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Getting Started

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

"Where do I begin with exercise to improve my health and achieve my goals? Behavioral change is important, almost everything we want folks to be doing for themselves requires them to change their behavior. Unfortunately, only telling or educating one regarding things they should be doing doesn't work often, if at all. If it were, quitting smoking, eating less (or more), exercise more, etc. wouldn't prove so difficult.

The mission here is to promote health and increased quality of life using an evidence based approach by bringing the best of coaching together with strength, conditioning, and nutrition.

Currently, making very specific recommendations (nutrition or exercise) to one coming back to training after an extended layoff is likely not appropriate as we wouldn’t with a high level of confidence know if the recommendations were appropriate until after some interventions have already been evaluated. ⁣

Yet, recommendations would revolve around strategies to increase one’s adherence.⁣

Of note -⁣

- Until proven otherwise I wouldn’t expect a 40-year-old to make less gains (with respect to strength and the like) then an 18-year-old. ⁣

- it’s suggested to track body weight and other measurements to gather data e.g. waist circumference, caloric intake

- it’s suggested to consume above minimum protein requirements set by ISSN and to meet fiber requirements, daily. More here

- I’d temp one to practice self-efficacy. Brain storm strategies to adhere to a training program 3x/wk, and logging dietary patterns.

"Research about the effects of exercise and physical activity on health began in the 1950s with cardiovascular disease. The positive effects of exercise has been verified in a variety of additional research areas including cancer, cerebrovascular disease, mental illness, and musculoskeletal disorders. Therefore, exercise and physical activity are an important topic in clinical practice, and ever increasing in the modern age where lifestyle-relate and chronic diseases have become more important than infectious and acute diseases" (Yang 2019).

The current 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend the following:  

• 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity,  


• 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, 


• Resistance training of moderate or greater intensity involving all major muscle  groups on 2 or more days per week. 

Moderate physical intensity refers to the exercise intensity corresponding to 3 to 5.9 metabolic equivalents (METs), while high intensity refers to 6 METs and more. One MET is an oxygen uptake of 3.5 mL/kg/min when an adult is resting and corresponds to an energy consumption of 1 kcal/kg per hour. Moderate (3 to 5.9 METs) and high intensity (over 6 METs) physical activities are broad, but the high intensity is roughly double the intensity of moderate intensity. The 2017 National Health Interview Survey data show that while ​53.1%​ of adults  age 18 and over met aerobic physical activity guidelines, only​ 23.5%​ met the guidelines for both​ aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. There are a number of complex  biological, psychological, and social factors that influence individuals’ likelihood of  participation in, and adherence to, resistance-based exercise (Rhodes 2017).  

Because educating, "informing", or the like are often ineffective, instead, I use motivational interviewing with aims to empower folks to make the desired changes themselves. To elaborate, using various communication strategies with the person, we can entertain their own ideas, temp them to brain storm, and motivation to achieve said goals. Additionally, explore what may be holding them back.

These skills often do take time to develop as you may expect. I have found building these skills in fact do result in making a big impact in the lives of folks I work with. For change to happen, it's likely important that one wants to do it and we the "coach" should be able to steer them "there". Often these steps are used - 1) Engage - obj is to develop a relationship and rapport and, 2) Focus - Guide the conversation to a target with respect to behavior change and, 3) Evoke/Elicit and, 4) Plan - create a plan that's shared with the person to target the behavioral change(s).

The importance of waist circumference in determining who is a good candidate for weight gain and who could stand to lose a bit of weight.

Waist circumference is a quick, low-cost piece of data with a plethora of scientific evidence relating the distance around your abdomen with health outcomes e.g. premature death, diabetes, heart disease, stroke risk, etc. Though the aforementioned disease processes have many variables contributing to their development and burden, there are large, well-designed studies showing that males and females that have a waist circumferences greater than 40 or 37 inches, respectively, have much higher risks of disease than those who do not. What's this telling us? If it is greater than 40 or 37″ for a male or female, respectively, the recommendation is to immediately lose weight via calorie restriction and training modifications (if needed). More from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The National Heallth and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) here and here. The predictive value of WC is generally independent of, and stronger than, BMI (body mass index) and is evident at BMI <25 kg/m2. WC is correlated with mortality more positively and linearly than BMI and is a stronger independent predictor of mortality at all levels of BMI.

Specifically Strength is aimed at three groups of folks.

1. Individuals who are​ new to exercise and/or resistance training​ (less than 3-6 

6 months of experience in a formal training program). 


2. Individuals​ returning from an extended layoff​ (more than 4 weeks) from  resistance training. Life happens and one missed session sometimes turns into a  longer break from the gym. This program is a great on-ramp for those who have  been out of the gym for a while.  


3. Individuals ​returning from an injury​. If a trainee has been unable to train  normally for a substantial period of time (more than 4-6 weeks), they are also a candidate for this program.   

Program Structure - Each week of training includes: 

1. ​Three days of strength training​ involving three exercises per day that  collectively train the entire body. These workouts are ideally performed on  non-consecutive days (e.g. M/W/F or T/Th/Sa), but if you have to schedule training  days back-to-back, that’s okay – and certainly better than not training at all! 


2. ​One or two days of conditioning​ to gradually introduce the trainee to aerobic  and anaerobic conditioning elements over time. This serves to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and work capacity for physical development and health outcomes. This program is the first of three phases. The first phase of training  begins with the least exercise variation, moderate training intensity, and low training volume that builds over the course of the first four weeks as the individual  adapts to the workload.


The goals of the first phase are to begin developing:

1) technical proficiency with the selected exercises and, 

2) proficiency Rating difficulty level across a variety of repetition ranges (RPE) and,

3) work & recovery capacity to improve tolerance for training. 

Each subsequent phase builds upon the last, with the later phases introducing  changes in intensity, rep ranges, training volume, exercise selection, and accessory  work. These are designed to produce continued progress in the early phases of a  new trainees journey, while equipping them with the skills and self-efficacy needed  for a successful, long-term fitness journey.

Alternatively, you can email me if you have identified a particular interest like losing weight fast, building muscle, or sport specific training etc. - or you may pursue a different training approach entirely.

So if you choose to pursue one of my training protocols, I'm confident you'll enjoy it.

Happy Training, Frankie

Resources: For individual inquires please email -


Moran, LJ, PM The satiating effect of dietary protein is unrelated to postprandial ghrelin secretion J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005; 90: 5205 - 11

Holt SH, Miller JC, Petocz P, Farmakalidis. “A satiety index of common foods.” Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 Sep;49(9):675-90.

Astrup A. Effect of normal-fat diets, either medium or high in protein, on body weight in overweight subjects: a randomised 1-year trial Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2004; 28: 283 – 90.

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2004; 1(1): 45–51.

Josse A, Atkinson S, Tarnopolsky M, Phillips S. Increased consumption of dairy foods and protein during diet- and exercise-induced weight loss promotes fat mass loss and lean mass gain in overweight and obese premenopausal women. J Nutr2011;141(9):1626–34.

Wycherley T, Moran L, Clifton P, Noakes M, Brinkworth G. Effects of energy-restricted high-protein, low-fat compared with standard-protein, low fat diets: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96(6):1281–98.

Rhodes et al. Factors associated with participation in resistance training: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Oct;51(20):1466-1472.

Grossman SP. 1986. The role of glucose, insulin and glucagon in the regulation of food intake and body weight. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 10:295–315.


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