Gaining Mobility Through Gymnastic Strength Training with Nick Ebner & Paul Watson- EP053

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Two of the top personal trainers in New York City are advocates of Gymnastic Strength Training, a balanced approach to training that combines strength and mobility. If the word ‘gymnastics’ has you feeling intimidated, don’t be—the purpose of the discipline is to fix your mobility gaps and gain strength without having to lift weights. So where did Gymnastic Strength Training come from? How does it work? And how can it help you?




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Nick Ebner is on a mission to help his clients meet their physical goals in a holistic, self-sustainable manner. At his gym, Nick Ebner Integrative Fitness, he uses a unique blend of Gymnastic Strength Training, mobility work, and customized support. Paul Watson is the founding partner and master trainer at Transform Fitness, where they focus on providing a well-rounded routine and ongoing education to help clients achieve balanced energy for optimum health and fitness. Both Nick and Paul have worked with the developer of Gymnastic Strength Training, Coach Christopher Sommer.

Today Nick and Paul share their personal health journeys, explaining how they came to discover the benefits of Gymnastic Strength Training. They discuss the direction of the fitness industry and its increasing focus on movement culture and community. Nick and Paul address their approach to clients whose goals don’t align with their actions and offer their thoughts on personal training in a chain versus boutique setting. Listen in to understand the basics of Gymnastic Strength Training, Nick and Paul’s motivation for offering group classes in the discipline, and their best advice around training for competition and long-term health and wellness.

Topics Covered

[1:26] Nick’s journey as a personal trainer

  • Slew of health issues after college
  • Solutions for clients consistent with training, not improving
  • Practitioners with wider knowledge base (Poliquin Principles)
[5:17] How Paul got into the fitness industry

  • Chemistry background, drawn to analysis
  • Change people on personal level
[6:54] Nick’s transformation from college to present

  • Body building, sports performance training
  • Gained strength working with Coach Sommer
[10:49] Paul’s introduction to Gymnastic Strength Training

  • Reached plateau in traditional gymnastics training
  • Worked with Coach Sommer to increase mobility
  • Likes balance in terms of range of motion, strength
[15:00] The direction of the fitness industry

  • Growing ‘movement culture’
  • Long-term performance vs. ‘reformed athletes’
[20:05] How Nick and Paul approach client goals

  • Identify worst habits, set micro-goals
  • Adjust goals as necessary
[21:36] Personal trainers who ‘smash’ clients for an hour

  • Over-strengthen what’s already strong
  • No standardization of certification, schooling
[25:10] Nick and Paul’s advice for endurance athletes

  • Periodize your training
[28:14] Nick and Paul’s advice around long-term health

  • Utilize biomarkers, DNA
  • Find personal trainer receptive to personal goals
[33:15] Why Nick and Paul do group classes

  • Offer experience to those who can’t afford PT
  • Build community (different dynamics)
[37:38] The fundamentals of Gymnastic Strength Training

  • Seven foundational movements
  • Address all systems (mobility and strength)
  • Methodical, low-impact program
[46:48] Nick and Paul’s best advice

  • Get uncomfortable to experience change

Learn More About Nick & Paul

Transform GST

Nick Ebner Fitness

Transform Fitness


Gymnastic Bodies

Poliquin Principles

Check out the video version of the interview at Ali Fitness YouTube




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