Monthly Exercise Success Tips- October 2017

Training Tip of the Month

“Try using combination exercises to easily add extra volume into your training program”

Lower Body Combination

Upper Body Combination

Client Highlight


Matt Curbeau has been a client at Pure Performance Training since 2014. He’s a CPA, turned professional triathlete, turned one of the top cyclists in New England. Matt uses the gym to build lower body strength and power needed during his races and also places a priority on his mobility to make sure he stays healthy during the cycling season. Matt is also a coach and operations director with the The Cycling Formula, a brand of QT2 Systems, where he puts out weekly content on how to become a better cyclist, and offers one-on-one coaching, general coaching plans, and skills clinics for cyclists looking to take their training to the next level!

Check out what Matt has to say below and watch Matt talk about how he went from being at Cat 4 to a Cat 1 rider in one season!

"As a professional Triathlete I utilized Mike to oversee my off-season strength training to allow me to bring as much durability as possible into the racing season. Triathlon tends to be very sport specific during the “race-season” and thus its imperative to work on the weaknesses in the offseason when there is more time to devote to the gym. Having someone tailor a program to a specific sport like Triathlon was imperative to making sure I was doing the right kind of work that would translate to an injury free season.

But that is who I was. Who I am now brings us back to the Fall of 2016 when I decided to give racing bikes a shot. I had always wanted to get into road racing, so I decided to jump into the deep end and fully devote myself to the craft. Towards the end of the road racing season in 2016 I won the Cat 4/5 (lowest division) race at The Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont. This is a 4 day stage race consisting of a time trial, circuit race, road race and a downtown Criterium in Burlington, VT. After winning that stage race I was granted an upgrade into Cat 4. Throughout the spring of 2017 I raced at every chance I could, and by the end of May after placing third in the Killington Stage Race Pro 1/2 field I was a few points away from my upgrade to Cat 1. I then gained the points I needed in August and was able to race the 2017 Green Mountain Stage Race at a Cat 1. Thus, completing my goal of moving through all of the categories and doing the race I was a Cat 5 the year before as a Cat 1. 

As with all athletes, I have many goals and obtaining a Cat 1 license is only one of them. Now that I have achieved that, its time to start building myself so that I can continue to improve in the years to come. The first step this off-season is getting back into the gym for a solid 3 month block with Mike. Working with Mike we have been able to formulate a specific training regimen that is built around improving the areas of cycling/racing that are my weak points. This has meant determining limitations in my body and finding areas in races I have room to improve. Once these areas have been determined, we have been able to build a program in the gym that helps my bike numbers improve."

Article Review

7 Workout Habits You Should Drop Now

What should you do if one of your workout habits is on the list above? Should you immediately change what you’re doing? Or should you stay the course with your current program? Lists like this are constantly being put out. Sometimes there is truth behind a claim and other times it is nothing more than pseudoscience. Continue reading to learn if you’re better off making an adjustment to your workout habits or if you’re currently on the right track.

Below I’ll list each claim that the article makes and categorize it as true or false.

#1. The Elliptical is Extremely Ineffective (FALSE)

The elliptical may get this wrap because it requires less motion from your body than the treadmill or a circuit of exercises. Because it requires less muscular effort than other types of exercise it will be harder to elevate your heart rate when using the elliptical. But, this doesn’t mean that it is ineffective. The elliptical can be a great tool if:

  • You want to get in an aerobic training session with little stress on your hip, knee, and ankle joint.

  • You’re a beginner with a high resting heart rate and need to perform steady state cardio with low risk of developing an overuse injury.

There’s a time and a place for everything and just because the elliptical isn’t the best option for one person doesn’t mean it’s a useful tool for another.

#2. Working Out For Long Periods of Time at a Moderate Pace Is a Waste of Time (FALSE)

In regard to more advanced athletes I couldn’t agree more with the statement above. Advanced lifters are better suited training with what world-renowned sprint coach Charlie Francis called a High/Low model. This means that you’re either training at high intensities and pushing the envelope to get bigger, stronger, and faster or you’re training at low intensities to recover from the higher intensity work you performed. Anywhere in the middle will take away from the recovery from your higher intensity work.

But, if you’re a beginner looking to build your work capacity, lower your resting heart rate, and improve your cardiovascular health, working for 45-60 minutes at a low to moderate pace will help you do just that and burn calories, while building an aerobic base that will allow you to recover from higher intensity workouts in the future.

#3. Don’t Lollygag (TRUE)

Set a timer, write down your workouts, use supersets, get off your phone, and be efficient. Nothing else needs to be said here.

#4. Too Much Cardio and Too Little Strength Training Will Hinder Your Results (TRUE)

Training your heart and cardiovascular system is a must for your long-term health. But, regardless of your training goals adding smart strength training into your routine will help you reach your goals faster and stay healthier along the way by:

  • Increase lean mass

  • Increasing bone density

  • Increase strength and power

  • Learning proper movement patterns to help mitigate overuse injuries

  • Increase metabolism

  • Increased self-confidence

  • Improved athletic performance

  • Increase testosterone and growth hormone

#5. Hydrating with Sports Drinks During a Workout Are Unnecessary Calories (TRUE)

Check out this awesome infographic from Pure Performance Training dietitian Ryan Maciel.

#6. You Shouldn’t Be Doing the Same Exercises Over and Over Again (DEPENDS ON YOUR GOALS AND TRAINING AGE)

When you workout your body adapts to ensure that when your body is challenged with that same stressor again it is more prepared. In that sense, it is important to progress your workouts every 4 or 6 weeks to give your body a different stressor and make sure you’re staying on track toward reaching your goals. But, mixing up exercises frequently can become a disadvantage to someone who is new to lifting. It is smart to not change exercises and limit the variety in a new lifters program. This will ensure that he or she has more opportunities to learn proper movement patterns and master exercise technique before encountering more complex exercise variations.

#7. You Shouldn’t be Doing It Alone (TRUE)

A strong support system and feeling a sense of community in your gym will help keep you on track on working towards your goals even when you’re feeling down or not pleased with the progress you’re making. Sometimes it isn’t the training program that makes a training program so successful, but rather the environment and people in the gym.

New Sirani Training Systems Men’s T-Shirts and Women’s Tanks are now available.

Go to the Sirani Training Shop to get your new workout gear today!

Store is now re-stocked with men’s M, XL, & XXL T-Shirts.

Instagram Post of the Month

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 12.29.10 PM.png