Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You have 2 ears, 2 eyes and 1 mouth...

...use them in that order. 

Yesterday I went down to the BSC in Downtown Crossing with my co-workers Dan and Will to attend a seminar held by Tony Gentilcore. It was a great opportunity to hear one of the bright minds in our industry talk without having to travel or spend a huge amount of money. It may not have counted for CEU's for anyone, but you should never miss an opportunity to learn more from someone who know's more than you do. 

The seminar was based on assessments: what they use at CP, what you should be using with gen-pop clients, and what these assessments will tell you. This is exactly stuff that I want to get better at: I know I can take someone from a 75 pound deadlift to a 400 pound deadlift. Writing a periodized strength program, or getting someone to lose weight are things I feel comfortable with (Comfortable; not perfect. There's a lot more left for me to learn.) What I feel my weak area's are are knowing what to do with the results of an assessment. Let's say I assess someone and they have poor thoracic extensibility; is it tight internal rotators, poor t-spine mobility, tight lats, poor c-spine mobility or weak upper back muscles? I can see what the weak point is, but I'm unsure which issue to address first. Same with the hips; I can see that a hip is falling out when someone lunges, but I'm unsure where the weakness starts (leaky roof syndrome). Is it instability at the ankle? Weak VMO? Weakness on the other side of their hips? Tight hip flexors? The list goes on.

This seminar helped to address some of those questions. What it also helped to do is make me realize how much I have left to learn. It was a very humbling experience, just like every time I hear someone speak. My whole journey right now is about address my weaknesses, and I just uncovered another one. I did feel good that I knew a lot of the mobilizations that Tony showed us, and I use them with clients too. I know the right applications of these exercises, but I need to work on my ability to explain exactly what it is doing. Yesterdays seminar also served to foster my hopes of doing my internship out at CP next fall, the amount of stuff I could learn from those guys is immeasurable.

Last, but not least, a funny moment from yesterday. Tony was talking about how he saw Dr. McGill speak three times, and that he actually recognized him once and said "hi" to him, which made him feel like the coolest guy in the room. Well, yesterday when Tony started off his seminar he said "I was talking to Mike and Dan about this seminar..." and pointed at us.


Of course, we played it cool though. Stone-faced. We didn't get up and cheer, or even elbow each other and smile. But, when we got off the train to walk back to our gym, we brought it up and realized that we had both had the same internal reaction. Ended up giggling like little schoolgirls about it. 

It was a great experience yesterday, one which has given me a kick-in-the-pants to learn more about the stuff that I don't know. What do you suck at? Whatever it is, go do it today!


  1. cool article & nice to know that you had a great learning experience. on a side note, since these seminars happen regularly with in your club/s, you may consider putting up webinars at an affordable price on your site which can be downloaded by us. they will definitely help trainers like us who stay thousands of miles away. cheers. sham

  2. Thanks for commenting, Sham.

    I agree, webinars are great. It's not always plausible for someone to be all over the country to see these things. Unfortunately, in this case, this was a small-scale seminar originally put together just for the staff of one particular fitness facility. I wouldn't be surprised if Tony would be interested in taping/posting videos of his larger-scale seminars in the future.