A bonus in developing a private forum for fitness professionals is having the opportunity to learn something new every day. Since the groups inception two weeks ago this has been the case and I am always on the lookout daily for new people to bring aboard. The sudden influx of ideas, opinions and experiences has caused me to re-examine a few of my thoughts to various degrees and I am thankful for this. Some trainers confine themselves to a single way of doing or looking at things, I myself try to be more open minded about things.
My practice in training continually evolves based on (a) the needs of my clients (b) where I see potential or (c) purely out of self interest. At one point things leaned towards medical based exercise and special populations training, now I find the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and I am more inclined towards long-term athletic development. I believe both paths are worthy and in time the pendulum will swing again.
I view my continual education in terms of greatest value added. I don’t consider what it will cost me, rather I consider what value will this bring and how can I apply it to the widest swath of humanity. Presently Kettlebell and mobility training, coupled with my other tools fits many bills quite well. This is part of the reason why I am presently training for StrongFirst Kettlebell certification (SFG.) I have seen far too many people simply guess their way through kettlebell movement and do not wish to add to their numbers.
Kettlebells as part of a mobility program has helped with the post-rehab conditioning of a CrossFit athlete. Kettlebells, Mobility and Sandbags have helped an 55+ client that is intimidated by barbells and dumbbells perform resistance training and build muscle. High Rep heavy swings are being used as part of a cardio strength training program to help a client drop another dress size.
Now that I am working more with athletic populations, certification under USA Weightlifting (USAW) is also something that I am considering and would add another set of coaching skills to my toolbox. This however is far more limited in practical application and requires that I work in a facility set up for Olympic weightlifting.
The power of community in the fitness world has shown up throughout the years, from the days of muscle beach to the jogging craze, from Zumba to CrossFit, from Strongman to StrongFirst. In the modern era CrossFit stands as a popular example of community within a given sport/exercise method. The StrongFirst School of Strength (under Pavel) and Training for Warriors (under Martin Rooney) are also headed in this direction and represent international brother and sisterhoods.
I recall what trainer and coach forums were like 15-20 years ago and see where many are now. I have made some great friends through these forums, but take issue with board members who’s only purpose it seems is to antagonize or patronize others while contributing nothing of note to the group. I missed how things used to be and decided that now was the time to begin building a new community. I established and serve as administer of an online forum of personal trainers, strength coaches and other health and wellness professionals that currently stretches across the United States and multiple countries abroad including the Philippines,Canada and Australia.
The power of community has shown itself again. Professionals are asking questions and getting great responses from other dedicated professionals and not a single online fight has started. As far as I am concerned I am 70x smarter simply by being around these awesome people.