3 Great Things About Running My Own Gym

July 27, 2015 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Starting up a business (in any field) can be very tough, time-consuming, and RISKY.  Many small businesses fail within the first couple years of their start-up.  The main reason being a lack of experience.  So there is definitely a ton to consider before starting up a business, and it’s not for everyone.  I could continue with some of what I’ve learned over the years about running a training facility/new business, and talk about all those risks as well as some of the stress that comes along with it.

But, I’m going to look at the positive today.

What I love About Having My Own Gym

1) Music

I get to pick the music I listen to when I workout.  I really like hip-hop.  I really like country.  At times I’m in the mood for some rock.  My lifting partner brings his I-Pod of songs that we put together and like to listen to when training.  At any given moment you may hear Run-DMC, Tom Petty, and Blake Shelton, to name a few.

In the video below you’ll see what I mean.  This was on a day when my training partner was out of town so I bounced around on Pandora between Eric Church, Jay-Z, Rolling Stones, and Beastie Boys radio.  Much better than getting stuck at a commercial gym running the same loop of the same old songs over and over and over and over and over…

2) Equipment

Before opening my facility, I thought about all the equipment that I would want to use in my own training.  As well as all the equipment that would put our members in the best position to reach their goals.  There is still some pieces of equipment I want to add, but I have a pretty kick-ass set-up… Glute-Ham Developer, Safety-Squat Bar, Football Bar, Suspension Trainers, a Rig, etc. etc.  It is great to have “variety with a purpose.”  In other words, I do NOT throw new equipment into the space just to have more “stuff.”  Every piece of equipment is there for a reason, and I get to be the mad-scientist making the choices!  Pretty sweet!

The video below shows the Pandora music example I listed above, as well as some of the “specialty equipment” (along with some of the “regular” training essentials) I’m using during one of my recent training sessions.

In the first exercise I’m using a Football Bar performing the bench press.  In video numero dos I’m using a Suspension Trainer while performing rows.  In the third video good old Dumbbells for hammer curls, and finally a Barbell with a Hampton Thick Pad while doing hip thrusts in last video.


I’ve watched, played and studied basketball all my life.  Obviously the ability to shoot, handle the ball, and shoot off the dribble are huge components in the game of basketball.  The skill-side anyway, as I could also mention athletic ability, toughness, size, “basketball-smarts,” strength, hustle, etc etc.  But on the skill-side, shooting and dribbling make up a good portion of the game.  The question is, what are the best drills/moves to help develop these skills?  Well, this is where I get to be the mad-scientist again.  I try to give the basketball players I work the best drills while teaching them a number of very effective moves that they can work on to help develop their game.  I don’t take this lightly, and I’m also trying to improve.  But yeah, it is pretty great to be able to give them my spin on this whole thing!  A few examples below…

Bonus - I get to play/dribble/shoot whenever I feel like it, rain, sleet, or snow…

These days I don’t play a whole lot of basketball.  But it is fun from time-to-time to work on my moves and get some shots up…

2014 Basketball and Training Videos

January 6, 2015 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s.  I had a great time with family and friends and am ready to kick 2015 in the ass!  This is usually about the time when I say, “it has been awhile since my last blogpost, but I promise to update it more frequently going forward.”  But no.  I’m not gonna give you any false promises.  Between all the hours I spend training people in the weight room and giving basketball lessons and trying to keep up with 3-year old twins, no such promises will be made. But I did want to share with you some videos from the past year to officially close out 2014.  I FINALLY took a bunch of videos that I recorded over the course of the year and got them up onto my computer.  So, below you’ll see a bunch of what goes on inside our walls at MVP Training. These videos represent only a fraction of the time I spent working with people over the course of the year.  However, I plan on breaking out the video camera more this year and sharing them here on my blog, on facebook, youtube, and on twitter.  So if aren’t already a friend/follower/subscriber, just look up and to the right above “Recent Posts,” and let’s connect. Like I said, I know I won’t be posting as many blogposts/articles on here as I used to, but I plan on including more fitness and basketball videos, so be sure to check back for those. With that said, here we go…

The video below starts with the young guns and works up to the middle schoolers …

My New Fat Loss Program Is Ready For Takeoff…

October 15, 2014 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Hey, all.  I’ll make this brief as most of the explanation can be found in the video below.  But quickly, I just published my first program for weighttraining.com.  The first one is geared towards fat loss, but I will be adding new programs with different goals… programs geared towards adding strength and explosivenss (i.e. improving your vertical jump), for basketball players, another fat loss program that will compliment and progress from the one that I currently have up, etc.

Anyway, I’m pumped to be writing programs for them as I think this will help a ton of people.  Many people don’t know where to start.  While others have hit a wall and don’t know where to go to take their training to the next level.  I think this will help get them going in the right direction.

If interested, simply click on the link below.

Fat Loss Program, Block I

And again, check out the video below as I elaborate and on some of the benefits and what this whole thing entails.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to helping you reach your health, physique, and performance goals!

Some Of My Favorite Cardio Options

September 19, 2014 by danny · Leave a Comment 

This is the longest I’ve gone between blog posts since starting up DannyMcLarty.com.  BUT, I’m back!  My summer hours were crazy but with high school and middle schoolers back in school, I *should* have some free time to make more frequent posts.  At least, I’ll try my best!

The treadmill is not my friend.  I have A.D.D. to the 27th power.  After about 14 seconds on that thing I start to get panicky, as if I was locked in a small room… GET ME OUT OF HERE!  Humans are meant to move, and if getting on the treadmill is something you enjoy, more power to you.  Just not for me.

Maybe you’re like me and need to change exercises often to prevent extreme boredom.  If so, below you’ll see some of my favorite cardio/conditioning options.  Start incorporating one, or all, into your cardio program…

-Battling Ropes – Great low-impact exercise.  Even if you have a lower body injury, battling ropes offer a great conditioning tool to work around your injury.

-Heavy Jump Rope – This exercise will get your heart rate up and have your quads burning in no time flat.

-Medicine Ball Jump ‘N Chase – I love this option because it involes deadlifting, jumping, throwing, and sprinting.  That’s a big-bang-for-your-buck exercise!

-Sledgehammer Tire Swings – Tough day at work?  Kids driving you crazy?  This exercise is great for taking your frustrations out!  Unleash your fury!

-Plank-Ups – These are really hard.  Whenever a member of my gym comes in and sees plank-ups on their training program, it’s usually followed by an eye roll.  Hard, but effective!

-Slideboard – Another great low impact option.  A unique benefit we get out of the slideboard is the fact that we move laterally (sideways).  Most exercise options have us going straight forward.  The slideboard helps reduce the chances of overuse injuries since this gets us out of the usual straight forward motion – now we are not performing the same repeative motion over and over and over and over and over again.

-Farmer’s Walks – Another big-bang-for-buck conditioning option.  It works your grip, traps, core, and if you choose a heavy enough weight, will really get your heart rate up!

-Boxing - I don’t coach or compete in Boxing/MMA/UFC, so I’m not real concerned about technique (don’t want it to get ugly though).  I just use the heavy bag to rapidly raise my heart rate, and like the sledgehammer tire swings, get in to beast mode and go to town!  Thrity seconds of all-out effort will make you really tired and definitely give you new found respect for a boxer’s high-level of conditioning!

-Kettlebell Swings – KB Swings are great for working the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, low back).  They’re also a great teaching tool for learning the hip hinge.  Excellent exercise!

KB Swing Set Up

-Dumbbell Jump Squats – Another great exercise.  Just make sure that you choose a weight that is fairly light… heavy enough to increase the difficulty level of the jump, but not so heavy that it has you slamming down to the ground greatly increasing joint stress.  Depending on your strength level, body control, and the amount of reps you are performing, anywhere between 5-25 pounds would probably be a good choice.

-Jump Rope – The simple jump rope was a great choice when TVs were in black and white, is a great option today, and will be an excellent choice in 2054.  My powers only go so far… I only have 40-years of future-predicting-ability left in me.  But my guess is that our grandkids grandkids will still be using the jump rope.

-Complex – Complexes can have you laying on the floor gasping for air minutes after completion.  There are 456,256 different options to chose from.  In the example you see above, I’m performing deadlifts, followed by hang cleans, followed by push presses, and finish will back squats.

-Conditioning With A Ball - You knew that I had to include a conditioning option that involved basketball.  Any time a sport is played or a ball is involved in a conditioning drill, I’m in!  It could be the shooting drill you see in the video, or running pass routes in the backyard with your kids.  You get in better shape while having fun.  Win-win!

If you dread the idea of performing the same old, same old, hopefully some of these options get you motivated to hit the gym and have some fun doing it!

Did I leave out your favorite(s)?  If so, let me know your favorite options…

The Steph Curry Drill

July 30, 2014 by danny · Leave a Comment 

My favorite player in the NBA is Steph Curry.  Well, it’s close between him and D. Rose… but I haven’t seen Rose play in so long I can’t remember his game. :)  Hopefully that changes real soon!

Anyway, when I saw him play in the NCAA Tourney while at Davidson a number of years ago, I couldn’t believe how easily he could get his shot off both off the catch and off the dribble… especially off the dribble.

And then I lived in the Bay area for number of years, and he just so-happened to get drafted by the Golden State Warriors.  So I got to see the Steph Curry show first-hand.

As I elaborate in the video below, I’ve never seen ANYONE get the ball from the last dribble up into his shooting pocket and out of his hands as quickly as he does…

And then some of the players that train with me at my gym…

I can’t wait to see how much quicker with the ball the younger players in the above video get in the years to come.  Assuming they continue to work on it… and they better! :)

So there’s the Steph Curry drill for you hoopers out there.  Add it to the drills you perform to help you get your shot off quicker and with a more effective result.  Remember to work hard AND work smart (get a lot of reps in before shooting).

More Videos, Pictures, and Thoughts from Inside MVP Training…

April 7, 2014 by danny · 1 Comment 

Here’s another quick update from inside MVP Training

In case you missed my post on Facebook (add me on FB if we’re not already friends as I put a lot of training, nutrition, and basketball posts there, throughout the week), I filmed the new Move of the Month for March… “The Kevin Durant” …

Me hip thrusting 425 pounds…

345 pounds is still the female hip thrust record at my gym.  But there are some other females closing ground!  We’ll see what the numbers bring over the spring/summer.

This video is at my previous facility…

I love training people (and myself) at the new (not so-new anymore) facility.  But up until this past Saturday, I haven’t been able to enjoy one of the features that I’ve been really looking forward to using.  And that’s rolling up the BIG garage door to really open up the place.  It was great to finally do this!  You can see Drew off to the left (see the orange med ball?) getting ready to perform some explosive medicine ball “stomps.”

Hopefully the weather continues to cooperate so that the door will be open more and more…

MVP Training "opened up"

Finally, tonight is the finals of the NCAA tourney.  If Kentucky ends up winning it all, I don’t know if you’d call it the most impressive run in the history of the tournament.?.  Or the best run.  Or that they are the best team ever.  But they are on the most exciting run ever.  I can’t believe the finishes of their games!!!  Each one has been a thriller, and I’m not even a UK fan.  I can’t even imagine the roller coaster that Kentucky fans have been going through during these games!?!  I’m sure my boy Jeff Rinaldi has already suffered about 8 near heart attacks! Hopefully tonight’s game will be just as exciting!

BIG shot after BIG shot!

Who do you think is going to pull it out?


Basketball And Training Videos From Inside MVP Training…

February 4, 2014 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Hello all.  It has been awhile since I’ve given you a peek inside some of our training and basketball sessions at MVP Training.  So I thought it would be a good time to do so again…

First up, I recorded my second installment of “The Move of the Month.”  For January, I went with the reverse spin…

Next up is an athlete performing sumo deadlifts and another performing band resisted push-ups.

Ty’s push-ups are looking really good!  And Madison is new to deadlifting so I am happy with her form.  But as she gets more experienced I’ll continue to work on her form… she needs to get a little tighter in her set-up and stay tight throughout the entire set. But overall, nice work!

Next.  Box Squats and Push-Ups.

Ryan is in 7th grade and I recently allowed him to “graduate” to barbell box squats after he showed me consistent great form with his goblet squats.  He did a great job of nailing that set! And then we have Kaden in 5th grade performing push-ups.  We almost have him down to the floor doing full range of motion push-ups.  His form is good in the video but he is still extending his low back a bit much.  So I won’t have him going any lower ’til he masters that flaw.  But again, overall really good for a 5th grader!

Here’s me trying to practice what I preach.  Trap Bar Deadlifts with Chains…

And finally, another basketball video of players from a wide range of ages (5th grade through 9th grade)…

So there you go, we’re building healthy, strong bodies in the weight room, and improving  games on the court.

Gotta love it!

Have a great week…

2013: The Year That Was …

December 30, 2013 by danny · 2 Comments 

Time for another year in review.  2013…

-I must admit, this year I slacked off a bit in regards to my blogging/articles.  Getting everything all set for the new gym location took up much of my time.  I’ll *try* to be a little more active with my writing this year.  But here’s a good video and article from the past year for you to check out…

Are You Still Doing 3 Sets of 10 Reps?

3 Ways To Create Space Off The Dribble

-My babies started talking like crazy.  Have continued to be very crazy.  Poopy diapers have not slowed down.  And their cuteness remains high…

Daxton & Capri having some fun

-A number of years back I set a goal of achieving 20 + chin-ups every year ’til I turn 50 years old.  I test myself every year before New Year’s.  I did this one a couple days ago, and here was the result…

-Derrick Rose hurt his knee again… season wasted for us Bulls fans.

-I took a bus into Milwaukee for a Cubs/Brewers game.  One of my favorite things about being back in the Midwest is heading to Cubs games with friends!

-I went to the “new” Soldier Field for the first time in my life (I was already living out in California when the stadium was built).  That was a great time and Da Bears won on a last second TD pass… Cutler to Bennett.   But I’m going to QUICKLY change the subject because I’m still sick with how the season ended yesterday!!!!!

-I went from giving quite a few basketball lessons in 2012, to the point where I’m FLOODED with lessons all day, every day.  It’s a lot of fun, and now that b-ball season is here, it has been great watching the news and/or reading the paper and/or seeing stats/articles/highlights with all these players that I’ve been working with.  Seeing them succeed makes my feel good.

-We had some really impressive numbers put up in the gym throughout the year.  For example, here’s Paityn Morris putting up 345 x 5 with hip thrusts…

-I started, “The Move of the Month” this past month.  So stay tuned for a new move every month going forward.  Up first, was the “Cross-over Step”

-And finally, this marks the year that I put together my new facility.  I’ve spent years and years thinking about exactly how I wanted to set up this place… from the training model (MVP Training), to the business model, to the equipment selection.  Anyway, I love the way it has turned out, and I will keep working my butt off to make it better each and every day.  Here’s a tour of the new space…

A good part of the reason it turned out so well, is due to the help that my Dad has given me in setting up the place.  Unfortunately my handy-man skills didn’t improve much this year, so my Dad’s help was HYOOGE!

I’m sure I could have included a lot more into 2013’s happenings, but that would turn out to be way too long.  So, I’ll leave it at what you see above.

I hope you all had a great 2013, and here’s to an awesome 2014! …

Deanna’s GREAT Before And After Pictures

November 6, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

The first time Deanna contacted me was via e-mail.  While reading this e-mail, to be honest, I thought to myself, “oh great, another one of those, ‘I’ll do WHATEVER it takes to get results as fast as possible,’ types.”  When she told me her goal (and they were very aggressive goals. Not your typical, I want to lose 1-2 pounds per week, type of goals), I had to e-mail her back, telling her to slow down and ease into this thing a bit more.  But she swore to me, that once she puts her mind to something, she TRULY sticks to it.  Anyway, I was still a little apprehensive and thought that maybe she was setting herself up for disappointment.

What was the end result?  I’ll let her tell the story.  Deanna, it’s all you…

I lost over 40 pounds in 4 months with help from Danny McLarty. Sounds like one of those ads on TV but it’s true.  I did not use diet aids or magic pills.  I used hard work and self discipline while Danny guided, recommended, and encouraged.

Deanna's Before Pic

Why did I choose to lose the weight?  January 2nd I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office and was so disgusted with my weight that I couldn’t even concentrate on what the doctor was saying.  I realized my clothes were too tight.  I noticed that the steering wheel was rubbing on my belly when I drove.  I’m over 40 and I have had two kids – that’s just what happens, right?  Avoiding the cameras should have been the first clue for my true problem…I was not happy with myself and excuses were not fixing my problem.

I joined a corporate-wide “Biggest Loser” contest through work on January 4th.  My first weigh-in was tough.  I had to get on a scale in front of one of my co-workers.  My stomach lurched as she leaned over to read the scale, stated my weight out loud, and wrote it down.  I was embarrassed at my weight and even more determined to change myself.

I was referred to Danny by a dear friend that had been going to him already.  I contacted him by email through his website and we scheduled an appointment for an evaluation.  I was surprised that his evaluation had absolutely nothing to do with a scale.  He checked my flexibility and had me do a few exercises and ran some measurements that had to do with range of motion.  There was no measuring tape around the waist.  I liked that.  We also discussed eating and accountability.  He gave me a list of recommended food choices and alternatives to what I was accustomed to eating.  We also discussed portion control.

Deanna's After Pic

After the meeting, I obtained a calendar and religiously recorded exactly what I ate throughout the day.  I made sure to measure my portions and I kept track of both the calorie count and the grams of protein for each item.  I even measured salad dressing.  By doing this I soon realized how much I used to consume because I liked the food rather than for what I needed to feel full.  I learned that by eating a reasonable portion of protein I felt more satisfied than I had with an oversized portion of pasta.

Danny created routines specifically for me.  The routines consisted of weight lifting, circuit cardio, and core exercises.  He demonstrated the routines and then monitored me while I performed them.

Final weigh in was March 1st.  With a loss of 14% of my body weight, I won the corporate wide contest.  Besides winning the contest, I also discovered that I enjoyed weight lifting; perhaps not the process so much as the invigorating feeling afterwards.  My clothes were baggy and I noticed that I had more energy.  I went to a follow up appointment at my doctor and found that my blood pressure had gone down and I was happy to report that I hadn’t needed a medication to prevent heartburn in nearly 2 months.

I continued with my twice per week training and by April 1st I had lost even more weight.  I wasn’t being nearly as strict with my food choices but my food preferences had changed.  I prefer fruit to sweets.  Peanuts are now one of my favorite snacks.  I still love pizza but I stay away from the pasta except on special occasions.  It’s now November 1st and I’m still down just over 40 pounds.  My weight has been steady and so has my lifestyle which includes regular exercise and continued training with Danny.  I’m comfortable with how I look and I love how I feel.  Thank you, Danny!

-Deanna Wolfe

Thanks, Deanna!  GREAT job!

The secret?  There is no secret.  Hard work.  Determination.  Consistency.

Let’s take another look at those pics! …

Random Thoughts/Good Stuff/Training/Life

September 26, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I’ve got a bunch of quick-hitters here for you.  Rapid fire thoughts from the top of my head…

-I love the Apple Orchard on a nice fall day.  It’s especially great when your little kids are running around with you.

Daxton finishing up his doughnut

Capri and her long hair

-It’s great when Da Bears are 2 games up on the Packers.  We’ll see if it lasts…

-The other day one of my high school athletes said, “if I go up in weight, I’m not only gonna add the 2.5s.  That’s pointless, give me the bigger plates or I won’t bother going up at all.”  Don’t take this mindset y’all!  As long as you’re progressing in the right direction, don’t worry about how much of a jump it is.  Last week I added (from week 1 to week 2) 2.5 pounds on my last set of bench press…

An Extra 1.25 pounds to each side of the bar.

And I went from 60 pounds last week  to 61.25 pounds this week  on my chin-ups…

61.25 pounds... 1.25 pounds heavier than last week.

Small increases, but STILL increases!

-Earlier in the week one of the girl’s basketball teams that I work with had a girl miss a weight lifting session because she was on a recruiting trip (a rare good reason to miss a lifting session).  The following Monday when she returned, she got a call from the college’s coach right in the middle of the lifting session with me and her teammates (a RARE good excuse to answer your phone during a lifting session).  She hung up the phone and announced to us that she just got offered a scholarship and is going to take it from this school.  Awesome… always great to be around this kind of thing!

-I’ve been doing quite a bit of grip/forearm work lately.  Right after one of my torture sets, my hand literally doesn’t function when it comes time to record my numbers on my sheet.  I seriously write with as much control as my 2-year olds.

-These days I’ve been incorporating more quad-finishers, as opposed to heavy, low rep sets for my quads (more joint friendly and less chance for injury).  Now, I still go hard and heavy from time to time, but the risk:reward just isn’t there to do so on a consistent basis anymore.  And I think my quads have been responding just fine with this set-up.  This program’s current quad finisher…

I perform reverse lunges for 8 reps per leg, then go right into 8 jump squats (deep squat before transitioning into the jump portion). I then rack the barbell and perform 8 goblet squats (only going up 3/4 of the way to keep constant tension on the quads).  I then rest 45 seconds and repeat.  Only this time I do 6 reps per leg on the lunges, 6 jump squats (1/4 depth this time), and 6 reps of goblet squats (again, only going up 3/4 of the way).

I then pick up the heavy jump rope and perform as many non-stop reps as possible (no double-hops).  On week one I got 30 reps, week two 35 reps, and then on week 3 (earlier today), I got up to 38 reps (hopefully I’ll be able to get 39 + reps on the 4th and final week of the program).

Finally, I fall into the fetal possession, suck my thumb and call for my mommy!  Quads.  On.  Fire!

-I have a BIG announcement coming next week.  For those that don’t already know what I’m talking about, I’m looking forward to sharing it with you! …

Be back soon.  Have a great rest of your week!