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All posts by Simon Shawcross



A crash course in High Intensity Strength Training

We all want a fit, strong and healthy body. We all want to look good and feel good, when we look ourselves in the mirror, and we all want to do it in a way that is sustainable, long-lasting and fits around a busy everyday life. Nutrition and lifestyle aside, modern research has shown time and time again that strength training is paramount in optimizing your physiology and minimizing the effects of ageing, such age-related muscle loss and bone mineral density reduction. We are proud and confident in saying that our approach to exercise, what we call High Intensity Resistance …

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In Conversation with Luke Carlson: The Biggest Mistake When Selling Exercise and How to Avoid It

Luke Carlson is a familiar face to many in the world of high intensity training, CEO of Discover Strength, the main man behind the Resistance Exercise Conference and the instructor behind HITuni’s The Art of Selling HIT course. In this article we go behind the scenes to reveal more about Luke, his perspective on the current state of the fitness industry and some top tips for successful selling.     Discovering ‘intelligent exercise’ Luke grew up around exercise, he recalls being aged three or four when his police officer father started taking him and his brothers to a gym above …

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15 Protocols to Make your HIT Facility Covid-Secure and Inspire Client Confidence to Return to the Gym

After what may be up to six months of minimal social interaction, probably including non-attendance at the gym, what is likely to give clients the confidence to start training at your facility again? It is useful to consider that different individuals will have different levels of concern about COVID-19, and how it impacts their day-to-day life, including going to the gym. To pick examples from both ends of the spectrum: there will be people, particularly those in high-risk groups, who may still be second-guessing leaving their homes at all. At the other end of possible perspectives there will be those …

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No External Load Training: How to perform resistance training without a load

One of our core beliefs at HITuni is that some form of strength training needs to become a facet of every individual’s life and lifestyle. Its impact on wellbeing from the obvious… strength, to the unseen… myokine release and cellular health, is a boon. It is clear more people need to and can benefit from strength training. What often present as key barriers to benefitting from strength training for individuals who don’t yet train are: perceived complexity and equipment availability. Most of us with a passion for resistance training relish exercising on well-designed exercise equipment and I have enjoyed using …

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HIT facilities, hit by Covid-19: What to do now

Habitual patterns of daily living for billions of humans have now been disrupted in an unprecedented manner by the spread of Covid-19 and the global reaction to it. As members of the fitness industry, as facility owners and personal trainers our community has been significantly impacted. Indeed, it has been estimated that around 90% of gyms around the globe have temporarily had to close their doors as governments introduce measures to slow the spread of the virus.   Protecting those most at risk Why have businesses been shut down over a virus that for a majority is likely to be …

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Optimal training frequency for muscular strength and size

Strength gain and muscle size are two key motivating factors for those of us who engage in resistance training. You can find wildly differing opinions out there on how frequently a muscle group should be trained to optimize size and strength, ranging from daily workouts at one extreme to one workout every month at the other. In this post we will look at some of the various physiologic factors we need to consider when planning frequency of training for strength and size, including: Hypertrophy Edema Neuromuscular adaptation Glycogen Storage The “pump”   What I intend to do is tease out …

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In Conversation with Skyler Tanner: How strength training helped me complete a 25K race

Skyler Tanner, Exercise Physiologist and course leader of the latest HITuni short course: Running with Strength, has recently completed the J&J Rrail Running Reunion, a 25K race. I had the pleasure to chat with Skyler about his experience, his training for the race and how he combines HIT with running and here’s what he has to say!   First of all, can you tell me what the race was? Sure sure. So the race is called the J&J Trail Running Reunion.     The time that you got for the race was three hours and 15 minutes. You came 10th …

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Running with Strength: Skyler Tanner on harnessing the strength you’ve built with HIT to master running

Exercise Physiologist, Skyler Tanner, is course leader for the latest HITuni short course release: Running with Strength. Since filming the course with Skyler, we have had the opportunity to sit with Skyler to ask him about his background, his business, his approach to strength training and about his passion for running.     From Basketball to Smart Strength Many of you reading this post will likely know of Skyler; through his great blog posts, presentations and the work he does at Smart Strength. For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure or are interested in to learn more about background, …

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Full Body vs Split Routines

One of the common characteristics of the HIT approach, is the regular use of full body workouts. But what about split routines? Are there any benefits to using split routines in your own training or with your clients, or are they best left on the shelf?   A full body routine is one in which all major muscle groups of the body are exercised each workout. When most people think of a HIT routine, they typically imagine a full body routine consisting of somewhere between 3-12 exercises. Examples include: Full Body Routines     Full body routines were commonplace in …

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The Rarest Exercise Machines We Tried at Mike Petrella’s STG Strength and Power Gym

As we pull into the parking lot, I see Mike Petrella by the door to STG Strength And Power, which is just as well as the gym is so new to this location there is no external signage. I am excited to catch up with him again after meeting a week previously at the REC conference. We step inside a cavernous space that feels aircraft hangar-like in dimension. This space however is not filled with private jets, instead it acts as a considerable containing space for row upon row of exercise machines. And there are many, no one has done …

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