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Training Station founder Phil Clark, and friends, write about the gym, fitness and life.

back pain

Why do ab exercises hurt my back?

By Phil Clark / November 2, 2019

There are a number of moving parts in the spine. Some ab exercises cause the parts to move and some don’t. If you’re doing an ab exercise that causes back pain — because the exercise requires trunk extension or trunk flexion or lateral flexion — then the exercise is making some part of the spine…

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fittest in Philadelphia

We Made Amy One of the Fittest in Philadelphia

By Phil Clark / October 25, 2019

Amy never asked to be among the fittest in Philadelphia. She runs a nationwide law practice and just wanted to improve her fitness and to keep her sanity. She didn’t know how far the improvement would go. She Didn’t Start with Us Amy did personal training up to four times per week at other gyms.…

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personal training

Personal training: How to get results

By Phil Clark / October 25, 2019

What I mean by personal training is one-to-one fitness instruction. I’m excluding so-called semi-private training, where an instructor simultaneously supervises a small group of people. There is exercising with others in a group, and there is exercising alone under the supervision of one instructor. Many find the former helpful but I have expertise in the…

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bench press

Do push-ups help you bench press more?

By Phil Clark / October 19, 2019

It has long been understood that one should do a variety of exercises, beyond the bench press, if he wants to bench press heavier weights. A similar idea is understood for just about every sport. Which is why track racers lift weights, baseball pitchers run distance, and swimmers do dry land exercises. But which exercises…

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weight loss calculator

Weight Loss Calculator: The Training Station Gym’s secret weapon

By Phil Clark / October 12, 2019

You glance at the menu board to know the number of calories in your bacon cheeseburger value meal. Where do you find the number of calories that your workout will burn? Why not at your gym? That’s why we created The Training Station Weight Loss Calculator. If a member plans to do, for example, 20…

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clean a weight

The muscles used to clean a weight from the floor.

By Phil Clark / October 5, 2019

Every time the body is moved—every time you clean a weight from the floor, for example—that movement can be described. If you raise your arm in front of your torso until it’s parallel to the ground, you could describe that movement as a forward arm raise. But it could also be described as shoulder flexion.…

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muscle imbalance

Muscle imbalance: can it be corrected?

By Phil Clark / September 28, 2019

A difference in strength between limbs, or between anterior and posterior muscles on a bone, is commonly observed. Is that muscle imbalance problematic? If so, how should it be corrected? The people who are experts in what you do, meaning in your sport or activity, are also the people who should answer that question. For…

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do cardio everyday

Should I do cardio everyday?

By Phil Clark / August 10, 2019

My use of the term ‘cardio’ should bring to mind the continuos-exercise machines like treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stair mills, and steppers. Here is what can be said about four different groups and whether they should do cardio everyday, or not: People who want excellent aerobic fitness should do cardio everyday. People who…

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exercises that burn the most calories

What are the exercises that burn the most calories?

By Phil Clark / July 20, 2019

The most reliable way to calculate energy expenditure during exercise, outside of a human calorimeter, is to measure the oxygen consumed during the exercise. That requires special equipment and training. Plus, oxygen consumption has to be measured for each separate exercise. That’s exactly what exercise physiologists have been doing for years. They regularly publish their…

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free weights and machines

Free weights and machines, which is better?

By Phil Clark / July 13, 2019

Sometimes people use a thing to lift a weight. That thing is a machine if it includes: a wedge, a lever, an inclined plane, a wheel & axle, a screw, a pulley, a gear, a hydrostatic component, a hydraulic component, springs, gear differentials, linkages, couplings, cams, clutches, or an engine. The strength area in a…

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