FAQ


Do I need to attend a ‘Get Started’ session? Yes, everyone starts with a Get Started session. Assessment is an important part of the coaching process; we want to help you start improving right away. You will benefit because we will have more information with which to coach you after this session. Schedule your Get Started session here.

Why can’t I start in a class right away?
Because our focus is on quality of instruction, safety, and effectiveness, entry into classes is tightly controlled. We are committed to providing our existing athletes quality instruction, as well as our new athletes a quality experience. Athletes with no previous Mad Dawg School of Fitness experience must first attend a private session ‘Get Started’ session before they attend a group class.
Please go to ‘Getting Started’ to find out more.

At your complimentary ‘Get Started’ session, we’ll determine which Mad Dawg Program best fits your needs. In Fundamentals Personal Training or Personal Training, you’ll become familiar with the training program, as well as learn excellent technique for the Strength & Conditioning group classes. This will ensure that both you and your training partners are able to train to fullest potential.

I’m super fit. I run, bike, and do yoga. Can’t I just waive the Fundamentals Personal Training and start Strength & Conditioning classes?
In order to ensure your safety, and have you train to your fullest potential, we have established standards that must be met in order to gain entry to our ongoing group Strength & Conditioning classes. Our Fundamentals Personal Training program is designed to teach you proper technique that will prevent injury and ensure success as you increase load and increase intensity in your workouts. Everyone in our program has completed the Fundamentals Program; you should, too.

We believe we owe you, and all of our athletes, the best group training possible. If you feel you already have a solid grasp of the lifts and believe you’re ready to join group Strength & Conditioning classes, read below.

I’m an experienced CrossFitter / Weight-Lifter – can I start classes right away?
We’d love to have you join our group classes! If you’ve been training at a CrossFit facility or with a strength and conditioning coach and you would like to join group Strength & Conditioning classes at Mad Dawg School of Fitness, please schedule a complimentary ‘Get Started’ session. In your session, we’ll review the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PARQ) and your goals, and perform the Functional Movement Screen, so we can personalize your training. You’ll also demonstrate the Front Squat, Back Squat, Overhead Squat, Deadlift, Press, Push Press, and Push Jerk. Please schedule your ‘Get Started’ session here.

I train at a CrossFit facility and am traveling through town. Can I drop in on a class?
We do not accept drop-ins.
In order to fulfill our commitment to our existing athletes, many who have been training with us for years, we do not allow ‘drop-ins’. Please understand that if you ‘drop in’ to take a class unannounced, we will not be able to accommodate you as the coach will be focused on teaching the class. Please go to ‘Getting Started’ to find out more about training with us.

How long will it take for me to progress to the Elite Level?
Most athletes are not going to reach Elite Level in conditioning, no matter how well trained. We’re going for optimal health and fitness with our program and that is what is appropriate for most humans. If you’re willing to learn proper position, proper movement, how to adequately recover and rest, and how to eat properly to support your health and fitness goals, then you’ll see great results in a few months. Most have found that nutrition changes and letting go of unhealthy habits streamlines this process and optimizes results. Someone who eats a healthy diet and who has an athletic background (such as a college-level athlete) can progress through the different levels fairly quickly. For the de-conditioned, untrained, or those who have mobility challenges, it’s going to take longer!

Where is the workout programming?
The day’s workout is detailed on the main whiteboard in the gym. Each day there are warm up and activation exercises, mobility, strength and conditioning. We break down each cycle’s programming so that athletes can see the mobility work, strength/skill focus, and metabolic pathway targeted for each day of the cycle. View a sample overview of our programming here and more detail here.

Why strength train?
Many of our athletes have spent years training “long slow distance” – riding or running interminable miles in gyms and on roads. Without strength training and accompanying mobility work, this can lead to stiffness and pain as muscles shorten due to repetitive movements. Coached properly, strength training not only increases raw strength, it also promotes muscular balance and trains the body to move through its full, natural range of motion. We have successfully used our strength and mobility training to reverse the aches and pains of endurance athletes and working “stiffs” alike. Whether your goal is to squat your own bodyweight, or to pick up your kids without back pain, strength training at MDSoF will help you achieve it safely and efficiently.

What is Fundamentals Personal Training?
Fundamentals Personal Training is MDSoF’s 3-hour introduction to the world of human movement. You will learn the fundamental movements (squat, deadlift / hinge, press) of MDSoF’s programming. Through these movements, you will begin to learn the key principles of moving your body through space. You’ll hear phrases like “active shoulders” and “neutral spine” – cues that will support your movement quality for the rest of your life. You will also be introduced to a range of mobility and flexibility exercises that you can use to alleviate muscular pain and address deep-seated  dysfunction. Read more about Fundamentals Personal Training here.

What is L.I.F.T.?
Low Intensity/Low Impact Functional Training. Focus on mobility, position, and movement. Movements include most of the same movements in our Strength and Conditioning program, but with an emphasis on the fundamentals of hinge, squat, press, as well as many bodyweight and core-strengthening exercises.

What is Bodyweight Skills Class?
Barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells are only a few of the many ways that human beings improve their general fitness. Mad Dawg School of Fitness offers the Bodyweight Skills Class for those who want to develop the strength, mobility, and stability required for advanced human movements like one-legged squats (pistols), handstands, and muscle-ups. For example, a Bodyweight Skills Class focusing on handstands may have a general warmup, shoulder-specific warmup, “skills & drills” tailored to each athlete’s individual level of progress to develop strength, mobility, and coordination, and lastly a bodyweight workout programmed to complement the rest of the class. We throw in dance moves and other cool stuff because we like to move!

What is Movement Therapy?
Read about Movement Therapy here.

What is Life, Health & Wellness Coaching?
Read about Life, Health & Wellness Coaching here.

Will I gain muscle by training with you? Will I get big?
Mad Dawg School of Fitness’ programming is designed for everyday athletes who want to develop themselves in a balanced way. Our programming focuses on mobility, cardiovascular and muscular endurance, and movement skills as much as it focuses on strength. You will gain some muscle training with us, but it will be balanced by loss of bodyfat and improvement in range of motion – all leading to better quality of life. That said, we have the tools and the knowledge to “get big”. But be ready: If muscle gain is your goal you will need to bring dedication and perseverance.

Where is the Saturday workout?
Usually at Sequoia HS Track in Redwood City. This changes on occasion due to extreme weather or because the workout dictates a different venue. Current MDSoF athletes who have completed Fundamentals Personal Training, or who have received special permission from a coach, can attend the Saturday workout. Email us for location details.

Where is the class schedule?
The class schedule is here.

Where is the waiver (PARQ)? 
The waiver is here.

How do I send a payment / check to Mad Dawg?
Here’s how and where to send a check.

What ages do you train at Mad Dawg? Do you have a ‘Kid’s Class’?
We train ages 12 and above. Our athletes range from age 12 to over 70! We do not have a ‘Kid’s Class’.

Can I ‘drop in’ to a class?
We do not accept drop-ins. In order to fulfill our commitment to our existing athletes, many who have been training with us for years, we do not allow ‘drop-ins’. Please understand that if you ‘drop in’ to take a class unannounced, we will not be able to accommodate you as the coach will be focused on teaching the class. Please go to ‘Getting Started’ to find out more about training with us.

I don’t need the classes / coaching – is there an ‘open gym?’
No.

How do I refer a friend / family-member?
We love getting referrals! Many of our new athletes have come to us by referral. Please find out how to refer (and get a referral reward) here.

Discounts and Cancellations
Do you offer a referral discount?
Yes! Here it is.

Do you offer a couples discount?
Yes, our monthly rate for couples is $330, charged to one credit card.

What is your cancellation policy?
Personal Training – The session dates and times that you book with your coach are reserved for you. Please provide at least 24 hours notice if you cannot keep your scheduled personal training appointment. In the event of less than 24 hours notice, you’ll be charged for that session.

Can I get credit or refund for missed group class sessions?
Your monthly fees are for unlimited sessions. You can come as much or as little as you want but fees are non-refundable. In the case of Fundamentals Personal Training, the purchase is for 3 sessions; if for some reason you are unable to complete the 3 sessions, we will make every effort to accommodate you by offering you an extension or a credit for unused sessions on other Mad Dawg School of Fitness services (such as Movement Therapy or other coaching).