Sunday, May 23, 2010


She's the powerhouse doin the circuit in the vid!!!

PowerCircuit Training

Watch the fun!!!

Stressors as Motivators

Hey guys I hope your weekend is going well, mine is going awesome so far, I got a great training session in today and I have a few more to go. Anyway, enough about that I have a motivational tip for you to take you through this week. As the title suggests its all about stress. Now I know most of including myself suffer from stress, stress from work, life, family commitments, and many other things. I also know that if you workout you may be missing the best way to make your workouts more productive. "What are you talking about?" you may be asking well I'm not talking about the latest energy supplement, or diet fad, what I am talking about is simply using all the frustration that you accumulate over the day and focusing it into your training. Use the anger to your advantage and watch your lifts go up and your results be that much better. Now am I saying purposely stress your self out, NO!! What I am saying is that when you have high stress day(s) train harder and faster you will feel better not only because you got rid of those negative emotions but also because you just might have had one of your best training session ever! So the next time your stressed out instead of letting it bum you out, use it as rocket fuel to blast through your next training with focused rage!

Passion Trumps Everything,
Charles Gardner B.S., CPT, SPN

Friday, May 21, 2010

new youtube page

Hey guys I have a new YouTube page up here's the link: and running check out some of the clips and the training pics it starts out black and then goes right into it. Check it out! Let me know what you think and by all means subscribe. Have a great weekend.

Strength and Honor,
Charles Gardner B.S, CPT, SPN

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Conditioning part 2

One of the ladies gettin it on the battling ropes!!!

Conditioning Day 1

Hey guys check out this video of one off mmy guys gettin it on the sledgehammer! We also did some prowler and battling ropes to, but to finish off he did some tire flips at the end, just for kicks (ran out of time so we only got the sledghammer part)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Big Changes

Hey guys I hope your weekend is going well I have a couple of announcements to make:

1. The company is changing its name, for the last 7 years you guys have know it as "Synergy Health and Fitness" well times have changed and we have too, the new name now "Synergy Strength Systems." Same service Stronger Attitude!!

2. Another change that will will be taking place is our location we are currently in the process of moving operations to Oakwood University, I will be personally overseeing the upgrading of the weight area to the high standards that I have and that you as customers have come to expect from me.

3. Training schedule changes: Due to the new location that we will be moving too I just wanted to let you guys know that I will be able to increase you're training days as well (if you want) it will also allow you guys to have access to my nutrition class (in development).

4. Official summer hours of operations: 5:30 am-6:30pm Mon-Thursday, Friday 5:30 am to 11:30 am and Sunday: By Appointment Only, unless nutrition class is scheduled

If you guys have any questions let me know I can be reached @

Charles Gardner
Strength and Honor

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Power Pancakes

Hey guys here's an awesome recipie for panckaes thats quite tasty, let me know what you think:

12 oz of quaker oats

3 egg whites 1 whole egg

2 scoops of Metabolic Drive protien

2 handfuls of chopped walnuts

3 teaspoons of flax meal

6-8oz of water

Mix in a blender and let sit for about 5 min.

Set stove to med heat spray skillet with pam

Pour the mix to desired size pancake flip pancake when it bubbles in the middle.

Serve with fruit, honey, or sugar free syrup.

Enjoy guys!


Hey everybody I hope every ones Mother's day was awesome and you got to spend some time with your mom. I know I haven't posted in a while and that's because I have been busy working on some really big things for my business(you will find out more as it progress'). Anyway what I want to talk about today is something that you may not be aware of but that is key for optimal training and can have a direct effect on your training sessions. It's a term I coined to describe a little known training technique that I feel will help all lifters do better, and its called Full Body Tightness or F.B.T for short. I have been training people for almost 10 years and had always wondered why not only the average gym goer but also my clients were having trouble with not only the heavy loads but also the light ones too, and after years of observing this I finally figured out that it was a lack of teaching the technique of FBT.
At this point you are probably wondering what FBT is well its really very simple it is the prep-stage before the actual lift or lifting occurs it is the process by which one creates muscular tension throughout the entire body in order to perform the exercise,in other words tense up. Now I know most of you have been taught to work the body in segments by reading such wonderful material as Muscle and Fitness, Shape, Oxygen, Muscular Development and so forth. However the body doesn't work in segments it works as a unit. What this means is that when you are performing something as simple as a standing bicep curl there are other countless actions within the body taking place, such as the internal and external oblique and abdominal muscles are working to keep you up-right and your legs are working to 'ground you' so to speak. Now here's where it gets cool and where full body tightness comes into play, when you start the curl your whole body should be tight to give the biceps the support they need inorder to curl the weight quickly and explosively, now I know that most of you have been taught to move the weight slowly so that you can 'feel' the muscle working, well I'm here to tell you the exact opposite, the weight should come up quickly the nuero-muscular system needs to be trained to move fast while form should be maintained throughout.
This is another benefit of FBT style training it actually teaches you how to become more explosive on a lift and durring a lift and maintain form simply becuase its very hard to deadlift, bench, squat or even do a push-up with your whole body relaxed. Give this a try this week on all your big lifts as well as on you assistance movents and give me your feedback on what happened.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Prowler Aftermath

The aftermath of the prowler she actually ran 5 of them I'm proud of her she's got heart.

1st time on the prowler

My cousin beginning her summer at my place, gettin on the prowler!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Hey guys I hope all of you are doing well this week and that your workouts are going great. Well if you are feeling down I'm gonna try to motivate you a little bit. How intensely do you train? No seriously how intense are you? Do you talk more than you lift? Are you checking your cell phone while lifting? If you are I have news for you you are not training you are 'working out'. Yes I said it, there is a difference if you are working out you usually don't sweat, your muscle don't feel like they are being ripped off, and your thoughts are not a jumbled mess cause you don't have any blood in your brain. Most people would describe this as insane or say things like "you don't have to work that hard to get in shape." Well I have news for you those people are wrong dead wrong, in order to make progress and the key word here is progress you have to make things harder at least in the gym you do, cause life does that for you automatically. When you train verses work out you have set goals that you work towards much like you do with your life, job, marriage, or whatever it is. Now if you take the "you don't have to work that hard" approach to those things you end up fired or divorced. Taking that same approach with training leads to injury or no results, which one do you want? I will take the intense approach.

Strength and Honor,
Charles Gardner, B.S., CPT, ISSA SPN

If you have anything to add to this feel free to leave comments in the comments section.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shoulder help

Oh My Aching Shoulders
Gender: Female
Age: 40
Goals: Fat loss/Strength gain/ to play on her company softball team
Medical Issues: Micro trauma to the left rotator cuff
Jane Doe is 40 years old and would like to play on her company softball team; however she has few issues that need to be taken care of first. The first issue that needs to be addressed is getting the weight loss issues handle. The above client hasn’t given a specific amount of weight that she would like to lose so let’s presume that she would like to lose about 25lbs and that needs to be done in 10 weeks, now considering that the above clients nutrition knowledge is like that of the average American (which is very low just for the record) the simple approach of consistent eating i.e. 3 meals a day for the first month would be ideal. Once that is accomplished then we would introduce the idea of more meals in smaller portions sizes. Because as the research has shown frequent smaller meals lead to a greater reduction in body fat and a greater accrual of lean mass. This step is key in not only achieving success with the weight loss but also for teaching the client how to eat sensibly and in moderation for a lifetime not just while they are training.
The next phase that would need to be followed is movement screening and conditioning assessment. Considering that we already know that the shoulder is injured then the ROM on the left shoulder is already going to be lessened depending in the type of movements involved and there will in most cases be some discomfort when doing certain movements. The idea is to come up with a program that allows the individual to train while minimizing pain, the use of pressing movements should diminish but not disappear altogether and the use of pulling movements should increase i.e. , some sort of rowing movement a good example would be the seated row. The conditioning assessment can take many different forms the simplest one is the 1 mile test see how long it take the individual to complete a mile on the treadmill and then try and get them to reduce the time it takes during the 10 weeks this is a linear progression.
Since the above client is also interested in increasing her strength, the program would revolve around increasing strength. The exercise selection would be built around that goal using basic compound movements which burn the most calories and produce the greatest strength gains in the shortest period of time. Prehab/rehab/ exercises for the shoulder are inserted at the beginning when training the upper body and mobility work is used on lower body (note client is training 2x per week). As it pertains to safety there is and always will be inherent risk when one decides to start working out or training, that is why it is very important to have a physical check-up before beginning a workout regimen. When dealing with a novice or even an advanced trainee the safety of an exercise should take priority, however since we are dealing with a novice then any exercise done is going to be high-skill oriented even something as basic as a push-up can be high skill to a novice trainee especially for a 40 year old woman with micro-trauma to the left rotator cuff (note the push-up would be a contraindicated exercise under these circumstances at least in the beginning).
The appropriateness/safety of an exercise solely depends on the skill level of the client as we have covered already the client has micro trauma to the left rotator cuff, so as the surrounding tissues get stronger with the rowing movements, compound and accessory movements, which could be everything from face-pulls to I’s-Y’s-T’s and As, the client can the transition into more of the pressing style movements with modifications. Which would then mean that the client could indeed perform push-ups an exercise that was once a contraindicated exercise is now no longer unsafe, inappropriate, or contraindicated.

Deadlifting Technique a Closer View

More on The Deadlift: Preparation and Technique

The deadlift is the king of all the lifts out there. Now some might say the squat is, but I would have to say that the deadlift trumps it simply from the difficulty it provides, both mentally and physically. Let's look at the deadlift a little closer and see how it should be prepared for and done.

The posterior chain is the main target of this lift. The posterior chain includes, but is not limited to the hamstrings, glutes, and calves, lower and upper back, and plantar fascia. Yes, the plantar fascia. Although, these muscles appear at first glance to be inactive, they are not. The plantar fascia plays a significant role in lower leg stability, much like the bicep stabilizes the arm during a bench press(more on that later). Since the deadlift starts at the feet, then the first muscles that fire along the kinetic chain are the plantar fascia of the feet. If this muscle is tight or damaged in any way it will travel up the entire leg, ultimately, affecting the hip drive needed to complete the lift, not to mention the ankle, knee, and hip issues that can occur.

So, what are some solutions to this problem? Before deadlifting, use a tennis ball, and roll the plantar fascia of the foot. For those new to myofascial release, the plantar fascia is located in the arch of the foot. Also, make sure to roll the surrounding muscle tissues that may feel tight as well. Some of these include the calves, hamstrings, and glutes (but you do that already don't you, hint, hint).
The next part that I feel is also very essential is hip drive. When teaching the deadlift, it is key to teach the client or athlete how to arch the back, elevate the chest (thoracic extension for you anatomy guys) and push the hips down toward the ground and explode into hip extension. This takes time to do simply because most people do not know how to use their hips to provide motion. They will instead try to use the low back.

The best way to teach hip extension is by going through a proper hip and low back warm up. Some of the exercises I like to use with my clients are hip bridges from the floor with no load (beginner) for 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps to loaded hip extensions using a 45lb Olympic bar (intermediate/advanced) for 2-3 sets of 12 reps, then doing some reverse hyperextensions off a Swiss ball for 2-3 sets of 15 reps or 45 degree hyperextensions for the same set and rep scheme. I have used this warm-up with great success with my clients and have kept their low backs healthy and strong with this warm-up. One thing to remember with your warm-up - it’s just that a warm up. It shouldn’t take you any longer than 10 minutes to do.

With all that being said, the only thing left for you to do is to put these things into practice and get to deadlifting and watch the numbers go up.

Charles Gardner CPT, SPN
Adapt, Adjust, and Overcome!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nutrition 101

Hey Guys I think I'm getting this blogging thing down still having trouble loading pics I can't see them before I post them(any ideas on how to fix this). Anyway enough on that lets get to the nutrition. Anyone who know me or has trained with me knows I am big on eating right, now when I say right I mean making sure I get my protein, carbs, and fats not to mention my veggies and fruits. The one nutrient I want to talk about is one of the most misunderstood nutrients and most feared, carbohydrates. Now for those in the know you understand that carbs provide energy for your workouts and help in the repair of muscle after workouts. However the general public eats carbs all the time with everything and wonders why they can't lose weight carbohydrates are rich source of energy however if that energy isn't burned its stored in the body as fat. Here's a simple equation kcal burned vs. kcal consumed, meaning if you burn more than you consume you will lose weight if you eat more and move less you will gain weight. However the types of food you consume determines how fast you burn it. Let look at a chicken breast over a bowl of frosted flakes, the chicken breast requires more energy to digest which leads to some caloric burn and elevated metabolism where as the frosted flakes are burned quickly cause a sharp increase in insulin with a sharp drop off later. This process is what leades to fat gain, high spikes in insulin which is a hormone produced ny the pancreas this hormone when controlled can actually help lean you out as opposed to fattening you up. How can I control this hormone you might ask well one of the things you can do is eat or drink your carbs when you need them such as on workout days i.e, during and after your workouts. Also remember eating 5 to 6 meals a day helps to. I will be back next week with more.

Strength and Focus

Charles Gardner

Jess doin light chain push-ups

Jess deadlifting!

Brandon G. owning the Glute Ham Raise!!

Upper Body Arm Finisher

One of my guys finishing his arms off! Checkout the definintion he's only 22 yrs old!!

Front Box Squats with 315

This is me squattin 315 x5 on the box squat! That one hurt bad the next day ;)

Deadlifts Light

One of the girls learnin how to do deadlifts

Synergy Health and Fitness: An Introduction

Hey Guys (and current synergy members)allow me to introduce Synergy Health and Fitness. Synergy health and fitness was born out of a need, a need to change peoples lives and change them permanently. At Synergy health and Fitness we have three things we live by: 1. Passion trumps everything! 2. Do or do not there is no try! 3. Tie it, Beat it, Smash it!!( all my Strength guys out there should know this refers to PRs) Now don't get me wrong we aren't only about lifting big and getting strong although that is really fun too, we're also about helping one build a better self image and helping and encouraging others in our 'tribe'. So if you want to learn the newest most effective ways to get strong, healthy, and fit, stay tuned.

Till next week
Strength and Focus
Charles Gardner B.S., CPT, SPN