Charley's Training: Make Time For Fun!

This weeks training took a decidedly unorganized turn, with Charley basically running around EMERGE sampling her favorite exercises and equipment. At first, I tried to reel her in and direct this 2.5 year old to what I thought was the best course for her workout.
And then it came to me.  While I saw Charley take turns with Kathryn’s client going under a set of hurdles, then run “sideways” down the turf, then do hanging leg raises from the high pull-up bar, I realized that THIS is what training is all about, especially for a young athlete.
She was having fun, choosing exercises that were challenging AND developing the motor skills I spoke about in an earlier post. This “free play” time is important, and will become increasingly more important as Charley grows older and begins organized sporting activities.
Charley is developing positive associations with working out, athletics and healthy moving.
Young athletes can be driven so hard at a young age that they burn out both physically and mentally far before they hit their athletic potential. It’s a shame, because sports can do so many great things for a young athlete.
Keep sports fun, work hard, and enjoy the PROCESS.

Playing in the snow is a great way to exercise AND have fun at the same time….

Matt Pirtle MA CSCS

Emerge Fitness Training

Charley's Training: Emerge and Gymnastics


Charley’s training has been a lot of fun, coupled with  a lot of running around after her when she gets distracted.  That’s part of the process, I’m starting to understand this.  Charley’s sessions last anywhere from 18-25 minutes depending on a) what else is going on at Emerge and b) if what I am doing with her is interesting enough to keep her attention.

Bottom line, to get anything out of her training at this age the training must be engaging and FUN.

Charley’s fitness week begins with her gymnastics on Wednesday night for 45 minutes.  She is learning to take direction, tumble, climb and balance while cooperating with other kids.  It’s an awesome setup and I love watching her.  She is learning to move well and is having fun doing it.  As a matter of fact, many of the other children wave and pander to their parents for their attention.

Charley ignores me entirely.  I cant decide if I like this or not…

Charley’s training at Emerge started with turf sprints 2×20 yards.

Lateral turf shuffle: 4×20 yards.

Crab walk: 1×20 yards.

Turf hops: 1×20 yards.

Bodyweight squat to jump: 2×10 jumps.

Push Press: 2×10 (2lb dumbbell)

Ring hangs with knee raises: 2×10

Running around Emerge in and out of other trainer’s sessions for the in between set rest.

The kids training topic for this post is Multilateral development (training).

This concept is simply the idea of NOT specializing when young in a single movement pattern or sport but involving kids in many different sporting and movement activity to develop GENERAL movement skill.

Research shows many benefits to this kind of “training”, including not burning out early, athletically peaking later (when it matters most) and much fewer incidence of injury.

Instead of being involved in one activity every day as a kid, being involved at a lower intensity in many activities results in these benefits.  Specialization in training should be focused on much later in a young athlete’s physical and athletic development.

For more information on multilateral training and specialization, contact:

Matt Pirtle MA CSCS

emerge fitness training

Foam Rolling. Why Do It? How Does It Work?

Like stretching, there is a lot of ambiguity surrounding the use and efficacy of foam rolling as a fitness tool.

So, what exactly does foam rolling do?

Before a workout, foam rolling can:

TEMPORARILY inhibit a muscle by stimulating an autogenic inhibition of the rolled muscle.  That means, for a short period of time, the muscle being rolled will be “on vacation”, allowing fo the more effective strengthening of the surrounding and opposing muscles. So, for this cause, roll your OVERACATIVE, shortened muscle.

Break up surface level adhesion (scar tissue) allowing greater extensibility (stretch) and contractability (shortening).  Again, this is a reflexive response, giving you a relatively short amount of time to enjoy the greater function of the muscle.

For these benefits, it is important to know that foam rolling should really be called foam smashing.  When you roll onto a spot of discomfort, the idea is to pause on that spot for 30-60 seconds EACH for the desired inhibition to take effect.

After a workout, foam rolling can:

Relax shortened muscle tissue.

Increase circulation to the tissue.

Increase venous and lymphatic drainage,

AKA make you feel good.

Something to remember, foam rolling as a corrective exercise tool is NOT AN END IN ITSELF.  It is a necessary step in helping the ensuing strengthening exercises work better.

Foam rolling causes changes in the muscle tissue that are REFLEXIVE, aka TEMPORARY.  Its your strengthening exercises that really do the correcting.

With that said, three muscles that are “common offenders” and often need foam rolling are:

The piriformis:

The IT band:

The calf:


For more information on foam rolling or corrective exercise in general, contact:

Matt Pirtle, MA CSCS

Emerge Fitness Training

Emerge Corrective helps Conrad do what he loves to do again

Conrad Sansone was afflicted with a rare condition,

Defined by the Mayo Clinic:

Costochondritis (kos-toe-KHON-dri-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum) — a junction known as the costosternal joint. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.
Your doctor might refer to costochondritis by other names, including chest wall pain, costosternal syndrome and costosternal chondrodynia. When the pain of costochondritis is accompanied by swelling, it’s referred to as Tietze syndrome.
Most cases of costochondritis have no apparent cause. In these cases, treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for costochondritis to improve on its own.
This condition was life-changing to Conrad, who enjoyed a lifestyle (with his family) of sports and resistance training.
The following video shows Conrad explaining his situation, and what he,with the help of Emerge Corrective Exercise, has been able to do.
Matt Pirtle, MA CSCS
Emerge Fitness Training

Charley's Training Week 2


Our second week of training went great!
Charley got a lot of good work in but also had fun with her rest time (time in between exercises to swing on rings, explore new equipment, or annoy Nick Dudas in the office).
With the 15-25 minutes of attention span, the idea is the hit the ground running and phase out the intensity towards the end.
Charley started on the turf for two 20 yard runs. She transitioned into a shuffle for 40 yards, a backpedal for 20, and finished with a crawl for 20.
We next went to staggered dots and jumped from one to the next.  She jumped from the ground to a Bosu and off to the other side.
She performed bar hangs with leg lifts, and a couple TRX pikes.  She also showed me a really cool suspended corkscrew swing on the rings.
This is a good time to touch on a common topic of discussion for kids and fitness.
Is resistance training safe for children, and will it “stunt growth?”
The answer is YES it is safe, and smart resistance training WILL NOT stunt growth. A young athlete is FAR more likely to hurt themselves or damage growth plates throwing, falling, or just practicing their sport (especially at the intensity that today’s kids do, with repetitive motion at a very young age).
Eric Cressey, a national authority in strength and conditioning, recommends strength training with kids as soon as their attention span will allow it.  These kids will be much better prepared to handle the tremendous forces their bodies encounter when simply sprinting and throwing, and will help stave of injury when playing their game.
Matt Pirtle, MA CSCS
Emerge Fitness Training

My Favorite Client

I just took on a new client.

Shes tough.

She hardly ever listens to me, has endless energy, and my wife loves that I’m working with her.

She’s my 2 and half year old daughter, Charley.

Starting last Friday at 9, and for many Fridays to come, I will be training her for a half hour (or for as long as I can keep her attention for that day).

This is a chance for her to develop her basic human movement patterns, gross motor skills, balance, strength and coordination early.  It also allows me to hang out with one of my favorite people for a half hour at work.

In all seriousness, early training like this can be extremely beneficial.  For now we will not be working on any specific goal but working on what is called “multilateral” training, a system of generalized training designed to improve coordination and proprioceptive awareness… AKA, running, crawling, jumping, pushing and throwing balls, and balance exercises.  Basically, fun playground stuff with structure.

Charley’s first week’s training consisted of dot drills in two planes of motion, turf drills consisting of running, crawling, backpedaling, and shuffling.  Bar hangs were Charley’s favorite, but she also liked Bosu jumps and overhead med throws (with a growl and serious game face).

I will be updating Charley’s weekly training with video and pics, touching on the training rationale and process.  This should be a lot of fun and a learning experience!


Local Running/Fitness Events 2013

Interested in running your first 5k or half marathon?  Maybe take on one of the new fitness challenges that have become popular? Listed below are some of the popular events going on in the St. Louis/St. Charles area. If you would like to add any, please email

Saturday, February 9th: Truffle Shuffle 4-Mile- Cottleville, MO

Saturday, February 23rd: Ultimate 5k & 1M– St. Charles http:
Saturday, February 23rd: SpeRunking Sandmine Challenge– Crystal City, MO

Saturday, March 9th: Celebrate Fitness 10k, 5k, 1 mile walk, fitness classes

Saturday, March 16th: Cottleville St. Patrick’s Day-Run for the Helmet 7k– Cottleville, MO
Saturday, March 16th: St. Patrick’s Day Parade Run– Downtown St. Louis

Sunday, April 7th: GO! St. Louis Marathon/ Half Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend – Downtown St. Louis

Saturday, April 20th: PSE Family Fun Run 5k/1 Mile– St. Peters, MO

Saturday, April 27th: Run. Live. Learn. 10k, 5k, Fun Run and Health & Wellness Expo. -Cottleville, MO
Saturday, April 27th: AM Fun Run 5 & 10k– St. Charles, MO
Saturday, April 27th: The Color Run– Downtown St. Louis (Sign up under Team Emerge!)

Sunday, April 28th: APA Fast and the Furriest 5k Run & 1 Mile walk– St. Louis

Saturday, May 4th: RUSH 5k and Kids Fun Run- St. Charles:

Saturday, May 11th: 8th Annual Karen 4 a Kause 5k Fun Run & 1 Mile Walk– St. Charles

Saturday, July 13th: 4th Annual Hope for Haiti 5K– St. Charles, MO

Saturday, August 10th: 3rd Annual Wounded Warrior 5K/1M Run– Carondelet Park , St. Louis

Saturday Sept. 14th, Sunday, Sept. 15th: Tough Mudder – TBD, Missouri

Saturday, September 28th: Warrior Dash– Wright City, Missouri



Emerge Fitness Boot Camp Schedule: Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving is a busy time for everyone and it is only a week away! As hectic as your schedule may be, you should not neglect your workouts!

Emerge has altered the Boot Camp schedule for that week so you can get  a head start on calorie burning before you consume that, big Turkey Dinner.

Monday, Nov. 19th: Kimberly is having a 5:30 boot camp only. It will be set up for all fitness levels.

Tuesday, Nov. 20th: Adam has his regular 6am boot camp.

Wednesday, Nov. 21st: Kimberly has her regular 5:30 p.m. class

Thursday, Nov. 22nd: Both Adam’s 6am and Jason’s 5:30pm classes are cancelled, however Beth will be having an 8am Thanksgiving Boot Camp.

All classes are $11 each. If you have family/friends in town, invite them to come along! It’s a great opportunity for them to see what Emerge is all about!

Get Fit For Fido 2012

Join us for

Emerge Fitness Training’s

4th Annual


Tuesdays: Dec. 4th, 11th, 18th

Thursdays: Dec. 6th, 13th, 20th

All classes are at 6:30 pm

Get Fit for Fido is a series of boot camps the Emerge staff volunteers to instruct.  The classes are free; however, we do ask you to bring something to donate to the Five Acres Animal Shelter (formerly St. Charles Humane Society), which is a no-kill animal shelter.

Call Emerge at (636) 922-7559 or email or  for more information!!!

Emerge Fitness Training

3839 Mexico Rd, St. Charles, MO 63303


Puppy/Kitten Food (Purina Brand Preferred)

Dog/Cat Toys

Dog/Cat Treats

Large jars of Peanut Butter (for Kong toys)

Trash Bags & Bleach

Also, Gift Cards to Petsmart/Petco are Accepted & Appreciated!


Emerge at the BI-County Institute

Emerge Fitness Training will be adding to the scholarship and professional development of the K-12 Community next week as Aaron Randolph will be speaking at the BI-County Institute for Randolph/Monroe Counties.

The Institute titled “Its A Common Thing” will be held on October 5th at Red Bud High School. Aaron’s presentation entitled “Infusing Scientific Methods Into Sport Coaching” will draw parallels between the importance of assessment for the K-12 educator, K-12 sport coach, and strength & conditioning professionals.

Aaron will also be demonstrating the Functional Movement Screen with volunteer Justiene, in order to demonstrate a basic tool of assessment with a solid scientific background that gym teachers and sport coaches can use on a daily basis.

Over the past two years while Aaron has been pursuing his Doctrate in Education and instructing in higher education he has become very passionate about the K-12 and higher education communities. He believes adding support and scholarship to the educational community both primary, secondary, as well as higher education is the future of our community’s success as well as our nation’s growth.

Aaron is in the submission process of completing his dissertation for the final fulfillment of the E.d.D Degree at Lindenwood University. Aaron will also be continuing to support the education of our community through teaching as an adjunct professor for St. Louis Community College’s Physical Education Department starting in Mid October.

Visit Aaron’s profile at

If you would like a Power Point Copy of Aaron’s presentation or would like any additional information please contact him at