Real Life Conditioning
Since I started in the fitness industry eight years ago, I always feel that I am constantly learning. Improving upon your craft only makes you stronger and better. As a fitness professional, I do not feel that I excel in all aspects of my industry, as much as my clients and students may think I do. Take kettlebells, for example. I had very little experience and knowledge about them, even though they have been around for many years. So when my friend and fellow trainer, Faydra Brown, asked me to join her and fellow trainers in a session at Rebell Conditioning, I got on board.
The session was lead by owners Mike Connelly and Ryan Steenrod. They started off by having everyone do a round of kettlebell swings. I was the only one that struggled with the movement. Seeing that I had difficulty, Mike worked with me off to the side, one-on-one, while Ryan worked with the rest of the group. He was patient with me, breaking down the movements so that I could understand the structure. Once he saw I mastered each step, he helped me to put it all together while instructing what muscles should be engaged. That session was a very humbling experience for me, but I still appreciate every moment of it. On the facade, Mike and Ryan may seem like your typical “jocks”, but they are anything but. Their knowledge-base, patience, and humor make something that seems daunting - very approachable.
No Frills, No Gimmicks - Just Good ‘Ol Work
What is Rebell about? Rebell is not a gym, but rather a community based on education, integrity, and progression. The foundation of Rebell’s programming is based on Mike and Ryan’s cummulative kettelbell experience, as well as the philosophies of the top minds in the strength and conditioning movement. Just like I experienced in my first session, Mike and Ryan are firm believers of a humble approach to their profession, knowing that there is always something you can be better at and that learning is a never-ending process. Their goal is to take their knowledge and share it with their clients, helping them to build a strong foundation. If you get a few laughs in, even better!
A Different Approach to Training
If you have done many push-ups, you probably think you have been doing it correctly and that no change is needed. Rebell showed me otherwise. Who would think that a basic push-up, with proper spine alignment, would be so challenging. The same goes for squats, with slight adjustments, they actually felt better on my hips for the first time! I learned that exercises should not hurt, as long as they are done correctly. By doing an exercise incorrectly over and over, you are creating imbalances in your body that could potentially do more harm than good. The exercises are no longer serving its purpose and your body awareness becomes distorted.
One of the key services Rebell offers is Functional Movement Screening (FMS) which addresses these imbalances. The FMS is a ranking and grading system that documents movement patterns which are key to normal function. By screening for these patterns, the FMS can easily identify our body’s functional limitations and asymmetries. A Function Movement Screen Score is then generated to target the problems and track progress. The scoring system directly links to the most beneficial corrective exercises. Rebell uses the FMS score to track a client’s progress, by identifying which of these exercises will be most effective in restoring proper movement and building strength.
Classes offered include kettelbell, conditioning, suspension training, and mobility. The classes are not your typical group fitness class. What differs is the small class size and the way the class is tailored to your pace. Classes are based on the top strength and conditioning philosophies in the country, where you will be progressed from the basic movements to the most advanced. Any bad habits or poor body movements will definitely be corrected, which you will not receive in a regular group fitness class! For a more specific program tailored to your needs, I would highly recommend private training or small group training (same benefits of one-on-one at reduced cost). Corrective exercises are selected using your FMS score, working towards your specific goals.
Mike and Ryan have created an environment that is nurturing and promotes constant learning, regardless if you are a novice or fitness professional like me. No egos - just a great learning environment. Just like their tagline “Real Life Conditioning” states, they strive to teach you how the exercises are directly linked to everyday movements. Sure you are working hard, but your body should feel good, not beat up.
Photo and video credit: Rebell Conditioning