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"Th‍‍‍e 3-month experience that I had at Stark was absolutely eye opening and educational to say the least.  I clearly remember how welcoming and out-right excited the Stark staff was to have me on board for the summer.  Every trainer and member of the staff had the mindset of a teacher as well as being a friend when it came to interacting not just with me, but also with one another day in and day out.

Culture is something that is vital in any form of business and Stark embodied that concept through their staff’s vibrant and comical personalities that always had me in tears of laughter.  Throughout the internship, I acquired a mass amount of knowledge during my time at Stark. With regard to actual training, I learned a myriad of new exercises and also variations of old ones that were used for other purposes. Biggest concepts I learned were the idea of C.A.R.S (controlled articular rotations) and the idea that muscles aren’t always necessarily tight, but rather the joint capsule that the muscles/tendons are attached to are tight and causes the surrounding tissues to become constricted.

Following this concept, I learned about how the mind controls how much ROM the body gets based off of stability and excited state, so having a proper dynamic warm-up and utilizing proper technique (bracing the core/ maintaining neutral spine) will determine certain outcomes of an exercise.

I was also fascinated by how Stark approached certain exercises. For example, the deadlift and squat were extremely complicated compound lifts that I struggled with and Amir demonstrated key points for each one that made approaching the lift less daunting. He articulated to me that one shouldn’t simply lower the weight during a squat, but rather pull oneself into the squat like a spring to improve stability and power output. With the deadlift, he said to think about it as a combination of the leg press and hip thrust and pushing the ground away instead of simply pulling.

Stark provided me with such a solid foundation with regard to my career, both by opening my eyes to how versatile and determined you have to be to be a quality coach and by introducing me to so many inspiring individuals that trained at Stark and all the stories/life lessons that they had to share. Each member of Stark gave me valuable life lessons along w/ training advice that inspire me each and every day. I am so appreciative of the mentors at Stark that pushed me each day to be my best and push myself both physically and mentally with each task I approach. "

-Brandon Huang