Movement Monday!

Hey NorCalers and Interweb friends, It’s Monday and if you frequent the blog you’ve seen the trend by now- Lets break down a movement! In this week’s programming (which you can sign up for on TrainHeroic by clicking HERE) we have Man Makers. Doing this dumbbell complex will definitely add quite of bit of spice to your conditioning! Check out our video and description below on the Man Maker. Begin with Dumbbells on the ground. Maintaining a stable midline perform one renegade row on each side. Keep Scapulae retracted Perform one full range push up Step or jump feet to Dumbbells and maintaining a flat back pull complete one Dumbbell cluster (Dumbbell Clean + Thruster overhead) As you can see there is a lot going on for this movement! Fear not: by clicking HERE you can search our movement library for a more in-depth breakdown of the individual movements described and underlined above. Thanks for checking out Movement... read more

Photo Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! Check out some great pictures from this week. If you are interested in learning more about NorCal SC please email Have a safe and cool... read more

Nut Free Garlic Pesto Chips

Pesto and sweet potatoes…two of my favorite things. When combined it’s like tasty magic that keeps you reaching for the plate until they are gone. This pesto recipe is nut free and can be found in my book Paleo Slow Cooking. I have made these chips with both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes and both are amazing! These make an excellent appetizer or side dish. Enjoy! To make the sweet potatoes: Ingredients 1/4 cup coconut oil 2 large sweet potatoes Peel and thinly slice sweet potatoes into rounds. If you have a fancy slicer…use it! If not grab your good knife and start slicing. Place the coconut oil in a large skillet and melt over medium high heat. Place an even layer of sweet potatoes into the hot skillet. Cook until golden brown (about 3 minutes) flipping each wheel with tongs and cooking for another 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the chips from the skillet and place them on paper towels on a plate. Repeat until all of the chips have been cooked. To make the pesto: Ingredients 4 cloves garlic 1 cup basil packed, stems removed 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 of a lemon juiced Place garlic, basil, olive oil and lemon juice in food processor or blender and blend until smooth, creamy pesto consistency. Be sure to stop and scrape the sides periodically to ensure all of the basil gets blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the chips on a serving plate, drizzle with pesto and serve. I also like to leave a little pesto for dipping. Enjoy!  ... read more

Movement Monday: Ball Curls

Happy Movement Monday! This week I want to share a spicy little exercise that will wake up those hamstrings and glutes in no time. Ball Curls To perform a ball curl lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Place your legs on the medicine ball (or any ball similar in size) with your Achilles resting on top of the ball. Lift your hips as high as you can while your legs are still straight to start the exercise. Keep lifting your hips as you bend your knees creating a straight line from shoulder to hip as you pull the ball towards your body. Be sure to remember to keep your abs engaged and pelvis/low back neutral. Extend your knees to push the ball back out while keeping your hips high. A little will see this movement in this weeks programing. This exercise is one of my favorite ways to help build body awareness in clients and wake up that posterior chain. If you are looking to spice up your routine try incorporating some ball leg curls. Happy... read more

Photo Friday!

Hey NorCalers, Check out some picks of another great week! Don’t be surprised if you see tons of new lululemon gear from our Trunk Show this past Sunday. Also, our morning On Ramp begins next Monday June 22nd! Our evening On Ramp will begin July 13th at 6:30pm. Sign up... read more

Client Recognition: Jessica Creasy

I love reaching out to our clients for our Client Recognition blogs because I always end up learning several cool things about each person and what makes our NorCal clientele so unique.  This week I decided to highlight Jessica Creasy—a Division I Women’s Rugby player from Somes Bar (Where/What?!? Read further to find out).  Jessica has been attending NorCal for almost 2 years, is strong, very coachable, and always has a smile on her face.  She works hard in class with a happy but determined demeanor.  I wanted to find out more about who this athlete was and what makes this girl tick in and out of the gym. Read on to discover more about Jessica… 1.  How were you introduced to NorCal Strength & Conditioning? I was introduced to NorCal through my long-time friend, Renae Steel.  She was a member of NorCal and knew I was wanting to get back in shape and be active.  We had both been athletes at Humboldt State, so she knew the type of gym environment that NorCal is was fitting for me.  She  recommended I begin the next On Ramp class  and I did. 2. What was your first impression? My first impression was that NorCal had a very comfortable feel to it.  The staff was welcoming and very friendly.  I also noticed that the clients were warm and made me feel comfortable.  I felt  comfortable with being vulnerable and open to learning new movements.  I also knew right away that I was going to be challenged and I liked that. 3. One word people use to describe me… Feisty 4. Outside... read more

Movement Monday: Bulgarian Row

Hello NorCalers!  Today on this series of Movement Monday we are going to go over the Bulgarian Row.  In Monday’s Beginning Strength and Conditioning this movement is programmed and you will see it very often in the Intermediate and Advanced programming.  It is an advanced combination of pulling movements, similar to a Hinge Row and Body Row with your feet propped up on a box or bench  (can be performed without a box/bench as well with feet just on the ground).  The biggest thing with this movement is the arm position and body position.  You will pull your body upwards in the same fashion you would perform a Body Row, but you arms pull out at the elbows similar to what you would do with them on a hinge row.  This movement is a great developmental tool for building strength for rope climbs, pull ups, and other advanced gymnastics based movements.  See the video below: Here are some of the movement cues and things to look for when performing the Bulgarian Row: 1.  Position Rings So Top of Rings are at Armpit Height 2.  Hold Rings with Palms Facing In 3.  Lay Back So Chest is Facing Up and Arms are Long 4.  Place Heels on top of Bench/box One Leg at a Time 5.  Squeeze Shoulder Blades Together (Scapulas) 6.  Continue to Squeeze Shoulder Blades Together and Bend Elbows outward 7.  Pull Chest to Rings and Then Lower Back... read more

Announcements + Photo Friday!

TGIPF!  Hello NorCalers!  It’s been another fine week if I don’t say so myself!  A few quick reminders: New Classes: Tuesday 7 AM Norcal Basics Weds 6 AM Beginning S&C Weds 5:30 PM Balanced Body lululemon athletica Event: Sunday June 14th from 8 AM – 12 PM We will also be putting on 30 minute movement demonstrations and letting folks have hands on practice at 9 AM, 10 AM, and 11 AM Looking forward to seeing you all in the new classes and at the lululemon event this Sunday.  Take a look at some great photos from this... read more

New from NorCal and Train Heroic!

Earlier this spring we made our NorCal Strength and Conditioning programming available worldwide via TrainHeroic. TrainHeroic provides subscriptions to daily training sent to your phone, tablet, or computer, as well as access to our library of instructional videos and articles. Additionally, TrainHeroic provides a tracking system that keeps your stats, progress, and workouts all in one place. There is also a leader board for those who want to see how they stack up against other athletes who are doing the same workouts. We’ve recently passed TrainHeroic access along to our in-house clients at NorCal to use as a tracking method with the hopes that our Chico members and our growing global community can mingle and compete. Maybe at the very least, no one will ever again forget their max back squat! We’ve announced this in a couple of places already, but in case you missed it check out this previous NorCal post, this post on Robb’s blog, and this episode of the Paleo Solution podcast. The new twist on all this is that other gym owners and coaches across the country can now subscribe to receive NorCal Strength & Conditioning programming. If you subscribe as a gym your clients will also have access to the software. Or you can subscribe individually as a coach and build your own teams on CoachHeroic using NorCal programming. CoachHeroic allows you to build teams for your clients or athletes, distribute programs to those teams, and track their progress. Teams get all the benefits of using TrainHeroic to track, compete, and mingle. You get the benefit of not having to create programming from scratch... read more

Movement Monday!

It’s that time again NorCalers!  For today’s Movement Monday I’m going to introduce you to a nice little number called the “Death March.”  Now as grim as the name sounds, it’s not all that bad.  In fact, I would argue that everything about it is muy bueno.  Now that I’ve exhausted all of my Spanish skills, I’ll actually explain this movement. Basically, grab some dumbbells, or any weighted objects you can hold in each hand and start walking.  With each step, you are going to hinge forward from the hips, maintaining a completely neutral spine.  Note that each time you hinge forward, you are keeping the legs staggered, like you stopped mid-step to bend over to pick something up.  The goal is to touch the weights down to the floor with each step, however this will be entirely dependent on your hamstring mobility, and somewhat on the dimensions of your weights. There are a few technical points to keep in mind here, the first (and most important in my opinion) being that you have to keep your spine in a neutral position while hinging forward.  Hmmm, I’d guess that you may have heard your coaches say that once…or 3000 times before.  This can be tricky if you have tight hammys, especially since your feet will be staggered, so go slow.  The second point is that you need to keep the spacing between your feet roughly where they would be if you were walking naturally.  The third is the amount of knee bend you have while hinging forward.  The goal is a small amount, similar to that of a Kettlebell... read more

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