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    Advanced Wellness Blog

October 8, 2017

Road Map to Elite Level Performance (Part II)

By Leo Shveyd, Owner of Advanced Wellness in San Francisco, CA

In part one of this article, we outlined the foundation of the roadmap to elite level performance. That foundation is built with a platform of health (breathing, lifestyle, movement, and environment).

Layered on top of the foundation of health are a variety of performance strategies. Training human beings can be broken up into four main categories: spirit, body, mind and craft (the ultimate objective that you are trying to improve upon; depicted as the top of the pyramid). While all these categories are interlinked, I will try to discuss them independently. Moreover, it should be noted, that many of the recovery strategies have already been discussed in the health section and may seem duplicative. Although there is carry-over in techniques, different strategies can be employed to facilitate varying results based on the end goal. For example, we acknowledge that breathing strategies may differ from an every-day-living, health perspective, to pre-competition, in-game/high level performance outputs and post-competition recovery.


Performance based breathing strategies are one element of performance. Mindfulness and stress management are also important components of performance, especially as they relate to the spirit. The ability to truly harness ones nervous system is an incredibly powerful tool in this respect. Recovery strategies (as they relate to breathing techniques [post training/competition], sleep, hydration, nutrition, proper warm-up and cool-down, etc.) help the body withstand the stress of training and prepare it to train again more quickly. With respect to training the body, conditioning (both cardiovascular and muscular), strength training, power and speed development, agility and quickness training are also crucial elements of the performance section. The byproduct of all the aforementioned is a body composition that lends itself to the ultimate objective of the individual. Finally, true elite performance must include mental training, such as cognitive processing speed.

Realizing one’s ultimate objective, whether it be playing professional basketball or lifting your kids on the weekends, is certainly made easier with a foundation of health that is layered with impactful performance training techniques. At AW, we approach every client’s programming with individuality in mind. Every new client is asked to fill out a client intake form (which includes health history information), they partake in the functional movement screen (FMS) which provides feedback on their ability to move and control their body in space, and finally, they participate in a one-on-one training session. This process helps us gather the appropriate information that forms the basis of their programming. From here, we typically start with movement; that means a new client begins participating in semi-private (small group) personal training sessions.

When a new client begins their journey at AW, there is a guiding approach that we use to produce unique results for our community. Typically, we start with movement. The reason for this is, as mentioned in Part I of this article, movement (and exercise) is a “keystone” habit and a catalyst for many other healthy lifestyle choices. We have witnessed this for many years with out clients and Charles Duhigg discusses this concept in his book the Power of Habit. However, there are times when certain movements and particular exercises are inappropriate for an individual. In those instances, we have developed alternatives that allow the new client to work towards their goals. In general, it makes sense to approach your training from the bottom up, meaning that you prioritize health before performance. Finally, over the past 16 years of AW’s existence, we have found that working on an individual’s limiting factors, with sound strategies, yields the greatest returns. That being said, there are some clients for whom this strategy is not ideal. Therefore, any methodology must have a structure (just like the pyramid and AW’s approach), yet it must be flexible enough to be applied on a client-by-client basis. That is exactly how we have evolved to best serve our clients!

September 10, 2017

Road Map to Elite Level Performance (Part I)

By Leo Shveyd, Owner of Advanced Wellness, San Francisco, CA

About a year ago, we had the pleasure of working with Vincent “Tutu” Golson, a local college basketball player. When I met Tutu in the summer of 2016, he had been sidelined for 16 days with an MCL sprain, the second such injury he had sustained in less than 9 months. After training at Advanced Wellness (AW) for a little less than two weeks, Tutu was back on the basketball court. Shortly thereafter, I got a call from a local basketball coach, Carl Jacobs, wondering what it was that we were able to do to get Tutu available to play so quickly. When I tried to explain to Coach Carl what we do for “ALL” our athletes, I found myself struggling. Ironically, what I realized was that many of the same principles that we apply to our clients everyday, were being done so virtually on auto-pilot and only realized by our clients. In order to better explain to Coach Carl, and others who are not familiar with AW’s methodology, I put together a diagram (see below) and means of application, so we could better educate folks on what we do at Advanced Wellness and how they can better “own their potential”.

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August 20, 2012

The Core of 2012

Composition, Function and Approach to Training!

By Leo Shveyd, CSCS Advanced Wellness in San Francisco, CA (with consultation from Brett Jones)

During the two-and-half decades that I have been involved in fitness, the definition of “the core” and consequently, core training has evolved. Part of the evolution is subjective (meaning I have learned more about the topic) and part is objective (as a profession there is more and better information about the subject area). With so many great minds in the rehab and fitness arena contributing daily in the information age, a good deal of terrific data exists about the “the core”. In this article, I will attempt to define what makes-up the core, its functions and suggest an approach to core training. 

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March 3, 2012

Elevating Your FMS: Combining Effectiveness and Efficiency

By Leo Shveyd, Advanced Wellness in San Francisco, CA

You are about to spend ten minutes (or perhaps less based on your efficiency) screening a new client. One wise person I know says “better is better”, while another says “better, faster, cheaper”. So how can you be better (meaning obtain better information), yet save yourself and your client valuable time? The purpose of this article is to examine this exact question and provide some insights.

If your client is twenty-five years or older, you can be fairly sure they are done growing. Prior to performing the Hurdle Step(HS) and In-Line Lunge(ILL), you must measure the tibia length (from the floor to the ischial tuberosity). The Shoulder Mobility (SM) test requires a hand length measurement (from the middle finger to the first crease on the wrist of the dominant hand). Once you have completed the measurements, write those numbers down. Since the numbers are unlikely to change, you will save yourself time by not having to re-measure should you need to retest down the road.

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January 17, 2012

Why We Use FMS

By Leo Shveyd, Advanced Wellness in San Francisco, CA

My wife Robbi and I own and operate Advanced Wellness, a fitness and wellness center in the heart of San Francisco, California. I was initially drawn to the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) in 2009 after Mel Young, a trusted San Francisco physical therapist showed me the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) book he received during his certification. I was so impressed by the material, its breadth, logic and how it was organized that I decided to research FMS. Ultimately, I became FMS certified. Two months after becoming level I certified, I completed the FMS level II.

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