Strike a Balance Between Training and Life (Sara Hall)

Balance… our favorite topic, especially when our girl, Sara is giving advice! We love that Sara, one of America’s premiere distance runners is talking about the importance of balance, overtraining, and recovery.  A huge reason our personal trainers are equipped to help set fitness goals and create a roadmap to make your training successful and safe.  The pros will help you focus on smaller goals that are specific and realistic; they’re more attainable, setting you up to achieve the larger, more audacious goal.  We are extremely excited to watch Sara’s road to Boston… what a goal!

Read here:

Balance Trainer Spotlight: Carmen DelMastro

Balance Trainer & Instructor, Carmen DelMastro, is featured this week to share with you how he “balances” his fitness routine into his busy life.

Carmen’s career in the fitness industry began in 2012 and since that time he has held numerous positions – from a floor & small group trainer, to the personal training manager & director at a large health club.  He has also worked as an exercise physiologist at one of the top rehabilitation facilities in the Philadelphia area.

Growing up, sports were Carmen’s passion, and he dedicated his life to developing himself as an athlete. Unfortunately, there was one major obstacle that constantly stood in his way… injuries.  Time after time, he would find myself nursing ailments, completely ignorant to what was causing the pain in the first place.  This was the driving force inspiring his career change to personal training.

Carmen dedicated himself to functional training, where he has found himself in the best shape of his life – stronger & more flexible than ever – while focusing on injury rehabilitation and future injury prevention.  His goal is to help his clients achieve the same healthy physical balance of strength and flexibility and understand the body’s movement to best avoid injury and maximize performance and results.


Training for me has always kind of been programmed into my brain since I was a young kid trying to make as a professional baseball player. I have always been on a strict schedule and regardless of how busy or how stressed for time I am I always make it a priority to train myself during the day. It doesn’t have to be a long training session it just has to be as effective as possible whether it’s 20 minutes or 45 minutes.

I primarily like to focus on flexibility and mobility work to begin all of my workouts since I’ve suffered a various amounts of injuries during my time playing sports growing up this area of my workouts is vital for me. I than do a dynamic warmup which generally consists of sport specific movements whether it is to get my heart rate up or my fast twitch muscles firing.

I usually get into some type of compound exercise whether it’s deadlifts, bench press, front squats or hang cleans depending on the day. Throw in some accessory work to go along with the particular muscle group I did as my compound and that’s generally my workout for the day. I am also a plyometric fanatic so I do like to jump around from time to time. I generally am training anywhere between 5-6 times a week depending on how I am feeling for that particular week.

Tim Ferriss Podcast

A favorite blog/ podcast personality, Tim Ferris interviews Ryan Flaherty, Senior Director at Nike Performance on improving athlete’s performance.

Listen Here:


“Don’t buy complexity; the simpler you make your training, the better the results become.”
– Ryan Flaherty

“Ryan Flaherty (@ryanflaherty1) is the Senior Director of Performance at Nike. Prior to holding that position, Ryan was the Founder and President of Prolific Athletes LLC, a sports performance facility in San Diego, California, where he trained some of the world’s best athletes. His clients include Serena Williams, Russell Wilson, the Arizona Cardinals, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and hundreds of other professional athletes.

While he is well known for dramatically improving his athletes’ speed, more and more athletes (and coaches) seek Ryan out for his training and guidance on injury prevention. Many of Ryan’s clients have made remarkable recoveries from injuries, and several NFL teams and European soccer clubs have sought his methodology to implement into their training programming.

Ryan developed an algorithm called “Force Number” that is based on the hex (or trap) bar deadlift and body weight to predict speed such as the forty-yard dash.

In this discussion, we talk about exercises for reducing injury potential, how Ryan uses the Force Number, what his workouts look like from warmup to finish, how he helped Meb Keflezighi train for his Boston Marathon victory, how to go from sprinting to long distance running, and lots more.

Whether you’re trying to become a better athlete or just less injured from your workouts in any type of training, you’ll want to check out this conversation with Ryan Flaherty, the Savant of Speed!”



Val’s Saturday Inspiration

Balance Instructor, Val Bergman, is our in house “pro”- seriously, Val can teach any and every class we offer. 

Val swam growing up and her team mantra was “Pain is temporary but Pride is forever” and she lives that mantra EVERY day.  Even though her workouts have changed, she says “I always want to feel proud of my accomplishments”

Val is on for a triple threat class Saturday— Cycle, B Strong and B Fit. Get your  Spring inspiration tomorrow from Val!  Register through Mindbody at 




Please Save the Date!

B Inspired Wellness Festival

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

10am – 2pm at Balance/ Kismet

We have an incredible lineup for the day including workout sessions and presentations from the following:


Dr. Shari Elman / Intuitive Life Coach

Ted McDonald
Endurance Athlete, Yoga Teacher, Entrepreneur

Dr. Kulvinder Kaur
Genome Scientist

Dr. Michael Baime
The founder and Director of the Penn Program for Mindfulness

Lauren Lobley
Delectable You Recipes for Life
Author of “Accidental Paleo”

Julie Hunt
Meditation Instructor
Author of “Shout from the Rooftop in your Stilettos”

Chrissy Dress
Owner/ Aesthetician at CURE de Repos

Melissa Magee/ Festival Emcee/ Channel 6ABC

Be sure to check the web site for B Inspired information:
Copyright © 2018 B Inspired, All rights reserved.


Training Strength and Power in Young Athletes, by Scott Dyck – Balance Head Trainer


Training Strength and Power in Young Athletes

There’s no way I can cover all the things I have to say about training young athletes in one article, so let’s take it a little at a time and talk about the simple concepts of strength and power. Strength is pretty straightforward, power is sometimes not as well understood. Let’s cover strength first.

First of all, not all strength training is equal, it has to be smart and relevant to what you want to improve. Unless you’re a powerlifter or Olympic weightlifter, the point should not be to see who can lift the highest number of pounds or kilos off the floor. If your training program is producing great lifting numbers in the gym but not improving your sport measurables or your game performance, you need a better approach.

It’s important to note that success in athletics and progress with training is in some part limited by your genetic makeup. If you’re a naturally slow sprinter, no amount of training is going to make you dramatically faster. If you naturally top out with a 58mph fastball, you can’t train your way up to 90mph with sheer will, dedication, and smart training. You can’t learn to be taller, etc. Basically, you can’t change your DNA.

Everyone is endowed with individual strengths and weaknesses, and they should be embraced and understood. If you can’t jump very high, but you love to play basketball, understand that. Do everything you can to improve your vertical leap, but at the same time realize that it’s not likely to be the thing you hang your hat on. It’s all part of understanding yourself and changing the things that will make the most difference, rather than trying to achieve something arbitrary or realistically unattainable.
When I’m deciding how to approach training an athlete, I take a two step approach:

1. Identify the attributes that define them as a player, and make them even stronger. (No training should ever make you worse at what you’re naturally good at.)

2. Identify the weakness that is the greatest liability, and try to destroy it.

To put it simply, your strength and conditioning program needs to strengthen the body as a whole, be geared toward the type of body you want to build, take special consideration for the most needy movement issues, then teach that progressively stronger body to do those strength movements as quickly as possible.

This is the difference between strength and power as it relates to athletic performance.

Strength = how much force you can exert on something.
Power = how fast you can exert that force on something.

Snatching a heavy barbell from the floor to overhead in less than a second is Power.

An offensive lineman driving his legs to hold his position is Strength.
A 48” box jump is Power.

Bench pressing a heavy barbell over a few seconds time is Strength.

Throwing an 85mph fastball is Power. .

Squatting 400# below parallel is Strength.

Dunking a basketball is Power.

You get the idea.

In reality, there’s not a lot of slow, maximal bilateral effort happening on the field or court. If it is, it isn’t for very long, and explosive movements are often on one foot. Your training should reflect that, building strength AND power through the movements you need, with specificity to the way you use them.

It should be noted that there is no power without strength. You have to somehow stress the body enough that it adapts and gets stronger in response, and that’s what strength training is.

It just can’t be the primary focus and measure of success of the program. The success of your strength and conditioning program should always be measured by answering the simple question: “Is it making me better for my sport?”
If you can’t confidently answer that with a “yes!”, it’s time to look into why.

In the Balance Youth Sports Conditioning program, this is the approach we take to building strength and power while incorporating appropriate speed, plyometric, and agility drills. Each training session consists of:

Comprehensive warmup: No athletes will ever lift, jump, throw, or sprint until they are physically prepared for that specific movement. I teach them a variety of ways to loosen up the joints and muscles and free up the ranges of motion most important to efficient, quick, powerful movement and a decreased risk of injury.

Speed and Agility: In sports, speed is the most coveted trait. We do everything we can to perfect running form, both to minimize wasted energy and maximize explosive acceleration, rapid change of direction, and quick deceleration. We typically do this early in the workout, as it’s more neurologically taxing than some of the simpler strength exercises, and more complex and ballistic and should be done with focus, high energy, and fresh muscles. We alternate the emphasis between power and kinesthetic awareness and conditioning, though they can overlap. Quality always takes precedence over quantity.

*Power: As stated previously, power is fast strength. This is always relative to the strength level of the athlete, but powerful movements can be scaled safely and are often purposely done with bodyweight only. My approach to power focuses heavily on quick, powerful extension of the hips and shoulders; think jumping, sprinting, pushing, pulling, and throwing with a specific twist to your sport, age, strength, and goals. I often have a 5’6” figure skater working alongside a 6’5” shot putter, both training for the same outcome in a very different looking way.

Strength: Each athlete that comes into my program needs to meet some basic bodyweight strength benchmarks before they ever lift any weights. If they come in strong enough to meet the standard, we can immediately begin progressing with various types of resistance. If they cannot, we work out a simple progression of bodyweight exercises to get them there. In any case, the intensity of the strength workout will be determined by where they are chronologically in their season/offseason, their age, training age and injury history, and the nature of the sport or sports that they play. This may sound disorganized, but the underlying strength concepts for most athletes are very similar if not the same. They come in varying degrees and often require completely different exercises to achieve a similar strength result, but it’s possible and we do it all the time. The strength portion is often the most time consuming part of the workout, as more rest is needed between exercises or sets.

Flexibility/Mobility: Every workout ends with targeted foam rolling, big open stretches that are hard to cheat, and specific stretches for any individual problems that we’ve identified. The importance of developing a full range of motion cannot possibly be overemphasized, and this is the time we set aside to slow down and focus on what most needs to improve.

Scott Dyck, Certified Fitness Trainer, United States Army Veteran
Head Trainer, Balance Chestnut Hill
Author, Group Fitness, International Sport Science Association accredited certification
FMS Level 1