Author: sonicllc

New Weight Training Class This Summer

We are adding a new block on the schedule for 7th grade through 12th grade Sonics this summer. This is a class that gives your teen a fun, healthy, safe and productive summer while engaging themselves in learning something new.

The work Sonic teens will do and the skills they learn will support them in their lives today and prepare them to continue to develop exercise habits in adolescence.

No one likes to “take the risk” and have their child lift weights. The upside benefits seem to still not outweigh the downside myths. And there are so many warning pieces of information out there talking about growth plates and stunted development. Fortunately, the myths surrounding this activity have been dispelled. The scientific literature is quite clear that strength training is safe for young people if it’s properly supervised. Policies have gradually been rewritten as mounds of research have demonstrated that weight training is not only safe but offers numerous positive benefits.

The truth is though that kids are weight lifting already. Pick up their backpacks in your home one day, and you’ll agree. They are heavy. This is the backpack they walk at least ¼ to a full mile or more with daily. It’s best they do these moves and lifts correctly. Not doing that is more dangerous. And this is why we find it imperative to teach our kids to properly and safely lift and move heavy things.

What we focus on in this class are the movements kids don’t even know they do today. It more fun, because it’s among friends and peers, and it just feels good.

We’ve seen teens first hand build confidence, responsibility, focus and resilience. Beyond the benefits of strength gains kids gain bone density, reduce injuries in sports and maintain a healthy weight.

The Teen Weight Training program begins this summer on Tuesday, June 21th. This program is geared for 7th grade through high school aged Sonics. The class meets 2 days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is for experienced and committed Sonics who are in the gym regularly and have met our movement consistency standards.

Classes are 2 hour sessions that include 1 hour of weight training in addition to their regular 1 hour afternoon classes.

And just like our general Sonic class, classes will be run with SAFETY FIRST. The class operates with a 1:1 trainer-to-athlete ratio in the sense that no child lifts without at least one trainer’s eyes on.

Middle schoolers will come to general class first and continue into the weightlifting class after. The focus for this age group is to make progressive neuromuscular gains through proper fundamentals over weight increases.

High schoolers will come to the weightlifting class first and continue to their general Sonic class after.  They will begin to explore heavier loads following a linear progression with the goal being to increase weight by five pounds every four weeks.

This summer the weight training class will be a $10 add on to the adjacent general class.



3 Steps to Better Moving and Some Crazy Fun

Recently a Sonic parent asked us, “So, what am I really looking for when I watch class.”  A win or loss, a goal scored, or a best time isn’t really that apparent in the gym.  Kids are constantly working and learning functional movement, in their own ways and at their own paces.
Skills they learn can be used on the field or in the classroom. Yes, the classroom. In both a strong core is needed. The weak core is all too common these days.

So how do your kids get to learn here at Sonic? Everything they do gets coached in following order:



This is another way of saying technique. Everyone knows the “don’t lift with your back” saying. Kind of funny, but true learning for lots of kids. Your child is going to learn how to actually do this. First up, by squatting well.  And they’ll get efficient, effective and safe at doing this, by learning and practicing. And then with every skill thereafter.

We begin here with all our kids and after a growth spurt they may need to come back here to get used to their longer limbs.


Can you do it over and over again? Boring right. But super important. Most injuries don’t happen in the first quarter, they happen when you are tired come later in the workout or game. Showing up often and training correctly builds so many good things into your kids. And kids learn consistency fast.


Once consistent, it’s GO time. Kids love it. Think running and the wind through your hair. Once kids have mastered a skill we add speed, distance and load (for the older kids) to increase their ability.

Do it right then do it fast! And that’s the rocking pattern of Sonic coaching to fun.

So, pairing this all together. What do you see during a class?

First, you see a lot of moving parts. But now you know the method to the madness. You’ll see kids doing 5 different things, but they are all working on the same skill. It’s about what’s right for each kid giving them a challenge that’s within reach. Got questions? Ask away.

Our ultimate goal with your kids is to give them a deep understanding of good movement to carry with them through their days and years.  It’s so exciting to see so many of them take to it all and build up the skills in their back pocket.





We want to teach every kid in Seattle to squat!

Most small children usually squat perfectly and innately by the time they learn to walk.  As they get a little older, children tend to forget how to do a perfect squat since they don’t do it all the time.


Why is it important to learn how to do a good squat?

The squat is a basic movement that we perform our entire lives. The squat precedes walking in human movement. Picture a toddler that has learned to stand and squats down to play with toys.  Up/down up/down, they do it all day. For us coaches it’s a beautiful sight and I saw it today in the gym from a 19 month old.

There is one big reason to squat – it helps counteract all that sitting we do.  And makes us:

  • stronger
  • faster
  • jump higher
  • improves bone density in all age groups
Now let’s go squat and pass the word! #squatSeattle

New Friends…

Brand X Method Training Center

We officially changed our name at the start of 2016 and with that became friends with The Brand X Method.  Not a whole lot of visible changes in the gym.  As we create a community here at Sonic, it’s important to Claira and I to stay connected and involved in the greater community outside of Sonic. Jeff Martin’s, founder of Brand X Method along with his wife Mikki Martin, quote below matches Sonic’s values.

“We don’t believe our mission is to create the next great athlete, but rather to provide longevity and durability for kids to remain physically competent and engaged for their entire lives. Our focus on teaching good movement means we increase physical literacy and instill a lifelong love of fitness that will provide a basis for a healthy life not only for them but for their children too.”

– Jeff Martin, Brand X Method

12 Days of Pull-up Bar Work

December Skill of the Month

While you are hanging your holiday decorations, we will be hanging from bars this month. We hope to see you all 12 times before 2016!

On the first day of bar work, my coach gave to me a max bar hang
On the second day of bar work, my coach gave to me 2 strict chest-to-bar pull-ups
On the third day of bar work, my coach gave to me 3 toes to bar
On the fourth day of bar work, my coach gave to me 4 strict pull-ups
On the fifth day of bar work, my coach gave to me 5 monkey taps
On the sixth day of bar work, my coach gave to me  6 chest-to-bar kipping pull-ups
On the seventh day of bar work, my coach gave to me 7 knees to elbow
On the eighth day of bar work, my coach gave to me 8 kipping pull-ups
On the ninth day of bar work, my coach gave to me 9 jumping pullups
On the tenth day of bar work, my coach gave to me 10 kipping swings
On the eleventh day of bar work, my coach gave to me 11 hollow rock
On the twelve day of bar work, my coach gave to me 12 superman raises


New Gear – RowPerfect coming to Sonic

Yes, the pic looks like every other indoor rower on the market. But, on the RowPerfect both ends move on the machine so power and technique are an equal focus as opposed to the ever so popular Concept 2 erg, that measures power primarily. The RowPerfect is very sensitive to good coordination, rewards good technique and simulates the same feel and flow of rowing on the water.

So why get a RowPerfect?  As strength & conditioning coaches our goals are to help with injury prevention and to teach the proper mechanics to increase sport performance.  We believe all rowers should balance their winter training with time on a RowPerfect even if they spend time on the water in the winter and even more so if they are training primarily on a Concept 2 erg. It’s a nice balance to the excessive loads the Concept 2 puts on young developing backs.

Michelle rowed in college with the people behind RowPerfectNA and they are bringing us a RowPerfect to use at Sonic. We are excited to have this new tool in the gym. It will arrive this Sunday. Swing on by next week to give it a go.

Skill of the Month

October- Handstands
November – Rings

Handstand month was such a hit in October.  Some serious work was done in here. BRAVO!

We have started to add a monthly focus as our second daily skill in our middle and high school classes.  This allows your kids to dig deeper and really focus on a skill for a period of time.

So why did we focus on handstands in October? Handstands increase spatial awareness and expose you to a new world of being upside down. It puts you in a foreign space that you have to orient yourself into. Shoulder, core strength and balance are challenged in new ways. When standing on your feet, the focus point of balance is at your hips. When inverted the balance point shifts to your shoulders building rock solid shoulder strength equal to hip strength and your core in between. The handstand has become extinct in many strength and conditioning circles. It’s here to stay at Sonic!

Next up in November our skill of the month is rings. Come work on your skin the cats, ring stability, muscle ups and more.



Yay! for Recess

Seattle Elementary school kids are now guaranteed 30 minutes of recess. This is a huge step in the right direction for kids in our city.


I do want to remind you of the recommended guidelines for healthy movement. 

The World Health Organizations recommends the following guidelines for children 5-17 years old:

1. A minimum 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA).

2. Amounts above 60 minutes provide additional health benefits.

3. Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous-intensity activities should be incorporated, including those that strengthen muscle and bone*, at least 3 times per week.

So what is vigorous activity…It’s what we specialize in! 

The US Department of Health and Human Services define Vigorous Physical Activity as:

levels of physical activity at intensities where children get “breathless” or breathing deeper and faster than during typical activities. Children who are “breathless” are exercising their heart and lungs along with the muscles in their arms and legs! They are getting stronger and burning calories, which allows their bodies to balance food intake with energy used to help them maintain a healthy body weight. Provided that children do not have health restrictions, being breathless during physical activity is healthful, safe and will not cause physical harm.”

US Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. paguidelines. October 17, 2008. Accessed April 2009.

US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity. Promoting Physical Activity: A Guide for Community Action. 1999

A Week at Sonic Middle School Camp

Wow! What week!  We had such a great time with the Middle Schoolers running our first camp for this age group. Here’s a brief summary of everything we did.

On Monday, we introduced them to CrossFit. We always start by teaching the squat. It is the foundational movement for many of the moves we progress to in here. We also talked about trying and playing new sports so we made a list of sports to try and then voted on one to do on Wednesday. Paddleboarding won out with Track and Field following closely behind. We headed to Wallingford Park for the rest of the day where we played field games and tested our balance on a slackline.


On Tuesday, we continued working on CrossFit skills. Today we introduced the deadlift. We use a fun little move called the Angry Gorilla to teach them to lift with their legs and hips instead of their backs. Picture an angry gorilla sticking their chest out to show their dominance.  That’s how we get them to lift with safe backs.  We then took an urban hike to Gas Works Park and hung out up at the sun dial and rolled down the hill a bunch of times. We walked over 3 miles that day.


Wednesday, we shifted our focus to gymnastics moves and worked on handstands. Gymnastics is part of the mix of skills in CrossFit and is an amazing way to learn body awareness and balance. We then took off for Greenlake via bus and spent the rest of the day paddleboarding, another test of balance.


Thursday, we moved back to more lifting skills and learned the press. The press is pushing weight overhead. This is a very functional way to increase core strength without doing tons of sit-ups.  In here we talk about midline stabilization instead of core strength as it is a more complete look at how the body uses its center in sports and everyday life. The midline is the entire spine, and its stability is dependent not just on the core, but also on all the prime movers of the body, including the hip, glutes, and hamstrings. By special request, we returned to Wallingford Park for more field games and slackline again.


Phew, we made it to Friday, since Track and Field was such a close second in our sports vote earlier this week we walked straight to the track at lower Woodland Park fields and did some running drills including the Pringles drill. In the Pringles drill they held a Pringle chip in each hand and learned to run with light hands. If the Pringle survived they got to eat it, otherwise it crumbled in their hands. We then moved to field games and learned to throw a shot put, javelin and heavy ball for distance.  All of these requiring transfer power through your hips into your hands to throw.

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Total Miles walked all week: over 8 miles
Number of laughs: endless!

We will hold another middle school camp the week of August 10. Click here to sign up and spread the word:

There are lots of pics on our Instagram at

See you back at Sonic soon!