield Strength Form and Function Pilot program. We are so very proud of the progress Matt has made. Keep up the great work!

Ash Creek Meteorologist Matt Podolsky

Hello, I'm 1350 WNLK AM Meteorologist associated with News 12 CT Matthew Podolsky.

As you see below, a copied print of NOAA's Storm Prediction Center's Severe Thunderstorm watch for the entire Fairfield County until 9 PM EST.

As you also see near moderately below, you'll notice that today's Severe Thunderstorm forecast which is Slight chance of severe weather. And, today's thunderstorm forecast could bring to our area early this evening: Lightning, Damaging winds of 55 mph or greater, and heavy rain. Hail is a possible chance for areas in Fairfield that's above the Merritt Parkway.

Year #5 for Fairfileld Summer Stength

Hard to believe it's year 5 - What started as a pilot program designed to combat childhood obesity and help middle school students learn to use the equipment in their fitness center has developed into a functional agility training model that has been applied with great success to athletes of all ages and abilities.

Perfect Practice - never to failure.
Clean movement, pattern, then load.
Quality is more important than quantity.
The central nervous system is always paying attention!
The last rep (or the worst rep) defines the bar.

Applying these principles and using them as a template that we tailor to suit the needs of every athlete we have the privilege of working with has allowed FS to become an agent of meaningful change. From special needs to performance athletes we have truly changed lives with our programming. That is not said with arrogance. It is said with gratitude and humility. We have shared a little of what we have learned and become a mirror for others to see the greatness inside themselves. It's been a truly wonderful journey.

All programming this year will be held at Ash Creek Fitness - www.ashcreekfitness.com. Cleo is back, as is Mookie. Matt and Evan and Ben have started their summer training. Evan brought his dad - how cool is that :) Matt has developed some crazy strength and is also serving as the official meteorologist for Ash Creek Fitness - his weather updates will appear hear and on the Ash Creek Fitness Face Book page.

Programming for this summer is very flexible - we welcome one on one - small group and family training models. We have room, so please give us a call or send us an email - george.gomola@ashcreekfitness.com.


Monday, June 6, 2011

A parting well made.

With May and June comes the bittersweet parting of old friends and new. As players graduate and move on sometimes we forget to say goodbye. Life moves so quickly that a momement can be over before it's realized. We may only get one chance - so be present. Pay attention long enough to remember well those moments that need to be remembered. There may not be a second chance. So here is a late goodbye to those I missed.

I thought saying goodbye would be the hardest part.
Not saying goodbye is harder.
We would have found a smile in goodbye.
I hope we meet again to share the smile we missed.