Thursday, February 24, 2011

Go ask someone

When you need a haircut, who do you go to? The barber.

When your car isn't running properly, who do you go see? The mechanic.

When your toilet is broken, who do you call? The plumber.

When you have questions about training yourself, who do you ask? Joe, 3 cubicles over from you.

Wait, what?

Why is it that people have such a difficult time asking for help regarding fitness/wellness/strength and conditioning from qualified personnel? Everyone thinks they know their body the best and exactly what will work for them. Well, when is it gonna work? If you look the exact same as you have for the past 2 years that you have been coming to my gym, whatever you're doing ain't working. Results in the fitness world are pretty quantifiable; less fat, more muscle, better endurance, more plates on the bar. If none of the above has happened for you in the past year, you're not making gains.

So, we have no identified the problem. Who do you ask? People tend to gravitate towards different personalities for many reasons. Some people (lets use guys as an example), will go ask the "biggest" guy in their office for advice. Some will ask the "biggest" guy in the gym, or more commonly, whoever is benching the most weight. In my gym, we don't have a lot of strong guys, so seeing someone bench 225 is a shock to many people. The biggest bencher or the guy doing the weirdest exercises will be the one to get asked for advice most often. We have one of each in my gym, and neither guy knows anything. One just regurgitates everything he read about his hot new TRX workout, or the HDT sets he is doing, or the sick new KB workout he has going on. Guess what? That guy can't even deadlift his own bodyweight. Bench press guy? Literally the only thing he can do. Never even seen him do a pullup. So why do people gravitate towards them?

I have no clue. Maybe because they are free? Maybe because we are pre-conditioned to think that trainers are always just trying to sell you a session. We have a lot of trainers at my gym, and pretty much all of them are qualified to help. But, not all trainers are created equal. Everyone has their own personality, and not every one will mesh with every client. So, when you have questions, go ask a trainer. If you don't like their answer, ask a different one. Ask at the front desk about everyones backgrounds. See who interests you. LOOK at the trainers. If you think "Wow, I want to look like that tall, handsome, half-Chinese guy with the cannonball delts", then go ask him! Best case scenario, you get some great advice (*ahem* go deadlift *ahem*), and worst case scenario the guy turns out to be a jerk who only wants to sell you a session.

What this really boils down to is, stop trying to be so macho and go ask someone a question. You might just learn something.

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