Friday, March 25, 2011

Internet Mentor + Training Environment

So, a few days ago, I made it onto the blog of my internet mentor, Tony Gentilcore. You can read the post below. For me, this is like having Larry Bird tell you that you have a good jump shot.

Deadlift Dissection

When I say "internet mentor", I mean that in the least creepy-I've-never-met-you-but-think-we-should-be-buddies way possible. Seriously though, I'm pretty sure he would want to take me under his wing and teach me the ways of lifting heavy shit while we discuss the pros and pros of Jessica Biel and her anterior pelvic tilt.

And, Boom goes the dynamite

All joking aside, I read his blog religiously and really subscribe to his methods of training. In an industry full of ass-clowns, it is refreshing to find a facility like Cressey Performance that is full of straight shooters, especially since it is 35 minutes away from me!

Now that I have finished kissing TG's ass, I need to mention a great point he brought up on his blog. The music playing while I lift sucks. Plain and simple. It is literally impossible to lift to your maximal potential with sissified pansy-music playing like that over the stereo. I understand why my facility limits the types of music we play; we cater to a somewhat older crowd; a crowd that is decidedly more Phil Collins and less DMX. 

This isn't really a huge deal for me; I just crank up the Ipod when I lift and get after it. The big problem for me is when I am working; my clients don't like trying to crank out triples on their front squats while the Goo Goo Dolls plays in the background. Having soft, sweetly sung tunes is just NOT conducive to an environment where people really wanna work hard and get better. 

Nia Shanks left an interesting comment, where she says "Go to a gym that doesn't play Justin Timberlake, and you should add 50+ to your deadlift!" And she is probably right! A gym like that has multiple ways of making you stronger: 1) loud my-Mother-doesn't-love-me music 2) chalk and most importantly, 3) people that are like minded and trying to get better. Thats the big one, for me. Anytime I am in the weight room working out and some of the other trainers are in there getting in their own workouts, I have a great lift. The atmosphere is much more energetic; people are willing to go heavier to show off, there are spotters, guys are cheering for each other. On the other hand, if I am getting ready for some heavy lifting, and the weight room is full of gym-monkeys doing biceps curls and overhead cable triceps extensions, as well as a few 70 year olds who are doing quad contractions and scapular retractions, how am I supposed to get jacked up to lift heavy stuff? Don't get me wrong, I love old people. They just don't make great training partners. 

Get it, girl!

An interesting comparison to the normal commercial gym atmosphere would be a Crossfit gym. Crossfit gyms are popping up all over the place, so they are more commercialized than they used to be. I would also think that they lend themselves as a more interesting comparison than a private strength and conditioning facility (like Cressey Performance or EliteFTS) because they are much more accessible to the general population. (I will save my opinions on the Crossfit style of training for another day) I am using Crossfit as my comparison because those gyms attract a particular type of person. People who truly have an interest in fitness, people who want to get better, people who want to challenge themselves on a daily basis. In a word: athletes. Whereas in my particular gym, we have a large number of people who have never had a gym experience before, and wanna-be meatheads who just focus on their guns. More and more athletes are leaving commercial gym settings and finding themselves at a Crossfit affiliate because they want to be around like-minded individuals. One of the best things Crossfit does is provide an amazing training atmosphere; you get put into classes, there are competitions, scores are posted, you get CHALLENGED. 

Maybe Crossfit isn't so bad after all...

In other words, athletes get to be athletes. For the same reason that competitive baseball players to go Cressey Performance, NFL players go to DeFranco's gym and hockey players go see Mike Boyle, former athletes with no outlet for their competitive nature are going to Crossfit. Say what you will about their system, but they get results because everyone who goes there wants to work HARD. 

No matter how hard I work while training in a commercial gym, there will always be some room left on the end of the bar for another plate, because it is so rare to get truly challenged there. 

I'm still gonna try, though. You should too.

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