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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; in addition to being a cast member on the site’s podcast, as well as FitPro Expert on Read more.




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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.

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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

Terrorized by Toddlers? Try This Fitness Sanity Saver


Sometimes I swear my wee roomie is trying to “take over the world!”

If you’ve got toddlers at home, you know your days can go range from shear bliss to running through mine fields and walking on thin ice to getting the business end of a sanity sapping sucker punch.

It is a constant brain bashing behavioral adventure of head scratching moments. You love your kids with all of your heart and soul, which I do to the umpteenth degree. However, sometimes I swear 666 is stamped behind their ears when they snatch chaos out of the jaws of tranquility.

Once your kids hit the age of three, this is especially true. It seemingly becomes an amazing “CUT THE RED WIRE!! NO! CRAP! THE BLUE ONE!! WHICH ONE IS IT!!!” whirlwind adventure of trying to decipher completely illogical thoughts and absurdly irrational behavior at inopportune times while trying to keep from knocking yourself senseless with a blunt object.

Case in point, bath time. Or as I like to call it “Little Brother Blitzkreig” hour. See, my daughter is my pride and joy. I’ve loved her with every fiber of my being since the day we met in 2011.

I’d say 90% of the time she puts a huge smile on my face and immense warmth in my heart. The other 10% is an “Occupy Mom and Dad” scenario run by a 3-year-old Jeckyl and Hyde terror monger.

So normally, bath time starts out as a Rockwellian moment that I love. My two kids, playing together, laughing while they share some lifelong sibling bonding moments.

Aaaaaaaand then it happens as the music from Jaws starts to kick in. Duh dunt, duh dunt, “hmmm, why is she filling the plastic bottle with water.”

Duh dunt, duh dunt, duh dunt, “why is she lifting it over her little brother’s head???”


A parental bath time POV

Duh dunt, duh dunt, duh dunt, duh dunt, duh dunt, duh dunt!!!


And, WHAM!! No boat big enough can save what’s about to happen because at 11 months old, in a small shared inflatable tub, the wee man is neither mobile nor agile, and he pays the price for it.

Out of absolute NOWHERE, all holy hell breaks loose. My daughter begins to pour water over my son’s head with Niagra Falls like fury as if she’s trying to extract where he keeps his secret cookie stash.

Every toy in the tub seems to become weaponized and the water starts flying out of it like Shamoo just belly flopped from a 40 foot breach at Sea World.

Basically, at this point, its every H2O saturated parent for themselves. If I can quote the incomparable Norman Peterson, life becomes a “dog eat dog world, and I’m wearing Milkbone boxers.” Trying to inject sanity into the chaos is a fool’s errand at best.

My only recourse is to rapid fire “please don’t (insert Geneva Convention violation here) your brother” like some kind of verbal gatling gun as I try to extract him from the tub. Luckily, I can save him every time. Although, he’s probably getting tired of looking at me as if to say, “Hey pop, how’z about my daily dip as a solo mission?”

When bath time ends, walking through a car wash for 12 hours would leave you more energized.


How do we go from Hallmark to HELL in such a short period of time? I’ll tell you how.

My wife and I are held captive daily by a THREENAGER. And our captor is as ruthless as she is cunning, and we don’t stand a chance.

See, she’s figured out she can’t be shipped out Amazon Prime, and that we have to love her unconditionally. Again, which we do.

I think its something they talk about at the “Toddler Terrorizer Summit” each year. It has to totally exist because other parents talk about similar occurrences convincing me this demographic is in complete cahoots against those that brought them into the world.

So when this kind of thing happens, and full sanity eradication becomes eminent, I cling to any bastion of tranquility that I can to get myself through these “precious moments.” And it always comes down to two things.

Surprisingly enough, neither one rhymes with “a fifth of Jack” and “straw.” Its a pretty simple solution to a complex existence: breathing and exercise. It can be a herculean task to get there, but it works like a charm.

So I’m going to share something with you, one parental confidante to another. Please realize I’m risking both life and limb to share this because if the 3-year-old behavorial baddy brigade got wind of this, they’d surely put a price on my whistle blowing head. However, because I feel for other parents in the same situation, it is a risk I’m more than willing to take for the team.

This solution, in a very short amount of time, can both put some long back in your fuse and sanity in your life. It will only take about 10 mins, it will help you “process your experience” and it might help you help yourself from being fitted for a dinner blazer without sleeves if you know what I mean.

All you need is people weight and a little floor space. Do each exercise for :30, take a :30 rest and repeat 2x.

1) Planks, this will force you to breathe and center your core helping you get present and repress what just happened that much faster, I mean get focused on the now.

2) Alternate leg lunges stepping backwards, once the quads start burning, surprisingly enough your mood no longer does.

3) Speed Squats or “Rapid Angst Elimination Elevation Changes,” these fire the heart rate up and get energy out nicely.

4) Single leg squats, focus on your balance to be able to do the movement.

5) Marching in place, this another good cardio angst remover.

Put these together twice, and it should help you “recover” without needing 1800 cc’s of Thorazine to get through your night. Being a parent is an amazing experience, it really is and one I feel very fortunate to be a part of. However, every once in a while, you just need a little help.

That’s why I’m here. To share, support, co-miserate and generally be there for threenage parents everywhere to let you know: Hey, I get it, I get you and if we band together, we can defend ourselves against the little buggers, I mean collectively get through this somewhat challenging time.

And, if your kids haven’t hit this stage? Oh, it will. The bell tolls for thee my friend!

If you’d like more fitness coping mechanisms if you suffer from TerrorToddlerItis (totally a thing), and you live in the Silicon Valley, drop me a line and let’s set up a support group, I mean time to meet to get you a fitness sanity saver!


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The $194 Home Gym

When you workout at home, convenience is key. Your equipment has to be as easy to set up as it is to use because if its not, let’s be honest, garage and sale are the two words that come to mind.

I think one of the bigger misconceptions of putting one together is that you need to spend a ton of money to have the latest and greatest toys. Truth be told, basics always work best and in the case of putting together a home gym, its especially true.

You want to choose equipment that has a ton of versatility in terms of the amount of exercises you can do. One trick pony pieces take up space, don’t offer a lot of variety and aren’t very functional in the grand scheme of home fitness.

The following is a list that every home gym should have. They provide a ton of options, will help you get fit and most importantly, won’t break that bank. The best part is the entire list will cost you less than $200.

Jungle Gym XT from LifeLine USA, $89.99


Great home training suspension option.

For home workouts, the Jungle Gym XT from LifeLine USA is an amazing piece of equipment. It offers a ton of exercise variety, will hit every muscle head to toe and go a long way to helping you get more fit.

You can definitely spend more on equipment, but if you are trying to build a home gym while coming in under $200, it could blow your budget leaving you with fewer home exercise options. This is a very high quality piece of equipment, and its one I would definitely recommend for building out a home gym.

Exercise Bands

Exercise bands will give you an awesome workout!

Exercise bands will give you an awesome home workout!

I love using exercise bands. They are  a staple of my training, particularly at home. You can do just about every movement you can do with a bar or set of kettlebells and dumbbells at a fraction of the price of a quality set of iron for home use.

A pulling motion alone brings 100’s of options with bands. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy iron if that’s your thing. Its old school awesome that works. The point being, it will cost you quite a bit of money for a good set. Plus it takes up more space to store.

Bands are a fraction of the cost, store very conveniently, add a ton of versatility and combine very well with the Jungle Gym XT to load lower body movements. I like the Medium Exercise Band Package from, for $71.99 which gives you multiple tension levels that will allow you to progress your strength that may drain your energy, but it will leave your checking account in tact.

If you pick up this particular set of bands, be sure to add in a set of Resistance Band Training Handles for $24.99 from RBT as well. It will make pushing and pulling motions with the bands a lot more comfortable on the hands.


The TNT Cable System from LifeLine USA

You can also go with LifeLine USA’s TNT Cable System. This is another great budget friendly option for home gyms and I’ve seen them on Amazon for less than $30. You can’t load the lower body in the same way as you can with RBT equipment, but it is still something that add a lot to home training.

You can squat, hinge, push and pull to your muscle’s delight using bands. They are incredibly portable, don’t take much space to store and are a great option for home gyms.

Need a little more variety in your workouts? Then pick up some Green Dynamic Band Stabilizers from, $6.99. These are great for hip stabilization work and developing a great strength foundation for the legs.

These small loops go around the knees and are especially effective for making the glutes “self aware” while bridging and lateral stepping. Great addition to any home gym, especially for your warmup.

So the tale of the cash register tape looks like this all said and done:

Jungle Gym XT $89.99

Exercise Bands $71.99

Set of Band Handles $24.99

Mini Band Loops $6.99

Total: $193.96

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get fit at home. With a few key pieces of equipment, you can get in high quality workouts that can build a pretty high fitness level.

If you’ve got a home gym, live in the Silicon Valley and need a program, I can help you with that. Send me a note and we can set up a time to meet and I create a custom workout for you do on your own when its most convenient.


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TRX Tips For Better Form

1797461_1485466375014175_292763214_nBaseball has returned!! It has been a long Winter, but the boys of Summer are finally back (see what I did there?). I. Am. PUMPED! Especially since for 162 games, regardless of what happens, the San Francisco Giants will be REIGNING WORLD SERIES CHAMPS!!

Dodgers fans have to put up with that all season. Let me tell you how much sadness that brings to my heart. Somewhere in the neighborhood of zero and none is the zip code!

With that being said, if you’re looking for some times to enhance your own Spring training, I’ve had how to guide for using a TRX hit on I go over what the most common form fouls are and how to address them.

If you use one for your workouts, I definitely recommend hitting the link and taking a look at the post. You’ll get more out of your workouts and enjoy them that much more.

If you’re looking for even more fitness and nutrition tips from industry experts, then head over to the group I created on Facebook. Its called “The Trainers” and it is a hub for all things exercise. You’ll get articles, workout videos and weekly workouts to help you get the most of your training program.

Great group, high quality information and a little sarcasm thrown in for good measure. Click here to join.

If you’re looking for exercise of the in person variety, I’ve got a few spots left in my morning group classes and I’m taking five more people for my done for you monthly homework program. We meet once a month, we put a workout on video with your phone then you do the workout wherever and whenever its most convenient for you. Shoot me a line to sign up.



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