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The Blog

Think Outside The Box

By: Todd Durkin MA, CSCS, NCTMB, Owner of Fitness Quest 10

I went outside the box yesterday.  I had a meeting with a guy named Cassidy Phillips.  Cassidy founded, owns, & operates a company called “Trigger Point Performance” out of Austin, TX (  TP Performance is the “premier provider of performance massage tools for a wide-range of athletes.”   I first met him about 7.5 years ago when he came to FQ10 when he was launching his company.  He was then, and still is,  one of the most knowledgeable guys I know on fascia, corrective exercise, and healing.   He has created some really neat products and does a great job getting them out there.  Some of you may have met Cassidy before at some of the shows as he has a booth and his entire system at all the big fitness shows.  Great guy and encourage you to say hello if you ever see him on the road.  Check out his website and see some of the stuff he’s doing.Anyway, back to my story.  When I was done with my 5:30 pm meeting, I was teaching my 6 pm TD Fitness class that is a high-intensity circuit. Last night it included:

Station # 1:

1.        Heavy Ropes

2.       Hyperextensions

3.       Bosu Core

Station # 2:

1.        Hex bar squats

2.       Swiss Ball BP

3.       Lat Pulls

Station #3:

1.        Single Leg Kettlebell SL Dead

2.       TRX Curls/Rows

3.       Rope Tricep Extensions/Pressdowns

Station #4:

1.       Reaction Ball Rebounder Game

2.       Rotator Cuff

3.       Ab Wheel Rollout

Station #5:

“U CALL IT” — (ie. cardio, tire flips, jump rope, functional trainer, etc.)

Well, I went outside the norm and asked Cassidy to teach a “Smart Core” station in there with his “Grid” product and to do some “corrective exercise” work.  I didn’t really know how that would fit into the whole equation during a high-intensity workout.    But I tried it and added:

Station # 6:

“Smart Core” with Cassidy

Let me tell you something:  the people loved it.  They loved him, they loved learning, they loved the change of pace, they liked getting their ailments worked on while in the middle of a workout or as part of a workout.  I had to pry people away from there after the 7 minute stations were up.  He was doing all this corrective exercise work, teaching people about their plantar fasciitis and having them work on the posterior tib. with his rollers; he was teaching them about their rotator cuff strains and giving them exercises for that; he was having them work on their hips, and doing a lot unique movements.  He was doing some “different” stuff that you don’t normally get in a class of 18 people.

Anyway, think about your “normal” routine.  Maybe you can go outside your box today and do something your not sure of.  It is here that I found “Wow, maybe I need to be doing more of this or including more things like this, even right smack in the middle of a workout that is about calorie-burning, stress reduction, energy, and feeling great.”   Something to ponder in all the great stuff that you guys do.  Maybe it’s something like this, maybe it’s adding a massage at the end of your session, or maybe something completely out of the box.  I challenge you TODAY  to do something extraordinarily different and see how your clients respond.  I did yesterday and realized that it made a difference in the experience we delivered.

What are you going to do different today to play outside the box?  That’s sometimes what it takes to be great!

Todd Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates, and inspires people world-wide. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training, and nutrition to help transform people’s bodies, minds, and spirits. Todd trains dozens of NFL & MLB baseball athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences world-wide. Additionally, Todd is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council. He has appeared in 60 Minutes, on ESPN, the NFL Network, and been featured in Sports Illustrated, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, and the NY Times and Washington Post. Todd is the author of 27 DVD’s on strength & conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork, and business/personal growth. You can sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the “TD TIMES”, at or

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