Biggest Beefiest Gym Addition - New Leg Press

I was fortunately able to get new Arsenal Strength Leg Press a few months early when it was delivered a few weeks ago in mid November. It was projected to get here in February 2024!

This is easily the most significant investment I've made equipment-wise with the gym and so far it's been a hit with everyone. It has a large footprint, built like a tank, huge footplate for variety of stances, wide backpad to accomodate the many builds that will use it...very smooth track. I'm very happy with it and currently use it 3 times weekly in my own training.

The attached picture is when it was initially installed, I have already arranged that room a bit differently but will potentially keep the belt squat machine in there. I plan to bring my calf raise machine back in this room and remove the plyo boxes....definetly some re-arranging to do and I've purchased some wall control pegboards to benefit from more storage flexibility. I've also cleaned all the dust & footprints from the assembly team of course.

I also made a handful of additional Black Friday purchases which I may detail later...most notably would be a new stainless steel Rogue female bella bar and the newest model of the Rogue dip attachment. Very nice upgrades in 2023!

Very True & Accurate Client Testimonial

I now have 63 5 star Google Reviews and while I appreciate everyone taking the time to leave the positive remarks I thought this review painted a clear picture of how my training is.

"If you adhere to what he sets out for you, you will see results" being one of my favorite sentences. Clients will have to do more than show up.

"My time with Taylor was invaluable and absolutely what I needed to get me on track with my fitness goals. In every session and email, Taylor was very informative and gave lots of details for any concept or exercise he was explaining. He made it clear what was needed to reach certain goals, and has many methods of tracking progress. If you adhere to what he sets out for you, you will see results.

His private gym is very clean and all of his equipment is well maintained. All workouts are 1-on-1 with him, which is great to have an environment where I could ask questions and get the direct training I need for my goals. He is very responsive to any communication you may have with him outside of your sessions as well.

Overall, I appreciate Taylor for giving me a new mindset towards fitness and exercise. I have a better understanding of what it takes to reach my goals. He also helped me reached one of my main goals with working with him, which is to get better at deadlifting. I started in the low 100 lbs with incorrect form, but I am now up to 200+ lbs. His sessions will get you to where you want to be, if you put the work in!"

- Monejah B.

Avoiding Surgery With Exercise and Adjustments

December 2021 I had a orthopedic surgeon recommend double hip replacement surgery. At the time I was getting pretty steady and significant jolts of pain each day with a fairly noticeable limp. At the time, I was still jumping, sprinting, squatting deep, lunging, using range of motion I probably didn't have. I was told there was genetic degeneration that I was never going to avoid. Exercise has probably kept the hips more pain free and usable. Prior to December 2021, I was doing what I could to reduce inflammation, ice, removing certain exercises, increasing mobility/stretching work, ibuprofen, more frequent deloads, complete stoppage of any exercise for 2 weeks at a time to let it calm... Nothing really worked which is why I went to the hip specialist. I felt like a cortisone shot could get the inflammation down where I had exhausted my own ideas.... It worked. I got a shot in my left hip Dec 2021 and I was pretty good until about February 2023 when I got another injection in both hips. Four months later and I'm deadlifting pain free most of 90% of the time...Ive just had to modify things. I warmup my hips, glutes, low back for about 30 mins now prior to working out. I've switched to a trap bar with raised handles and raised the floor a hair so I can get into a position that doesn't pinch my hips. I ice both my hips after each workout, I've rearranged my schedule so I'm usually working out after I sleep so I'm as fresh as I can be. Point being, I'm trying to avoid surgery and motivated to do so and with the adjustments I've made I can still do what I've always done for the most part. I imagine I'll need another set of cortisone shots a year or so from now but I'm fine with that. Going under the knife can be intense, in many cases adjustments, continuous exercise, exercise modifications, rehab, PREHAB, may be a better option. Using exercise as medicine, I'm now 18 months out from that initial double hip replacement recommendation and in a much better state than I was in December 2021. Many modifications to keep inflammation smarter, prioritizing recovery and my longevity in lifting.

When Training Gets Hard and You Want To Quit

I wrote the following for my existing clients and primiarly the online portion was who I had in mind. In person training I have a little more control over these outcomes.

It's not uncommon to see people skip out on the last week of a training cycle (typically week 4/5) in whole or in part after 100% adherence up until that point. 

That final week with the RPE of 9-10 (high rate of effort), it should easily be your max volume week. With 9-10 effort you'll likely be completing maxes with weights you haven't used before. Essentially, that last week is what you're building towards. It's common to start feeling worn out by then after a month or so of work but then the reset always comes. If you happen to be dieting to lose weight (calorie deficit) while I'm simultaneously building the training volume up then you most certainly shouldn't feel 100% fresh by week 4-5. Normal.

If you're primarily doing strength training (heavier lifting, 3-10 rep range), the same applies. You're starting out probably close to 75-80% of your max effort and by week 4-5 you'll be up around 95%-100% on the big lifts. Fatigue accumulates but essentially it's like running a marathon and then stopping with 15%  of the race left if you don't finish off the final week. 

I've found clients as a whole are usually reluctant to do DELOADS but then take a break at some point within a training cycle anyway. I will start being a little more adamant about deloading every 4-5 weeks if you're working out 3-5 days weekly.

A few other things you can do to extend a hard training cycle on the back end if you're feeling the drain...

1) Push a workout (or the workout week) by a day or two (not a full week). It may get a little confusing in the spreadsheet but we can figure it out. 

2) CARB load. Extra Oats/Bread/Rice/Pasta/Grain Cereal. This is for energy/recovery to replenish glycogen stores. It will not help you lose weight but it'll likely boost performance and act as a pick me up. You'll likely get a temporary weight increase.

2.5) Combine #1 and #2. Take a bonus rest day and carb up. I typically only do it when I'm gaining weight (but it can be done in weight loss phases too) but I've pushed a workout and then ate an entire box of cereal on top of my normal food for the sole purpose of replenishment for training. 

3) Caffeine....You likely don't need caffeine when you're maintaining body weight but would be worthwhile deep in a training/weight loss cycle. Maybe consider eliminating caffeine from coffee/tea/soda and utilizing it as a performance enhancer prior to exercise.

Obviously sleep, diet, rest, stress all factor in strongly to how fresh you stay throughout a training cycle but assuming that stuff is locked in fairly good, the above would apply.

I feel like this is solid information that was worth sharing beyond the client pool.

More New 5 Star Google Reviews!

Recently I had a few more clients share their experience from the studio at Taylor Carpenter Personal Training. Still working exclusively 1 on 1 with customers at the studio to provide a private unique training experience. 


"I'm in the best shape I have ever been (at 41) thanks to training with Taylor for the last 10 months. Unlike other trainers I've worked with, who seemed to think cardio exhaustion was the path to results, Taylor's structured approach to week over week strength improvement, with personalized dietary coaching, has delivered real results. Additionally, the gym is always super organized, clean, and constantly updated with new equipment. I would highly recommend Taylor for 1x1 personal training!" - Logan


"Taylor is great. This was the perfect solution for my fitness goals. I wanted individualized attention from someone who not only knew a lot about workouts but also dieting. I get that here. Taylor pushes me in his studio, and makes sure that I know exactly how to complete the motion for that exercise. Then, he builds me very detailed workouts for me to do on my own at the public gym I go to. Between mid-February and mid-April, I went from 165 pounds to 150 pounds, significantly “cutting” and getting the leanness I was looking for, all in a healthy way. He’s also just a funny guy, and we have a good time when I’m there working out. Wish me luck as I start my “bulking” phase now!" - Chris


"Ive been working out with Taylor for a few years. I had to stop due to relocating for a job. I met with several trainers in my new city but none offered what he offered. He is extremely knowledgeable in exercise/diet and the only trainer I've met that offers one on one in a gym to yourself. The gym has always been super clean with a lot of equipment that he constantly adds to. When my job gave some flexibility to work partially remote, I immediately got back in with Taylor to continue training. Yes, its worth the trip. He holds you accountable and always switches up the workout so it keeps you on your toes. To add, we always start on time and his communication is excellent." - Karina


"Taylor provided an exceptional service as a personal trainer. He helped me identify and hone in on my goals, and was accountable in both my fitness plans as well as with tracking my diet.

When I missed any sessions, he would follow up often with make-up dates and I was able to ensure a class wouldn't go to waste.

I'd recommend Taylor as a PT." - Akash

New Interview with SubKit Community

Recently I was asked a few questions from the Subkit community and

You can read the interview @ , a quick 5 min read.

They asked a few things about running the business, the startup, and maintaining it for a decade now. 

Two Ways I'm Improving My Next Fat Loss Phase

Every time I cycle through a diet phase whether it be for fat loss, maintenance, or muscle gain I try to improve upon the previous run and make it more efficient. I’ve been doing this for a long while and I can still find ways to make it all better.

In the past, a few examples have been to completely eliminate eating out from fat loss diets to prevent the obvious weight gain and eliminate random water weight fluctuations as much as possible. Water weight fluctuations are inevitable but if you eat “clean”, don’t have huge sodium spikes, and keep your food selections pretty consistent then it will minimize the variability as much as possible. This makes calorie adjustment decisions easier because bodyweight is moving a little more predictably.  Eventually I eliminated eating out from gaining phases as well and reserve restaurant food to vacation/maintenance phases where tracking bodyweight isn’t a top priority.

Another example would be that I eliminated red meat from my diet. While on vacation I’ll get a steak or if I have a cheat meal on maintenance then I’ll have a beef or something but when I’m intentionally gaining or losing weight I dropped beef altogether, along with pork. My primary sources of protein are chicken, egg whites, and protein powder. I initially did this in a fat loss phase so I could eat more food.  Calorically you can eat more chicken then lean ground beef due to the fat content, it’s all about eating more volume on a fat loss phase. This eventually leaked into my gaining periods as well. It keeps the amount of food in my digestive tract pretty consistent so I’m once again trying to limit the amount of weight fluctuations for my weigh-ins. This is not because beef is bad by any means, it’s simply trying to control the variables as much as possible so my decision making throughout the diet is easier.

This time around I’m doing two things. First, I’m adjusting my workout times to create a consistent sleep schedule. I have an odd schedule but MWF I go back to bed at noon and wake up at 415pm, on Tu/Th I train in the morning after clients and go to bed at around 6pm. All days I end up with about 8 hours of sleep but I’ll be switching my Tu/Th workout times to the evening so I’m on more or less the same schedule Mon thru Fri. I feel like this will keep me more fresh and I’ll be waking up and then going directly into a workout opposed to working at the gym and then working out afterwards. Since I’ll be fresher I think it’ll allow me to train harder and prevent getting beat up as much towards the end of a training cycle.

The second addition I’ll be making, which I’ve never done and honestly didn’t see much value in, is that I’ll be tracking my steps. I have been doing this for about 4 weeks now and not actively trying to reach any number just tracking my “norm”. As the diet goes my initial thoughts are that I’ll track my steps to ensure my activity level doesn’t drop off as my calories drop off. This may allow me to eat more food deeper into a fat loss phase. I may also opt to increase my steps later on opposed to dropping calories. This will be an area that I’ll be able to learn more about myself and then apply more efficiently to my next fat loss phase after this one.

So you should always be learning from each diet or training cycle and then taking that knowledge or experience and improving the process the next time around.  I’m probably going to start my next cut February 28th and will follow it up with a lengthy gain phase.

Train Hard and Train Smart

I update my Instagram a good bit more often than I do the website blog. They're usually short and quick updates. You can follow me

I was recently diagonsed with severe arthritis in both hips in my 30s that was evidently due to my genetics. Since this Dec 2021 visit with the doctor I've adjusted many things in my training to minimize pain and hopefully prevent having to do any type of surgical procedure in the near future. Below is a brief description on how I've adjusted my squatting routine. I think this is something I may dive into a bit deeper in the future. 

Brand New Rogue Monolift At Gym

A few months or so ago Rogue released their monolift version 2.0 and I ordered on the day it was released! We've had it at the studio for about a month now and I haven't heard anyone complain about it yet.

If you have no idea what or who "Rogue" is, they are a company who I would consider the "Nike" of fitness equipment. Most of my studio has been equipped with their brand.

If you are also unaware of what a "monolift" is, it's basically an attachment that allows you to setup more efficiently for the bench press and squat movements. It's safer in that you do not have to walk back after unracking a squat. 

If the above is foreign language to you, it's simply a very nice upgrade I just made that everyone seems to enjoy. I like it enough that I bought a 2nd one to go with a new Rogue rack that should be here early January or so!

Discount Code For RP Diet App

I have updated the RP Diet App page on the website. I've been using/refering to Renaissance Periodization now since 2015 and this particular page on my website was a bit outdated and still referring to their diet templates. The Diet App which is described as a "Diet Coach" is their latest product and far more intuitive and personalized when compared to the original PDF file diet templates. 

The app is more precise and has the ability to adjust your calorie/macronutrient intake on a weekly basis depending upon how your progressing towards the goal you have set out for yourself. 

The updated page has plenty of links that will provide you with a 6 month discount code. I have also embedded a couple of YouTube videos that are unaffliated and RP but I feel they both provide a good representation of a "day in the life" on the RP diet along with being able to present a clear picture of what the app itself is like.

A New FAQ Page Has Been Added

The Nutrition page has now been changed to a Frequently Asked Questions page. Since I tend to refer clients to the RP Diet App or Template it made more sense to make a small change. I have currently posted some nutrition related answers but in due time will update with training & recovery questions among other things.

Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions you may like answered!

3 Year Lease Extension Has Been Signed

A few weeks ago I signed another extension on my lease at Fox Run Business Park for an additional 3 years that kicks off September 1st 2021. This will be the start of my 9th year in this unit and I'm locked in through year 12. Taylor Carpenter Personal Training is the longest tenured business in the park. 

Large gyms in the Ballantyne area have gone out of business, sold to other chains, etc. This creates new hours, new policies, new classes for their customers. Many smaller studios have not survived the huge growth of Ballantyne in the past decade and many others struggled to survive the pandemic. 

Being around for nearly a decade at the same location I've been able to offer consistency and a reliable place for customers to train. The business is healthy and I hope/plan to add some new toys & upgrades to the studio in November around Black Friday. I would also like to have someone throw some fresh paint up but we'll see about that. 

Here until at least 2024!

I Have Completed Recertification

Every two years I recertify my National Academy of Sports Medicine credential. I have now completed that which will carry me through 2023.

Some of the subjects studied include:

Lumbar Extensor: Release and Lengthening
Deadlift Progressions
The Effects of Local Vibration
Vibration Release Techniques: Lower Body
Vibration Release Techniques: Upper Body
Gluteus Maximus Activation
Hip External Rotator: Release and Lengthening
Hip Flexor: Release and Lengthening
Hip Joint

Additional certifications that I have obtained from NASM include: Corrective Exercise Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Performance Enhancement Specialist, and Behavior Change Specialist


I Have Received The COVID Vaccine

As of Thursday March 4th, I have received the first shot of the Moderna vaccine for COVID. I will receive the 2nd shot on April 1st. According to the CDC, those who have had the full dosage of the vaccine should be potentially less susceptible to suffer from symptoms of COVID and less likely to transmit the virus to others. This has not been confirmed to be full proof by any means but is what it is. I thought I would share to potential new customers who have been reluctant to join gyms over the past year. 

I have been open for 9+ months now with no outbreaks or clusters among the roster of clients here since June of 2020. I, myself, have not gotten the COVID.

Regardless of what happens at the state or federal level, I will not be requiring proof of the vaccine at any point to work with anyone. There are safety protocols in place at the studio that I do expect everyone to adhere to but that is it. I'm simply sharing my status if it would ease the concerns of anyone stepping back into a gym for the first time in a while.

I will not be endorsing or encouraging anyone to get or not get the shot. I believe it's up to the individual and you'll have to make your own decisions about that. Definetly, not my place to share my two cents.


Continuing Education in Personal Training

Every two years I have continuing education credits I need to take care in order to recertify my personal training certification. I've been active for almost a decade now and usually I take a big course but this time I decided to take a variety of smaller courses to hit more topics and kill the monotony of a 700 page textbook. 

In the process I've purchased a membership to the Brookbush Institute of Human Movement Science. I'll have endless hours of course material to go over and will continue to do so once I've surpassed my credits necessary to recertify. 

I'm about halfway done with my requirements but so far I've been certified and successfully passed the following courses:
Lumbar Extensor: Release and Lengthening
Deadlift Progressions
The Effects of Local Vibrtation
Gluteus Maximus Activation
Hip External Rotator: Release and Lengthening

Due to the wear I have on my body over the years my area of focus in large part is focused on the hip region. Everything is important but with years of baseball, running, and weightlifting...for myself I find I need to spend extra time and attention on my hips to keep them fresh and mobile.

More to come...


New Motion Detected Flood Light Installed

Last week at the personal training studio in Ballantyne (Charlotte NC) I had a motion detected flood light installed as clients walk from the parking lot to the front door. We have never had security problems here but nonetheless for the early morning customers and late nighters it was pretty dark coming around that corner to get to my front door.

New flood light is LED and super bright! It illuminates the parking lot and all the way up to when you walk inside. It appears to stay on for 3-5 minutes. 

People have been asking for this now for a pretty long time and now you have it. 

Update To The Online Training Spreadsheets

I have made a quick update to the training spreadsheets for online clients. One update being simply cosmetic, making it match my logo in a more uniform manner.

Secondly, I coded the dates inside to make my ability to update more efficient. I've added 4 weeks to the starting empty template for a total of 12 weeks. This makes things easier for me but ultimately should allow me to work with more people as I make this process quicker on my end. 

Lastly, I rearranged some of the cells to provide more room for clients to type in their notes when necessary as it relates to each individual workout. 

Online training is a great option if you already know your way around a gym but want me to handle your programming and progressions, take the guess work out. I'm regularly trying to make this a better and easy reference service, straight to the point.

"How much should I be working out?"

This is one of the most common questions I hear during my consultations over the past decade. It depends and there are many reasons why. 

Rarely does a person walk in who has never participated in any form of exercise. It’s usually someone who has tried a variety of things over the years and ultimately nothing stuck. Infinite reasons could be to blame for the lack of a long term solution, but I’ll address three regulars.

    You do too much too soon

When someone reaches out to a personal trainer, they’re motivation and desire is at its peak. All downhill from here! In reality, it’s normal for your excitement to come and go. I definitely do not feel like pushing myself 24/7 every time I walk into the gym but I have a plan and I follow it. I have a lot of experience, I know the plan works, I trust the plan works. Going from 0 to 100mph is not a good plan. In my opinion, baby steps are the best way to avoid a hard crash and burn and you accumulate tiny victories along the way to boost momentum and confidence.  

If you’ve never trained in your life, then starting with 6 days is not going to last long. Consistently hit two days and make zero excuses to skip, that’s your starting point. You have the rest of your life to add a day or two.

When you have a few years of experience, if you’re running in circles and working out 5 days per week then you may need to take a step back and look at your overall diet and exercise routine, then reassess. 

    Not putting what you read into perspective

What may work for a celebrity or what you read in a health magazine likely isn’t tailored with you in mind. If you read about The Rock and J Lo, they’ve been athletic their whole life, they’ve had a diet/exercise plan for the entirety of their adult life. Scale it back. Start slow, obtain many small victories, be consistent and that’s how you improve yourself. If you jump into their program, you’re not ready.

    Too stubborn to change your pattern

This can actually apply to beginners and more advanced individuals. If you’re seeking to change you cannot repeat the same pattern and expect a different outcome. I’ve seen many repetitive routines over the year:

          3 sets of 10 on everything
          Not a good workout unless I’m soaked in sweat
          I must cripple myself for the following day
          Use as much weight as possible
          Reach maximum failure every time

All of the above are fairly common and have their place at times…But alone, there is no logic, there is no plan, there is no clear path to progression. Don’t stick with something that’s not working simply because it was successful once upon a time in your “newbie” phase. 

To answer the question “How much should I be working out?” you need to take a comprehensive look at where your starting point is, what you would like to invest (money AND time), and what you expect to accomplish before settling on an appropriate and sustainable frequency.

A Couple of Gym Upgrades In October

It's October 27th 2020 as I write this and the studio has now officially been open 141 days with no issues and no outbreaks. Gyms have been unfairly demonized across the nation since March as it relates to this virus yet there are still no large outbreaks or cluster that have been traced back to a fitness facility in the states. I for one am being as cautious as I can to prevent myself or my clients from getting sick and I believe most business owners would be motivated to do the same.

In other news, I have added a few items to the studio over the past couple of weeks.

Five Lat Pulldown Attachments
These are already delivered and in use. One wide, two standard, and two narrow grip pulldown accessories. A few have neutral grips, two have supinated, and one is designed underhanded. This simply allows for more targetted exercise selection and a little less taxing our joints in the same exact angle.

Rogue Monster Plate Storage Pin for Belt Squat
I've tried to get these for a while but Rogue has been out of stock for months due to their dedication to PPE for Covid at their manufacturing facilities. I likely will not use this for storage but for extra stability & comfort while doing calf raises on the belt squat machine. I plan to upgrade a few pieces of equipment to the Rogue monster line and this will be compatible with everything I get in the future.

Touch Free Soap Dispenser
Since hand washing is now a requirement at the gym before and after each session I felt it was time to update the old one. This will provide one less "surface touch" for everyone and it looks cool. 

I have my eyes on some other upgrades but probably nothing super major this year since most of the equipment suppliers seem to not be running Black Friday promotions this year...We'll see.

We Are Open Following COVID-19 Closure, Owners Statement On What Has Changed

               4/22/21 Update:  As of 4/1/21 Taylor Carpenter has received the 2nd dose of the vaccine, fully vaccinated. We are approaching almost a year of reopening the gym and so far there has been no spread among clients of COVID and I have personally not come down with COVID at any point. It has been very smooth since June 2020 and I'm still following all the same protocols listed below and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

                Taylor Carpenter Personal Training is open as of June 8th 2020. Speaking for the Governor and Attorney General of North Carolina, the Special Deputy Attorney General wrote a letter on June 5th 2020 to Mr. Chuck Kitchen (the attorney representing NC gyms Smith v. Cooper) stating that fitness facilities may open their indoor areas to serve any people prescribed or directed to use those facilities by a medical professional or health care professional as long as the indoor Mass Gathering limit is not exceeded.

                For purposes of this exception, “medical professionals” and “health care professionals” shall include licensed physicians, licensed physician’s assistants or nurse practitioners, licensed nurses, licensed chiropractors, licensed dieticians, licensed respiratory care therapists, licensed psychologists, licensed clinical mental health counselors, licensed occupational therapists, licensed physical therapists, licensed recreational therapists, and licensed massage therapists.

                Based on guidance from Mr. Kitchen, your right to privacy is recognized and respected by this facility. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, you will not be required to disclose any medical information or disability.

                I am writing this on July 16th 2020, and I’ve now been open for over a month with no issues. We are back to normal and inviting new customers. For the past 5+ years I’ve been the sole personal trainer and have only worked with one client at a time. In the age of COVID-19, this creates an extremely low risk environment when compared to more populated exercise options. I have a 1250 square foot studio and there are only two people max inside, myself and one client.

                My facility has always been extremely clean, and my Google reviews back that claim up. I have taken additional measures to go above and beyond since reopening to limit exposure for all.

  • Appointments have been adjusted to allow a 5 minute gap between clients. This allows for additional cleaning and ensures a staggering arrival of all clients. Your trainer will be the only individual you encounter.
  • The front door handle is sanitized between each customer.
  • The sink, bathroom door, light switch, etc are sanitized between each customer.
  • Well over 6 feet of distance is maintained throughout each class. Programming has always been designed safely so “failure” on any given exercise should not occur which minimizes the need for close proximity spotting.
  • Clients are required to wash hands before & after each session. The trainer does the same.
  • The sign in sheet has been converted from a paper process to digital in Google Drive.
  •  The trainer handles sanitizing all equipment before, during, and after usage. This ensures only one set of hands are touching the cleaning supplies and customers only need to touch equipment in use.
  • The front door is locked during all training sessions. This ensures no walk in traffic and maintains a max of two people in the gym at all times.
  • Two windows open during business hours to allow improved air circulation.
  • Fan mode occasionally turned on during business hours to also improve air circulation.
  • Closed shower
  • Kitchen use and bottled water no longer available. Bring your own water.
  • Towel service unavailable. Bring your own towel.
  • No guests allowed in lobby, no kids. All clients must come alone.
  • Discouraged (not banned) phone usage during training sessions to minimize germ exposure. Hand sanitizer is available in the lobby by front door.
  • Masks are not required since there will only be 2 people in 1250 square foot of space.

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