Rebell of The Month: Josh Johnson

We are excited to announce that Josh is our Rebell of The Month for December! Josh has been working very hard these last few months on his goals and has done an amazing job at it. He is a character to be around is always up for challenging when it comes to his training. He is prioritized with his goals and knows how to get the job done. This is his story!

Kayaking with the family.

Your background

I am currently a Financial Advisor in Marshall and volunteer firefighter for Lynd, married to my wife, Jennifer, who is part owner of Ace Home and Hardware here in Marshall.  We have two kids, Abby (13) who plays the piano and shows Llamas and Alpacas in 4h. Jake (12) is all in on hockey and his Xbox.

I have trained on my own and never had a coach. Pre-kids I have ran the Chicago Marathon, various 5/10ks but really enjoyed competing in Triathlons.  The variations of training for Triathlons for the three activities kept me focused. Through all that I never really did any sort of strength training.  About a year to 18months ago I thought I would start lifting weights. It became extremely clear that I did not know what I was doing. I had major pain in my shoulders and avoided squats like the plague.  At that point I sought out some help and ran into William.

Thoughts about strength training before & after

Before I came to meet William the only thing I knew was to bench and curl as much as possible I came to realize very quickly it was just more than that.

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Josh working on single arm swings.

Challenging barriers you overcame

I’m a put my earbuds in and ignore the world type of guy when I work out. The amount of stress running my business, and being available to my family I didn’t want to talk to anyone or participate in some sort of group thing. That’s why I liked marathons and Triathlons it was an individual sport.  I really had apprehension about a group type of setting but you never succeed if you don’t step out of your comfort box.

Greatest achievement

I have been really please with my overall stability most significant is with my highly physically demanding activity with the Fire Dept.  There is rarely “proper lifting” when performing these duties. I noticed immediately that I had mobility and was confident when doing physical aspects.  I can be on a hose line for hours and feel good the next day. In the past I would be sore and have pain in my back…..not anymore! I am also a big pheasant hunter. Take 2 pound weights tied to each leg, carry around another 7lbs then drag that through chest high grass, mud, snow, ect and do that all day! Normally I would be extremely sore the next day and may only get another day of hunting in. Now I have gone three days in a row and felt like I could keep going!

Changes your family/friends noticed

My firefighter buddy’s rib me that my gear look loose on me now (which it is).

My wife Jennifer.

What do you tell people about our training

Go in with an open mind and trust the process.

What do you enjoy about training here

I like the culture William has in place. There is no feeling of being judged everyone is at their own level and there is nothing wrong with it. Its’ also ok to learn and ask questions.

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Working on sandbag squats. 

Three benefits you’ve noticed

1. I have more mobility/flexibility.

2. I have more confidence in physical activities.

3. I feel generally better.

What makes the difference

Up to this point I never used a trainer but I have tried fitness plans. I’m a real visual guy so if a plan is just a list of things to do I won’t succeed.  I am also not smart enough to know what plan I need for the goals I want, having a person understand me and what I want to accomplish has helped me be successful.

Kayaking with my daughter Abby.

From brewing beer, to smoking meat, to doing triathlons, this man does it all! Josh is such a great member to work with and along with having a great sense of humor. Watching the changes in Josh’s overall body composition and his strength has been very rewarding. We are honored to have such a great member be a part of our RS family.

Watch his story

Rebell of The Month: Kim Jenniges

We are excited to announce that Kim is our Rebell of the Month for November!! Kim has been such a great member to have at Restored Strength. From her high energy and fun spirit to her welcoming personality, Kim has made some great progress! We are excited to share with you her story!

Your background

Before Restored Strength, I had never really enjoyed exercise.  I had a high metabolism the majority of my life, so could avoid it. Then 40 hit and I needed to make some changes.  Over and over again, I kept trying the newest fad expecting different results.  It was me trying to do this alone. I was missing a community to be part of.  I found these things at Restored Strength.

Kim and her husband Jamie, son Dawson (13), and Daughter Morgan (17) at her confirmation this fall.  These three are my life.  They are my motivation, my support, and entertainment every night!

Thoughts about strength training before & after

Before training, I thought it was all free weights, bench pressing, and that I had to be an experienced athlete.  After training, it’s amazing how much creativity and different exercises you can do with your own weight, bands, kettle bells, and more.  There is something new every workout.  Something that is attainable for where you are at on your journey.  The cool thing is that as you grow, your confidence grows too!

Challenging barriers you overcame

Ditching the philosophy of “no pain no gain” and patience pays off.  I was brought up in a generation where you had to push yourself to the limit in order to see any results.  Resulting in sweating profusely and unnecessary muscle soreness!  Now I realize, it shouldn’t hurt.  We are also in a society where we all want instant results. William said to me one day, if you want to get a $1000.00 it doesn’t happen overnight, but saving over time will get you $1000.00.  The same holds true with exercise and nutrition.  Just keep at it!

Kim working on floor presses.

Greatest achievement

Showing up!  I have been getting up consistently at 5:15am 3 times a week to make my 6:00am workout.  Before Restored Strength, I always intended to work out in the mornings, but the snooze button won out.  My muscles fought me when I did manage to get out of bed.  I never understood how some people loved a morning workout, now I’m one of them.  Working out with William and my morning workout friends is the best way to start my day.

Changes your family/friends noticed

When doing outside work this fall, I didn’t get winded.  My husband has noticed my stamina has increased and I don’t get near as sore as in years past.

Me and my husband Jamie at the Metallica concert for our 19 year wedding anniversary.  We always make time for us.  This night was so awesome!!!

 What do you tell people about our training

William cares about your success.  He will work with you to help you achieve your goals.  Workouts are surprising easy.  He pushes you just enough and knows when you are ready to progress, customizing workouts for you!  I leave feeling refreshed and ready for the day.  Plus, you get to work out in your socks!  Which I love! 

What do you enjoy about training here

I walk in the building and I feel like I belong.  It is a completely judge free zone with people at all different levels. William promotes a positive environment where we work, we chat, and we laugh, making the hour go by very fast! 

My partner in crime, Molly.  She keeps me company when I’m working, follows me everywhere and is the best stress reliever ever.  Plus, she’s so cute!!  You can’t help but love her!

Three benefits you’ve noticed

  1. I can do so much more than I ever thought I could! My confidence has grown leaps and bounds!
  2. I’m embracing small wins and the philosophy that this is a lifestyle change.
  3. My posture has improved.I have always struggled with my posture.Standing up straight is easier now!

What makes the difference

I have never had a trainer before, but now I’m hooked!!  Other fitness plans didn’t hold me accountable.  I was missing the community, workout buddies, and positive reinforcement.

Kim working on her presses.

Additional Words

I’m thankful I picked up the phone and called William.  I was embarrassed about where I was.  My BMI was going up with each visit with my provider.  My cholesterol was going in the wrong direction, to the point where my provider said if I didn’t make some changes we were going to have to talk medication.  In November, I will have my annual health screening.  I’m hoping to see the results of all the work I have put in.  The even better thing, William said no matter what the results are we will figure out a plan together.  I am definitely not alone and that is the best part.

Kim is an active and hard working member in the RS Community. She has such a great attitude and puts in the work towards bettering her health. Kim has made some significant changes in her strength and mobility. We couldn’t ask for a better member like Kim, we are very proud to have her be a part of out family.

Watch Her Story!

Rebell of The Month: Jerry Wiblemo


Jerry is our Rebell of The Month for October! Jerry has been working hard at Restored Strength since this spring. He has been taking his training and his nutrition very serious and has been making great results to show for his hard work. Check out his story!

Your background

I’ve always been involved in organized sports, but I’ve never really done any serious “weight” training. I’ve done some classes at the “Y”, but the majority of my activity has been centered on cardio workouts to control weight.

Jerry working on a Staggered Stance Deadlift.

Thoughts about strength training before & after

Mainly centered on the thought that it involved low reps with heavy weight; which isn’t something I was interested in doing. After working with the kettlebells and dumbbells I know you can achieve definition and strength without killing yourself.

 Challenging barriers you overcame

Making the time to work out; it would have been easy to convince myself that I don’t have two hours twice a week to devote to working out.

Our two grand kids – Liam is 2.5 and Bear is 6 months old

Greatest achievement

The fact that I have found a workout that I have stuck with- and actually enjoy- for seven months is a true achievement.

The newest addition to our family – Ben; 10 week old English Chocolate Lab.

Changes your family/friends noticed

Muscle mass and strength. My wife always said she couldn’t be with anyone that couldn’t pick her up; we’re still together.

The love of my life – Terri – married 35 years

What do you tell people about our training

Restored Strength has a friendly atmosphere. As always, your results depend on your effort. But the support from the staff really makes a difference.

What do you enjoy about training here

Besides the fact that William has enough energy for everyone in the room, I would say I like the small group setting. You get to know your workout “buddies”.

Jerry working on Bench Press.

Three benefits you’ve noticed

1. I’m able to eat more, right now I’m eating chips and dip, and still able to maintain my weight.

2. Improved core strength, I’ve had fewer back issues this past year and when I do have an issue it doesn’t seem to last as long.

3. Increased flexibility, I still can’t touch my toes but I’m getting there.

What makes the difference

You don’t have to work someone to the point of exhaustion to get results. The workouts are challenging, and you definitely feel them later, but I don’t feel like I’m going to pass out during them.

It is such a pleasure to be working with Jerry!! He has a great sense of humor and smile that lights up the entire room. His love for movies and golf goes far and wide, Tuesday movie night is one of our favorite topics of discussion. It has been truly amazing seeing all of the great progress Jerry has been making, especially these past couple months when we really started focusing on his nutrition. Jerry is a prime example of what our Restored Strength community is.

Watch His Story!

Rebell of the Month: Brandon Tucker

We are excited to announce that our Rebell of the Month for February is Brandon Tucker! Brandon has been working with us for the past 3 months and has been rocking his sessions. We enjoy having his positive attitude in the gym, along with his great sense of humor. He has a serious commitment to staying on track to accomplish his goals. This is his story!

Your background

I used to be a fairly avid runner and used to go to the gym 4-5 times a week. Then my life got too busy with work and I started to slack on my personal fitness. After 3 years of a very hectic work schedule with a very minimal to-non-existent fitness schedule, I realized, just how much I had let myself go. Now that work has slowed down I have made it my goal to get in shape again. Originally, I tried going to the gym on my own, but my former drive and love for exercise/running was no longer there. I knew that I needed help to start this up again, and Restored Strength has worked really well to provide me with that assistance and accountability.

There is a picture of Daryl (my partner) and I over the summer. That’s the most recent photo I have of us. None with my longer hair.

Thoughts about strength training before & after

I really enjoyed working out in the past once I got into a routine. After being off that routine for over 3 years it has been very difficult to get back into it. Since being at Restored Strength my motivation is returning and there is someone there that can partially hold me accountable.

There is a picture of our dog, Piper, with a nice bottle of red wine. She is a little bit of a light weight 😛 (jk, we never give our dog alcohol!)

Challenging barriers you overcame

The challenging barrier I had to overcome is that sometimes my schedule with work and other life events can be difficult to accommodate.  Additionally, in the winter and only driving a front wheel drive vehicle, the snow can sometimes be a barrier 🙂

Brandon working on Good Mornings

Greatest achievement

My greatest achievement while training has been weight loss, increase in strength, and increase in energy. Additionally, my migraines haven’t been happening as often as they used to.

Changes your family/friends noticed

When I asked my partner, this question his response was “you seem happier.” 

Then there is a picture of our devious little bunny, Jasper. He favors Daryl and always tries to steal my food.

What do you tell people about our training

I would tell them to expect to meet a lot of fun and friendly people in a judgement free environment.

What do you enjoy about training here

What I like most about training at Restored Strength are the people and the structure of the exercises. I also like the individual attention you get from William who makes sure you are doing each exercise correctly without hurting yourself.

Brandon working on Planks.

Three benefits you’ve noticed

1. Weight loss

2. More energy.

3. Increased strength.

All of these have helped to improve my life as I feel more like myself again.

 What makes the difference

I haven’t tried other trainers or fitness plans. When I was working on my fitness on my own I had a couple of injuries that were completely avoidable if I knew how to properly perform certain exercises.

Additional words

I am happy that I decided to join Restored Strength. It has had a positive impact on my life and my health and I genuinely enjoy spending time with the people there during my sessions.

Brandon has been such a great member to work with, we cannot say enough good things about him. He is serious about his health and works hard during class. He has come a long way in his first few months here and it’s been awesome watching progress. Brandon is on his way to be the healthiest version of himself!

Watch his story!

Rebell of The Month: Tracey Gunlogson Westegaard

We are very excited to announce that Tracey is our Rebell of the month for January 2019!! Tracey is hands down one hard working member that is truly committed to her goals. She has significantly increased her strength, mobility, and body composition. Hear her story!

Your background

I wear many hats – mother, farm wife, veterinarian, volunteer, barrel race, beekeeper….maybe competitive athlete someday? A fast pace and go-go-go is my comfort zone. Though I’ve never considered myself naturally athletic, I’ve always wanted to be and have trained/exercised regularly in some capacity since I was in high school. What I’ve lacked in natural talent, I’ve made up for in try. I will out-try anyone.

Barrel Racing with my gelding, aka Bull Frog.

Thoughts about strength training before & after

Even though I’ve trained in some capacity my whole life, I’ve never really had a real goal. I just enjoy exercise and the ego boost I get from lifting heavy things. Coach William has encouraged me to focus my training and compete in Power Lifting while improving my mobility and correcting imbalances I’ve created with some haphazard training and job related repetitive movement patterns.

Challenging barriers you overcame

My ego. I’m still a work in progress. I want to train hard every day but I know intellectually, that is not best for my body and will slow my progress. To me, recovery is no fun but that is where I’ll make progress and gains. I know, and Coach William reminds me frequently, but it is a tough pill to swallow and I’m still working hard to focus on recovering.

Tracey working on the landmine press.

Greatest achievement

My ability to recover when I injure myself. I have a laundry list of aches and pains from everyday life and various hobbies. I continue to injure myself working/playing hard when I do, I have the tools (exercises and mobility drill) to heal faster. Now, when I throw my back out, I’m not miserable for a month, I’m sore for just a few days and then back to my normal activities. My body heals so much faster now.

Changes your family/friends noticed

Ha. Physically, my butt and jean size has changed. I still have to look in the mirror now and then to be sure it’s still there and it wasn’t just a dream that I grew a booty. I have girlfriends that have noticed for sure and asked me what I’ve done.

Napping at the horse trailer, my “happy place”

What do you tell people about our training

I tell friends I refer to trust the process and trust Coach William. He is not going to work you in a way that makes you sore or will hurt your body, because that is counterproductive. Less can be more. It doesn’t mean it’s easy though.

What do you enjoy most about training here

I feel very safe there. I can be myself. Doesn’t matter if my workout clothes don’t match or smell because I wore them the day before. I don’t feel like I need to suck in my mom belly. I truly feel no judgment there by Coach William and other members.

My husband Andy.

Three benefits you’ve noticed

  1. I acknowledge pain and deal with it instead of sucking it up and working through it/ignoring it. Pain is not normal, listen to it.
  2. I learned the value and true meaning of a dynamic warm up…not just 5 minutes of walking on a treadmill.
  3. It doesn’t have to happen overnight.
Kayaking with my kids, Brook 10 and Austin 13, on the creek in our pasture.

What makes the difference

This biggest thing I have experienced differently is the emphasis on corrective movement patterns and mobility. It’s frustrating to think I wouldn’t have the aches and pains I do now had a trainer emphasized correct movement patterns and corrective exercises into my training at a younger age.

Tracey is such a fun Rebell to work with! She has such a great sense of humor and is very knowledgable about strength training which is very impressive. She is definitely one of the hardest working moms I have met. I am looking forward to watching her compete in her first power lifting meet!

Watch her story

Rebell of the Month: Melissa Bruns

We are excited to announce that our Rebell of the Month is Melissa Bruns! Melissa is a hard-working member who is dedicated to her goals. She has a great attitude towards taking on new tasks and learning new skills. Melissa is not shy when it comes to hard work and is always a fun member to work with. Here is her story!

Your background

I cannot remember a time of ever actually enjoyed fitness or training in my life, largely because of a history of migraines beginning as a child and ongoing today. My migraines are triggered by a long list of things, one of which was exercise, especially anything with my shoulders and neck. Doctors always told me exercise would help alleviate migraines but never once was that true in over 25 years. Rather, any physical activity would cause intense, weeklong debilitating headaches. I would join a gym and try for a week or two, only to have to quit and be stuck in a long contract I couldn’t use. I even tried working with some trainers that would give up on me within a few weeks, afraid they would be liable for my physical condition. I felt defeated, weak and truly hopeless when it came to any exercise or activity-even yard work or gardening or sports or chasing my kid in the yard. I either had to make up excuses to sit out or leverage if the impending pain would be worth it. So, in short, exercise, activity, and training was terrifying. I would start getting stomach aches and emotional just thinking about doing anything physical, afraid of getting sick.

My sassy Lou Lou keeps me smiling and on my toes.

Thoughts about strength training before & after

I never gave strength training a thought before Restored Strength, because of all the stuff I already said about getting sick. I couldn’t even do basic activity, cardio or exercise so ‘strength’ was at the bottom of my list. My sister had worked with Coach William for a while and always had great things to say about her sessions, so last January I finally got brave and emailed him to talk. Coach William was optimistic, encouraging and realistic from day one, excited to see what we could do and wise to work at a safe pace. I have learned that strength training should have been at the top of my list, with the right coaching, and that now my body actually can-do things I never imagined that it could. That it’s actually fun and I look forward to it instead of being afraid- both of getting sick, and just of the ‘gym’ atmosphere in general. Because even if I could have gotten over fear of headaches, fear of not knowing what to do or how to do it or the whole typical gym scary stuff was the next barrier keeping me from exercise. So, having a fun, safe, welcoming place to get healthy and strong is an added bonus at Restored Strength!

Challenging barrier you overcame

Being afraid of getting sick for sure is the biggest. In conjunction, I’ve really had to teach myself to trust Coach William and Coach Tyler- to trust that they have my best interests in mind in every single movement they teach me, to trust that they know what they are doing and have put intention and thought into my training program, to trust that they won’t give up on me for fear that I might get sick and they be held responsible, to trust that they actually care about my health and my individual needs as a client not just as another number or session.

Melissa working on her breathing.

Greatest achievement

I have been able to do so much gardening, yard work, painting and other activity that I

love to do but have in the past had to eliminate, limit or suffer being sick afterward. I just jump in and to the normal physical stuff I want to do now without a second thought, where for years I had to hesitate, avoid or quit. The migraines I have has since a child have greatly reduced in frequently and intensity, and I have learned things I can do to prevent and alleviate migraines when they occur. I’ve also learned to just stop and take care of my body when I do get sick because it too will pass, instead of being annoyed and frustrated and pushing through when it’s time to just rest. And I’ve been amazed that on a couple occasions, I have started a session with a bit of a headache and the training has acutely helped instead of exacerbated it, which was unheard of before working with Coach William. Also, that I can (and will) do some pushups even though I hate them. 

Changes your family/friends noticed

My father in law is a chiropractor in town so I have always gotten adjusted regularly, and I’m amazed that I don’t need to be adjusted as frequently as I used to, that my body holds an adjustment better and longer now, and when I am adjusted I can feel that my shoulders and neck are not at tight as they used to be. I notice a difference when I’m working on my computer too, that I hold myself differently and am more aware when I’m working in a way that will contribute to discomfort or pain later, and I know how to use my body differently to avoid positions and movement that will make me sick.

My husband Seth, my daughter Olivia Lou and myself at the Sioux Falls Zoo Summer

What do you tell people about our training

I have! And I tell them it’s fun and not intimidating at all and the best place to get the ‘me time’ that we all need to have. It’s the one place I can put aside home life, and work life, and personal life and just stop thinking and have someone else tell me what to do for an hour to better myself. Morning sessions are great because it’s the best way to start your day and feel good and energized and strong all day. Midday sessions are a great break from the workday and get refocused on yourself, and I go back to work more productive. End of the day sessions are great because it’s a chance to let go of the weight and stress of the day and clear your head. I love the flexibility of the schedule for these reasons!

What do you enjoy about training here

The welcoming, comfortable atmosphere makes it fun to be here and makes me look forward to coming. It’s great not having to think for an hour, like seriously at all, Coach William can tell when you aren’t listening and just tells you again what to do, so for that time I don’t’ have to be in charge of anything or make decisions. Also I like when the music is good (not country or Metallica).

Melissa working on battle ropes. 

Three benefits you’ve noticed

1. Learning about proper breathing makes a huge difference when I’m training and also in my day to day life, to reduce and manage oncoming headaches and just de-stress.

2. Being intentional about making time for myself, working full time, being a mom, being active in the community, and spending time with family and friends doesn’t leave much time for ‘you,’ so having sessions each week holds me accountable for taking the time for myself.

3. The overall strength and ability in general of my body has increased my confidence of what I can do and reduced my fear of being active; the migraines have greatly reduced in frequency and intensity and even when they do occur, they don’t last as long and there are more things I can do to alleviate the pain and recover

What makes the difference

Coach William and Coach Tyler have such a wealth of knowledge and a genuine excitement to implement new things for everyone and for each member specifically. It is not just a cookie cutter program, every person they work with is simultaneously doing their own program specific to them. I can’t watch someone else’s program and wonder why I am not doing what they are, because I know the things I’m doing are for my specific needs and goals and that person’s program is for theirs. William and Tyler do a great job staying current on new techniques and bringing in what they learn to help each member. And they are truly attentive and care about what is going on with you, both in your training and your personal life. They ask questions, they listen, they read between the lines and make adjustments where you need them for your best interest, and are never frustrated or disappointed about doing so. They are always celebrating with everyone which is super encouraging. And I’ve had to learn to quit being skeptical of that, because they really are genuine!! 

My love of goats gets taken too far, one day I have one of my own.

Additional words

I am just really thankful to have found Restored Strength, for the coaches and the community. It is an investment in yourself. There are definitely times when I start to have doubts about my abilities, and then I push through a new exercise I never thought I would be able to do or someone comments that I look different, and I remember I can do this. Or there are times I feel guilty about spending money on myself for my sessions, but then I realize I am able to do more things with my child and my family and around my home and I realize the benefits go beyond just me. Women in general and moms specifically have to fight those doubts and guilt and remember it’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Being a member at Restored Strength plays a huge role in that for me.

We are very grateful to have such an amazing member be part of our RS Family. We love hearing about the famous “Lou” also known as Olivia, Melissa’s daughter. There is never a dull moment when we are training, because we get to hear all about the antics of Lou’s life. Melissa has overcome a lot in her fitness journey and has made amazing strides in her strength and mobility.

Watch her story!

How to Write Your Own Exercise Program Part One

Finding an exercise program can be challenging, if we are unable to afford a coach, the next best thing we do is look online to see how we can meet our fitness goals. The trouble with searching for the “right” program, is that there is a lot of information and programs out there. There are programs catered specifically towards bodybuilding, fat loss, muscle gain, etc. We know that with this amount of information out there, it makes fitness overwhelming and challenging to do. In this article we will take you through our thought process on how we design our programs and how you can design your own as well!

Warm Up

Warming up is by far one of the most crucial things to do before beginning your training session. Warming up should take roughly about 5 to 10 minutes and should get you warmed up, not hot and sweaty. Your warm up shouldn’t be extremely taxing, nor should it be too easy, just enough to get blood flowing through the muscles and to loosen up the joints.

Here is how to construct your warm up:

SMR: Self Myofascial Release is a fancy word for foam rolling, begin with foam rolling the tissues, primarily whichever ones are sore or will have a heavier emphasis on your training day. Areas to foam roll would be the glutes, quadriceps, lats, hamstrings, calves, back, and adductors. There are other areas you may be can roll out as well, but these are some of the main areas we hit, we typically spend around 60-90 seconds on the areas of focus.

 Ground: We begin with exercises that are on the ground and progressively work our way into more dynamic movements. Some ideas of exercises on the ground can be dead bugs, glute bridges, active straight leg raises, leg drops, side lying thoracic rotations, etc. Any type of exercise you want that places you on the ground either on your back or on your stomach.

Glute:Next we go into a glute/quadruped focus, this will either continue to have us on our back or in a quadruped position (hands and knees). Exercises for this category will be glute bridges, single leg glute bridges, bird dogs, rocking, fire hydrants, etc. Anything that will help fire and engage the glutes or anything that places you in a quadruped position.

Core: Next we will focus on getting the core to warm up. We will typically do a core specific exercise such as an elbow plank, push up position plank, side plank, hollow hold, anything really that is going to get the core to be engaged.

Hip: Next we will do a hip specific drill to loosen and open up the hips. Exercises in this category will range from frog stretches, open gates, hip flexion/extension, side bent sits, squats, etc. The focus here is to prepare the hips for movement.

Shoulder: Next we look at warming up the shoulders, but we are not going to be focusing primarily on the should itself, we will be looking at primarily the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is the large portion of your spine that can hinder shoulder mobility. Exercises for this category are YTW, thoracic rotations, open books, thoracic bridge, rib grabs, etc.

Dynamic:Lastly, we look at a dynamic movement that incorporates all of the body into a dynamic motion. Exercises in this category include inch worms, world’s greatest stretch, kettlebell swings, Turkish getups, deep lunge with elbow drop, lunge matrix,etc. This category should be the last, but most challenging exercise of your warm up.

Typical warm ups should range from one to two sets of repetitions ranging from 6 to 10. It is up to you on how much work you believe each area needs emphasis for your training session.

Program Design

Now that we have covered a basic warm up for your training session, let us dive into the bread and butter of our programming. This may get a little confusing, but we are going to do our best to describe to you our thought process and how we view training.

The reason we view exercises in movements, opposed to muscles, is because we want to train the movements that we do in our daily activity. The other reason is because this allows us to train in shorter time periods without having to commit to a four or five-day program that takes a lot of time out of our day. We want to use our time wisely, with getting the best results in the quickest amount of time.

Block One

In block one we begin with a power exercise paired with a mobility exercise. This allows for us to use an exercise that requires a lot of demand on the body and nervous system. When we look at power-based exercises they require a lot of technique or effort to conduct. We want to make sure that our nervous system is fresh at this time to make sure we can place the appropriate amount of stress on the body.

We pair this exercise with a mobility exercise that will complement the power exercise; EX: Medicine ball slam paired with YTW, we are using an upper body power movement, with an upper body mobility exercise to assist for greater power. Power exercises are done at a lower volume of repetitions ranging from 3-6 reps per set.

Mobility exercises in this category will complement the chosen exercise above, meaning that if you were to do a box jump for your power exercise, you would want to do a lower body mobility exercise to either open up the hips or the ankles, to allow for a greater range of motion to aid in the power exercise. This would apply for an upper body exercise as well.


Upper Body– Medball slam, jam ball slam, medball chest pass, rotational slam, explosive push up, kettlebell push press, clean & press, etc.

Medball Slam- Upper Body Power

Lower Body– Ladder drills, box jumps, squat jumps, kettlebell swings, bounding, lateral jumps, sprints, etc.


 Upper Body– Open books, thoracic rotations, YTW, shoulder circles, halos, rib grab, snow angels, hand behind head t-spine rotation, thoracic bridge, etc.

Upper Body Mobility- Thoracic Rotations

Lower Body-Frog stretch, leg raise, leg drops, rocking, open gates, hip flexion/extension, rainbows, side bent sit, etc.

Block Two

 In block two we begin with a knee or hip dominate single leg exercise, this typically requires a bit of balance and can be more challenging than a bilateral (two legs) exercise. The reason we want to have an emphasis on single leg exercises is because it builds greater strength and can also improve our gait (your ability to walk). You want to think about knee dominate exercises such as a lunge as a lower body pushand a knee dominate exercise such as a single leg glute bridge as a lower body pull exercise.

We will pair this exercise with either an upper body exercise, again we want to categorize our exercise selection by movements not muscles. Upper body exercises should be categorized as upper body pushing and upper body pulling. We even want to get a specific as what direction they are moving in such as upper body vertical/horizontal pushing andupper body vertical/horizontal pulling.You want your upper body exercise to be the opposite of your lower body exercise; EX: Reverse Lunge (unilateral knee/lower body push) second exercise will be a TRX Row (upper body horizontal pull).

Lastly, we will pair these two exercises with either a trunk (core) or carry exercise. This way we can get some direct core work into our training session. We do not need to spend endless circuits to train your core, if you are following this template you will get a lot of other core work from the rest of these exercises. Your trunk work should be categorized as anti-extension/anti-rotation, fancy words for planking (anti-extension) and band holds (anti-rotation).

Unilateral Knee or Hip:

Knee– Split squat, reverse lunge, lateral lunge, front lunge, step up, RFE squat, etc.

Unilateral Knee Dominate- Reverse Goblet Lunge

Hip– Single leg glute bridge, single RDL, single leg deadlift, single leg curl, etc.

Upper Body Push or Pull:

Upper Horizontal Push– Push up, bench press, dumbbell bench press, TRX chest press, single arm bench press, incline bench, etc.

Upper Horizontal Pull– One arm row, bent row, TRX row, seated row, bat wing row, renegade row, face pulls, etc.

Upper Body Horizontal Pull- TRX Row 


Trunk anti-extension– Elbow plank, push up position plank, TRX fallouts, ab roll out, stability ball roll out, hard style plank, crawling, shoulder tap planks, etc.

Trunk anti-rotation– Anti-rotation band hold, pallof press, half kneeling pallof press, split stance pallof press, plate plank slide, plank lateral drag, etc.

Trunk Anti-Rotation- Banded Anti-Rotation Hold

Carry- Farmers walk, suitcase carry, overhead carry, kettlebell rack carry, sandbag carry, etc.

Block Three

 In block three we begin to do the opposite motions of what we did in block two. We will begin with a bilateral (double leg) exercise that is opposite of what was done in block two; EX if block one had single leg RDL (lower body pulling) then your bilateral exercise would be a goblet squat (lower body pushing).

Next, we will work the opposite movement of what we did in block one; EX if we did a push up (upper bodyhorizontal push)we would want to pair that up with a chin up (upper body vertical pull). We are looking at movement patterns, not muscles.

Lastly, we are going to incorporate another mobility exercise. This time the mobility exercise will be opposite of what you did in block one. If you did an upper body mobility exercise we would be doing a lower body mobility exercise to make sure that we have balance with our mobility work.

Bilateral Knee or Hip:

 Knee-Goblet squat, back squat, front squat, kettlebell front squat, bear hug squat, offset kettlebell squat, banded squat, etc.

Hip- Deadlift, trap bar deadlift, kettlebell swing, barbell glute bridge, body weight glute bridge, sandbag deadlift, dumbbell RDL, sandbag good morning, etc.


Bilateral Hip- Trap Bar Deadlift

Upper Body Push or Pull:

Upper Body Vertical Push– Kettlebell press, bottom up kettlebell press, half kneeling kettlebell/dumbbell press, sandbag shoulder press, dumbbell shoulder press, etc.

Upper Body Vertical Push- Bottom Up Press

Upper Body Vertical Pull– Banded chin up, TRX chin up, barbell chin up, pull up, banded pull up, flex arm hang, etc.


Same as above.

Lower Body Mobility- Active Straight Leg Raise 

Block Four

As we enter in block four we will be getting close to the end of the session. We begin metabolic conditioning otherwise known as cardio. Here is the best part about this section, we no longer have to spend endless hours and minutes on a machine doing meaningless cardio work. This section by itself can be a whole article, but for times-sake we will share with you how we conduct conditioning.

We will do a format of Tabata style exercises, which is a high intense interval training style also known as HIIT. We will break this into about 5 minutes of working at ratios of 10/20, 15/15, 20/20, 30/30, etc. Our focus is to elevate the heart quickly with minimal rest.


Battle ropes, medball slams, wall balls, sled pushes, kettlebell swings, carries, crawling, rower, etc. 

Conditioning- Battle Ropes 

Block Five

After we have completed our training session, we will always finish with a cool down. The cool down is a great way for us to dial back the amount stress we have caused on our nervous system and regulate us back into more of a relaxed state. This area we focus primarily on Original Strength Resets. If you have not heard of Original Strength, please go check them out! They provide a great amount of content and information about strengthening the vestibular system and nervous system.


Cool Down:

Breathing, head rotations, head nods, quadruped rocking, single arm rocking, upper body rolling, lower body rolling, crawling, marching, skipping, etc.

Cool Down: Quadruped Rocking

This is just a scratch of the surface of how to write your own fitness program. This is our way of training that we have found best serves our clients and gets them the results they have achieved. If you have any questions or would like for us to elaborate more on any of the topics we discussed please feel free to email us at

In our part two of how to write your own fitness program, we will go over the details of how to program your sets, reps, intensity, and recovery for your fitness goals.

Rebell of the Month: Thomas Flynn

We are excited to announce Tom Flynn is our Rebell of the Month for August! Every day Tom walks in the building for his training session he has a smile on his face and he has a positive attitude. He always gives his best effort, is eager to learn new things, and always wants to be challenged. We are privileged to have him be a part of our RS Family! Here is his story.

Your background

The only sort of training I’ve been able to stick with has been purely aerobic—I love jogging and running, rain or shine. Previously, I’ve tried out several different gym and training memberships, but none of them have worked out. Why? Because I constantly felt as if I was working for the machines I was using, rather than for myself and my health. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was craving something holistic and tailored.

As someone who seeks out knowledge for healthy living, I’ve found the training at Restored Strength satisfying just about everything I could possibly want from a gym.

My self-image and self-worth have improved due to my work at Restored Strength—I’m happy with what I’m doing and the work I’m putting into my own health!

Thoughts about strength training before & after

Years of poor experiences at other gyms had turned me off to strength training. Before RS, most of my exercise revolved around running.

That turned around pretty quickly after I started with Tyler and William; the work I was doing in their tailored programs felt great—the first sign that I was in the right place before I even started seeing the results of that work.

Challenging barrier you overcame

I’ve already mentioned it, but my biggest barrier was my preconceived notions about strength training, in general. For me, it had always revolved around bottom-barrel gym memberships, homogenized training methods, and machines that never felt productive to use.

Since I started strength-training at RS, I’ve come to enjoy it—even look forward to it as often as I can, week to week.

Tom working on battle ropes. 

Greatest achievement  

It might sound like a cliché, but my greatest achievement has been finding a program that feels consistently great to apply myself toward; something I look forward to every time I have a training session scheduled. More than that, it’s a program that yields results I can see and feel—progress I can measure without even stepping on a scale.

Me reaching 12,500 feet elevation at West Maroon Pass, above Crested Butte, Colorado! This 8.5 mile hike felt great after several months training at RS.

Changes your family/friends noticed

Either my greater day-to-day energy or the subtle increases in muscle definition throughout my upper body—exactly the areas I wanted to work on.

I’m a writer by passion and profession—it requires a lot more energy, focus, and commitment than most realize. On top of that, I work a day job that keeps me on my feet, too. No matter what type of work, I’ve had more energy and better focus for it, every day.

The person who can best attest to my greater day-to-day energy and mobility is my partner, Krystl!

What do you tell people about our training

Don’t balk at the cost of the training programs—Tyler’s and William’s expertise are far and away worth it, and your body deserves such tailored and specific attention.

As someone that felt like he was working against his own health whenever he went to a gym before, I’d suggest finding something more holistic and individual, which is exactly what Restored Strength offers.

What do you enjoy about our training here 

This could be a long list, but I’ll highlight one important factor—all the work I do uses free weights and my own body weight. There are no machines in sight, so I never feel like I’m working for a machine, as opposed to working for my own body.

Essentially—no steps back; only forward.\

Three Benefits You’ve Noticed

1. I have more energy throughout the day! Obviously this has been a benefit to my day-to-day living, but my productivity in general has improved as a result.

2. I actually look forward to my sessions at RS—they’re a highlight of my week, and that’s a feeling I’ve never had with any other program.

3. In addition to actively training twice a week, I’m learning more about how to keep my body healthy through better movement and habits.

Thom working on his bench press. 

What Makes the Difference

Unlike every other training program or fitness plan I’ve tried, Tyler and William’s work with me at Restored Strength has felt comprehensive and honest. Other fitness plans have felt like gimmicks—unsustainable efforts that revolve around a particular movement or exercise, or the omission of part of a balanced diet. William and Tyler provide well-rounded training and advice about exercise techniques and personal health. It’s been the only plan that feels right to me, and the only one to feel sustainable, long-term.

Additional Words

I can’t recommend Restored Strength enough. William and Tyler’s training has been life-changing, all for the better. I look forward to many months of continued work with them, and the rest of the RS Rebells!

Training Tom and helping him improve his health has been an amazing experience. The numerous amount of goals we have set and achieved together will always make me proud to work with him. He would not have the improvement of his strength, movement, and overall health without his great effort and determination.

Watch his story!

Rebell of the Month: Ryley Serreyn

We are very proud to announce that our July Rebell of the Month is Ryley Serreyn!! Ryley has been training with us since June of last year, when he started with our first summer athlete program. Ryley has been consistent with his training year-round and has committed himself to exceling as an athlete. Ryley is no stranger when it comes to putting in the work to accomplish his goals. We are excited to share with you his story!

Your Background

My name is Ryley Serreyn, I am 17 years old and I love to be outdoors and play sports! I never really trained much before I came to Restored Strength. I could condition and stuff for hockey, but would never really be in the weight room lifting or doing anything like that. I was always very intimated by the weight room because there were always going to be people there lifting more than me and make me look bad. So, I never really liked going to the weight room whether it was at the YMCA or the high school.

Semi finals at GAC last year against LDC 

Thoughts about strength training before & after

Before I started working at Restored Strength, I didn’t feel the intimidation about lifting there as I did in the weight room in other places. I was excited to start and make the first step towards becoming a better athlete. After I started working there William quickly taught me and it doesn’t matter if someone can lift more than me. Everyone starts somewhere and he was going to get me bigger and stronger so I can keep up with some of the other people around me. I loved the environment at Restored Strength, we take our training seriously but we also like to joke around and have a good time while we are doing so.

Challenges you overcame

One of the hardest things I had to overcome when I started was getting up early in the mornings. It is something I still have to overcome yet this day. Getting up at 5:30AM during the summer was rough. But getting up going and working in the end was so rewarding. Over time you realize that without sacrifice there will be no victory, even if those sacrifices are an hour of sleep. But getting up that early has started to become a habit and gets easier and easier as you go on. Don’t get me wrong I have my days but powering through them can be very rewarding.

Ryley working on his bench press

Greatest achievement

My greatest achievement at Restored Strength is probably the progress I have made with my lifting. Starting at Restored Strength I could barely do a pull up, and now they come easy to me. Working here has made my form so much better when lifting and most importantly it has made me a better athlete. In the end that is what I started at Restored Strength for and that is definitely what I got out of it. It helps your physical game as well as your mental game, my confidence has greatly boosted since I have been working at Restored Strength. So, I would say my greatest achievement is the athlete that I have become today.

Changes your family/friends noticed

There have been a couple things they have noticed lately. My arms have gotten bigger. I am a lot faster than I used to be. They also notice out on the ice when I am playing hockey, that I am faster on the ice and more explosive. I have also slimmed out a lot while working at Restored Strength. My family has commented on many things about me that have improved over the vast time of me working at Restored Strength.

My parents and I at parents night

What do you tell people about our training

I would tell them about the very friendly environment there. I would also tell them about how cool William and Tyler are, they really want to push you to be your best and make sure that you are getting the most out of the training they give you. They really care about you and your progress. If you come to Restored Strength you will no doubt see results. They are not going to come over night but they will be there. Every time you step into the gym you are going to become a better athlete. William and Tyler will make sure of that.

Working on mobility

What do you enjoy about our training here

What I enjoy most at Restored Strength is the atmosphere there. We get work done when we are there but we also like to have a lot of fun and joke around. William and Tyler are not just my coaches but they are my friends as well. They are very cool guys and they care about your well-being in and outside of the gym. I also enjoy being able to go and lift with some of my friends from the hockey team. Most of the time of me being at Restored Strength I have been I there doing a hockey program with some of the guys from the team and I enjoy that a lot. Being there with friends and teammates is always a good time.

3 benefits you’ve noticed

  1. My motivation. I have been more motivated to get up in the mornings and go work out than ever before. It also helps with other aspects of your life and makes you more motivated to do those things. I have also been more motivated lately to eat better. William has really emphasized my nutrition because he knows that it is going to help me make more gains.
  2. My ability on the ice. Working at Restored Strength helps you gain the muscle, but also the mobility. I am a goalie so I have to be able to stretch and move in a lot of weird ways you could say. I work in a small portion of the ice so I need to be explosive and fast when I am moving so I can get in a position to make a save. William and Tyler have for sure helped me become a lot faster and they have helped me get quicker while moving in the net.
  3. The will power to be able to push myself. I am joining the U.S. Army when I graduate high school so I will need to learn how to push myself and not give up when I go there. William and Tyler always make sure you are pushing yourself and when you are conditioning they will make sure you are working to the best of your ability and giving it your all.

    After a 3rd place finish at the Schawan’s Cup

 What makes the difference

William and Tyler really pay good attention to detail. If you are doing something wrong they are going to tell you so you can fix it instead of creating a bad habit. They will not just tell you what to do and leave you to do it by yourself. They are going to show you how to do it and make sure you understand what you are gaining from it and what muscle group you are working and such. Also, the resets are life changing I never knew anyone else that could do resets and I had never heard of them before restored strength but they do work like a charm.

Watching Ryley build his strength and size over the past year has been extremely rewarding. His commitment to himself is an honorable characteristic he has to show. We are very proud of Ryley and his success here at Restored Strength. Ryley has gone above and beyond of what has been expected from him, he is a true dedicated athlete.

Watch his story!

Rebell of the Month: Sheryl Kaiser

We are excited to announce that Sheryl Kaiser is our June Rebell of the Month! Sheryl is an amazing person with a strong motivation, and great personality. She has never shied away from the challenges she has been given from our programs. One thing Sheryl has done that has intrigued us the most here at Restored Strength, she always tried her hardest every set and rep. With that said, her hard work and attitude has helped her earn the praise of Rebell of the Month! We are excited to share her story with you!

My husband, Dan and I at the Space Needle in Seattle, WA.

Your Background

I am a sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and teacher but most importantly at this time in my life I am a survivor.

Let me explain that. In March of 2014 my life hit its lowest level. I developed what is called necrotizing fasciitis commonly known as flesh-eating disease. It is an infection that results in the death of the body’s soft tissue. It is a severe disease of sudden onset that spreads quickly.

From me working on Friday, to not being able to stay awake on Saturday with a severe backache, I was airlifted to Avera Sioux Falls on Sunday and by Tuesday afternoon they had to amputate my right leg to save my life. In just a handful of days my life changed DRASTICALLY! The doctors told my family I only had a 20% chance of survival even with the leg being amputated.

I suppose you could count my one-month rehab stay in the hospital as my only real prior training. However, that was learning to sit up on my own, stand on my own while holding on to the parallel bars and using a slide board to get from my bed to wheelchair. Heck, even learning to use my wheelchair was a challenge.

After four total months hospitalized I returned home the day before my 57th birthday. I vowed to do everything I could to not let this handicap define who I am as a person!

Thoughts about strength training before & after

My first thought when I heard about Restored Strength was there is NO WAY I could do that with one leg. However, a good friend of mine was attending and I was inspired by her to at least give it a try.

When I meet William and Tyler they both welcomed me with open arms and promised they could definitely work with me regardless of my handicap. They encouraged me to at least give it a try for three months and see how much progress I could make. At that point, decide if Restored Strength was the fit for me. Well, guess what…after three months I signed up for another three months!

Tyler is my coach and he started me where I was at physically. We have progressed so much together that some days I even surprise myself.

Performing a Paloff Press 

Challenging barrier you overcame

First, I had to get myself through the front door to even visit with William about the possibility of working with them. That took guts for me, as I was very unsure of my potential and myself.

Secondly, I had to make myself realize that working out at Restored Strength was a personal goal each and every visit. I did not need to worry about the other people working out at much higher levels as myself. There is no comparison made between the individuals working out. We are each there for our own benefit.

Greatest achievement

I truly believe my greatest achievement thus far at Restored Strength is the belief I have of my own potential.

I am gaining strength with operating my wheelchair. I am able to transfer myself from the floor to my wheelchair, which I hadn’t been able to do by myself. That is important when you are a grandmother and want to be on the floor playing with your grandchildren.

With the added strength in my left leg I am able to stand for longer periods of time, for example, at the kitchen sink, in church, etc.

Changes your family/friends noticed

The most significant change comment from my family has come from my son, Mike, who sees me only once in awhile as he lives in Savage. He has commented on my weight loss and strength each time I have seen him. He continues to encourage me to keep it up!

Over Memorial Day, I even got into the grandkids’ swimming pool. I was able to get in and out with very little help. The grandkids were thrilled to see how big of splash they could make on Grandma.

My husband, Dan, is very glad I can get myself into my wheelchair now so he doesn’t have to pick me up off the floor.

My husband, Dan, and I with our three grandchildren, Brady, Kylie and Zoey.

What do you tell people about our training

I have told many people about my Restored Strength experience. I encourage them to check it out for themselves. William and Tyler are amazing to work with and are so supportive of your efforts each and every time you work out with them. They tailor your program specifically for you and the goals you are trying to reach. There is no comparison between you and others when it comes to your abilities.

What do you enjoy about our training here

I love the fact I am doing something good for myself. I am pushing myself to get stronger and more flexible. I am living up to the vow I made to myself and family not to let this handicap define me.

I look forward to my two weekly sessions with Tyler. He is so encouraging and supportive that I feel like I have my own personal cheerleader……”Great job”, “You can do it”, “Wow! Look what you just did, etc.

When working out with two or three other people in the room it isn’t a big deal. They are doing their program and I am doing mine. It is like you are the only person in the room. Except there is an overall family feeling.

Working on some rocking 

3 benefits you’ve noticed

My life has definitely improved since beginning my workouts at Restored Strength. Choosing three benefits is easy….

  1. I believe in my own strength and physical capabilities. I use to be very self-conscience of my amputation and now I just shrug it off as what is and who cares. I am Sheryl and I will live my life to the fullest.
  2. I am doing something very healthy for my body. In addition to the actual training I am drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables. I have really turned away from processed foods. Eat fresh!
  3. I am working so hard to be able to finally use my artificial right leg without a walker. You would have to see this contraption to believe it. Since I have no leg bone at all to attach it to I have to use a ‘bucket’ type apparatus to sit in, cinch it tight against my waist, and then try to balance, let alone walk. I have only been able to use it with a walker or with a person on each side of me. This is my next major training task.

What makes the difference

I can’t say I’ve ever really trained anywhere else. I have been a YMCA member and tried Anytime Fitness and other Fitness locations, but just didn’t seem to fit in. While these are other great places the individual help I needed wasn’t there.

The fact that I could work one on one with someone who could program exercises specifically for me week by week and see my growth was the reason I joined Restored Strength.

A picture of myself while at Limb Lab while getting my artificial leg fitted.

Additional words

I could be so bitter about what happened to me physically back in 2014, but I am not bitter. I have helped welcome two new granddaughters since my illness. My daughter is getting married the end of June. I have great family and friends that have supported me throughout these last four years. BUT, I am here!!!

William and Tyler have been added to this group of family and friends. Let them help you realize some of your dreams. If the one-legged lady can find success with these gentlemen just THINK what they can do for you!

Helping Sheryl set goals and achieve them one after another has been amazing to say the least. The times Sheryl and I have spent training together have always been positive. Sheryl has always looked at things with a positive mindset, and can do anything she is motivated to do.

Watch her story!