Monday, December 31, 2018

Pick a resolution you can stick with!

Slow-motion high-intensity strength training is a perfect solution to make your 2019 healthier and stronger.
It's the most cliche topic in the fitness industry — New Year's Resolutions.

We all have the best of intentions, but there's a reason there are jokes about the people who populate the gym for the first two weeks of January.

For the most part, there's a really good reason for this. It's not because they're lazy, or unmotivated, or a bad person — it's probably because the workout they chosen wasn't right for them.

Most people open a magazine, pick whatever looks the most fun and go at it 100 percent on Jan. 1, only to burn out two weeks later and quit because of an injury, lack of time or lack of results. This leads to frustration and guilt. They think, "Oh I missed a workout, so much for that," and it's really easy to just slack off for the rest of the week, month and eventually year.

The problem with those magazine workouts is there's not a lot of science behind them. A large majority of fitness publications are there solely to sell you supplements, and the writers and editors need to have a brand new routine every issue to fit between the protein powder ads.

So the secret to keeping a resolution is pretty simple — pick something you can stick with. But if you really want to get results, that workout needs to meet a few criteria:

  • Time efficient: In order to keep a resolution, you have to have the time to keep it. The No. 1 excuse for not exercising is not having enough time, so picking something you can get done in 20-30 minutes once or twice a week is imperative.
  • Safety: In order to keep a resolution, you have to be able to physically do it. Getting injured not only defeats the entire purpose of exercise, but a serious injury can lay you up for a long time, making you worse off than you were before you started exercising. Make sure to pick movements that are bio-mechanically correct, and perform them with good form.
  • Intensity: A lot of people give up on their resolutions because they're just not seeing the results they want. Unfortunately, a lot of people have distorted views of what they're genetically capable of accomplishing, but a lot of people also do not workout nearly hard enough to produce the results they are after. You have to give your body a really good reason to change, because it would rather just stay comfy and cozy.
It's great you've decided to make some changes for the better in 2019, but make sure those changes have meaning and purpose behind them, and chose a path that will get you there safely and efficiently.

Want to learn more about slow-motion, high-intensity strength training? Call Efficient Fitness at 425-214-2251 or email to claim your free workout today!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Discovering your strength, one anecdote at a time

The two-foot hole I found waiting for me when I got down to my sewer pipe.

A client was training with me today and relayed to me the one anecdote that I absolutely love to hear. While he was volunteering over the weekend, he was lifting things and moving them around — and noticed it was easier than usual — he was stronger.

This is music to my ears, because strength is exactly what we're going after.

Sure there are added benefits to resistance training that show their faces — fat loss, aesthetic improvements, etc. — but strength is the end goal. Strength is the singular most important currency in our physiological lives. It's the difference between the most you can do and the least you can do. In order to wake up, get out of bed and do what you want to do with any particular day, you need strength.

Every normal person that performs resistance training has stories like these. I'm not just talking about athletes who use strength training to improve their performance in their chosen sport — I'm talking about average Jills and Joes. We see improvement in performance in our daily lives, no matter what pops up.

I recently had a very similar anecdote. About a month ago, our plumbing backed up into the house, and a plumber quoted us $7,000 to fix the sewer line. Being a newly-minted small-business owner, it's not exactly the kind of cash I have on hand. Thanks to a very friendly contractor friend who said if I dug up the line myself, he would come and fix it for free, I quickly obliged.

Now I'm not exactly used to hours and hours of hard, hard labor. Despite the relative ease of digging a 15-foot long, two-foot deep ditch compared to what a lot of people do for a living, I felt fairly lucky. But I did have trepidation about how it would affect my body, especially with my history of lower back problems.

But instead of being laid up for a week, I dug the ditch and was fine. It was hard, but I was able to do it with relative ease, and able to recover with plenty of energy for the next day — twice! (Never rebury the hole until you know the problem is fixed!) Not only did I dig the ditch, but I busted up a three-foot section of a concrete walkway as well. 

Now I'm definielty not trying to brag, but what I'm trying to say, is after all this I reflected on what I had just done. I had accomplished this project with my health intact, a project that would have been out of the question three or four years ago, and I credit my 20-minute, once a week resistance exercise program for it. With stronger, thicker muscle fibers protecting my spine and joints, I was able to do this job myself, and learn a ton about sewer plumbing in the process. And the kicker is, the time commitment I had to spend to reach this level of fitness, flexibility, mobility and functionality is laughable.

If you don't have 20 minutes a week to spend improving your strength — the one factor that keeps you in total control of your independence — you need to find it. 

Become the strongest version of yourself in just 20 minutes, once or twice a week at Efficient Fitness. To book a free introductory session, call 425-214-2251 or email

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Good news: No need to do 'Cardio'

When I explain the Efficient Fitness protocol to people, a frequently asked question is "What do you do for cardio?"

"Well," I respond, "this is cardio."

Weight lifting and cardiovascular exercise have often been classified as two different activities. When people say "cardio," what they really mean is steady-state "aerobics" — like jogging in the park for an hour or hitting up the elliptical machine at the local gym.

The problem with calling it "cardio" is assuming your heart knows the difference between lifting weights or taking a jog. The simple truth is, it doesn't. Your heart doesn't have eyes, and it has no idea if you are throwing a rock or hiking a trail or performing a bench press. All it knows is your muscles are working.

Your heart's sole purpose is to deliver blood and nutrients around to your body, and most importantly for the sake of our conversation, your muscles. When you contract a muscle hard, your heart thinks "Oh my gosh, we better get pumping! That muscle needs some nutrients."

This is exactly why you can get all of the benefits of traditional steady-state aerobic exercise in a fraction of the time with properly-performed strength training. If you place an intense demand on your muscles, your heart won't have any choice but to work, and keep working for hours after your 20-30 minute workout is over.

In a comprehensive study titled "Resistance Training in Humans: A review of acute physiological responses and chronic physiological adaptations," researchers found that reaching momentary muscular fatigue during a 20-minute resistance training session produced cardiovascular improvements just as effectively or MORE effectively than traditional aerobic training. So why on Earth would you pound the pavement five days a week for an hour, if you could just work your muscles really hard for 20 minutes and then call it a week?

So if you hate running, try strength training. Fatiguing your muscles with slow-controlled movements will get your heart pumping just fine and allow you to avoid the sore knees, twisted ankles and countless hours spent exercising.

Biofit NY trainer Jay Vincent has a great post on this topic as well, and I'd encourage everyone to read his thoughts on the subject, as he dives deep into how "cardio" became popular, and the biological mechanisms behind why strength training is not only superior, but much more safe and time efficient.

No results from running? Call 425-214-2251 or email to book a complimentary session and find out why time-efficient strength training is the safest, most effective way to see results.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The perils of recreation

Though softball is a common recreational sport, it can be one of the most dangerous if you aren't properly conditioned.

There are some things I really enjoy doing in life, so much so that these activities usually come at somewhat of a cost to my overall health.

I'm not talking about smoking or eating poorly — though my occasional dietary indulgences can catch up with me if I'm not careful — I'm talking about something most adults do and consider as being healthy: recreational activities!

There's a few different activities that bring me a lot of joy. I love playing softball, I love playing golf, and I love playing basketball with friends. I was never a jock growing up, but have always possessed just enough skill to be passable at most athletic endeavors (as long as I don't have to run too fast or jump too high).

I was heavily involved in intramural sports in college, so much so that I kind of had to come to terms with my own fragility. I've had tendinitis in my elbow, sprained knees, sprained ankles, sprained shoulders, bulging discs, black eyes, smashed glasses... the list goes on.

The fact is, all these injuries I've had over the years have been a direct result of these activities, which despite finding immense joy in, I've realized the intensity, frequency and volume in which  I can participate in these activities had to change if I wanted to pursue them as I aged as well.

And to be honest, I think I've done a pretty good job! With the base of evidence-based resistance training once every 4-10 days, I've been able to stay relatively healthy in my activities, as long as I don't do TOO much, TOO often.

A few weeks ago I played in my first fastpitch softball tournament of the year. Boy was I sore afterward, but I made it through, and after a day of recovery I was back to my old self despite playing a half dozen games in two days.

I tested myself even further this past weekend, playing basketball, an intense game of wiffleball (compounded by the competitiveness of the other participants) and walked 18 holes of golf on a tough course, all in the same day. I was some kind of tired and immensely sore the next day, but my ability to bounce back after some proper rest has never been higher thanks to proper strength training, not to mention the vast benefits being stronger has on preventing injury in the first place!

For those looking to get active again, or those who are active but currently hitting a roadblock of injuries that are preventing you from the activities you love, remember — you need to weigh the benefits and risks to each activity you participate in, and the best way to mitigate those risks is to be as strong as you can possibly be.

Want to become as strong as genetically possible? Book your complimentary session at Efficient Fitness by calling 425-214-2251 or emailing and we'll show you our research-proven techniques that help you build muscle in as little as one 20-minute session per week.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Beyond muscle: What else is happening in your body when you perform strength training?

When we think of strength training, we think about building muscle. But that's just the most obvious and visible benefit. There are actually a cascade of positive health adaptations that your body makes, which start as soon as you begin your first set.

One of those benefits that scientists are learning more and more about each day are "Myokines," which Simon Shawcross over at HITUNI explains beautifully:

"Myokines are small proteins (with big health benefits) that are secreted by muscle cells during muscular contractions. 

They are signalling cells, meaning that they communicate with other cells and “tell them what to do.”

Their impact goes beyond muscle cells; some myokines enter the bloodstream and communicate with bone, fat, liver, pancreas, heart, immune and brain cells.

The first protein to be labelled as a myokine was myostatin and that was only a decade ago. The science is very new. Since then more than 100 separate myokines have been identified."

In the blogpost linked above, Shawcross examines 17 of the most well-known and well-researched myokines and discusses their positive responses when released during and after exercise. Those include increased insulin sensitivity, muscle growth, anti-inflammatory effects, reversing sarcopenia and osteoperosis, and more. In some studies, myokines have even been shown to reduce tumor growth!

Head on over to Shawcross' blog to learn more, and make sure to watch this video for a succinct explanation on the signalling power of myokines.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Choosing a weight: Heavy or light?

Both heavy weights and light weights will help you get strong, as long as you put in enough effort.

The idea that exercising one way will illicit one response and exercising another way will illicit a different response has allowed the fitness industry to play with our emotions for decades. If everyone just focused on getting a strong as they possibly could be through strength training with good form, it'd be really hard to keep filling those column inches with the latest exercise fad that promises "X" amount of inches in "Y" amount of time.

The truth is, we are all genetically predetermined at birth to respond to exercise in a certain way. Some of us grow big muscles easily, while most of us tend to see strength increases, but little in the way of increased mass.

Depending on your goals, this can either be a good thing or a bad thing — but you really shouldn't worry about it, because you don't have any control over it!

So when people ask if Efficient Fitness uses heavy weights and low reps or light weights and high reps, I ask them "Would you rather workout for 20 minutes, or two hours?"

All that really matters when you're trying to increase strength is delivering a meaningful enough level of fatigue that stimulates your muscles into making a positive adaptation. You can accomplish this both ways — you can lift a pair of pink eight-pound dumbbells over your head all day long until you pass out, but do you really want to?

Doesn't doing one one set on an overhead press machine with a challenging weight to momentary muscular fatigue for a couple minutes sound a little bit better?

Both roads lead to Rome and choosing one over the other will not determine how you respond to the exercise. Light weights don't get you "toned" and heavy weights don't make you "bulky." You'll look how you'll look, and that's strong.

So you might as well choose the protocol that gets you out of the gym quicker, so you can spend more time doing whatever it is that makes you happy, because I'm pretty sure hours and hours of daily weight lifting is not one of them!

Want to achieve your fitness goals in the safest, most time-efficient manner possible? Contact or call 425-214-2251 to book your free, introductory appointment today.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Protein and energy — How much do you need of each?

Target high-protein, nutrient-dense foods to stay full longer.
Eat less, move more — that's what they've been telling us for years, right? You're just not exercising enough, and you're eating too much! And if your really want to lose weight, it's as simply as counting calories in against calories out.

Unfortunately, our human bodies are a little more complicated than that. A calorie of sugar does not equal a calorie of beef, or a calorie of leafy green vegetables, and so on and so forth. Depending on the quality and the source of these calories, our bodies use them in thousands of different ways, each with their own cascade of hormonal and biological effects.

Also unfortunately, no one who wants to lose body fat also wants to think about dieting through the lens of the body's complex biological mechanisms. That's why I like to think of it in the simplest way possible: Protein and Energy.

We all know protein when we see it — eggs, meat, fish, fowl, etc. — these are all excellent sources of protein, containing complete essential amino acid profiles (essential meaning our body NEEDS us eat them because it CANNOT produce them itself).

Proteins are the building blocks of our body, and are not easily stored as fat or used as energy. Our muscles, organs and connective tissue are constantly rebuilding themselves with these nutrients, which is why it's so important — along with properly performed strength training — to eat enough protein. I recommend a minimum of 100 grams of protein a day for anyone, which visually is about 12 ounces of chicken breast. Your body will thank you.

On the other side of the scale is energy. Our bodies use fats and carbohydrates for energy to fuel every day activities, no matter how strenuous or not strenuous they are. You even need energy to stay alive while you sleep.

One of the main causes of obesity in the modern age is protein dilution. Basically what this means, is since your body needs to consume a certain amount of protein to stay alive, it signals you to keep eating until you reach that goal. If all you're eating are eggs, meat, fish, fowl and green vegetables, you're going to hit that protein goal and stay full and satisfied without over-consuming energy along with it.

On the other hand, if you're eating modern processed foods, you're going to have to pack in a lot more energy (fats and carbohydrates) in order to hit that protein goal your body is looking for.

To put it simply: If you put an emphasis on protein and eat real foods as close as you would find them in nature, you can eat as much as you want until you're completely stuffed — WITHOUT actually overeating! Grab a steak and enjoy.

Do you want to become the strongest possible version of yourself? Email or call 425-214-2251 to set up your free introductory appointment!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Machines versus free weights: Is one really better?

What's better -- free weights or machines?

It's an age-old question: What is better for muscular development -- machines or free weights?

You can find people that staunchly entrenched in both camps, repeating the same dogma ad nauseum back and forth at each other. But like with most polarizing topics, the real truth is somewhere in between.

In this case, the truth truly is, they're both great. As long as you perform the exercises slowly with perfect form, both ways of strength training help you accomplish the same end goal, which is to fatigue muscle, causing it to make a positive adaptation in growth and/or strength.

Some in the free weight camp claim you will strengthen your "stabilizing muscles" with free weights, since you don't have the machine keeping your form for you. Unfortunately, this just isn't true. Strength training is a lot simpler than people give it credit for, and fatiguing the muscle in its correct bio mechanical range of motion is all that is needed to get a positive adaptation for the entire muscle.

Machines aren't a perfect workout either though. At Efficient Fitness, we use Nautilus strength training machines, which are well designed around the human body, with anatomy and physiology in mind. This is not always the case with all equipment, and some poorly-designed exercise equipment can even put your body in compromising positions which can lead to injury.

The main reason Efficient Fitness uses exercise machines is safety. We try to eliminate the element of "skill" from the workout. When you come in to workout with us, we want 100 percent of your focus, attention and effort to be on fatiguing your muscles, causing them to adapt and grow to become as genetically strong as possible.

What we DON'T want you to be focusing on is having a barbell come crashing down on your throat, herniating a disk in the middle of a dead lift or balancing dumbbells above your head. By using well-designed machines, it takes all these elements of skill out of the equation, allowing you to focus on what's important: building muscle. The worst thing that can happen during a set at Efficient Fitness is you drop the movement arms and the weight crashes down. Sure, it's a little startling, but you are completely safe the entire time.

The concern that machines won't improve balance, stability or flexibility is just not true. The bigger and stronger your musculature becomes, the more balance, stability and flexibility you have, no matter how you got there. Training on well-designed machines just allows you to get there in the safest, most efficient way possible.

All roads lead to Rome, so you might as well take the freeway.

Efficient Fitness is taking new clients! Reserve your free introductory session by calling 425-214-2251 or emailing

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Breaking down the stigma of weight training

If time-efficient resistance exercise is good enough for Barbara Walters, it's good enough for you!

Weight training, resistance training, weight lifting, body building — or whatever you want to call it — has unfortunately always had a stigma attached that prevents massive portions of the population from receiving the incredible health benefits associated with it.

The main stereotype that I'm constantly pounding the drum against is that lifting weights is only for "meat heads" or "gym rats." The idea that people who view themselves as intellectuals can look down on an exercise because of what traditionally comes to mind when they think about that exercise is very unfortunate. They are cutting themselves off from a world that can only make them feel better, stronger and more independent, things we all really want in life.

Now all stereotypes come from somewhere, and I can pretty much chalk the "meat head" stereo type up to one simple concept: genetics.

If you enter a typical box gym environment, you are guaranteed to see a few things. You'll see the "muscle-bound meat heads" lifting weights and the skinny cardio bunnies on the treadmills. This phenomenon is no different than seeing fish in the ocean, or birds in the sky. These people are genetically pre-determined at birth to enjoy these activities. A lot of them were given genetic gifts of large muscles, which in turn led them to lifting weights. Thin women with the goal of staying thin are genetically pre-determined to hit the treadmill in fear of bulking up.

Again, this is no different than seeing a worm in dirt. That's where they evolved to be. Exactly how a 6-foot-8 man is probably going to play basketball at some point in his life. It's simply genetics!

The problem is, if you don't have those genetic gifts, it doesn't mean that strength training isn't for you. Being the strongest and most capable version of yourself is your birthright, and silly stereotypes and being self conscience about what kind of people weight lifting belongs to should not keep you from the wellness goldmine that comes from proper strength training.

As the founder of Smart Strength Skyler Tanner often says, "Strength is the currency in which we live our lives, and you don't know how valuable it is until you lose it."

Efficient Fitness offers all the benefits of proper strength training in a private, supervised environment. Claim your free session today by calling 425-214-2251 or emailing

Monday, April 16, 2018

How to burn more than 1,000 calories in a single day

"Mmmmm.... strength training?"

I'm here to give you the true secret to weight loss, the one thing that nobody seems to get. The absolute sure-fire way for anyone to burn more than 1,000 calories in a single day. Ready for it?

Are you sure?

OK, here it is: Nothing.

That's right, don't do anything. As soon as you wake up, don't get up! Just lie there completely still, breathing in and out, and you'll burn more than 1,000 calories without even trying.

This is your resting metabolic rate, or how many calories you burn in a day without doing anything. It can be a little eye opening to see how many calories we actually burn in a day just going about our business — but this leads me to my second point: how much effort should we be putting into burning more than that?

If weight loss is our ultimate goal, there is a certain flawed logic in trying to burn off calories faster than we consume them. Our body burns the majority of the calories we could ever hope to burn just by existing, and when you actually put some thought into how much effort has to go into burning extra calories on top of your RMR, well, it's not exactly a great return on investment.

For instance, according to, jogging at 5 miles per hour for an hour burns about 390 calories (if you're a 154-pound 5-foot-10 man that is). What they don't tell you, is you were probably going to burn some of those up anyways if you were sitting on the couch. So let's be generous and say an hour of jogging only burns 290 calories.

Now, ignoring the less than ideal ROI jogging has to begin with, plus the negatives (getting hit by a car, ankle/knee injuries, being seen by your friends) what exactly did that hour of "cardio" get you? It got you that large donut your co-worker gave you. Or, maybe it got you that half-slice of pizza you had left over from your kid's birthday party. The point is, it is MUCH easier and MUCH healthier in the long run and the short run (no pun intended) to skip the donut in the first place, rather than try to spend hours burning it off later.

(Note: If you enjoy running, good for you! I encourage people to partake in activities that bring them happiness. Just don't feel like you have to partake to be healthy, especially if you don't enjoy it!)

So if we're not exercising to burn calories, why are we exercising at all? I'm glad you asked.

True exercise isn't about energy expenditure. It's about becoming as strong as genetically possible, so you can roll with any punches that life throws your way. Instead of focusing on the endless cycle of trying to burn off what you just ate, flip the paradigm on its head and fuel your body's lean tissue growth with nutrient dense foods like eggs, fish, fowl, meat, low-sugar fruits and fibrous vegetables, all of which help you feel full longer, and eliminate the ability to over consume.

We should ultimately be eating foods that our body wants to utilize completely, instead of those that our body wants to burn off rapidly.

If you want to start turning your body into an efficient calorie-burning furnace, call 425-214-2251 or email to set up your free introductory appointment today.

Monday, April 9, 2018

'I don't need to strength train...I do an activity'

Walking Fido is great for both of you, but it shouldn't replace a regular strength-training routine.

Often times when I am trying to promote the health benefits of resistance exercise, I come across a similar theme. People are quick to explain to me what they do in lieu of a regular strength training program, and no matter how rigorous or relaxed their program or activity is, it usually isn't a good substitute for contracting your muscles hard against resistance.

My favorite analogy to use has to do with dental hygiene. I'll ask people a simple question... "Do you brush your teeth?"

Besides the confused look on their face, they usually answer "Of course I do, everyone does."

Well why do we brush our teeth? We brush our teeth because we want to take care of them. We don't want to develop gum disease or tooth decay, and so on and so forth. At the end of the day, we basically just don't want to lose our teeth.

The same goes for strength training, I tell them. If you don't want to lose your muscles, you have to use them! In order to fight of sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss), osteoporosis (loss of bone mineral density) and a host of other age-related diseases, one should look after their muscles first and foremost, since all-cause mortality is directly related to overall muscle mass.

Then they smirk. They think, "I'm not some gym rat. I'm not a muscle-bound jock who needs to pump iron to impress people. I'm too intellectual for that." So they respond by naming whatever they think substitutes for exercise.

"I go hiking once a week."

"I walk the dogs."

"I take a dance class."

"I play golf."

I nod politely, and try to explain the difference between "activity" and "exercise."

Activity is something you do for fun. It might be running, jogging, dancing, playing music, or maybe just sitting and watching TV. Believe it or not, they all have about the same effectiveness at calorie burning (another post for another time).

What differentiates activities from exercise, is exercise has a purpose. Exercise is a very specific stimulus that signals to your body make a positive adaptation. The only way to do that is to exert your skeletal muscle with a high degree of effort.

So saying you go on 20 minute walks every day for exercise isn't a bad thing, in fact it's great — but it's simply not enough to prevent the annual muscle and bone loss that happens year after year to all of us after we reach our 30s. That's like saying "I don't need to brush my teeth, I chew minty gum." Sure, your breath might not smell bad, but you're still going to need dentures.

Efficient Exercise is officially open! To be one of the first to experience evidence-based exercise in the Kittitas Valley, send an email to or call 425-214-2251 to reserve your free introductory session.

Monday, April 2, 2018

What exactly does evidence-based exercise look like?

Efficient Fitness is now open in Ellensburg.

It's known in a lot of different circles as a lot of different things — evidence-based resistance/strength training, high intensity resistance/strength training, etc. — but all modalities have a couple different key themes in common: Safety, efficiency and efficacy.

• No one should ever become injured due to exercise. If you're doing something to stay healthy, becoming unhealthy in the process kind of defeats the purpose.

• We all have lives, and unless you really enjoy it, no one should have to spend hours on a treadmill to stay in shape. We should be out in the wild doing the activities we love and spending time with the people we love.

• We should get results! If you're not getting results from your exercise program, why are you doing it in the first place?

So that's all good and great, but what exactly does this kind of exercise protocol look like? Well the short answer is, you can do it a lot of ways! But today I'll explain what you'll see in a typical workout at Efficient Fitness Ellensburg. 

Slow cadence

At Efficient Fitness, we use a slower than normal cadence, which helps eliminate dangerous forces like momentum. Without momentum (swinging the weights) you're able to fatigue your muscles much more quickly — and more importantly — more safely. This combination allows you to exercise sustainably over long periods of time without injury, and makes the workouts brief, giving you more time to play!

Full-body workout

Every client at Efficient Fitness starts with a "Big 5" workout. This includes a leg press, row, chest press, pull over and shoulder press on Nautilus resistance training equipment. This introductory workout covers the entire musculature, and can be performed ad nauseum great results, helping you achieve your genetic potential with regard to muscular strength and size.

If after a few months of training a client starts to show signs of not recovering all the way in between workouts, a split routine can be used. This combines different muscle groups on different days, to allow the muscle groups more time for recovery. For example, on a Monday you could focus on lower body exercises, and on Thursday you would perform upper body exercises.

Meticulous note taking

Every Efficient Fitness workout is recorded with precision, to make sure we keep track of how you are progressing. We track the exercise, the time-under-tension (the length of time you perform the exercise), the weight used, the seat and handle positioning of each machine, the date, the duration of the workout and more. All this data helps us track your progress and make sure you are recovering properly between workouts. If you aren't recovering properly, the correct steps can be taking to ensure you do!

Here's a video from, where Simon Shawcross performs a Big 5 workout under the direction of Dr. Doug McGuff, author of "Body By Science."

Efficient Exercise is officially open! To be one of the first to experience evidence-based exercise in the Kittitas Valley, send an email to or call 425-214-2251 to reserve your free introductory session.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Resistance training: The real fountain of youth

Jack LaLanne died at 96, and according to his family, performed his exercise routine until the day he died.
A lot of people pay a lot of money for a lot of products that promise the elusive "fountain of youth." Creams, pills, supplements, treatments... the list goes on. While these products might cover up some wrinkles or give you a placebo-effect energy boost, they probably aren't helping you to reverse aging at a cellular level.

Only one thing can do that — resistance training.

A study in 2007 found that in a group of healthy older adults who performed resistance exercise for six months,  596 genes associated with aging reverted back to their youthful expression.

Think about that for a second... the resistance training doesn't just slow down aging or stop aging, it reverses it. If you give your body a good reason to stop getting older, it's going to listen.

In our society, we see aging as just part of the process. Every year gets a little bit harder. Every year you're not quite as fast, or not quite as strong. Every year carrying the groceries from the car takes a couple more trips, or even tying your shoes becomes more of a gymnastics event than a thoughtless act.

These very slow progressions are viewed as normal, because we see it every day. You get old, you get tired, you get weak and you die. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Exercise pioneer Dr. Doug McGuff often talks about "physiological headroom," which he defines as the difference between the most you can do and the least you can do. The goal is to keep the difference between these two points as large as possible, because when they meet... you're dead.

The good news is, it's relatively easy to keep this gap wide. A couple brief, but high-effort resistance training sessions each week will give your muscles the proper stimulus to stay strong and stave off muscle and bone loss as you age. There really is no reason we can't live strong, independent lives until we just drop dead of old age as a strong, independent 90 year olds. It just takes the magic pill: lifting weights.

Efficient Exercise is opening its doors in Ellensburg in April 2018. To be one of the first to experience evidence-based exercise in the Kittitas Valley, send an email to or call 425-214-2251 to reserve your free introductory session.

Monday, March 19, 2018

4 reasons why your exercise plan might not be working

If you're exercise plan isn't working, it likely isn't your fault!
We all know we should be exercising, but when it comes to what exactly we should be doing, that's not always so clear. In the vast sea of internet workout plans, it's easy to drown in misinformation, and that misinformation usually hinders your fitness goals instead of helping.

Here are a few reasons your current workout might not be helping you achieve the goals you've set out for yourself. 

1. You're focusing on "cardio"

This might sound a little bit strange, but there really is no such thing as "cardiovascular" exercise. Also known as "aerobic" exercise, this modality got popular in the 1960s, and is often seen as being separate from strength training. The problem is your heart doesn't know the difference.

Your heart's job is to deliver blood and nutrients to your muscles when they do mechanical work. The harder you work, the faster your heart pumps. Whether that mechanical work is jogging down the street, throwing a rock or lifting heavy weights, your heart doesn't know the difference, nor does it care. Properly performed resistance exercise can give you all the benefits of steady-state cardio in a fraction of the time — and without the sore knees, busted ankles or other repetitive-use injuries associated with pounding the pavement. It also improves vital components of your fitness, like increased lean tissue, something steady-state cardio can actually eat away.

2. You're trying to burn calories

If your goal is to lose weight, the first rule to remember is no one can out-run a bad diet. That little calorie counter on the treadmill is wildly inaccurate, and shouldn't be relied on to give you any useful information.

Instead, make sure you dial in your nutrition first. While properly performed resistance training can be a great complimentary tool in your weight loss journey, exercise and fat loss need to be separated in your mind. Properly performed resistance exercise is a stimulus to make your muscles grow, and no amount of appropriate exercise is going to burn any meaningful amount of calories. It's much more efficient and a better use of your time to eat real, nutrient-dense foods that are satiating, and stay away from the nutrient-void, high energy processed foods that won't fill you up.

3. You're exercising too much

One of the biggest reasons why people fail at their exercise programs year in and year out is they simply workout too much. When they embark on the journey, they are excited about the new protocol. They hit the gym four, five or six days a week, thinking that more is better, when actually less can be more. This can lead to overtraining, getting burnt out and even injury, not to mention frustration.

One thing people don't realize is the exercise doesn't make you strong, that happens in the recovery period after the exercise. The exercise is just a stimulus you are sending to your body to let it know that it needs to improve. The real work starts later, when your body is properly fed and rested over 48-96 hours.

If you're hitting the weights on a daily basis, or supplementing the strength training too much with strenuous activity like sprinting, hiking, etc... you simply aren't allowing your body to recover before your next workout. Everyone has different recovery periods, but if you aren't seeing a gradual improvement in your workout-to-workout performance, try cutting your exercise program in half and see if that helps in your recovery.

Note: Now just because you shouldn't be "exercising" every day, doesn't mean you shouldn't be active. Moving around during your day to day life is extremely important, and daily walks and other light movement is very good for you. Just maybe don't climb the Manastash Ridge the day before leg day, or do a strenuous lifting session the same day as your big softball game.

4. You're not working out hard enough

When it comes to properly performed exercise, effort is king. Building muscle and making physical adaptations is a very expensive metabolic process, and your body does NOT want to do it. Only training with a high degree of effort can send a loud enough signal to your body, telling it to get ready for the next time it comes across that stimulus. 

At Efficient Fitness, all exercises are done to Momentary Muscular Failure (MMF). This means that the weight is moved up and down slowly until all the muscle fibers have reached complete exhaustion, and the trainee can't complete another positive repetition. This creates an extremely powerful stimulus that the body cannot ignore, forcing it to grow stronger over the recovery period.

While this might sound a little scary and dangerous, it's quite the opposite. The controlled movements and the use of weight machines eliminate dangerous forces like momentum, putting all of the weight on your skeletal muscle, allowing you to perform the exercises without endangering your joints. The further along in the exercise you get, the safer it becomes. With your muscles maximally fatigued, you become literally too weak to hurt yourself!

Efficient Exercise is opening its doors in Ellensburg in April 2018. To be one of the first to experience evidence-based exercise in the Kittitas Valley, send an email to or call 425-214-2251 to reserve your free introductory session.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Efficient Fitness Ellensburg opening in April 2018

HITMatt is now Efficient Fitness, and we'll be opening Ellensburg's first evidence-based resistance training facility in April 2018.

Located at 506 N. Ruby St. across the street from the Safeway parking lot, Efficient Fitness will offer truly private, one-on-one personal training sessions using the evidence-based exercise protocol, also known as high intensity resistance training.

Time is no longer an issue for those looking to get fit in the Kittitas Valley. In just two, 20 minute-minute exercise sessions a week, Efficient Fitness can help you become the strongest version of yourself, allowing you to spend the rest of your time doing whatever activity you truly love, and doing it well.

The studio will feature medical-grade equipment from Nautilus, the company founded by Arthur Jones, a pioneer in evidence-based exercise. Unlike most exercise equipment, Nautilus is one of the few companies in the world that designs their equipment with the human body in mind, allowing Efficient Fitness to get optimal results in minimal amounts of time.

Besides being the most effective way to train, our evidence-based protocol is also the safest workout on the planet. Slow, controlled movements eliminate dangerous forces like momentum, while at the same time applying a rapid accumulation of fatigue directly to the muscle, forcing it to make an adaptation during the 72-96 hour recovery period between workouts. As Dr. Doug McGuff says, "It's harder than CrossFit, just without the torn rotator cuff."

If you feel like you've tried everything to get in shape but had to drop it either due to lack of time, injury or just plain lack of results, drop us a line at or 425-214-2251 to secure a spot on our waiting list.