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Running Mountain Trails 101

Running Mountain Trails 101

By Leslie St. Louis (Team Strength Runner Athlete)


Leslie is a mountain-loving trail lover and mom of two mud-loving girls in Morrison, Colorado. She is also ranked 9th in the Spartan World Points Series and the founder of a local obstacle group and resource, Colorado Obstacle Racers. 


If you are looking for a fun, active way to vacation, heading to higher elevations for some mountain trail running can provide both a relaxing escape AND  athletic gains, especially if you are looking for improvement in your next obstacle event.  If you live close to the mountains, this should become part of your weekly routine. Otherwise, I highly recommend picking your next vacation based on the mountains available there, or even better – an obstacle event in or near the mountains!


Runners’s World perfectly summed up the advantages of trail running in a recent article.*  


The benefits of trail running span the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual areas of your life. And doesn’t that cover pretty much all of it?”  


As a Colorado resident with more than two decades of experience trail running, including working as an outdoor guidebelow is some advice for anyone wanting to get started in the mountains, running at higher altitudes or just seeking some Rocky-Mountain-inspired training


Tip One: Just Do It. 

I lived in Colorado for three years before I really started running the mountain trails. On my very first run at my home in Morrison, I stepped out of my doowith two very different choices:

I could head left and onto paved sidewalks.

I could head right, onto a mountain trail. 

I choose the mountain trail and nearly 20 years later I have never regretted that choice. It led to me working as an outdoor adventure guide for nearly 8 years. It has allowed me to pass people in obstacle events, even if they have faster road PRs than me. Today, I am still running some of those same trails and it not only keeps me fit, but mentally healthy and strong too. 

Trail running was something my spirit and my gut drew me to try, but besides getting out the door that day, that first trail run wasn’t anything to brag about. In fact, I didn’t even make it to the official trail. I simply circled the tiny reservoir at the bottom a few times. Yet each day I came back and got further and further and further up that mountain. Eventually, I was running the almost eight-mile, nearly 2000-feet-of-elevation-change loop daily!

Even if you live in the city, there is usually some kind of way to seek out elevation, so just DO it!


Tip Two: Just Keep Going

Besides committing to start, keeping your feet moving up ismost important. 

I mentioned that my first trail run wasn’t some Earth shattering, record breaking moment. I probably spent longer getting ready to run than actually running! So believe me when I say, the biggest “trick” to running up a mountain is just continuing to move forward and to try it again and again and again very soon. 

When I first started running trails, I didn’t pick a destination, I ran for a set amount of time and my feet “ran” up the mountain that entire time. For instance, 40 minutes up the mountain and 20 minutes down to fill up an hour. I could tell I was improving because over days and weeks and months I started getting further up the trail.

Besides returning to the mountain, you need to keep your feet moving in a running motion up the mountain at all timesWhen you are going DOWN the mountain, walking is okay, but when you are going UP, try to hold yourself to always running. Do not stop. Do not hike. Keep your feet in that running motion, even if it is in the same spot. I only suggest this when training, not racing, but if you can just commit to “running” up, no matter how sloweventually it gets easier. Is it an efficient use of energy in general? No, not really. Hiking up extremely steep portions of a mountain is usually suggested, but if it’s not a race, who cares. If your goal is to actually run a mountain, than that is what you should practice.


Tip Three: Remember it’s a Trail

This is not the consistent pavement of a street or the steady rubber of a treadmill. There are rocks, living things, trees, roots, dirt, mud, possibly snow. A long, loping stride will only get you injured. Staying aware of the trail below your feet and ahead of you is a necessity. You will be ready for anything if you use short strides and a soft, light step

Uphill, you will actually move faster that way. Downhill, you will remain in control and keep from twisting ankles or worse. It’s never a bad idea to walk (or even booty-scoot) down a steep portion of a hill that looks sketchy, either.


Tip Three: Respect the Mountain

When you run a mountain, you are a guest.  Stay on the designated trails and don’t veer off the marked trails, especially if it is wet or muddy. Run over obstacles, not around them. 

Also, just in general don’t be a jerk. Pick up any trash and befriendly by letting people know you are passing and by yielding to bikes, horses or anyone or anything that it makes sense to stop and let pass.  

I feel like I am in a relationship with the mountain trails I run.Part of the joy of running trails is taking time to marvel at the beauty and give thanks. In fact, each of my trail runs is almost like a prayernever think I am conquering a mountain and that is just my mindset ALWAYS when running trails. When you are conquering something, you aren’t appreciating or respecting it.  


Tip Four: Be Safe 

There’s no reason to be scared of mountain trails or to bring a million supplies with you, but you should come prepared. Knowledge of what to do and what watch out for will be your best way to stay safe. Some specific things to be aware of:

• Tell someone where you are running and approximately how long you’ll be gone. 
• Be noisy and bring friends at dawn and dusk. These are prime times for bears and mountain lions in my area. I try to avoid being on empty trails or running alone at those times. If I do, I plan to make noise by bringing a bell or I’ve even run while singing to myself! Also, dark trails can be prime times for unpleasant human encounters, too.
• Listen and know that at any time on the trail you may encounter animals or unusual things. It’s alwaysimportant to be alert, so no headphones and besides keeping track of your feet, always scan the trail ahead. There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of startling a wild turkey or just narrowly jumping over a snakeRead up on the animals and plants in your area and some basic first aid on how to best protect and treat yourself, if needed. 
• Plan for afternoon storms in the summer. The climate can change in a matter of minutes in the mountains, so depending on the length of run, dress in appropriate layers.
• Avoid lightening. Lightning storms typically happen in the afternoon, so plan to run in the morning, if possible. Take lightening seriously and read up on lighting in the mountains, so you can avoid and be prepared in an emergency.
• Know HAPE and HACE, the symptoms of each, and how to avoid it. As a former outdoor guide, it’s impossible for me not to mention to any Colorado or mountain visitor the dangers of going quickly from low to high altitudes. This link is just one of many explaining HAPE and HACE, which are two serious forms of altitude sickness. It is a must read for any low altitude visitor, especially anyone planning to run mountains.

Tip Five: Give Yourself Time

This last tip is literal for low altitude runners going into higher altitudes. Seriously, plan a week at minimum to get use to the altitude, if possible. 

In general, taking your time is a good philosophy for trail running. Take time to enjoy the experience, to feel your body working, to just BE in that place at that moment. Even if you have personal records to beat or goals to meet, take time to notice that the same trail and the same mountain are actually never the same twice.

You know you are trail running the “right” way if you discover this: you not only become a better athlete for venturing onto a mountain, but a better person, too. 

Happy trails! 



Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan Week 5

Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan!
Week 5
By Strength Runner and Trainer Dave Gluhareff or on Facebook under TrainWithDave –
Heavy Overhaul!
For Week 5 our goal is to get off the daily body part split plan and totally overhaul for the week a new Hard and Intense Total Body Heavy Hittin Mass Plan to shake things up!
Week 5 - (Before each Total Body Workout = 10 min Warm-up Walk, Bike, or Elliptical then Stretch Total Body!)
Total Body Workouts – 5 Circuits of 5-10 reps (if needed rest about 30-60 seconds in between exercises)
Day 1 (Total Body 5 Circuits/5-10 reps):
-          Standard Wide Pushups
-          Hip Raises Toes-in
-          Rubber Band in/out Internal/External Rotator Cuff Strengtheners
-          2 Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curls & Palms-Up Wrist Curls
-          Weighted Pushups (use spotter to add weights to your back)
-          Weighted Wide Grip Front Pullups
-          1 Dumbbell 1 Arm at a time Clean & Press
-          1 Dumbbell 2 hands lying Pullovers on bench or box
-          Barbell or Smith Machine Incline Chest Press
-          2 Dumbbell Alternating Palms-Up Biceps Curls
-          1 Dumbbell 1 Arm at a time Bent Over Row
-          Barbell Wide Stiff Legged Deadlifts (Feet Wide/Knees Slightly Bent/Back Straight)
-          Barbell or Smith Machine Squats (Feet shoulder width)
Day 2 (Rest Totally):
·       No Cardio, No Lifting, No Activity Nuthin please!
Day 3 (Cardio):
-          Cardio Goal = 5 min warm-up walk/stretch, then 45 min Power Walk flat NO Inclines, with a 5 min cool-down chillin walk/stretch
Day 4 (Total Body 5 Circuits/5-10 Reps):
-          Up/Down Planks
-          Back Extension Machine Weighted (Hyperextension Machine or Plate Loaded Machine)
-          2 Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts (Dumbbells outside of Knees, Feet Shoulder Width)
-          2 Dumbbell Arnold Presses
-          Barbell or Smith Machine Flat Chest Presses
-          Weighted Reverse Grip Pullups
-          2 Dumbbell 2 Arms Lying Pullovers
-          Barbell Sumo Squats (Feet Wide, Hands 6-8 inches apart on bar, & Good Posture)
-          Barbell or Smith Machine Seated Military Shoulder Presses (arms make right angle)
-          Barbell Deadlifts (Feet Standard Shoulder Width)
-          Barbell Biceps Curls (Hands Shoulder Width)
-          Weighted Dips
-          Barbell Bent Over Rows (Palms-Down Grip, Hands 3 inches outside Shoulder Width)
-          Sprint all-out until you cannot stay at Max Speed and begin losing acceleration
Day 5 (Rest Totally):
·       Again - No Cardio, No Lifting, No Activity Nuthin please!
Day 6 (Cardio):
-          Cardio Goal = 10 min warm-up walk/stretch, then 60 min Power Walk Hills or Incline, with a 10 min cool-down relaxing walk/stretch
Day 7 (Full Rest & Recovery):
·       Begin to Focus on New Training Plan for Monday!

Is Exercise Really That Important?

Is Exercise Really That Important?
by Dave Gluhareff founder of Strength Runner
            I speak a lot all around and many in attendance at my talks, lectures, workshops, and seminars state the following as their most common health problems: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Acid Reflux, High Cholesterol, Osteoarthritis, Arthritis, Diabetes/Sugar Regulation Issues, Fatigue, Osteoporosis, Joint Aches and Pains, Stress, and Being Overweight.  The same health conditions most of America can relate to and understand at any age.  
Many times it seems barbaric that we have to go into a gym or fitness center and walk in place on treadmills, like hamsters on wheels, just to get moving.  Many years ago we used to work on farms feeding and raising livestock and or tobacco.  We used to do chores like washing our own laundry by hand then hanging it on the clothes line.  We used to not have TV and Video Games so we would have to play outside using our imagination.  I am only 35 years old but when I was little I did play outside a lot and run around and do some chores too.  Though soon came VCR’s, video games, driving, and less running, playing, and riding bikes.
Nowadays to burn calories and strengthen muscles many of us must go to a gym down the street or in our basement and push weights, stretch rubber bands, or do crunches on large blown-up bouncing balls.  Those of us that really have active jobs or play sports are in far better condition than the majority of people.  Many of us are lazy today and would rather drive everywhere rather than walk, or reach through a window at a fast food restaurant to get food rather than prepare it ourselves, or turn on the TV and sit for hours instead of playing with our kids outside in the yard.  
                Exercise is so very beneficial for our bodies.  We need it to lead a healthy and productive lifestyle.  Below are some benefits I copied from an article in my database from the International Sports Sciences Association.  The article begins with studies done to prove their point, but I do not want to bore you with the details.  Here is a quick list of the most important ways Exercise helps us Physically, Emotionally, and Mentally:  
Allergies - Exercise is one of the body's most efficient ways to control nasal congestion (and the accompanying discomfort of restricted nasal blood flow).  
Angina - Regular aerobic exercise dilates vessels, increasing blood flow— thereby improving your body's ability to extract oxygen from the bloodstream.  
Anxiety - Exercise triggers the release of mood-altering chemicals in the brain. 

Arthritis - By forcing a skeletal joint to move, exercise induces the manufacture of synovial fluid and helps to distribute it over the cartilage and to force it to circulate throughout the joint space.  
Back Pain - Exercise helps to both strengthen the abdominal muscles and the lower back extensor muscles and stretch the hamstring muscles.  
Bursitis and Tendonitis - Exercise can strengthen the tendons— enabling them to handle greater loads without being injured. 
Cancer - Exercise helps you maintain your ideal body weight and helps keep your level of body fat to a minimum.  
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Exercise helps build up the muscles in your wrists and forearms— thereby reducing the stress on your arms, elbows, and hands. 

Cholesterol - Exercise will raise your level of HDL (the "good" cholesterol) in the blood and help lower your level of LDL— the undesirable lipoprotein.  
Constipation - Exercise helps strengthen the abdominal muscles, thereby making it easier to pass a stool.  
Depression - Exercise helps speed metabolism and deliver more oxygen to the brain; the improved level of circulation in the brain tends to enhance your mood.  
Diabetes - Exercise helps lower excess blood sugar levels, strengthen your muscles and heart, improve your circulation, and reduce stress.  
Fatigue - Exercise can help alleviate the fatigue-causing effects of stress, poor circulation and blood oxygenation, bad posture, and poor breathing habits.  
Glaucoma - Exercise helps relieve intraocular hypertension— the pressure buildup on the eyeball that heralds the onset of glaucoma. 

Headaches - Exercise helps force the brain to secrete more of the body's opiate-like, pain-dampening chemicals (e.g., endorphins and enkephalins). 
Heart Disease - Exercise helps promote many changes that collectively lower your risk of heart disease— a decrease in body fat, a decrease in LDL, an increase in the efficiency of the heart and lungs, a decrease in blood pressure, and a lowered heart rate. 
High Blood Pressure - Exercise reduces the level of stress-related chemicals in the bloodstream that constrict arteries and veins, increases the release of endorphins, raises the level of HDL in the bloodstream, lowers your resting heart rate (over time), improves the responsiveness of your blood vessels (over time), and helps reduce your blood pressure by keeping you leaner.
Insomnia - Exercise helps reduce muscular tension and stress. 
Intermittent Claudication - Exercise helps improve peripheral circulation and increase your ability to tolerate pain. 
Knee Problems - Exercise helps strengthen the structures attendant to the knee— muscles, tendons, and ligaments— thereby facilitating the ability of the knee to withstand stress. 
Lung Disease - Exercise helps strengthen the muscles associated with breathing and helps boost the oxygen level in your blood. 
Memory Problems - Exercise helps to improve your cognitive ability by increasing the blood and oxygen flow to your brain. 
Menstrual Problems and PMS - Exercise helps to control the hormonal imbalances often associated with PMS by increasing the release of beta-endorphins. 
Osteoporosis - Exercise promotes bone density— thereby lowering an individual's risk of suffering a bone fracture. 
Overweight Problems - Exercise suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolic rate, burns fat, increases lean muscle mass, and improves your level of self-esteem. 
Varicose Veins - Exercise can help control the level of discomfort caused by existing varicose veins and help you prevent getting any additional varicose veins. 

                So get outside and take a walk or hike with your significant other or spouse and kids, get a gym membership, hire a fitness trainer, canoe in a river, swim at a fitness center, find a bootcamp, park farther away from the front door of a store, save money by taking a few minutes to prepare your meals, take the steps instead of the escalator, bike instead of drive, or find some other form of exercise to help you enjoy your life more and make it so much healthier!

Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan Week 4

Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan!
Week 4

By Strength Runner and Trainer Dave Gluhareff or on Facebook under TrainWithDave –


Lite Weights Shocker!
This Week for Week 4 it’s going to be a Lite Weights Shocker and the Goal is 4 Circuits of 15-20 reps (Lite Weights) where you should be getting a tuff burn at 15 reps and barely be able to make it to 20 reps. If 15 reps is easy then add heavier weights. If 15 reps is not possible then lighten the weight a bit.  


Be ready to get your HEART and Muscles Pumpin!  You should attain a high heart rate and heavy but safe breathing during the entire workout! Your Goal this week is a Strength Shocker and Cardio all in one to avoid a training Plateau!!

Week 4 - (Warm-up before each workout w/10 min walk then stretch the muscles you plan to hit!)
Each Workout – 4 Circuits of 15-20 reps (rest about 15-30 seconds in between exercises if needed)

Day 1 Chest:
-    Staggered Pushups
-    2 Dumbbell Alternating Flat Chest Presses
-    Machine Flat Chest Presses
-    2 Dumbbell two hands Alternating Pullovers
-    Incline Machine Chest Presses
-    Close Grip Machine Chest Presses

•    Cardio Goal – 60 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run

Day 2 Back:
-    2 Dumbbell Alternating Bent Over Rows
-    Low Cable 1 arm Rows (Knees bent/Butt back)
-    Staggered Hands Pullups (Right/Left)
-    Wide Grip/front Pullups
-    High Cable 1 arm Rows (Knees bent/Butt back)

Day 3 Core & Maintenance:
-    Crunches
-    Bicycle Crunches
-    Seated Lean Back Med Ball Twists
-    Lying Leg Raises (low abs)
-    Ab Crunch Machine (front & sides)
-    Standing Med Ball Slams (Front/Right/Left)
-    Hip Raises (Toes-in) for low back
-    Seated 2 Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curls on knees
-    Standing Internal/External Rotator Cuff Rubber Band Strengthening

•    Cardio Goal – 60 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run

Day 4 Shoulders:
-    Rubber Band Shrugs (Shrug Up/Back NOT Straight Up)
-    Seated Military Front Shoulder Presses
-    Seated (Palms-up) Front Shoulder Raises to middle
-    Machine Shrugs (Shrug Up/Back NOT Straight Up)
-    2 Dumbbell Standing Clean & Presses (keep knees bent back straight)
-    Seated Machine Shoulder Presses (Front Grip)
-    Bent Over 2 Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raises

Day 5 Arms:
-    Machine Seated Biceps Curls (Palms-up)
-    Cable or Machine Seated Biceps Hammer Curls (Use Rope if Cable)
-    Dips
-    Standing Barbell Biceps Curls (Palms-up)
-    Machine Dips for Triceps
-    2 Dumbbell Zottman Curls Standing
-    Two Handed Standing (Wide Bar/Wide Grip) Triceps Pressdowns

Day 6 Legs:
-    Leg Press Machine (feet shoulder width)
-    2 Dumbbell Reverse Lunges (in-place)
-    1 Dumbbell Two Hands Wide Sumo Squats
-    2 Dumbbell Forward Lunges (in-place)
-    Seated Hamstring Curl Machine
-    Calf Raise Machine (Heels straight/in/out)
-    Alternating Legs Lying Hamstring Curl Machine
-    Bodyweight Jump Squats (In-Place)

•    Cardio Goal – 60 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run

Day 7 Rest/Recovery:

Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan Week 3

Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan!
Week 3

By Strength Runner founder and Trainer Dave Gluhareff or on Facebook under TrainWithDave – 
This Week on Week 3 it’s back to Heavy Weights and the Goal is 5 Sets 5-10 reps Heavy Weights where you should be getting a tuff burn at 5 reps and barely be able to make it to 10 reps. If 10 reps is easy then add heavier weights. If 5 reps is not possible then lighten the weight a bit.

Week 3 - (Warm-up before each workout w/15 min walk then stretch the muscles you plan to hit!)
Each Workout – 5 sets of 5-10 reps (rest about 45-60 seconds in between sets if needed)

Day 1 Chest:
-    Weighted Pushups (Have partner add weights onto your back)
-    2 Dumbbell Flat Chest Presses
-    Barbell Flat Chest Presses
-    1 Dumbbell two hands Pullovers
-    Barbell Incline Chest Presses
-    Machine Flat Chest Presses (Wide Grip)

•    Cardio Goal – 50 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run

Day 2 Back:
-    1 DB Bent Over Rows
-    Barbell Bent Over Rows
-    Staggered Hands Pullups (Right/Left) (Weighted)
-    Neutral Grip Pullups Weighted
-    2 DB Bent Over Rows (elbows-in/knees bent/low back straight)

Day 3 Core:
-    Weighted Double Crunches
-    Lying Flutter Kicks
-    Hanging Knee Raises (Weighted)
-    Lying Scissor Kicks
-    Ab Crunch Machine
-    1 Dumbbell or Kettlebell Standing Side Bends (Right/Left)

•    Cardio Goal – 50 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run

Day 4 Shoulders:
-    Rubber Band In/Outs (Internal/External) Rotator Strengthening
-    2 DB Rear Lateral Raises
-    2 DB Seated Shoulder Presses
-    2 DB Standing Shrugs (Shrug up/back NOT straight up)
-    2 DB Alt High Pulls (keep knees bent back straight)
-    Seated Machine Shoulder Presses (Front Grip)

Day 5 Arms:
-    2 DB Seated Reverse & Palms-up Wrist Curls
-    2 Dumbbell Alternating Biceps Curls Standing
-    1 Dumbbell (two hands) Overhead Triceps Extensions Seated
-    2 Dumbbell Alternating Hammer Curls Standing
-    Standing Straight Bar (wide grip) Triceps Cable Pressdowns
-    Barbell Reverse Biceps Curls Standing
-    Two Handed Standing Rope Triceps Pressdowns

Day 6 Legs:
-    2 DB Squats feet shoulder width
-    2 DB Walking Reverse Lunges
-    1 DB two hands Wide Feet Stance Stiff Legged Deadlifts
-    2 DB Forward Walking Lunges
-    2 DB Romanian Deadlifts (Dbells outside of knees/feet shoulder width)
-    2 DB Standing Calf Raises (Heels in & out)
-    Lying Hamstring Curl Machine

•    Cardio Goal – 50 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run

Day 7 Rest/Recover

Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan Week 2

Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan!
Week 2
By Strength Runner founder and Trainer Dave Gluhareff or on Facebook under TrainWithDave –
Last week for (Week 1) I had you go “Heavy” with 5 circuits 5-10 reps but this week (Week 2) I want you to use “Medium” Weights, aim for 4 circuits of 10-15 reps! Your goal should be to be getting muscle pumping burn about 65-75% of the way through each set and barely be able to get a 15th rep because of muscle bursting pumps!  These “Medium” weights will trick the muscles from expecting Heavy weight like last week and you will crush this workout with some serious intensity!  
Week 2 - (Warm-up before each workout w/10 min walk then stretch muscles you plan to obliterate!)
Each Workout – 4 Circuits 10-15 reps (rest about 30-60 seconds in between sets if needed)
Day 1 Chest:
-          Standard Pushups
-          Barbell Flat Chest Presses
-          2 Dumbbell Pullovers (two hands)
-          Barbell Incline Chest Presses
-          2 Dumbbell Flat Chest Flyes
-          2 Dumbbell Incline Chest Flyes
·         Cardio Goal – 40 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run
Day 2 Back:
-          Barbell Bent Over Row
-          1 Dumbbell Bent Over Rows
-          Reverse Grip Close Hands Pullups Weighted
-          Wide Pullups Weighted
-          Seated V-Handle Low Rows on Machine/Cable
Day 3 Core:
-          Bicycle Crunches
-          Lying Russian Leg Twists
-          Hanging Leg Raises
-          Lying Scissor Kicks
-          Plank Cross/Knee Drivers
-          Weighted Hanging Leg Raises
·         Cardio Goal – 40 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run
Day 4 Shoulders:
-          Machine front Shoulder Press Seated
-          Barbell Military Seated Shoulder Presses
-          Barbell Standing Shrugs
-          Barbell High Pulls Shoulder Width Grip (keep knees bent back straight)
-          2 Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises Seated
Day 5 Arms:
-          2 Dumbbell Alternating Zottman Curls
-          1 Dumbbell (one hand) Overhead Triceps Extensions Standing
-          2 Dumbbell Alternating Palms-up Biceps Curls Standing
-          Lying Down Barbell or Curl Bar Triceps Skullcrushers
-          Barbell Biceps Curls Standing
-          Weighted Dips
Day 6 Legs:
-          Barbell Squats feet shoulder width
-          Barbell Walking Forward Lunges
-          Barbell Wide Feet Stance Stiff Legged Deadlifts
-          Barbell Reverse Lunges Walking
-          Barbell Romanian Deadlifts
-          Barbell Standing Calf Raises
·         Cardio Goal – 40 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run
Day 7 Rest:
Dave’s Heavy Hittin MASS GAINING Nutrition Plan: Daily Blueprint:
** I eat 4000-5000 calories per day before a big race adding fuel and gaining size, 3000-4000 calories per day on normal (non-race prep) days. I weigh 235lbs now.  The following Meals & Snacks are spaced out 2-3 hours all day from waking to bedtime
** To GAIN muscle MASS You need to at least be eating 10 calories per pound of desired body weight at the minimum so if you want to be 210lbs ripped, and that’s fair and logical for your bodytype and frame, then you need to eat at least 200x10 = 2100 calories daily spread out throughout all 7 meals/snacks below.
** If the 10 calories per pound of desired weight does not help you GAIN MASS only maintain size, take the next step and increase Lean Proteins and Complex Carbohydrates by 25% each day spread out throughout each day.  If this makes you feel too full or heavy right away cut back the increase in calories to suit your tummy and digestive system.  
** Make sure that for minimum protein intake you are eating at least 1 gram of protein per pound of a healthy bodyweight so if you are 210lbs that’s 210 grams of protein spread throughout 7 meals – 210 divided by 7 = 30 grams of protein per meal/snack. 
** Get on track with my Heavy Hittin MASS GAINING meal & snack plan to build your well-earned muscles!
-Breakfast – (Lean Protein, Complex Carbohydrate, and Water)
-Mid-Morning Snack – (Lean Protein, Fruit, Complex Carbohydrate, and Water)
-Lunch – (Lean Protein, Complex Carbohydrate, and Water)
-Late Afternoon Snack – (Lean Protein, Fruit, Complex Carbohydrate, and Water)
-Dinner – (Lean Protein, Vegetable, Complex Carbohydrate, and Water)
-Nightly Snack - (Lean Protein, Vegetable, and Water)
-Before Bed snack – (Lean Protein or Protein Shake or Protein Bar with Water)
Healthy Grocery List Items I Plug into My Daily Meal Plan Blueprint
Proteins options dependent on food allergies and preferences:
Unsalted Peanuts, Natural Peanut Butter, Lean Red Meat, Turkey Breasts, Lean Pork Chops, Natural Almond Butter, Beans, Cottage Cheese, Canned Tuna, Chicken Breasts, Canned Chicken, Whey Protein Powders or Bars, Casein, and Soy Protein Shakes (low-carb / low-sugar), Fresh Halibut, Fresh Flounder, Tilapia, Unsalted Almonds, Low Fat or Skim Milk, Unsalted Walnuts, Low Calorie Cheese – Sliced and Stick, Eggs, Tuna Steaks, Low Sugar Yogurt, Buffalo, Bison, Rabbit, Deer/Venison, Soy Nuts, Soy Burgers, Lean Beef Burgers, Lean Turkey Burgers, Lean Chicken Burgers,  
Complex Carbohydrates:
Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Whole Grain Breads and Bagels, Sweet Potatoes, Red Potatoes, White Potatoes, Whole Grain or Long Grain Rice, Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Pasta, Veggie Pasta, Kashi Cereals, Quinoa
Apples, Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines, Pears, Bananas, Blueberries, Strawberries, Papayas, Blackberries, Cranberries, Kiwi, Mangos, Plums, Grapefruits, Oranges, Tangerines, Pineapple, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honeydew Melons 
Fresh, Canned, or Frozen Green Beans, Fresh Cucumbers, Fresh, Canned, or Frozen Spinach, Salad in a Bag, Fresh Lettuce – Iceberg and Romaine, Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower, Fresh or Frozen Broccoli, Fresh, Canned, or Frozen Collard Greens, Fresh, Canned, or Frozen Turnip Greens, Canned or Fresh Asparagus, Tomatoes, Onions, Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Yellow Peppers, Red Peppers, Orange Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers,
Water, Coffee (low sugar/cream), Tea (Low sugar/cream), Fresh or Bottled Herbs and Seasonings without salt/sodium, Bottled Water, Apple Cider Vinegar, Low Calorie Italian Dressing, Balsamic Vinegar, No-Trans Fat Butter – Tub, Stick, or Squeezed, Cinnamon

Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan Week 1

Heavy Hittin Bodybuilding Plan Week 1!
By Strength Runner founder and Trainer Dave Gluhareff
Week 1 - (Warm-up before each workout w/10 min walk then stretch muscles you plan to obliterate!)
Each Workout – 5 Circuits 5-10 reps (rest about 30-60 seconds in between sets if needed)
Day 1 Chest:
-          Pushups
-          2 Dumbbell Flat Chest Presses
-          1 Dumbbell Pullover (two hands)
-          2 Dumbbell Incline Chest Presses
-          2 Dumbbell (one in each hand) Pullovers
·         Cardio Goal – 30 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run
Day 2 Back:
-          1 Dumbbell Bent Over Row
-          2 Dumbbell Bent Over Rows
-          Neutral Grip Pullups Weighted
-          Wide Pullups
-          Black Rope (one handed) High Rows to side of chest
Day 3 Core:
-          Weighted Crunches
-          Lying Scissor Kicks
-          Hanging Knee Ups Weighted
-          Lying Flutter Kicks
-          Weighted Situps Slowly Lying Back (on bench or box)
·         Cardio Goal – 30 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run
Day 4 Shoulders:
-          1 Dumbbell or Kettlebell (two hands) front Shoulder Press Standing
-          2 Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Presses
-          2 Dumbbell Shrugs Standing
-          2 Dumbbell Clean and Presses
-          2 Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raises
Day 5 Arms:
-          2 Dumbbell Alternating Palms Up Biceps Curls
-          1 Dumbbell (two hands) Overhead Triceps Extensions Standing
-          2 Dumbbell Hammer Curls Standing
-          1 Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks
Day 6 Legs:
-          2 Dumbbell Squats
-          2 Dumbbell Walking Forward Lunges
-          1 Dumbbell Upright (two hands) Wide Stiff Legged Deadlifts
-          2 Dumbbell Reverse Lunges Walking
-          2 Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts
-          1 Dumbbell (in one hand side you’re raising) Standing Calf Raises
·         Cardio Goal – 30 Minute Power Walk, Bike, Elliptical, or Run
Day 7 Rest:

Rotator Cuff Strength Strong Shoulders


Rotator Cuff Strengthening & Getting Stronger Shoulders from

By Dave Gluhareff


One of the biggest issues I see in regards to weaknesses of the body that get overlooked when training are the Rotator Cuffs.  Many people, especially Cross-Fitters, Power Lifters, and Bodybuilders miss strengthening this area all-together and weakness, pain, and injury always occur.  Usually when the Rotator Cuffs are ignored most people notice weakness in their shoulders and then mild pain and discomfort then in one wrong ballistic move or using too much weight the trainee or Athlete gets injured.

We use in OCR and Survival Running with climbing, rings, bars, carries, etc. Plus running Ultra Marathon distances with my arm size I need strong shoulders to hold them up.  Most importantly though is strong shoulders help me carry my big sons up to bed when they fall asleep on the couch or play sports with them, snow ski holding hands with them, or throwing them up in the air and catching them watching seeing them smile ear to ear!

                As a Fitness Trainer since the middle-late 1990’s and dealing with thousands of clients and millions of readers I’ve always been known to be gentle starting out developing training programs but more than that I’m know to be thorough.  Many people and also their trainers do not want to waste 5-10 min doing some foundational strengthening but put their whole strength and cardio or running program at-risk without some simple foundational strengthening.  It’s simply a dumb laziness to skip these important moves that strengthen little muscles that aid and support the big muscles which maximize our fat burning, power, endurance, agility, balance, and speed.

Don’t practice dumb laziness!

Our Rotator Cuffs are comprised of 4 little muscles which are the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and Subscapularis which keep our shoulder ball and joints working safely together.

Plus the Anterior, Medial, and Posterior Delts – Front, Middle, and Rear of the Shoulders plus the Traps help keep all the shoulders strong for big pressing moves of Power and Olympic classes.

**STOP going into a workout unprepared in Crossfit or Power Lifting or Bodybuilding! When you only hit the big moves/exercises like Military Presses, Thrusters, Cleans, Clean & Presses etc you miss out on 75% of the rest of the shoulders!


Here’s a Sample Shoulder Strengthening Routine with some Proper Warmups:

Warmup 3 sets 15-20 reps:

Internal & External Rotation tubing (Pictured with animation)

also Internal/External Rotation with Dumbbells (Pictured with Dave)

2-5 sets of Light weights (15-20 reps) or Medium weights (10-15 reps) depending on what your goals are for Shoulders during the week like Cleans, Thrusters, etc. This should be done on your main Shoulder day or two days NOT before or after shoulder days. *Always have 2-3 days off in between these muscles getting worked.

  1. Front Presses with Shoulder Press Machine, Barbell, Dumbbells, Rubber Bands, Medicine Ball, or a Kettlebell
  2. Front Raises with Dumbbells (Anterior “Front Shoulders” Delts)
  3. Side Lateral Raises with Dumbbells (Medial “Middle Shoulders” Delts)
  4. Rear Lateral Raises with Dumbbells (Posterior “Rear Shoulders” Delts)
  5. Shrugs with Dumbbells (Trapezius Muscles “Traps”)



Add some weight!

I do a LOT of pull ups. I try to do at least 100 pull ups per workout by working sets of 10 in between whatever exercise I am doing. Pull ups work your back, biceps, shoulders and core and I find that adding some weight to the traditional pull up can really intensify your workout. In any set of pull ups it is very important that you go to full extension and not a half rep. Full extension will open and activate your shoulders and really engage all of the muscles in your back. This is a short clip of a set weighted with 45lbs. 

Want 6 pack abs?


apple core

It all starts at the “core!” Eight years ago I was 30lbs heavier and had pretty serious back issues.  I was in my kitchen one day and sneezed and it threw my back out. I had trouble walking for almost two months and spent countless visits at the chiropractor. Sound familiar? It is – so many people have back issues that start at the core. Ever since I lost the weight and began doing regular core exercises, I have not had any back pain.

Your core is much more than your abdominal muscles and your obliques.  Your core also includes the muscles of your lower back, pelvis, hips and diaphragm.  Strengthening your core will not only help with back issues and improve your physical appearance, but you will feel stronger, breathe better, be healthier and your abs will start showing! Plus, core stability will help prevent all sorts of other injuries.

There is no secret to getting a six pack – it does take hard work, but here are some great tips which helped me and can help you get that shredded stomach, chiseled obliques – and build a strong core!

Crunches – yes the age old crunch. It’s a great warm up exercise for the core. Once they get too easy add weight. Holding a 10, 25 or 45lb plate with your arms extended over your chest while crunching will work. I usually do 2 sets of 50 at the beginning of every workout.

ab wheel


Ab-Wheel– I first saw one of these in my dad’s room over 30 years ago and it still works.  Starting on your knees with your arms almost locked out, you extend by rolling the wheel out as far as you can go and then back again. This exercise works your arms, shoulders, back and abs. I almost touch my nose to the floor when fully extended. You may not be able to go that deep until you develop the strength.

Concept 2 Rower


Rowing – If you have access to a rower, use it! The rower or “erg” engages the core while working your arms, back, heart and lungs. Is it easy? No. Does it work? Yes!



Olympic Lifts– Squats, cleans, snatches, jerks, push presses ALL engage the core muscles. Ever hear someone at the gym say that your whole body gets stronger from squatting? It’s true for all of these exercises because they all use your core and are functional exercises.  *These are more advanced exercises that should not be attempted without proper instruction or supervision.


Clean Eating– Yes, what you put into your body is just as important as the exercises you are doing to strengthen it. See my previous article on “Eating Clean.” The best line I’ve ever seen on eating properly is from Coach Greg Glassman, the creator of CrossFitEat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” Is it a diet? No. It’s clean eating and if you make it a lifestyle rather than thinking of it as a diet you will lose weight and those abs will show!

Weighted Pushups & Weighted Pullups


Few of my Favorite Weighted Chest and Lat Exercises!

These can help you get past some sticking points and plateaus for sure!


Weighted Pushups:

The weighted pushups can really kick your butt and also spice up your chest routines and upper body work! The best way to do them is safely add weight to your shoulders/mid-back area with the help of a friend or two…or three like me lol! Please use spotters.

Normally I would only recommend doing these on heavy weeks and heavy training days because they really stress your joints, ligaments, bones, and tendons. The weighted pushup is not something to do often and when you do it, do it right, and as heavy as you can “safely” take.

For me personally the weighted pushup has gone up to 240lbs on my back on the 4thset and I have done 5 reps. On my heavy weeks I tend to stick in the 5-10 reps range for all exercises.

Read more: Weighted Pushups & Weighted Pullups

Elbow/Forearm Pain Slowing You Down?


Are Elbow and Forearm Pain slowing You down?!

I see Elbow & Forearm pain all the time athletes I begin working with such as OCR Racers, Golfers, Tennis Players, Baseball Players, Gymnists, and even regular Non-Athletes such as stay at home Moms, brick layers, gardeners, and librarians!

What is it? Well most commonly it's a form of Tendonitis such as Tennis Elbow (pain top/outside of the forearm/elbow) and or Golfers Elbow (pain on the inside/lower of the elbow). Without getting too technical with descriptions and anatomy just know you probably have it if you have pain inside or atop your elbow and many times the pain moves into the forearm and wrist. If you are an OCR Athlete you would really notice this pain Racing when climbing over walls, monkey bars, rope climbs, pulls, and more. The pain can get very severe and radiate from our elbows to our forearms to our wrists and hands. In training you would notice in pullups, climbs, grabbing barbells, gripping, etc.

Read more: Elbow/Forearm Pain Slowing You Down?