7 Reasons You Need a Personal Trainer

Everyone who walks through our doors has a different sport, goal or objective...and we love that. While our Group Coaching program is designed to meet the needs of our large and varied community, when it comes to achieving specific goals, nothing beats private coaching. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, increase strength, improve technique, prepare for an event, or just prefer a more personal setting, an individually designed program equates to faster results.


  1. INDIVIDUALIZED: Your workouts can be adjusted on the spot by your coach to account for range of motion, ability, lifestyle variables, etc. This type of highly individualized programming can help target deficiencies, identify strengths and yield faster results.

  2. ACCOUNTABILITY: There is nothing more rewarding than setting a goal and achieving it. Your coach will help you do just that. Throughout your training your coach will help guide you towards your goals by listening to your feedback, assessing your progress and putting you in charge. The nature of private training brings along a the greater accountability that some clients need. 
  3. GOAL SETTING: Whatever your reasons for being here, we will help you identify specific, measurable and attainable goals. Once we have completed your initial assessment and defined your goals we can begin to design and implement your training program.

  4. NUTRITION COACHING: Nutrition is the foundation of health and performance. Your coach will help you develop your nutrition program through a solid understanding of nutrition science and experimentation to determine how foods affect your body. We'll teach you how to fuel the machine.

  5. BUILD SPECIFIC SKILL SETS: Want to perfect your double under, conquer a pull up or dial in your clean and jerk? Private coaching sessions are a great way to focus on and strengthen specific skill sets.

  6. FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE: Pick your coach and pick your time. Private Coaching can be scheduled anytime during business hours.

  7. SPECIALIZED PROGRAMMING: If you are training for a specific event your coach will tailor your program to meet the needs and demands you will see in your event or sport. This will help you gain a valuable edge over your competition.

All of our private training programs are initiated with a client goal session and movement screening. From here, your coach will design an integrated nutrition and training plan with assessment criteria and frequency to ensure that you reach your goals. Our coaches are life-long learners who have high-quality certifications and experience with producing results for every type of client. From 18 year old guys, to 65 year old women, from level 1 beginners, to level 3 pros, they can do it all. More importantly, our coaches actually care about you and doing whatever it takes to help you progress, in sport and in life.

For Private Training scheduling please contact us via email at info@enduralab.com or our online scheduling system.

The LAB Climbs Kilimanjaro

Member Post by Jo Anna Leuck

So this story starts on a sad day in February.  It was an early morning workout at the LAB where I broke the news.  “Lee, you know how I have been training for Portland, and all?  Well, I can’t go.  I have the chance to go teach at a hospital in Tanzania and climb Kilimanjaro.”  After clarifying that I was serious, and despite already training for two months, was in fact not going to run the marathon, I was quickly assured that my training could continue, just for a different goal.  And so began months and months of the poor Portland running group having to hear endless discussion about my upcoming trip and climb.  The LAB continued my endurance training through the marathon group, threw in some hill repeat runs, a hike or two, a lot of squats and lunges and trained me for the challenge of a lifetime.  

Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and the summit is at 19,341 feet.  All of the instruction that I received from my climbing company was that I should “train”, but that in no way was this a technical climb.  What neither myself, nor the brochure, accounted for, was three days of torrential rain and hail that turned the hike into a truly technical and brutal adventure.  I found myself clinging to slippery rocks high above the ground with muddy water pouring from above.  I forged rushing rivers that hadn’t existed the day before.  I arrived to the camp night after night, soaked to the bone, only to find my tent full of water.  

Despite an unexpectedly challenging experience, I found the refrain of “be comfortable with being uncomfortable” running through my head.  The LAB had provided me with truly functional training and I was ready for the rain, hail, floods, and the slippery climb.  Every run, squat, workout, and swing had prepared me with a strength to move onward and upwardwith a smile, despite the conditions.  

I cannot explain the exhilaration that I experienced at the summit.  There was never a point that I doubted that I was going to finish.  I credit that confidence and the accomplishment itself to the LAB and the training that I received.  Whether it is a monumental climb or just the strength the live life to the fullest, the LAB provides training for real life adventures!

Libby's Story: Fighting Osteoporosis and Gaining Strength at 65


My doctor recommended Lee and enduraLAB to me because at age 65 I have some health issues and osteopenia. Lee and I started working together twice a week, one-on-one in early November of 2014.  I had absolutely zero strength and was very fearful of pushing myself. My goal was to improve my bone density and gain strength and flexibility.

Lee has patiently worked with me, designing programs, inventing new workouts for my needs and gently but positively pushing me forward. Every year I go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for an annual check up. This year the test results were stunning to me and my doctor. All my blood tests were well within the good normal range, my cholesterol dropped 11 points and my resting heart rate has stabilized. The very, very best news was that my bone density has improved - not stayed the same - IMPROVED over just 9 months! My doctor said in all the patients she's treated NONE had ever IMPROVED their bone density. She said it is definitely due to the work Lee and I have done.

I wish I had started down this path much earlier in my life and I'm so grateful to be here now! I'm going to be that 90 year old weight lifting spry, flexible lady at the lake on the paddle board!! And the real bonus is how great I feel. I know that working with Lee is making a huge difference in my life and future and I can't wait to see next year's results!


Libby is one of those clients you dream of having. She has clear goals, works hard and does her homework. If she is going to miss a session, she asks for a workout to do outside the gym...and she does it. It's with this great attitude and commitment to the program that she has seen awesome results. 

When Libby stepped into the LAB we started with simple bodyweight movements to instill proper movement patterns and progress her range of motion and the indoor rower to work her lung capacity. We focused on posterior chain engagement and core strength with a heavy dose of balance and groundwork. Since that time we have steadily progressed to utilize free weights (kettlebells and dumbbells). The clear goals that we have established has allowed me to create a program that is simple and effective...which is a killer combo. 

Getting healthy is a multi-faceted approach though. Not only have we worked on Libby's fitness, but we have spent a lot of time working nutrition and recovery. I am very proud of Libby and her success and look forward to progressing Libby to her goals, wherever that may take us.

Coach Lee on Working With Osteopenia/Osteoporosis

Bone is a living tissue that is constantly broken down and built back up throughout our lifetime. As we age, the rate of creation of new bone slows and can cause a reduction in bone mass if we do nothing to prevent it. At enduraLAB, we understand that nutrition and strength training play a large role in maintaining healthy bone density/mass. 

When working with older clientele with osteopenia or osteoporosis I attack the issue on three fronts; balance, nutrition and strength training. I like to work on a lot of single-leg balance and posture at the beginning because they are skills that anyone can work on wherever they are. I want to make sure our clients have good balance to prevent a fall and possible missed time in the gym.

With nutrition we focus on eating nutrient-dense whole food and work on slowly eliminating processed foods, excess sugar and alcohol. Food is a drug and we utilize it to get the results we desire. By slowly introducing these practices into our clients lifestyles we can create healthy habits that they can continue throughout their life. 

One of the best ways to combat the effects of osteopenia/osteoporosis is to get the client moving. A sedentary lifestyle is the demise of anyone dealing with the condition. While any weight-bearing activity is beneficial, I find strength training to be the most effective.

One note: I often see clients prescribed swimming, cycling or elliptical work to help combat the symptoms of osteopenia/osteoporosis. While these will provide a good cardiovascular workout, the low-impact nature of these exercises do little to improve bone health.

Just as with any client, I first ensure proper movement and range of motion with bodyweight exercises before progressing to weight training. My favorite exercises for clients with osteopenia/osteoporosis are squats, presses, kettlebell swings, rows and loaded carries. Our older clients will also see additional groundwork to ensure they have to strength to get up and down from the seated, prone and supine positions.

Osteopenia and osteoporosis are conditions that should encourage people to get into the gym, eat better and live a more active lifestyle. Libby is living proof of what can happen if they do. 

Are you or someone you know affected by osteopenia or osteoporosis? Contact info@enduralab.com to set up a personal consultation.

5 Reasons to Love the Indoor Rower (erg)

We have no idea why you are not rowing. Indoor rowing is on of the top low-impact, calorie-burning exercises of all time. Here's five reasons to ditch the cardio trinity (treadmill, elliptical and spin bike) and up your fitness with the ergometer (erg). 

  1. Whole-Body Workout: Rowing works 84% of your muscle mass...and that's without shadow-boxing with 2-lb weights. Rowing works 9 major muscle groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps. Most people believe that rowing is an upper body dominant exercise, but the majority of the workload comes from your legs and core. So if you're looking to strengthen and tone your back, legs, butt, arms and abs you only need one machine, the erg.
  2. Joint Friendly: Rowing is one of the top 5 calorie burning exercises while minimizing impact on the joints. A single 60-minute session can easily burn 400-800 calories. For those who are overweight, the sliding seat displaces ones weight so the load on their body is less and they can make a smooth transition to other activities as the weight comes off. The erg is also a great tool for cross-training or maintaining fitness when injuries surface for runners and cyclists.
  3. Heart Health: Aerobic training has certainly proved to be one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular performance (think heart rate, stroke volume and heart contractility). As little as 30 minutes of steady state work on the erg can help strengthen your heart, keep your arteries clear and reduce cholesterol and blood sugar. You're never too old to start either. Studies have shown that improved cardiovascular fitness can increase life span.
  4. Posture Improvement: Our current work environments, reliance on our smartphones and time spent vegging out in front of the television are all wreaking havoc on our posture. Bad posture can affect a number of health related issues such as upper back/neck pain, lung function, depression and circulation. Not only is rowing an effective calorie-burning cardiovascular workout, it also improves posture by developing the upper back, increasing midline stability and engaging the glute/hamstring complex. With proper form and a good coach, rowing can also increase your mobility.
  5. Stress Relief: The rhythmic nature of rowing with the inclusion of controlled breathing can actually help reduce mental stress. Not only will the repetitive nature of rowing help take your mind off the worries of daily life, but it will also stimulate the production of endorphins (your body's mood booster and natural painkiller). It doesn't take a lot either, just 20-minutes of rowing at an easy pace can help clear the mind and control stress. 

If you're not strapping into an erg right now you're waisting time. Whether you're looking to shed some pounds or a way to cross-train in the Texas heat, the erg deserves to be in your fitness program. Don't you think it's time to discover the power of the erg?

Looking to learn more about the erg? We're hosting an Indoor Rowing Clinic on August 1st that will include lecture, individualized coaching on your rowing technique, workouts and skills drills you can utilize to help you reach your goals. Sign up here

Interested in adding rowing to your fitness program? We have certified coaches ready to help you incorporate rowing to help you reach your goals. 

Strength Training For Runners

Running alone is not enough to reach your full potential as a runner. Successful endurance-training programs must include key elements to achieve optimal performance. One of the essential elements that is often neglected by runners is strength. Whether it is time requirements, facility access, intimidation or fear of unwanted bulk, runners try to justify not adding strength training to their program. We know, through studies and experience, that intelligent strength training provides the following benefits to the endurance athlete:

  • Improved running economy (1)
  • Improved muscle endurance
  • Reduction of fatigue in postural muscles (2)
  • Improved muscle capillarization (aids in oxygen transportation)
  • Improved neuromuscular coordination (3)
  • Reduced risk of injury (4)
  • Stronger bones
  • Stronger connective tissue

When you look at optimizing endurance you need to look at what variables need to be improved. Endurance is based on cardiovascular performance (heart rate, stroke volume and heart contractility), the strength of your skeletal muscles and how efficient your muscles are extracting and utilizing oxygen. While we know that aerobic training has certainly proved to be one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular performance, there are other ways to achieve the latter two variables and strength plays a large role.  

Efficient movement is one that allows you to activate your muscles as fast as possible. After all, strength is nothing without the ability for your body to control it. As runners we have to strive for efficient movement as our foot contact times are between .08 and .3 seconds during the stance phase. The better our neuromuscular control (brain-to-muscle communication) the better our efficiency. To get more from our nervous system we must utilize methods to recruit more muscle fibers to contract. One of the most effective methods for this is heavy (maximal) weight lifting. Not only do we get a huge increase in muscle fiber recruitment, but we do so without a  big cardiovascular or connective tissue training stress. 

Running economy (RE) is defined as the energy demand for a given speed of submaximal running (think marathon pace). So a runner with a good RE will use less energy (and less oxygen) than a runners with poor RE at the same speed. If we want to run faster, we inherently reduce our ground contact time and need to increase our force production. High end strength and power allows us to accomplish this. 

Intelligent programming focused on correct movement, muscle balance and coordination is important for injury prevention. Heavy strength training not only results in muscular strength, but mechanical strength of connective tissue structures surrounding joints and bone density. Think about this on your next run; each time their foot contacts the ground an "efficient" runner sees a vertical load of 2.6x bodyweight, a braking load of 0.5x bodyweight and a lateral load of 0.2x bodyweight. Now considering that this loading happens anywhere from 150-185 times a minute, you can see the importance of effective strength training. 

It is important to go ahead and define what type of resistance training is most effective for endurance athletes. Most training programs consider hill sprints, core work or circuit training to be sufficient for strength training but we do not. Maximal or explosive strength training was more effective in improving strength and neuromuscular performance and enhancing run economy in recreational runners than concurrent circuit and endurance training (1). Your strength program should be focused on neuromuscular performance and avoid hypertrophy. Strength training does not mean muscle mass. The thought of increased mass is one of the biggest deterrents for endurance athletes. Without a doubt, there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to a runner building muscle. Proper training and nutrition will lead to strength, not unwanted bulk.

Your time in the gym should primarily be spent getting strong and developing clean and functional movement patterns that enhance balance, symmetry and stability - not pushing though several repetitions of an exercise with poor form competing for time. Most endurance athletes that are new to strength training will need to focus first on volume (lighter loads, high reps) and form to prepare the body for more intensive work. When sufficient work tolerance is achieved, the athlete can begin on neuromuscular recruitment and rate of force development (using heavier loads and more explosive movements). Most endurance athletes should strength train 2-3x/week. As an athlete progresses in their sport, the number of strength training days may be reduced to 1-2x/week.  

Looking to add strength training to your program? Contact us to schedule a free consultation!

  1. Taipale RS et al, 2010
  2. Dudley and Fleck, 1987
  3. Zatsiorsky, 1995
  4. Bompa, 1996