Muscle Up Drills: Gaining Control on the Rings

It’s fair to say that my muscle up game has been slacking lately.

I set a goal to change that by working more muscle up drills into my personal training. I thought I’d share my struggle/progress with you to help those of you at home, but to also help keep myself accountable. 😉 The above video is a great example of going back to the basic movements and trying to create that muscle memory and gain control on the rings.

You will need a box and rings. I am practicing that control in that “deep dip” position. Having a box close by is a great tool. This allows me to use by leg to knock out more reps safely with control. While preforming this drill, make sure to maintain that hallow body hold position. These drills are all about control NOT SPEED.

Do NOT perform the “push away” ring push ups until you can knock out 15 reg ring push ups with ease. Keep in mind while doing ring push ups, it’s important to maintain a neural neck, keep glutes active to maintain a tight core, and rings tight to body.

How to setup you rings

Measure from the tip of your fingers to your elbow, that is where your Rings should be setup. Set up in bridge, make sure that your rings are directly under your shoulders. It helps to keep your feet in line with your shoulders as well. This creates a more stable base.

Steps to Achieving Your First Muscle Up

Want to do your first muscle-up? Here’s how!

This video features several drills to help you achieve your first muscle up. Before performing the movements in this video, make sure you are able to perform strict pull ups, “perfect” push ups, strict dips, chest to bar pull ups. Practice your hallow body hold position from the ground as well as from the bar — Kipping technique.

It will also be beneficial to incorporate kettlebells into your workout to help improve grip strength (video coming soon). Start with the basics and progress from there. Best of luck. Hope this video was helpful.

Why Personal Training at RaceStart

With more and more personal training gyms surfacing in Milwaukee, it can sometimes be a challenge finding the best personal trainer for you. There are so many factors to determine what’s best suited for your fitness goals, that I felt compelled to share what RaceStart offers that’s unique to most gyms in Milwaukee.

What Makes RaceStart Personal Training unique to Milwaukee?

Well, here are just a few reasons to make RaceStart Training your home gym.

The RaceStart experience

Are you bored doing the same old thing at the gym? Are you lacking energy and motivation? Have you hit a “plateau” in your training?  If so, it’s time to break through your comfort zone. If you’re not happy with your training results somethings has to change…but what?  Not sure where to start? I suggest mixing up your training regimen with RaceStart’s (RS) innovative programming and experienced coaches. It’s important that we continue to challenge ourselves with compound movements, muscle confusion,  reps and load variations to continue to see progress.  RS has a great community atmosphere and a passion for unconventional training methods! Simply put, RS is a playground for grown ups. Exercise should feel like play. And each experience never looks the same. Let RS be your playground, and allow us to put the fun back into your daily routine.

Just because we are getting older doesn’t mean that we can’t start to look and feel younger!

~ Antonette Semklo

RaceStart offers something for everyone

The main focus at RaceStart (RS) is personal training, but not limited to. RS also offers small group classes with month-to-month payment options. The classes are capped at 12 people, and many times staffed with 2 coaches. This avoids chaos and allows for a more personal experience.

Is RaceStart for you?

At RS we are excited to train people who are committed to their goals, can take direction, and show up on time with enthusiasm! It’s one thing to just show up at the gym and another thing to show up and be mentally prepared to make the necessary changes it takes to be fit. It’s our goal to prepare you, and to bring out your inner athlete.

Listen below, as fitness coach and gym member, Erika Kluhsman shares how RaceStart training has impacted her personally:

At RaceStart we want you to make our gym, your home gym!

Join the fun, reignite the spark and enthusiasm for fitness, and learn what it means to bring out your inner athlete. We offer the following to help equip you to meet your fitness goals:

  • passionate and experienced coaches
  • a close knit community
  • group “field trips”
  • positive and supportive environment
  • intimate/inviting atmosphere
  • innovative programming
  • fun factor
  • healthy results

If you’d like to learn more about how you can start today feel free to contact us! Your first workout is on us!

Push-up Progressions

This video demonstrates various push up progressions that are utilized at RaceStart Training. Athletes who have a weaker upper body are often tempted do push ups from their knees. At RaceStart we don’t like to encourage athletes to perform knee push ups because it’s hard to progress from there. First, I would have them perform elevated push ups. Once that becomes easy then I would continue to lower them until their hips were parallel to the ground. If the athlete’s hips are still “bottoming out” (collapsing) from ground level push ups, I would recommend stacking ab mats under them, keeping their hips parallel to the ground. When executing push ups it’s important to keep your spine neutral and maintain full range of motion.

How to find the Best Personal Trainer for YOU

By definition, to be healthy is to be fit. Naturally, when one thinks of health and fitness, personal training comes to mind. Some people may view personal training as a luxury, whereas others see it as an investment in one’s personal health.  As we age we’re constantly reminded of how important our health is. With that being said, have you ever considered working with a personal trainer, but weren’t sure where to start or what to look for?

Here are tips to prepare your quest to find the BEST trainer for YOU.

  1. Google is your best friend. Do your research. Look trainers up on social media FIRST and find trainers located in your area. Then do your digging:
    • What are their hobbies outside of the gym?
    • How does that impact their training/lifestyle?
    • Do they “practice what they preach”?

    You will make many decisions during this process. Just keep in mind the importance of who  you choose to surround yourself with. Evaluate who will have a positive impact on your life. Please note that you are not looking for a new best friend. Rather, someone who will help mold your future self.

  2. Inquire and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the trainer about their fitness related experience and background. At the same time, they should be asking you questions about your health, lifestyle and fitness goals. Do they seem authentic and passionate about your goals and fitness?
  3. Experience. Look at reviews, testimonials, or ask people who have trained with them in the past about their experience.
  4. Certifications. Certainly there is something to be said for high credentials, but what’s equally if not more important, is the trainer’s overall experience, growth, and development in the fitness industry. I know plenty of personal trainers who have NO certification and are incredible, whereas I’ve met other trainers who have “elite” certifications and are, well –  “just okay”.  A certification can be a starting point, but don’t let it be the determining factor in your decision making. One of the most important things to look for in your trainer isn’t a credential or certification, but real experience and an enthusiasm for helping you reach your goals.
  5. Do you “jive”? After meeting with the trainer, decide if your personalities jive. Look for a personal trainer who makes you feel comfortable enough for you to expose your biggest flaws. Let me remind you that they’re called “personal” trainers for a reason – trainers are here to guide you to your personal fitness goals, and to do so, the trainer needs to fit with your personality.
  6. Communicate. A great trainer should automatically ask you PRIOR to your workout, if you have any restrictions. If so, discuss them thoroughly. For some reason people often downplay their restrictions. The more your trainer knows upfront, the faster you’ll get results. If you sugarcoat your restrictions it could take longer to reach your goals and possibly lead to a setback. Communication is crucial – being able to communicate your concerns and options should go without saying. We may not always agree, but we are here to listen, support, and guide you in the right direction.
  7. Side note. Just because someone is a fantastic athlete does not mean that they’re a fantastic trainer.
  8. The bond between an athlete and a coach. As a coach it’s important to know how to modify movements based on the individual’s skill level. Also, its important to understand that everyone does NOT learn the same way. Some people are more visual,  some learn better from doing, and there are others who need both. Again, communicating, learning, and listening to the athlete is key. Once a relationship  is established it will be easier to “read” the athlete. Athletes should feel that they can confide in their trainer. Day to day stresses can really weigh a person down mentally as well as physically. In this case a good “venting session” can make a person feel pounds lighter. A great trainer should recognize this, address it, and help move forward. Holding it all inside essentially is more harmful than taking a few mins to vent.  I’m not saying “chit chat” for an hour, but there is a difference between being present in a workout, and just going through the movements because your head is elsewhere. After this bond grows, the trainer will quickly pick up on these tell-tale signs, break down barriers, and have a kick a$! workout!
  9. Results. Your trainer should be focused on your results – If you are not seeing results ask yourself, ‘Am I fully committed to my goals?’ If the answer is yes, then reevaluate your trainer.
  10. Programming. Ask yourself if the trainer’s programming fits your needs. Do they pick a plan out of a hat and put you through it without focusing on your goals? Is your trainer following along with you and checking your form on movements? Are they encouraging or helping you succeed in the way you want to be encouraged?

My Advice:

Give a trainer 4-8 sessions before making a decision that things aren’t working out.

The first session is often exploratory, explanatory, and introductory, and the trainer needs to test your limits and movements to build upon that. This isn’t a “get fit quick” strategy, therefore, trust the process and don’t expect miracles in a day!

Do not use your trainer as an excuse: Often times people will hire a trainer and think they’re done – NOT TRUE. There has to be a commitment to change in the gym AND in the kitchen. The athlete needs to hold themselves accountable and remember that a trainer is a guide. “Don’t put in half of effort unless you’re okay with half the results.”

Be positive: Often when the trainer asks an athlete to do something (walk every day, cut out processed food, drink more water), the athlete comes back with 101 reasons they can’t. First, it’s great that the athlete feels comfortable to communicate this. Instead of saying “I can’t“, focus on a compromise. Trust me, your trainer does not want to see anyone fail. Find an alternative solution to the problem and move forward. Negativity won’t get you very far.

If you enjoy working with your trainer… let the trainer know and continue working with them. The more information you can give them on your progress, the easier it will be for them to alter your program as you go on.

If you don’t enjoy working with your trainer… that’s okay too. Not all relationships end in marriages. Be honest with them. Let them know that it’s not a good fit and why you will not be continuing to work with them. Good trainers want to know what they could have done better. Trainers who are simply after your money may guilt trip you or beg you to stick around – RUN!

Remember: Your trainer won’t do the work for you, and they can’t work miracles. Have proper expectations, do what you’re told, and this could be the best investment you’ll make in your entire life

Antonette Race, Personal Trainer, RaceStart Training

Antonette has been successfully helping the community achieve their fitness goals as a personal trainer in Milwaukee for over 10 years

Bar Muscle Up Progression

A Muscle up is essentially a pull up followed by a dip.

This video will show you how to perform a muscle-up (MU) with band assistance. Start at the floor. Make sure that your bar is secured with bands by pulling the bar back into the rack. Once this movement becomes easy, try taking the hip pop out of it, and perform as strict as possible building your strength and creating muscle memory. If you start practicing with this exercise, along with explosive push-ups, it’s going to make a tremendous difference on your performance. With your practice, keep good form a focus and remember to activate those lats, traps and scapular.  View the video below:


A BIG Thank you to everyone who attended the 2016 RaceStart Open House the past weekend!

Many thanks to YOU, the gym community,  for your support in RaceStart Training over the last few weeks, months, and years. We have so many things to be thankful for as we continue to grow.  A big thanks to coaches Erika and Bryan for all of your time and energy during this event as well as day to day tasks. Your continued contributions help make this gym what it is today.

Congrats to Christy Walker, winner of the raffle drawing. Christy won:

Jump Rope Double Unders – Helpful Tips For Best Results!

Double Unders can be one of the most frustrating movements to learn. Let this short demonstration help you achieve your next double under goal. Keep in mind that while jumping, if you allow your arms to come away from your body it will shorten your rope causing you to miss it. Lets face it, when that rope whips you, it can REALLY hurt! So keep those elbows turned in, retract that scapula and flick those wrists!  If there’s a movement that you’re struggling with and would like to see demonstrated, get in touch with us by sending us an email, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive latest tips directly to your inbox.


Morning Classes With Bryan

Hello Warriors!

Please welcome Bryan Falk-Steinmetz to our RaceStart Team! Bryan will be teaching our NEW MORNING CLASSES, “Koffee+Kettlebells”! Which start Thursday, September 29th @5:30AM.

Bryan is a strong athlete and an overall “stand up guy”. He’s  an excellent asset to our gym community; his enthusiasm and passion for health and fitness is apparent is everything he does! Over the last month there’s a good chance you might have already seen him around the gym. Bryan has been participating in our group classes to become familiar with RaceStart’s  programming, the facility, and of course all of you athletes! We are very excited to have you Bryan, and look forward to your future with RaceStart 🙂

Click below for more info on our class schedule and programs.

Meet Fitness Coach, Bryan Falk-Steinmetz


“Hi, I’m Bryan Falk-Steinmetz. At RaceStart you’ll find a healthy, welcoming community.  Anyone who wants to have fun, get motivated, and work hard will fit right in! If you’re interested in personal training or seeking more guidance with Kettlebell movements I’d be happy to help!   I look forward to hearing from you.”

For additional information on Bryan and his background in Heath and fitness, click on the button below.

Bryan Falk-Steinmetz
Professional Trainer

Milwaukee Personal Training & Group Fitness

RaceStart provides a great community atmosphere and a passion for unconventional training methods! It’s our goal to take the “work” out of working out; Exercise should feel like PLAY.

Let us be your playground, and allow us to put the fun back into your daily routine. Our main focus at RaceStart is personal training and small group fitness classes. Our class-sizes are kept small to avoid the chaos, while providing our customers with a more personal and intimate experience. At RS we have created our ‘Back 2 Basics Introductory Courses’ at an affordable rate … just for you.