I Train. You Train. We Train.

Dave and I planned that Tuesdays would be a good day that Blaine and I could routinely work together. Scheduled for 7:00 p.m. this Tuesday evening, Dave and Blaine arrived at the gym roughly four minutes past the hour. Running through the opened garage door, Blaine ran to my side and made it known that they were late! He was excited and ready to begin. We began this session off by taking a look at our schedule posted on the large dry-erase board affixed on the gym’s wall. The night before I planned out what I expected to accomplish, based on my observations made from our impromptu of a workout last week. This time around, I wanted this planned and constructed so I could take a picture of the layout and send to Dave so he could share it with Blaine.

My reasoning behind this is that Dave could see what I was planning, make an adjustment if need be, while also allowing Blaine to have some insight as to what to expect. This pre-planning also helps me to have something to refer to and provides structure for the hour. It also allows me to scope out the gym to have equipment and materials ready and to safeguard against any hazardous situation. And as any program entails, it records what we’ve done and gives us directions to plan accordingly for the next session. Surely, it may be that we change the order of exercises, add more exercises/activities, deviate from the plan, and/or delete something, but it gives us a framework to work with.

We began by taking a look at the schedule. Blaine had already seen the layout by picture, for he remarked, “I know, I know,” as I steered him in the direction of the board. He was open to using this as a guide and already memorized the sequence within minutes.

As displayed, we began with a few strength exercises, specifically grip work (squeezing a ball in each hand), glute/hamstring/lower back work (hip lifts/thrusts), and shoulder stability/core/hamstring work (tri-kick backs: kneeling in prone position, both hands support upperbody/shoulder-width apart, one leg kicking back as the other knee and hands remain stationary). I demonstrated each exercise and also did each exercise with him. He had the tendency to rush through the movements, but this was expected. I slowed him down, praised his efforts, and tweaked his form slightly. We went through the warm-up twice. All of these exercises were new to him.

Next we went to stability ball work, for this was something that we did day one. This was familiar to him and he knew what to expect. We got the large purple stability ball this time (a bit larger and a bit heavier) and headed outside. We began with passing the ball and each time we completed a pass we stepped back. As he reached the semi-truck, I came to him and asked him if he knew what was next. He replied with, “bounces and then superman’s.” His goal was to beat his 500 + record from last week and get in the mid 650’s. He did it! We then went right to the superman’s. Here he rolled out each rep to mid-shin and slapped my hands that were pressed against the pavement. Last week he hesitated to touch my hands. This week there was no hesitation and he actually enjoyed slapping his hand into mine (maybe a little too much). As he completed each rep, I moved back an inch or so that eventually the stability ball was at his ankles. He maintained a solid plank each rep.

Once we completed the stability work, we raced back inside and checked our schedule. Next up was Blaine’s choice of game. He devised an obstacle course for us to complete. We had to begin at home base (a bench), run around the gym, dribble a ball 12 times, and then return to home base. This was a race between the both of us.

As we completed the obstacle course twice, we arrived to agreement it was the perfect time to take a mini break and get a drink. Blaine came back to the gym and without taking a look at the schedule, announced, “It’s time for tug-of-war!” As it was the next activity scheduled, I got the rope, and handed him the piece of chalk. “What’s the chalk for?” he asked. I told him we needed it to make a line outside. He took responsibility of creating the line. He mentioned that if we crossed the line we'd “be finished.” He said “finished” with extra emphasis, and we then we both laughed. I laid out the rope and we each took a side.

We tugged back and forth for at least six rounds. This led to a few races and two games of which he created. One game was that I had to stand roughly 18 feet away from the rope and close my eyes. As he stood with the rope in his hand, he decided that once he said “go!” I’d have to pretend to “find” the rope as he was running with it. He ran with it backwards as I tried to find the rope. We then spent a bit of time battling ropes, where we stayed stationary and just used our arms and upper body to move the rope up and down, side-to-side, and in circular rotation.

Next was Blaine’s turn to come up with an obstacle course. This is by far, one of his favorite things to do! His first obstacle course creation had us go back inside the gym. Here, we each had to pick an elitefts™ pummel medicine ball. I opted to use the 10-pound ball, but he mandated that I find and then carry a 20-pound medball, for he was “testing my strength” within this course (he’s just like Dave!). The obstacle course began by having us carry the medballs the entire length of the gym. Once we reached the other end of the gym, we then had to drop them, and then maneuver ourselves through the equipment to the large garage-door entrance. From the garage entrance, we had to run outside to the picnic tables. Once there, we had to drop down onto the pavement, crawl under the tables, hand-to-knee, Army style, as if we were underneath barbwire, twice. He mentioned since I was older than 11, I could not roll to make this task any easier. Once we completed each pass, we then had to run from the tables to Dad's truck (at least a 40 yard distance), tap it five times, run to the semi-truck (another 20 yards away), tap it once, and then make our way back to our pummel medballs inside the gym. This was obstacle course one. We did this at least one more time.

Checking our schedule, we then had one more thing left to do, hunt wilds. This was labeled as our cool down. I told him to choose a bench of his choice and he could lie down and relax. I chose to title “trigger release” as “hunt wild” for the trigger release stick is branded with these words. Again, the use of hunt wild made it seem more exciting than what it really was and provided him with some surprise. With the stick in my hand I demonstrated how I was going to use the stick and why. He was able to relax, closed his eyes, and became motionless. As I began to roll out his quads, I told him that he couldn’t fall asleep. This made him laugh and then our conversation led to him explaining how his Dad snores.

After I trigger released his entire body, Blaine without hesitation and in somewhat desperation, wanted to complete one more obstacle course. He pleaded that this obstacle course was going to be “slightly easier” from before. This time, instead of the medballs, we carried the “butter balls” (brass-weighted balls). Oh, but to carry these we had to chalk up! He spent at least 2 minutes chalking up, before Dave suggested he had enough chalk. This had everyone laughing. Blaine insisted I chalk up too. This obstacle course was less labor some as before, for we only had to carry the balls the distance of the gym, maneuver to the entrance, run to the tables, crawl under the tables once, run to the truck, tap it 4 times, run around the truck 4 times and then make our way back into the gym.

We ended the session with a high-five, a strong high-five mind you, and then took a few minutes to relax and talk. Our conversation ranged from talking about jumping jacks, to performing a few jumping jacks while having a staring contest, back to talking about a previous talent show he participated in at school, Minecraft, the Empire State building, snakes, and cats.


Using the schedule was very successful. We completed everything proposed, and within the hour time-frame was able to complete a bit more work, based on Blaine’s creativity. Because the obstacle course is something that Blaine absolutely loves and looks forward to, he is willing to do the things he doesn’t prefer to do so much, because he knows the obstacle course is coming up. I can also use the obstacle course as a motivator if need be, and remind him that soon it will be time for the obstacle course, if in case we get to sticking point, or if he shows signs of frustration.

Blaine has a good sense of body awareness, is strong, cardiovascular-wise and strength-wise.

Moving forward:

We’ll continue to work on channeling his strength through controlled work-loads and conditioning, allowing his large and small muscle groups to fire and continue to develop properly. I want his movements to be more fluid and to output force with speed and power, on command, and especially when handling, pushing, pressing, and pulling resistance.

I will also use Dave as an adviser and get his feedback and input as to what he’d like for me to specifically incorporate as the programming becomes more sophisticated and progressive.

Soon I’ll have it that Blaine goes home with iTrain work. This will designate time at home that Blaine works with his Mom, Dad, or younger brother, and completes the given assignment. This assignment is something that will not be difficult and shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. The purpose of this work is that it will designate time spent at home with another, with the goal of completing a task. This will derive a routine, reinforce skills prior learned, and build consistency. This also gives Blaine the chance to pass on what he has learned and become the teacher.  As he teaches the movement he will further master the movement.

My long-term goal, in alignment with Dave’s goal, is that eventually (maybe years from now)Blaine will opt to go to the gym, on days that we are not scheduled, and do work to do work.

I will continue to insert new exercises into the sessions and reintroduce previous exercises with added progressions as needed via added weight, shorter rest periods, pause-rest sets, supersets, etc.  What’s really interesting is to see Blaine’s creativity at work.  He is open to learning new exercises and uses new material to continue to create more. As seen before, the structure presented to him gives him the ability to know what to expect, he sees order, he has choice, therefore, he is safe to create, explore, and do work, all while having FUN.

Next session’s outline:


  • Paper rips x 1:00
  • Hip lifts x 10 with slight pause at top
  • Tri-kicks hitting my hand x 10

Sheena’s Station:

  • Medball slams x 8
  • Basketball target practice into small tire
  • Stability ball knee pull-ins

Blaine’s Choice of Station:


  • Prowler pushes x3, No added weight (20 yards)
  • Walk around lumber yard x3

Blaine’s Obstacle Course: x2

Cool down: Hunt Wild