Are kids less fit…than we were?

Do our kids have ample opportunity to get the activity they need everyday?  Forget the sports performance factors…a recent study shows our children do not get enough activity to be as healthy as they should be.

Interestingly enough one of the possible causes for this is sited as obesity. I say interestingly enough because we need to ask ourselves the question “what came first…inactivity or obesity?”.

You can read about the research by clicking the link below. Enjoy and please comment!

If you are concerned about your children and the amount of quality activity they are getting during the week take advantage of our 2-week trial and give them the opportunity to avoid being a statistic!

See you soon!

Coach Dave




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Biggest Loser To Train Kids…

Has the ‘Biggest Loser’ Jumped the Shark?

The Popular Extreme Weight Loss TV Show Sets Its Sights on Children

On September 4th 2012 the Associated Press Reported that in the shows 14th season “The Biggest Loser” will have children between the ages of 13 to 17 engage in trying to lose weight and get in shape. I like many other professional trainers and coaches in the fitness industry have strong opinions regarding the motivational techniques utilized on the show. In addition, the validity of the exercise programming and coaching of proper technique also comes into question.

My response today is intended to be neutral as well as based on the most important participants of the report I read… the children.  The underlying principles of coaching/training young children should be rooted in human development, physical culture and physical literacy. A coach can affect the overall well being of the children they serve. All coaches have the opportunity to leave an indelible mark on a child. The choice must be made as to whether it will be positive or negative.

First and foremost, the premise of the show is incredible transformation.  Physical and often positive psychological changes are witnessed by millions of viewers, inspiring even the laziest of couch potatoes to start leading a healthier life style.

Fat loss is the hook that has us tuning in. In this case ‘the fight against childhood obesity’ is the catalyst for viewership. The inherent issue I have here is that childhood obesity NOT the problem. It is a symptom of much larger problems plaguing our nation…lack of play, lack of physical activity, lack of sleep and poor nutrition.  As young children enter into adolescence without having explored and discovered movement and the fun of physical play, they do so with no sense of physical culture.

My fear is that the children on this show will see more of the same as the adults only in a watered down version. For kids 11-17 to be taught the brutality of metabolic training, the boredom associated with long bouts of cardiovascular exercise, or the tiresome repetitiveness of weight machine circuits would be a travesty.

What they will be learning remains to be seen. My hope is that the foundation is developmentally appropriate movement skill acquisition combined with as much fun as they can handle. Teaching these children pain free and fluid movement combined with the joy that comes from feeling energized and accomplished can last a lifetime.

In the same article published by the Associated Press, the popular Jillian Michaels is quoted as saying the producers of the show “are ‘incredibly sensitive’ to safeguarding them”. The new mom and trainer for the show also remarked, “…it’s going to be controversial, and we’ll do the best we can to handle it in the most positive and effective way possible.”

Once again, this remains to be seen. My question is what qualifies Ms. Michaels to coach young children?  This is not an attack on Ms. Michaels. Being incredibly sensitive will mean more than merely not being weighed for the broadcast. Let’s face it. Her track record is not that of the sensitive type.  Here are a few things to ponder as you watch the show for yourself to evaluate the approach being taken by all the trainers involved.

Is there in fact an awareness of the communicative styles, physical limitations/considerations as well as the some of the internal factors associated with the psychology of children 11-17 years old?

Communicatively, most of the young participants will likely display varied physical ability and moderate to low motivation. These contestants need to be inspired and guided. If they are delegated to or simply instructed it will be a nightmare for the trainers and more importantly the kids.  Furthermore, any instance exercise intended as a punishment is a sure sign of ignorance as it pertains to training young children.

The changes a child goes through during normal human development are filled with ingredients that create a vast separation between the approaches of training adults versus children. That said it is very likely that even 2 children the same age could have a 5-6 year difference in development. How? Growth spurts aside, two 13 year old boys could be separated by one being a couple years ahead of his chronological and the other behind.  A potential 6-year gap does not simply equate to lessening the weights used from one child to another.

From a biosocial perspective – aside from already knowing they are different physically from their peers they are also responding in some manner to other biological changes to their bodies. Kinesthetically they are aware of their bodies in varying degrees.

Psychosocially these young contestants are learning social skills, self-efficacy, and the concept of fairness in addition to adjusting emotionally.

Cognitively kids are processing abstract ideas such as health and fitness, diet, and transferring what they already know (correct or incorrect) and applying it to new experiences.

My question remains are Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince prepared for what they are embarking on?

There is one statement printed in the AP report that I do take exception with.  Here it is in its entirety:

The goal is to focus on the kids’ health rather than their weight, Michaels said, adding, “It’s about getting them on the softball team, not into a size four.”

I could not disagree more. The focus should neither be getting them into a size 4 nor on the softball team. Weight loss will be an additional benefit if the approach is to serve the best interest of the kids.  Fat loss will be realized no matter the strategy. Fat loss alone under the guide of medical professionals and 3 months of a sound meal plan and intense exercise will elicit fat loss every time. The how is the most critical aspect of long-term success through a physical culture.

If these children gain the confidence to pursue softball or any other sport for that matter then that is a bonus.  This mentality also accentuates a paradigm that physical activity should include an organized sport. The primary goals, at the expense of sounding repetitive, must be to establish a physical culture and developing physical literacy in these children. Weigh loss alone as a mission to combat childhood obesity is merely a Band-Aid.

My last point will be directed toward the apparent plan to have at least one young contestant mixed in with each team of 6 six adults. For all of the reasons listed above I remain neutral yet skeptical until I view the show for myself.

There are far more factors to consider than what I have mentioned in this brief writing. Add in adults who are waging war against their own internal battles in addition to being obese with growing children and a potentially ill-equipped training staff…I hope and pray the producers, the trainers, the medical staff, and the childhood obesity experts will create the optimal environment.

Ms. Michaels has given us all a bit of wonder with her admitting “I’m not going to make any promises” in the AP article in regard to her over all and hard hitting approach.

When the show airs in January we will all see young miracles make big changes on NBC.  From what I have read from the Associated Press, there is a tremendous opportunity to positively affect the live of the contestants and thousands of young children who may tune in…I know this – I will be watching. Will you?


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The Best Sports Performance Workout EVER?

Youth fitness and athletic development is much more that merely a program to make kids tired.

WATCH THIS to see what I mean!


See you soon!

Coach Dave


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1 Million Children Hire Personal Trainers

Coaches Corner by Dave Gleason

As seen in the Pembroke Mariner and

1 Million Children Hire Personal Trainers

According to multiple sources, including MSNBC and Newsweek, more than 1 million children hire a personal trainer every year in the United States. The rate of youth obesity and the increased competitive nature of youth sports are cited as the major reasons for this relatively new phenomenon.

It is critical for parents to understand that when hiring a personal trainer for their child’s physical fitness needs, they pay close attention to the trainer’s qualifications and experience related to working with this specific demographic.

The following is a checklist for parents to use when hiring a personal trainer for their child:

1. Ask about the trainer’s schooling and continuing education. A degree in exercise science or related allied health field is preferable. Also, a certification as a Youth Fitness Specialist should be considered a primary requirement. Many nationally accredited certification organizations offer professional trainers education and credentials in fitness or sport training, but only the Youth Fitness Specialist certification from the International Youth Conditioning Association offers a specialized education for personal trainers in the aspects of working with children and adolescents.

2. Ask about the trainer’s experience working with children. Most personal trainers have experience working with adult clients, but only Youth Fitness Specialists have experience and exposure working with children and adolescents for weight loss and sports performance needs.

3. Ask to watch the trainer in action working with children. Personal trainers should be happy to have prospective parents view a training session in order to ascertain how well the trainer relates to children and adolescents.

Coach Dave Gleason, owner of Athletic Revolution in Pembroke instructs trainers, coaches and parents for the International Youth Fitness Association. For more information on the qualifications, experience and philosophy a youth fitness trainer needs to have call Gleason at 781-312-7808 or visit his website

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Pembroke Young Athletes Benefit from Nationally Recognized Fitness Center



South Shore Youth Fitness Program Profiled In Nationwide ‘Live Chat’

Pembroke Young Athletes Benefit from Nationally Recognized Fitness Center

January 10, 2011: Pembroke’s Athletic Revolution Training Center will be featured on a nationwide ‘Live Chat’ during a coast-to-coast broadcast in conjunction with leading newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

Hosted by the Chicago Tribune, this country’s 8th largest daily newspaper, the topic to be discussed during the Tuesday January 18, 2011 broadcast will be injury prevention in youth sports.

Athletic Revolution co-founder, Brian Grasso, will be answering questions from parents around the country during the 60 minute segment.

“Injury and injury prevention have become a nationally critical issue”, said Dave Gleason.

Gleason is the Owner and Head Coach of the Pembroke-based Athletic Revolution facility.

“Athletic Revolution’s training system is based on making our young athletes faster, stronger, more flexible and better athletes, but we also place a very heavy emphasis on injury prevention”.

The list of athletes Gleason trains at his Pembroke location includes Pembroke High School’s Dew Tour/X-Games skater Nora Vasconcellos and MLS All-Star and New England Revolution Defensive Player of the year Kevin Alston.

Athletic Revolution is the only Youth Fitness and Sports Training Center in the entire country that works exclusively with young athletes ages 6 – 18.

“It’s a great honor to be profiled like this in a nationwide event”, said Gleason.

“We’ve felt from the beginning that Pembroke-area families can and will benefit a great deal from the world-class service we offer right here in this community”.

For more information on the Pembroke Athletic Revolution, please contact Dave Gleason at 781.3127808.


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Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries in young athletes continue to be on the rise and in my opinion can be avoided.  Recently I posted a Youtube video on this subject for the IYCA.

It is an honor to be the training advisor and columnist for the only organization that specializes in youth fitness and athletic development.

Although this video is intended to teach other youth fitness professionals – it is great information for anyone.

Take a peek at this video and let me know what you think!


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Young Athletes and Nutritional Supplementation







Since I first posted about Gatorade on our Facebook Fan Page (some time ago now) I have admittedly become side tracked and the result is a huge delay in a proper response.


I have been meaning to reseach and comment on Gatorade and their new G-Series for some time.  My inquiries and investigations always begin in one place…the IYCA and the professionals like Dr. Chris Mohr.


Chris was kind enough to respond to a forum post on a the IYCA professionals forum and I am making sure you have access (it has now been posted on the main website for the IYCA)


Here is the forum thread:


IYCA Training Advisor, Dave Gleason, posted this incredible question on our Members Only message board a few days ago:


Gatorade is making a big push with its Series – Prime, Perform and Recover.


I have questions about –


1) Its efficacy
2) Its quality
3) Its potential as a viable alternative for the young athletes we deal with on a day to day basis.


Dr. Chris Mohr chimed in with an answer:



Prime — the 1st in the “series” is really just a convenient way to take carbohydrates.


It’s more concentrated than normal Gatorade, but not quite as concentrated as a gel.


I’d stick with basic Gatorade if it were me.


The Perform is regular Gatorade. And the Recover is mainly protein with very little carbohydrates.


This would be more suited for an anaerobic athlete, who isn’t burning through glycogen and doesn’t have to be as concerned
with replenishing glycogen as quickly.


If you’re working with a more endurance based athlete, I’d want more carbohydrates in the recovery product than this offers. Hope that helps and let me know if there are other questions!




~Coach Dave



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Youth Fitness: The High Speed Treadmill Debate

From time to time I shoot videos not only for Athletic Revolution, but also for other organizations.  I recently shot a video for the IYCA (International Youth Conditioning Association)

The debate about high speed treadmills and skating treadmills has been around for years.  In this video I discuss the merits of these high priced pieces of athletic development equipement.  I also lay out many questions and concerns about high speed and skating treadmills – specifically what place they have if any in the youth fitness and athletic development arenas.

Take a look and as always…leave your comments below!


Thanks for being part of the revolution!

~Coach Dave


PS.  If you haven’t read my last post about schools sending FAT REPORT CARDS home click here to check it out and join in….I want to hear from you whether you agree with me or not 😉



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Youth Fitness and Athletic Development Ages 14+

Kids 14 years old and up are extraordinary and providing youth fitness and athletic development for this age group is a science and an art.

This video will give you insight as to the correct way to provide fitness programming to this age group. 


Discovery Video (Youth Fitness and Athletic Development for Ages 6-9)

Exploration Video (Youth Fitness and Athletic Development for Ages 10-13)

I’m so glad you have taken the time to get to know the truth behind youth fitness.

Til next time,

~Coach Dave

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Youth Fitness and Athletic Development for Ages 10-13

About 10 days ago I posted a video explaining how youth fitness and athletic development for kids 6-9 years old should be approached.  We de-bunked the myth(s) concerning sport specific training for young children and I described the necessity for the proper type of training for children in this age bracket.

I would be remiss if I did not take the time to explain the same for our next age group – the 10-13 year olds.

We call our young athlete classes in this age range Exploration Classes.

We do so because at this age and development stage(s) our young athletes are still discovering movement BUT they are also learning movement.


Because developmentally that is what a child’s brain and CNS (Central Nervous System) are in a position to do.

Watch below to learn more about how to approach youth fitness for this age group.

Thanks for watching!

If you have questions and or comments please leave them below.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Til next time,

~Coach Dave

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