Sunday, May 27, 2012

Training at Chelsea Piers Sports Center

Back on the West Side!  Its been about a month since I started training at Chelsea Piers, and so far it has been an amazing experience to say the least.  From the welcoming staff to the pleasure of working and training in the best facility in NYC, Chelsea Piers feels like home.  I hope that it is a place where I can grow and continue to expand my knowledge in the field of Sports and Conditioning.  Since I've been here I've tried the rock climbing and spinning classes both of which I highly recommend.  I have also been able to get back into boxing and found the time to work on my cleans and snatches on the olympic lifting area.  I'm also excited to start a gymnastic class next Tuesday, where I hope I can conquer my fear of heights.

Coming Up ! ~ This June I'm going to start coaching a ViPR group training session, Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 am and at 6:30 pm.  This class will incorporate ViPR on different terrains including drills on the sand court, so its sure to offer something different than what you can experience anywhere else.  You don't have to me a member of Chelsea Piers to sign up so contact me at for more details.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My response to this video on Land Training & Fitness

I like the use of functional training tools like objects and things in your surroundings and your own body weight to create an effective workout. I use weight training to gain overall strength during the off-season and taper off to lighter weight training and switch to more circuit training bases exercises that emphasize agility, speed and coordination drills during the regular season. I look at imbalances early on in the pre-season and perform a Functional Movement Screen to determine if its a stability or a mobility issue that is causing the imbalance and from their I focus on adding corrective exercises to address them.

I come from the sport of cayuco which I've shared with you but as with other paddles sports I think this translates well. I always start by looking at the mechanics of the sport and what are bodies are doing especially during repetitive endurance sports, our bodies are flexed forward at the hips and in the shoulder area for the most part when we paddle so the muscles in the front of the body like the pecs and hip flexors are shortened through repeated forward motion and contraction as well as from the numerous hours we spend at work hunched over a computer. The first thing I tell people is to stretch their pecs and hip flexors using a LAX ball/small hard ball or foam roller and work on lengthening and stretch those muscles. The next would be to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles that retract the shoulder blades and the muscles that pull the shoulder back because these muscles get lengthened because of poor posture (hunched shoulders), repeated flexed position during paddling, but also because most people tend to spend time developing muscles they can see like the chest rather than the back therefore causing an imbalance and increasing the likely-hood of rotator cuff injury.

I also think that their is value in a workout outdoors, especially in the beach where you can mimic some of the wind and weather conditions you would feel on the boat as opposed to being indoors in a gym.

I am a big fan of squats, single-leg deadlifts, lunges, burpees, and sand running as seen in the video as this builds strength and power in the legs. The transfer of energy from the floor through the legs and the trunk/core and effectively carrying it through the arms is what's important. I emphasize a lot of back exercises, trunk exercises that emphasize stability and rotational movements, as well as upperbody exercises that focus on body weight movement like pullups, pushups and rope pulls/battle ropes. Also, I love using jump rope as a great cross-training alternative as it helps self-correct some imbalances in posture and coordination while giving you a intense interval training workout.

In addressing the question about getting quicker on the switch it really comes down to having the proper mobility in your shoulders and torso to be quick and effective as well as practice, practice, practice. Nothing like the real thing when it comes to mechanics. My two cents, let me know if you have any questions. Love the conversations. - Gael

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My New Gym Location in the Heart of Chelsea!

Come check out the new gym location I'll be training from in 2012! Complete Body & Spa - 19th St. is conveniently located in the heart of Chelsea at 22 West 19th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues.  I will be offering one-on-one training sessions as well as an exclusive new class only at this location in NYC called ViPR Plus+ Group Training Class, it incorporates ViPR as well as other functional tools such as ropes, kettlebells, medicine balls and much more to give you a well-rounded calorie burning work out.  Space is limited so email me today to receive the upcoming winter class schedule. 

I really like to train at Complete Body & Spa and I know you will too.  They really do have an extensive variety of equipment to fulfill every training need and I was also impressed at how clean everything was kept. 

"Often described as a fitness fanatic and personal trainer’s dream gym – our 19th St location offers an extensive selection of some of the most revered fitness equipment in the industry. We’ve got it all: hanging heavy bags, weighted sleds, heavy ropes, an extensive cardio line, isometric equipment, one of New York’s premiere free weight collections, and a full selectorized circuit. There’s every tool at our members and trainers disposal to create any dream body imaginable." - Complete Body & Spa

Come check it out for yourself!  Email me at and I'll set you up with a free 7-Day pass.