FRI: Reflections from a 6 Year Member
Let’s take it back to the winter of 2012. I was a 6’3”, 165-pound sophomore at Palomar College. I was a pitcher on the baseball team and I had very minimal weight training. Every team I had been on up until that point either had us do extreme amounts of core exercises and conditioning or if there was weight lifting, it was with dumbbells and machines. You could imagine my initial shock when I first walked into Performance360. My knowledge of proper barbell lifting techniques was poor and mostly inaccurate. I still thought you were supposed to push through the balls of your feet on back squat, and I also think I was nowhere near breaking parallel.
Enter Dave and Pritz. This was pre-bearded Dave and before Pritz grew out his glorious flow, but the same guys to their core from today. They started training me in one-on- one sessions 3 days a week. They broke down every movement for me, taught me proper form, and made sure I was comfortable with every lift before adding weight to it. They tailored workouts to help improve my velocity and athleticism. Within 6 months, I gained 15 pounds of muscle and added 4-5 mph to my fastball.
This was a HUGE achievement for me. Growing up, I had always been the guy who could eat 5-6 meals a day and somehow lose weight. The fact that I had gained weight and added functional strength were huge accomplishments. The results speak for themselves, but what kept me coming back to the gym was the atmosphere that Dave and Pritz had created. They weren’t your typical personal trainer bros who gave their clients the same prescribed workout each session while talking about their side realtor or supplement business. They were committed to make sure that my individual goals were met and emphasized form and technique over everything.
By the end of September, I was up to 185 pounds and easily in the best shape of my life. I transferred to Cal Poly Pomona, where I played two years of baseball. When I would come back home for winter and summer breaks, I would continue my workouts at Performance 360 (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it). In May of 2014, I played my last game at Cal Poly and for the first time in my life, I no longer had anything to train for. I had always worked out to improve in baseball and without baseball, I didn’t feel the need to go to the gym. Plus it was nice to finally have some free time. I had devoted 4-6 hours a day to practice and workouts my entire career, so the fact that I could just sit on the couch all day was a phenomenon. I attended school for 2 more years, graduated with my B.S. in Industrial Engineering, and moved back to San Diego in June 2016. As I started my first job out of school, I attempted to go to the gym on my own.
However, I could never get into a consistent cycle of going. Going to a Crunch or a 24-Hour Fitness, the gym would always be crowded after work. I would either have to wait 15 minutes at each station to do the lifts I wanted, or tailor my routine to what stations were available. This made going to gym painful and I would find any excuse I could to get out of working out. I would work out for two weeks, then take a week off, work out for another week, take another week off, and so on and so. I finally hit a turning point playing in a pickup basketball game and being winded 2 minutes into it. I was officially out of shape and did not like the feeling. I decided to go back to my roots and returned to the new and improved Performance 360.
Although I miss elements of that first gym off Santa Clara, there’s something very San Diego about doing box jumps outside and farmer’s walks along the bay, I did not miss battling Junior Lifeguard parents for parking spots or the decent amount of sand that would get blown into the gym throughout the day. There were many other improvements aside from the parking, but one that stuck out the most was the coaches. It was clear that Pritz and Dave had installed their same teaching mindsets to the coaches and the culture had stuck.
My first class back was with Jules and it was awesome. The strength tier was hang cleans, which I had never done before. As a pitcher, I typically avoided any strength lifts for shoulders, so this probably wasn’t the greatest lift for my first day back… or so I thought. Jules walked me through the movement, made sure my form and technique were correct, and then stopped by and gave me instructions as the class progressed. This was what I have experienced with every coach at Performance 360. Whether it was with new lifts like overhead snatches or lifts I have done plenty of times like deadlifts, every coach has been enthusiastic and willing to help and have stressed form and technique, just like Dave and Pritz all those years ago. I’ve now been back for a year and a half and have no intents of stopping.
The community is one of a kind and I love the range of classes. I can select what workouts I want to do each week and no longer have to battle the crowds at other gyms. I also love the effort that is put in to show the benefits of each movement. When I first started, Iwould do every movement given me to me no questions asked, always figuring it would somehow improve my pitching abilities. However, now that I can select what classes I go to, I can potentially cherry pick movements that I like and avoid movements that I don’t. The great thing about the blogs on the website and the instructors giving background info on each lift is it shows how important everything is. Lifting on my own, I would find whatever reason I could to get out of single-leg lifts, but now I understand that they expose the imbalance of strength between my two legs and help even things out. It’s bonuses like these that have been great additions to Performance 360 during its lifespan.
It’s crazy how much Performance 360 has evolved and I’m excited to see where it keeps going. What was once a gym run by two guys who were trying to provide a unique workout experience next to a paddle board rental shop now has 3 different locations with hundreds of members. My personal goals have changed; unfortunately, it’s no longer beneficial for me to throw 90 mph. I’m now working to reduce my body fat percentage, add muscle, and keep improving my overall athleticism. I’m still seeing great progress and look forward to the new challenges ahead.
First, for Structure.
10 DB Bench Press
80m Farmer Walk
Complete 4 sets in 18 minutes.
Then, for PPB.
SE 1: 5′ Goblet Squats (62#/44#)
Heats of 3