Fitness Training

Testimonial for Full Package:

 

All my life, I have struggled to find a good weightlifting program. I have failed many times. But that changed when I started working with Varg. According to the DEXA scans I’ve taken 4 months apart, I have gained 25 pounds in mass, mostly lean. I have never been stronger, heavier, and physically content; it feels like a blessing. Varg has been attentive to my evolving needs including temporary loss in motivation, changes in personal schedule, and lifting form concerns. He helped me push towards new versions of myself that I never even saw in myself. I hope you can also experience your own personal potential by working with Varg. -Vincent J

Online Personal Coaching- Full Package
$179.99 per month, No Contract

  • Personalized fitness and skill development programming for your specific goals
  • 30 minute video conferencing twice per month with your coach
  • Full time accessibility to a private online group (or email) between you and your coach to share photos, videos, work on form and technique together, and have open Q&A. Your coach will answer as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours with reasonable amounts of questions (no one else will have access to the group, it is completely private).
  • Topics can include but are not limited to: fitness training, strength and conditioning, general nutrition education, self-defense, equipment selection, and self-defense topics
  • 15% discount on any self-defense/firearms related classes with Varg that you register for during your active Personal Coaching contract time

Online Personal Coaching
$99.99 per month, No Contract

  • Personalized fitness plan for your specific goals
  • Monthly Assessment, Discovery and Programming to maximize results
  • Topics can include but are not limited to: fitness training, strength and conditioning, general nutrition education, self-defense, equipment selection, and self-defense topics
  • 5% discount on any self-defense/firearms related classes with Varg that you register for during your active Personal Coaching contract time

Discovery Fitness Program
$34.99 per month, No Contract

  • Monthly Fitness PDF covering the various workout cycles, volumes, intensities, and focus points. This program is excellent for the novice or anyone who wants to go on a journey of discovering the different modes of exercise and how your body in particular responds to them, but can not or will not hire a coach for whatever reason. At the end of 12 months you will have experienced and tried out enough training methods to have both discovered your own fitness path and how to best implement it. This is as much educational as it is a workout guide. You’ll start with #1 and work from there each subsequent month, ending up with some great cycles for intermediate and advanced training.
  • I guarantee that if you follow these programs, you will simultaneously learn about the most effective training methods and how your own body reacts to them while getting great results from actually doing the work. 
  • Each month you will receive a new PDF detailing a new exercise plan, with detailed explanations about the goals and methods. Some examples are, linear progression strength training, heavy-light-medium training, split training, and mixed method training, to name a few. 
  • The PDF will be accompanied by access to an audio explanation of that month’s program. The audio walk-through will include suggestions and explanations for various applications and often modifications of the program for that month. 

Contact me to get started today!

Testimonial for Discovery Program:

One of my favorite parts of Varg’s training is how it is mission focused. With fitness, my mission is to continually improve my conditioning not only for the fight but also to improve my general overall health. Varg is able to push me to achieve new goals while doing so in a safe manner that will not cause unnecessary damage that I will pay for when I am older. I started the Discovery PDF program last December and have seen major improvements in strength, conditioning and feel better as a whole. For example, the amount I can squat and bench have more than doubled since I started a year ago. My goal has been strictly performance based and I have seen measurable improvements. The program is well structured and keeps me engaged to maximize my time in and out of the gym. I have not tried a vast amount of programs, but this one is affordable and has helped me reach my goals. -Richard L

Testimonial for Discovery Program:

I have been following Varg’s general fitness program since July of 2018. I played sports and lifted weights through high school, but after getting through college and starting a family over the last few years, I had lost much of my physical strength and conditioning.
My body weight is currently 150lbs and my current three rep max on bench press is 200lbs, 300lbs on deadlift, and 245lbs on squats. These weights continue to climb, and I am able to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. My energy levels are good, and I feel strong in my daily life.
Before I started working with Varg I would download any program online that I thought “looked good” and go until my body and joints hurt so bad I had to stop. Because of Varg’s logical approach to programming, with a focus on longevity, I have regained the strength I once had, but with much less pain and a greater overall quality of life.
-Geoff M.

How I Approach Programming

Core Objectives of Programming 

Novice to Intermediate
Assessment
Corrective
Work Capacity
Hypertrophy
Strength

Advanced
Explosive Strength
Elastic/Reactive Strength
Speed/Precision

The ability to create general physical preparedness and also to know when and how to emphasize one quality over another is the mark of well developed program design. 

Assessment and Corrective are the two components I see skipped in most training. If you walk into a gym and get in front of a coach who tells you what to do, how much to do, and how long to do it, but that coach has no idea about your injuries or medical limitations, your training history, or your true goals, then he or she is not YOUR coach and your are not receiving personalized programming.

When it comes to injuries and medical issues, you could actually be in danger when you are pushed into workouts without any consideration given to those conditions. Popular group fitness tends to fall into this trap. 

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go to group training, or sit in on general programs. What I am saying is that if these important individual concerns are not considered in your program design, then you are the only one who can safeguard against either wasting your time or getting hurt. 

So, in good programming, the first step is assessment:

Are there posture problems?
Are there movement pathway deficiencies?
What are the weak links?

This is the way to increase performance and prevent injuries simultaneously, by identifying these weak or deficient areas and correcting them through training before any loads or demands are increased. For example, if you have a “shoulders forward, sagging shoulders” problem, it’s typically accompanied by weak upper back muscles which have relaxed and elongated over years of bad posture.

Throwing you into heavy deadlifts will just exacerbate the problem and encourage poor form with less than optimal upper back activation in the lift, which can lead to not only worse posture issues but also injuries as loads increase with poor form. 

Corrective work should be programmed to correct posture and movement problems before any serious training loads are put on the trainee. This is the part that NO ONE wants to do, because it is monotonous, it involves either light loads with the big lifts, or putting off the big lifts altogether while focusing on some accessory and repetition method work to build those weaker areas up to a standard level to keep up with the other muscle groups.

But who wants to do that? Phsst. Go ahead and keep pulling massive deadlifts with drooping shoulders and rounded backs. Go ahead and keep doing those heavy overhead squats literally on your toes. You’ll be fine…[deep sarcasm concluded]

Discovery is the overall continuous component of individualized programming. Your body is always changing (which is the goal of training effect.) You have to constantly monitor your results and manipulate your programming to optimize the new capabilities of your body as it changes.

It’s a very simple concept and should be employed either by your coach, or by you if you are going it alone. What volumes and intensities work best for you, and at what times? What nutrition plan works best for you? How will those factors change as you become more trained and stronger?

All of these questions and more like them need to be periodically revisited to determine what is best for YOU Today. What worked for you 10 years ago likely won’t have the same result today. What works for “everyone else” might not give you the best results. You create your own strength and conditioning data. Study it frequently.

Periodization

Nearly all methods are not purely linear, undulating or conjugate, especially when looked at from the 5000 foot view. In the big picture, good programming will use linear progression when available, undulating intensity and volume when possible, and conjugation when the trainee is ready to diversify their efforts.

Undulation and conjugation will provide the pathways for conditioning the different qualities and energy systems while linear progression will pave the way for progress in each system and task set. 

Longevity vs Performance

A major problem that I see, especially in the self-defense, gun training and tactical communities, is the desire to perform at elite athlete levels while living a non-athlete’s life. Extreme performance will always sacrifice longevity in some way.

Your body will experience accelerated wear and tear. Look at pro athletes, football players, powerlifters, bodybuilders and so on who are former champions now in their 50’s and experiencing horrible health issues. If they even live that long. 

Sure, going into crossfit or powerlifting and achieving crazy levels of performance can be fun and makes for an awesome instagram account, but you will pay for that later. 

First, if you have to go do a regular job, especially if that job means you will have unexpected physical demands like police and fire/rescue, walking around in a state of constant soreness and under recovery is not smart. You need to be fresh enough to perform your job, because it is your job. Training is not. 

Next, if you want to enjoy life when you are older and fight the effects of aging, you have to train smart today. Tearing yourself down, injuring your joints constantly and spending too much time in a perpetual state of recovery will worsen the effects of aging when they set in on you. 

If you are an elite athlete or a serious level competitor, you choose to make these sacrifices for that gold or that trophy, that is fine. But if you have a normal life to live and a non-athlete job to perform, then we work out to be strong, fit and to look and feel good. So just try to train smart if longevity is something that you care about. 

Mixed Method

A well rounded approach to programming that addresses most or all of the qualities at once (secondary), while using cycles to emphasize one quality at a time within that overall program (primary). Most often this is accomplished by undulating periodization. 

This could be as simple as strength training with max effort, repetition method and dynamic effort in the week, emphasizing velocity over static strength on some days, or it could be as advanced as strength and conditioning while simultaneously training a sport like boxing or jiu jitsu all within the week. But the two must be programmed together and in consideration of each other for optimal results. 

The biggest realization one must have about mixed method is that you will never be great at any one quality, because you are taking the training effect and distributing it to other qualities.

An elite, competitive powerlifter would make a horrible marathon runner. A professional boxer would make for a rather weak powerlifter. The body can only adapt to a limited number of stimulus. You have to choose what is important and accept the compromise. 

A good strength program a few days a week, mixed with a day or two of combatives, crossfit, or sport activity is typically a pretty good program. Making sure you get some explosive work, plyometrics, interval training, and strength training in with the emphasis where it is most important for you will usually lead to a good program.

It’s important to use cycles to change it up throughout the year, to work different emphasis as well as to keep progressive adaptation going. Doing the same thing for too long leads to homeostasis, decline in progress and mental staleness that can push you off the rails of training. 

If all you do is follow someone else’s program that was not written specifically for you by a coach while helping you develop and tune that program with the consistent data from your training logs, then you are not maximizing your benefits.

This applies to group classes as well as for grabbing popular programs from the internet and using them. Remember, everything works when you are a beginner or a novice. Your job or sport is a consideration of your program and the activities in that job or sport need to be written into the program. 

It’s worth it to find a trainer or coach who knows how programming works

If you want to pursue a higher level of fitness and performance but you can’t work with a coach for whatever reason, then it is well worth it for you to begin an academic pursuit into the world of ftiness and athletic performance program design. I’ll put a list of suggested texts into the notes for you to check out. 

While I used to work as a full time fitness trainer, I haven’t had the time to do so since I’ve been busy with my self-defense training business. For now, I do help clients with program design and discovery through the online learning. I offer two different modes of programming. 

For those who are serious enough to work with me one-on-one, I offer personalized program writing and guidance with weekly face-to-face conferencing, video analysis and program tuning. This not only guides you in your fitness goals and performance, but I also work to ensure that you are learning how this works and why, so you can become better at training yourself in the future.  

A huge benefit of working with a coach on a one-on-one basis is that what usually would be a distraction or an obstruction to your work out becomes an opportunity to get to another level. For example, I have a client who is on a foundational strength program right now. Last week he had a conference to attend leaving his week mostly spent in a hotel out of state.

Obviously, he could not do his normal routine due to time or equipment limitations. Where this would push most people off the rails, I was able to write it into his program as a “de-load” week, work up some light maintenance work he could do in the hotel gym, and prep him for a strong come back into a max effort week as a follow up, for which he was well rested for and will use as the opportunity to push up his numbers.

We were able to create opportunity where he would have normally experienced failure.

For those who are not able to do the one-on-one coaching, I offer an Educational Fitness PDF program that releases a PDF of a new program every 4 to 6 weeks. The purpose of that PDF is to expose the trainee to tons of different types of programming, explain some of the philosophy behind it, and help them discover what works best from them through experimentation and learning while they try out the different programs. 

Check it out, let me know what you think! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or you can leave them in the comments.