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  • Al Painter NASM-CPT, CES, PES, monkii bars Trainer


Back in June, I went to a weekend long Stick Mobility Level 1 Coach certification. It was an amazing experience and I learned a ton. To be in a room with so many incredible coaches was great.

That's where I met Daniel Murakami CPT, Certified Nutritionist, FRC Mobility Specialist, Stick Mobility Level 1 Coach. He's from Murrieta, California he's a trainer that definitely "gets it" (and if you read my blog, you know I don't impress easily) and he works at the Reps Training Facility. Daniel is a great guy, knows his stuff inside and out and if you live in his area, he's someone you should get in touch with for a workout.

When I asked him for an interview for the blog, he was great enough to take time out of his busy schedule and send over his answers to my questions. Oh, and btw, one of his favorite ways to workout is to pick up some seriously heavy things and move them from point A to point B. It's pretty damn impressive, you can see all of that on his Instagram page.

That's one of the things I like the most about his methodology. Its a no frills back to basics approach that improves the way we are meant to move: by squatting, hinging, pushing, pulling and carrying loads on your way to performance improvements.

He's also big on reestablishing your connection from the ground up through your feet. I think a lot of trainers miss this incredibly critical part of the fitness continuum and anyone who understands this this is someone you should follow.

With that being said, keep reading, get to know Daniel Murakami and if you live near Reps, get in touch with him and set up an appointment.

How did you get into training?

I grew up playing sports but as I got older I became more interested in the strength and conditioning than the sport itself. I started off helping out some young athletes at the local park as a teenager with a few peices of equipment. I think I charged like $5 a person but it grew and I began working with teams, high schools, and adults. Through the ups and downs, training has always been a constant, and it's taught me some valuable life lessons. I'm still a gym rat, still helping people work out, but now it's considered "work". We are truly lucky people!

What's your specialty?

My mission is helping people prepare to play. While working at an athletic training center, I realized the biggest part of training athletes was rehabbing injuries, preventing injuries, and unlocking movement potential. It turns out that's exactly what everyday people need too! I see Crossfit, running marathons, powerlifting, or gardening as a physical, athletic endeavor. It's my job to allow their body to handle their play and be functional at it, even if the game is just life. When people have more freedom of movement and a stronger foundation, they tend to play better at nd with more longevity.

What do most people's programs lack? Where are the holes?

Most gym goers have a big heart, hard work ethic, and push themselves but it's difficult them to go back to the basics. If we could add mindfulness to the list of training variables such as load, volume, intensity, and speed than it would give us a whole new dimension of work to be done with the seemingly simple stuff. When you master the basics you open the door for all the complex things at the next level. A great example is the shape of our spine. Are we aware of its position? Can we control it?

What's your favorite way to workout?

I like to work on moving better generally and in regards to specific goals as well as develop organic strength. This means methods of training where you're forced to figure out how to move and adapt to new information. That's one of the reasons I like to go outside and lift rocks. There's variables you can't really predict or control and sometimes you have to deviate from "perfect form". One of my favorite ways to build strength organically is with a partner. Moving in response to another human is a good way to break out of the rigid patterns in your comfort zone to new areas of discovery.

What advice would you give someone brand new to working out?

What I would tell someone starting out: I encourage them to get a qualified trainer. You could look up a cookie cutter program online but they all lack the most important variable, your individual body. That's the variable a good coach can create your training program around and adjust along the way. And that's not just advice for beginners, my coaches were the biggest factor in my development and continue to be. Even trainers need trainers!

How do you define fitness?

Define fitness: I'd like to define fitness from a more subjective perspective as the freedom to do what you love and define health as simply feeling good. If you FEEL good inside of your body then I'd consider you fit and if your body is able to feel good while doing more of what you love than your fitness is improving. Someone receiving improved blood test results, increasing cardiovascular health, or lifting PRs is great but it's always good to ask how they feel.

Thanks a ton to Daniel once again for taking the time out of his schedule to answer my questions, it is much appreciated. If you'd like more information or would like to schedule a session with Daniel, send him an email or follow him at one of his social media outlets:

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