Welcome to the official home of STRONG Gym!

We are unique and radically different from every other fitness club/gym in the area because we focus on STRENGTH as the primary basis of functional health, body recomposition, and athletic and sport performance. We forge strength through basic barbell and bodyweight training that is simple and effective, but grounded in hard, yet rewarding work, impeccable form, and injury prevention.

STRONG Gym - 506 S. Jefferson - Springfield, MO 65806- 417-315-8034- StrongGym@gmail.com


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nutrition Info for Boot Camp Grrrls! by Matt Reynolds


Many of you have been asking about nutrition guidelines, what and how you should eat, etc. Hopefully this email will serve to answer some questions you have. If reading the email brings up some more questions, please email me and I'll put them in a FAQ format and email the answers to the group (because you probably aren't the only one with a particular question). One thing to note, if you eat junk, you WILL still continue to make strength gains and SOME progress at boot camp. But if you give your body amazingly healthy delicious food, you will lose fat, gain muscle (not enough to be bulky girls), and your boot camp performance and strength gains will be amazing! I can help coach how hard you work for 1 hour at the gym three times per week, but if you aren't taking care of what you put into your body the other 23 hours a day, then you'll never get the results you want.

First, what to eat:

Regardless of your body composition and performance goals, (weight loss for some, weight gain for others (mostly the guys), performance for boot camp, sport, strength gains, life, marathons (you crazy T-Mobile people), or just to look better naked, there are some guidelines that will go across all goals for eating "healthy."..

1) Eat high quality, non-processed food. Try to eat high quality meats (especially free range/ grass fed), veggies (especially local and organic), cheeses, milk (organic or raw), nuts, good fats (olive, avocado, coconut), etc. Foods that come packaged, processed, in a box or bag, or even worse, in a drive-through are junk. All of them, without exception. Look at the ingredients in the things you buy. If there are more than 3 or 4 ingredients (and you don't know what ANY of them are, it isn't worth eating. Period.

2) Eat protein at every meal. EVERYONE should be eating a minimum of 4-5 meals with protein per day. Good protein includes chicken (both white and dark), turkey, tuna, fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef (my personal favorite), pork, eggs, whey protein, and to lesser degree cottage cheese and low sugar Greek yogurt. Soy is NOT a good protein girls. Its estrogen laced with roundup (The weed killer) - Seriously, I can't make this up. Look it up. I wouldn't touch soy/tofu ANYTHING with a ten foot pole, and you shouldn't either.

How much protein should you eat? A good rule of thumb is a portion about the size of your fist, but more is fine - just not less.

3) Stop eating/ drinking sugar! Period. Sugar is toxic to everyone is the single greatest cause of heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes in our country. Sugar doesn't mean just table sugar, but ALL sugar in your diet, the most prevalent of which is most likely high fructose corn syrup. However, all processed carbohydrates break down to essentially sugar in your body and cause an enormous insulin response, so things like breads, pastas, cereal, pop tarts, crackers, cookies, donuts, candy, soda/sweet tea/Gatorade/koolade/fruit juice are all LOADED with sugar. Stay away from them at all cost (with the exception of your cheat meal per week). With the exception of a little milk for some of you (whole milk - skim milk is horrible - ask later - the fat in milk is good), ALL of your drinks should be calorie free. (Coffee and tea are perfectly fine and can be drunk with a little cream or half and half and some calorie-free sweetener if needed. Don't use coffee mate - that's estrogen laced vegetable solids. Why would you drink this over cream anyway? It’s disgusting.) :-)

4) Stop being scared of fat. Fat doesn't make you fat. Period. Sugar makes you fat. Now, there are some pretty crappy types of fat (trans-fat) out there that are loaded with free radicals and other junk that you don't want. These are things like vegetable oil (not trans-fat at room temp, but turns into trans-fat when heated), Crisco (does anyone use this anymore?), margarine and all fake butter, and corn/canola oil. (Ever wondered why you can't press corn and get oil, yet we have corn oil? It’s because it has to be chemically extracted and is junk.) Healthy fats, again, are things like animal fat, olive oil, real butter (surprise! It’s fine to eat!), avocados, coconut oil. Fish oil (the best oil ever), flax seed oil, hemp oil, and nuts and nut butter (just get the natural or organic kind, not the regular Jiff or Peter Pan). Trust me on this, fat won't make you fat.

5) Eat the vast majority of your carbs around training (unless you are trying to gain weight, guys, and then eat them at every meal). You need carbohydrates in the three hour window around your training (especially weights/ boot camp training) because anaerobic training utilizes carbs as energy is a process known as glycolysis, where your body converts glycogen (carbs in the muscle and liver) into energy. After training more carbs are needed to refill carb (glycogen) storage in the muscle, which means it will NOT store them as fat (just don't go eat a dozen KrispyKremes as your post workout carbs - lol).

Great sources of carbs would include fruit, oatmeal w/o sugar (use stevia/Truvia instead), sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and brown rice. These are things that can be eaten in the three hour window around training (90 min before training to 90 min after training), but if you are trying to LOSE fat, then they really should not be eaten at other times during the day or night.

So putting it all together....

1) Eat high quality whole foods, not processed junk.

2) Eat protein at every meal.

3) Stop eating any and all sugar.

4) Drink lots and lots of no calorie drinks (mostly water)

5) Don't be scared of fat!

6) If trying to lose fat, eat daily carbs in the 3 hour window around boot camp.) - Non boot camp days, keep carbs to a minimum.

7) Always eat something before boot camp.

8) Always eat protein and carbs immediately after boot camp.

9) Once per week have a cheat meal and eat literally anything you want for that one meal: carbs, beer, whatever. But make sure you eat it all at one sitting. This meal is best if it’s after training (or for those of you running half marathons every weekend) eat your cheat meal Friday night before your big race on Saturday morning.

10) Don't skip meals. Skipping meals (or eating meals with no protein) shuts your metabolism down and eats your muscle for food. This is the worst possible thing you could ever do. Under-eating NEVER leads to a healthy or attractive body. It leads to a body who's metabolism has shut down, stores fat every chance it gets because its being starved, and ends with a body with to muscle tone (and often an early grave). Don't do this to yourself.

For those trying to gain weight:

11) Eat high quality carbs (see number 5) throughout day with your protein, AND add an additional 1/2-1 whole gallon of whole milk every single day.

It’s really that simple. If you think about it, it’s not that hard. And if you crave some junk, just hold off till your cheat meal, and then go crazy. :-)

If you want to read/watch more: here are some good links:

The best diet book ever written (I've sadly read them all because I'm a loser.) :-) is called "Why We Get Fat" by Dr Gary Taubes. http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Get-Fat-About/dp/0307474259/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339728959&sr=8-1&keywords=why+we+get+fat

Absolutely fantastic food documentaries (there are more, but don't want to bore you - if you want more, just ask):

"Food Inc.": On Netflix instant stream, or can rent vary cheap from YouTube or amazon.

"Fat Head": Also on Netflix or Hulu here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/196879

Hope that answers some questions! I'm always happy to ask ANY question you have regarding training or nutrition. There is an important reason we do everything we do. If you are interested WHY we do things, just ask. I'm more than happy to educate my trainees all they want - I just don't go to go overboard and give you more information than you want.

Your over-zealous trainer,


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Make sure to "Like Us" on Facebook!

If haven't done so yet, make sure to "like us" on Facebook. We post virtually all our videos and tons of updated info nearly daily on STRONG Gym and our STRONG Gym members.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

STRONG Gym Boot-camp for $35 on KY3 Deal of the Week!!

$149 Bootcamp at STRONG Gym for $35!!

STRONG Gym hosting a Starting Strength Training Camp: The Squat June 30!!!


Starting Strength Training Camp Registration and More Information

Starting Strength Training Camp: The Squat

Host: Matt Reynolds

Date & Location:
Saturday June 30, 2012
733 N West Bypass
Springfield, MO 65803

Spend the day learning the theory and practice of the low bar back squat with Starting Strength Coach and Staff Member Matt Reynolds. The session will begin with a lecture focused on the basics of the movement and will include a discussion of the anatomy and forces at work in the lift. We will then move into a practical session with plenty of time under the bar for all the participants. Participants will have an opportunity to put into practice the concepts addressed in the lecture while receiving coaching through their warm up and work sets. Through the entire process, attendees will learn the hallmarks of a properly executed movement and how it should look and feel when it is performed correctly. After the practical session, we will return for a discussion of programming and how to identify and correct common technical problems. The camp will wrap up with a question and answer session. Whether you are just starting out with strength training, struggling with the basics of the lift, or looking to polish your technique and understanding of these movements, you will come away with valuable insights and experience to benefit your training. Attendance will be capped at eight to allow for individualized instruction.

Proper weightlifting shoes are highly recommended and if participants have weightlifting belts, they are encouraged to bring them.

Matt Reynolds has 15 years of experience competing in the sports of powerlifting and strongman and coaching barbell-based strength and appropriate conditioning. He first totaled “elite” in powerlifting in 2004, and has best lifts of 600 squat, 455 bench press, and a 705 deadlift (all raw), in powerlifting meets. He won his professional status in the sport of Strongman in 2006, and currently owns one of the strongest gyms in the country, STRONG Gym, where 43 of his members have deadlifted over 500lbs. He received his B.S. in Education from Missouri State University in 2005, and his Masters in Education Administration from William Woods University in 2009. Since 2005 he has served as strength coach for a 5A (1600 student) high school in Southwest Missouri. He also serves as a staff member and coach for Starting Strength Seminars.