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“2011 Excellence in Customer Satisfaction”
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– CitySports Magazine

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Al Painter - Integrate Performance Fitness, Palo Alto CA
Al Painter, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, BA

Al Painter is a personal training who believes that core strength is the common denominator to all successful movement. Read more.

Al is also the Fitness Editor for VeloReviews.com; in addition to being a cast member on the site’s podcast, as well as FitPro Expert on SweatGuru.com. Read more.

 

 

Welcome!

INTEGRATE Performance Fitness  – Into your life, into your health, into longevity!

Are you considering a Fitness Trainer or Fitness Program?  INTEGRATE Performance Fitness is located in Palo Alto, CA and is available for semi-private (2-3 people) and large group sessions.

  • Check out our calendar of events and join us today.
  • Have question? Drop a line and get some answers.
  • Al is happy to speak to you about a fitness plan to meet (and surpass) your goals.

About Al Painter, BA, NASM-CPT, CES, PES & Fitness Trainer

Al Painter is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist as well as an Corrective Exercise Specialist. He also holds a degree in Communications from Santa Clara University. His area of specialty is endurance athlete specific strength training.

Check out why people rave about INTEGRATE Performance Fitness!

Al has also been named “Best Bay Area Personal Trainer” by CitySports Magazine as well as being the recipient of a “People’s Choice Award” from Palo Alto Daily News.

Latest Articles

BioForce HRV: The Key to Smart Training

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BioForce has really helped me dial in my workouts.

A long time ago, in a gym far far away, I picked up my first weight. It was a tool to enhance the way I moved on the baseball diamond in high school and to see how close to Terry “The Hulk” Hogan’s 24″ pythons I could get.

Back then, it was see weight, pick weight up. Make sure weight was as heavy as possible EVERY workout, set and rep. There was SWOLE to earn, and I was determined to get it. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this was not only an ineffective approach, but that less may have been more (READ: I wish had Dan John books back then to maximize gym time).

I wish I could go back and tell the youngling back then:

“HEY MR! Believe it or not, you WILL need to rest and actually take recovery days from working out. You also won’t be able to crush yourself every time in the gym buster (you know it just got real when you use the word ‘buster’), and you’re going to need to plan in deload weeks and off days. Oh yeah, how about hitting the back and doing a core exercise or two in between the bench press and preacher curls? The leg press, pec dec, leg extension and tricep dips are wastes of time btw.”

That last one would’ve destroyed me since I was a devout follower of Interstellar Monday/Thu Chest, Shoulder and Tri Day and as well as Tu/Fri International Back, Bi’s and Leg day. If Hallmark sold cards for those holidays, I would’ve had stacks of them to send out.

Had I actually followed a planned recovery strategy, my life would’ve been a lot easier, more SWOLE and I would’ve worked with my body instead of (very often) against it.

Feel a little tired? I’d work through it. Mentally not into the workout? Suck it up buttercup and get it done.

Sometimes that worked, other times it lead to not working out at all for a while because of an acute case of YoungBuckPlusTestosteroneEqualsDUMB-itis. Had I known about Heart Rate Variability (HRV) back then, it might have made this process a lot easier.

Long story short, HRV gives you a blue print on when to go full throttle, when to dial back intensity or when its time to do multiple sets of “backplanks” (aka, resting while laying down).

I recently started using BioForce HRV Precision Performance to not only measure my readiness to train, but more importantly, my body’s “preference” not to. See, being male, while I don’t suffer from the above mentioned affliction nearly as much, old habits do tend to die hard. Plus, as a busy parent who owns his own business, something like this is invaluable to help me train in the most effective way possible.

What You Get

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BioForce training manual and HRM

The BioForce system comes with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor strap (which is compatible with most Polar HRM’s) and “The Ultimate Guide to HRV Training,” a 150 page manual to help you maximize your results from the system. If you’ve got an ANT+ HRM chest strap, it will not be compatible with BioForce.

Now, every morning when I wake up, I put on a heart rate monitor chest strap, rest on the couch for three minutes as the Bioforce app tells me what my intensity level I should be for a workout out, and so far I’ve been very impressed. Especially since it has accurately predicted when I need to take a (CHOKE! GASP!) rest day.

BiofForce is compatible with iOS (iPhone and iPad) and all Android devices. There is also a website where you can  analyze your information as well as a great facebook group and community forum on the BioForce site.

Its a system I really believe has a lot to offer everyone from the casual exerciser to the elite level athlete getting paid to compete and all points in between. To give you more detailed information about HRV, I asked BioForce HRV Precision Performance founder Joel Jameison if he’d answer some questions about his system, and he was great enough to take some time out of his schedule to write me back.

Here’s what he had to say.

What is HRV?

Heart rate variability is a biofeedback technology that can objectively measure the level of stress and fatigue on the body. It is able to do this by measuring the rhythm of the heart rate because this changes over time as the brain coordinates how the body is responding to the environment, i.e. training, sleep, mental stress, nutrition, etc.

What is Bioforce and how does it measure HRV?

BioForce HRV is a heart rate variability app that uses a Bluetooth transmitter and a mobile app to calculate HRV and provide training recommendations. This gives users a very simple but powerful way to help manage their training and other areas of their lives as well. It’s able to eliminate so much of the guesswork that goes into most training programs and gives people a way to quickly and easily individualize their training based on their own bodies.

Who should use it?

Anyone that takes their training seriously and wants to get the most out of it will benefit from using HRV technology. The real key is that it really allows people to fine tune their training on an individual basis and this makes all the difference in the world. HRV has more than 50 years of research behind it and is also extremely well validated so people can trust the results are valid and accurate.

How does it help?

One of my morning HRV scores.

One of my morning HRV scores.

BioForce HRV helps people achieve their goals in the same way that GPS helps people get to where they want to go faster and more efficiently. Instead of having to guess how much training is the right amount of how things like nutrition and mental stress are affecting training, HRV gives people an easy and objective way to see this on a daily basis. Not only that, it shows people how their fitness is improving over time so that they can easily determine if their program is taking them in the right direction, or if something needs to be changed. Once people use it, they usually wonder how they ever trained without it.

I’m a Huge BioForce Fan

I agree 100% with that last sentence. I wish I would’ve had this when I was racing, it would’ve made my training that much better. I think this is a very valuable tool in the box for anyone who wants to optimize the way they approach getting more fit regardless of what those goals might be.

One of the things I like the most is how I can instantly know how sleep, hydration, nutrition, previous workouts, etc affected my scores based on what I did the day before. When my HRV score is lower, but resting heart rate goes up or vice versa, I can easily tweak my approach to all of the above mentioned factors to stay on track, or easily get back on it. This system allows you to really get a handle on what you need to do to get more fit.

If you’d like more information on BioForce HRV Precision Performance, head over to their site and have a look around. You’ll be glad you did!

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Core Strength For Runners Workshop July 7, 2015

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If you run, you need to strength train 2-3x/week

Join endurance athlete strength training expert Al Painter, NASM-CPT, PES, CES at the Sunnyvale Sports Basement on Tuesday July 7, 2015 at 6:30pm and learn a 25-minute running specific core strength exercise band workout designed to improve your performance and reduce your risk of getting injured.

Whether you’re a competitive or casual runner, your performance is all about progressively doing more work in less time. The right approach to core strength training is your key to running longer feeling stronger.

If you run, you should do the majority of your strength training standing to strengthen the diagonal loading patterns that are critical to running as well as possible.  This workout has been specifically designed with that in mind.

Exercise bands will give you an awesome workout!

Exercise bands are a runners best friend!

You’ll use exercise bands to strengthen your squat, hinge, push and pull movement patterns that will functionally enhance the way you run. This workout can be done at home, in a park or wherever it is most convenient for you.

Please RSVP ASAP to reserve your spot.

When: Tue July 7, 2015

Time: 6:30pm

Where: Sunnyvale Sports Basement

Cost: $0

 Related Posts

5 Essential Exercises For Runners

Runners: The Best Way to Build the Core is Off the Floor

6 Exercises For The Ultimate Indoor Strength Workout For Runners

5 Reasons Endurance Athletes Need To Strength Train

 

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Ladies, Pick Up Heavy Things In The Gym, Its OK

A few months back, Daniella Dayoub from DFitLife, Alison Corcoran from Goldilocks Training, and Karen Koutsavlis from New England360 were great enough to chime in on a post that I wrote as to why women need to lift more than 3 lbs. weights. They had amazing feedback on the topic of lifting heavier and all of the benefits. The post sparked a great conversation about body image and how it relates to training in the comments section. 

This morning I came across another post on the topic, “Does Lifting Heavy Make You Bulky? Find Out the Truch Here” from Girls Gone Strong in my RSS fitness feed. The answer rhymes with “schmo” by the way.

It further reinforced some feedback on the subject Girls Gone Strong Co-Founder Molly Galbraith, gave me not too long ago. She is someone I have the utmost respect for, consider her an industry pioneer, and like the above mentioned fitness industry pros, she too has an extremely impactful muscular message as to how women should approach their fitness programs.

I sent her the following questions, and here is what she had to say.

What is Girls Gone Strong?

Girls Gone Strong is the most trusted resource for women’s health, wellness, nutrition, training, and lifestyle information.  But it’s more than that.  It’s a movement of women from all over the world uniting to provide support, inspiration, and sisterhood to one another.”

Real life weighs more than 3 lbs. Why have 3 lbs. dumbbells become so prevalent in women’s training?

“Unfortunately, it’s all about fitness marketing, and one of the most effective marketing tools can be fear.  So companies prey on women’s insecurities and instill irrational fears that they will become “bulky” if they lift anything too heavy. (And the whole “bulky” thing is a whole other can of worms).  Most women become smaller when they start strength training, but even if they do gain a bit of size, which is rare, who cares?!  There are so many different shapes and sizes that are all healthy, strong, and sexy.”

What are the benefits to women when they lift heavier?

“Increased muscle mass, increased strength, healthier body composition, increased bone density, increased confidence, improved self-esteem, more independence… the list goes on and on!”

What exercise epitomizes the Girls Gone Strong movement?

“Oh goodness!  That’s a tough one.  My first inclination is to say the Turkish getup (mostly because I love it) but also because it’s a beautiful combination of mobility, stability, and strength.  I also love that it seems really complicated at first, but with concentrated practice, it becomes a beautiful flow, which is what I feel like so many things in life can be if we give them the proper respect, attention, and practice.

Another part of me says the Pull-up because it’s so empowering to be able to pull yourself up over a bar over and over again.  It just feels like you can conquer the world.

Annnnnnd the Deadlift.  Because heavy Deadlifts are awesome. ‘Nuff said.”

I can’t thank Molly enough for taking time out of her insane schedule to answer my questions. If you’re looking for high quality fitness information to add to your daily reads, I can’t recommend her and the Girls Gone Strong site enough. You can also hear what she has to say on all things fitness on The FitCast Podcast.

If you’d like to get more information about Molly, head over to her site at MollyGalbraith.com and be ready to learn. If you want to know more about the Girls Gone Strong movement and why it is so amazing, click here.

Once again, thank you very much for getting this far down the page, it always greatly appreciated.

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