Happy Carpe Diem Day

On March 31st, 2003, a doctor told me I had prostate cancer. I was 44 years old.

That’s not good.

On June 4th, 2003, a different doctor performed surgery on me to remove the cancerous gland.

That is good.

Today, June 4th, 2012, is the 9th anniversary of that surgery, and the doctor tells me cancer is still undetectable in my body.

That’s very good.

I have proclaimed June 4th “Carpe Diem Day”. I celebrate it every year, and invite you to celebrate it with me.

Carpe Diem is Latin for “seize the day”. Being diagnosed with a terminal disease, and subsequently getting it taken care of and receiving a second chance at life, gives one a new perspective on how very precious each moment of life is.

I believe that every person’s highest moral purpose is the achievement of their own happiness. Whatever you need to do to achieve yours, I encourage you to “seize the day” and do something today to move you one step closer to it.

As my fellow cancer survivor Lance Armstrong would say-every second counts!

Seize the day,

Dave Durell, MS, PTA, Master HIT Trainer
Rock Solid Fitness FL


The Fallacy of Functional Training – by Dave Durell

The Fallacy of Functional Training

by Dave Durell

In the past few years, a fitness craze has been sweeping the industry-the operative word being “craze”.

They call it “Functional Training”.


I have witnessed this craze reach epidemic proportions in the fitness world, to the extent that many people equate this type of training with the field of personal training: in other words, so many trainers are training people this way, people think that so-called Functional Training is what personal training is, and that’s all it is; that they are one in the same.

I’ve had it.

In this article, and I’m sure in many more ways to follow in the future, I’m going to define and explain what is meant by the term Functional Training, point out the flaws in both its theory and methodology, and give my opinion as to why I think it’s a joke.

As my reference point for the definition and explanation of Functional Training, I will use the apparently impartial source Wikipedia.

Wikipedia defines Functional Training as “a classification of exercise which involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life.”

Wait a minute-isn’t that the goal of any form of exercise? The function of skeletal muscles is to produce movement. Therefore, any exercise program that strengthens the muscles will improve the body’s ability to move during “the activities performed in daily life”, whatever they may happen to be. High Intensity Training, as well as many other forms of exercise, can and do result in stronger muscles. Functional Training advocates give the impression that if you train with machines or conventional strength training equipment you are going to end up weak and uncoordinated. It doesn’t work that way. Strong muscles produce strong movements, no matter what your “activities of daily life” might be.

Wikipedia: “Functional training has its origins in rehabilitation. Physical therapists developed exercises that mimicked what patients did at home or work in order to return to their lives or jobs after an injury or surgery. Thus if a patient’s job required repeatedly heavy lifting, rehabilitation would be targeted towards heavy lifting, if the patient were a parent of young children, it would be targeted towards moderate lifting and endurance, and if the patient were a marathon runner, training would be targeted towards re-building endurance.”

First of all, by definition, rehabilitation patients are not functioning at a normal level-if they were, they would not need rehabilitation. As both a Personal Trainer and a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant, I can tell you first-hand that there is a BIG difference between rehab training to get back to a normal, functioning state, and trying to increase your levels of muscular size and strength beyond normal levels. For a person who is not injured or impaired to train with rehab techniques in order to get bigger and stronger constitutes context-switching and is ridiculous.

Furthermore, What if the marathon runner also has young children and works as a furniture mover? Does he do 3 different routines, or just one routine that is 3 times longer? I don’t know about you, but I don’t perform the exact same “activities of daily life” every single day. Does that mean I need to change my workout program every time I train, depending on what I’m going to do that day or the next day? Do I need to lift heavy weights the week I’m going to help my friend move, and lay around at the gym the week before my vacation in the Bahamas?

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Located at Rock Solid Fitness FL in the Time Plaza at 1969 Sunset Point Rd., Suite 11, Clearwater, FL 33765
727-282-1800    www.RockSolidFitnessFL.com

April 2012 Seminar Highlights

Our April 2012 Free monthly seminar was titled “How To Eat What You Want And Be Fit”. The topics discussed included: how to determine your daily calorie needs; how to eat what you want and still lose weight; how much protein you need to build pure muscle; the truth about carbohydrates; how to burn fat even on days you don’t workout; and much, much more.

We all had fun (I think) yelling in unison some key phrases, such as “muscles are the calorie burning engines of the body”.

In addition to the seminar, we presented the “Client Of The Month” award to long-time member Terry Gale–nice job Terry!

We had a nice turnout, and the clients in attendance who needed to purchase more sessions got 10% off the night of the seminar (shameless bribe :)).

Next month, our topic will be “The Truth About Cardio”. Hope to see you there!

Rock Solid Fitness offers personal training in Clearwater Florida.

Is Sarcopenia Ruining Your Life?

Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass, which causes a loss of strength and function.  Sarcopenia normally begins somewhere between ages 30-40, and continues throughout a person’s life.  The rate of muscle loss is commonly thought to be about 1/2 a pound of muscle lost per year-a whopping 5 pounds per decade!-and that rate accelerates after age 75.

The function of your muscles is to produce movement.  It follows logically, then, that the less muscle you have, the tougher time you are going to have trying to move.  The harder it is for you to move, the less active you will be inclined to be.  This cascades into a host of other problems created by this more sedentary lifestyle: your bones get thinner, weaker and more susceptible to breaking; you are at greater risk of respiratory problems, such as pneumonia: and metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, may develop.

Muscles are also the calorie burning engines of the body.  So, having more muscle means we burn more calories, 24 hours a day.  If you lose muscle mass from sarcopenia, and you keep eating the same amount (which everybody does, because you don’t even know it’s happening), you are going to get fatter.  Muscle tissue gets top priority on your calories, and if your body has less muscle to feed, the extra will get stored for future energy needs-in the form of fat.

So basically, if you lose a bunch of muscle from sarcopenia, you are opening yourself up to a bunch of health issues, some of them potentially very serious – even life threatening.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Fortunately, sarcopenia is largely preventable, and partly reversible, with appropriate exercise interventions.  In other words, you can stop sarcopenia, or even get some muscle back if you have lost some, by engaging in proper muscle-building exercise – namely, strength training.

personal trainer clearwater

The pictures below illustrate this.  No, those are not prime cuts of beef from a Dunedin steakhouse.  Those are cross-sectional MRI slides of the thighs of 3 different people.  In each picture, the white part on the outside is skin and adipose tissue; the gray part in the middle is muscle tissue; and the black and white circular parts in the middle are the femur bone of the thigh.

The top picture is from a 40 year old triathlete.  Observe that he has a LOT of muscle (gray), hardly any fat (white outer part), and thick, well defined bones (center).  Pretty much just what you would expect from somebody who puts in that level of training.

The middle picture is a 74 year old sedentary male.  Notice that, compared to the triathlete, his thighs mostly consist of fat; there is much, much less muscle tissue, and what’s there doesn’t appear to be in very good condition; and interestingly, his bones are much, much smaller as well.  It is safe to say that this man will have a very difficult time moving, be unable to do many things that require significant leg strength, (like climbing stairs), and has at a much higher risk for fractures, due to his thinner bones.

The bottom picture is the one most salient to our discussion.  This picture is from a 70 year old triathlete.  Can you see how similar this picture is to the top picture?  It’s almost identical, and yet  the person in the bottom picture is 30 years older than the one in the top picture!


gyms in clearwater FL 2


So whatever you do, keep on strength training as you get older – AND DON’T EVER STOP.  The quality of your life will be significantly diminished if you don’t.  If you’re not sure how to perform proper muscle-building strength training safely, find an experienced, well-educated Personal Trainer.

If you have been checking out gyms in Clearwater FL, and still haven’t found the right Personal Trainer in Clearwater, come a tiny bit farther up the street and check out Rock Solid Fitness in Dunedin FL.  You can even try out a sarcopenia-preventing workout FREE, just CLICK HERE!

rock solid fitness in Dunedin FL




HIT Resurgence Conference

Hit Resurgence










I had the privilege of attending the HIT Resurgence Conference in Minnesota March 23-24. This was a two day conference put on by Discover Strength.

The roster included some of the big names in high intensity training, including Dr. Ellington Darden, Dr. Wayne Wescott, Dr. Ted Lambrinides, and Mark Asanovich to name a few. The topics ranged from muscle building to fat loss and everything in between with tips on how to stay motivated and stick with it!

Everybody understands how tough diet and exercise can be, so to see professionals in the field explain how they conquer it the right way and still live to talk about it was enlightening! The principals are quite simple, it all goes back to the old saying, calories in vs. calories out. As long as more calories are being burned than consumed and strength training is being implemented, success in your efforts are not far away! In spite of popular belief, patience and hard work do pay off!

New Beginnings

Hi to all!

My name is Christie Jackson, I'm a High Intensity Trainer at Rock Solid Fitness
in Florida. I'm launching this blog in hopes to motivate, communicate, educate,
and inspire anyone who's willing to listen! The beginning of a new year is a
great place to start! Everyone seems to want to lose weight, become healthier,
and lead a better lifestyle. The first step to this, in my opinion, is educating
yourself on making the right decisions and integrating them into your daily
routine. In this blog we will chat about anything and everything health and fitness,
including topics such as workout myths, finding balance in your life, and foods
that heal and harm you. Many new things are also happening at Rock Solid and I'm
sure I will have tons to talk about with starting a new business and the
successes it brings as well as the challenges we overcome!
Cant wait to start this journey! Buckle up and enjoy the ride!