4 Ways Shawty Got Low. Tips for better squats


Let's talk about low squats. It was once thought to be bad for your knees, but research has shown that deep squats are not bad for you and have several benefits. A deeper squat will make you stronger, burn more calories, and make your booty look better. It's science.


The problems come when people drop it like it's hot while lowering themselves into the squat, bounce at the bottom, and then stand up. That bounce puts a lot of strain on your knees. If you are squatting fast, make sure you are under control and you only go as far as your mobility allows.


If you are having trouble getting into a lower squat, here are  4 things you can start doing today.


1. What are they doing?


I've been on a couple of mission trips to Nicaragua and I noticed some of the locals taking rest breaks in what looked an awful way to rest. They dropped all the way into a squat where their butt was about an inch off the ground. It was very comfortable to them because they had been doing it their whole life.


They are basically holding the bottom part of a perfect squat. Your mission is to get to where you can hold that position comfortably for one minute. Start working on squatting down as low as you can and holding it without your heels popping up off the ground (more on that below) and without falling over. Feel free to hold onto something when you first start out.


2. Arms forward


Extend your arms out in front of you before you start your squat. Studies have proven that you can squat lower by adding this simple twist to your normal squat.


Tight ankles or apple bottom jeans too tight?


3. Loosen up your ankles


Do your heels come up off the ground when you try to squat low? You need to loosen those ankles up. In our boot camp classes we do ankle circles as part of our warm-up to get the ankles loose.

Put your toe on the ground, heel up in the air. Start circling your foot around, like you are mashing out a cigarette. Do 10 circles for each direction on both feet.

Ankle rockers can help as well. Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Rock back forward as far as you can with the right heel on the ground. Then you will rock side to side as far as you can. Get in 10 times each direction and then switch legs.


4. Defeat the desk job


Many of us sit way too much during our day. At work, in the car, watching TV or on the computer at home.


Sitting too much causes your hip flexors to tighten up. If you have trouble getting into a deep squat, the culprit can be tight hips. Try the 90/90 hip flexor stretch.


Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward, and think about sinking your hips into the ground. Hold that for 15-20 seconds and then do the same on the other side.


Start putting these to work and you will be looking good in your apple bottom jeans/boots with the fur in no time.

Netflix and Chill


Last night I participated in one of my favorite past times. I love to get on Netflix, look around for something to watch for 30 minutes, and end up watching nothing. Anybody else do that?

There is so much to watch and so many possibilities, but I just can’t commit. This is precious TV time here! I gotta make the perfect choice, so I overanalyze things and nothing happens in the end.

That can be very frustrating but it happens a lot because I go in there with no game plan. I don’t watch TV very often so when I do I need to be on top of my game.

The same holds true with a lot of people when they workout. They go to the gym, do a little bit of this machine, little bit of that machine, and end up doing a lot of wandering around and wasting time.

They have no plan! And much like Netflix, there are so many options out there to choose from with exercise. It can be very overwhelming and discouraging if you don’t know what you are going to do that day.

I recommend writing down what you plan to do before you do your workout. One great benefit is that you will not waste time. Another great benefit is that you will not slack off. When you don’t have a set workout plan you have a tendency to quit the workout when something gets tough. Don’t let that happen to you!

Don’t go into your workout blind. Do your research, know what types of workouts support the goals you are going after, and stick to the plan!

If you are not sure what you should be doing, feel free to reach out for help. Of course, I would love for you to come to Adventure Boot Camp but I now that is not an option for everybody.

Enough of that, let’s get serious now. What should I be watching on Netflix? I need some suggestions.

3 Self Defense Techniques every woman should know


The world can be a depressing place, especially when you watch the news. It seems like there is a trend of violence against women that keeps popping up.

I believe that every person, should have some basic self defense skills that they will hopefully never need to use. That is where my friend Suzanne Ramsden comes in.

Suzanne is the owner of Maverick Training Center/Atos Jiu-Jitsu Huntsville. She is only female in Huntsville who has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Her daughter Julia has a purple belt in BJJ and is an amateur fighter as well.

Suzanne and Julia are hosting a Community Self Defense Awareness Seminar on Sunday May 21st from 2-4pm. They wanted to offer self defense techniques specifically for women, taught by women. They found that a lot of the techniques taught in self defense classes only work for bigger, stronger men.

What would you do if someone grabbed your wrist and you could not get away? What if you are alone in a parking lot and someone is aggressively approaching you? What if you are on the ground and somebody is on top of you with both hands around your throat choking you?

These are very serious situations that could potentially turn deadly. Please watch this video to learn the techniques that could one day save your life.


If you want to learn more about these techniques or if you want to sign up for the seminar call Suzanne Ramsden at 256.797.6025 or e-mail sramsden@mavericktraining.net


New stuff is happening!


I've got some really exciting news to announce. We are changing the 830am class to 9am! We have had several people inquire about the time change and now it is happening.

Many people were not able to attend because their Mother's Morning Out drop off time was at 830, so they were unable to attend. Now they can! Thank you for that feedback, we aim to please.

The 9am class is a little different than the other time spots and locations. It is a small, but mighty class 🙂 We have access to a gym, so we do a lot of TRX and kettlebell workouts that are very effective for all fitness levels. This class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.


Here is my son using the TRX if you have never seen it before


Alos, we are running a New Member Special for all class times and locations. $99 for a month of unlimited classes. A huge savings and I guarantee you will be blown away with workouts, support, encouragement, and fun you get for that price.

We have 530am classes in Harvest, 530pm classes in Monrovia, and 530am/9am/530pm classes in south Huntsville. We would love to have you join whatever location suits you the best.


Take advantage of the Mew Member Special here --->Special Deal

New classes start on May 30th, see you there!

Bro, why do you only train women?


One of the most common questions I get about my boot camp is "Why just women?"

My typical answer involves how my training experience led me to decide that women are the best clients and that was a need in the community for a women only fitness class. That answer does not tell the full story.

My experience in class not too long ago, tells the story a lot better.

I was in class the other day marveling at the amazing women that I'm surrounded by. In just one day I had the opportunity to train women who had lost husbands, children, parents, and everything they own to Katrina.


Women who had been through divorces, rehabs, abusive relationships, and layoffs.


Women who had beat cancer, sickle cell, diabetes, lupus, and numerous other serious diseases.


Single moms, women who take care of aging parents, and women who have taken on the role of mom and dad while their husband is serving overseas.

Women who have served overseas fighting for our country. And women who volunteer tirelessly in our community fighting battles against hunger, child abuse, and so many other worthy causes.


And these are just the women I see in my classes! Every one of these women is still standing tall and staying strong.

Why do I train only women?

Because they are bad asses.


Have a great weekend and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!


The game changing properties of Intention and Belief


Like all riveting stories, this one starts with me trying to open a door. It’s good to hook the reader right away with an exciting premise.

This is a huge, heavy door that does not have a doorknob to turn. All it has is a latch where you could insert a padlock to keep the building secure.

I am pulling on this latch and it is not budging, so I come to the conclusion that this door is locked and won’t be opening without a key.   This is one of the dangers of not getting enough sleep, you come to silly conclusions. After a few minutes of hard thinking I realized it would be awfully hard to lock a door that does not have a knob or deadbolt.

So I gave the latch another pull and the door magically swung open! The big difference this time is that I was pulling with intention and belief. I knew this door could be opened I just needed to try a little harder.

Using intention and belief will serve you well in whatever you do. Self-doubt can cripple you and keep you from being who you want to be in life. “I won’t be able to accomplish this, so I’m not going to give this my full effort”. Does that sound familiar?

It sounds familiar to me because I’ve been there before several times. When I began to do things with 100% belief that I could make it happen, my actions became much more intentional and the results started to happen.

Look at the past few things you have “failed” at. Did you believe you could do it? Did you intentionally go after your goal with the time, effort, and passion it required?

Put this to the test and you can start even small. It could be your goal is to be able to do one pushup from your toes with perfect form. The physical part is important of course, but the crucial portion starts in your head. Whatever your goal is, combine the mental preparation with the physical preparation and the sky is the limit.

Eating Fish and a Fancy Recipe


Most of my life, I avoided fish like the plague. Even though I knew it was good for me and I would benefit from eating fish, I refused to even try it.

I still don't like the taste of fish. Or more accurately, I don't like fishy fish. Are you like that too?

I have found that there are certain types of fish and certain ways you prepare them, that can turn a non-fish eater into a fan so you too can get the health benefits from eating fish. Maybe these will help you like they did for me:

1. Type of fish

Typically the white fish seem to be the less fishy of the fish. I have tried and like: grouper, orange roughy, tilapia, cod, tuna steaks, or flounder. 2. Fresh never frozen

Even the frozen white fish tend to be a little fishier to me. If you have a place you can get fresh fish take advantage of it. 3. Cooking

As a personal preference, I have found that using citrus based marinades and grilling fish make it much less fishy. I also really like blackened fish. There are hundreds of ways to cook and prepare it, so don't be afraid to try new things! Stores also have pre-marinated fish if you are leery about doing it yourself. And if you are using the white fish, they tend to take on the flavor of the marinade rather than the fish itself.

What is your favorite fish?  How do you like to prepare your fish?

If you want to get fancy and eat salmon that is not fishy, you can try this recipe from The Fix Fat Forever Weight Loss System.

Salmon Cakes with Green Onion, Ginger and Garlic Serve over steamed or sautéed cabbage or bok choy, or with stir fried vegetables or rice. Makes 3 servings, 2 cakes each Ingredients:

  • 2 (5 ounce) cans boneless skinless pink salmon

  • 3 green onions, sliced thin

  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ cup whole wheat panko (or breadcrumbs)

  • 1 egg

  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil


  • Combine salmon, green onions, ginger, garlic and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add panko and egg and mix gently to combine. Form into 6 patties.

  • Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium flame. When hot, add salmon patties. Cook without disturbing for 4-5 minutes or until bottom is golden and crisp, then gently flip with a pancake turner. Cook an additional 4-5 minutes on other side.

  Per serving: 165 calories, 6 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 8 g total carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 20 g protein

Please read if you have given up


I have a confession for you, but you have to keep it to yourself. There have been a lot of days lately where I have hated exercise.

It’s hard for me to admit, but I feel better telling somebody. That is weird because I have loved exercising almost my entire life.

Dealing with a couple of significant injuries and having some fatigue issues have really made it not so fun. Can’t lift as heavy, go as hard, or go as far as I used to be able to so what’s the point? It’s very frustrating.

Have you ever felt that way? You get to the point where you want to give up because it is too hard, uncomfortable, inconvenient, or insert your excuse here? If so, it is ok you are not alone.

You can not give up! Stop focusing on what you can’t do and dominate what you can do! Look for the reasons, not the excuses.

And I am not getting on to you, I am talking to myself just as much as anybody else. You may have to slow down, you may have to take a few steps back, and it may not be what it used to be right away but you can still make progress. Keep pressing forward!

If your lower body is injured, summer is right around the corner let’s get those guns ready. If your upper body is injured, that is great news! That means you can have all the squats in the world. And if you are too beat up to exercise, then it is a perfect time to put your energy into cleaning up your eating habits.

Most of all you need to stay positive. Feed yourself positive thoughts, get around positive people, and break the habit of talking negative to yourself.

Let’s keep each other encouraged, build each other up, and keep this train rolling. We have stuff left to do in this life and we are going to need to be at our best to make it happen.

Have a great weekend!

Inspiration from the Barkley Marathons


Last night I started watching a documentary on Netflix about the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee. It is an insanely tough race, that many consider to be the hardest race in the world.

Great documentary to check out next time you are lost in the Netflix searching zone. It even has a guy from Huntsville in it.

I loved the quote I heard from the race director, Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell. He said, “You can’t accomplish anything without the possibility of failure.”

I thought that was so awesome! Looking back on your life, what are your proudest accomplishments? Chances are they came with a high chance of failure. We tend to live safer lives the older we get. We also tend to stop growing as people the older we get.


My next question is this: Have you stopped challenging yourself?

When was the last time you did something that you were completely scared to do, but you did it any way? Whether or not you succeed is not the point, it is the intent to step out there and stretch your limitations.

Here is your homework. Write down one goal you want to accomplish that scares you to death.

One that makes your heart race just thinking about it. Did anything just pop into your head?

This goal can involve fitness, your career, family, relationships, or whatever it is that you are scared to do. When you figure yours out, I would love to know what it is. I'm still trying to come up with my next goal.

I look forward to hearing about your new goal!

The Cardio Fountain of Youth


In a recent study published in Cell Metabolism researchers may have found the key to slowing down the aging process. It is not a pill, potion, or surgical procedure. The key is good old exercise.


In particular the key is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The study reported that the subjects who were in the 65-80 years old group increased their mitochondrial capacity by 69% through HIIT biking. What this fancy talk means is that this type of exercise stopped the aging process at the cellular level.


Pretty cool stuff, but how does that effect you? If you go to our boot camp, you are already doing this type of training! If you are not, I wanted to give you a few tips to add HIIT into your training regimen.


Let’s go ahead and start with the bad news first. HIIT is hard. Always gotta add those disclaimers.


HIIT is simply alternating high intensity exercise with low intensity exercise or short rest breaks. Where you take it from there will vary based on personal preference and your fitness level.


In the study they used biking, but you can do walking, running, swimming, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, weights, bands, and just about any exercise method you can think of. When you are first starting out, I would recommend short bursts of the high intensity part and longer rest breaks or low intensity portions.


A famous (and famously hard to do) training protocol is the Tabata method. This is 20 seconds of all out effort (think running as fast as you can) and resting for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds. It is pretty rough, but if you are pressed for time it is a great option.


That is just one way, but there are tons of ways to work this into your program. Give it a try and have a great weekend!

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