Aug
9
2011

STUDIO AUDITING POLICY and ORIENTATIONS

23 comments written by Joshua Trentine

Over the years we have had many requests for people to visit our studios and learn and experience our unique business and training systems.

Well, recently I received such a request from Laszlo Komaromy from Sweden.

I figured if Laszlo was going to travel all the way from Sweden, I would gladly accommodate him.

After his recent 5 day stay with us at OVERLOAD Fitness below is the letter I received regarding his experience unedited.

Al Coleman, Laszlo Komaromy & Myself

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Hi folks!

Would like to tell you about my trip/ an amateur’s view, to Josh Trentine and to OVERLOAD Fitness.

Short background:

Male. Three children. Live in Sweden. Clean & Jerk 300 pounds, at age 17, 1965. (From which I’ve had a lifelong, more or less, trouble with lower back, hip and neck.) Anyone remember what Josh said about heavy squats?

County weight and hammer throw champion in Smaland 2010 and 2011 for my age group.

Met Arthur Jones 1981 in Ocala. Was trained by Ellington Darden once. Still have nice/lasting memories from that day!

ITF cho dan -73. Hon. 6 dan. Spearfisher, and “blitz” chess player on Chessbase.com. Dentist.

I’ve made my best muscular gains/progress in the last years, by doing Brian Johnstons J-reps, (thirds), on conv. Nautilus machines. A big thanks goes to BDJ!

Great fan of Doug McGuff!

Aims with my training:  good health, “age-fighting”, hypertrophy, better posture, stronger back!

After reading this Renaissance thread back and forth, several times, I was so impressed by Josh’s answers, logic, that I just simply had to see him! So I invited myself, and was cordially welcomed! He really went out of his way, changing business appointments to help and train me. Round trip was: 10 hours of car driving, 17 hours by plane, waiting, changing of airplanes and more waiting. All in all some 50 hours of traveling.

Cost: airplane ticket more than 10.000 Sw. crowns. Hotel Clarion, Ohio:  $790 dollars a week.

Was it worth it? You bet!!

Did I learn something? You bet!!

Body weight on arrival: 211, by the end of the week 220 pounds.

“Progress” LP 240/15 Monday, 340/6 Friday.

Laszlo With The Linear Spine Flexion

Another favorite was the back extension. I had lots of questions/views, some probably on the same stupid level as some people online. Take that back. That’s impossible! I got tons of answers and advices. Managed to twist my hip somewhat, and who corrected it? Josh! Knows a heck of a lot about training/ muscles, being a Master instructor!

Do you think I am impressed by Josh, after meeting him? You bet!

His visions of new equipment, ISO certifying, being a gentleman, focused, strong, polite, owner of several studios with very, very good instructors, diversified etc. Who wouldn’t be? Many of you should try to achieve one tenth of his combined capacity before trying to question his knowledge. A free tip from me.

After one of the workouts Josh took us (including Al Coleman) to his home for lunch, in his new black BMW 528. On the menu was: raw meat, second choice was raw meat. Third choice was.. you guessed it. So I had: raw meat, with raw butter and honey and salmon.Very good, though I had tried that at home, before! (Everything tastes far too salty, after eating like that.) I wasn’t the one who cheated. Will I continue eating raw? You bet!

By the way, I wasn’t  nearly as impressed by his half a million dollar house, complete with a swimming pool, as with the fact, that his “cluttered” garage had more, better/advanced “discarded” equipment than the whole commercial gym in the city of Oskarshamn in Sweden!

Brought with me a 3 month supply of Nanogreens10.

Myself, Laszlo & Al

I am always surprised by the few fools here, first asking Josh for help on a a lot of things, then in the next sentence “stab him in the back”. Strange/funny behavior! It takes the patience of an angel to continue answering questions, after such behavior. Also, I am somewhat surprised that all you people in his geographic vicinity, living perhaps within a few hours of drivings distance, don’t take your chance /opportunity to visit him, and be trained by him. You don’t know what you are missing. Your problem!

Was everything perfect? No, of course not.  Had trouble finding a hotel. I would have liked, to have more time, to try out all of his fantastic machines. I had a “half”/partial headache the whole week, somewhat relieved by a massive nose bleeding one night. My CPAP, (sleep apnea) didn’t work because of the different current in US compared to Europe, 120V contra 220V, and somehow blew two reverse transformers so I gave it up! Slept worse than normal, which is bad anyway. Also, can’t figure out why I seem to get more of an irregular heart beating after any HIT training.

Without wishing to be or sound unfriendly, I have no inclination of answering a lot of questions, should there be any, have other things to do. Urge you to visit Josh though, preferably with an open mind and desire to learn and find things out for yourself and your needs!  Anyone and everybody!! Bye”

Greetings to you all from Sweden, Laszlo Komaromy

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At Overload Fitness our passion is helping people reach their physical conditioning goals. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of service.

In keeping with this, we acknowledge that starting a Renaissance Exercise fitness or rehabilitation program requires a somewhat tedious and time consuming introductory phase of learning, education, and praxis. The detailed induction process that we use to advance our clients serves to ensure a smooth transition into progressively more elaborate and intense exercise. Grading this process over the course of many moderate-level sessions permits the new subject to build confidence, develop skill, and learn the protocol’s language and terminology, which ultimately allows for more effective and efficient communication with the instructor.

Occasionally, we receive requests from aficionados of HIT (High-Intensity Training) who wish to experience the Renaissance Exercise protocol by a visiting our studios and trying our equipment with the hopes of applying some of our principles to their personal fitness programs.

While we encourage and support the efforts of all people who wish to partake in proper exercise, we wish to remind everyone that our system of exercise is connected to three indivisible components (environment, equipment, and protocol). Even with months or years of training, it is highly inadvisable for any client to try Renaissance Exercise on his/her own.  We maintain that the only proper way to experience what we do, is to work through the proper channels the standard program in an official studio, with a qualified instructor and on approved machines.

In general, this also means that we strongly discourage short-term client enrollments for the purpose of teaching the protocol and adapting it for home or gym environments.

Having said this, we do offer exclusive, personal short-term services for those with genuine prior training history. These services are by appointment only and include extended studio visits (full-day, three-day, and five-day courses), prolonged orientations, teaching sessions, and meetings for exchanges of ideas.

For a detailed breakdown of these service costs, please contact me directly.

With that being said, we realize this is very cost prohibitive for a lot of people and we appreciate that.  Therefore, with the overwhelming response we have received regarding inquiry to our new line of equipment, we have come up with a cost effective solution to allow everybody to experience and learn first hand about the latest innovations for Renaissance Exercise.

Stay turned for an upcoming announcement and opportunity that we promise you won’t want to miss.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Russ Wakefield August 10, 2011 at 8:25 am

I took that trip and it was a great visit. Fantastic facilities great staff and Josh was very informative and clear about his vision. Jeff was super too!
Josh has the same commitment that Arthur had in many ways.

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avatar Joshua Trentine August 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Russ,

Thank you!!!!

We are working on a way to allow a number of people to have what has become the RenEX experience.

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avatar Joe A August 10, 2011 at 11:49 am

As a fellow visitor, I echo Laszlo’s sentiments entirely. Of course, I only had to travel two hours from Central Ohio to get there!!

Josh, Al, and the others at Overload are top-notch and I count my experience there as invaluable. As intellectually stimulating as this blog is, it pales in comparison to practically experiencing the concepts of which these gentlemen are writing. Whatever ideas or preconceived notion you carry about this training (protocol, equipment, instruction)- you are probably wrong; this is an entirely different “thing” (for those who get bothered by terms like “paradigm”). Do yourself a favor and learn as much as you can, however you can from the Ren-Ex team.

Disclaimer: Possible side effects of visiting include immediate Ren-Ex addiction, severe withdrawals upon returning home, extreme disappointment during subsequent visits to ‘regular’ gyms, growing anxiousness to return, and a renewed appreciation for the advancement of training application 🙂

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avatar Joshua Trentine August 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Joe,

Thank you for the kind words 🙂 I think Laszlo said that his trip in, alone took like 30 hrs to get from A to B….can you believe that?
================================================

I have warned a number of people….”once you go in there is NO going back”

Your views on exercise can NEVER be the same again

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avatar Joe A August 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm

It may seem hard to believe, but that 30 hour trip would have been well worth it in my mind . . . just grateful I am so close!!

I should mention, the single most mind-boggling thing I experienced while at Overload was observing Al Coleman in real-life . . . worth the trip by itself. Al is simply unreal (if you peel back the dermal layers, it’s quite possible you’ll find a Terminator machine??).

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avatar Joe A August 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

That should have read, “…observing Al Coleman workout in real life”. Sorry.

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avatar Andy August 11, 2011 at 7:17 am

Josh,
While I believe you that you have created a complete new and uncomparable training protocol and machines I think many many HIT trainees around the world will never have the opportunity to experience it! I would be very grateful if you publish training guidelines of your New system that are transferable to standard equipment and environment. I think a lot

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avatar Andy August 12, 2011 at 1:28 am

Josh,
sorry for the technical problem. In my previous post the last sentence is incomplete: I think a lot of trainees would benefit from that and would be willing to pay for these guidelines when you offer them.

Thank you!

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avatar Joshua Trentine August 13, 2011 at 2:34 am

We’ve recently had one complaint about us charging for visit time at Overload Fitness, we would like to help people understand why this is necessary, I would like to share this note from Gus to a potential customer.
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Hi XXX,

This is Gus here. I’m not sure if we have met but your name is certainly familiar….In any case, i wanted to address your comments regarding the Overload studio auditing policies.

Since developing these ideas, we have been overwhelmed by response and by people wanting to spend time in discussion and practice to explore our ideas. Everyone involved in RenEx has been generous to a fault at some point and with various people. Josh, Ken, Al, and I have spent extended and countless hours on the phone, in email, and in studio visits with people over the years. But at some point, the act of sharing becomes a conflict of entrepreneurial interest.

I still offer my time and energy and the degree to which i go to invest in my start up clients is nothing short of unknown in the industry: upwards of 8 hours of instruction (6-10 sessions) at zero cost until the subject is getting a reasonable effect, has learned the basics, and has enough under his/her belt to make an informed decision. While i have had some people decide “this isnt for me”, 98% of newbies, become longtime clients. This is massive undertaking for me whenever a new client starts but it is, in my mind, the only ethical way to deliver this service.

consequently, it ends up being a win win situation because i invest in the client, he invests in me. But when i give my time to someone who demands hours of my time without becoming my client, who is only interested in chatting, or sharing, or exploring, i have to be much more dilligent about how much of myself i can give.

It COST Josh invaluable time to entertain and chaperone his visitor . Josh is an affable guy and he is as generous as they come but his business ventures require enormous time commitments which are all compromised with 5 day visits to rejoice the wonders of HIT.

The truth is, if i do 15 sessions in a day that’s at least $$$ . And that’s work that i’ve designed as straightforward, session after session, bulleted, and streamlined. The same 8 or so hours spent with a visitor who demands critical thinking and in depth conversations is much much more demanding and draining work. $$$ for a day like that, as far as i’m concerned, is an utter bargain. It is expensive but the context must be understood too, and ultimately with context you glean the value of spending an entire day with Josh Trentine.

When i first called Mike Mentzer and was told a phone consult would be $100 it was the most outlandish thing i’d thought i’d ever heard. It upset me and it occupied my thinking to the point of frustration. Now i look back with humility because i realize that context is truly everything.

It is really very difficult to convey to you the time, energy, and money that we have all put into this thing we’re calling RenEx. And i’m afraid that for every second, the meter HAS been running; running on overdrive, in fact.

I’m sorry that you alluded to our venture as a “buck making” strategy and decided to go the route of using poker aphorisms. As such, we will not run the post. The truth is that this is a true labor of love for us. But it is still a labor, and we will not be giving things away that were earned with sincerity, effort, and dedication.

We wish to alienate no one and would love it if the community was truly “in this together” but the more you really delve into it, the less and less togetherness there is. That’s why we value the people in this Renex team, because it is a true and clear example of what can happen when people join forces in the sprit of ethical trade.

I hope that you continue to remain in touch with us and i would even like to extend to you an invitation by Josh to call him directly to speak with him at your leisure for an even more full disclosure of the state of the union. (Josh’s number is 440-4xx-xyxy)

best regards,
Gus Diamantopoulos

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avatar John Hingson August 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Hello Josh and everyone,

I left this comment on the old post “WOW…I may have voided my warranty” but received no response. Perhaps you guys don’t get a notification when comments are left on old posts (or perhaps you are just REALLY BUSY!) If you happen to respond, thanks for taking the time. If you don’t, I understand!

Thanks,

John

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John Hingson July 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Hi Mr. Trentine and others,

Let me begin by saying that I greatly appreciate what Doug McGuff, you, the others at RenX, and much of the remaining HIT community do, and that I am usually excited when something new comes up on this website. Al Coleman’s demonstration videos especially (and countenance) are legendary in my book.

I am training near Portland, Oregon, which is somewhat of a HIT/BBS desert (though not a desert climatically). The best facility I could find for many miles has a Nautilus Nitro Plus leg press, which seems to have a decent force profile, but it only goes up to 495 # on the stack and I and many others who train there need much more resistance than that. I have communicated with the maintenance staff and they are happy to add an attachment, as the machines are not under warranty. Can you or another at RenX recommend an attachment (such as a certain type and/or brand) that might work for this? I am seeking to maximize my ability to utilize existing equipment to stimulate the adaptive response (though it may not be as ideal as other equipment).

Thank you for your help!

Sincerely,

John

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avatar Joshua Trentine August 19, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Hi John,

I could show you some things i’ve seen done to attach plates, but I think it’s a step in the wrong direction. IMO I think it is best to find ways to make the exercise harder rather than piling on more weight. Exercise sequence, pre-fatigue, and paying attention to range of motion, turn-arounds and one’s own biofeedback(sensation) should provide the best workout with that machine.

I also think that the accessory weight stack on that machine should be disconnected as it causes too much friction….i do realize this probably can’t be done in a commercial gym though.

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avatar John Hingson August 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Thank you for your reply. Actually, I’ve already tried to make the exercise as difficult as I know how. Currently, I’m doing pre-fatigue with leg curl and extension immediately before the leg press (which is the last movement of that workout). I am using the closest range of motion I feel comfortable with and have been focusing on the turnarounds specifically, and “emptying the tank,” but the weight is still too light.

As far as friction goes, I haven’t noticed any terrible problems so far, fortunately.

Still a step in the wrong direction? Thanks again for your help,

John

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avatar Joshua Trentine August 20, 2011 at 11:05 pm

If you put up a video, I’ll be happy to make recommendations

There are qualitative assessments that must be made for me to comment

Joshua

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avatar Joe A August 21, 2011 at 1:22 am

John,

I have some thoughts, if you don’t mind. I train myself and clients on the Nitro Leg Press too. I agree that the weight stack is “light” but it is not a problem that can’t be overcome…just depends on how you want to address it. Josh’s suggestions are spot on. Individual effort and precise performance trumps all; though with this particular machine there needs to be a build-up to what you’re trying to accomplish.

If you are willing to perform multiple sets, it becomes easy. IMO, most of the Nitro pieces require multiple sets; one set is not enough to ’empty the tank’. This is mostly a mechanical limitation.

I’d try to add a second set to your pre-fatigue exercises and see if that does the trick. The better you get at them, the less weight you’ll need on the LP. If you are pre-fatiguing with the Nitro LE/LC, I’d suggest changing that too. I do better with emphasizing hip extension prior to the LP and, personally, find the LE an unnecessary pre-fatigue exercise. Lately, I’ve been doing a Hip Abduction/Hip Extension/Leg Curl/Leg Press sequence (with two rounds of the exercises preceding LP).

You could also consider manipulating the ROM of LP to your advantage. Focus on squeezing out of the bottom with powerful contractions of the hips and glutes, but stop at the mid-point and control it back to the starting position. As fatigue/burn starts to set in, gradually add to the ROM (~an inch each subsequent rep) until you are performing FROM reps, and then to failure if you choose. I believe this will keep your TUL reasonable; depending on how well you’ve pre-fatigued, you may not even be able to stack the machine.

Of course you could always add sets of LP; make LP the pre-fatigue exercise for LP. I can bury any client in three sets; most in two. SSTF is an ideal that cannot be realized with all exercises, with any equipment, every workout. I wouldn’t take a second set off the table. Even if you add a second set to each of your pre-fatigue exercises and the LP, your volume is still very reasonable (and low by most standards).

I’ve been training on the Nitro line for 6 years. At first, I needed three sets on nearly every machine to get anything out of them. As I became more experienced with getting the most out of the machines, I was able to back the volume down and now there are a handful of them that I can use SSTF. The rest, I still need two sets.

It’s a process; the more in tune you become with the machine, the more you’ll understand what you need (in terms of pre-fatigue and acute performance) and the more you’ll be able to extract from it. Hell, I just told Josh the other day that I figured out how to improve the effectiveness of the Chest Press machine, to the tune of cutting the weight in half and still less TUL.

Hope this helps.

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avatar Andy August 24, 2011 at 4:28 am

Hi Joshua,

I think “own biofeedback (sensation)” is a very important parameter for judging the stimulus of a workout and therefore the potential response/growth of the trained muscles.
I find for myself that the greatest muscle sensation is occuring when I´m changing exercises and emptying the tank on a new exercise or not used for a longer time exercise.
This biofeedback would support the importance of variation in exercise.
Otherwise many HIT experts underline the need for NON-VARIATION in exercise in order to overcome the learning phase (1-2 months) of a new exercise and then getting into the real growth stimulation phase.
What is your opinion on VARIATION in exercise?

Thank you very much!

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avatar Al Coleman August 24, 2011 at 11:46 am

Andy,

I think you have a point, BUT real “emptying” is a skill that requires time to accrue. Too much variation will impead your ability to iron out the kinks that could be hampering maximal “emptying”. If you are really paying attention to your biofeedback you’ll be able to note when that skill is improving.

“Emptying the Tank” is a skill.

Al

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avatar Andy August 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Thank you Al!

I am doing my best to perfect that skill according to your RenEx guidelines.
Though I feel that I am getting better and better in emptying the tank, I never get that muscle sensation again (pump, soreness, deep fatigue in the targeted muscles etc.) when I use an exercise not trained for a long timespan. Over the weeks training that exercise and perfecting the skill of emptying the tank I feel that muscle sensation going down.
I am certainly not overly consumed with load based training and all I want is the optimal approach to stimulate muscle growth…the real objective of training.
Of course I don´t know all literature or meaningful opinions but I think the question of VARIATION IN EXERCISE is not answered satisfactorily.

Al, you wrote: “Too much variation will impead…”.
Do you use at least some variation in your own training concerning exercise selection etc.?
Andy

avatar Andy August 21, 2011 at 3:42 am

Joshua,

please see my comment above concerning training guidelines transferable to standard equipment.

Thanks
Andy

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avatar Joshua Trentine August 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

yes sir,

will make for an interesting side project we plan to do this in the summer of 2012, we are knee deep in RenEx projects currently.

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avatar Andy August 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Thank you Joshua,
I think this really will be an interesting project and important for many trainees!
Andy

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avatar Joshua Trentine August 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

i’m looking forward to, right now we have all hands on deck directing RenEx optimization

Andy, i appreciate your input

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avatar Al Coleman August 25, 2011 at 8:55 am

Andy,

Thanks for your questions. They are thought provoking and have me ruminating.

I do think variation has an importance in context. I do provide a degree of it in my own training in that I don’t really follow a set schedule myself. I feel that as you get better at the skill of inroading, the stucture of the workout matters less and less from a qualitative standpoint. When you are good at inroading, anything you choose to do will provide an adequate stimulus.

While we do strive for objectivity, you must understand that much of this stuff is still subjective in nature. I have a different spin on the whole “objective/subjective” dichotomy. I’d go as far as to say that for the most part what we term as “objective” winds up being terribly subjective most of the time, and our “subjective” experience provides a greater degree of objectivity. This obviously has its limitations. The HIT community is a great example of the downfalls of trying to rely on our common understanding of objectivity.

With that said, my “subjective” experience tells me that if you were truly getting better at “emptying the tank”, then doing the same exercise will INCREASE all of the traits you mentioned(ie; pump, soreness, etc……) There are so many little details on any given exercise that need to be streamlined and ironed out before one can say that they’ve milked everything from that exercise. If you think about the nature of inroading and the skills that would go into making that occur faster, then it will become quite clear that things get more localized and deeper( leading to a greater amount of chemical congestion, fatigue, and maybe soreness).

“Emptying the Tank” is a skill that is never mastered, but always leaves room for refinement. My point is that if you vary things too much, you aren’t able to study an exercise deeply enough to ever learn how to “empty the tank”. It won’t happen in one session. It won’t even happen in 20 sessions. It gets better each time if you are focused on it.

I hope that makes some sense.

Al

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avatar Andy August 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Al,

that makes much sense to me…thank you very much!

In my early training years I was greatly influenced by the works of Stuart McRobert who IMO introduced many precious aspects to the training world of natural trainees. While I was getting much stronger when using a consistent handful of basic compound movements for sometimes one and a half years in a row I didn´t gain that much muscle correspondingly. I tried to maintain an absolut correct technique in order to not betray myself and to really deserve a load increase (microloading for sometimes just half or one pound).
But I was not nearly as focused on inroading as I am now and I will try to master the skill of “emptying the tank” as you suggest as perfectly as is possible for me. Nevertheless there is still a doubt in my mind that in the long run the body finds unperceived ways to perfect the inter- and intramuscular coordination in order to avoid the need to build metabolically expensive muscle tissue. Maybe a comparable intense but UNEXPECTED AND NEW stimulus is a better stimulus to disrupt the homeostasis of the targeted muscles. Maybe that UNEXPECTED AND NEW combined with a non perfect but at least strong ability to inroad on that new exercise creates a more anabolic stimulus.

Sorry for any faults in grammar. I am living in Germany.
Andy

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