What All Strong People Know…

12278717_10206788910993421_4234429508894533694_nStrength is a form of practice. To get strong, really strong, you have to take your practice as seriously as a piano player does his, and rehearse everyday. Repetition is key.

Strength training is not “working out”. Working out is about breaking a sweat and breathing hard. Strength training is about focus and precision. It’s about consistency.

Low reps are better than high reps. If you can lift a weight for fifteen reps, you’re not strength training. You’re doing Zumba.

If you want to get strong you have to lift heavy some of the time…

…But not all of the time.

Strength is critical for health, and the cause of many pains and dysfunction is general weakness. “Strong fixes everything” (Mark Reifkind)

A strong person respects the weight, always. Be it light, heavy, or in between, she moves it all the same—very deliberately.

A strong person knows the importance of good form and takes it very seriously. She knows that proper alignment is critical to both good performance and good health. She knows they are not at odds.

Strength is a luxury like money. Without it life is very difficult.

Strong ON!

Everything I Know…

I am going to write a post about everything I know (this should only take five minutes) for a fitter, happier, more productive life.

Please note: Some of these I am pretty good at, others I need the reminder as much, if not more, than anyone I know.2014-06-28 20.44.15_2

  1. Success is, above all, a matter of persistence. Hard work and patience is the critical key most everybody lacks.
  2. But it (work ethic) CAN be developed. And the way to develop it is with PASSION.

If you feel you are unmotivated, it is probably because you don’t have enough passion in your life, and that you are being forced to work on something you couldn’t really give a damn about.

So find what you love and do that.

There will still be times when you want to quit, but the difference TRUE passion makes is that even when you WANT to quit, you won’t.

  1. If you want to get better at something but don’t have a coach you are either arrogant or lazy.


  1. Know your problem and how to fix it.

Gain strength until strength is not your problem. Lose weight until weight is not your problem. Make money until money is not your problem.

Don’t delude yourself. Getting stronger can help you solve the problem of being weak, but it can’t help you touch your toes or run a mile. You need mobility and cardio for that.

Making money can solve your problem of paying bills, but it won’t make you a better husband or wife. You need to be attentive for that.

  1. Happiness is gratitude.


  1. Life is too short to waste on shit-disturbers.

Avoid contamination, and carefully select the friends you keep. That you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with is true.

Find people who pull you up, not put you down. BE one of those people.

  1. Take 100% responsibility for EVERY aspect of your life.

Don’t sit around wishing “it” (life) was easier. It’s not going to get easier.

So go, instead, and make yourself… STRONGER.

– Janna

5 Reasons to Get “Strong First” (Or, Why Strength Prevails When All Else Fails):

  1. Strength is the master human quality. It is the capacity which lifts all other capacities. Meaning, the stronger you are, the more cool things you can do. In other words, the more strength you have the more potential you have for endurance, metabolic capacity, power, speed, stability, and right on down the long line.
  1. Heavy lifting is still the best thing you can do for fat loss. That and broccoli.
  1. The stronger you are the more potential you have to put on lean muscle mass (if that’s what you desire). This is glaringly evident but almost always ignored by folks just starting out. If you want to put on muscle you should first focus on getting as strong as you possible can, and then focus on hypertrophy. It’s pretty hard to put on muscle mass when you have the dead lift of a Golden Girl.

1508076_620804687966908_845231397_n Read More

The Number One Coaching Mistake. Training Youth Athletes.

10930856_872512739438153_327230803821940326_nI once saw a coach training a hockey player on lunges.

He said, “When you stand up, push a bit sideways with your front leg to mimic your skating stroke.”

Doesn’t seem like bad advice… except that the athlete was 12 years old.

The kid wasn’t even able to stay stable when going down into the lunge. His front knee was caving in and his torso was bent so far forward it looked like he was doing a good morning.

Sure, if he pushes slightly sideways it might mimic his skating stroke. Sort of. Maybe.

But this is like worrying about the color of the curtains when the house is built on a lousy foundation and the walls aren’t even finished. It’s an example of one thing that’s gone horribly wrong with strength coaching.

Read More

Letting Go of Attachment

An important aspect of Whole-Body Health resides 10865706_853820124640748_1699358547657545613_oin the balance of priorities and an understanding of what is important in life.  Often we live our life as if the grass is always greener on the other side.  We think in terms of if, and/ or when a certain external event occurs we will finally be happy.  We attach ourselves to people, places and material objects. We attach ourselves to the illusive ideology of perfection. We believe that after a certain external event occurs we will finally feel safe, be free of fear, or be accepted and loved by others. This is a malicious untruth and a fallacy.

Acceptance and happiness reside deep within ALL of us right here, right now in this very moment.  We just need to allow our true nature to blossom and to unfold naturally without trying to control, or manipulate, our every thought or action.  External ‘stuff’ often allusively appears to provide certain freedoms, status and comfort.  However, these are all illusive comforts, which cease to fill us with real happiness. Conversely, they often come at a steep price; the expense of our soul. Rarely does the external stuff manifest into lasting joy or real happiness. Numerous science based studies on the concept of happiness have shown conclusively it is not money, or the purchase of stuff, that triggers excitement in the brain.  We are happiest when we use our resources to help others or to create experiential memories. In other words it is in being of service to others and by creating experiential memories that lasting joy and happiness are realized. These actions represent the internal process of letting go of control, of being selfless through the act of giving, and by using our resources to create experiential memories.  It is these very memories, these acts of kindness, these moments in time, which compiled over a lifetime elevate us to the level of becoming happiness; the internal state of being that makes us feel good about our self and our life.

Building Basketball Shoulders

SDC10290Every one dreams of having strong basketball like shoulders.  Women stuff their jackets and blouses with extra padding so their shoulders look fuller.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a suit or blouse fit without padding?  Well, it is possible with a little hard work in the gym.  Luckily, for most people the shoulders develop rather fast since they are a larger muscle group and a primary mover.

Highly toned, defined shoulders make wearing a sleeveless dress or shirt sexy instead of depressing.  Strong shoulders promote good posture and evoke confidence through a stronger presence.   A strong, upright posture is synonymous with having the appearance of being a person of authority and power.

Your shoulders, or the deltoids as they are commonly referred to, is a large, three headed triangular muscle.  The shoulder begins at the clavicle and scapula at the rear of the shoulder and runs down to its insertion point in the upper arm.  The three muscles or heads of the shoulder are the anterior (front) head, the medial (side) head and the posterior (rear) head.  The trapezious or traps are connected to the shoulder and accentuate good shoulder development. The traps are the visual center of the upper back and connect directly to the upper shoulder. Read More


If you want to build muscle, you’ve got to lift weights.10974571_872349516121142_3052609456397368799_o There’s no way around that.

So what should you do?

If your goal is to build muscle and get stronger, you must incorporate heavy, compound movements like squats, deadlifts, rows and presses.These exercises will stimulate your central nervous system to the highest degree.

Here are some other basic principles for muscle growth:


  1. Figure out your goals

Before doing anything else, you need to determine the purpose of your training. Do you want to get bigger, stronger, have more endurance or something else?

Whatever your objective, you need to make sure every decision you make revolves around that particular goal. Read More

You Have to Eat to Grow Lean Muscle

The bottom line, if you want to build muscle you have tEating Healthyo eat. It’s clear, in order to perform well, you need to get your food to work for you. My clients regularly ask me, “How do I maximize my workouts to gain muscle as quickly and effectively as possible?”

My answer: What you eat and when you eat it profoundly improves your ability to build muscle mass and strength.

To build muscle, burn fat, perform at a high level, recover from workouts, maintain optimal brain and immune function, and high testosterone levels…you NEED carbs, protein and fats.

While nutrition is important, the quality of your strength-training workout is a key factor for building muscle mass.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing strength training for all of your major muscle groups at least two or three times a week. I encourage all my clients to get some kind of strength training so that when they lose weight, they not only look more toned and have more strength (who wants to be a flabby skinny person?), and they’re also healthier. You can achieve great results by working with a skilled trainer, especially if you are new to it. Read More

It’s About Sustainable Habits. Consistency Trumps Perfection

SDC10097_2Consistently applying some simple nutrition guidelines and following a practical strength training program that easily fits into your schedule will produce better results than attempting to follow even the most perfect diet and workout regimen.


Body change isn’t about gathering more information.

Information is everywhere. You can find a million “weight loss meal plans” for free on Google right now. And it’s not about getting the perfect meal plan from the best coach. Or finding the right expert to provide your miracle plan.

But, as people seeking body change, this is often what we do: jump from program to program, expert to expert, diet book to diet book, all with the hope of stumbling across THE ONE that will work this time! We think if we just find that one additional piece of the puzzle, then we can finally get the results we want. Read More

Bergen County Women’s Walking Group

Bergen County Women’s Walking Group was created by Janna Vorontsova, a local fitness enthusiast, to promote health, fitness and friendship among local w2015-05-23 08.20.26omen. We had our first walk this past March. Since then, we have grown to almost 200 members. Members meet on a regular basis every Saturday in Saddle River Park in Glen Rock. From there we take off, and socialize as we explore the park together.

Walking groups have been popular since the 80’s because they quickly turn a boring stroll into a social event that just ha2015-05-23 09.05.03ppens to count as your daily cardio, using walking for weight loss.

In fact, a new review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (which looked at 42 studies on the benefits of outdoor walking groups over the last two decades) found that the shared activity helped participants do everything from lose weight and lower their blood pressure to reduce their risk for heart problems and depression. The biggest (though totally unsurprising) benefit: The group walkers were more likely to stick with it.

We all find excuses for not doing something, but if you’re in a group, you’re more motivated. Another reason to grab your girlfriends: Some research shows that when you walk in 2015-05-30 08.17.03 HDRa group, you walk faster and further than when you walk on your own.

We share stories and ask silly questions. It gives everyone the chance to get to know each other and build new relationships—all the more reason to keep on stepping.

So come and join us for some fun, “outdoorphins” and vitamin G (for green).