Drop the Dogma and Just MOVE!

I get a lot of flak for being into yoga and weightlifting.

Yogis tell me that weightlifting hinders one’s practice because it is aggressive and decreases flexibility. Other teachers scoff at me for not being a “purist.” Students assume that I teach power yoga because I wear athletic clothing, work as a personal trainer and own a gym.

On the other hand, weightlifters tell me that yoga is for women. Men decline to train with me because they say that a yogi could not push them as hard. Other trainers agree that I attract mainly female clients because I am also a yoga teacher.

I used to believe them. Not only did I separate yoga and weightlifting, but I also ranked them. I stopped lifting weights for several years because I deemed it less sacred than my yoga practice. I even argued with my father that yoga was better than weightlifting.

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

The Path to the Perfect Body and Why You Don’t Want It

I recently found a picture of myself from three years ago. I could not believe how ripped I was! Muscles everywhere, almost glistening in the light.

At the time, I was laser-focused on my diet, weightlifting program and yoga practice. I was enslaved to my body’s form – obsessed with how it looked and what it could do. I was in physical pain from exercising so much. If I missed a session, I got a workout in guilt.

My body looked better than it ever has. But I could not see or appreciate it. I thought that my body was not in that good of shape.

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

“You Have the Most Popular Classes Here?!”

After taking my Wednesday night athletic conditioning class at my gym in San Francisco, an inquisitive new student asked me: Are your classes always this big?

I smiled and let her know that it was the most popular class at the space. Shocked, she shot back: You have the most popular classes here?!

She seemed to be insinuating that I was not that great of a trainer. I awkwardly laughed it off and shrugged my shoulders in similar disbelief. Because she was right.

I am a good trainer, but I am by no means a great trainer. My class is the most popular somewhat because I am the owner. But, mostly, it is because I focus on building connection and community.

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Don’t Manufacture Your Sweat. Earn It.

“Don’t mistake movement for achievement!” my college basketball coach used to yell at my team as we cut and moved around the court out of habit or ploys to look busy.

I had no idea what he was talking about until years later: Just because we were moving did not mean that we were applying the intensity that would create a result.

We can apply this warning from my old sage of a coach to the way that most people exercise today: Lots of movement. Limited results.

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Clean Up Your Fitness

“Bump! Shrug! Pull!”

My trainer cues my hips, shoulders and arms to move as I struggle and almost cry in frustration to achieve what she is asking of me. There is so much going on that I cannot understand what she wants me to do.

I do my best to relax. Close my eyes. And, instead of forcing the movement to happen, feel it happen.

Suddenly, everything clicks. My hips explode forward, my shoulders and arms pull the barbell up to my chest, and I get under it and land in a full front squat. Sweat pours from my body, my heart rate spikes, my legs burn like hell.

Just nine more reps to go.

This is one type of Olympic lift known as the clean.Read more

Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

P-Training: The Hottest New Trend in Fitness

We salivate every time a new fitness ad tempts us: Try this today! Get results tomorrow!

The fitness industry is constantly churning out the next quick fix. What starts as a desire to improve our health usually gets muddied by a desire to make money.

Unfortunately for us, the promise of instant results is frequently dishonest and disheartening. It holds us hostage in a perpetual cycle of hope and disappointment as we desperately guess about what will work now, later or ever.

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Hit the Fat With HIIT!

High-intensity interval training is making noise in the fitness world. For once, this is a trend worth listening to.

HIIT is a staple in my philosophy and programming as a personal trainer because it is the most efficient and effective way to torch calories. As a result, it melts fat off of your body, especially in the areas where we tend to gain weight, such as the midline, thighs and glutes.

Pushing your body to its limits also challenges your mind. The determination that HIIT requires commands you to get tough and empowers you to dissolve limiting beliefs about what you are capable of.
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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Stretching: The Key to Your Athletic Potential

Flexibility is the most important component of fitness. Yet, it is the most neglected. Stretching is now your new best friend.

My yoga practice began as a form of torture. My hips, hamstrings and back were weak and tight from nearly 20 years of playing sports and a decade of lifting weights without stretching. I was immobile and injury-prone. A few years ago, I realized why I stuck with yoga through the discomfort: I was benefiting from increasing my flexibility.

As an athlete, I frequently had heard that if I could not touch my toes, I was not reaching my highest athletic ability. I knew this was true, but I did not know to what extent.
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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Get Your Back in the Game

This year’s blogs highlight the interconnection of all aspects of wellness. The more tools we have, the better our chances of creating the results we desire. We have learned this month that we can energize ourselves and can enhance our moods through the energy gains and drains activity or through backbends. We can also do so through exercise.

One energy source we typically overlook when exercising is our back. The back holds some of the largest muscles (latissimus dorsi, trapezius and erector spinae) in the body, yet they are also some of the most underused thanks to America’s favorite sport: sitting. Americans now spend more time sitting than they do sleeping. This weakens our back muscles, which destroys our postures.
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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Squats Are For Mondays

In last week’s blog, I wrote about the importance of focusing on the feet and legs in your yoga practice. This week, we’ll learn how to do weighted squats in order to build a strong foundation for your exercise regimen.

Many yoga teachers shun weight lifting, and many weight lifters scoff at the idea of incorporating yoga into their exercise routine. I say everybody needs to relax and consider how different modalities can be beneficial regardless of their origins. If your goal is to hold Warrior II longer, then incorporate the squat to build leg strength. If you want to perform a full squat, then incorporate Warrior II to increase groin flexibility.
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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.