Thursday, January 17, 2013

101 Ways to Skin a Cat

The strength world is full of characters. You meet a lot of trainers and coaches in various settings and, inevitably, the conversation turns to training. You talk about styles, approaches, things you've read and things you've learned. Usually these conversations are harmless and you leave with a new acquaintance and hopefully some new information that you can use for yourself and your clients. Occasionally  though, you meet someone who tries to force feed you their approach to training and convince you why they are right and you are wrong.

I recently met one of these guys; a guy who trains at another commercial gym here in the city. He studied exercise and health science in school and is a CSCS as well as a CrossFit level-1. He knows someone for whom I write programming, and has seen my work. The particular person he knows has a pretty young training age and has made awesome gains with my programs. In six months she has worked up to a 200-lb squat, a 215 deadlift (could definitely pull 235), has gained 15 pounds and lost 6% body fat. Those are pretty good results for 6 months of my programming I'd say. 

When I met him, however, he proceeded to tell me why following a strict program was a poor choice. That people should be lifting according to how they feel every day; if you're feeling good, then let it rip,  If it's a bad day, then hold yourself back. I think that's all well and good, except you can do that on a program too.

If I want my client to pull deadlifts in sets of 3 tomorrow, we are going to go by how they feel. It's called auto-regulation. Regardless of how they feel, we are doing triples. If they feel good we are going to push it, but if it's an off-day or a regular day, then we'll stick to a comfortable weight.

The icing on the cake was when this guy asked me "why do you think P90X is so popular?"

That's a clown question, bro. It's popular because it promises huge results all from the comfort of your home, it's easy to cheat since no one is standing over you watching and the commercial is filled with people who are shirtless and flaunting their abZZZ.

His reasoning is that the P90X program fulfills everything that a good personal trainer should be doing: hypertrophy, power, strength and conditioning blah blah blah. I stopped listening when he said P90X was good for anything. It's good to get someone up and moving, and that's about it.

My point, after all this ranting, is that everyone is welcomed to do things their own way. What you eat doesn't make me shit, right?

I chose the methods that I use because I think they are the best. My decision has been made through trial and error with myself, with application to my clients, and with much reading/research done through what others have done themselves. If I didn't think my "way" was the best, I wouldn't be doing it.

You do your way, because you think it's the best and that's fine. If it works for you and your clients, then go for it. Doesn't bother me. Even Tracy Anderson is allowed to go do her thing. It bugs me, however, when you attempt to force your method down my throat and imply that mine isn't the best. I have a very open mind about training nowadays, I absolutely love talking shop and will do so for hours. However, if you approach me in a bar and tell me what is better for me and my clients then I will immediately recognize you as a turd.

Sorry for the rant! Thanks for bearing with me! Have a great day and go lift some heavy shit!

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