"If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there" -someone (probably)

Goal setting is a popular topic for blogs, life hack articles, etc for a reason, it's an effective method of achievement.  The gym is no different, the problem is that most of us aren't properly setting achievable goals. 

Several often heard phrases in the gym are "I want to get in shape" or "I want to tone up" or "I want to get stronger".  Those all sound great, who wouldn't want those things!  Here's the problem, how will you know when you've gotten in shape?  Are toned?  Strong?  

Wouldn't it be much better to say "I want to be able to run two miles without stopping", "I want to fit into my favorite pair of jeans again" or "I want to be able to throw my kid in the pool"? Now you have something specific to aim for, something that is specific to making your life better.  Isn't that much more motivating?  Goals in the gym can be big or small but they have to be specific, measurable and personal.

So figure out what it is you really want to do and let us know, we'll be your navigation system!

What's up with Cupping?

What's up with Cupping?

Cupping Therapy is a thousands of years old Eastern massage technique Victoria uses to loosen tight muscles, release adhesions and breakup scar tissue. Cupping Therapy creates a vacuum, negative pressure, on the skin to dispel stagnant blood and lymph, improving Qi (life force / energy) flow in the body.  The vacuum created also pulls fresh, nutrient-rich and oxygenated blood into the area that is drawn up into the cup which is what heals the body.  Tight muscles, muscle adhesions and scar tissue all lack proper blood flow that keeps the muscles working properly.  Tissues become ischemic when there is restricted blood flow and results in tissue dysfunction, which we feel as pain.  




10 Easy Ways to Increase Your NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis)

10 Easy Ways to Increase Your NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis)

Spring has just begun which means Summer is right around the corner. This means it is time to start shedding those extra pounds. Many of us commonly believe that losing those extra pounds means extra work in the gym and in the kitchen. In reality, one of the best ways to lose those those extra pounds for good and keep it off is to make daily habit changes that can help burn those extra calories during activities you would normally do regardless. What I am talking about is increasing your NEAT.

Why you need to eat Breakfast

Why you need to eat Breakfast

I’ve been a Strength and Conditioning Coach for 10+ years and have found the misconception still exists that it’s okay to starve yourself if you want to lose weight and get in shape. There is no statement further from the truth. What you eat matters, but when you eat is also an important factor to consider, starting with the most important meal of the day, Breakfast. 

What you can learn from a professional athlete

My name is Dominique “Domi” Richardson and I play professional soccer in the National Women’s Soccer League. I grew up in Fullerton, CA where I played 4 years of varsity soccer and basketball at Fullerton High School. Throughout that time I played for a couple club teams around the Southern California area before I went on to play Division 1 soccer at the University of Missouri. After being a four year starter there, I went on to play professionally in the NWSL. My past two seasons as a pro have been spent as a member of the Houston Dash and the FC Kansas City Blues. 

When I was coming home back home to Orange County during offseason, I was looking for more than just a place to train; I was looking for a gym and a trainer that would push me and challenge me to get stronger, more fit, faster and to ultimately reach the goals I had in mind for the upcoming season. These past few months of training with Stephen and Jared have done exactly that. I have done a variety of training to get my health and body up to where it needs to be in order to perform well during the six months of season. 

Being at the professional level of any sport has high demands for what you need to put your body through in order to perform well which is where a high level of training and preparation come into play. This past season I suffered a couple injures which kept me sidelined so that was something I wanted to make sure I took care of this offseason so it doesn’t happen to me again. With a muscle injury, it is important to make sure to build strength back up once it is healed. That being said, Stephen has been implementing workouts for me that really focus on overall strength, but also work to balance my body out more equally. 

Moving from collegiate soccer to pro, made me come to the realization that I knew I really needed to put a lot of time and focus into was just overall strength in general. A change of positions from midfield to defender also made that a necessity. As the last line of defense, center backs are known for being strong, rock solid defenders who often serve as the cleanup crew for the team. So I knew I needed to get stronger and faster in order to do a good job. Being a soccer player, we obviously need to leg strength, but Stephens favorite work out for me always seems to be pull ups, to which I faithfully respond every time “Stephen (Ste-fon). I play soccer. I don’t need my arms.” And then continue to attempt pull ups. But like I said before, being a high level athlete requires full body strength, which is why I have trainers like Stephen and Jared who are there to remind me that running uses your whole body, and I need my arms to be successful at shielding and holding people off the ball. 

Another thing that we focus on is speed and agility training. I know that I can come into the gym every Friday looking forward to another intense round of a sprint or agility work out (I do more than one a week, but it’s always a guarantee on Fridays). This offseason I have been working more and more on honing in on the small details of sprinting that can set you apart as an athlete. Whether that be an explosive start that will allow me to separate myself from other players quicker, working on my footwork in order to change directions much faster and making smoother transitions or increasing my vertical jump. You name it, I’ve worked on it; and if I haven’t, I guess I can just wait until next Friday to get started on it. 

I like to think that being a successful, high level soccer player encompasses all parts of athletics; the higher you jump, the stronger you are, the quicker, faster, and longer you are able to run, the more beneficial you become to your team. I truly believe that with all the work my trainers at Functional Sports Performance are putting in to making me a better athlete will pay off once I step foot on the field again. Not only have they helped to increase my strength, speed and agility, they are there to continually push me on and encourage me to get better every day, and reach my goals. 

Hard Work Pays Off

Jared Covarrubias

Jared Covarrubias

I believe working hard will take you farther in life than anything else. With a good work ethic, you create your own limits. You are able to truly accomplish anything you set your mind to if you know what it means to work hard.

“Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it..”
— Eminem

To work hard is to continuously put effort and energy into a task that inspires fear into accomplishing. This means that you wake up every day and apply yourself to that task despite everything and every reason to stop. You may have family and friends telling you it is not possible. You might believe it is not worth your time or effort. You might even doubt your own capabilities to even accomplish the task. You might be very afraid of the thought of failure. Yet, when you continuously work hard at your goal, you will accomplish it. 

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”­­
— Thomas Edison

I believe a huge problem exists with my generation, the millennials. The problem is most young individuals do not know the value of hard work or even what it means to work hard. As a youth, the opportunities are handed to us more and more often by teachers, coaches, and parents where instead of allowing us to fail they try to raise us by giving us undeserving awards or acknowledgement. A prime example is when participation awards are given throughout age group sports and are giving children the wrong idea about achieving awards. This younger generation has become succumbed to handouts and being rewarded for minimal effort. People my age do not know what it really means to go out and "earn your meal." Personally I believe more individuals and youth would learn to work hard and create their own opportunities if they knew the real world consequences. Opening their eyes to reality will prove hard work is truly much more rewarding versus expecting everything to work itself out. Too many times I have seen younger children, teens, and adults give up because a task or job was too hard. Instead of working to get better and progressing every day, they chose to give up. To resolve this issue, as a society we need to show more people the value of hard work and where it can take us. 

Personally I learned the value of hard work at a very young age thanks to my parents. From the beginning of elementary school I had to work hard to be a part of a team. To play football I had to lose over thirty pounds as a 10 year old. It was hard work running and eating well just to lose weight to be on a team, a team where I did not even get to play because I was not good enough. My goal of being a good football player did not even seem feasible. Eventually my parents taught me practice was the bare minimum. If I wanted to play, I was going to have to lose the weight, run, and do drills in my own backyard on my own time outside of practice.

The next year I became a starter. Eventually after having to lose weight every year and with new challenges I finally excelled in football. More importantly I became good at working hard. However, I did not realize the value of hard work yet. I would not recognize its value until my junior year. My junior year I made 1st team all league in a very competitive league. During the off­season I had one goal and that was to make All league because I was told I would never be able to. So every day I worked at it and got a little bigger, stronger, and faster by staying disciplined in the weight room. There in the weight room I learned the value of hard work and how it could change me. On the field running shuttles and pushing myself mentally and physically made me see how much a person can accomplish. I became good at football. I earned all­league honors. My senior year with hard work in the classroom I earned enough recognition to garner High School Hall of Fame honors. I learned through sports and more importantly through working out that if I put enough time and concentrated effort into accomplishing a goal I will accomplish that goal and more. I think every youth, teen, and adult should workout for this reason.

Hard work can be taught in the weight room. When you work hard in the weight room you get results and you see the fruits of your labor after a long period of time. It is plain and easy to see and to point out that no one gave them their results. They earned their body and their transformation. From there, it is easy to translate the value and lesson of hard work to the rest of life. They are able to apply it to school, their job, and to any goal they be trying to accomplish. There truly is no substitute for hard work. Every day you have to go out and earn it. 

Myth Busted - Kids and Training

One of the biggest myths we hear over and over is that weight lifting stunts growth. As with most everything in life, there is always an exception. Even the 49ers beat the Seahawks every now and then. For the 99% of young men and women who are not the exception, here is the deal:


We have worked with kids as young as six years old and continued to train them until they hit the college years (where they played sports) and we have never seen any signs whatsoever of stunted growth.  In fact, studies show that training proper functional movement patterns at a younger age help athletes later on in their careers and prepare for sports at a higher level. In our years of experience, we have had 100’s of athletes go through our program with no signs of stunted growth.


Here is the deal- everyone has growth plates in their skeletal system as they develop physically. In order for someone’s growth to be stunted, there must be an injury to the growth plate or it suffers a break. Another way for growth to be stunted is if lifting is done with form so poor that the body begins to create unusual muscle developments.  This in turn does not allow the persons maximum potential to be reached.


What we should be educating people on is the ideal time to start weight training; which many believe to be when the body hits the pre-pubescent years. If you want to be an athlete, weight training will become necessary at one point or another. Just like with most things, the earlier good training habits start to be formed, the better. When the body under goes positive stress, muscles starts to grow bigger and stronger which in turn leads to protection of the ligaments and tendons and helps prevent injury. All of which are key factors in long term success.


If you are serious about sports or getting your son or daughter prepared for proper athletic development, start training proper functional movement patterns early on. If you don’t work out with us, find a good strength and conditioning coach who will develop good habits for your athlete or yourself and continue to challenge them as they grow older. Never forget the best athletes show up every day to reach their dreams! 

Exercise you can do to prevent injurys

In today’s world of misinformation and overtraining, it’s important to know of ways to help reduce the most common injuries in the sports community. There are several reasons why so many injuries occur and one of which is due to the lack of rest child athletes are experiencing. As of recently, sports have become year-round with AAU. So now the athletes are playing forteams that are playing and training hard without any downtime or recuperation.

The key to preventing common injuries like ankle sprains, twists, breaks or tears in the tendons or ligaments, all require targeted training and muscular strengthening. To limit your chance of injury, add the following exercises to your routine:

1) Single leg cone jumps from side to side as well as front to back. For this exercise, you will need two cones that are small so that you don’t hit them with your feet while jumping. Now starting with your right leg, on the left side of the two cones, keeping your toes pointed straight ahead so your foot is facing sideways to the cones, you will jump over the cones one at a time going back and forth over them ten times with each time you jump over the cones and back counting as one repetition. After you complete the set with your right leg, you will begin with your left leg on the right side of the cones and do the same thing. For jumping over the cones forwards and backwards, you will start with your right leg and you will keep your toes pointed forwards as you jump over the top of the two cones individually forward and then backwards coming back over the two cones. Then you will repeat the same thing with your left leg.

2) Single leg calf raises. For this exercise you will stand underneath either a calf raise machine or you can do on stairs with bodyweight and you will have either your right leg or your left leg start. Whatever feels most comfortable for you. You will want to raise your body up on your toes as high as you can go and then come back down slowly dating on your toes and having your heel come below thebar or the stair and then repeat.

3) Single leg bounds forward or lateral. For this exercise you will be on one leg at a time. You will start in a quarter squat position, and then jump forward as far as you can trying to land softly on your toes and then sit back on your heel. Reset your position and then do this again. After you do ten repetitions, you can then switch legs and do it on the other leg. For the lateral bounds, you will face sideways and then squat down quarter of the way, then jump to the side opposite your leg position so if your on your right leg, you would jump towards your left side.

The second most common form of athletic injuries are tears in either the ACL,  MCL or PCL, with the likely cause being over strengthened quad muscle’s and under strengthened or underdeveloped hamstring muscle’s. Having strong hamstrings is the best way to protect the muscle’s around the knee’s and therefore reducing your risk of injury. We’ve found the best exercise for building these hamstring muscles are:

1) Back squats. For this exercise you will find a squat rack. Then you will put the straight bar on your back and not on your neck. You will make sure that your feet are just outside shoulder width apart and then you will squat down keeping your head up and keeping your core tight till your butt is below 90° then you will stand back up making sure you’re utilizing your hamstrings. Make sure your knees are not coming over your toes, and make sure that your weight is on your heels and not your toes.

2) Leg curl exercise. For this exercise you’re going to find the leg curl machine, lay down on your stomach putting both of your feet underneath the pad. Then bring your feet with all the way to your butt. Once the bar is touching your butt, retract the bar back down till your legs are fully extended and then repeat.

While the exercises above are a good starting point, there are so many more exercises that should be considered to reduce injury.


About the author:

As the principal owner of Functional Sports Performance,Stephen Beseda has been involved in the sports training industry since 2001.  Stephen attended Central Washington University, and studied Exercise Science. After receiving his BA, he then received his CSCS through the NSCA. He began working for BMD Sports as a strength and conditioning coach. He has trained many professional athletes from team sports to individual sports as well as many of the surrounding west coast college and high school athletes.  He currently is working with club programs throughout Orange County, CA; including Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Swim, Lacrosse, Football and Softball. Stephen’s expertise is focused in the area of sports training, injury prevention, and exercise therapy, which are central to the operations of the business.  He has an excellent reputation throughout the industry and brings tremendous strength and experience to this enterprise.  He continues to expand his knowledge in business and training.


We are located in Irvine, but have clients from all over Orange County. Give us a ring at 714-483-8252 or stop by our office ready to get sweaty.