We are excited to announce that we have officially partnered with Stephen's Place and have relocated our Vancouver location to their facility. We are looking forward to joining the Stephen's Place family and for the opportunity to provide an unparalleled fitness program for their residents. Contact us today to schedule a tour of the new facility!
"Is that him? Brandin Cooks! That's actually Brandin Cooks!"
Lewis & Clark College is located about a ten minute drive from downtown Portland and is home to around 2,000 undergraduate students. In early May, with spring semester ending, campus becomes a ghost town since the majority of the students return home for the summer. It's private setting, proximity to downtown Portland, top tier facilities, and quiet summer campus often draws professional athletes to train at the college. This summer it created a once in a lifetime opportunity for one of our clients named Shalin.
Shalin is a nine year old boy that LOVES sports. For the last couple of years, he has had an NCAA March Madness bracket finish in the top 96+% on ESPN Bracket Challenge, he loves the New England Patriots, and actively requests to watch game film with the Lewis & Clark football coaches after his training sessions. If he's not watching game film after session, most likely he'll be on the field imagining that he is Tom Brady throwing a game winning touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, immediately followed by his best Gronk spike, his favorite TD celebration. And if "Deflate Gate" was brought up during his sessions, he'd make a case for Tom Brady's innocence and voice his opinions on the suspension. He's a die hard fan through and through.
So when I heard Brandin Cooks, the Patriots recently acquired wide receiver, was in town, I immediately thought of Shalin. Through a member of the L&C family, Cooks heard of Shalin's love for the game of football and the Patriots and scheduled a time to surprise the nine year old. Shalin's initial interaction to with Brandin was priceless:
Brandin: "I like that shirt." (Shalin was wearing a Patriots shirt)
Shalin: "Who are you?"
S: "Brandin Cooks, is that him? Brandin Cooks! That's actually Brandin Cooks! What are you doing here?"
B: "I'm here to see you."
S: "How'd you know that I even exist?"
B: "Because you're famous."
After Shalin had some time to process what was going on, he joined Brandin on the field and for part of his workout.
Professional athletes hold an interesting place in our society. They are paid to play a game that they love and are looked up to by many, children and adults alike. Always in the spot light, it can seem like their every move is under examination. Often the media focuses on their negative actions and their names litter the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.
The media focuses primarily on the negative because it is what sells and grabs our attention. That is why it is even more important to share stories about athletes that use their role to positively influence society. Stories of athletes who are humble and hard working, yet take the time to give back to their communities.
Thank you Brandin for taking the time to give a fan an unforgettable experience, and being a positive light in our community.
Looking for a healthier option for your favorite morning treat? Look no further. Below is the quickest, healthiest, and most tasty pancake option that you will find.
INGREDIENTS: MACROS: 261 calories, 28.2g carbs, 13.9g protein, 11g fat
Before you begin anything, start heating up your skillet. If you are using a cast iron, lightly coat it with olive oil.
I have found that a full banana doesn't provide the right consistency. So, eat 1/4 of the banana and place the rest of it into a bowl. Mash it up with a fork, then add the two eggs. Whisk until it is fairly lump free, and then you're ready to cook.
By this time your skillet is ready to go. Place about 2 tablespoons of batter in the skillet. From trial and error (and my wife's critique) it is better to keep the pancakes smaller. They turn out with a better consistency and taste better. The 2 tablespoons is about the right measurement to keep the pancakes at about 3-4 inches.
Wait until the underside is golden brown, and then flip them over. Once both sides are evenly cooked, you are done and it is time to eat. I like to add peanut butter to mine and eat them like a mini crepe.
And there you have it, the easiest and healthiest pancake recipe that you'll find. Enjoy!
A majority of our clients come to us after having a negative experience with exercise. Many times this a direct result of the over sized classes at their school, where they do not receive the attention that they need and fall through the cracks. Some have tried to participate in a group game at recess time, only to have the game move to quickly for them to process and immediately feel lost. And others simply had a bad experience with another personal trainer that just didn't know how to motivate them. That was the case with our buddy "Jason".
During his session yesterday, "Jason" told one of our trainers stories that used fear as a motivator instead of love. One example was his trainer threatened to take a $1 out of his wallet each time that the walked on the side of the treadmill. Using (hopefully) empty threats and using fear as a motivator doesn't earn the respect of your clients. Sure, they may comply and you will see the behaviors that you want decreased be reduced. But in no way does it lead them to wanting to come back or to be active outside of their scheduled sessions.
Instead, motivate with love. We (Specialty Athletic Training team) believe that our clients should always leave wanting to come back. We strive to make exercise fun, use positive reinforcement during our instruction, aim to increase the self esteem and confidence, and make sure that they leave with a smile.
Awareness is defined by Dictionary.com as:
"the state or condition of being aware; having knowledge; consciousness:
Acceptance is defined by Dictionary.com as:
"favorable reception; approval; favor"
April is National Autism Awareness Month. It is great educate others about autism so that they are more aware, but as you can see from the definitions above we also need to spread the message of acceptance as well. We need to teach people to have a "favorable reception" towards others that are different than themselves, not to just "having knowledge" about how they might be different.
Here is an amazing video that does both!
No matter your fitness goals, the one movement that should be a staple in your program is the deadlift. It targets the major muscle groups in the legs (glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings), along with working your back, shoulders, forearms, and traps.
Below is the most common variation that we use with our clients, the Trap Bar Deadlift. The positioning of the bar helps promote proper posture throughout the movement, which helps reduces the occurrence of lower back injuries.
Trust. The one word that can either make or break a relationship. The relationships that we have with our clients are no different. Our clients have often had a breach of trust in the past, or don't trust their own abilities. As trainers, our job is to connect with our clients in a positive way that builds trust, as well as increase their self-esteem and self-confidence. This is how we are able to continue to push our clients past their comfort zones over time.
The process of building that trust takes time and once we do gain their trust it doesn't mean that our job is finished. Nor does it mean that our clients will magically do anything that we ask. Trust is something that we continuously work at maintaining because we know that once it is broken, it can be very difficult to get it back.
Last week I wrote about my my friend Benjamin and how he introduced me to the world of autism. I also mentioned how the expectations for him in PE class were different than his peers, for example only having to run two warm up laps around the gym instead of four. Here is a fun video from almost two years ago when Ben ran his first 5k. It's been awesome to witness his progress during his fitness journey. Enjoy!
It has been almost five years since I founded Specialty Athletic Training. This morning as I browsed through my phone to look for a photo to post on Instagram, I couldn't help but think about the reason why I created Specialty Athletic Training. Every picture reminded me of the first boy that introduced me to the world of autism nearly ten years ago and who would end up changing my life forever.
He was a boy that kept to himself, but could tell you anything you wanted to know about Disney movies (voice cast lists, dates movies were released, etc). He had a few foods that he loved, and a lot that he despised. He loved to watch SpongeBob SquarePants, but would rewind and fast forward to watch his favorite scenes over and over again. He was my introduction to the world of autism.
The boy's name was Benjamin. I was hired to be his 1:1 aide, or as he referred to the position his "worker". I quickly realized that he experienced the world in a completely different way than I did. He experienced the world in a black and white type of way, which is tough when others around you don't. We had to teach him social norms and how his actions affected others. That you can't stare at a girl because you find her nice to look at. That when you go to the restroom, you can't go to the closest urinal if someone is using the stall next to it because of the unspoken "stall buffer" rule.
I also learned that society had placed their unfair lower expectations for him because he was "different". He would have behaviors in school that were fueled out of frustration and confusion, which would result in holding him to a different standard than his peers. For example, Ben would only run two laps around the gym for a warm up in PE, as his peers would run four. I knew he could physically run more, but I didn't see why two laps was the point where he would consistently begin to have melt downs and need redirection in PE class. To figure it out, I looked at the situation in a way that I learned from working with Ben and my training, there is always a trigger behind a behavior. So, what was happening at that two lap mark that would cause him to get agitated? One word, sweat.
That's right. It was sweat that caused Ben to feel so uncomfortable that he would flop on the floor and scream for a period of time. But why? It freaked him out and rightfully so. What is sweat? Why is this happening to my body? These were some of the unanswered questions that raced through his head. After explaining the process of thermoregulation, Ben understood what was happening to his body. Sweating still isn't his favorite thing, but he no longer becomes anxious when he sweats.
As time went on and we continued to exercise at school and at home, Ben started verbalizing other feelings in his body that he was unsure about. "Ryan, my legs they feel weak" and "Ryan, my heart feels like it is coming out of my chest" are just a couple of examples. This experience became the reason that I created Specialty Athletic Training in 2012, where Ben was our first client.
Fast forward to the present day, we have now trained over 200 individuals of various ages and disabilities, that like Ben, had previously had negative experiences with exercise. Reflecting on this growth and our recent expansion, gets me excited for the future and our ability to provide the same opportunity to the next 200 clients.
Andrew Traver began volunteering with Specialty Athletic Training in 2012 as a peer mentor. Fast forward four years later, he is a lead trainer and has over 4,000 hours of experience working with our clients. I recently asked him why he loves his job. Here is what he had to say.
Being able to create a fun, interactive environment while at the same time providing one of a kind workout experience has led me to love my job. I am able to do two things that have always been important to me, being physically fit and helping others in their pursuit for a healthier lifestyle. These two come together perfectly at Specialty Athletic Training and is why I enjoy it so much.
About the Author
Ryan Lockard, CSCS, CFNS, is the head trainer and founder of Specialty Athletic Training. He is the Immediate Past President of the Autism Society of Oregon's Board of Directors and is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, as well as by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA) as a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Ryan has worked with children with special needs since 2007 and has over 10,000 hours of 1:1 instruction working with individuals that have various special needs.