Get Fit For Fido FAQ…

We are less than a week away from the first night of Get Fit For Fido and we are having a LOT of feedback about coming! Here’s some basic information for you and some answers to common questions we are hearing.

1. Q: Do you have to be a current like at Emerge to participate?
A: No, Anyone can take a Fido class! All we ask is that if you are not a current client, please stop at the front desk and sign our waiver for the night.  If the
participant is under 18, they need to have a guardian sign for them.

2. Q: How old do you have to be to participate?
A: The minimum age is 5, but a guardian must be present with all participants between the ages of 5-12.

3. Q: Do we need to sign up in advance?
A: Nope! UNLESS you are planning on bringing a large party of 8 or more, then we’d like a heads up to prepare!

4. Q: Is there a maximum amount of participants who can take the class?
A: No, we are shutting down nearly the entire gym to make room for Fido. We are preparing for each class to have around 50 people.

5. Q: How many classes can we attend?
A: You can participate in as many as you want!

6: Q: If we donate a large item, can it count for our entire family, or for one person for multiple classes?
A: Sure! Honestly, we are just thankful for your generous donation and hope you have a fun time (And sweat a little too!)

7. Q: How long will the class be?
A: The Boot Camp is scheduled in a one hour time frame.  In that hour you will be instructed on how to do each exercise as well as you will get a few breaks
to catch your breath or get a drink of water.  Plan on 30-40 minutes of working out!

8. Q: I’ve never taken a boot camp before, will I be able to do it?
A: Absolutely! The key is to go at your pace.  Each exercise will be able to be modified for your fitness level. And if you’re feeling worn down, take a
moment to catch your breath.  There will be everyone of all ages and fitness levels, but you can make the workout work for you. That’s the great thing
about boot camp!

9. Q: What do I need to bring to Fido?
A: Just bring your friends, family, and a donation to Five Acres, and you’re good to go! We have towels available and Ameristar Casino has donated bottled
water for all of our participants!  We will have a LOT of people in here and a space for you to place your belongings, but we ask to keep all items in the
cubby holes or on the hooks.

10: Q: I am not physically able to partake in boot camp. Can I still come up?
  A: Definitely! Please do! We have vendors coming up each night as well as a lot of raffles.  Three of the four nights, Five Acres will also bring a dog that
available for adoption.


Body Building vs. Strength Training


Pound for pound, the biggest guy in the gym usually isn’t the strongest. Everyone has seen him…that guy with biceps bigger than my thighs and veins popping out of every inch of their body. If I had to decide who was “stronger” between the big guy leg pressing every 45 lb weight plate found in the gym or a smaller guy power cleaning or snatching his body weight plus some, my money would be on the smaller guy. There is a huge difference between strength training and body building.

Body building exercises generally isolate one joint and only a few muscles per repetition. Whereas, a power or Olympic movement involves more than one joint which results in greater muscle recruitment and strength gains. According to Eric Cressey, a very well known strength and conditioning coach, there are six main reasons why strength training beats body building nine times out of ten.

1. More time efficient
2. More useful in the real world
3. More motivating
4. A faster way to build muscle mass
5. Better for your health and longevity
6. A better way to build self confidence

For more information on why strength training is the better option, just ask any Emerge trainer.

Kathryn CSCS, CES

Think Squatting Deep is Child’s Play?

A large, internationally known company recently posted this picture in their employee newsletter.

This should say, “so easy, ONLY an untrained baby could do it.”
Ideally, sitting in a deep squat to pick up something (or play with something effortlessly like a child) would be the expectation of all human adults.
Unfortunately, this is not reality.

Most of us spend A LOT of time sitting. In a chair. In the car. On the coach. At the computer. This keeps our hip flexors in a shortened position, affecting our posture by limiting the mobility of our hips.

Compounding this is the fact that most people have varying degrees of forward shoulder and head posture.

The result? A body that has NO CHANCE of squatting that deep, safely.
This in no way is trying to say that, ideally, that would be the best lifting and squatting position. What this IS trying to say is that reality won’t support this request of deep squatting for the masses.

This is not to say one can NEVER again squat safely to this depth. With very targeted mobility and strengthening exercises, over time this MAY be a reality. For the vast majority of people, it will never be.

So, when lifting, keep your spine in a neutral curve, get as much flexion out of your knees and hips (while keeping your neutral curve), and lift with the emphasis on your HIPS. Don’t worry about depth, think about keeping yourself locked in a mechanically safe position.

It’s your turn. Emerge.
Matt Pirtle MA CSCS

Wanna get Bigger and Stronger, Faster?

Train Eccentrically

Eccentric training produces results, period.

Eccentric training is training that focuses on the LOWERING phase of an exercise rather than the lifting (also called concentric phase) part of an exercise. Most lifters call this the “negative” phase.

Eccentric training has been known to increase concentric strength more effectively than concentric training can. For example, training on the bench press on the lowering phase can result in a bigger bench press than actually training the press.

So, why don’t more trainees utilize this method of training?
To do this kind of training well, you need to train with approximately 120% of your one rep max. This means more weight than you can lift one time.
Eccentric training ONLY works if you are attempting to lift the load, but the load is OVERPOWERING you resulting in a forced lowering of the weight.
It has nothing to do with lowering the weight slowly by design (as this implies you are just allowing the weight drop slowly, as if you are just slowing it down).
So…you need a REALLY strong spotter to do this, as every rep your spotter has to lift ALL the way up for you. That’s not practical for most trainees.
A good trick I’ve found to utilize this super effective mode of training is to do a pre-fatigue set of an exercise (like a barbell bench press), then perform 5 eccentric reps with the trainee in a fatigued state. This will allow for a lower weight for the eccentric training, making it easier on the spotter.
Another trick is to use a load supplied by the spotter, not just by the mass of the weight being lifted. For example, placing 135 pounds on the bar for a bench press, then the spotter presses down onto the lifter as he/she attempts to press up. This makes it A LOT easier for the spotter to lift the load back up (reference the pic that accompanies this article).
Eccentric training is an AWESOME method of increasing strength and size. It does typically produce more soreness (and muscle damage) than typical concentric training, so incorporating this method only once every two weeks or so is a smart idea.
For more ideas on the best exercises to train eccentrically, and how to program them in to your current routine, contact Emerge at 636-922-7559

It’s Your Turn. Emerge.
Matt Pirtle, MA CSCS

Ta-Ta Trans Fats!

trans fat

For the past week, it has been all over the news that the FDA is requiring all companies to discontinue the use of any Trans Fats in their products. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said “that while the amount of trans fats in the country’s diet has declined dramatically in the last decade, they ‘remain an area of significant public health concern.’ The trans fats have long been criticized by nutritionists, and New York and other local governments have banned them” ( Even major food chains, such as McDonalds have taken initiative to remove the fats from all of their menu items. However, you can still find many items at your local grocery store that contain them, whether the Nutritional Chart states it or not. Here are some common questions people ask about Trans Fats:

What exactly is a Trans Fat?

Trans fat is a specific type of fat that is formed when liquid oils are turned into solid fats, such as shortening or stick margarine. During this
process — called hydrogenation — hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to increase the shelf life and flavor stability of foods” -FDA.Gov

Trans fats can be found in frozen pizzas, microwave popcorn, and refrigerated dough, among other items as well.

What can Trans Fats do to your body?

Scientists say there are no health benefits to trans fats, and they can raise so-called “bad” cholesterols, increasing the risk of heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States.

“The Nutritional Chart says that there are no Trans Fats, so it’s good, right?”

Not necessarily.  According to current FDA guidelines, products can contain .5g of Trans Fats per serving and still be labeled as Trans Fat Free. The problem is when more than one serving is eaten, the number increases.  It’s not hard to consume 4g of Trans Fats without even knowing it.

“How can I find out if the product is truly Trans Fat Free?”

Check the ingredients.  Any time you see  the words “Partially hydrogenated” it means trans fat. Another way is to eat as many fresh and frozen foods as possible.


The FDA hasn’t given a deadline when all products must phase them out, however, it should be within the next 12 months.


Kimberly Renoud BS, NASM, ACE, PES, CES
Emerge Fitness Training

Baseball Performance Clinic at Emerge Fitness

Baseball/ Softball Fitness Class
Dates: November 9th and 16th
Time: 11am to 2pm
Ryne Seddon

About the Camp:
• Two week camp that will focus on baseball specific training
• Functional movements
• Rotational power
• Olympic movements
• Shoulder mobility
• Injury prevention
• Provided informational packet at end of camp containing:
• Workout programs ( in-season, off-season)
• Nutritional tips
• Injury prevention advise
• Do’s and Don’ts of baseball specific training

Contact Angie Pirtle at or Ryne Seddon at for more information
3839 Mexico Rd. St. Charles, MO 63303 (636) 922- 7559

Fitness Isn’t Just About the Numbers




I’ll be the first to admit it. I can get fixated on numbers. I’m guilty of asking the majority of my clients, “How’s the weight?” or “Let’s do Measurements.” It’s my way of keeping them accountable. Even my own numbers can play mind games with me.

However, this isn’t the only route that leads to success.

I’ve been training in St. Louis for nearly 9 years.  In that time I have trained males and females of all ages. All have had different goals.  I have had clients for 8 weeks, I have had some for 8 years.  Each client is different and rewarding in it’s own way, but there are two clients that have had as big of an impact on me as I hope I have had on them.

8 years ago, I was introduced to a 12 year old girl who was scared to death to be in the gym.  At the time she’d never tell anyone that.  Instead, she came in with a wall up.  In fact, she told her mother that if she didn’t like me, “I’ll deck her”.  She was there for weight loss and nutritional guidance.  Honestly, I could have tried to beat it through her brain, but that isn’t what she needed.  12 year old girls don’t need to hear “numbers.” It was much more than that.  This girl needed some major confidence. She needed to know it was ok to be who she was and she didn’t need to change for anyone but herself.

Long story short, I got to see (and still weekly see) this girl do a complete 180 degree turn from what she was.  The girl who used to be timid, shy, and speak to no one is the girl who now waves to everyone across the gym.  She strikes up a conversation with a new boot camper just to make them feel welcomed.  This girl busts her butt every week for me.  Maybe she hasn’t hit the numbers she strived for when she was 12, but that’s ok. She still has lost a lot of weight and looks GREAT.  She is one of the strongest females I have ever worked with and she can pack a punch, literally (Don’t challenge her to a boxing match, my money is on her.). She confidently goes into a gym on her own and knows exactly what to do and how to do it with correct form.  She no longer shys away from people.  Her confidence has soared and in turn the rest of the world knows what I have for years.  She is one cool girl.

This past July I was approached about training another teenager: a 13 year old girl.  I was all for it, however what I forgot was how tough the first few sessions could be.  My client came in and said NOTHING.  She shrugged her shoulders a few times, I got a couple of “I don’t knows” or “I don’t like these”.  But pretty much for 4 weeks there wasn’t much conversation. We got thru the sessions, briefly talking about what she ate, if she did any exercising; everything a typical 13 year old girl doesn’t want to talk about.  I had asked her if she liked to play any sports and she said she didn’t.  I understand not everyone is into them, but I wanted to find a way for her to belong to a team; some sort of peer group that could keep her motivated.  I knew immediately this girl needed some confidence in herself before I could get any physical results out of her.

After a few weeks into the school year, her dad got ahold of me. He told me that she had joined the Volleyball team, as a manager so she wouldn’t be coming in as often and he had hoped.  I think I threw him off when I was ecstatic to hear this.  She had found a peer group, exactly what she needed.  About 4 weeks later, she came back in one evening to train and I was completely thrown off.  I heard the girl talk more in the first 15 minutes of our session than I had heard in the 4 weeks I had trained her over the summer.  She laughed, she joked, and she got thru exercises without too many dirty looks (dirty looks are given by all)! I was so amazed that I immediately contacted her dad.  As weeks continue this girl talks more and more and asks questions. Sometimes,  it’s just conversation over scary movies, but most of the time it’s fitness related.  We spend a lot of time talking about body image.  13 is SUCH a tough age and with social media these days, it has to be hard to be a teenager! I had told her I heard of the latest trend among teenage girls “The Thigh Touch Test” (Google it, it’s disturbing).  I told her how stupid it is and being skinny looks awful.  Having muscle definition and being strong are far more flattering on a girl.  I could see on her face hearing that from a 30 year old female trainer that this news was a reassuring.  We discussed the importance of eating healthy, and that cutting calories drastically doesn’t help the body.  (We also looked online at pictures of guys who only lift their upper body and they have skinny legs, but that’s a whole other conversation).

Each session I see her confidence grow and her true (awesome) personality comes out more. In fact, the other day, after telling her 3 times to stick her butt out on squats, she finally pointed at me and instructed me to “stick your butt out”. I couldn’t stop laughing.  I knew then that she was a different girl than day 1.

Sometimes clients don’t need to hear the numbers.  They just need to hear a little encouragement and know someone is there rooting for them.

I’m so proud of both of these girls and I am so excited to see them grow up… Because they are both on a pathway to be more badass than I know they already are.


Kimberly Renoud

Emerge Fitness Training

YOU Need Corrective Exercise! Why?……

Corrective exercise is the new trend in fitness training. It seems like all training businesses have begun to offer this service.

Corrective exercise is starting to be as confusing as the idea of “functional” training was 5 years ago.

So what is corrective exercise, really…

Is foam rolling and stretching corrective exercise? No. These are both potential tools to help prep for corrective exercise. They may or may not be needed based on the clients needs. If they are needed, they are targeted to very specific muscle groups. “General” full body stretching and foam rolling is not corrective exercise, and it may actually diminish a clients performance.

The process starts with a diagnosis. Finding out what hurts (from the trainee) and a movement analysis is a good start. Then, corrective exercise is a prescription STRENGTH workout. The workout is designed to correct posture imbalances and movement issues due poor muscular coordination and/or weakness.
This involves a very precise selection of exercises with the appropriate load.
There are no “corrective” exercises. An exercise may be corrective for one client and damaging to another. Identifying what is to be corrected is tough. The design and implementation of the program is really tough. Without respect to all the variables and moving parts, corrective exercise will not work and may do further harm.
There does seem to be a common need among those needing corrective exercise (everyone), and that’s core stability. Without stability in the trunk, it’s impossible to efficiently transfer force across the body. This normally opens the door to movement compensations and (eventually) injury. A great core stability exercise that’s tough if done WELL is the “stir the pot” exercise on a ball. Here is a video of that exercise done well with two other stability exercises.
Those in need if corrective exercise aren’t only the clients who are rehabbing. Almost ALL clients are in need of some form of corrective. If you’re a good athlete, you may be a great athlete just waiting to hit your potential. Corrective exercise can help an athlete realize that. Every athlete I have ever trained has been a corrective exercise candidate.
At the end of the day, the goal is to move optimally , being as efficient and pain free as possible.
For a movement analysis from a coach that truly understands corrective exercise, contact Emerge at 636-399-6748.

It’s your turn. Emerge.
Matt Pirtle MA CSCS

Tommy Won a 50 Freestyle Swimming Race Yesterday. He had his Hip Reconstructed 10 Weeks ago…

All they had to do was reshape the top of his femur, and regroove his pelvis.
All it took was breaking the bone and screwing back together in a better place.
The process left his hip flexor (psoas) muscle cut completely through and just to top it off, he had a labrum that needed repairing.
That was 10 weeks ago.
Here is a video of Tommy WINNING a 50 freestyle event at his most recent swim meet.
(This is a powerful race requiring rapid and powerful HIP FLEXION and EXTENSION)

Here is the behind the scenes story:

Tommy had surgery on August 7th.

Before the surgery, Tommy’s parents contacted Bill Knowles from isport in Virginia. Bill is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and an ATC. Bill flew to St .Louis and discharged Tommy from the hospital the day after his surgery.
At home with Bill, Tommy worked with a stim machine (activating muscle fiber without a load) and he got him up and moving immediately. Working on walking and gait right away, Tommy also spent a large amount of time in the pool where movement was free and only lightly resisted.

Dr. Lytle from Precision Health Group came next. Tommy had some nasty adhesion in the hips due to the procedure (and inactivity). Without precisely administered soft tissue work, that adhesion would all but stop the rehab process. Dr. Lytle made sure that didn’t happen.

Three weeks after surgery, Tommy was in Emerge twice a week. Hip strengthening and core stability began immediately, all working around the obvious instability in the repaired hip. Tommy progressed fast. He very quickly added loads to his exercises comparable to his pre op totals. His core is more stable than it’s ever been, allowing him to produce max force through a compromised hip.

All of this had to happen this way, in this order. The initial rehab, to the soft tissue work, to the strengthening phase all were a planned, TEAM effort.

I am very proud of what Tommy has done this far, and look forward to see what he’s capable of in the future!

It’s Your Turn. Emerge.

Matt Pirtle MA CSCS