Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sometimes Things Are Dumb

There's a lot of dumb stuff in this industry, that's just how it is. Whether it's people using Bosu balls as a legitimate means of training or the God awful stuff you see on late-night TV.

Some of it is just too ridiculous to take seriously, and some of the other things hit a little too close to home. For instance, a trainer at a local club here in the city recently wrote a blog post of his own that stated that he had trained for a marathon almost exclusively with group exercise classes. He went on to state that he had to run/walk his way to a 4:18 but that he was happy with where his training had left him.

Far be it for me to judge someones time, but if your goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon and you ended up having to run/walk your way to a time that's over an hour slower than you needed, I would suggest that your training left something to be desired. Spin classes and what is essentially an aerobics class is NOT going to help you become a better runner, nor will it help you become a better football player or doctor.

It scares me that there are health-fitness professionals out there telling people this stuff, because people will believe them. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Speaking of "too good to be true", everyone's favorite exercise-turd Tracy Anderson recently released a new product. As of ruining the physiques and wallets of women all over the country wasn't enough, Tracy has recently turned her attention towards men!

What's that Tracy? I can't hear you over your boobs.
Anderon's "method" promises to tire out your big muscles so that the "lesser-known" "accessory muscles" will activate. She also claims that most fitness programs only "get" to 200 muscles, whereas hers "gets to" over 400 muscles. I'd love to see how she quantifies that. She also states that you won't ever lift a weight over 10 pounds, which is sure to help you during your activities of daily living where nothing is over 10 pounds.

Dafuck? Are there really guys buying into this? Guys who would rather take fitness advice from the 85 pound twig than look like Lu XiaoJun?

Where are his "accessory" muscles?
Just wake up, people. Don't feed into the bullshit. There's nothing in this world that will replace a heavy barbell and some hard work. Have a great day and go lift some heavy shit!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tips To Make You A Better Trainer/Coach

I am, again, coming back from a brief period of in-activity with this blog. It's tough to muster the desire to sit down and write when I only have short breaks between school and work, sometimes I'd prefer to eat food or try and get in a lift during those breaks. Regardless, I'm going to write about a topic that has sort of become a recurring theme for me over the years: tips to make you a better trainer.

I am around enough people via school and various gyms to see a lot of dumb shit happen in the weight room. If I can open a few eyes, then I'll be happy.

1) Your clients aren't you. This one is pretty simple, but is often overlooked. It doesn't matter what style of training you adhere to for yourself; it doesn't mean your clients need to too. You may think that band-resisted low bar squats with a 7-second eccentric or heavy snatch combo's are the best way to get strong and powerful, but chances are that you probably shouldn't be approaching your clients training that way. Take the time to fully assess your clients and figure out what their goals are and the best way to achieve them. Even if their goal is to get big and strong, they probably haven't achieved the same minimum competencies that you have to need such specialized training practices. Stick to the tried and true basics.

2) Demand perfection from your clients. Again, it seems simple right? If you prescribe an exercise, expect that it be done with proper form every time. This is a responsibility for both you and your client; you need to coach it properly and they need to learn it. If you see your client doing something that  you don't like you need to cue them out of it, or stop the exercise and fix what is wrong. If you are unable to cue them or fix it, then you shouldn't be coaching that particular lift anyway. Find a replacement lift or find someone to coach it properly.

3) Know what you're doing and why. All too often I see trainers and coach's who will start using an exercise without truly understanding it. If you don't really understand what a particular exercise or variation is supposed to be doing, then how you can successfully integrate it into your programming or even coach it the right way? If you see another trainer or coach doing something that piques your interest then stop and ask them about it. I personally learned a ton from Dan Sanzo of Northeastern a year ago just by asking him why he liked dead bugs so damn much. An exercise that I previously didn't understand at all had a whole new life for me.

4) Create a change. It doesn't matter what the change is if your client is getting better somehow. Unfortunately in the fitness field we don't just change bodies, we have to change minds too. In this regard, any little bit helps. Decrease pain, increase energy, get them to change eating habits, get them to show up on time or even just help them feel better about themselves. These things may not all have a direct impact on their goals, but it will help their over-all well being. You may have the best fat-loss program in the world, but if you can't get your client to show up on time then it doesn't matter.

Hopefully you will be seeing a lot more content come out from me in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes open. Have a great day and go lift some heavy shit!