Shoulder, Neck and Trap Pain - The Problem and Potential Solutions

Shoulder, neck and trap pain is such a common issue, and I believe a lot of it has to do with our day to day posture. Spend enough time doing anything and you’ll get good at it. Sadly, based on our day to day activities and objects we interact with (phone, desk, driving, couch, etc) it’s really easy to become exceptional at poor posture and it creates a whole mess of issues with the shoulders, neck and traps, especially when you’re actively performing pulling and pressing movements with any type of load.

My goal here is to simplify a somewhat complicated topic to bring you some body awareness and give you the ability to start applying these principles and doing the work on yourself. Implementing simple day to day habits you can build upon will make a big difference over time.

I’ll use this blog post as a home for any shoulder, neck or trap related topics. This will be an evolving topic and as I get more time I can create more information on the topic. Please be constructive in the comments, if you have other ideas, suggested improvements or additional problems you would like information on, add a comment and I’ll either update the current set of videos or add new ones!

Hope this helps!

Coach

Game Time Strength (GTS) is El Segundo’s Top Rated Personal Training and Group Training Facility (Yelp Reviews | Google Reviews). GTS offers a comprehensive training and nutrition coaching program designed to optimize movement, live lean and lift strong.  The GTS Coaching System promotes proven, sustainable training and nutrition programs and habits that help our athletes lose fat, build muscle, reduce injury, improve energy and get strong!

Interested moving better, building a sustainable training and nutrition routine, and getting strong? Schedule a free call and learn more about our risk free trial.  

Introduction to your Dashboard

Hey GTS Athletes!

Adam and I have been making a few changes in how we are delivering programming. For those of you that access your training on your own, I just wanted to provide you with a quick overview of some of the changes that you might see and provide some insight as to why we are doing it.

This new modular dashboard structure should make things a little bit easier for you to view and access your program, as well as provide more flexibility and variety in your programming based on your time and how you’re feeling that particular day.

Let’s sync up if you have questions or comments!

Coach

Game Time Strength (GTS) is El Segundo’s Top Rated Personal Training and Group Training Facility (Yelp Reviews | Google Reviews). GTS offers a comprehensive training and nutrition coaching program designed to optimize movement, live lean and lift strong.  The GTS Coaching System promotes proven, sustainable training and nutrition programs and habits that help our athletes lose fat, build muscle, reduce injury, improve energy and get strong!

Interested moving better, building a sustainable training and nutrition routine, and getting strong? Schedule a free call and learn more about our risk free trial.  

The Real Reason You Aren't Losing Fat!

We are awful at measuring portion sizes. 

While the thought of measuring, weighing and tracking your food for life can seem daunting, we highly encourage everyone to do either a 1 day or 1 week experiment where you weigh and measure everything you eat and add it into an app like MyFitnessPal. 

We guarantee you'll be shocked at how off your estimates are! 

The real reason you aren't losing fat.png

Game Time Strength (GTS) is a premier El Segundo and Los Angeles based coaching program that offers the best expert coaching, group training, personal training, program design.  GTS is focused primary on moving well, feeling good, boosting energy, losing fat, gaining lean muscle, and getting strong so you're always prepared for Game Time! Find out more about our free consultation or 1 week risk free trial today!

LAST CHANCE! GTS Total Health Challenge Starts Monday 1/22

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GTS Total Health Challenge

SIGN UP NOW --> Starts Monday 1/22!!!!!

This is a point based challenge. THE GOAL IS NOT TO BE PERFECT. You should aim to build healthy training, nutrition, and mindset habits and focus on improving or staying consistent with your score each week. See the scoring sheet below for how we tally the points each week... 

 GTS Total Health Challenge Scoring Sheet

GTS Total Health Challenge Scoring Sheet

We have thorough documentation on what to do, a private Facebook group for tips and motivation. 

Training wise if you're a GTS Athlete you'll be following your current training plan. If you can't follow it for a specific day or two, let's discus alternate acceptable workouts.  If you're not a GTS Athlete, you'll be responsible for your own training but we recommend some type of resistance / weight based training to be the bulk of your training... but if you need to supplement you can also do a higher intensity interval based workout, or a longer 45+ minute lower intensity training (walking, biking, hiking, etc).  

There will be prizes as well, but let's use it as a way to get you back on track with your training, clean up the diet a bit, and take steps toward a healthier lifestyle. I highly recommend it! We had a lot of great results last time around!

Link to the scoring sheet.

Link to Sign up (Choose Challenge Ninja!)

MyFitnessPal - Tracking body weight & progress pics

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GTS Before After Re-comp July - Jan.JPG

MyFitnessPal - Tracking body weight & progress pics


I highly recommend taking progress photos (in this case bathroom selfies) whenever you weigh in. MyFitnessPal makes it super easy to input both. If you aren’t using that app yet to log your progress, get on it! 

You don’t have to show your progress pics to anyone, but I highly recommend looking back at your progress (or lack of progress) as a way to get you motivated and building better habits.
 
Instead of spending so much of the day comparing ourselves to others, gauge and compare your progress to the old you!

Back story behind these pics...

From May 2017 - Oct 2017 I did a slow cut where I dropped about 14lbs of fat (212 -198). Unfortunately I wasn’t smart enough to take a picture at my starting weight. I started mid way through the cut. 

Its hard taking pics of your starting point. But get over it, you’ll thank yourself 3,6,12 months from now.

From Oct 2017 - Jan 2018 I reverse dieted (added calories slowly), implementing "Drago", our higher volume training cycle that most of you are currently on. The November picture was post Total Health Challenge.

Got a little off the eating routine over the holidays, but after checking in on my progress pics, the extra calories still seem to be going to the right places. From Oct 2017 - Jan 2018 I went from 198-209. Chest hair gains were a nice byproduct...

Keep it easy on yourself and take your progress pics in the same spot every day and don’t worry about it being perfect. Its just for you.

Let’s get signed up for the Total Health Challenge soon and build some healthy habits for the year!

April 2018 Powerlifting Competition & Testing Schedule

Below is our next planned GTS Team Powerlifting Competition.

Enroll ASAP as there's a 50 lifter cap! It's a short 1 day meet so we can all compete together! 

The Challenge Powerlifting Championship, Woodland Hills, California

When: Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
Start time: 10am
Where: Woodland Hills Athletic Club, 20971 Burbank Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91367, USA (map)
Entry form link

Limited to 50 lifters!

Please keep in mind the registration is only for the meet.  You will still need to be a member of the USPA.  Memberships will NOT be sold at the meet.  Purchase your annual membership at http://uspa.net/membership.html

Meet Director: Lord Elliott
Phone: 661-301-9981
Email: lord@uspa.net

Events: Full Power, bench only, deadlift only, Push-Pull
Category: Raw, Classic Raw, Single Ply, Multi Ply

Early weigh-in & Equipment Check: Friday from 10-11:30am and 5-630pm
No weigh-ins will be available on Saturday April 21, 2018
Rules briefing: 9am Saturday
Lifting starts: 10am Saturday

Lifter Classifications for Nationals/Worlds

2018 Drug Tested National Powerlifting, Benchpress, Deadlift Championship Qualifier with a Class 2 total. June 23-24, 2018 in Charleston, West Virginia 

2018 National Powerlifting, Benchpress, Deadlift Championships with a Master total. 
July 12-15, 2018 in Las Vegas. 

2018 Drug Tested IPL World Powerlifting, Benchpress, Deadlift Championship Qualifier with a Class 1 total, Nov 8-11, 2018. Las Vegas, Nevada

2018 IPL World Powerlifting, Benchpress, Deadlift Championship Qualifier with a Master total. Dec 6-9, 2018 in Moscow, Russia

USPA Men's Classification chart link  

USPA Women's Classification chart link  

Training Style Overview - Blend Movement, Powerlifting, Strength, Muscle - Game Time Strength (GTS) | Barbell Gym | El Segundo | Los Angeles |

Training Style Overview - Blend Movement, Powerlifting, Strength, Muscle
Game Time Strength (GTS) | Barbell Training & Coaching | El Segundo | Los Angeles |  

Video Transcript...
Been having a lot of discussions with people interested in our program lately. So for those of you interested in our program or currently in our program and want to understand more of the background, I figured I’d make a few videos discussing a bit more about our Training System… 

First, our program is rooted in the big powerlifting movements like squat, bench, deadlift...
We also layer in some bodybuilding style movements and programming because while its awesome to be strong, we’d also like to look strong.

So while powerlifting only addresses 3 big lifts (squat, bench, deadlift)… Our program aims add a little more balance to your training. So we teach a few more exercises and program in multiple squatting, lunging, deadlifting, pressing and rowing patterns. 

To get strong, you need to create a situation where you can progressively overload… so for example add more weight, more reps, more sets, reduced rest, etc… 

To make sure we are always progressing, we track everything meticulously, and teach you to track everything!

We use tools like barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells mainly because it’s easy to objectively measure improvement… and it’s stuff you can access pretty much anywhere. We don’t want you to be dependent on a particular machine, environment, classes, or a trainer... 

If we do our jobs right you should be able to do your training program from anywhere you can access barbells and dumbbells.

While our program is rooted in powerlifting movements, our goal is NOT necessarily to make you into a powerlifter. We want to get you strong but don’t want to add weight on the bar for the sake of adding weight on the bar. 

Our goal is to build quality movement patterns and set some form standards first. Then strengthen those movement patterns over time.  

This is for 2 reasons...
1. To minimize the risk of injury and prevent any gaps of time in your training
2. Its way easier to get stronger when you aren’t wasting energy in ugly, inefficient patterns.
I loved this analogy from Gray Cook… “Adding load to a movement pattern is like clicking the save button on a document.” It’s entirely possible to get really strong in poor movement patterns.  We’ve all seen the guy whose spine looks like its going to snap in half but “Hey, he’s strong right?!?!”.

So form first, then add load. If the load creates a situation where the form gets compromised, your coaching staff is here to keep you in check and adjust the program or the technique accordingly.

From an efficiency standpoint, it’s really easy to get strong if you’re throwing down a ton of calories… Mass moves mass. Adding body weight to your frame or getting fatter can improve strength. But our goal is to be strong relative to our body weight, so we encourage you to stay relatively lean. There might be periods of time where you’re slowly putting on muscle and we can set a tolerance level on fat gain... and other times where you’re slowly trimming off the fat while maintaining your strength.

So long story short, when you’re consistently training, working in efficient movement patterns and you progressively overload those patterns… magically you’ll get strong! At which point you’ll have the option of competing or testing your strength in a powerlifting competition. 

If you made it this far, thanks for watching/reading. In future videos I plan to talk some more about some of the nuances of our programming strategies, nutrition, exercise selection, etc. 
If this was helpful, let me know in the comments. This year I’m hoping to create more useful material for you!

See you in the gym!

- Coach J