Matt Wirth Earns his USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach Certification

There is so much more to power lifting for athletes than just flinging heavy weights around.

For all athletes…

First and foremost is understanding proper form and movement mechanics.  Postural problems and faulty movement patterns must be identified and rectified before engaging in complicated, often ballistic lifts.  From there you move on to program design.  This is where the “when” and “why” of a specific sports training program is addressed (a process involving more than just “lifting until you puke”, which, by the way, is a sign of faulty programming).  Knowing when to perform these lifts during the season (off season, preseason, in season periodization) is crucial to attain the desired results at the desired time.

Matt is an expert in these concepts and can help any athlete further their athletic success through proper training and programming.

Emerge Fitness Training Staff

A blueprint for CORE and Abdominal Work


One of the most misunderstood and poorly trained areas of the body are the muscles known collectively as the “CORE”.  Because CORE training is a complicated subject involving exercises that isolate muscle and exercises designed to integrate muscles with differing rep ranges and rest times, only a few points of CORE training will be covered in this blog.

Point 1: There are 29 muscles comprising the CORE, not just the upper abs or six pack.  These muscles run from the hip to the chest in the front and the hip to the shoulder in the back.  All of these muscles function to stabilize the spine and also may perform movement specific to that muscle.  The point is, it takes more than a crunch to complete your CORE training.

Point 2: If you are dedicating an entire training session to the CORE, exercise order is key.  In general, the order should be lower abs, deep abdominal tissue (TVA), obliques, then the upper abs.  Because of the mental focus and the greater “neural drive” required to work muscles like the lower ab, these exercises should be performed early in the workout.  Working them later will invite unwanted help from other muscles.  The upper abs are the easiest to activate and should be worked last.

Point 3: In CORE training as in ALL resistance training, spend time “activating” the desired muscle but performing slow, controlled, mentally focus movements.  The neuromuscular control of these muscles has to be reestablished first.  If this is ignored, muscle synergists (helper muscles) that are already over-used will be recruited to do the work.  Take time to “turn on” the desired CORE muscle to be used before increasing speed and resistance.

Point 4: Give your CORE muscles equal time, and give them rest.  ONLY working your upper abs to achieve a six pack will pull you forward into an uncomfortable and unsightly posture.  Work BOTH sides of the body, and give the same rest to the CORE musculature as you would give any other muscle of the body, it’s working for you all day long.

Hopefully these pointers will be helpful in your approach to CORE training.  More CORE training info to come.

Matt Pirtle, MA, CSCS

Emerge Fitness Training

How young is too young?

In today’s society children are playing sports at a younger age. Ironically, schools have been removing physical education classes from their curriculum. With no physical education, kids are not learning key fundamentals that are required for optimal sports performance.

For six weeks I conducted an athletic training performance class for boys, ages 6-13, with an emphasis on football, basketball, and wrestling. The classes focused on running mechanics, agility, and learning the proper form of strength training using bodyweight. The boys were tested in four different skills (vertical jump, shuttle, “L” drill, and 20 yd dash).

  • Vertical jump: measures power output from the ground.
  • Shuttle drill: measures the athlete’s quickness in a single plane.
  • “L” drill: focuses on the individual’s agility by measuring speed while changing directions.
  • 20 yard dash: reveals the athletes true game speed.

After six weeks the boys were retested and there were improvements in all four categories. The average vertical increased by 2/3 of an inch. The shuttle’s average time had improved by 83 %. The “L” drill had a decrease in time of 75%. The 20 yd dash improved an average of .17 seconds.

The tests have shown regular exercise with proper training can improve fundamentals and sports performance. Parents have reported that they have noticed their children are moving quicker, playing more aggressive, and jumping higher this basketball season.

For more information in enrolling your son, daughter or team in one of Emerge’s ATP classes, please contact Emerge Fitness Training.

Matt Wirth, Emerge Fitness


Don't Make a Resolution, Make a Habit.

“If you want to be great, you’ve got to come to an understanding that you’ve got to put in the work.”  -Larry Fitzgerald, AZ Cardinals.

I love this time of year.  “It’s the New Year, time to get serious.”  I hear this from friends, family, even strangers in the grocery store.  January 1st, a new year, gives every one the feeling of a fresh start.  The duration is a different story.

Try to find an available piece of cardio equipment at any local gym and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  They are just saturated with what I call “Resolutioneers.” Don’t worry, most of them won’t even make it until Opening day of Cardinals Baseball.

After being in the fitness industry for about 10 years, I have gotten to be pretty good at observing who will fail within weeks or months of the new year. There is a VERY small percentage of those that I feel are in it for the long haul and will have great results. 

I have seen multiple posts on Facebook about people working out or dieting and they sound so motivated, but they are setting themselves up for failure from the beginning. It is so hard not to comment back, “You aren’t going to last 2 months.”  I’m a trainer; I’m supposed to be optimistic and encouraging right? Encouraging, yes, optimistic, no… I’m a realist… I’m hired to be a realist with my clients.

Anyone can achieve their fitness goals, and we, as trainers, can get you to your goals; however, you have to be mentally ready for the work. 

Think about the time(s) you, yourself, have said, “I want to lose weight”.  Now think about how many times you have failed in the past.  What caused you to fail? More than likely, it wasn’t a physical reason that made you fall off the wagon, but it was a mental reason.

To reach one’s fitness goals, it’s just as much mental work as it is physical.  I have always told my clients that getting one foot in the door at the gym was the hard part.  Once you’re in, it gets easier.

Here are some guidelines to follow in order to prepare you mentally as well as physically for the road to reaching your fitness goals:

  1. Set Realistic, short term goals as well as having your “Big Goal.”  If you have never worked out or you have been a healthy eater, making a goal to lose 25-50 pounds is taking a pretty big leap.  Instead, make your first goal attainable, such as getting a gym membership and going to the gym 3-4 times a week.  If you don’t have a gym nearby, start with a goal of going for a walk every day.   Start with one mile, and set a goal every week to walk further than the week before.
  2. Take Baby Steps.  It’s very common to see people who want to lose weight take drastic measures in their food intake.  They try going from 3000 calories to eating 900.  Extreme changes in diet can de-motivate anyone.  Instead, find things in your diet that are high calorie that you can remove. If you have a habit of drinking sodas, try cutting down.  An average regular 32 oz soda has over 400 calories! If you take them out of your diet, you will see immediate weight loss.
  3.  Get Support.  Taking on weight loss alone can be a pretty intimidating thing, especially if you have never attempted to try it before.  Why not get others on board?  Everyone should have a balance of eating healthy and being physically active.  Inform family, friends, and coworkers of your goals and your road to reaching them.  If you are having a bad day and you feel like veering off of your plan, having support can help keep you on track.
  4. Be Accountable and Responsible.  Let’s say you have been dieting for a week and you are feeling better and looking better, and you go into the break room at work and you see all sorts of pastries and cookies.  You think to yourself, “I have been working really hard; I deserve to have one thing.”  Next thing you know, you have consumed three doughnuts.  Then later that day you have some candy off of a coworker’s desk.  Then after work, you swing by for happy hour and have a drink. A few days later, you cannot understand why the scale hasn’t moved and your clothes feel snug again?  Logging your daily food intake will give you visual evidence of your progress (or lack of progress).  It’s easy to forget the bad stuff you have eaten when it isn’t written down in front of you.  Taking weekly measurements can also track your progress.  An Emerge personal trainer is the biggest tool for accountability.  We make sure you make it to your training sessions, that cardio exercise is happening when you are not training with us, and that your food log is completed and that your diet is improving.  When a client has a paid session and they know that they will be charged whether they are there or not, the client will show up. 🙂   Boot Camps that Emerge offers allow you to get in that additional workout in the company of others who have goals similar to your own.  Having that team “camaraderie” will push you more than you would working out solo.
  5. Find motivation. Everyone has different things that will motivate them, whether it’s a new workout outfit or shoes, or a new playlist of workout music.  One may have a vacation planned for spring break or a wedding or class reunion to attend in the summer. Take a “Before” photo of you.  When you hit a rut, look back at that picture and see how far you have come.  Seeing you at your worst is sometimes the best motivation to keep you from ever wanting to be in that place again.  Whatever it may be, keep your “motivation” around you 24/7.  You never know when you’ll need that “extra push” to do 10 more minutes of cardio or to avoid the desert bar at dinner.
  6. Reward yourself. You have lost 10 pounds on your way to your long term goal of 50 pounds.  Reward yourself, PROPERLY.  Indulging with a 600 calorie Dairy Queen Blizzard is not that.  Reward yourself in a way that keeps you wanting to push towards your goal.  If you have lost inches in your waist, get yourself a new pair of pants that show off your smaller midsection.  Go get yourself a massage to relax those muscles you have worked the past few weeks.  Whatever you decide, choose something that makes you feel accomplished, yet motivated to keep going.  Who doesn’t like rewards!?

Reaching your fitness/weight loss goals were never meant to be easy.  If they were, everyone would be doing it and we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic in this country.  May you have a successful and wonderful 2011!

Kimberly Renoud, Emerge Fitness

2nd Annual "Get Fit for Fido" a huge success

Emerge’s 2nd annual “Get Fit for Fido” series of free class training during December was another great success.  Emerge’s 9 free boot camp classes in December helped raise hundreds of dollars and countless bags of food, treats, toys and business supplies for the St. Charles Humane Society (a no-kill animal shelter off Pralle lane).  The gifts were delivered to the shelter on Christmas eve morning.  A note sent to Emerge from the Humane Society thanking everyone for the help also mentioned that all the pups got a new dog toy on Christmas morning!


Thanks to all of the participants and donors, including the Emerge trainers who led these classes.  A special thanks goes to Emerge’s Kimberly Renoud who did most of the organizing and marketing for the event for the last two years, it couldn’t have happened without her hard work.

Emerge Trotted for Turkeys!


IMG_0263On a typical November day, the weather could be from one extreme to the next.  Today, the weather was PERFECT for our first Turkey Trot.  We had over 50 participants running the 3k in Frontier Park, St. Charles.  Trainers, clients, family, and friends ran/walked for such a great cause.  We collected 28 turkeys, gift certificates, and canned goods for O.A.S.I.S. food bank.  O.A.S.I.S. was thrilled to receive donation and they wanted to extend their gratitude to all of the participants.  Because of each of you, families can have a better Thanksgiving.  All photos from the run can be found at our Facebook Page!

Emerge's 2nd Annual Get Fit For Fido




Emerge’s 1st ever Get Fit for Fido was such a success that we have decided to make this an annual event!  

 Get Fit for Fido will be held on Thursdays at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 11am in December from the 2nd to the 23rd.  It is a series of additional boot camps that we volunteer to instruct.  The classes are free; however, we do ask you to bring something to donate to the St. Charles Humane Society, which is a no-kill animal shelter.  Below is a list of items that the Society needs, which ranges from food to cleaning and office supplies. 

Last year, we had so much success, that we had two vehicles fully loaded with donations! 

Here at Emerge, we are just as passionate about our pets as we are with fitness.  Unfortunately, in the chaos of the holiday season, orphaned animals are sadly forgotten.  Invite your friends, family, everyone you know to come out and help such a great cause!

 This year, our goal is to have so many items that we need to rent a UHAUL to deliver all of it! 

Thursdays, 6:30pm: December 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd
Saturdays, 11am: December 4th, 11th, 18th

For more information or questions, you can email Kimberly at, call the gym at 636-922-7559, or ask one of the Emerge staff!

We hope to see you there!


Dog and Cat Supplies

  • Scoopable cat litter
  • Dry food
  • Hills Diet ID dog food
  • Canned high protein dog food
  • Canned AD cat and dog food
  • Hills Diet W/D, I/D, D/M, C/D, S/O (cat food)
  • High protein calorie control diet cat food
  • Nail trimmers
  • Styptic powder
  • Gentle leaders
  • Kongs
  • Peanut Butter
  • Dog and cat toys and treats
  • Hot dogs
  • Small plastic swimming pools
  • Blankets, towels, small rugs and pet beds
  • Pet carriers and crates
  • Q-tips, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, peroxide
  • Stethoscopes
  • Gift cards to PetSmart and PETCO
  • Collars and leashes

Cleaning Supplies

  • Bleach
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Dish soap
  • Liquid dishwasher detergent
  • Fabuloso cleaner
  • Empty spray bottles
  • Paper towels
  • 13 & 33 gallon trash bags

Office Supplies

  • Copy paper 8 ½ x 11  
  • Tape 
  • Postage stamps
  • Gift cards to Office Max or    Office Depot
  • Carbon copy phone message books


  • Gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target and gas stations
  • Disposable surgical gowns
  • Disposable gloves
  • Batteries
  • Ziploc bags

Thanksgiving Week Boot Camp/Class Schedule




Advanced Boot Camp with Kimberly: 5:30pm

Boot Camp with Kimberly: 6:30pm



Boot Camp with Nick: 6:30am

Boot Camp with Jody: 6pm



Boot Camp with Kimberly: 6:30pm



Boot Camp with Nick: 6:30am

Boot Camp with Beth: 8am



Core Camp with Matt P: Cancelled



Boot Camp with Beth: 8am

Boot Camp with Jason: 9am

Shadow Boxing with Nick: 10am