Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin Move – Part 2

Our Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin move to our new location at 2110 Main Street is going great!!

Rock Solid Fitness DunedinPersonal Training Dunedin

                   A Few Weeks Ago                                            Yesterday


Walls are framed out, AC ducts have been added, plumbing is in place – we are cruising!

Personal Trainer Dunedin

Meeting of the Minds – Patty, Jason the landlord, Jeff the contractor

30 minute workout Dunedin

Hmmm, this looks interesting – perhaps parts of a custom table for the lobby or something?

This new space will have several new new features to help serve you better.  When you walk in, you will first be greeted by a Client Services Staff Member, then you can proceed into our lobby area to wait for your Fitness Coach.

Once your workout starts, you will notice several new pieces of strength training equipment for all areas of the body. In addition, we are adding a Woodway Treadmill (preferred by NFL teams) and a Life Cycle recumbent bike.  This will allow us to add High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) workouts to our menu, to add variety and improve metabolic conditioning.

Coming in before work or during your lunch hour for your workout, and worried about going back to work stinky?  No worries – our new facility has a shower.

And of course our InBody 570 body scanner will be making the trip with us, so we will be able to monitor your body composition changes and adapt your training program and nutritional habits for the absolute best long-term results.

In the meantime, it is business as usual at our Clearwater location, so if you haven’t been in for a while, now is a great time to get back into it, just contact us to schedule a workout or schedule yourself online. And if you’ve never worked out with us before, come on in and try us out – on the house.

So check back here often for continued updates on our progress, and the announcement of the date and time for our Grand Opening Party!




Learn, Grow, and Get Better Every Day

Did you learn, grow, and get better today? Did you do something, anything, to improve yourself in some area of your life? I hope so.

At Rock Solid Fitness, one of our Core Values is: “We continuously seek personal and professional development through educating ourselves and our clients.” Our goal is to be the best Dunedin Personal Training Studio, bar none.

Did you do something today to move you closer to whatever important personal goal you may have in front of you?

Every day you don’t get better, you don’t stay the same, you get worse. Why? Because you’re a day older. And with regard to your fitness goals, every workout you don’t invest in yourself by putting in a maximum effort is a workout you can never get back. There are no “do-overs” in life.

What are some ways you can get better today, with regard to your health and fitness? You can do one more rep on an exercise than you did last time. You can use 5 pounds more than you did last time. You can say no when somebody offers you a donut in the morning. You can drink an extra glass of water. You can eat a fresh fruit. You can skip dessert. You can park 50 yards away from the mall entrance and walk in, instead of driving around the parking lot for 20 minutes looking for a closer space. You can sit up straighter. You can lower the weight on the last rep of your set in 8 seconds instead of 4 seconds. You can go do your scheduled High Intensity workout at Rock Solid Fitness Fl instead of going to happy hour.

What are some ways you can get better today in other areas of your life? You can tell someone you love them. You can clean your room. You can write a letter to a long lost friend. You can give someone a compliment. You can read a self-improvement book or an inspiring biography. You can learn something new. You can make an unpleasant phone call. You can confront a difficult situation. You can do something that scares you. You can complete a project you have been putting off. You can be a good example.

Here at Rock Solid Fitness, we are also in the process of getting better, in order to serve our clients better – through our move to a bigger, better facility in Dunedin. We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to provide better service, new programs, new equipment, and new amenities for our awesome clients!

And by the way, our clients are getting excited too – check this out:

Stay tuned for more news on the Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin Move – make sure to Learn, Grow, and Get Better in some way today – and leave a comment below or on our Facebook Page to tell us about it and inspire us!

Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin Move – Part One

We are thrilled to announce we are moving into a bigger facility so that Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin is better able to serve you, and improve your health and fitness in new and exciting ways!

Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin

Our new location will be 2110 Main Street, Dunedin, in the Coastal Plaza, where the Wal-Mart Neighborhood store is – just a stone’s throw from the Countryside Mall.

Map of 2210 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698
Along with our bigger location, Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin will be introducing some new strength training equipment, as well as some exciting programs for you – like High Intensity Interval Training, treadmill workouts, and much, much more!

nautilus pullover rock solid dunedinmedx chest press rock solidrock solid woodway treadmill

We will also have a cozy lobby for you to comfortably wait for your appointment, have your pre/post workout snack, or recover after an all out effort workout.

We anticipate being in our new space sometime in late October or early November, and will have a big grand opening party with lots of fun, excitement, free workouts and giveaways.  We hope you will tell all of your friends and family to join you!

Yours in Health and Strength,

Patty Durell and the Rock Solid Fitness Team

How to Prevent Low Back Pain

This morning one of our training clients, who is a nurse at a local hospital, was telling me how two of her co-workers are having trouble doing their jobs because they had low back problems.  She said she was trying to explain to them how to prevent low back pain by strengthening the muscles in and around the low back area, but they weren’t really getting it.  So I thought I’d take a stab at it with this blog post.

How to Prevent Low Back Pain Through Strength Training

80% of us – 4 out of 5 – will experience low back pain at some point in our lives.  Low back pain is the #1 cause of disability in the workplace worldwide.

More U.S. health care dollars are spent treating low back pain than almost any other medical condition, but much of that money is be wasted.  Estimates on the health care costs of low back pain range from $50 billion to $200 billion per year – a lot of money, whatever the exact number is.

Yet at the same time, outcomes don’t seem to be improving.  The amount of people who report suffering from back pain is steadily on the rise.  The cause of most back pain is mechanical-meaning it is due to some type of injury, most often a soft tissue injury to the surrounding muscles, tendons and/or ligaments.

Many exercises that supposedly strengthen the lower back muscles are actually dangerous to the spine, and work the hip and leg muscles way more than the low back muscles.  These include any exercise where you explosively pull a weight upward, something you see a lot in many gyms today.  There is nothing worse than going to the gym to prevent injuries, and then getting injured in the process!

But there is good news-proper exercise can help get rid of lower back pain, and strengthen the lower back to reduce the risk of such injuries, and in a safe manner. The best exercises for this purpose are those that isolate the lumbar spine muscles and don’t utilize the hip and leg muscles.

Most common “back” exercises, such as deadlifts or back extensions (shown below), do not achieve this goal.

deadlift45 degree back extension

Isolating the lumbar spine muscles is accomplished by restraining the pelvis, which eliminates the involvement of the hip and leg muscles.  There are very few exercise machines on the market that effectively accomplish this goal. One is the Nautilus Lower Back extension machine (pictured below), which can be found at Rock Solid Fitness.

how to prevent low back pain

As you can see in the picture above, the Nautilus low back machine has 2 seat belts, one which goes across the hips, and one that goes just above the trainees’ knees.  Also, notice how there is a pad that goes behind the hips.  This pad and the 2 seat belts serve to restrain the pelvis, rendering the hip and leg muscles unable to assist with the exercise.  This design isolates the action to only the lumbar spinal muscles.

The trainee starts the exercise in a position of lumbar flexion (bent forward), and leans back into the upper back pad until the lumbar spine is in a position of full extension, working the lumbar spinal muscles through a full range of motion, as shown below.

prevent low back pain

Start Position

low back pain

Finish Position

Of course, the muscles of the hips and thighs are very important to those who want to know how to prevent low back pain, but they should be trained using exercises that specifically target those muscles safely, such as leg press, leg extension, leg curl, etc.  At Rock Solid Fitness, we always perform full body workouts, so that none of these areas are neglected.

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So if you would like to know how to prevent low back pain, using exercises that properly isolate the lumbar spine muscles combined with a full body strengthening program, just schedule a workout at Rock Solid Fitness and we will hook you up!


How to Lose Weight Naturally – and Keep it Off! (Inspirational Guest Post)

If you, like most of us, have struggled to figure out how to lose weight naturally, and keep the weight off long-term, today is your lucky day.

Because today, we are privileged to share a guest post by Rebecca Freedman, who was the featured speaker at our last Free Monthly Health and Fitness Seminar.

And Rebecca knows exactly what she is talking about – because she has lost over 120 pounds, without surgery or drugs, and kept it off long-term.

how to lose weight naturally

So here is a little background info on Rebecca from her website, followed by her thoughts on her Rock Solid Fitness experience. Take it away Rebecca!


How to Lose Weight Naturally

I am a health coach, educator, blogger, and nutrition enthusiast.

My passion for health and wellness developed during my journey of losing 120+ pounds. I formed habits of using food as a source of comfort and a way to cope with my emotions at a young age and allowed these behaviors to escalate over the years. The purpose of food in my life was not to nourish my body when I was feeling hungry, but rather to fill a void when I was feeling bored, sad, lonely, excited, happy, anxious, etc.

Throughout my weight loss journey and my education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I have learned how to maintain a healthy lifestyle by healing my relationship with food and letting go of negative thought patterns that no longer serve me.

In addition to offering individualized support through one-on-one health coaching, I enjoy speaking about shifting from emotional eating to mindful eating, the weight-loss journey, how to make sustainable change in your life, and how to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise. I also teach healthy cooking classes, where the focus is on cooking naturally without a recipe.

I do not believe in dieting. I think that self-love and health go hand-in-hand. Through the development of self-love, we are able to treat the root of the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms.

As someone who has truly been there, nothing gives me greater joy than helping others reach their health goals and feel comfortable in their own skin.

lose weight naturally


My Rock Solid Fitness Reflection


Rock Solid Fitness: Expectations Exceeded.

On my drive to my first workout at Rock Solid Fitness, I felt very skeptical. Looking back at my experiences working out in a gym setting, I remembered that it never felt quite right for me:

  • I never liked being stuck indoors; I like to be outside in nature!
  • People seemed to be so fixated on their appearance, rather than their health
  • I never knew how long to be at the gym, how my sets/reps to do, what muscles to work, etc.
  • I hate cardio machines. I get bored after 30 seconds!
  • I always lift too much and hurt my back

My gym memberships never last very long because I end up injured or bored. I have always thought about going to the gym the same way as I think about dieting. As a society, we think we need to go on a diet and get a gym membership to lose weight and get healthy, but I have never found this model to be sustainable.

Little did I know, Rock Solid Fitness is the exception. I am so thankful that I gave them a chance! After spending a morning at RSF working out and getting to know their program and philosophy, I learned that not all gyms are the same.

Rock Solid Fitness offers a 30 min, 2 times a week, personalized strength training program. They use machines, rather than free weights to reduce risk of injury. A personal trainer is standing with you, programming your workout for you the whole time, ensuring that you are comfortable, safe, and being challenged. The workouts consist of slow push and pull movements in different muscle groups with a unique rep structure that focuses on efficiency.

My trainer, Grant, took the time to get to know my body and understood its needs and limitations. I felt like I had direction, support, and safety, all wrapped up into a quick, time-efficient workout.

After reflecting on my experience with owner, Patty Durell, I realized it wasn’t gyms as a whole that I had an issue with, it was more about the lack of understanding of how a gym workout could fit into my life and what its importance would be.

I grew up with a sedentary lifestyle and was very overweight. Now after losing over 120 pounds, I love running along the water, circuit training in the park, long, brisk walks on the beach, rock climbing, yoga, bike riding, paddle boarding, kayaking, etc. When I was almost 300 pounds, it was difficult and uncomfortable to do outdoor activities like this. My lifestyle has changed and become more active now.

The most interesting part of my conversation with Patty was an analysis of the difference between activity and exercise. Based on my background, I’m not used to enjoying activities that require physical effort. These outdoor activities that I have grown to love aren’t always “exercise,” often times I am just participating in a hobby that I enjoy and it just happens to be an active hobby.

Rock Solid Fitness’s program provides balance by offering the exercise and strength work that is needed in order to become stronger and perform better in your life outside of the gym!

All the best,

Rebecca Freedman

Rebecca's progress Rock Solid Fitness

Only a few pounds difference between the two pictures, but getting a little more toned from strength training. One day at a time!


Thanks Rebecca!

Check out Rebecca’s website – Click Here


How to Get in Shape Fast Over 40

By age 40, a lot of people have let their health and fitness levels slip away.  Of course as young adults, we are all busy with our careers, family, household duties, civic obligations, and leisure activities.  And then, seemingly all of a sudden, we hit the big “Four-O”, and suddenly realize we don’t look, feel, or function the way we used to.

This is usually the a-ha moment when we ask ourselves:

“How can I get in shape fast over 40?”

Just because we are over 40 and busy, there is no reason we can’t live a full, vibrant, healthy life, and look and feel great as well.  Lots of people end up getting into their best shape ever at this time, and there’s is no reason you can’t also.  Age is just a number, and being busy is just an excuse.  Here are a few tips on how to get going on the right track and get back in shape, even if you’re over forty.

Fit over 40

Step 1: Make a Commitment

The first step to achieving any goal we want to set for ourselves is to make a decision, backed up by a commitment to following through on that decision no matter what.  So in this case, you need to decide that you will commit to getting in shape.

Now, a commitment is similar to setting a goal, with one small but powerful addition.  To turn a goal into a commitment, you simply state the goal, then add the words “no matter what”.  Now you’ve got a commitment!

Simple, yes.  Easy, no.

But if getting in shape is important to you, there is no way around this step.  Because there will be tons of distractions, temptations, and other people and things that will threaten to derail you from your desired destination.  You cannot let that happen.  You must stay on course and commit to getting in shape, “no matter what”.  If you can do that, which only takes a few seconds, the rest is relatively easy.

Step 2: Schedule the time

If you had a really important, pressing issue that you needed to talk to your doctor or attorney about, how would you make that happen?

You would schedule an appointment with them, and if it was that important and pressing, you’d keep that appointment no matter what.

I’m here to tell you that when you’re over 40, your health and fitness are as critically important as anything you might discuss with a doctor or attorney.  We’re not getting any younger folks, and one of the natural results of aging is that we lose muscle strength, flexibility, and cardio-vascular efficiency every single year, until we can no longer function effectively – unless we do something about it.

So to get in shape over 40, schedule an appointment a couple times a week with yourself – and then keep that appointment, no matter what.

Step 3: Ask for help

One thing you don’t want to do in your quest to get back in shape after 40 is to waste time with unproductive exercise methods or dietary habits, or even worse, dangerous ones.  Getting on the wrong training program or diet regimen can, at best, be a waste of time and produce no results; or, at worst, produce an injury or health problem.  So how do we avoid the pitfalls of a poor health and fitness program?

  • Enlist the help of an educated, experienced fitness professional.
  • I seeking out these professionals, it is important to ask the right questions, such as:
  • Do they have a college degree in a fitness-related field?
  • How long have they been training other people?
  • Do the have references or testimonials?
  • Do they have experience training people in your age group, with your background as far as health history and experience level?
  • Do I like their training style and feel comfortable with them?

We are here to help you at Rock Solid Fitness, and you can try us out with a Free Introductory Workout to make sure we are the right fit for you.

Step 4: Take Action!

At some point, you will just have to roll up your sleeves, get in there and, as Nike says, “Just Do It”.  Remember, every day you don’t get going, you don’t stay the same.  Why?  Because you’re a day older.  Time waits for no one – why not get started today, to feel and function at your best?



Do I really need a Personal Fitness Coach?

A lot of people, especially those with a lot of workout experience, choose to work out on their own and not hire a personal trainer.  If you’re one of those people, you may have asked yourself: “do I really need a Personal Fitness Coach”?

personal fitness coach

To answer that question, let me tell you Chris’ story.

After retiring from being a personal trainer, Chris decided to started working out on her own, and of course she was training really hard.  Then she came back to us, her former employer, to train a few clients on a part-time basis.

Here’s what happened:

Once she got back to Rock Solid Fitness, she had the opportunity to be trained by another well-educated, experienced Personal Fitness Coach – and was so fatigued after only 30 minutes that she “felt like a wet noodle” afterwards.

Now, you might be thinking it sounds like Chris must be in awful shape.  But remember, Chris is an experienced Personal Fitness Coach herself, and has been working out regularly for years.

How’s that possible? Surely an experienced personal trainer knows how to workout, right?  And she should now how to push herself when working out on her own, shouldn’t she?

Of course she does.  Chris is an expert trainer.  That’s not the issue.

The issue is that nobody can replicate on their own the benefits that a Personal Fitness Coach provides.

  • They watch your form like a hawk, and don’t let you get away with anything. (You don’t do that when you’re alone – trust me).
  • They push you when you think you can’t possibly do any more.
  • They keep you moving through your workout at a good pace – no “” with other people instead of working.
  • They don’t let you rest any longer than you need to.
  • They make sure you do all of the exercises you should-not just your favorites.
  • They change your program up when needed, for better results and to prevent boredom.
  • They make sure you get something FROM the workout, instead of just getting THROUGH the workout.

Once she got reminded of all of these benefits via the “wet noodle” effect, Chris was hooked on working with a Coach once again.  And over the next 2 months, she lost 4 pounds of fat and gained 5 pounds of muscle at the same time!

So if you ever run into Chris, and ask her “hey Chris, do I really need a Personal Fitness Coach?”  I’m pretty sure we all know what the answer will be.

If you are ready for the kind of results Chris is getting, come to Rock Solid Fitness and feel the difference working with one of our Personal Fitness Coaches!

Get the most from your training program – Part 3

Previously in this series, we have discussed the first 2 ways to get the most from your training program, which were: 1. Show up for your appointment; and 2. Listen to your Coach. Now we will discuss the 3rd and final point: Put In A Maximum Effort.


In order for you to stimulate changes in your body through exercise, you have to force your body to attempt things it is not able to do in its current condition.  This means you need to workout at or near your existing capacity in order to stimulate increases in muscular size and strength.

In other words, the intensity of your workout must be as high as possible.  Intensity is defined as the percentage of possible momentary effort being exerted.

For example, if you can perform 8 repetitions with 50 pounds in a certain exercise, and you never attempt a 9th repetition, why would your body ever alter itself?  It won’t, because it has no reason to.

However, attempting that 9th repetition will send a signal to your brain that your current strength levels are insufficient to handle this amount of stress.  Your brain will then instruct your body to go through the chemical processes necessary to build up those muscles to a new level of strength and size, so you can handle that level of stress in the future with no threat to your survival.

This is the same type of process your brain and body go through when you expose yourself to the sun.  If you haven’t been out in the sun for a while, your brain will perceive your exposure as a threat to your survival, because you could actually die from over-exposure to the sun.

To prevent this from happening, your brain instructs your body to protect itself by forming a suntan.  Increased muscular strength and size are the exercise equivalent to a suntan.

Training with a low level of intensity-that is, well below your existing capacity-will do little or nothing to make your muscles grow bigger and stronger.  It’s like trying to get a suntan by standing in front of a 60 watt light bulb.

Each set you perform should be a maximum effort, taken to a point where you cannot continue with proper form.  This is called training to failure.

Once you reach a point of muscular failure, you have done everything humanly possible to stimulate an increase in muscular size and strength in those muscles-and you don’t have to do it again.  When you train like this, one set of each exercise is all you need.

Taking an exercise to the point of muscular failure “flips the switch” and turns on the muscular growth process.  And, just like turning on a light switch, once you turn it on, you don’t have to stand there for 15 minutes flicking the switch on and off.  Once it’s on, you’re done.

So there you have it – you only have to do 3 things to get the most out of your training program, and your Fitness Coach will take care of everything else.  That’s not to much to ask – is it?

And if you you don’t have a Fitness Coach yet, you have 2 choices:

1. Try to do everything yourself, like go get a college degree in Exercise Science, do your own program design, supervise your own form, encourage yourself, hold yourself accountable, etc.


2. Get yourself a team of qualified Fitness Coaches working for you, by clicking HERE.

It’s up to you!

Get the most from your training program – Part 2

In our last post, we talked about the importance of committing to attending your scheduled workouts (on time!) consistently in order to get the best results possible from your training.  Today in Part 2 of this series, we will discuss the second thing you need to do to get the most from your training program – listen to your Coach.

Having a Fitness Coach to supervise your workouts is different than just having a personal trainer.  A trainer’s job is to take you through a workout; the job of a Coach is to help you be the best that you can be.

All of the top athletes in the world have a coach.  Think about that for a moment – people who are already so highly skilled that they are the best in the entire world at what they do all have a Coach.  Why do you think that is?


I believe the answer is accountability.  A good Coach will always get more out of you than you can get out of yourself.  And the only way you can repay your Coach for their efforts is to perform at your best!

In a fitness setting, some of the other benefits of having a Coach include:

  • Making sure you are exercising safely
  • Monitoring your form to make sure you get the most benefit from the exercise
  • Encouraging you to put in a maximum effort
  • Recording your workouts and making adjustments as needed
  • Designing a program for you that gives you what you need, not just doing what you like

And studies consistently show that just having somebody watch you during your workout causes you to work out harder.

So make sure you listen to your Fitness Coach – they are there to help you be the best that you can be!



Do these 3 things to get the most from your fitness program

It takes a certain level of commitment to start and maintain a fitness program long enough to see some good results.  Beyond that, good results  can only be kept if you continue training consistently-the phrase “use it, or lose it” applies here.

And once you arrive at the gym or training studio, what you do when you get there makes a big difference.  If you just “go through the motions”, results will be negligible.  As with most worthwhile things in life you get out of it what you put into it.  So your choice is this-are you going to just try to get through the workout, or are you going to get the most you can from the workout?

With this in mind, there are three things you can do which will serve as the foundation for a successful fitness training program.  These recommendations are based on behaviors we see in our most successful training clients.  Remember, success leaves clues-if you do what successful training clients do, you will become a successful training client.  This is why we encourage you to do these 3 things to get the most from your fitness program:

1. Show up for your appointment.

2. Listen to your Coach.

3. Put in a maximum effort.

Now, let’s go a little more in depth on point #1.

Show up for your appointment

The first, and rather obvious, thing you need to do to be successful is to show up for your scheduled appointment.  You need to develop a “no matter what” attitude toward making it in for your workouts.  Barring a debilitating illness or injury, you need to make it to your scheduled workouts even when you don’t feel like going.  What we have found is that it’s natural to have times when you don’t feel like working out, but if you can just force yourself to go, lo and behold you might (and often will) have your best day ever!  It’s a recipe for failure to wait until you feel motivated, then go workout; a much better approach is to just go, and once you get there you will get motivated as you get into the workout.

Check out what Marilyn says about showing up for your appointment:


In our next post, we will discuss point #2: Listen to your Coach.