Getting Back to Basics

Your Perfect Trainer


Personal trainers are like works of art; they come in all shapes, sizes, styles, & mediums. Some are expensive & some are cheep, some are brand new & some have been around “forever”. Some are very useful while others just sit there & look pretty. A few of them are famous but most are unknown. And just like almost anything can be called “art”, almost anyone can call them self a personal trainer.

Not one state in this country has a legal regulation of the title “personal trainer”. This is why people with no practical experience or knowledge can & do walk into a gym or start a business on their own & call themselves a “Fitness Professional, Personal Trainer, Expert Trainer, Master Trainer, Weight Loss Coach, Fitness Instructor, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Weight Loss Expert” etc. There are even internet “certifications” out there where you can get certified for $50-$150 in 1-4 hours. In come cases, you only need 50% right to pass the test & start calling yourself a trainer without ever having any practical experience what so ever.

It’s estimated that roughly 5 million Americans use personal trainers.

The quality of personal trainers out there varies greatly. This is because the industry is relatively unregulated & still in its infancy. There is also a lot of misinformation disseminated by slick gurus, clever marketing & the media, which is often perpetuated by trainers who do not think for themselves. Please don’t let this stop you! There are some truly great trainers out there who will transform not only your body but your life too.

However, you must be proactive & systematically assess your options before choosing a trainer. The biggest, most common mistake people make is picking the first trainer that talks to them or just going along with the one the gym sets them up with; be hands-on & you will pick a better investment for your health & body. You want someone who is smart, responsible & personable to help you manage & transform your most precious physical asset: your body.

There is no one best “kind” of trainer for everyone. Your relationship with your perfect trainer will be intimate, personal, & specific to your needs. Therefore, the best place to start with your search is inside yourself. It’s an important topic; your fitness level is an integral part of your overall health & quality of life. Picking the perfect trainer is the fastest way to take control of your health & fitness!

Step 1: Define Your Goals & Expectations

Make a prioritized list of your goals & expectations & outline any limitations or potential obstacles you will face. Make a list of questions for the trainer based on your outline.

A) The Ultimate Question – A great trainer will help you answer these questions; an exceptional one will gracefully help you confront yourself if they sense you are holding back from answering these questions completely & honestly.

  • What is the most valuable thing a trainer can provide you?
  • What are your expectations for the trainer?
  • What is your most important fitness goal?
  • What is the biggest obstacle you will face?

B) Common Reasons to Invest in a Trainer – Below are listed some of the most common reasons people hire a trainer, but remember: it’s most important to find out the reasons that motivate you the most. Your own reasons will keep you excited & engaged in your health & fitness over the long term, which is everything.

  • More Energy
  • Look Better Naked (fat loss, muscle gain, etc.)
  • Increased Confidence in the Gym
  • Accountability & Motivation
  • Increased Athletic Performance (stronger, faster, agility, etc.)
  • Better Posture
  • Post-Rehabilitation (recovery from rehabbed injury)
  • Variation – altering your workout to keep you stimulated & engaged no matter how your condition fluctuates, while avoiding boredom.

C) Less Common but Equally Important reasons – These are the ones you may not anticipate but will be delighted to realize:

  • Increased working Knowledge of Exercise & Body Awareness:  Proper form, increased safety, how to select exercises & regulate intensity, how to assess your current condition & modify workouts accordingly, etc.
  • Increased Self-Confidence in Life
  • Increased Awareness of Your Lifestyle & Habits that need to change in order to attain & maintain your goals.
  • Empowerment/Self-Accountability – Increased ability to train yourself, confront & overcome unhealthy habits, & the ability to take control of your health, fitness, & quality of life.
  • Pain Management/Chronic Joint Pain Relief – only the best trainers, who have specialized knowledge &/or work with a network of other professionals will be able to help you here.
  • Strategic Variation & Injury Prevention – using variation systematically, to not only avoid boredom but also to avoid injury & constantly progress.


Step 2: Define Your Budget

Typically, personal trainers charge anywhere from $25 to $500 per hour for their services, depending on where they’re located, what services they provide, the kinds of clients they serve, their abilities, & whether they are in a gym, private studio, or come to your home. However, the best trainer for you is not necessarily the cheapest or most expensive; your budget needs to strike a balance with all the factors outlines. Compare each trainer’s rate to others in the area &, if they are cheaper or more expensive, ask them why.

How many times per week do you need to work out?

Our bodies are meant to be moving everyday! We spent the majority of our evolution as hunters & gatherers, usually covering about 16miles every single day! Regardless of your goals, they are dependent on making fitness a part of your daily lifestyle. You need to keep your body moving every day, but that doesn’t meant you have to do an intense workout with a trainer 5 times a week.

While it’s ok to start out being held completely accountable by your trainer, a trainer that empowers you to become progressively more self-reliant is exceedingly valuable.

Do you need someone to hold you accountable to every workout, or someone to update your program every once in a while?

A great trainer will help you answer this question honestly & not expect you to be totally reliant on them for your exercise.

Most people see their trainer 1-4 times a week. It really depends on your goals, your drive, your self-accountability, your exercise knowledge, your motivation, & your lifestyle. If you’ve already been working out consistently on your own for years, are happy with your body weight & health, have a balanced lifestyle, & no major goal, you can probably get away with seeing a trainer once a week & workout a bunch on your own. If you are clueless about how to exercise safely & effectively, are seriously overweight, & not very motivated, you probably will need to start working with a trainer 3-4 times a week & eventually add 1-2 workouts on your own once you feel comfortable with some of the exercises. Most people will be somewhere in between these two extremes.

Again, a great trainer will help you figure out an ideal schedule & will not impose a rigid agenda.

Step 3: Window Shop for Trainers

Make a list of potential trainers in your area or gym. Use the internet to search for trainers, training studios & gyms.

A)   Convenience & Proximity is Critical: When starting your fitness routine, pick someone who can come to you or works at a studio/gym close to your house or work place. Otherwise, it will be easier to fins excuses & harder to make exercise a habit.

B)   Gym Trainers vs. Private Studio Trainers vs. House Call Trainers: most personal trainers still work in health clubs, yet the recent trend is for trainers to work for themselves, doing in-home sessions or working at private personal training studios. In major cities, highly specialized personal trainers work in medical offices & other specialized facilities, like holistic health centers. If you are very self-conscious &/or can afford it, a trainer who makes house calls may be a great way to start.

  • Gym Trainers: Do you need to be a member of their gym? Factor this cost into the overall cost. Beware, many mainstream gyms require very little from staff to become a personal trainer. You are putting your structural health in their hands. Remember that you are interviewing someone who will be working for you; you are in control.
  • Private Training Studios: In most large cities, you will find studios that are open only to personal trainers & their clients, often with no membership fees & higher quality personal trainers.
  • Change: It’s ok to outgrow a trainer as you progress. Most gyms employ quite a few personal trainers with varying levels of experience. You can set up a meeting with the Personal Training Manager of your gym to ask their advice. You can also speak to your membership representative to see whom they recommend. You should observe them working with clients to get a feel for their professionalism & style. Don’t accept whomever you are recommended blindly-ask lots of questions!

C)   Check Websites & References: Before meeting with them, check for the following information on a website or through references. What is the look & feel of their website? How are the testimonials? Do they just “sound” intelligent, or did you actually learn something useful from their website? If they don’t have a website, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but there’s a good chance they’re not serious about what they do. Make sure all your potential trainers are “career trainers”, who will be committed to evolving & becoming better & not someone pursuing a different career & training on the side. That is a deal breaker. Don’t automatically pick the one with the most celebrity clients, write ups in magazines or the best website. Unfortunately, the best trainers are usually not the best marketers, & the best marketers are usually the most expensive.

1. Specialization & Passion: Do they specialize in any particular aspects of health & fitness? Find out which goals each potential trainer is passionate about before telling them about your goals. Most trainers will say they do everything, but the reality is that they are more passionate about certain goals or certain kinds of clients than others. Has the trainer worked with someone with your issues before (such as being overweight, particular injuries/medical conditions, or severely lacking motivation? Usually, the huge juicehead trainer isn’t going to be much help when it comes to post-rehab, sports performance and pre-natal training. Is the trainer willing to work closely with a physical therapist or physician if necessary? A trainer might focus on:

  • Fat loss, weight gain, body building, athletic performance, post-rehab, pre/post natal, boxing, pilates, yoga, life coaching, etc.
  • Seniors, children, athletes, weekend warriors, women, etc.

2. Knowledge/Certifications – For better or for worse, the industry relies on a multitude of certifications for regulation. There are many complex systems of knowledge that apply directly to health & fitness (biomechanics, physiology, biochemistry, psychology, etc.) These two factors account for why there are so many kinds of trainers and price points.

  • Minimum Certification Standard – Pick a trainer who has more than one certification from the “major certifications” and/or a degree in an exercise science field as well as at least one “major certification”. This alone is the minimum standard; a starting point for your search.
  • Lifelong Commitment to Learning – You want someone who is well rounded, not someone who follows one program, guru or perspective. A pattern of commitment to learning is more important than having any one particular certification or a certain number of years experience. Some trainers mentor with more experienced trainers, which may or may not make them better. Often, older trainers will tell you they have 15 years experience, despite having only 1 certification. 1 year of experience repeated 15 times is not 15 years experience. If you stick to a trainer who utilizes one ideology, your results will suffer & your chance of injury skyrockets. Ask your trainer what continuing education classes they go to, why, and how often. Ask for a list of the continuing education classes they have been to & books they have read then divide that by how many years they have been a trainer. Are they committed to learning?
  • CPR Certification – If you do have any accidents or cardio respiratory problems, your personal trainer must know how to deal with them and ensure your safety.
  • Insurance – Be sure that the trainer you pick has personal trainer insurance; usually a liability if at least a million is ideal.

Step 4: Test Drive Your Trainer

Meet with the top trainers on your list: Observe them while they work with other clients, then talk to them & train with them for 1 session (all in that order). Some trainers may do a quick consult over the phone but definitely meet with them & train with them once before making a decision to commit. If they ay something like “well, you’ll get better results if you buy a package of sessions”, tell them right now you want 1 hour’s worth of knowledge, not results. If they respond with “you can’t get much out of an hour”, then all they’re offering you is exercises, accountability & motivation-not knowledge.

I strongly recommend you find someone who will educate you, not just count reps and provide exercises; you will get a lot more out of your investment while taking less risk. The trainers in the best shape are not always the smartest and often those with the most education are not always in the best shape. Ideally, find someone who gracefully strikes a balance between smarts, theory, action & practice. Don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t inspire you with their words, actions, presence & abilities. Look for the following skills:

A)   Knowledge Transference/Critical Thinking Skills – There is a big difference between sounding smart & being smart. The trainer you choose should be able to justify their exercise program in a way that is useful to you.

  • Remember, the purpose of knowledge is action, not ego. A great trainer will be educating & seeking feedback from you constantly, not bossing you around. It doesn’t really matter how many certifications they have if you can’t internalize & reproduce their knowledge.
  • Test them & their knowledge! Can they modify their program intelligently based on your changing condition? They need to constantly evaluate your condition & provide real world solutions to the specific challenges to your health & fitness.

B)   Interpersonal Skills/Personality – Most importantly, do they make you feel comfortable & confident? A moderate amount of physical discomfort is implicit in the relationship; there’s no need to add social discomfort to the mix. They should make your experience safe, effective & engaging more than anything.

  • Compatibility & Chemistry – What kind of clients & what kinds of goals most excite the trainer? What do they love about their job? Don’t let them get away with an ambiguous answer like “I’m great at training every kind of person for every kind of goal”. Force them to get specific & see how they do under a little bit of pressure. Do they seem like they care & are passionate about what they do? Do you prefer your trainer be one gender or the other? You may not know until you begin working together, in which case, try both a male & female trainer before making a commitment.
  • Listening Skills – Are they actively listening, comprehending & anticipating your questions & concerns or do they seem to have their own personal “agenda” for you? The trainer may be the expert here, but your input is invaluable & indispensable; find someone who you can work with as a collaborator & you will get a lot more out of your relationship.
  • Motivational Skills – Does the thought of spending 1-4 hours a week with the person excite you? Will they hold you accountable & help inspire self-accountability? Do they encourage you? You may want someone who is more compassionate or someone who reminds you of a drill sergeant. Either is fine, just be honest with yourself.
  • Leadership Skills – Do you have confidence in their leadership abilities? If you’re looking for a trainer to help you create a healthy lifestyle, make sure they have already created one for themselves. Look for someone who will hold you accountable not only when you’re with the trainer but also when you’re traveling or at the gym on your own. You may not know it yet, but you need someone who empowers you to take control of your lifestyle, not a crutch that leads you to viscous cycle of dependence. A great trainer will follow up constantly to make sure you are developing self-reliant habits.

C)   Customer Service Skills – These are the hallmarks of a professional trainer who takes their job & the service they provide seriously.

  • Punctuality – Did they show up on time & ready with all the materials, equipment & tools they will need? ?
  • Presentation – How do they present themselves? Are they dressed like a professional trainer, someone who takes their job seriously? Are they well groomed & hygienic? Do they appear to take care of themselves?
  • Organization – Do they have an organized system set up to take your information, assess you, keep track of billing & create individualized programs for you?
  • Response Time – How long does it take for them to return phone calls, emails & texts? Do they make your time a priority?
  • Attentiveness/Focus – Do you command their undivided attention for the entire session? More importantly, observe them with their existing clients. Are they focused with them or just when they are trying to sell a new client?
  • Business Policies – Do they have outlined business policies that are fair? (These should be in writing.) Do they have liability insurance? What is their cancelation policy? How does billing work? How long is a typical workout? Do they have a money back guarantee for any unused sessions incase you decide they’re not the right fit for you?
  • Availability/Proximity – What times are they available to train? How long will it take to get to them? Convenience is king, especially when first committing to getting in shape. Find someone whose schedule suits yours; if possible, schedule a regular time to help you establish a routine.
  • Expectations – What are their expectations for their clients? What do they expect you to do on your own time to keep up with the program? What kind of results do you expect to achieve & when? Your trainer should discuss your goals with you & adjust any unrealistic expectations you may have.

If they encourage these unrealistic expectations & goals from the outset, you will be much more likely to become unmotivated & disillusioned later on. Your fitness level (they way your body looks, feels & functions) is entirely dependent on a strong foundation of overall health. Don’t get caught up with just “looking better naked”. Focus on being as healthy as possible which will lead to looking as hot as possible & being as happy as possible! Your overall health & fitness is more like a marathon than a sprint. While a good trainer will not discourage you from your ultimate goals, they should at least educate you on the realistic progressions & breaking down large goals into smaller milestones. Rome wasn’t built in a day & neither will your ideal body.

Consistent & intelligent workouts that keep you engaged over the long term are way more powerful tools than any particularly intense boot camp, program or protocol. While hiring a personal trainer should greatly accelerate your results, they are not the finish line but rather the starting line.

Think of your trainer as a guide & a coach rather than a secret weapon in the war to win the best body in under 3 weeks.

  • Assessments/Progressive Warm-Ups – Discuss your medical & athletic history, including all major & minor musculoskeletal injuries & surgeries so that the trainer can create a program that accommodates your exact condition. Do they progressively warm you up, increasing intensity gradually or do they start by testing the very limits of your abilities? The former is way less risky-don’t be one of the many people that gets injured every year by their trainer. The assessment usually consists of a series of tests that measure your cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength &/or endurance, flexibility/range of motion, body fat percentage, body circumference measurements, resting hart rate, & might include test of agility, speed & blood pressure. Most importantly, they should pick assessments that are relative to your goals & they should not push you to your limits right away but instead increase intensity based on progress.
  • Written Programs/Progress Tracking – Do they create a program & plan of action based on your individual abilities & goals? Do they track your progress? This is critical to achieving big goals, which can be challenging, unless the trainer breaks them up into smaller goals & tracks your progress. Your goals can & should change as your condition changes. Tracking your journey will give you insight into your success & perspective on your accomplishments. They should provide a fully customized & constantly evolving program specific to your needs. You may not se them carrying a clipboard or doing this during the session but a great trainer will have a system to keep track of your program & success.
  • Network of Professionals & Resourcefulness – The perfect trainer is an evolving, intelligent & articulate resource for your health & fitness. However, no one person is going to be a master of everything you need in order to attain & maintain your ideal health. A major resource they can provide you is a network of health professionals with complimentary skill sets. A team of pros can collaborate & help you achieve success quickly & safely, even with the most challenging health & fitness issues. Don’t train with someone who claims to be an expert in all things health & fitness because whether they realize it or not, they are wrong.

A trainer’s network of professionals may include, but are not limited to:

  1. a.     Medical Doctors – Always seek medical clearance before beginning any exercise program. Medical history & physician clearance should be updated at least annually.
  2. b.    Physical Therapists – The quality of PTs vary greatly as well, but working with a trainer who has an excellent PT on their team is essential for anyone who has chronic joint pain issues. Unfortunately, many people accept chronic joint pain as part of the aging process, which is completely false! A great trainer working with a great PT can alleviate joint pain more often than not.
  3. c.     Dieticians – The quality & kind of food you consume is an integral part of your goals. Working with a trainer who either has dietary knowledge or works with a dietician is vital, especially if your goals are a significant amount of weight loss or weight gain.
  4. d.    Chiropractors – Some trainers have chiropractors on their team, which could be helpful if you have scoliosis or other spinal alignment & posture issues. Again, quality & styles of chiropractors vary to an extreme degree.
  5. e.     Advanced Personal Trainers – Your trainer may work with or be a Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) practitioner or a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES), a new breed of personal trainer with more advanced education. They look more closely at injury prevention & rehabilitation than your average trainer, have more experience with clients in pain, & typically command a higher fee.

MAT Practitioner – This method tests the positional strength of your body to identify muscles that are “offline” & beings them back online with precise isometrics & palpations. This technique is well researched & is very useful for dealing with chronic pain issues & inflexibility, although the skill level of the practitioner will determine how effective the technique is.

Corrective Exercise Specialist – CES’s often get certifications from the C.H.E.K. Institute, National Academy of Sports Medicine & the RTS program. Remember, CES is just a name & doesn’t guarantee that they will have completed any of these certifications. Avoid picking a trainer based solely on what they call themselves.

Other Professionals – They may not need to collaborate with your trainer but you & your trainer should be aware of how these professionals can help you on your journey.

  1. a.     Psychologist – You may not be anticipating it, but the pursuit of your fitness goals will be mentally & spiritually challenging as well as physically. One of the fastest paths to failure is an unhealthy frame of mind, which will obliterate your motivation, especially as obstacles arise. Some people undermine their own success with their thoughts & talk therapy can help you get to the underlying causes.
  2. b.    Masseuse/Active Release Therapist (ART)/Neuromuscular Technique Therapist (NMT) – Some trainers study soft tissue techniques, which can help alleviate pain associated with tension in your muscles & trigger points, decrease muscle spasm & facilitate healthy movement & healthy muscle tissue.
  3. c.     Healer/Energy Therapist – Healers who specialize in Reiki, acupuncture, acupressure & other subtle energy therapies may provide a great compliment to your training, especially if you have chronic joint pain issues or other health limitations that are persistent & resistant to traditional methods.
  4. d.    Alternative Medicine/Eastern Doctors/Osteopaths – these professionals focus on treating the body as a whole, using integrative techniques that are unconventional & innovative, although sometimes unproven. Another great compliment to your training, especially if you have chronic joint pain issues or other health limitations that are persistent & resistant to traditional methods.

Step 5: Trust your Gut

Once you have done your homework, there is no need to over analyze. Don’t worry too much about the details & trust your gut instinct.

After 1 session with them, you should have an answer even if you’re not sure why. If down the road at any point you feel like you have outgrown the relationship, don’t hesitate to switch to another trainer. It’s your money, your body, your most precious asset & ultimately, your sole responsibility.




Betz Method Becomes Brooklyn Athletic Club!
Betz Method Becomes Brooklyn Athletic Club!
Posted 11 months ago

Hey, Neighbors!  First, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to visit our site. This will be our blog to keep you up to date on the progress of Brooklyn Athletic Club, which will be the premier training center in the New York area.
I’m Larry Betz, some of you may recognize me from Maxim Health and Fitness. Maxim was my first venture into the fitness industry. We opened our gym in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 10 years ago and at the time, Maxim was a good spot to train. But as time went by, I started to see things changing in the fitness industry and my clients became much more aware of different training modalities:  Crossfit, boot camps and group strength and conditioning programs started taking off. Needless to say, the traditional "GYM" model was dying…people needed something different. I sold my part of the business to my partners and started writing a business plan to keep up with the changing times with in the fitness industry. 4 years ago, I was able to get my vision financed and we put the plan into action...
As we started the design and construction of our center, my partner and I realized this was going to take a bit longer than anticipated, so we set up Betz Method Strength and Conditioning Center two and a half
years ago. This space is a warehouse that we converted into a training center. No lights, no flooring, no fans... nothing!!! All we had were a few Kettlbells, rubber bands and some truck tires. I would roll…

Our Williamsburg Gym is Coming Up on 2 years in this Space!
Our Williamsburg Gym is Coming Up on 2 years in this Space!
Posted 2 years ago

 This week many of us will be spending time with friends and family celebrating Passover and Easter. Please enjoy this time with loved ones.It's hard to believe that our Williamsburg gym is coming up on 2 years in this space! (We started moving equipment in July of 2011.) We would personally like to thank all of you for your support over this time. You have seen the evolution of our space go from a warehouse, not even lights, to the Strength and Conditioning center we train in now. The space is not the only thing that has evolved! Our training, coaching and education has also been elevated. Your training experience here at our center is of the utmost importance to us. We love what we do and we take our jobs very seriously and are constantly upgrading the services available to our clients.With dozens of "BOOT CAMPS", "GYMS", & "CROSSFIT" here in Williamsburg, you can go to any number of places to get a "GOOD WORKOUT" or a "KICK ASS" session in, or even stay home and do " THE INSANITY WORKOUT" or "P90X". So how are we different? Glad you asked! Myself, Coach Mike and Coach Paul have a vast amount of knowledge and experience we love to share with you. We offer a Strength and Conditioning program. Not to get all exercise science geeky on you, but think of a program as a plan, "NOT JUST A GOOD WORKOUT". To separate ourselves from the competition we are going to be stepping up our…

Your 1st Unveiling of 2013! (plus, class
Your 1st Unveiling of 2013! (plus, class changes at the gym)
Posted 2 years ago

OK, so 9 Mondays have passed in the New Year. How is it going? Have
you stuck to an exercise program? Are you eating better? I hope so! This
is the time of year when two things happen:

People have totally forgotten about their New Year's resolution.
People realize the first unveiling is 11 weeks away.

What's the first unveiling, you may ask? That would be Memorial Day Weekend! Yes, I know it's been snowing but this year is moving along and bathing suit season will be here before you know it. The good news is, 11 weeks is a good amount of time to drop those 10lbs you put on from Hurricane Sandy to New Year's! Usually it starts at Halloween, but the hurricane kicked off a lot of drinking and eating for some people!

So if you haven't been here into our Williamsburg gym in a while, sign up for a fitness class and let us help you get back in the groove!
We would also like to congratulate Matt Siedman on his big win! Matt
won the Lose to Win contest that started in January. Nice job Matt!

In other news, due to popular demand, we have added a 12:30pm Group Fitness Class on Saturdays Williamsburg. Also, some of the less popular classes during the week have been cancelled. If there is a demand for them, we will gladly add them back.  New fitness class schedule at the gym is as follows:

Monday through Friday 6:30am remains the same.
TUESDAY AND THURSDAY 9:30 AM CANCELLED (Mon, Wed, Fri 9:30am class remains the same)
Monday through Friday 12:30pm classes remain the same. NEW 12;30PM GROUP FITNESS CLASS ADDED ON…

The 30 Worst Toxic Ingredients & Polluta
The 30 Worst Toxic Ingredients & Pollutants
Posted 2 years ago

The 30 Worst Toxic Ingredients & Pollutants
Taken from





Acesulfame K
Food products and carbonated drinks
Artificial sweetener
Possible carcinogen; disrupts thyroid function

Aspartame (NutraSweet)
 Used in soft drinks
Sugar substitute
Seizures, headaches and dizziness. Can
activate cancer hormones in humans

Perfume, hairspray, laundry and dishwasher products
CNS depressant; causes kidney damage
and irritation to lungs, throat, eyes

Benzyl Acetate
Perfume, fabric softener, deodorant
Fragrance and food flavoring; also a solvent
Irritates respiratory tract. Carcinogenic,
linked to pancreatic cancer

Bisphenol-A (BPA)
In plastic bottles used by the food and toiletries industry
Chemical used to harden plastics; synthetic estrogen
Damages DNA and sperm in men; mimics
estrogen and disrupts hormones

Facial exfoliants, moisturizers, make-up removers, body wash
Anti-bacterial preservative in cosmetic and pharmaceuticals
Releases formaldehyde and carcinogenic nitrosamines

Butyl benzyl phthalate
Floor tiles; upholstery
Plasticizer for vinyl and foam products
CarciButyl benzyl phthalatenogenic

Colors (e.g. Tartrazine, Sunset yellow, etc)
Used in cosmetics and food products (juices, cereals, coffee)
Add artificial coloring
All coal tar dyes are carcinogenic; evidence that colors may react with other chemical ingredients

Di-, Tri-, Mono-ethanolamine (DEA, TEA and MEA)
Children's bubble bath, shower gel, shampoo, facial cleansers
Foaming agent
Hormone disruptor; can release cancer causing nitrosamines; liver and kidney cancer

Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)
Fragrance base in perfumery and cosmetic products
Used a plasticizer in PVC and plastic products
Damages gastro-intestinal and respiratory tracts; endocrine disruptor; can cause irregular heart patterns

DMDM Hydantoin
Antiperspirants, multiple skin and hair products
Formaldehyde-forming preservative
Joint pain, depression, headaches, insomnia, asthma

Toothpaste, water, food products
Allegedly prevents cavities and strengthens teeth
Neurotoxin associated with dementia, depression and central nervous system disorders

High Fructose Corn Syrup
Used in fruit drinks, desserts and cakes
Food sweetener
Causes obesity, raises cholesterol and increases risk of diabetes, liver damage and stroke

Hydrogenated Oil
Margarine, spreads, crackers and biscuits
Increases the…

Posted 2 years ago

Keep it simple! Nutrition in 108 words:

Eat real, unprocessed food as close to nature as possible; listen to your body.
Pretend the modern supermarket doesn't exist. Choose foods that could be grown, hunted or gathered - nothing packaged or processed.
Support local farms when possible.
Eat animals, marine life, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits.
Eat plenty of healthy fats from pastured animals, fish, coconut, avocado, olives and cold-pressed oils.
Drink water.
Incorporate traditional, nutrient-dense foods: fermented vegetables, organ meats and homemade bone broths.
Above all, ditch the "gurus", "programs" and "diets"; get back to basics.
Connect with your intuition and allow it to guide you.

The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic
The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic
Posted 2 years ago

I found this article extremely helpful in determining which foods you really should buy organic & which ones you could scrimp & save on if necessary.  –Larry Betz, CSCS

The latest list of foods with the highest pesticide residue includes some familiar fruits and vegetables, and some surprises.
By Dan Shapley

The benefits of eating organic food begin with the farm that refuses to use pesticides or chemical fertilizers to grow the organic produce they ship to grocers. That means workers and farm neighbors aren't exposed to potentially harmful chemicals, less fossil fuel is converted into fertilizers and healthier soil that should sustain crops for generations to come.
For individuals, organic food also has benefits. Eating organic means avoiding the pesticide residue left on foods and it may even mean more nutritious varietals, although research into that subject has yielded mixed results. While there are few, if any, proven health impacts from consuming trace quantities of pesticides on foods, a growing number of people are taking the precautions to avoid exposure just in case, particularly pregnant women (growing babies are exposed to most of the chemicals that mom consumes) and the parents of young children.
Organic food can cost more, which means many families are loath to shell out the extra cash for organic produce on every shopping trip. That's what makes the Environmental Working Group's annual list of the dirty dozen foods so useful. The group analyzes Department of Agriculture data about pesticide residue and ranks foods based on how much or little pesticide residue they have. They estimate…

24 Hour Liver Flush
24 Hour Liver Flush
Posted 2 years ago

I got this detox from a friend in Chicago. My girlfriend & I are getting gutsy & trying it out this weekend! Thoughts, experiences & modifications to follow!
24 Hour Liver Flush
Liver Ingredients:

½ cup olive oil

1 big grapefruit

EPSOM salts (4 tablespoons)

Water or Grapefruit juice

4 Ornithine capsules

You can substitute the 3 cups of water in this recipe used to dissolve the Epsom salt with 3 cups of freshly pressed grapefruit juice or freshly pressed apple juice.

Choose a day like Saturday for the cleanse, since you will be able to rest the next day.

Take no medicines, vitamins or pills that you can do without; they could prevent success.

Eat a no-fat breakfast and lunch such as cooked cereal with fruit, fruit juice (no butter or milk) baked potato or other vegetables with salt only. This allows the bile to build up and develop pressure in the liver. Higher pressure pushes out more stones.

2:00 PM

Do not eat or drink after 2:00pm. If you break this rule you could feel quite ill later.

Get your EPSOM salts ready. Mix 4 tbsp. in 3 cups of water and pour this into a jar. (you can substitute the 3 cups of water with 3 cups of grapefruit or apple juice)

This makes 4 servings of ¾ cup each. Set the jar in the fridge to get cold (this is for convenience and taste only)

6:00 PM

Drink one serving of ¾ cup of the ice cold Epsom salts. If you did not prepare this ahead of time, do it now. You may also add 1/8 tsp of…

Don't Get Caught Up in the Calories
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Calories
Posted 2 years ago


The topic of counting calories came up in a class here yesterday & it's one that many people are constantly concerned with as well as unclear on. It's always good to watch what you eat, but don't get caught up in counting calories. This article by Charles Poliquin sums up how we at Betz Method Strength & Conditioning feel about the subject & why:


Health Club Etiquette 101
Health Club Etiquette 101
Posted 2 years ago

Betz Method Strength & Conditioning Center: Essential Etiquette
Most gyms and health clubs have rules that they ask patrons to follow, and they’re often posted in visible areas so they’re easy to remember. Gym rules are put in place to remind people to be polite and considerate of other gym members, and for general health & sanitation purposes.
There are some rules that you’ll find at most gyms, and general ways to be considerate when you’re working out with others at the gym:

Be safe: Because our training system is very dynamic, always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure that when you are jumping, kettlebell swinging, jumping rope, etc. you have enough space around you so you do not hurt yourself or someone else. Always think of the worst & then prepare for it.
Your appearance: Some gyms & health clubs may have rules about certain apparel; for instance, women may not be allowed to workout in only a sports bra without a shirt over it and men may not be allowed to go topless. Also, be sure to wear proper footwear and always wear socks to help absorb sweat & odor. Make sure that you’re dressed appropriately & safely for your workout.
Your hygiene: Be considerate of those around you & be sure to wear a fresh, clean workout uniform & put on deodorant before you workout. Do not, however, load up on heavy perfumes or colognes—some scents can be offensive or distracting to others & may cause problems for those with asthma or allergies.
Take turns: Always “work…

Training Programs for January’s Group Strength and Conditioning Sessions 2013
Training Programs for January’s Group Strength and Conditioning Sessions 2013
Posted 2 years ago

Coach Michael Camarra and myself just put the finishing touches on our training programs for January's group strength and conditioning sessions.

Each workout is well balanced and each week (microcycle) we are changing the rep range, tempo, exercise selection and progressions. This will last for about four weeks (mesocycle). Remember that there is a big difference between a good workout and an actual training program. If you are looking to work with experienced trainers that can progress you at your level, check out one of our group classes at Betz Method Personal Training Center.