Functional Training Centre

EP023: How To Get Out of Pain and Stay Away From Pain w/ Physical Therapist Dan Swinscoe

When I or one of my clients is injured I always want to make sure that I have a network of the most knowledgeable and caring people available to help me/them get back on track with training and living life to the fullest. One of those people is Dan Swinscoe.

If you have ever been hurt or injured you understand that the only thing you want to do is get out of pain and get back to doing the things that you love pain-free (and keeping it that way). To get the best results, short and long-term — when it comes to training for body composition and performance — staying injury free is key.

In this episode Dan and I discuss how to get out of pain and how to stay pain-free so that you can be your best at whatever you choose to do.


  • How pain changes the way we move, live and think and how it affects every part of our life — and what to do about it RIGHT NOW
  • What I learned from a devastating back injury that I suffered 6 years ago, and how you can learn how to avoid making the mistakes that made (I also outline the principles and strategies that helped me get back to 100%)
  • How the biggest injuries are caused by the little things that we do in everyday life (even if you are a high level athlete or trainee)
  • How your back is like a credit card and what happens when you keep bending it the wrong way – I also answer the question: are sit ups really bad for you?
  • The best way to strengthen your core, flatten your stomach and see your abs (the show and the go of training)
  • The checklist for how to get out of and stay out of back pain (make this a ritual and your low back will thank you for life)
  • The shocking truth about whether you should squat and deadlift (this answer the age old question)
  • The 3 simple principles to fix nagging shoulder pain to keep you from having to get surgery down the road
  • The “what NOT to do” list when coming back from injury and the biggest misconception when it comes to rehabilitation (this is one even doctors get wrong many times)
  • The big reason I love Zumba and why you should too (and why it may be the exact thing you need)
  • Strategies and tips to help you stay away from pain and injuries for good (put this on your fridge!)

Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance
Dr. Stuart McGill: Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance
Peak Sports and Spine

Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback that you’d like to share? Leave me a review on iTunes.

9 Tips for Structuring a Successful Diet

When it comes to getting leaner and healthier with nutrition you’ll generally try to take on more change than you can handle in the long run.

Trying to walk before you crawl with with nutrition is a surefire path to overwhelm and returning to your old habits.

If you haven’t taken the time to build the right habits, and structure your diet in a manner that works for your lifestyle it’ll eventually fall apart.

For many just like you the name of the diet changes, but the end results are always disappointing and fall short of expectations.

I’ll have you consider that your success with nutrition has very little to do with the actual diet itself.

We know many different diets are successful in helping people get healthier and leaner, so there is no magic bullet when it comes to dietary approaches.

The real magic is in creating sustainable nutrition habits that aren’t overly restrictive, too complicated and stress you out.

In this blog post you’re going to learn the 9 tips for structuring a successful diet that will help you get leaner and healthier without the restriction and rules of most diets.
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EP022: How You’re (Unknowingly) Choosing Failure and How To Change It

This week I wanted to share a perspective that a friend and I were talking about that tends to keep people from achieving their goals. I also get into a simple exercise of awareness that will help you break through if you’re currently struggling to achieve something.

It’s no secret that our perspective, subconscious beliefs, fears and mindset guide the decisions and actions that we take. Shifting my perspective has been monumental in my own life – taking me from not believing in myself, to a life of crime and failure, to where I am today.

The tools, strategies and stories that I share in this episode are the same ones that I used to transform my life. They’re also the strategies that now help our clients at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance undergo deep transformations.


  • How everyday you choose your “can’t” and why that’s holding you back from everything you want in your life
  • The magic question that determines if your beliefs and actions are taking you away from your goals or towards them
  • Why the turkey story may be exactly how you’re treating certain areas of your life that you want to change, but can’t
  • The power of looking into your own stories and how to start breaking them down and create new ones that actually get you results
  • The 4 stages that move you from doing things that are hurting you, without you even knowing it, to the actions that will give you success
  • A new way of thinking that will keep you on track and help you achieve your goals

Luka Hocevar YouTube Channel (Subscribe Here)
Vigor Life Podcast (Subscribe Here)
Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance

Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback that you’d like to share? Leave me a review on iTunes.

“The Exact Program Tim Is Doing That Transformed His Body”

Tim is a beast, nobody at the gym debates that and everybody clearly see’s that. But he wasn’t always like that – just like every other jacked dude, he came to us with less muscle and a little more body fat.
See’s there’s nothing wrong with that and I wanted to point that out before I write anything else at all. Why? Because he did the most important thing for his transformation on his own, before I even met him.

He reached out for help.

See that’s the biggest step anyone can take in order to transform his or her body. And if you ask anyone who is super lean, stacked with muscle, beyond strong in the gym, or even just a successful business owner – they had a coach, a mentor, a guide, or some person that influenced their thought process on how to get better.

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EP021: Nutrition, Lifestyle and Habit Strategies That Work (And Go Against What Most Media Tells You)

I sat down with coach Cody from Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance to talk about the perspectives, mindsets, skill sets and strategies that we implement with our clients to help them change behaviors and get them closer to their goals — while making fitness and nutrition a sustainable stress-free part of their lives. We dig into some very specific examples as well as shine a light on some of the things that most fitness media pushes as the solution, when it fact it may lead to a roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain.

If you look deeper at this conversation there are many strategies that you can use in principle to help change your behavior — whether related to nutrition or any other lifestyle factor. As I’ve said before, nutrition coaching is more about inter personal skills and psychology than it is about the x’s and o’s.

If you’re looking to change your habits to help you achieve your goals then don’t miss this episode.


  • What NOT to do – even though it’s what main fitness media pushes when it comes to your nutrition
  • Why Cody and myself fall into level 1 when it comes to nutrition, even though we stay year round, and the reason most people take on too difficult of a behavior change and fail
  • The limiting factors that are stopping you from changing your nutrition and lifestyle for good
  • One of the key factors to improving the quality of the nutrients you are getting into your diet, and the drill we use with clients to add variety and success into their nutrition plan
  • Some ways to build fundamental skills that are fun, build community and end up transforming your habits long-term
  • The SIMPLE and yet fastest way to change your environment and change your night time eating and snacking
  • How to cut out caffeine, alcohol and sugar beverages with success and improve your hydration
  • The “all or nothing” mindset that rarely gets us ______ and gets us _________ most of the time
  • The MOST important habit anyone can develop and the strategies you can implement to help you develop it
  • The HALT acronym and how these questions can stop you from thinking you’re hungry when you’re not
  • One of the reasons why it’s so easy to overindulge in the foods that don’t help you lose weight or build lean muscle
  • 3 skill sets you need to learn of you want to avoid repeating a cycle of frustration with your nutrition
  • The step-by-step approach to eliminating all the things that are holding you back, one-by-one (this simple strategy works but most people don’t do it because it’s so easy)
  • The one habit that can change your energy levels, make you feel better, think clearer and treat people nicer
  • And much more

Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance
Boom Boom Performance
Precision Nutrition
Jason Ferruggia

Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback that you’d like to share? Leave me a review on iTunes.

Take Control Of Your Eating, Body, and Lifestyle Workshop w/ Luka Hocevar

We know more about the science of fat loss and weight loss.

There is more information out there than ever on “how to ______” (fill in the blank with anything you want to achieve).

And yet obesity, cancer, diabetes, low self-esteem, depressions, etc. are all at an all time high.

I’d have you consider that even though so much information is out there, it is more confusing than ever and the reality is whatever is going on is NOT producing results (if we look at the average as a nation).

And as a mentor once told me…

To know and not do do, is not to know

So what is producing results and what is working for people that are not only creating body transformations, but also sustaining that way of life and never looking back?
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EP020: The Not So Secret Principle Of Success That Is The Key To Everything I Do

Many years ago I read a book with a quote from Steve Martin as the title that really hit home for me. Not only has the quote been etched into my mind ever since, I also have a poster of it up in my office, a screenshot on my desktop, and note cards with the phrase written on them.

Excessive? Maybe, but maybe not.

This quote reminds me to focus on the process while highlighting an important fact: no one is to blame for my failures, and it is my responsibility to hone my skills so that I don’t get ignored in the areas I want to excel in.

Whether it’s personal or business, the advice and perspective I give in this episode will help you focus on the right things to help you achieve the things that you want. Taking control of your nutrition and lifestyle choices, becoming the best at your skill — and getting recognized for it — creating deep meaningful relationships, creating wealth, or just being able to dominate pick up basketball at your local gym, all comes down to this mindset.

Discover what it is and examples of how to take action on it.


  • How Steve Martin figured out the principle that helped him (in spite of some huge struggles) become one of the best and most recognized comedians in the world
  • The secret to reverse engineering any type of success you want to achieve — no matter the area of focus (i.e. your body, mindset, relationships, business, or anything in between)
  • How to know if you’re mixing up the steps in the process and hindering your own success
  • What to do if you caught in a cycle of falling on and off of your wagon to progress
  • How my friend Hieu used the same process to put on 25 lbs of muscle and get leaner, while becoming a pretty damn good photographer using this same step-by-step approach
  • The mystery of why so many of the world’s greatest artists came from one small city in Italy in a very short time period in history, and why they are still considered among the best to this day. I’ll teach you how to steal their secret
  • How I developed myself as a strength coach while training 5-6 hours a day and playing professional basketball **This is the key to how you can change anything in your life right now
  • My rant on whether you should be teaching a certain skill set to someone else or focusing on yourself and succeeding at that craft first
  • How Tony Robbins fast-forwarded his success with this strategy and how you can use it in your field/industry

Book: So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest For The Work You Love (Cal Newport)
Book: Deep Work: Rules For Focused Success In A Distracted World (Cal Newport)
Vigor Life Podcast on iTunes (Subscribe)

Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback that you’d like to share? Leave me a review on iTunes.

10 Of Your Top Nutrition Questions Answered (Without Making You More Frustrated And Confused)

Nutrition is a confusing, frustrating, somewhat annoying, and unbelievably controversial topic. I know what you’re thinking, “Why in the hell is a ‘Nutrition Coach’ talking down on nutrition like this?!

Well, it’s actually pretty simple. It confuses, stresses out, and annoys many of the clients we work with here at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance. Then, when us coaches talk with other coaches it turns into a very controversial topic because everyone has their favorite nutrition strategy, many believe that _____ is the ONLY way to coach it, and at the media is blasting us with so many poorly constructed product ads that it gets in everyone’s head negatively.

But to be honest and a little crazy in the head… This is probably why I love it so much. It’s a wild animal and I’m excited by the chase in catching it, you could say.

So today, we decided to provide a blog that wouldn’t just going to help you solve the struggles you’re experiencing with nutrition… But instead, literally take the top 10 questions we tend to receive (after working with hundreds and reaching thousands of people), answer them for you, and do so in a way that will finally end the frustration and confusion.
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EP019: The Strong, Jacked And Pain Free Training Model w/ Dr. John Rusin

Years ago I spoke on stage with Dr. John Rusin and after listening to him I started digging into his writing, training and philosophies. They aligned with so many of my thoughts after pushing my body for decades and having a number of injuries that really threw a wrench in my progress and even my career in sports.

Going heavy, fast and hard at all times when it comes to training — even though it may sound “beast mode” — is actually a sure path to feeling beat up and in pain, which will ultimately stall your progress. Dr. Rusin has found a model that works with just about everyone when it comes to getting strong and jacked without the risk of injury.

If you want to maximize your performance over the long-term you have to follow and pay strict attention to a smart model of programming, form and training. If you follow what most advice tells you then you’re likely to get injured at one point or another. Dr. John Rusin joins me on the podcast and will change your perspective of what smart training really is.


  • How Dr. Rusin created the pain-free high performance training model after working with some of the highest level athletes in the world and realizing that most people get injured and believe that it’s just part of the training process (when in fact many training injuries could be prevented)
  • What attracted me to the FHT program and ultimately drew me into Dr. Rusin’s philosophy
  • The reason Dr. Rusin turned down $100k as a physical therapist to become a strength coach and start from the ground up
  • The principles that you should follow if you want to dominate at pick-up basketball, flag football or ultimate frisbee and look like a muscular athlete for the long haul
  • The HUGE mistake that most trainees make when it comes to building strength and muscle (this is most likely completely off your radar)
  • The 3 issues you must address for optimal performance
  • The biggest misconception about body part splits and what gets the best results long-term
  • Why the long game approach gets you the best results (many times even short-term)
  • How to keep training fun and not burn out while also building muscle and improving strength
  • The “pie” analogy for how to fit your most important goals into your training program (this has helped many see a different perspective while simplifying it)
  • Why using less weight can make you stronger and get you better results
  • How to unlock the “parking break” that may be stopping you from improving your muscle mass and performance

Dr. John Rusin
Functional Hypertrophy Training Program
Dr. John Rusin and Christian Thibadeau Seminar

Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback that you’d like to share? Leave me a review on iTunes.

EP018: Strategies And Tools To Help You Change With Less Overwhelm

In the past I had a tendency to take on a ton of action steps, then get frustrated when I completed fewer tasks than I set out to accomplish. This pattern quickly became a vicious cycle that kept me from achieving the things that I wanted to, while making me feel stressed about the fact that I wasn’t hitting my targets — which left me with a sense of failure.

With time, a lot of studying and coaching I realized that there was a better way to approach achieving my goals — and feel good about it when I did. I wanted to share this process — which I now teach to Vigor Ground clients to help build behaviors that lead to long-term results — with you so that you can implement them in your life and start seeing the results that you want


  • The ONE thing that you need to know to keep you from feeling like you’re shooting in the dark or driving around with a broken GPS
  • The four questions that you must ask yourself before before outlining action steps for what you are looking to achieve. Without these you may be putting energy into a plan that is doomed to fail
  • Why you can’t live life like the Super Mario Bros and skip a level to get faster results; and why sticking with ‘Level 1’ — no matter what your goal is — is the fastest and most sustainable way to achieve your goals
  • The limiting factors that are stopping you from changing your nutrition and lifestyle, and how to apply the lessons from these limitations to any part of life and overcome your obstacles
  • The “magic formula” that gives you easy tasks that will help you change faster. Once you accept this process you will make progress in every area you want to improve in
  • How to build confidence and self-esteem – a strategy that will become the catalyst for you changing your life (most people have blinders on when it comes to this, and I explain why)
  • The step-by-step blueprint that outlines how to break down your goals into daily practices (this in itself is worth the price of admission)
  • How I breakdown “building muscle” into behaviors and how you can apply this process to all other areas of your life

Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance
Vigor Ground Year Long Transformation Challenge Men
Vigor Ground Year Long Transformation Challenge Women
Fit Bar Cafe

Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback that you’d like to share? Leave me a review on iTunes.