Interview with Janelle Pica RKC II, SFG I, Primal Move Instructor

DSCN9567Good morning friends! Today I would love for you to meet an inspirational friend of mine, Janelle Pica! We were originally introduced via Facebook when I was looking for guidance to pass the RKC! Janelle was awesome enough to offer her online coaching assistance and designed a program to help me prepare!

This weekend, we finally had the opportunity to officially meet, train, and chat together!

Grace: Welcome to NYC, Janelle! I’m stoked that we finally get to meet in person! We definitely wasted no time, and went straight to training at good ol’ Tomkins Square Park! Tell me about it!

Janelle: Well, I was mostly working on bar lever and pull up variations for myself, and helped you with increasing mobility for your pistol squat!

G: It was super effective! I was pistol squatting into my less strong left side in no time! Where did you learn that mobility drill?
J: I learned that stretch from Keira Newton while we were at an RKC Level II certification. She noticed and pointed out that I had tight hip flexors.
G: What is the stretch called?
J: You can refer to them as L-pulses or L-Stretches.
G: Well they worked! Thank you for teaching me that! I definitely plan on keeping that stretch in my routine til my pistols are as smooth on the left as they are on the right!
Tell me more about your facility, Primal Fitness Pittsburgh! I see you have a Calisthenics class on the schedule!
J: Yes! Ryan Williams who is PCC certified currently instructs these classes! Originally he found me on the internet because he was looking for an alternative for a functional fitness class in Pittsburgh. No one in the area was teaching bodyweight and he found me through a Primal Move post. He wasn’t sure if he was gonna take the PCC or Primal Move. I suggested since he was into the strength aspect he should take the PCC and I helped train him for over 3 months before he got certified. He had issues with pull-ups and wanted to be able to do a Muscle-up.
He passed and then I hired him as an instructor, so it was an ideal scenario for the both of us! His programming is perfect, he’s a great dude! We worked through some wrist issues that prevented him from doing proper push-ups. We had to teach him wrist mobility to improve his form, practicing tea-cups and dragon walks.
Progressive Calisthenics as conditioning and strength training definitely helps improve lifts and is a good complimentary for a minimalistic fitness  business!
G: What do you mean by minimalistic?
J: Kettlebell training and body weight conditioning focus on 4 specific movement patterns: Push, Pull, Hinge, Squat for a well-rounded training program.
These are basic movements everyone needs to move well. Minimalistic means focusing on basic human movement. We use bare to no equipment to hone in movement patterns and mastering weight. By using less gadgets, it helps the client enhance their current level of fitness and go beyond just strength dominated to a more functional modality.
G: Tell me more about your clients and their programming.
J: Most of my clients are people who are rehabbing injuries or have done other high volume, intense programs that burned them out. We definitely do a lot of mobility, usually include two days of kettle bell lifts and one day of bodyweight. Our method is unique because we train strength and conditioning through sustainable means.
G: Awesome! And you also have quite a few certifications, as well!
J: Yes, some of my certifications include NASM CPT, Level 1 Strongfirst, Level 2 RKC, and Primal Move!
G: Wow girl, you are not messing around! You’ve got some serious credentials! Are you having any upcoming workshops at Primal Fitness Pittsburgh?
J: Yes, in April we are having a Kettlebell User course through Strongfirst. It’s open to anyone who is a novice kettlebell trainer, and personal trainers who want more understanding of the lifts. The lifts include the Goblet Squat, Turkish Get-Ups, Deadlifts, and spinal alignment in double kettlebell training.
We are also offering the Primal Plan program which involves consultations with people who wanted to train but are highly active in their normal life.We wanted to design a program for a highly functional athlete who needed mobility and light lifting. The program is based on Mark Sisson‘s concept of lifting heavy twice a week and doing lower level activity outside.
G: That sounds exciting! Are there any  future plans for PFP?
J: Well I’m only 27, and a publishing company called Whirl Magazine, which is a magazine for highly active people in Pittsburgh contacted me recently! They knew about my backstory and I was submitted for the Top 13 under 30 which gives more press and recognition for young entrepreneurs! Top 13 comes out towards the end of 2015.
G: Right on! You’re moving on to some big things! Tell me more about what your current program is like?
J: Training for Iron Maiden was tough on my body, so to be able to back off and just focus on mostly primal move and mobility instead of heavy lifts feels great! Mostly doing bodyweight plus light lifts.  My goal is to give my body a break, lean out a bit. I put on a ton of muscle training for the Iron Maiden, and even at the Strongfirst cert people kept commenting how “freaky strong” I was getting! I missed the pull-up only by a few centimeters! I was bummed but now I’m having fun with implementing other fitness modalities into my training. Now I can military press the 28kg and 26kg pistol squat on both legs! When you’re that close, it’s a matter of taking time off, leaning out, and going back into it at 100%, ready to go! I have a coach who is helping me with my composition changes and goals! Although I don’t want to hammer myself with too much weight right now, since I did do Iron Maiden twice in on weekend! RKC training is no joke!
G: Word! Are you offering any current promotions for the holidays for your clients?
J: Yes, in fact we are! Holidays are hard for people, even fitness pros, when it comes to controlling excessive food intake and overindulging! We are offering a 21-day sugar detox by Diane San Filippo, author of Practical Paleo. It is a nutritional program cutting sugar and excessive carb intake from the diet. If you buy a premium membership, you get a discounted rate on personal training with me and Ryan. The group detox starts post holidays on Monday, January 5th. It is a comprehensive nutritional protocol that includes healthy recipes and coupons!
G: I’m super excited to get to hang out with you while you’re in NYC! Thank you so much for chatting with me!
If you want to know more about Janelle Pica and her gym, be sure to visit for more information and to sign up for training!

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