Posts in Training Tips
Sprints For the Win!

Mix up your run with sprinting drills

Autumn is a great time to get outdoors and run. Here In the Mountain-West region of the United States we enjoy four seasons. The cooler/breezy days of Fall just calls for us to strap on those running shoes and hit the leaf ridden streets. If one of the thousands of fun-runs happening this time of year all over the country doesn’t inspire you to pick up your game, then at least try it out for some good old fashioned cardiovascular exercise.

While running at a steady pace for miles on end definitely has its place in a good running regimen, this fun-run season try pushing yourself to improve on a part of your run that you may be neglecting… Your sprint!

You may think, “why would I want to improve my sprint if I’m just going to run at a steady state during my runs?” Aside from providing some beneficial cross training and boosting moral during your regular daily run, here are a few reasons running coaches believe sprinting drills will improve your long and short run.

  1. Train Fast = Run Fast - Running requires muscular and cardiovascular endurance, sure. But ultimately running faster (whether it’s long distance or short) is about simultaneously increasing the frequency and length (gate) of your stride. Check out the transition exercise “Plyometric Jumps into a Sprint” in the video below.

  2. Improve Foot Strike - Sprinting drills emphasize hip flexion and hamstring extension, which are crucial in maintaining a neutral shin for a mid foot strike rather than striking at the heel. Check out the exercise “Eccentric Hamstring on Swiss Ball.”

  3. Narrow in on the Knees - Working in a ladder will force you to create frequency in your step while maintaining a close distance between your knees — optimal for a more aerodynamic and linear movement pattern. Check out the exercise “Agility ladder 1-in to Stair Sprint.”

  4. Spring-load Your Legs - The fastest runners are not letting the ground hit them, they are attacking the ground. Check out the exercise “Kneeling Squat Jump” in the video Below.

Kevin caught up with a former sprinter for the Belgium National Track team while he was in Antwerp Belgium this summer. Wout Verhoeven is a three time sprinting champion in the 100m sprint with a personal record electronic time of 10.54 Seconds. He also performed markedly well in the 200m and sprinting relays.

Kevin took the opportunity to pick Wout’s brain about what workouts sprinters are doing in the gym that our clients here at Encore might be able to benefit from.

Whether you’re a seasoned runner, or just trying to get back into shape, implement these sprinter exercises and tips for a personal best at your next fun-run.


The Traveling Professional's Arm Workout

A powerful arm workout that will hit every visible muscle, providing you with that quick pump for when you're on the road and still need to look and feel your most confident.

Kevin striking a flex outside of Fitness Park, Lyon France after the gym pump arm workout.

You've been working hard to maintain a consistent training regimen, and your nutrition has been... good enough. You're happy with the way you feel and look, but know that once business travel season starts back up in the fall you're likely to regress in your goals. Traveling is the best time to stick to a workout regimen, not only to continue progressing toward your goals, but also to stay confident and performing at your best under high stress. And at the end of the day, feeling and looking your best will always help you to perform at your best. 

Confidence isn’t walking into a room with your nose in the air, and thinking you are better than everyone else, It’s walking into a room and not having to compare yourself in the first place.

I do not travel regularly for work, so when I was backpacking around Europe I took an opportunity to throw together a great arm pump workout that I know many of my clients will benefit from. I hope you can work this routine into your away-from-home-gym workouts this travel season. Everything listed here should be adaptable to any hotel gym, but don't act like there are no accessible gyms in the area you are visiting. If your hotel does not have a suitable gym, take it upon yourself to find a nearby facility that can serve you well during your stay. 

The Workout: Horrizontal Unloading = Do every rep and every set of each exercise before moving onto the next exercise. This is a great way to train for Hypertrophy (Muscle Growth).

1. Incline DB Chest Press (Dumbbells or Barbell) - 3x12

2. Seated Low Row (Machine or Cable) - 3x12

3. Standing Lateral Shoulder Raise (Dumbbells) - 4x(20,15,15,12)

4. Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbells, Barbell or Bands) - 4x(15,12,12,10)

5. Wide Grip Pull-up - 50x(as many sets as it takes)

6. Chest Dips - 4x10

7. Close Grip Pull-up - 5x10

trx euro


My partner Isacc and I recently came off of a 30 day backpacking adventure across most of Western Europe. While we did land in more than a couple major cities, we still had to carry 40-55 pounds on our person at any given time - usually only when walking 8-12 miles, of course. We found out quickly how easy it is to fall into some really bad form habits that can destroy your body, while doing something we all assume to be so good for us - backpacking.


We were relaxing in front of the Eiffel tower one afternoon after a leisurely picnic when I noticed how hard it was to simply sit upright with no back support. I realized that both of our chest and shoulder muscles were hunching forward because of the constant tension our backpack straps were putting on them by pulling back and down from our shoulders. I mentioned this to Isacc, and he pointed out that his hips were extra tight as well, which also made relaxing in the grass more uncomfortable than we liked. Being the ever-entheusiastic trainer I am, and knowing I had just the tool in my day pack to counter these poor form developments, I pulled out my straps and threw together this quick TRX Circuit that we each repeated 3-4 times every other day or so. In under a week, we both noticed huge improvements in our back and hips. Even carrying the bags became easier, allowing us to breath more fully and in turn hike for longer periods without rest. We also noticed how much nicer and easier it was to simply sit upright with or without a chair to support us. 


Do this workout every other day anytime you are on a multi day hike, or simply as an end of the day supplament to your day hike. Your body will thank you! Then you can thank us by dropping a message about your experience. We LOVE backpacking stories. Enjoy!


First, warm up your body by doing some light cardiovascular movements (jumping jacks, mountain climbers, light jog etc.), for about 4-5 minutes. Then do this workout in the order performed in the video. Do 10 repetitions of each exercise back to back before resting one minute and repeating the circuit 2-3 more times. 

stiff rdl's



The only thing that separates the stiff RDL from the traditional is in the knees. If you are looking to destroy your hamstrings in one move.....well this is it.

* Choose a close stance with the feet and an overhand underhand grip at the bar.
* Keeping the bar close to the shins start to hinge at the hips (see our hinge video).
* Keep back flat and chin tucked to the chest to maintain good posture.
* Keep knees straight or with a soft bend. The point is to get as straight as possible for maximum hamstring stretch.

low back



This is a great exercise for home if you have a swiss ball!

Muscles used: Erector Spinea, Glutes, and Hamstrings.

* Place the ball in a place that you can support your feet like in front of a wall.
* Lay down on top of the ball placing your belly button directly on top of the swiss ball.
* Begin to crunch your body towards the floor and slowly extend your body upward and pause and the top.

trx rows



Total Resistance Training (TRX) Rows are a fun way to work the upper back muscles including Rhomboids, Traps, Lats and Biceps.

* Choose your resistance by moving forward or backward toward your anchor point. 
* Always keep tension in the straps
* Keep core tight and body stiff
* Choose between a low row or a high row (note hand and elbow position)

main event


Boise man loses nearly 50 pounds in 7 months despite demanding work life. Wait til you see what he looks like now!

"I'm back at my weight from  high school. I feel great and I look great!”

Wait til you see him now!

“I constantly found myself making excuses as to why I wasn't sticking to my fitness and nutrition plans. However, even though I struggled, I never gave up. I kept working at it and struggled with things day after day.” Saul admitted humbly, “ I finally started seeing results. I started feeling great about myself as the pounds started shedding off and I really liked the compliments I was receiving from people. That was the hook I needed to push myself even harder.”

Saul Solis started training with Kevin at Encore Fitness Boise back in October of 2017. He began Kevin’s Born Again Athlete Program (BAA) designed for men over the age of 30 who were once athletic, and have since become sedentary but would like an overhaul on their body. When Saul joined the program, he had already been thinking about making a change, but wasn’t sure where to start.

He lost 45 pounds

In only seven months!

“I was tired of never having energy, feeling fatigued all the time, and I could tell my weight was taking its toll on me. In late September, Kevin reached out to me asking if I wanted to participate in the Born Again Athlete program he was running at Encore. I knew this was my shot to finally tackle my fitness goals. And, the best part was that I wouldn't have to do this alone. I would have somebody coach me through this difficult journey.”

Saul is the perfect example of a success story at Encore Fitness. It’s in our mission statement, 

Our mission is to educate and motivate individuals to become a healthier, more fit version of themselves and to direct each client into making fitness a way of life.
— Encore Fitness, LLC.

All he needed was a launching platform, somewhere to start from that could help him to establish the exercise foundations he would need to ride his fitness journey out for along time.

Saul around October, just after beginning training.

Saul around October, just after beginning training.

“When I started working out with Kevin at Encore fitness on October 1st of 2017, my initial weight was 230 lbs. Today, April 2018, I weigh 185 lbs. I am back at my weight from when I graduated high school. I feel great and I look great!”

Most importantly Saul Said, “I have developed confidence to tackle my fitness like I never thought possible for myself.”

At Encore, we understand that fitness - like parenthood, religion or a career - is a lifestyle. One does not just adopt a new lifestyle overnight. There is a process of learning and adapting that takes place at a different pace with each individual. Once a client demonstrates the desire to seek answers on their own to continue their path, we know they have successfully integrated into a healthy fitness lifestyle.

Saul achieved just that.

Beginning of fitness journey (Left), Present (Right).

Beginning of fitness journey (Left), Present (Right).

“The gym and nutrition goals have become my favorite hobby!  I love learning new workouts and meals to incorporate into my diet.  I even enjoy exercising when I travel now.”


Saul recently ran the Southern California Rebok Ragnar Relay (A ragnar is a relay race consisting of several long distances). He completed 16 miles over 3 legs of the Rebok Ragnar Relay. Saul ran more in the months leading up to the race than he thought he could ever run in his life, 10-12 miles a day sometimes 3-4 days a week.

Saul Gears up for the race.

Saul Gears up for the race.


“I have developed a passion for fitness and nutrition. I've even started motivating family members and friends to get started with their goals and offer my support to them. I am so happy I said yes to the invitation to work on myself again. It has paid off in more ways than I imagined and I look forward to learning more and improving myself continually as I help others as well.”


"I even enjoy exercise when I travel now.”

-Saul Solis

We at Encore Fitness Boise are so proud of Saul for not only losing the weight that has haunted him the last few years, but for taking charge of his schedule and bringing balance back into his busy life. Congratulations for all you have accomplished, and all you will continue to accomplish as you reach toward becoming the best possible version of yourself.



“I have developed confidence to tackle my fitness like I never thought possible for myself.”

- A New Saul




With your feet shoulder-width apart and toes forward, hinge at the hips by shooting the pelvis and glutes back while keeping a slight bend in the knees. Maintain a flat back and neutral head position throughout the move.
* Do not shrug the shoulders
* Keep back flat and core tight
* Track knees behind the toes

Sumo Deadlift

Grasp the bar with a narrow grip positioned on the inside of the knees. Choose a wide stance with toes pointing outward and knees tracking in the same direction as the toes. Squat and hinge at the hips simultaneously, keeping the chest up and core tight.
* Wide stance, toes, and knees pointing outward
* Squat and hinge at the hips to perform a sumo squat
* Chest up, core tight