Below are some of the observations I’ve made this week.
Despite a lengthy history of making fun of machines, I will say they have a place in training and are not totally without use. My principle complaint is that many are not engineered (or maintained) very well.
On Gyms. If you work in a commercial gym,it is to you and your clients benefit to know the proper operation,purpose and warning orders of every machine the gym owns, including whenever the gym upgrades a particular piece of equipment.
I would go so far as to suggest plugging the machine into a short-term program of your own simply to develop some skill with them, and definitely before you put a client on it.
This doesn’t mean you need to like them. It simply means you have an idea where it could be applied in a given situation. I can safely state that touching one won’t turn you into Machine Man. Just because you like or dislike something (case in point, my colorful history with the Bosu) doesn’t mean it cannot be the optimum choice in a given situation.
Remember, training is client defined.
Remember, they are Tools. You could be a barbell guy (or gal!) and hang your hat on the superiority of barbells when it comes to building strength. You could be a bodyweight guy, and believe bodyweight alone makes weight training obsolete. Personally I believe it benefits you to examine and experience others methods.
Specialized Tools: When it comes to specialized tools such as the Kettlebell,TRX or Sandbag I highly suggest obtaining education under coaches that specialize in the tool as time and finances allow.
This guy is also a tool. There is nothing right about this swing sequence. Don’t add your name to the number of trainers guessing their way through things. This can put your client at risk and does you no favors…although it does provide me some comedy material.
Trainers need Trainers. Once a year I try hiring a trainer of my own. If that falls through, I follow the works and writings of a particular coach, or the writings of several coaches on the same topic, intentionally looking for thoughts and opinions that oppose my own. If you are lucky, you can ask a colleague to design a program and distance train you. Although nothing beats in-person training, Skype and YouTube can be very helpful in these situations.
“Even when I didn’t go to school, I would always study.” The RZA
Continuing Education. Consider yourself a continual student. An unofficial survey of my network members quickly showed how busy some trainers stay with their education, and this was based only on the current quarter and less 10% of my network.
Not all education would lead to a certification or specialization and not all even comes from a book or course. All learning will eventually fond its way to the clients,athletes and students.
(1) The diverse topics and courses included the following: Girevoy Sport Kettlebell certification, Mace and Indian Club Workshops, direct training under Martial Art legend Dan Inosanto, TRX Functional Trainer Course, CrossFit Level 2, StrongFirst SFG L1 preparation, NASM Weight Loss Specialist course (live instruction), Clinical Psychology, Sociology of Families, Precision Nutrition Level 1, Postpartum Health/Nutrition, Massage Therapy/Bodywork, Functional Movement Screen Level 1,Post-Rehabilitation Medical Literature, NSCA CSCS,TSAC-F,Westside Barbell Coach and USPA Powerlifting Coach. This was all based on the responses of only TEN people within a three-month period.