Tag Archives: Weight training

Postures and Ideals

Digest Version: If you’re going to correct a persons technique, make sure you truly know what it is you’re seeing, and how to address the issue. Don’t bring opinions to a science fight.

bench-press

Me vs a Drawing: My elbows come closer to my body, my grip is narrower, my feet are turned out slightly, my abs are not nearly as well defined but my lats are far bigger….and I’m browner.

One day in a gym not my own….A guy told me that I shouldn’t bench press (with a barbell) or Deadlift (again, with a barbell), and that there are safer ways to build my chest and legs. Barbell Bench Press and Deadlifts weren’t ideal exercises for me. Mind you, this person was a total stranger. Our only previous interaction was my asking him to spot me for an effort.

SYd2Tll

SIDENOTE: I’ll agree to the fact that there are safer options than Barbell Bench Presses and that Deadlifts can be done with safer things than barbells.

When I asked “Why?” his response was that the Bench Press and Deadlift both create internal rotation of the shoulders…and left it at that. I could understand it if my technique was poor and I had no control of the load, but this wasn’t the case.  Proper technique takes care of that issue pretty well.

Mental notes formed within seconds…        

F7-21 Lim IR_PS Capsule

Internal Shoulder Rotation test.

I have no major history of shoulder injuries and don’t present pain in any given shoulder range. He never asked.

There is a slight structural difference between my left and right shoulder. Although it could stand improvement, my internal shoulder rotation is actually within normal ranges. He never asked or checked.

I typically only Deadlift once per week, and bench twice per week tops. Unless preparing for competition, I may only train maximum effort level 1-2x per month. I also use the ShouldeRok and Indian clubs daily along with a few lift specific mobility drills to keep my shoulders healthy. I don’t just Bench Press and Deadlift. He didn’t ask anything about my current training, he didn’t even ask if he could observe some repeated efforts just to see if it was a case “one off rep” or an actual lift issue.

I’m a competitive powerlifter in the Drug-Free Masters Raw Division. As such, I compete in the Bench Press and may compete in Deadlift as well. For me, Benching and Deadlifting are sport-specific to what I do. He didn’t ask me about my training history, training status or goals.

I left out the fact that the legs are only part of what the Deadlift builds. For all I know he does some squatty type of Deadlift. I bypassed all of those bullets and went straight for the heart.

“Why should internal shoulder rotation be avoided so heavily when it is a naturally occurring action, couldn’t internal rotation be managed during the set up and execution of the lift?” He couldn’t provide an answer.

o-HAMSTER-facebook

The guys brain in action after my single question.  I could only imagine how it would have went down had I unloaded on him.

In his head, he had an idealized set of postures and ideal angles. That what he saw for a single repetition and zero knowledge of the person lifting the load was “wrong” and something else was “right”, but he couldn’t explain why he believed them to be wrong.

I can’t back this up, but I have the suspicion the guy may have been a trainer.  I don’t know, I didn’t ask.

 

Going off the possibility of my suspicion, according to a number of trainer textbooks there seems to be an assumption that there is an idealized posture, with ideal angles of body alignments and that they are identical for everyone. While it is certainly possible to lift something incorrectly, at least according to the intent of the exercise, I believe a few fundamental assumptions are flawed,and aim to challenge that belief.

kettlebell-1

Despite not having any moving parts, the Kettlebell is quite possibly the most technically butchered piece of equipment in a gym based on the intent of the exercise.

Absolute positions such as “this is wrong” and “this is right “ may only serve to reveal a lack of insight into evaluation and understanding.  I think every discussion regarding ideal body type, posture or alignment has to be prefaced with the question “ideal for what, and for whom?” and “ideal compared to what standard?”

Having an insight into the variety found in a given movement, and being able to transfer observations to another persons needs is key. In short,being able to adapt an exercise to an individual, and knowing the “why” behind the exercise.

Four things that I believe can somewhat be agreed upon…
There isn’t an ideal body type, there are simply human shaped people.
Although there will always be exceptions, certain activities often favor certain body types. This is why we typically don’t see Sumo sized Figure skaters.
The human body is amazingly adaptable. Look how many people lost their asses simply by sitting in comfy chairs all the time.
The human body will adapt to the external requirements it encounters. Adaptation does not need to be forced.

In high-level athletics an Olympic weightlifter has completely different physiological and kinesiological needs compared to a same weight/age/gender Olympic marathon runner. Within those two sports, specific lifters and runners have different requirements compared to other competitors.

In gymnastics, you will see different body types according to the event the athlete is strongest in. For example, Mens Rings specialists, Pommel Horse specialists and Floor specialists all appear slightly different. This doesn’t mean they cannot compete in all the events, just that they are superior in one of them.

Physiques, and postures will accordingly change in response to the demands placed upon it, Different leverage (arm,leg and torso length proportions) will change how an exercise is experienced or viewed. There is an idealized set of angles and ranges per person, and it may not look like the textbooks drawing.

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Information Alignment

Some years ago I was teaching a course on barbell back squats. It was the last class of squat series that month as we already covered the mechanics, regressions and variations of other squat techniques. One student in the group was newly certified while the others ranged in experience from 1-6 years, but not all came from weight training backgrounds.

As with previous classes, I began by demonstrating a few reps, cover any particular warning orders and the lift set-up details. How to do it, how to coach it and why certain things are important.

New Trainer Student: “That’s not what my certification organization says.”

I’ve heard or read this quote, or something similar many times. In the interest of transparency, I recently completed a resistance training course for education credits and paid particular attention to how a particular organization teaches the barbell squat.

I can safely say we have a differing views on squat technique.

Sometimes differences of approach,technique or opinion can open up fantastic dialog and other times all it seems to do is create fights. I hope for the former, as new insights or  considerations can be gained.  I avoid the latter. After having been in some of those fights I’ve found that no matter how solid the evidence some people’s minds are welded shut. There are those that refuse to accept any information that doesn’t align with what they believe, even in the face of irrefutable, and overwhelming facts.

Like anything else, it depends on whom you’re dealing with.

Me: “That’s not a question that’s a vague statement. Can you tell me what your organization states?”

I didn’t believe I received a completely accurate answer, but going from the available information the requirements per the organization were (a) Feet had to point straight forward. (b) Stance had to be hip width and not wider. (c) Bar position (on the back) apparently isn’t important, or the student couldn’t recall if it was addressed, (d) Knees could not pass over the toes.

Therefore my instruction wasn’t in alignment with the students previously learned material. Matter of fact is was in complete opposition. Either way, it was new to the student. Just because information is new to doesn’t mean it’s new to the world or that it’s automatically wrong.  Best available evidence and real world application (the client in front of you) are details that can’t be overlooked.

As the coach, how does one adjust in the face of conflicting information/instruction,not lose the remaining students in the process and not make the student look like a fool if it was a case of bad/misinterpreted previous information.

Going into the class I had the “Why?” behind my material, but I had to be able to compare it against conflicting standards that I wasn’t aware of. I’m not saying the previous instruction was wrong since I didn’t have the full details, but I did know what my instruction covered.

I asked the student to demonstrate the squat per his instruction standards as best possible.  While he was squatting the effort was recorded from the side and rear views for technical reference. Being fair and to save the student some face, I repeated the same number of squats with the same load to the depth I felt comfortable and matching the book standard as best I could.

The class now had two males with a 20 year age gap,significant differences in training/injury histories and skeletal proportions to review and coach towards competence.

With completely different physiques both of us had significant challenges in hitting the squat per the restrictive standards, but for different reasons. In my case I was putting my lower body joints in positions they didn’t want to be in and it clearly showed. The load was well within my tolerable range so it wasn’t as a case of weakness.

I can’t say the same for my co-squatter as loads had to be dropped. He never really squatted until taking my fundamentals class and even the lighter load proved challenging. In his defense, a true back squat can take a beginner weeks to become autonomous and even today I keep working towards that one perfect rep. Maybe the next one will be it.

After reviewing the footage the group took turns correcting our squat form. The corrections differed greatly between us due to our structural differences, available range of motion, load tolerance and a host of other factors. My co-squatter was regressed in movement while I had to have some body parts moved around to re-establish a squat pattern.

At the end of class my co-squatters squat form improved greatly as the corrections led to his defined squat pattern. His squat didn’t look like a taller,younger version of mine nor did it look like the book said it had to. A week later I was able to review the section of his CPT course that covered the back squat and his memory was about 50% accurate.  In my opinion to book left out numerous important details on not just the squat but all techniques covered.

Fact: He is a real person, not a diagram in a book.

Fact: The book and certification are the STARTING POINTS. You must learn and grow from there.

 

On Movement Skills (Part 6)

Precision
The quality, condition, or fact of being exact and accurate.

In practical application this is putting quality before quantity. It requires physical and mental discipline and ideally a coach with the patience to say “again” endlessly and always having an eye on the small details that lead to performance improvement.

I do not expect a beginner to be perfect in one session. Everyone starts somewhere and learning curves vary greatly from person to person, or even technique to technique. Each training practice we seek to improve on the last practice. Once a gross motor pattern is established we continually hone those techniques.

It’s my opinion that too many people simply want to get through a workout, believing that they are getting something from the workout. This method does not lend itself to precision.

A person will get something as the initial changes occur internally,and over time externally as well as precise form is not a requirement for muscle growth. However this is not the safest path and you will eventually pay the penalties for this.  My advice to lifters over age 40 is “You are only as good as you next session.”

The lift set-up for example is something that many trainees and trainers take for granted. The number of times I’ve seen trainers put clients through an exercise with little to no instruction or even correction of the broad strokes amazes me.

In the barbell and kettlebell lifts a persons safety, competence and performance begins with the set-up. Foot placement, bar placement, handle position,learning what muscles to activate in which sequence,breathing pattern and body placement relative the load all come into play along with numerous other details.

In the case of the basic barbell deadlift I can come up with 12 points before the bar even leaves the floor.

Some set up details change according to the type of deadlift (Deficit,Sumo,Trap Bar,Axle etc) the tool (barbell,Sandbag,Kettlebell) or the users anthropometric proportions. The coach needs to be intimately familiar with each according to the needs of the client. As I’ve stated in previous blogs, if you change the angle,grip or tool you change the lift and you change the exercise experience. That change isn’t necessarily good for the person experiencing it.

An alteration in hip height creates a deadlift that beats up the lower back (hips too high) or creates a strange squat/hinge hybrid (hips too low.)

An alteration of hand or foot width positioning increases or decreases the vertical distance path.

Placement of the bar relative the lifters center of mass alters the lifts efficiency.

Engagement or non-engagement of the triceps and Lats completely change the exercise.

The rules of proper set-ups and working towards precision in a movement are not solely for barbell or kettlebell movements. Both machines and bodyweight exercises have user defined proper set-ups as well.

This is a detractor of some machines as many lack an adequate amount of adjustments and in some case are poorly engineered with resistance curves not in line with the exercises strength curve. There can be significant differences within a companies line of a single piece of equipment,much less manufacturer to manufacturer. The fixed path can be either a benefit or a detractor depending on the desired outcome.

A converstation I’ve had with clients holding multiple gym memberships is that with machines, unless they are using the same model they will need to re-dial a set as 50lbs on one brands chest press could feel very different than another brand chest press.

As much as I like them this is also an issue with some bodyweight exercises as getting two consecutive repetitions consistent with each other can be very difficult.

I instill a sense of precision in my students and athletes by first demonstrating the movement about to be taught.  This means anything I teach I must be both physically and academically schooled, that I have utilized the tool enough to have developed a level of physical empathy and know what a person is going through when they perform the exercise.  A common cue from me is that we are doing single reps, and we will do X number of them.  Focus only on the single rep.

When possible I relate the exercise to previously learned material and demonstrate the areas that are “same but different.”  In some cases I will break the technique into manageable chunks, such as in the Turkish Get Up or the Bench Press.

Form,precision and volume are placed before intensity. A few mistakes along the way are not always a bad thing.  Depending on the exercise, I will show how a proper vs improper exercise feels, just enough to demonstrate and not enough to demolish. On the more demanding exercises I use myself as the example as I have better control and a greater amount of strength.

I’ve always enjoyed seeing a person enjoy the feeling of a precise movement after having performed an untold number of improper movements.

 

On Movement Skills (Part 5)

Training variety for varieties sake and employing variety as part of an overall plan are different things. Variety for its own sake can negatively affect progress or potentially cause more harm than good.  A thoughtful coach intelligently maximizes and employs variety as part of a greater plan or possibly as situational substitute based on what the student is presenting on that given day.

Key benefits of Variety                                                                                                                     Helps prevent overuse injuries.
Introduces new training stimulus.
Reduces training monotony.
Creates a different hypertrophic effect.
Elicits a different exercise experience.
Develops strength through various means.                                                                                          Can serve as a progression/regression

Real World Example                                                                                                                     Exercise: Barbell Deadlift.

Why? 
Posterior Chain development.
Improve overall strength.
Lower Back rehabilitation.
General physical preparation.
Specific physical preparation.

The deadlift (and the hinge family of movements) confer so many benefits that its inclusion in most programs can be argued.  I can teach a healthy beginner how to deadlift a barbell in a few minutes.  That said, not every beginner should start deadlifting barbells right away. The movement screen indicates if the person has the requisite range of motion,motor skills and mobility to determine if this is even a consideration. For example…

Student is intimidated by barbells.
Student has hand/grip issues.
Student has a history of low back injury .
Student is inflexible to the point they can’t touch their toes.                                                 Student didn’t show up to training at 100%

Using variations will still confer benefits while keeping the training within the students defined abilities. There is no sense in saying “Tool A is superior to Tool B” until you know what the client is trying to do and where the person is starting.

This is also why I don’t introduce unstable training in the initial phase of training unless its a lower limb rehabilitation case.  If a person has enough problems stabilizing on stable surfaces, why would I put them on a wobbly device?

Variations
Barbell Intimidation: Change the tool being deadlifted. A Sandbag or a Kettlebell are particularly valuable here and a sandbag presents no major issues if dropped. Once the client is lifting 85 or more pounds with a sandbag you could re-attempt teaching the barbell deadlift as they have enough strength to pick it up.

Kettlebell Deadlifts on their own are great exercises and set the stage for the swing, which confers many of the same benefits as the barbell deadlift.  Deadlifting 24kg (53lbs) would be the first major goal to achieve.  Unlike Sandbags, Kettlebells present a greater hazard if dropped, even more than the barbell does in my opinion.

Some people may never use another tool to deadlift again.  They might not need to and this is OK.

Grip Issues: The Trap Bar Farmers walk works well here. It requires a Trap Bar Deadlift and extended isometric hold. Prudent use specialized grip/arm training,grip variations and holds can also be used.  I rarely resort to using straps or lifting hooks but will include them if the situation or training warrants them.  Two Kettlebells or Dumbbells can be substituted for the Trap bar and the loads may need to be elevated for the client to be able to reach them.

Injury History: The emphasis is putting quality movement before quantity ,volume before intensity and stable before unstable. This will help develop the proper neural adaptations as well as a low level of hypertrophy.

Inflexibility: Similar to injury history, a proper warm-ups,correctives intervention and flexibility work with special attention to the hamstrings,knees,ankles,shoulders and spine. Multiple warm-up sets and a gradual increase in load. Rack Pulls (barbell) or elevated objects (Sandbag,Dumbbell/Kettlebell) can also be used.

Programming
I typically train the main pattern until the student has developed technical efficiency and confidence. Only then are variations taught.

The manner in which I personally teach the variation is by demonstrating the similarities and any warning orders that differ from previously learned material. For example, early in barbell deadlift education I teach how to safely drop the bar to get out of a bad lift. That method does not apply to Kettlebells or Dumbbells. The Sandbag on the other hand is quite safe to drop and likely wouldn’t injure anyone even if it fell directly on their feet.

Practical Coaching                                                                                                                                                           Even within a movement family variations present their unique challenges. If the challenge is changed, the exercise response and user exercise experience changes.

Thinking “I know how to do the seated dumbbell press, therefore the standing dumbbell press is no different” or “The only difference between the standing behind the neck press and standing barbell military press is where the bar goes” is incorrect.

You have to know what you are doing and whom you’re doing it to. Just as important, you need to have spent time yourself working with the variations to develop physical empathy to what the student is going through during the lift.  If you simply copied a move from YouTube without having any context or actual experience in the technique you are minimally short-changing, and at worst potentially endangering your student.

Partial Photo album of the Overhead Press family.  Just because it is a load going overhead doesn’t mean they’re exactly the same experience or require the same skill level.

On Movement Skills

As my skills and abilities as a coach evolve I find that things simplify over time.  Further, I wind up viewing things through a new set of eyes and compare what is seen,felt and learned to what I previously believed true.  On movement skills, I have broken things down to the following:

Joint Integrity: (Being aware of) How one carries themselves in a position or movement.

Mobility: The ability to move a joint through its full range of motion.

Efficiency: The connection between the brain and the body/tool in performing a given movement.

Progression: Owning a movement, starting with the simple before moving to the sophisticated.

Variety: The ability to apply the movement though various positions or with different instruments in a “same but different” manner.

Precision: The ability to put quality before quantity.

Today I will offer my short thoughts on joint integrity,although all points touch upon each other. I will admit that I am stickler on technique.  I believe much of this stems from a lengthy and sometimes painful upbringing under very strict Karate instructors, having made a ton of mistakes in the gym and a career in the military.  I am not so strict that every client must be perfect day one.  I simply aspire to make them better each set and session. That to me is progression.

Joint integrity has always been a key point of my instruction, even before I knew it. Over the years this has increased since my education in Corrective Exercise, StrongFirst Kettlebell, Breathe! II under Russ Moon and presently through early use of Indian Clubs.

“Squats don’t hurt your knees.  Whatever you are doing there is hurts your knees” Dan John

The Deadlift, The Pull-Up, The Kettlebell Swing and the Squat are all great exercises. They are also totally awful exercises if performed without proper joint integrity and loading. The value of an exercise depends on the person and the manner in which things are being performed.

The other day I witnessed a trainer having a client perform seated machine rear deltoid flies.  The range of motion being performed was well beyond the lateral point which can invite shoulder hyperextension.  No attempts to correct even the broad strokes of the clients form were given. This served as an example of an otherwise fine exercise being made potentially injurious and inefficient by lack of quality coaching and joint integrity.

Not to minimize things, but this was a machine with a pre-determined path of movement targeting a relatively small muscle area.  I can only imagine what happens when a free-weight compound movement is introduced.

The advice and instruction of expert coaching, video feedback of performance and a developed sense of kinesthetic awareness can assist a person in developing joint integrity. For the coach, the act of of properly cueing and aligning the human body into an optimum position based on individual anthropometry and structural limitations in the performance of a given exercise is an art onto itself.

An individuals ability to listen to the messages sent by the body before, during and after a movement is key, this is an advantage of not always relying on mirrors while training as the reflected image gives a distorted representation only to what is visible. The use of the mirror is not without value, but in my opinion lends itself to some exercises more than others.

Be mindful of your movement. If in doubt, seek assistance from experts that can help you. Sometimes very small adjustments in joint integrity completely change things for the better.

 

Ben Franklin and Mike Tyson

” If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”  Benjamin Franklin  
                                                                                                                                                              “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” Mike Tyson

There is truth in both quotes.  As a coach I like taking a longterm view of things, including the eventual time where my client or student is no longer with me.  While the long view (and ultra long view) are great, one needs to plot the course to get there.  This comes is smaller journeys which will be listed below.

In my previous blog on What is Exercise? What is Training? https://mytrainerchris.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/what-is-exercise-what-is-training/

I covered the difference between the two and that I primarily deal in the latter.  This is not to say I discount the value in the former as the skill of being able to adapt to the unknown is essential. There is a huge difference between adapting to a situation and making stuff up as you go, and even then making stuff up as you go has value in some situations.

Some years ago I was assigned a client that on any given day presented some musculoskeletal issue that made designing, much less adhering to a consistent exercise program near impossible.  Even today, with greater experience and tools at my disposal I would be challenged. I had no choice but to take the person at their word and that the complaints were real and not being over-exaggerated, even though I had my suspicions and occasional tests proved me correct.

My ability to adapt to an ever-changing situation was honed during my military career, so I had a leg up so to speak.  Still, there was always the bomb squad thought going through my head, one miscalculation is all it would take to have a very bad day.

Those sorts of situations are a test of ones patience,knowledge,professionalism and creativity.

The textbook definitions of training periods. (Ben Franklin situation)                                 Training Session:  A duration of up to several hours.  If there is a rest period of 30min or more it will be considered a multi-workout day.   A training day can contain multiple sessions and is designed for the microcycle which it is contained.

Microcycle: Several days to 2 weeks, composed of several sessions.  A Mesocycle is often 2-6 week blocks of linked microcycles.   A Macrocycle is several months up to one year and some authors refer to it as an annual plan.

Annual Training Plan: Is one year and can contain a single or multiple macrocycles. Plans beyond one year are known as quadrennial plans.

When deviating from the plan is called for. (Mike Tyson situation)   Often the Mike Tyson situation occurs within a training session, but in some cases it can affect annual training. Client/Student/Athlete shows up for training with an injury. In my opinion it doesn’t matter if its real or imagined. You have several options available depending on the severity and duration.
Cancel the session, refer out.
Work around the issue.
Alter the days the training session to accommodate what the person can do pain free.
Be realistic. If this isn’t a competitive athlete will the microcycle REALLY be affected?

The client is habitually late.  I’m not a fan of tardiness but understand that sometimes things in life happen.  I don’t mind if its very few and far between. Aside from being disrespectful,repeated tardiness is cumulative and doesn’t help the person reach their goal.
I first have “the talk.” Habitual tardiness in my opinion is indicative of a problem, one that likely got them to where they are now.
If the person is habitually late I subtract it from their time, not start the session counter when they decide to arrive. This is not well-liked by client.
If it becomes too cumulative I terminate the clients agreement with me. Further, I do not refer the client to any coaches within my local network.  If they can’t appreciate my time then maybe they will appreciate my absence.

The Client is having a “rough day” Essentially the client showed up in less that optimal condition either psychologically,physically or physiologically.  It depends on whom you’re dealing with and what level of experience they have.

On one hand you can dial back the session and address mobility needs and a refreshing tonic workout. Not enough food,air,sleep or water or clients that are depressed are good candidates for this.  Controlling load, volume and rest periods are key. You may need to subtract/regress entire exercises, especially those with higher levels of technical sophistication even if the person is normally good at them.

On the other hand you can take advantage of the persons aggression and focus it on controlled lifts that the person is used to doing.   Be mindful of breaks and training stress. If the person is used to 5 sets of 5 now is not the time to make them do 10 sets of 10. Personally this is where I like focusing on the isometric portion of lifts and the grip dependent techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

Bar Fight (AKA Chris is a meathead)

Note: My laptop died this morning so until it is replaced all blogs will be done on my phone.  CS

Some time ago I did something I shouldn’t  have and certainly know better.  I engaged in an ultimately futile internet argument with a person I will likely never meet.

What was the arguement about? Glad you asked, although I hope it doesn’t re-ignite any further arguments.  I’m not out to defend my position just merely lay out my side of things.

The arguement was over my belief and practice of teaching new lifters how to safely drop a barbell. The opposition stated not only is this stupid, but it demonstrates my lack of skills and knowledge as a coach and that guys like me are part of the reason why people hate gyms…..you know,us bar dropping meatheads.

I tried explaining we don’t drop bars simply to drop them or to make noise and ONLY drop if needed,but she wasn’t having any of it.

I don’t mind views that conflict with my own.  I even intentionally seek out studies and articles that counter my thoughts in order to have a balanced view of things. I believe I’m fair in comparing the merits of each side.

Normally when I run into a person that seems to be disagreeing simply to disagree I ask the almighty question of questions “Do they even lift?”

Based on photographic evidence the answer was a solid no.

So instead of comparing the relative right/wrong of barbell dropping I decided to compare the two trainers involved.  This might provide some insight into why we feel the way we feel.

The other trainer….

Works in a corporate fitness facility. By her own admission most clients are middle-aged or older, sedentary, weight loss and general fitness types.

The gym is not designed for heavy training.

Clients do not pick up loads heavier than they weigh.

General exercise is the pursuit.

She had around 5yrs experience. Does not lift relatively heavy things.

I on the other hand….

Work in an old school gym. 33% of my clients are other personal trainers, other clients are weight loss,aesthetic or performance type clients.  The oldest client is 10 years younger than me.

The gym is designed for heavy training, suitable up to competitive Powerlifting or Strongman standards.

Strength,Weight Loss, Mobility and practical education for trainers are the primary adaptations and pursuits.

Over 25yrs experience (which makes the fact I argued online an even more meatheaded) Lifts relatively heavy things.

Very different experience levels,  situations, gyms and clientele.  What’s right for one isn’t necessarily right for the other.

Since the other trainer doesn’t deal with the same situations I do and has no practical barbell experience she is not entitled to an opinion on the subject.

So why do I teach beginning lifters how to drop a bar? The short answer is barbell wrecks happen and I would rather they have the knowledge of what to do and not need it rather than need it and not have it. The primary objective is to always control the load in a safe manner, but sometimes things happen and you need to know how to escape a bad situation.

There are some choices here.  (1) Find a highly qualified lifting coach to teach you the basic and sophisticated barbell lifts.  You will learn from that persons past mistakes.  (2) Disregard #1 and get injured in a bar wreck because you didn’t know how to abort a lift safely. (3) Always lift with suboptimal loads and fail to reach athletic,aesthetic or hygeinic goals.