Archive for education events

Connecting Across the Miles Through Education

by Meaghan posted January 4, 2017

Anyone who knows the Focus brand knows that trainer education is at the core of what we do. We run a state-licensed vocational school (Focus Personal Training Institute) in NYC and we often hire the top students who come through our doors to work for Focus – including recent addition, Eri Miyasaka:


That’s Eri with Chip Conrad at his facility, BodyTribe Fitness, in the San Francisco area, where Eri moved after graduating from FPTI. She met Chip when he and the Mental Meatheads came all the way to FocusNYC in September for a fantastic two-day workshop. (More about that HERE.) We always say it’s a small world in this field and this is why!

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What’s Next?

by Meaghan posted December 21, 2016

First, happy holidays! Hope all of our family, friends, alumni and community are enjoying the festivities of the season.

As we wrap up another year and embrace a time for reflection, it only seems fitting to take a look back at some of our highlights of 2016, and a look ahead at what’s to come in the New Year.


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Focus Goes West!

by Meaghan posted November 22, 2016

You read right: The Focus brand has made its way to the west coast! We now have trainers in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, and recently held our first continuing education workshop for the California crew at Horn Strength and Conditioning.


Under the supervision of Focus Personal Training Manager, Ryan Heffernan, FocusLA trainers Emmy and Josh (pictured above) had a refresher on the Starting Strength method of training, which is widely used by many of the Focus staff – including Ryan as well as our Starting Strength coaches: Brent Carter, Ryan Peller and Pete Troupos.

In fact, the FocusNYC team recently won their THIRD Starting Strength meet in a row!


Congrats, team!

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Thanks to Dr. Jones and the AAHFRP!

by Meaghan posted November 17, 2016

Thanks to Dr. Mike Jones for another great MES workshop at FocusNYC last weekend!


Here at Focus, we require our trainers to obtain the AAHFRP Medical Exercise Specialist certification within their first year of employment, and we host Dr. Jones for the onsite workshop twice per year at our facility in Chelsea.

The MES program, onsite workshop and ongoing support from Dr. Jones and the AAHFRP have all been enormously helpful for our trainers’ success with post-rehab clients – including those with total hip and knee replacements, back and shoulder pain, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The personal attention, answers to questions and feedback you receive throughout the program are truly unrivaled, and having both the knowledge and progressive, detailed yet flexible protocols based on Dr. Jones’ years of successful experience as a practicing physical therapist really allows our personal trainers to better manage medical conditions while helping clients safely attain their larger fitness goals.

The MES program has a long-standing track record of success in the field and has become the gold standard for bridging the gap between fitness and rehab. Some our own trainers have even gone on to pursue physical therapy themselves – including Chris Kelly and Ryan Chow (pictured above).

Thank you Dr. Jones and the AAHFRP for your hard work and efforts over the years, and for making the Medical Exercise Program available to personal trainers!


Polar Heart Rate Training

by Meaghan posted October 17, 2016

Last Friday, the FocusNYC staff had the honor of hosting Dave DiFabio, National Account Manager for PolarUSA, for an informative and hands-on workshop.


A long-time strength coach and educator (and esteemed member of our FPTI Advisory Board), Dave first provided some great background information about the benefits of tracking heart rate in athletes – not only to assess performance, but also to get a better idea of their recovery status.

A major takeaway was that ALL stress is reflected in the body’s heart rate response, and that stress can be caused by a number of different things – including:

  • Fitness level
  • Training
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep status
  • Environment
  • Breathing patterns
  • Work/life events

And while this makes heart rate subject to variability, as we know, it also makes it a good indicator of how well an athlete is likely to handle and recover from the stress of exercise. Polar has now taken this concept a few steps further and created a formula to track total stress via heart rate with what they call “Training Load.”

By assigning a point value to each of three heart rate zones (High, Medium and Low) and then tracking the amount of time spent in each zone during practices, games, training sessions, etc., we can quantify total training stress a lot better than traditional means – like time, sets, reps, weight, etc. – that don’t really reflect true physiology. And when tracked and measured against a baseline, over time, we can then determine the approximate number of training load points we can sustain before problems like injuries and performance decreases start to arise. Pretty useful, I think! Especially when the stakes are high.

Dave also brought sensors that tracked acceleration and deceleration during various movements, which added another major benefit: We could actually see how efficient we were and how hard we were truly working rather than just how hard we felt like we were working during different strength and power-based exercises. Can’t get away with being lazy anymore!


We also used the workout opportunity to test out a potential new format for our PT6 class – and it worked pretty well (hint, hint)!

We had a little time left over to discuss the always controversial topic of heart rate variability as well. Long story short, variability in heart rate (time between R intervals) is actually a good thing; it shows that our hearts are able to respond efficiently to various demands. We actually see LESS variability in people with heart disease. And when used in conjunction with other measures (like overall training load), it may be a good way to assess recovery status. Less variability and a high training load together makes it pretty likely that we’re pushing the boarders of overtraining and could use more recovery.

Even I think Polar has found a very beneficial use for technological advances; this system can greatly help coaches and athletes alike optimize both performance and recovery. Many collegiate and professional sports teams are using it, and even some group fitness classes have jumped on the bandwagon.

But this is one up-and-coming trend that’s more than just trendy; there’s a lot of value to the metrics when used the right way, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the data collected using Polar’s technology gets implemented in the future!

Dan John and Chip Conrad Take on NYC!

by Meaghan posted September 27, 2016

This past weekend, FPTI had the honor of hosting the Mental Meatheads and learning from industry legends Dan John and Chip Conrad.


Dan and Chip shared their many years of knowledge and practice with us in a manner that was both enjoyable and immediately applicable. Some highlights from Dan’s talk on Saturday include the importance of “shark habits” (i.e., simple, bite-sized principles that take the problem of too many choices off the table) and “pirate maps” to navigate training and promote on-going change; strategies for longevity (e.g., walking, fasting, coffee and wine); and, of course, programming musts: Push, pull, hinge, squat, get-up and loaded carries.


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First FPTI Career Fair Was a Hit!

by Meaghan posted November 24, 2014

We held our very first Career Fair for students last Wednesday afternoon and it was a huge success!

Full house at Focus!


After several weeks of gaining knowledge, technical skills AND professionalism (via help with writing resumes and cover letters, interview prep, etc.), FPTI’s Master Course and Theory and Application students seeking jobs and internships got all dressed up to network with recruiters from New York City’s top gyms. They were especially excited to see FPTI alumni there now representing fitness management!

FPTI alum Marvin is now a Fitness Manager at Crunch!

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Anthony Renna Comes to Focus!

by Meaghan posted July 29, 2014

Last Friday, Anthony Renna came down to present to the Focus staff and FPTI students on how he trains his golfers.

Most of you probably know Anthony as the voice of the Strength Coach Podcast, but he’s also a very knowledgeable and experienced trainer himself, as well as a really personable guy.

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It’s OK to HIRT

by Meaghan posted October 5, 2013

“Metabolic resistance training” – or what Italian researchers and authors of a new study call “High-Intensity Interval Resistance Training” (HIRT) – is all the rage these days. And when compared against traditional resistance training, it’s easy to see why. We experience a much greater rise in EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption, or “afterburn”) following high-intensity work.

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Thank You Dr. Jones!

by Meaghan posted February 12, 2013

Wanted to send a big THANK YOU out to Dr. Michael Jones of AAHFRP for flying to NYC this past weekend to conduct the first Medical Exercise Specialist Workshop at FocusNYC!


Fortunately, Nemo the Nor’easter didn’t hit New York as badly as was predicted and Dr. Jones made it in safely from Texas.

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