Stimulus

” I gotta new sensation, 
In perfect moments
Well so impossible to refuse” 

Michael Hutchence

 (lyrics from the song “New Sensation” off the 1987 album Kick)

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Stimuli: (1) A detectable change in the internal or external environment. (2) That which influences or causes a temporary increase of physiological activity or response in the whole organism or in any of its parts. (Biology Online.org)

In training, one of the driving principles is the Stress,Recovery and Adaptation cycle. A digest explanation would be that stress taxes our bodies, recovery heals us from the taxation and adaptation is the improvements in our bodies needed to cope with the stress.

If we keep encountering the same stress (stimuli) it will eventually become very easy to recover from, and create no need for our body to adapt any further.  Over-stress could be more than our body can recover from.

My training was negatively impacted for the month of July.  This was entirely due to social reasons and not a result of any training related injuries. While I did go to the gym consistently and continued to advise lifters, I had moved away from performing maximum effort, or maximum speed work. I knew that performing either with my mind not fully into things represented a physical risk, so I focused on relatively safer hypertrophy training methods.

That said, I was in near violation of a major training principle.

“The purpose of training is to train with a purpose.”

My purpose was clouded over. One night as I laid awake I decided to part the clouds, and that the next morning would be different. I would show up to the gym with a purpose.

From Westside to…novice? I know that de-training is a reality and that my reduction in overall training volume coupled with a loss of bodyweight would impact my strength levels.  I had no problems facing the fact that I would be re-starting from a lower state of athletic readiness, and that it would be ill-advised to try picking-up exactly where I left off, as I felt it would invite injury.

FACT: I’ve seen others injure themselves by going too hard to soon, and I have no intentions of repeating their mistake.

Where I left off roughly called for the following:

Maximum Effort Upper Body Day: Bench Press (or a variation of the lift) taken to the days maximum single effort, followed by high-volume hypertrophy work on the Triceps, Lats/Upper Back,Lateral and Posterior Deltoid.

Maximum Effort Lower Body Day:  Squat (or variation) taken to the days maximum maximum single effort, followed by high-volume work to the hamstrings, low back,glutes

Dynamic Effort Upper Body Day:  High Speed Bench Press using a percentage of the maximum lift for sets of triples, followed by the same high-volume hypertrophy work.

Dynamic Effort Lower Body Day: Squats in Doubles for speed (performed in a three-week  wave of increasing percentages, Deadlift variation focusing on speed off the floor, high volume hypertrophy work.

Rest time between sets varied, but rarely exceeded 90 secs.  On dynamic days rest could be as short as 30secs.

In between those sessions I would perform short (@30min) restorative sessions)

Upwards of 8 sessions per week is not something you should jump right back into after a lengthy time off, especially in the case of a person well into middle age…even one with a competition date coming up in a few months.

Currently, I’m training myself using simpler methods, and this appears to be the right stimulus for me at this time.

Hypertrophy work for lagging muscle groups: Calves, Biceps, Posterior Deltoids,Triceps.

Squat 3 sets of 5, Bench Press or Overhead Press (alternates) 3 sets of 5 and Deadlift 5×1.  Each session the loads increase 5lbs/2.2kg (BP/OHP),10lbs/4.5kg (SQ) and 20lbs/9kg (DL)

Rest for SQ,BP and OHP are a strict 3 minutes.  Rest fro DL is set at 90secs,

Personal notes from the new training stimulus: 

I am unaccustomed to performing squats in repetitions beyond two.  I am adapting to the new demands and speed is actually fairly decent.

I complete the total work in less time than my previous sessions, recovery has not been an issue. I could easily repeat the same session 6-8hrs later.

Due to training history and competency, my form in the SQ,OHP and BP were not lost and all l5 working reps would pass Powerlifting standards of performance.  That said, all lifts are being performed using sub-maximal loads. Use this time to perfect technique.

Although from is passable, DL required initial adjustments to the breathing pattern and neck posture. The latter will take time to fully correct, and an adjustment is needed in my set-up.  Grip strength remains strong due to weight pull-ups done during July.

Within 3-5 weeks I will likely need to begin varying the press movements.

 

 

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AirCon and Beginners

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It’s been a hot few weeks here in Las Vegas and our average temperatures has routinely exceeded 100F/37C.  Combined with our summer monsoon weather and a gym without air-conditioning (we do have a fan…but its on the opposite end of the gym from where I usually train) leads to training sessions that get sticky, and can sap the life out of you.

Thankfully, my gym has no issue with shirtless training.

Don’t worry, I don’t go shirtless when I lay on a bench without a large towel in place. I’m something of a gym germaphobe.

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I happen to live near three small commercial gyms…and they all have air-conditioning. Commercial gyms also have lots of people that are new to training, which is something I don’t run into much. I can honestly say I had some good training sessions and will admit that I miss training beginners, personally I believe training beginners helped make me a better coach.

When there’s other people around I will people watch to some extent.  The fact that I have some idea of what I’m observing, and could offer some interventions brings a set of risks…and I’m out of practice when it comes to approaching beginners.

Risk 1: I’m a guest here, not a staff trainer and don’t even know the person.  Should I approach them and offer some free help?

Risk 2:  Does the individual even want help? You’d be surprised at how often people DON’T WANT advice, no matter how well qualified and intended the coach.

If one is going to provide free help, I think choosing ones words carefully is important.  You might be 100% correct on the form issue(s), but you don’t know the human performing the exercise.

History has taught me the following…

(1) Your perceived attitude means as much as your words, and nobody likes feeling like a loser. We don’t know how hard it was for this individual to even step foot in the gym in the first place. Did you approach them to help, or to make yourself look awesome?

(2) Absolutely know what you’re talking about.  I overheard a trainer give two young ladies the squat cue to never let their knees go past their toes in the squat (but apparently ok in lunges and leg extensions/curls), and another trainer told a client that free weights were useless. (useless for what I don’t know.)

You can be those guys, or you can be something better.

(3) Be able to explain things in very simple terms.  Now is not the time to throw around million dollar words like fascial slings, joint torque forces or sound like you swallowed a Latin dictionary.

(4) Sometimes “wrong” isn’t what you think it is. The intention of the exercise and the person doing the movement need be considered.

Personal example:  Observing me perform dynamic effort bench presses (moving a % of my maximum bench press as fast as possible under control for three reps) with very short rest periods would suggest my benching is “wrong.”  The intention of the exercise dictates otherwise.

Similarly, observing me perform full-range bench press suggests I’m doing things “correct.” (correct according to the rules of powerlifting, which is not the same for everyone…or if they even should be bench pressing in the first place.)

RANDOM FACT:  During one of my past gym guest spots a trainer approached me to correct my form on an exercise. EVERYTHING they said violated 1-3.

The trainer came off like a pseudo-intellectual.

The cues offered were over-generalizations, and wrong for the intention of the exercise being performed.

I’m assuming the use of big words was to either confuse or impress me, and not all the words applied to the exercise at hand.

After letting them run through their spiel,I started asking questions.

Even though my vocal tone remained calm (and my face as calm as it gets)  the trainer was completely unprepared to be asked “why?” or to have the same treatment thrown back at them.

BOTTOM LINE: If it looks as if the individual could seriously injure themselves then intervention is warranted. Getting snapped at is better than seeing a person get snapped in two or more pieces.

 

 

 

(A) Impaired exercise performance  in the heat. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00424-004-1267-4

Comics and Exercise

Imagine a world where superpower beings were real and lived alongside us. I for one think that the world would be a scarier place. Seriously, if Superman or the Hulk suddenly decided to go omnicidal, how screwed would the world be?  They could literally level cities within minutes.

Origin stories commonly show powers originating from accidents (Daredevil and Spiderman),science experiments (Hulk, Luke Cage),genetic mutation (X-Men), Mythic races (Amazonians,Atlantians), curses/sorcery (Ghost Rider,Blade), alien beings (Superman, Martian Manhunter),lineage (Black Panther,Aquaman), technology (Iron Man,Vision) or motivated by revenge and sense of justice (Batman, Punisher.)

Just like their non-powered counterparts, there are good people and bad people. In comics the focus is largely on the good ones, but its the bad guys that drive storylines. What has always interested me is that some bad guys don’t see themselves as such.

I reject the premise that super-powered beings would largely be great people. I think many would minimally be self-absorbed jerks, and criminally inclined or unsavory characters might outnumber the altruistic.

Even among the public spirited beings there is the matter of training. You’d have these people with formidable abilities with little idea of how to optimally use them. I’d say 8 of 10 might would vary between being borderline incompetent but trainable to outright dangerous. This happens to match my 80/20 view on trainers.

Consider the physics behind a super-powered being trying to raise a sinking cruise ship or stop a crashing airplane mid-air. They would literally split the ship in half or penetrate the aircraft hull like a missile in their attempts to save the day.   They have the ability to do the task, but no idea of what they were actually doing.

As you might have guessed by now, I’m a comic book fan that owns a broad collection.

I’m also someone that has made a living from exercise prescription, and I continue to advise other professionals in these matter. I don’t see my comic reading or professional studying habits ending anytime soon.

Just like “superheroes are largely going to be good people”, the idea that  “exercise is exercise” was something that I might have agreed with at one point, but I no longer accept that premise.  In the case of super-powered beings, I grew-up.  In the case of exercise prescription, I’ve invested heavily in my education, both academically and applied.

Just like super-powers, exercise prescription can be misused, and its a know fact that not all trainers are well-equipped for the job. Granted, the latter are not cracking tectonic plates, but they are putting the same people they’re supposed to be helping under various forms of stress and joint torque.

Exercise isn’t Exercise (and it isn’t training either.) Exercise could be considered an appropriate stimulus at the appropriate frequency. I credit RTS for this line of thinking.

“Stimulus” is something that can be manipulated. “Appropriate” focuses on the  individual, their goal(s), and the things that are defined by them. “Frequency” is the matter of dose and response to the stimulus, and is also defined by the individual.

As a practical example, imagine a client having having difficulty learning or performing a new exercise. Some trainers would simply have the person keep performing reps. I’ll agree that volume can sometimes be a great teacher,but there is the possibility that the individual lacks something needed to perform what is being asked. It may not even be anatomically possible. “Appropriate” may not have been an initial consideration.

There are more considerations than “just do it.”

If a client is having problems with a given movement, asking yourself some questions and not automatically placing blame on the individual is a good start. It would be even better to ask these questions before the movement is even attempted.

Can the involved joints adequately contribute to the movement? Can the involved muscles contribute? Are the connective tissues able to handle the movement?

Have regressions been mastered to a passable level, or is this the entry point?

Is the person being forced into postures and positions that they cannot obtain?

Is the person contraindicated against this exercise for any other reason?

Is the movement bio-mechanically similar to previous instruction?  Is it a variation of a known movement, or something completely new?

Is the movement being defined by the individual, or by what the trainer thinks the movement is supposed to look like based on a textbook?

Is the individual mentally ready for this movement?

You can be a superhero to your client, or you can be the inadvertent villain.

 

Ownership

“A bad workman always blames his tools.”

What the quote essentially means is if a job is done poorly, the blame is always placed on the quality of the equipment, or in the case of personal training the blame is always with the client. Its not a failure on the part of the trainer.

Fact: These are people that refuse to take ownership of their work, and not the people you want to hire.

Trainers: Would you be willing to present your workouts/training cycles and justifications for exercise selections to a roomful of equally or higher qualified trainers and accept any fair criticisms of your work?  Are you willing to take ownership of your work?

If no, why not?

Barring the unforeseeable, I try to minimize risk to the greatest extent that situations and my skills allow. I say this as a person that works with people seeking to increase their maximum strength levels and also those coming off physical therapy.  I don’t view individual exercises and inherently good or bad but rather as good or bad for whom and what purposes. 

I also take into account the sequence of the exercises, and the relationships of volume and intensity of the entire session relative the person doing the work, and the goal(s).

This starts with assessment. I am a believer in testing whatever tools I’m using along with improving my use of them and in assessing the clients capacities, available ranges of motion and their health/orthopedic history in addition to identifying their goal(s) and starting point.

In my opinion, assessments never end. Every session and movement repetition has an assessment component to it.  This is why I’ve stopped counting my clients repetitions, I’m too busy studying how they are performing their movements and looking for the details that could make it slightly better.

This has to be balanced with the teaching and training components as well as any tests,re-tests or re-assessments. The best coaches I know perform this process seamlessly, and they always seem to be working towards that improving that process. They’re artists as much as they are educators.

Client 101:  Where they presently are…………………………………………………………..Goal(s) 

Who am I working with?: If you don’t assess, you are guessing. You might guess correctly, but you are guessing nonetheless.  Who the person is, what they are capable of and what should not be doing are all important details.

Do I have the skills for this person?: Too many times, people are hesitant to admit when they lack the skills or education for a particular job.  What is possibly worse is they do not seek education to fill that gap, or do, but at the lowest level possible and no further.

Do I have the tools for this, and do I know how to use them?  The optimal tool for a given client is not always task dependent, but rather client dependent.

What is the goal(s), and can I train a person to that goal level?: Starting with the goal in mind isn’t a bad thing. Working towards the goal(s) without a plan is. Unfortunately this is how many trainers and exercisers approach things.

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If  you knew for an absolute fact that there was 100 billion dollars in treasure buried somewhere at the top of Mt. Everest, wouldn’t it be handy to have a map showing where it’s located?  Ideally, it would be the most efficient and safe path. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have the physical capacities needed to climb the mountain in the first place?  

….or should you just start climbing and hope you don’t join the 375 people that died on the mountain, or the countless others that have gotten part way up and failed, or got injured along the way?

Some events both recent and long ago…

“My clients cannot complete their workouts. I do these workouts all the time, they’re f@cking wimps!.”  (The clients do show up for training but cannot physically complete it. )

The trainer is assuming that because they were capable of doing a particular type of workout, everyone else should be, if not they must be a wimp. They are also assuming that the particular type of workout is even a good idea for everyone…and its the clients fault if they can’t do the work.

The trainer had exceptional cardio capacity but didn’t lift weights with any sort of regularity or intensity. Based on memory, their training looked closer to Insanity home workouts…and may very well have been.

The trainer seemed oblivious to the fact that the clients are not them. If I had the trainer to match me in load,speed and frequency in one of my typical sessions it could legitimately injure them….and I’m not the strongest person around.  Having some knowledge of the egos that some trainers can display, I can pretty much guarantee they would try to match me load for load, rep for rep…even at their own risk of injury.

This doesn’t even account for the skill component of lifts.

“I might need your help, another one of my clients might pass out.” 

Why are they passing out?  Don’t you think more than one client passing out might be indicative of a problem? Is it because you didn’t consider what their capacities might be in the first place? Was no assessment of any kind performed?

“Here’s a workout for everyone to do…..  (Generic, but rather challenging bodyweight workout given.  4 different exercises with 100 meter runs in between sets of 10, 4 rounds to be completed for time.)

Once again, no idea where anyone is starting from, or if a particular exercise is a good or bad idea in the first place. By “everyone”, does that include people with medical/orthopedic issues? Overweight/Obese people? Older people?  Although they are all humans, they don’t have the same needs nor the same abilities or tolerances. How could their training be the same?

Unfortunately this is often seen on various social media sites.  In fairness, I’ll say that there could be good intentions behind this, but there are many things the poster didn’t account for beforehand, and I speculate they wouldn’t take ownership of the workout if someone had issues with it.

The Foot Blog

“You die from the feet up.”

Chinese Proverb

WARNING ORDER: IF THE IMAGES OF FEET OFFEND YOU, BACK OUT NOW. 

A random fact hit me the other day; I’ve spent the majority of the last two years barefoot, or wearing shoes that closely mimic it. 100% of all training has been barefoot/near barefoot, including maximum effort level barbell squats.

Nearly everywhere I’ve gone, and all places where a modest to substantial amount of walking and standing were expected, have been done near barefoot. In fact, I’m only able to recall two situations where I wore “normal shoes.”

If memory serves correctly, it felt weird and I couldn’t wait to get out of them.

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Image Credit: Vivobarefoot.

For twenty-four years I wore rather restrictive military boots or the equally uncomfortable military dress shoes.  This left both feet in pretty bad shape and I had no idea how it would affect other parts of my life and training.

They were very flat,Flintstonian level flat.

Although I had all ten toes, I essentially only had two big toes and four brownish little things mushed together.

The only upside that I’m aware of is that I wasn’t in any pain. I can imagine what daily life is like for people with foot pain.

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I couldn’t spread my toes, and even lifting the big toes independently proved difficult.  I could Deadlift over 2x bodyweight, but couldn’t lift a toe no matter how hard I crazy-eyed them, or how many four letter words were strung together.

“In this job, you’re going to have to be ok with looking at a lot of feet and asses. If not, you’re missing things and possibly rendering a disservice to your clients.”  Some of my words of wisdom to a young trainer.

I took matters into my own hands and sought education in the matter, of which I’ve only scratched the surface and still continue to this day.  That said, I like passing on things I learn and I’m well aware of the fact that feet aren’t the sexiest of subjects.

Flash forward today, I’ve developed an arch in my feet, from their previous Flinstone like state and have noticed my gait cycle has improved from its previous “duck walk.”   My ability to root into the ground during heavy barbell efforts has also improved greatly.

FACT: I’m wearing toe spreaders while writing this blog.  I typically wear them for several hours daily, but haven’t gotten to the point where I can sleep with them on.

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An analogy to automotives: Consider your body a car. The feet as the tires, they are what puts force into the ground and also take the load of the vehicle. the ankles act as the suspension, the knees act as the transmission and the Hips act as the Engine.

Now imagine running the otherwise finely tuned vehicle on worn out and unbalanced tires. While I’m not an auto mechanic or podiatrist, I can say that things will eventually effect the rest of the vehicle.

Based on personal observations, the ankles often lock up, the knees are stressed and the low back often pays a price.  The knee is particularly vulnerable structure as it will do only what the hips and ankles (engine and suspension) allow…or don’t allow.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER!!!!! Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

My daily foot routine (as somebody with no pain,podiatric issues and at a healthy weight)

After waking up, I rotate and move the ankles in every direction without the use of my hands.  I am simply running controlled articulations of the ankle and toes and I might do them while still in bed.

After the articulations, I will often walk around on the sides of my feet, tiptoe and on my heels. Side of foot walking is key as I believe it helps strengthen a range which is commonly injured. (Lateral sprains)

I stand and balance on a steel rod, using it as both a roller and as a mini-balance beam. I also do small foot/ankle/calf stretches on it it.  A lacrosse ball could be an easier entry-point for many, and balance beam work is a skill.

If I feel the need, I will manually move the ankle and toes through a range of motion, but I often fidget my ankles and toes even while sitting or lounging around.

Some days I will repeat this little routine, or portions of it.  As stated previously, I am barefoot most hours of the day.

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I wear toe spreaders daily. Initially I could only stand them for a few minutes, now I can wear them for hours at a time. (Purchased on Amazon)

In training, I am aware of the fact that not all gyms allow shoeless lifting and that there are clients contraindicated to going shoeless.  In these cases I suggest trying thinner soled shoes with a wide toebox.

Barefoot training, or transitioning to minimalist footwear is not something a person can just jump into. The body has to be prepared for the new demands and initial moderate and graded exposure is key.

Its my personal opinion that if you can effectively coach barefoot loaded carries you could effectively cover a lot of training bases.  A key is connecting the entire body through the gait and breath cycles while under a load.

LINKS TO FREE RESOURCES 

Dr. Emily Splichel EBFA Fitness.  https://www.youtube.com/user/EBFAFitness

GMB Fitness.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apCIhoPmHW8

The Foot Collective. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkxoCGognJL2gCjSMRDz38Q

 

 

Learn…Do…Teach.

Learn…Do…Teach.

“I keep running into people that seemed to have skipped one or both of the first two components.”         Recent Facebook post.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new. For some reason there has been an uptick in reports coming my way highlighting this situation.

It doesn’t take much observational skill, and even less effort to see that people differ greatly in differences in height, weight and limb length, and thats only the exterior view of them. Even Olympic athletes within the same weight class and sport (aka the physical and performance level ideals of their sport) present external anatomical differences.

You shouldn’t need to check page 123 of your trainer book to determine if this is true or not, but if you feel the need knock yourself out.

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Knowing this, how can a trainer suggest that all people adhere to a singular means of training?  In this specific case, its only certain exercises and a somewhat specific means on how they are to be performed.

This was the recent case involving a “trainer.”  I’m told he looks physically impressive and was hired off the gym floor apparently based purely off that qualification. Obviously the gym has high hiring standards. Anyhow, his training background/history is apparently in bodybuilding style training. Based on what was reported back to me, his claim is that 100% of the population needs to train Bodybuilding style, its the safest and most effective.

Before getting any further, I feel I must state that I have nothing against Bodybuilding, or Bodybuilding training itself.  Where I do I have a problem is that this individual has one hammer,and everyone is the same nail. For some people, and some goals it can be ideal way to go, for other people and other goals it could be the worst.  It may even be the entry point for some people until they can progress to other forms of exercise.

It depends on WHO and FOR WHAT PURPOSE.

Some facts, which counter the trainers comments…

Bodybuilding, or Bodybuilding coaches are not inherently safer or riskier than other method counterparts.  To say otherwise without any supporting evidence (as in scientific,  evidence) displays an unsubstantiated bias, limit of knowledge or possibly both.

Weight training as a whole, under qualified instruction and supervision is relatively low risk compared to a number of other sports.

Training to, or past failure points is not needed for the majority of people.  It certainly isn’t required on EVERY exercise for EVERY person. (He’s reportedly a BIG FAN of taking everything to failure or beyond.)

Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID Principle): The body will adapt to the demands placed on it.  The key point is that the demands (stress) cannot be too much, or too little.  The individual defines what is too much and what is too little, and this is not confined strictly to load, and the same exercises will not produce identical responses in all people.

Machines may not fit all bodies, and not all machines are engineered the best, lack of adjustments or maintenance being just two possible issues.

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Putting myself out on Front Street.

PERSONAL EXAMPLE OF LEARN: This is an area that I take some pride in. I’ve always sought continued education on topics, or even individual techniques.  To date, I’ve learned Barbell training from the readings of Mark Rippetoe (Starting Strength Basic Barbell) and Louie Simmons (Westside Barbell) and live instruction under Chris Duffin (Kabuki Movement Systems) and Tom Delong (USPA Powerlifting Coach.) Kettlebell, Bodyweight and Movement training have similarly all come from multiple sources.

It could be argued that my obvious investments into education lead to a bias towards other people investing in theirs as well.  The fact is, I started with one book, and went from there. Some people never even pick up one book, or do, and believe that the single text is all there is to know.

I consider myself very much a student, and I’m far from where I can ascend.

PERSONAL EXAMPLE OF DO: During and long since the Learn stage, I put in the work of doing. Rather casually I can bench press loads over my bodyweight, near ballistically press over half bodyweight overhead, single hand press a 32kg kettlebell, hold hollow body hold positions for over a minute,knock out at least five strict pull-ups and hit a cartwheel off the floor.

I’m not strong, but I’m not weak either,and based on poolside observation I’m not reflective of a good number of 48 year old males.

I personally believe that the DO is key.  There are things lost between Learn and Teach that only DO can address, and I believe that we learn things from the struggles of DO that cannot be conveyed from a book or course.

PERSONAL EXAMPLE OF TEACH: I trained to be able to do these things and I don’t automatically assume everyone else is ready to do them, or would even need to. I know that there are people with contraindications which rule out certain exercises. and points where exercises present challenges.

I learned that by continued learning, making mistakes and correcting them in the do phase and refining my teaching process.  I’ve also learned that the method that works best for the individual isn’t what I necessarily favor, its what they need, based on what they are capable of now. Therefore, I teach the individual in front of me accordingly.

 

Meathead Musings

The unexamined life is not worth living”  

Socrates

I was never happy with my Certified Personal Trainer certification.

Actually, I was never happy with JUST my CPT certification. I believe this stems from the fact that I didn’t study hard for it (or for three of the four specializations that followed my CPT) and that no physical effort was required.

There is always more, and things can be made better. That’s my opinion at least.

I’ve been a student of my profession for some years now, and if I’ve learned anything its that every new answer leads to more questions.  There have been the  “Ah Ha!” moments and even more “Why didn’t I know this stuff?” moments.

I’ve also been a coach for a few years, and if I’ve learned anything its that the best answers lead to the desired result(s) in the safest way. I’ve also learned when it is time to refer out,or to recuse myself as a person coach.

It depends on who is front of you, the skills at your disposal and the questions you are willing to ask.

FACT: Knowing when to refer out, or recusing yourself under legit circumstances doesn’t make you a bad trainer. I believe it helps make you a better professional.

I’ve been on gym floors longer than I’ve been a coach, and if I’ve learned anything in that time is that I’m not the smartest trainer around, but everyday proves I’m not the dumbest one either.

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A free way to expand your education: Pick the biggest claim(s) from a chapter in your trainer textbook and run Google Scholar searches on how the claims stack up to current evidence.

WARNING ORDER: STRONG OPINIONS AHEAD ON LIFES LEFT UNEXAMINED.

Stupid questions exist. Need Proof? A trainer once asked what type of shoes they should wear on grass. I’d say that qualifies.

Some trainers hate being questioned. Cult leaders are good examples, and that type of mentality exists in the fitness industry.  An indicator is when questions,legit or not, are met with hatred.

Some trainers take their credentials/degrees/pedigree/title waaaayyyyyyy too seriously. It’s as if what they have learned is the alpha and omega of all knowledge. Observationally, the same people typically don’t take fair criticisms very well,and often fail to live up to self-billing.

Some trainers cannot see beyond what they know (or think they know)…yet somehow feel entitled to voice strong opinions against things they know nothing about.

Just because it was on page 123 of the CPT book doesn’t automatically mean you know what you’re doing. It doesnt even mean you passably know what you’re doing.

Kettlebell skills beyond my own level? To an RKC or StrongFirst coach you go.

Yoga stuff? To the bendy Yogi people you go.

Pain in movement? To an allied health professional you go, it doesn’t mean we can’t work around the issue to some degree but not until you’re seen by them.

 

 

 

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