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Monday, April 30, 2012

A Lioness Unleashed: From Tears to Cheers, Congrats Amanda!

“Trudging along “doing what we are suppose to do”, what is politically correct is like caging a lion. Eventually wild eyes die, leaving a body with no soul. It’s not that we can’t hear that little voice we remember so well from our childhood, where everything was black and white, it’s that it no longer speaks to us, it’s disgusted by who we grew up to be. Ask yourself; if your thirteen year-old self saw you now, would they smile, cry, or kick the s*!t outta you?”

- Josh Bunch

In late September / early October a young woman walked into the gym for her intro. Her name was Amanda and after several weeks/months of badgering/encouraging by her co-worker Dianne (aka D the destroyer) she finally gathered enough courage to come in and check us out. She was the only one that Fall Saturday and Coach Mo and myself were taking her through the steps. This intro was different. A mix of emotional and physical pain was taking its toll on Amanda. Several times we had to stop and let the tears flow. I think we gave more hugs than swings on this day. She mentioned several times she was a former athlete and over the course of a few years, exercise/athleticism/competition had taken a backseat. As time had elapsed, the pounds had accumulated along with some sadness and self doubt.

But she still had the courage to try it out. For several folks taking that first step is a HUGE one. Lots of folks are intimidated, shy, afraid of what to expect. We often hear “I need to get in shape before I go down there”. Which is obviously not the case, taking that first step is tough and for Amanda it was an emotional one. It was admitting to herself she needed to change and actually having the tenacity to do something about it …and that can be rough.

But through the teary water filled eyes there still remained a spark. A fire that had once roared inside her had almost been extinguished..almost..but all it takes is a spark to ignite a sweeping fire.

Weeks became months and over the course of time some amazing things were happening. We started slow and small with Amanda…but never easy. She set small attainable goals. These were Amanda's first goals:
1) 10 unbroken burpees
2) Run to the stoplight without stopping (approximately 400 meters)
3) Hang from the pullup bar for at least 5 seconds

 She started showing up consistently and added in a Paleo diet and pounds were dropping fast. She even won a weight loss competition at work. People were beginning to take notice. The spark that took flame was now blazing…

Over the weekend Amanda along with some other folks from the gym went over to our good friends at the Strength Lab and competed in a Bench Press & Deadlift meet. Amanda’s favorite lift is the deadlift and had wanted to join the 300 club for some time. On Saturday she stood on the platform victorious pulling 315 and taking home a first place medal also setting the Strength Lab female deadlift record at the same time!

In just over 6 months Amanda has gone from tears..barely able to swing a 18lb kettlebell for 5 reps without stopping to winning deadlift competitions! Not to mention she has lost over 50lbs along the way. Her sister joined the gym and has witnessed similar results and she has become an inspiration to countless others, most importantly her father who she has helped change his eating habits and cut his dependency on diabetes medication. Amazing what a single spark can do.And she isn’t done yet. In a few weeks she’ll be running her first 5K, competing at the Gauntlet, and has also signed up for a Tough Mudder.

Through the pestering of a friend (and anyone that knows D knows how her persistent she can be), she gathered the courage to take the first step. In just a short amount of time, that spark that was hidden behind watery eyes has now got fire. Now the only thing that matches Amanda’s fire is her smile.

Let her example be the inspiration you need. All you need to do is take the first step.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Olympic Lifting - 101 Friday 5pm

Still have a few slots remaining for the Olympic Lifting 101 class on Friday at 5pm. Introductory price for this class is $15 and is a prerequisite to attend the Olympic Lifting Classes starting next week. If you don't attend Friday's special introductory offer, you'll have to schedule a 1 on 1 with a coach at a cost of $25.

For Friday's class we will cover the following:

Warm-up: dynamic and skill specific exercises for O-lifting

Set-up: How to get into a good starting postition, this is huge. "a good start equals a good finish".

Positioning: developing body awareness and a "feel" for the 1st Pull, 2nd Pull, and 3rd Pull

We will cover technique for the snatch, clean, and finish up with the jerk. We are not trying to stick a specific timeline on this class. I would estimate an hour and a half.

*Rumor has it we may even have a women's bar by Friday?

Also since we're having this class on Friday at 5pm, the regularly scheduled 5pm Strength & Conditioning will be cancelled.

See you guys on Friday at 5pm! Come ready to learn!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Starting Monday we are revamping our evening schedule and we will also begin to offer an Olympic Lifting Program. Let’s discuss the Olympic Lifting Program (OLP):

Why Olympic Lifting? Benefits include:

-Developing Kinesthetic awareness.

-Increasing muscle fiber diameter.

-Increasing neural adaptations.

-Improving intra-muscular coordination.

-Improving inter-muscular coordination.

-Increased “Core” strength, stability, and control.

These are very fancy words essentially meaning that Olympic Lifting will make you a stronger, faster, more explosive, dynamic, and better human being. That being said, it's not a sport you can pick up on your own. It requires a watchful eye and a knowledgable coach. Hence, the reason the entire staff at PSKC recently attended a USAW certification and have traveled to train and be coached at the Columbus Weightlifting Club. It is an Olympic sport after all. But once you master the fundamentals it can be incredibly rewarding and most importantly....FUN.

The goal of the OLP is to get you to master and practice the fundamentals. Then once you're consistent with the mechanics you'll be able to start hitting some pretty gnarly personal records (PRs). You'll be strong, incredible explosive, and fast. All good qualities that will transfer over to better quality of life.

So here's the details of the Olympic Lifting Program at PSKC:

1) In order to attend the Olympic Lifting Program you must attend the perquisite Lifting 101 intro class. This is where you will get with a USAW certified coach and begin to learn the fundamentals and mechanics of the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. Cost is $25. However, in order to get the program up and running we are offering a $15 intro class special this Friday at 5pm. We are only accepting 15 folks.

2) Upon completion of the OLP intro class. We will offer 2 classes a week (Thursday at 6:30pm and Saturday at 10am). During these classes you will receive hands on coaching in the technical aspects of the Olympic lifts. The classes will be kept small in order to provide more individualized attention. During the classes we will stress technique and work on the set up/progressions/and skill transfer exercises in order to increase your Olympic Lifting skill. For the entire hour we will focus on the snatch, clean, and jerk and accessories lifts/exercises to get you stronger.

Cost for the classes is the standard daily rate of $7/class. Please note this program is in addition to the regular strength and conditioning classes and therefore not included in the monthly membership.

Onto the new evening schedule:

Morning classes will stay the same (Monday-Saturday 9am), beginning Monday, April 30th we will offer the following class schedule in the evenings:

5:30 – Strength & Conditioning Class
6:30 – Strength & Conditioning Class

5:30 – Strength & Conditioning Class
6:30 – Strength & Conditioning Class

5:30 – Strength & Conditioning Class
6:30 – Strength & Conditioning Class

5:30 – Strength & Conditioning Class
6:30 – *Olympic Lifting

5:30 – Strength & Conditioning Class
*NO 6:30 CLASS

Saturday:0900 – PAIN CLINIC

So as you can see we've increased our class schedule to better accomodate you guys! We are anxiously and looking forward to the new schedule and the addition of the Olympic Lifting program! Can't wait to get started.
Also, we have some openings available for a PSKC intro course tommorow at 7pm! Let your friends know. Thank you for your continued awesomeness...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Photos of the Week

Bill refusing to give in during a terrible lactic acid workout...

So we discovered Instagram at the gym and it makes us look somewhat artistic. So enjoy the cool shots from throughout the week. I hope you all had a great weekend, got some much needed rest and are ready to attack another great week of training. Don't forget to get registered for the Gauntlet! Slots are filling up....

Machine and Greg carrying on..
Les Norris and CUW getting inverted..
no words needed..
overcoming fear of heights..
ready for the Gauntlet..

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ironskull Fitness Kettlebells Sponsoring the 2012 Gauntlet!

We'd like to officially welcome Ironskull Fitness Kettlebells as an official sponsor for the 2012 Gauntlet! We've long been fans of the quality badassedness they manufacture in the form of a skull kettlebell. So much so the gym's good luck charm (MAPACHE) is an Ironskull bell. Why Ironskull?

Do you like America?......check
Do you like Ohio?........check
Do you like kettlebells?.....check
Do you like camo and/or skulls?....double check

If you answered yes, then you'll LOVE Ironskull. American made kettlebells, headquartered right here in Ohio. Doesn't get much better than that. Click HERE to check them out. Big thanks to this awesome company step up and allow us to make a great event even better.

The top male finisher in each age category will receive a deluxe painted Ironskull bell!

The top female finisher in each age category will receive a pink camo Ironskull bell!

Told you there were some cool things in the works! Hopefully more to come! You better get in while you still can!! Click HERE to register!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Cookies?!?!?!

Paleo at it's most true and raw form essentially means "if you can't kill it or pick it, don't eat it". Which means you wouldn't have seen caveman around the fire getting making some delicious baked goods. So that's why these aren't called "Paleo" cookies. But if you're looking for a good variety day recipe or if you have lil kettlebellers running around this is a great natural alternative to the typical sugar laden processed chocolate chip cookie.


1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1 cup blonde coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup of 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate
1 cup chopped walnuts(optional)

Mix flour and baking soda and set aside. 
Mix oil, eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. 
Combine flour and soda and mix all together. 
Fold in chocolate chips. 
Form desired size and shape. 
They do not expand while baking. 
Bake at 350 for 13 minutes.

There you have it. They are some tasty sonsofbitches. Will we have cookies at the Gauntlet? No, but there will be beer! So get registered now!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2012 Gauntlet: Registration Closes May 19th and Announcement of Event 1

Monday's aftermath..
Click HERE now to register! We will be closing registration down on May 19th. So the first 60 that register get in and guarantee their spot.We have to close it down two weeks in advance in order to square away the shirts, assign heats, and other necessary planning. So you have roughly one month to get in!

A couple of announcements...

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go towards purchasing some kettlebells and equipment that will be donated to the local Marine recruiting station here in Portsmouth! This will enable them to better prepare future Marines for the rigors of basic training. So here's the deal, on the day of the event we will have a donation bucket that will go towards the equipment fund for the Portsmouth Recruiting Station. The gym will match up to $500 whatever you guys donate. So a nice lil $1000 gift certificate from Rogue Fitness will go a long way to better prepare our local young men and women enlisting in the Marines.

Secondly,  I want to send a HUGE thanks to our sponsors so far, they've allowed us to really make this event bigger and badder and really help the equipment donation possible.

Donna Wolery Farmers Insurance
Staker's Drugs - Portsmouth's best pharmacy

We are trying to line up a half day of awesomeness. We've got a few things in the works that you guys will really dig. But we're always looking for more awesome sponsors to step up to the plate.

As promised as we get closer to the dates we will release different hints and clues about what to expect. Be sure to like the PSKC Facebook page to stay up to date on all the latest and greatest.

So without further adieu, the first of the four events at the 2012 Gauntlet will be a deadlift ladder! At the start of the event, the contestants will have 45 seconds to attempt a successful lift. They will then have 15 seconds to transition to the next weight if the lift is successful. Only conventional style deadlift is permitted. The following are the weights for male/female:

  1. 225/135
  2. 255/155
  3. 275/185
  4. 315/205
  5. 345/225
  6. 375/250
  7. *405/275

*In the event the contestant makes it to the last weight. It then becomes a 1 minute as many reps as possible event. Score is determined by total number of reps completed.

Keep in mind this is only 1 of the 4 events you'll be participating in during the course of the day. We will post more hints/details in the coming weeks. In the meantime get signed up now! If you don't want to compete we can definitely use your help as a volunteer/judge. Get ahold of one of us to let us know!

So get in now to guarantee your spot of this awesomeness!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Would You Follow Your Own Advice?

The Gorilla!
Over the weekend I came across a fantastic article written by the author the 5/3/1 program, Jim Wendler. Click HERE to read the article.

The premise of the article is that Jim is writing a letter to his younger self. Being that he is a strength expert the article's main focus centers around sticking to the basics, being patient,  and being in it for the long haul. However they are some other great bits of advice as well:

"Don't be so anxious and don't worry. There are going to be a lot of times where you're going to feel helpless, powerless, and the future seems hopeless. Remember how we talked about The Process? Just focus on doing the Right Things the Correct Way.

People get too wrapped up in the goal and not the events that need to happen to reach that goal. The goal seems so big, so far away. And they get frustrated. And they quit.

You do not quit. You never have. Mom and Dad made sure you didn't quit. This will serve you well in all areas of life.

When you read, your mind expands. Your dreams become bigger and your words become more colorful.

When you train, your body becomes taut and hard. And when you train hard, your mind must overcome the physical pain to overcome and move on.

All these things go hand in hand. Never stop creating, moving forward, and kicking ass. Discard the negative and trust your heart"

All great words of advice. After all you've learned and from all your experiences if you could write a letter to your younger self what would it say? More importantly, would you accept and follow that advice today? 

It's never too late to follow your own advice....

We've got another great week of training lined up! Don't forget for the morning folks we now have morning classes Monday - Saturday at 9am! Wake up, get it in, then go have an awesome rest of your day! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

You Do You...

How competitive is too competitive? Simple question...the answer however can be tricky.

Several members from the gym participated in the Crossfit Open. Overall is was a great experience as it provided an opportunity to increase our fitness levels. More importantly, it magnified what we're not good at...not only externally from a physical perspective but from an internal (mental/emotional) one as well.

We saw the whole range of emotions. We saw people feel awesome about theirselves but we also saw people get into a funk and get down on themselves about how well they did or didn't do in a workout.

I like competition and consider myself a competitive person. These are good qualities to have. Competition forces you to go a little harder, dig a little deeper. All good things...these all fall under the realm "healthy competition". However, competition can bring out certain psycho qualities in people as well. Trust me ... I know from experience.

One of the things the open showed me is there a large pool of "freaks" across the world who seem superhuman in their fitness levels. And I was down on myself for not being anywhere near close to them. As a gym owner and trainer I should be leading from the front, having the fastest times, lifting the most weight, etc. Some of that comes from a place that is good (wanting to be better) but some of that comes from a not so good place (my ego).

All I really needed to be concerned about was answering the question of am I better today than I was a week/month/year ago?

Many of us who consider ourselves ultra-competitive, Type A, go getters. This is good as it provides a drive to be better. But we can land in a sketchy area if we start basing our happiness on how we stack up and compare to others.

PSKC is founded on a couple principles;

1) Busting your ass
2) Having fun
3) Helping others

No where in there is "determine your self worth based on how well you did at workouts". Nor will you find "compare yourself to others". How many times do you hear "What was Jane's time?", "How much did John lift?" ... then you go try to be faster than Jane or lift more than John. But who should you be competing against? Jane? John? ....the answer is neither.

The competition should always be internal, you against you. Your sense of satisfaction shouldn't be determined where you stack up to other people. You only need to compete against you, being better today than you were yesterday, not against Jane of John.

For example, is your 500lb deadlift any more impressive than someone's PR of 185? Or your 6 minute smile any more impressive than the first time someone ran a mile without stopping?

Another thing to consider is stop worrying about doing "prescribed" workouts/weights. Today I read a fantastic article (click HERE) regarding doing prescribed workouts. This really hit for me as we're starting to see some folks lift for ego versus lifting for form. This point was really driven home at the recent USAW certification. Go back to the bar and drill technique..technique..technique.

As you guys may have noticed we are changing our programming of workouts to accomodate a wider range of folks. So far the feedback has been good. We are still toying around with the idea of whether or not we will "prescribe" weights for certain workouts. Because as Freddy points out,

"At One World, we offer group sessions and everyone does the same workout either “RX'd” or “scaled.” Scaling is very personal to each individual, and is nothing to be ashamed about. Scaling is what makes the program work for everyone. You will NEVER EVER hear a CrossFit One World trainer telling you that performing the workout “RX'd” is what really matters. You will NEVER EVER see a CrossFit One World trainer trying to get a person to do a workout “RX'd” when the person clearly has no business attempting the workout that way."

Don't worry about the weight you're doing or not doing. Worry about doing it right. Easier said than done especially when you let your ego get in the way. And don't compare yourself to what others are doing. This is especially difficult for guys. If you're a dude, and you're just starting out at PSKC. Get ready to eat some humble pie and A LOT of it. We have several women who are stronger than you. And it will be that way for a couple weeks/months until you learn what you're doing.

Trust in your trainers/coaches. For some of you we've got to bump you up...for some of you we've got to bump you down. If you look like a monkey humping a football...odds are you shouldn't be power cleaning that weight. On the flipside, if you cling to the 18lb kettlebells for 6 months you ain't gonna be seeing any results. Trust your coaches..we are there for make you better.

In closing...HAVE SOME DAMN FUN! Smile like a sumbitch, laugh, encourage one another, and support one another. This shit is fun if you let it be. But if you're constantly obsessive about your times/weights/'ll just drive yourself crazy and you won't be much fun to be around in the process.

Remember, everyday is a great day to go be awesome...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Trappy's Magical Meatloaf

Trappy's kitchen is back and operational! She was out of commission for a few weeks due to some remodeling but she's back with this week's installment of some damn good meatloaf. 

1lb lean ground beef
1lb pork sausage
3 eggs
1 onion, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons of spicy brown mustard
5 sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove of minced garlic
Famous Dave's burger seasoning to taste
Cracked pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups almond flour


1lb bison

Combine all ingredients by hand and form a loaf. I use a meatloaf pan and highly recommend it. It drains excess fat while it bakes. Bake for 1-11/2 hours at 350. 

Simple and easy! Don't forget we now have morning classes on Thursday. Hope to see you morning maniacs then..

Monday, April 9, 2012

Honoring 3 of Ohio's Own...

4APR12 - Afghanistan

During a routine mission a man drove up in motorcycle near American forces. Seconds later the motorcycle exploded in a suicide attack that resulted in the deaths of 3 sons of Ohio. Four other soldiers were injured in the attack. The commander of the unit these men served in described the deaths of the three as:

“Ohio lost three very, very good men — family men, well-trained soldiers, that were friends to us all,” LTC Baker said. “They would have done anything for us.”

Hopefully we all had to chance to spend time with our loved ones over the Easter weekend. The families of these 3 heroes will never get that chance. Three sons of Ohio set off to war to try and make the world a little better place. Three sons and close to 6500 other sons and daughters never made it back.

And I'm willing to bet the vast and large majority of Americans does not know a single name of the 6500...

Today was a special workout to honor the sacrifice of these three sons of Ohio. The workout consisted of:

1 mile run
37 kettlebell clean and press each arm
1 mile run
37 box jumps
1 mile run
37 burpee pullups

Each man was giving their own mile run. During that run it was time to reflect on that man and his family. It wasn't a time to feel depressed and sad but be thankful that such men are here willing to serve and sacrifice. A time to honor...

The 37 reps signify the National Guard unit the men belonged to; the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Please never forget our troops that have paid the ultimate sacrifice and the ones still serving in harm's way. Never in our history has so much been asked by so small a number of soldiers.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Outdoor Rig is Rocking! Tue/Thurs 9am Classes Start This Week..

Outdoor rig tested at the Pain Clinic
Now that spring has sprung and warmer weather is here it's time to expand the party outside! On Friday a group of us constructed the outdoor pullup rig. Now we don't have to be so congested inside  and the rig was designed to show the shorties some love!

Kevin showing how it's done..
finishing touches
awesome members doing awesome things..
I want to send a huge thanks to all you guys that helped out! We are very lucky to have you guys.

REMINDER: this week we are adding more morning classes to the mix. There will be a Tuesday and Thursday 9am class, which means we now have Monday through Friday morning classes at 9am!

Also, we are doing an intro program tomorrow at 5pm. Let your friends know and don't forget about the referral program. Please plan to join us tomorrow as we will do a workout to honor the recent sacrifice that 3 Ohio National Guardsmen gave in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More Morning Classes and We're 2 Months Out from the Gauntlet..

We are now 2 months out from the 2nd annual Gauntlet challenge! You can register by clicking on the upper left link on the blog or just go HERE.

We'd love to get some local business sponsors on board so we can truly make this event special. If you'd like to help out please email me at:

As promised, as we get closer we will release more details about what to expect. So here's the general outline:

There will be a total of 4 events. You can expect...ANYTHING. We'll go after strength, test your conditioning...and we'll see just how bad you can endure the suck. Everything will be scalable. This isn't a competition to see who is the "fittest on Earth" (although if Reebok wants to chip in we'll definitely take the help). This is a chance to compete and have some fun around some generally awesome folks.

This is an individual contest. But that doesn't mean you might be thrown on a team at some point and see how well you can work together....hummmmm...could get interesting. The only way to know for sure is to sign up and register NOW! At a minimum you'll get a pretty sweet shirt!

Also, starting next week. We'll be adding MORE MORNING CLASSES! So Monday - Friday you'll be able to come down and get a 9am morning class in! And also coming later in the very near future we'll be offering 2 classes in the evening. More details to follow! So go register for the Gauntlet so you can start training!

Monday, April 2, 2012

PSKC at USAW Certification

2012 Olympian Holly Mangold coaching at the USAW certification
Over the weekend the staff at PSKC at the great opportunity to attend a United States Association of Weightlifting (USAW) coaching certification. Not only did we learn a lot about coaching the Olympic lifts, but for me the highlight was the quality of the instructors we were learning from.

There were several nationally ranked lifters and even a 2012 Olympian (Holly Mangold) who were on site coaching and instructing. It was incredible to be critiqued by these folks as we were going through the progressions of the snatch, clean, and jerk. We also got a chance to watch them lift. These folks were strong and fast, it was also really neat to watch a big athlete like Holly throw around big weight (she can snatch over 250lbs)..

Equally impressive was to watch someone who was tiny (115lbs) like Chelsea Kyle lift. This is her hitting close to a 195lb clean and jerk...

We learned a ton and are anxious to provide the knowledge to you as well. Does this mean we are abandoning the kettlebells? ABSOLUTELY NOT. As a matter of fact, we're gonna be bringing back more kettlebell workouts and throwing them into the rotation.

Barbell and Olympic lifting has really became a growing interest of ours here in the last few months and that has been reflected in our selection of workouts. But kettlebells are our first love and always will be. So what we're gonna be doing for certain workouts will be giving you guys the option to pick what you wanna work on (the barbell or kettlebell lifts) for the strength/skill portions. Have no passion for the barbell stuff?'ll be rocking single or double kettlebells for the strength portion. Any lift you can do with a barbell you can do with a kettlebell or vice versa.

In the future, just like with 5/3/1 strength programming we'll be offering some additional times just to come in and work on your Olympic lifts. This of course will be in addition to the regular gym workouts. So you can choose to do the class or do the Olympic lifting class.

At the end of the day we want to be able to offer you guys the best service possible. We are a growing and more importantly evolving gym. It's through your ideas and feedback that will continue to make us better. So please speak up, let us know what you don't like and what you like. We know we can't please everyone...but ALWAYS remember this your club and we'll do our best to continue to offer the best damn service possible and be the best gym we can be!