WHY do you do what you do?

Why are you lifting THAT much weight?
Why do you run THAT far?
Why are you eating THAT?

Weightlifters, powerlifters, crossfitters , runners, triathletes, physique competitors (etc.) often get asked these rhetorical questions, as if the answer is self evident (ie, you shouldn’t be doing that).
Can you imagine if we all stopped training at the exact point that allowed us to minimally function in the world?

I know this is a noble goal for some, but many involved in the world of fitness enjoy the competition and perseverance that it takes to achieve a physical goal outside of just functioning in our day to day lives.

The goal of running a marathon, deadlifting 400 pounds, or finishing something that takes dedication and focused hard work is an end in itself. The satisfaction received from setting and then achieving a fitness goal is the “WHY”.

So the answer to those initial questions?

BECAUSE I set a goal and it feels great to reach it.

Brody H hits new performance levels with help from Taylor D

I’d like to congratulate client Brody H on a very successful first month of training at Emerge. Brody is a football and track athlete and we have been focusing on a lot of hip/core strength and stability to better his overall athletic performance. We did his first reassessment over the weekend and he has gained 3 pounds, taken time off all of his speed testing, increased both long jump and vertical jump as well as big gains in his upper body strength. Awesome first month Brody! This is just the beginning.


It’s your turn. Emerge.
Taylor D. — with Taylor Dalby.

Chris Mileski’s Speed and Conditioning camp starts in November

Emerge SIGN-UPS for Chris Mileski’s Speed and Conditioning Camp


Camp starts on Tuesday November 4th, 2014
Time: 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Duration: 6 week program– twice per week (12 sessions total)
LIMITED SPOTS so come reserve yours today!

Emerge Fitness Training, LLC.
3839 Mexico Road
St. Charles, MO 63303

(636) 922-7559

New Beginnings are the best. Start your journey.

One of the BEST parts of embarking on a new healthy lifestyle is the anticipation of change.


I was speaking with an Emerge client a couple of months ago, and I told him how envious I was of his position, on the verge of making huge changes in his fitness level, physique, and overall health.

The onset of a new fitness program can be daunting, for certain. Adopting a brand new way of LIVING takes dedication and a belief in the intangible. All you have to go on at this point is the promise of change.

What makes up for this seemingly insurmountable mountain of a task is the absolute joy of seeing your body and general health change. These changes happen the quickest and most dramatically in the early stages of a lifestyle change. From physique changes, to higher energy levels, to more impressive performances on runs and so on, these transformations are awesome to witness.
Eventually, changes start to slow due to genetics, available training time, etc. But for the first several months to a year or so, amazing things can happen fairly quickly.

That’s what I’m envious of. The chance to make those dramatic changes. It is incredibly exciting and definitely worth the trials of changing your lifestyle to achieve it. I really LOVE seeing those changes in those who have made the decision to change their lifestyle.

The idea of “becoming” something greater really appeals to me.

Sometimes I wish I could do it all over again. Crazy but true.

Matt P.

It’s Your Turn. Emerge. — at Emerge Fitness Training.

What the H*ll is functional training anyways?

What the h*ll is functional training anyways?
The dictionary definition is:
func·tion·al adjective \ˈfəŋ(k)-shnəl, -shə-nəl\
: designed to have a practical use
: working properly

There seems to be the predicted backlash against anything deemed “functional” exercise in the fitness industry.

The criticism appears to surround unstable surface training, like the BOSU or a stability ball.

Most of the issue deals with the cost versus benefit proposition when training on one of these implements. The risk of potential injury goes up and force production while balancing on an unstable environment goes down. In other words, you are not training max strength and you may get hurt.

The problem with this criticism is that it is supposing that every exerciser’s goal is MAX force production, and not something else (say, training balance alone).

In fact, that is the problem with all the criticism of so called functional training. It is always assumed that strength or power gains are the ultimate goal of EVERYONES training.

That’s not always the case.

What makes an exercise functional?
It is “designed to have a practical use.”

So, standing on a BOSU is functional for an older population attempting to train their balance to their potential.
A bicep curl is functional for a physique athlete needing to isolate muscle for size gains.
A handstand push-up is functional for a crossfit athlete needing this skill to compete.

These exercises may not be considered functional for a football player, but for the aforementioned populations, they are VERY functional. They have “practical use”.

Also, achieving a state of balance while standing on a BOSU (watching for compensations) usually means that your body is “working properly”, Same with the biceps curl example (while only a single joint is moving, many muscles are stabilizing to complete the movement). As long as form is good and compensation free, these exercises can be examples of the body “working properly.”

Bottom line, the definition (and criticism) of functional training comes down to the GOAL of the exerciser and the intent of the exercise. If max strength is the goal, then yea, BOSU squatting may not be the best choice. But that SAME exercise can be a functional balance trainer for another client attempting to increase whole body stability.

Exercises are not inherently functional or dysfunctional. It is the goal of the exercise that defines that. Does this exercise serve a purpose in getting the exerciser closer to their goal? If the answer is yes, then it IS functional.

Matt P.

It’s Your Turn. Emerge.

Declining Fitness with age is a choice, not an affliction!

On average, people have a 2-4% decline in metabolic rate EVERY decade after the age if 25.
The average resting metabolic rate at age 25 is 1500 calories per day.

At 35, that number drops to 1400.

At 55, that number drops to 1200.

What does that mean in terms of weight gain? Approximately 31 pounds over that 30 year period.

At the same time, the average muscle mass loss is approximately 5 pounds per 10 years. That’s 15 pounds of muscle by the age of 55!

The good news?

The metabolic loss is most likely a result of the muscle loss, which IS NOT AGE DEPENDENT, but is rather LIFESTYLE dependent.

High intensity exercise can stave off muscle mass loss, and hence the loss of metabolic rate.

So, make exercise part of your lifestyle now to avoid weight gain and health problems in the future.

It’s Your Turn. Emerge.

If it works for you, do it!

Bigger, Stronger, FASTER!

This is unusual for me.

I’m writing an article based on anecdotal evidence, based solely on my experience alone. No EMG studies, no double blind university research. JUST my experience.

I’ve started my fitness career as a bodybuilder. I cared about nothing but aesthetics. I did whatever it took to look bigger and leaner.

I competed in 5 shows, taking first place in one and top 6 in the rest.

Following the bodybuilding phase, I’ve focused both on strength and function, a mix of powerlifting and multi planar movement training. My core lifts were strong, and my ability to move in every direction was good.

Through these phases, which spanned over a decade, I have had good results in both strength and size (hypertrophy). In fact, regardless of the phase, I was pretty much the SAME size and strength the entire time.
I wasn’t unhappy about this. I was strong and big (relatively) the whole time.

About a year ago, I decided I was bored with body part training and classic strength training protocols.
I decided, intuitively, to begin training with only compound movements, involving the whole body, EVERYDAY.
No more leg day. No more back day. ONLY whole body days.

The results have been fantastic.

I am bigger and stronger than I have ever been. I work every single muscle every single day (with a slight change in emphasis on anterior/ posterior body). I often superset two large opposing compound movements (like a barbell deadlift and a weighted pull-up).

There is very little research supporting this type of program design.

For me. It works very well.

Moral of the story? Science is a foundation for strength and conditioning, but to find what works best for you, test MANY different modes of program design until you find one that best suits you.
Matt P
It’s Your Turn. Emerge.


Client Spotlight: Linda M

Id like to give a big shout out and congrats to client Linda M. Linda and I have been training for a few months now and for the first time in 12 years her doctor finally took her off her blood pressure medication! Not only that, but since she has been back in a training regiment we have her down 34 1/2 lbs and 16 inches lost! I’m incredibly happy for your accomplishments so far Linda and look forward to the other big goals that you and I set! Congrats!

Taylor D.

It’s Your Turn. Emerge.


Short Burst Planks for maximum core stability

When training the core muscles for trunk stability, endurance is far more important than absolute strength.

The problem with training the core for endurance is the likelihood of compensations from other muscles (like the hip flexors) getting involved when an exercise is held for too long.

For example, the plank exercise. After about 12 seconds, the target core muscle starts to lose oxygen rapidly, leading to the inclusion of “other” non-target muscle to help out. You may be able to hold the set, but you’re compensating to do it.

The solution? Do MANY sets of 10-12 seconds with about 10 seconds rest in between the mini sets. This small rest period is enough to return oxygen to the muscle, allowing it to operate and fire well.

For a plank or side planking exercise, try 8 sets of 12 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. You’ll have trained your core muscle for endurance while not exhausting your body to the point of compensation.
Matt P

It’s Your Turn. Emerge

Client Spotlight: Tim K

Many people come to Emerge for many different causes. Tim Kaiser is training for the ultimate cause of protecting our country’s freedom. For the last month and half Tim and I have trained together to prepare him for basic training. He has already maxed his PT and aspires to be an Army Ranger! Thanks in advance for your service Tim and good luck!

Jason Tokun

It’s Your Turn. Emerge.