Strength & Conditioning Gym in Ephrata

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ATG Training

ATG stands for Athletics Truth Group and was developed by Ben Patrick (famously known as “Knees Over Toes Guy”). ATG training focuses on building strength and conditioning while simultaneously bulletproofing the body from injury! It is also a training method that develops incredible athletic ability.

Most traditional strength and conditioning programs do not address structural imbalances and mobility issues of the body. Neglecting these areas is why most people, despite hard efforts, end up broken, injured, and frustrated with their training results.

Strength and Conditioning Workout

ATG Principles for Success:

1) Nutrition is the foundation for everything else! Eat whole foods with high protein sources being the focus. Meats, eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are ideal. Eliminate processed foods and unnatural sugar as much as possible. If man made it, don’t eat it. You cannot outwork a crappy diet! Nutrition is a must for long-term results and health.

2) Incorporate sled training into your workout! Weekly workouts should include the number one exercise for longevity- the sled. Pushing and pulling the sled provides incredible bang for your buck. Sled training bulletproofs the feet, ankles, and knees while simultaneously building strength and conditioning. Proper sled technique is to drive through the big toe on each step. You can gradually increase the intensity with speed or load. You will know when you are doing it right because your quads will be on fire!!!!

3) Perfect the ATG slant board squat and the ATG Split Squat. These two movements are incredible for bulletproofing the knees. We have an epidemic of knee issues in our country, and one of the main reasons is that most people do not train their knees through a full range of motion. The ATG split squat is also key for improving flexibility in the hip flexors. Hip flexors are chronically tight on most people. Tight hip flexors lead to poor posture, back pain, and knee pain. Master the ATG slant board squat and split squat, and you will be on the path to a bulletproof lower body!

4) Train with control and a full range of motion. Strengthening and lengthening your joints and muscles is key for longevity. A joint that is not trained through full ranges of motion will become stiffer and weaker over time. Training through full ranges of motion is key for bulletproofing joints and building mobility with strength.

5) Form is king! Always focus on perfect form with your training. Too many people let their egos get in the way and try to do too much weight or go too fast. It is important to push yourself but never at the expense of form. Doing so will only lead to injury and poor results. Always chase perfect reps, full ranges of motion, controlled tempo, and appropriate weights.

6) Train your hamstrings through knee flexion and hip extension. The hamstrings are typically weak on most people and this can lead to knee injuries and poor performance. It is important to train the hamstrings through knee flexion (hamstring curls, Nordic curls) and hip extension (Romanian deadlifts, good mornings, and back extensions). Strengthening the hamstrings in both areas is key for bulletproof knees.

7) Train your rotator cuff and upper back. Most people neglect their rotator cuff muscles and upper back muscles. This leads to shoulder injuries and terrible posture. The modern life of sitting also makes matters worse. To correct your posture and bulletproof your shoulders, rotator cuff and upper back exercises are a must.

8) Perfect bodyweight pushing and pulling movements. Most people are very weak with basic bodyweight movements like pushups, dips, ring rows, and chin ups. Building these areas will make your upper body strong and bulletproof. Getting good at these movements also requires a healthy body composition. The less body fat a person has the better he will be able to do these movements. Get good at these movements, and you will be on your way to a high level of fitness.

9) Train your core. Core muscles and specifically the lower abs, hip flexors, obliques, and low back muscles are a major weakness for most people. Weakness in these areas leads to injury and poor performance. Having a strong core is essential for a bulletproof body.

10) Train your feet and ankles. Most people never think about training their feet and ankles. Modern life and most shoes make our feet and ankles weak and stiff. Sled training is one of the best ways to train your feet and ankles. Specific work to stretch and strengthen the calves and tibialis muscles are also important and often neglected. All movement starts from the ground up, and if your feet and ankles are weak and stiff, it will lead to more issues up the body.

11) Train your grip and elbows. The elbow is a common area of injury and pain. Grip strength is also a major predictor of overall longevity. The stronger a person’s grip, the better overall strength a person can develop. Train your grip and elbow joint through flexion (bicep curls) and extension exercises (tricep extensions). Constantly incorporate small variations to these movements to keep your elbows and grip strong and healthy.

12) Mobilize or stretch chronically tight issues. Most people have the same chronically stiff or tight areas including hip flexors, glutes, quadratus lumborum (QL), hamstrings, calves, pecs, lats, and thoracic spine. Training through full ranges of motion and selecting the right exercises will help, but additional stretching might be needed to fix these areas.

13) Always prioritize longevity as the main focus of training. The foundation for all training is joint strength, structural balance, mobility, and muscle strength. Workouts can either improve or take away from these areas. The goal is to develop a strong and bulletproof body not to just get sweaty or lift more weight. Focus on longevity above all else!

If you have read this far, you have gained some incredible knowledge! You have been handed the information to build an incredibly strong and bulletproof body!



Our community is what makes us special. And it's what will keep you going

We understand how intimidating it can be to get started on a new fitness journey. Don't worry, our aim is to make your journey as simple as possible.

Vitality Athletics has been around for over 10 years helping people reach their fitness goals.

It is our belief that life is too short to not live a healthy life.

Trusted and loved by hundreds of Ephrata Residents

Dimitri and Elena
We've been going to Vitality for almost 2 years now and it's impacted us in so many more ways than just losing weight. Getting stronger and strengthening the inner joints to make our bodies run smooth was the biggest thing. We gained so much knowledge on what strength training does and we are living examples of that. Being consistent and patient pays off!

The losing weight part came off slowly and steadily with consistency! We got our nutrition on track with coach Shannon and that was the next level of what we needed. We love going to the gym 5 days a week. It's become such a routine for us that when we miss a day, we truly miss moving and working our bodies. We are so thankful to Coach Tyler and all the other coaches that no matter where we were in our journey we were encouraged to keep going!

-Dimitri and Elena
I came to Vitality wanting help to get back on track regarding my fitness. Over my adult years, I had joined a few gyms and been in decent shape off and on by doing spin, running, yoga and other exercises. But as I got older, I needed something to challenge my body more than the cardio style exercises I had been doing previously. Vitality helped get me started with strength training, which I had never done consistently before. Within a few months of working out just 1-2 times per week and cleaning up my diet, I started seeing changes in my body composition. Then I was hooked. I joined full-time and really committed to challenging myself to see what my body could do. It's been over a year and I'm feeling stronger, more confident, and seeing muscles I've never seen before. The coaching and encouraging environment at Vitality has made all the difference. Because of Tyler's programing, I don't have to think about my workout routine, I can just show up and get it done. As a beginner, I really appreciated the support of all the coaches and now that I'm working toward new goals, they are there to help me continue making progress. Shannon, Tyler, and Amanda are always willing to listen and give guidance in nutrition and other health related topics- they are the best! My life and health have been greatly enriched by the Vitality community and I'm very grateful my friend invited me to give it a try.

- Liz
Body Transformation
The reason for the start of this Journey with Vitality fitness was due to a doctors appointment that scared me. I was almost 300 pounds with high blood pressure, glucose and A1C levels. The blood work also indicated I had a fatty liver. I had a very poor diet and was not physically active. My goals were to lose weight and not take medicine for diabetes and high blood pressure. in six months, I lost almost 40 pounds and have increased my muscle mass. I have returned to the doctors and no longer have to take diabetes medicine. I found the biggest struggle was to just start and create a routine. The first two weeks were tough. My body was telling me to quit. I had sore muscles for two weeks straight. It hurt some nights to even rollover in bed to find a new more comfortable sleeping positions. I stuck with the plan and continued the routine and I feel so much better. My energy level has increased significantly. I find myself missing the Vitality environment when I take a break. My body craves physical activity now. Mentally I think more clear and have better focus throughout my day. Achieving goals during a morning workout routine is a perfect way to setup additional goals throughout the rest of the day. The Vitality community has been very supportive throughout this journey. The fellow Vitality members motivate and inspire with out saying a word. Their presence during the workout, the struggling together during a circuit is what motivates me while I am there. Whether someone is on there 2nd day or has been coming for many years, there independent workout along side of me doing my routine motivates me to do better. The coaches are a great resource and will take the time to answer questions and take the initiative to correct your form or provide suggestions if you are struggling with a movement. If anyone has read this far and is still on the fence. I would say to them, try it for two months. Establish a routine and stick to it for two months. You will not regret it. You will learn something new. You will definitely learn something about yourself. Continuing on my Vitality Journey,

What motivated you to start, and what were your goals?
I started just to get in better shape. I was hoping to lose weight and I was hoping to reduce the blood pressure medicine that I was on. There were hopes, not goals. I had been heavy and on blood pressure medicine for such a long time that I wasn’t sure that I could do it. When I was younger, I enjoyed lifting weights and so I came hoping but not sure.

What results have you experienced so far?
I am very happy with my results. First, my legs feel awesome. When I started at Vitality, I legs ankles and knees often felt sore. I also lacked mobility in my legs. Now my ankles and knees feel much better. I have also lost more than 60 pounds so far. I feel like a different man. Recently I have hit a plateau. However, I have not giving up because I know that eventually I will work through it and continue onto my goal. The other result that I am excited about is the reduction of my blood pressure medicine. Last week I had a doctor appointment and he said that it is okay to go off of my final pill. The plan is for me to track my blood pressure daily and make sure that it stabilizes and I can be pill free. Isn’t is amazing how of those results are benefitting each other!

What was your biggest struggle and how did we help you overcome it?
My biggest struggle was believing that I could lose weight and reduce my blood pressure medicine. From seeing the success of others and also from the encouragement of the coaches to keep on going, I was able to overcome this lack of belief and experience.

What’s your favorite thing about Vitality Athletics?
My favorite thing about Vitality is the people. The coaches are fantastic and have given me so many great tips over the years. The coaches also recognize the success of the members and are quick with encouraging and affirming words. The other group of people are the members of Vitality. It is exciting for me to see the success of others and to celebrate with them. People often work out at the same time everyday and so it’s easy to build friendships and encourage each other and also have mini competitions with each other. The people definitely make Vitality a special place.

What would you share with new/potential members?
My advice is simple. Follow the guidance of the coaches. Consistently show up at least 3 times each week. Finally, realize that you can achieve your goals. Just be patient and give yourself a reasonable timeframe to achieve them.

If you have progress pictures that you are comfortable sharing, feel free to send them as well.
My regret is that I did not take photos of my journey.

What motivated you to start, and what were your goals?
I was putting the work in at Vitality but I was frustrated because the scale kept going up and I was really dissatisfied with my body. My nutrition was not where it should have been. I found myself thinking I needed to eat less calories to lose weight. Or I would overeat carbs and not eat enough protein. No matter how much I worked out or what I did the scale kept going up along with my body fat. I finally said enough and sat down with Shannon. My goals were to be able to be balanced in life and diet and to feel good about myself. My goal was to lose body fat. I wanted my clothing to fit again. I felt a sense of peace of relief after meeting with Shannon. He coached me through time management, macros, making good food choices, consuming enough calories and protein. I wanted to someone to guide me through the process so I wasn't just ending up frustrated and spinning my wheels.

What results have you experienced so far?
I have experienced my body changing to an ideal body fat. It feels amazing to put on my summer clothing and not have them be tight or uncomfortable. I have lost about 17 lbs so far and have dropped my body fat to an ideal range. If I had a bad week Shannon was there encouraging me to keep going and not to give up. He helped me tweak my nutrition as I went to make better choices. I found I can still enjoy treats with my family but I budget them in now. I realized I wasn't eating enough or if I was it wasn't the right things. I now feel in control of my diet. Last summer we went to a lake waterskiing and I could ski maybe 2 mile markers and be totally done. This year we went back and I was able to ski 5 mile markers and feel like I could keep going. It was due to the increased muscle and decreased body fat. I get up in the morning and just feel better about myself, I like who I am when I look in the mirror. I am not controlled by food anymore. Food fuels my body to keep with my kids and life. I can't put it into words, I am just so grateful for the skills and progress that Shannon has helped me achieve.

What was your biggest struggle and how did we help you overcome it?
Getting started and sticking to it. Knowing each week Shannon was going to check in with me was a big help. When I got stuck with my nutrition he was very thorough in helping me through it. He helped me get on the right track and in a way that wasn't overwhelming. It was one step at a time and he celebrated the successes with me even if they weren't very big. He was always very positive and tailored his coaching to me. I am so grateful that he was able to see my life and help me adapt the concepts to my life so that I can do this lifelong. He helped me to see that this is a lifestyle and not a diet.

What’s your favorite thing about Vitality Athletics?
The people! You don't have to think up your own workout and it's always different. There is always a way to modify it if you aren't able to do something. The coaches are so encouraging too.

What would you share with new/potential members?
Just do it! There is never going to be a perfect time to start however today is the day and tomorrow you will thank yourself that you did.


Experience Vitality Athletics training and transform how you look and feel! Whether you are new to exercising or a fitness veteran, let us coach you to unlock your true potential!

Weekend Classes

Flexible Class Times

Top of the line equipment

Easy Scheduling

Nutrition Programming

Personal Training

Conveniently located in the Trout Run Business Center on North Reading Road (Hwy 272) in Ephrata.

Working out at the gym isn't easy. But getting there shouldn't be hard. Vitality Athletics is located and easily accessible from all of Ephrata.

350 N Reading Rd, Ephrata, PA 17522
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