Out of Touch


I come from a time that pre-dates trainer certifications and the internet.  I learned how to train others by first being trained myself, then being mentored over a period of years in multiple ways of training methods. To this day I still spend an hour daily in self-study and on a weekly basis am contacted by other trainers to help solve various problems.

In that amount of years I’ve come to a few thoughts.

Having a Degree does not mean you know everything.  If anything it means you can ask better questions.  For better or worse, having a degree in a health or exercise science related field is not a strict requirement for many positions within the fitness. My degree is unrelated to the Exercise Sciences, I am not alone in this and feel it does not make me less of a coach.

I believe having knowledge of anatomy,biology,physiology,physics,kinesiology,psychology and biochemistry are important.  Although the fitness world is a big place, the internet has put quite a bit of it within ones fingertips.

Old knowledge isn’t automatically bad knowledge. Sometimes new knowledge confirms that old knowledge was correct.  There are training lessons that have been passed down over 100 years ago and still hold true today just like there are recent advancements in training that have greatly improved the process. I say this as a person that trains others with objects with histories exceeding 300 years as well as modern methodologies.

I’ve come across some quotes recently from some trainers that view themselves as some sort of fount of knowledge that us lesser beings should bow, going so far as to remind everyone of their Masters Degrees seemingly every chance they get.

On Hypertrophy (Muscle Building/Body Building)…

“Yes there is lots of information out there on hypertrophy training but I challenge some of the science behind it…Most is written by old school body builders that don’t understand human movement science.”

I will agree that there is quite a bit of old school material out there, but is it necessarily wrong? Reading the works of coaches pre-dating steroids and separation of bodybuilding,strongman and power lifting into separate sports has provided me a number of ideas and inspiration.  Looking at the results these people produced in others tells me they were doing something right.

There are a number of well-known modern day researchers and thought leaders in the field of hypertrophy, most of which are NOT current or former bodybuilders, not to mention many highly successful bodybuilding coaches and strength coaches employing hypertrophy phased training in their programs.

Muscle building is a science and also an individual thing.  The three laws of hypertrophy are (1) Muscle Tension (2) Muscle Damage and (3) Metabolic Stress.  These have been well established for quite sometime.  Movement science is not among the laws,although for long term health sake it certainly should be as proper form protects your joints,tendons and ligaments. Put simply, you can move a weight with terrible form and still build muscle.

On Weight training being outdated….  

“We use very few weights in our workouts and virtually no machines preferring progressions to adding weight and bodyweight,balls.bands and TRX to machines and weights. (Skip the part where the trainer brags about her numbers that cannot possibly be confirmed) I can honestly say we’ve not used weights with the exception of prone rows in close to a decade.  Personally I find them useless and an antiquated modality for most of our clients whose goals are general conditioning and/or weight loss.”

The Bro in me immediately believed these to be the statements of a non-lifter.  A quick view of her photo confirmed the answer was yes.  I have no issues with bodyweight training.  A high percentage of my own training is bodyweight based and most of my clients have some bodyweight work in their programs.  To say that its the end-all-be-all however is at best professional myopia.  For all the BOSU jokes I’ve made in the past, even I have stated the device has its place within a training continuum.

It could just be me, but both weight training and bodyweight training have stood the test of time.

If she were truly serious about her bodyweight training superiority why are accessory items being used?  The balls,bands and TRX are relatively new inventions compared to the pull-up bar, walls and gravity.

My second thought is this person deals in exercise, not training, and that they only co-exist with people who share the same world-view and are not open to any other kind of conversation. You can’t talk to these people and the time invested isn’t worth it.



One thought on “Out of Touch

  1. Bernice


    Thank you for sharing. What I take away, from your post, is that knowledge is learned; however, how you use it is wisdom. Just a conclusion….

    Bernice, Fan


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