Strength coaches in the collegiate setting and personal trainers in the private sector tend to get a bad rap. Let’s be honest… when you think of a personal trainer you probably think self consumed, chicken breast eating, meathead… Strength coaches are more on the side of eating a ton of food, being super obnoxious, and lifting really heavy weights. If you go to any private gym you will most likely encounter a lot of bro science and tight t-shirts from trainers. Typically stereotypes have merit, let’s be honest. But as we all know, not all stereotypes are true.
There are a lot of individuals in the fitness industry that are not in this group of stereotypes that we typically think of. A TRUE strength & conditioning or fitness professional looks at their job the same as someone who wears a suit and tie to work everyday. I know myself personally, I typically go to at least 4-6 conferences every year. Being around other quality individuals in the industry at these conferences, you realize that there is an abundance of real professionals in the industry. There are also so many companies and organizations that bring extremely high quality training to their facilities. Companies such as EXOS, Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, and 95% of the collegiate strength and conditioning programs in the United States provide the standard in our industry.
When looking at hiring someone as a trainer or an employee I think looking for the 7 C’s in a candidate will give you your answer if they’re qualified to guide you in your health or be a part of your team. Going through the 7 C’s according to Forbes Magazine: 1.competent 2.capable 3.compatible 4.commitment 5.character 6.culture and 7.compensation. I think if we dissected all of these sub-points in further detail we will find all of the answers we need to see a quality individual. Next time you see a trainer that fits the stereotypes listed above, know that there are just as many quality individuals who DON’T fit the “fitness” stereotype. Train Inspired!
As strength coaches and personal trainers getting results with every athlete and client is our job. Luckily for us, a proper training program works. So results should be easy. Shouldn’t it?
Having a system is extremely vital to the success of every client. Webster defines a system as an organized set of doctrines, ideas, or principles usually intended to explain the arrangement or working of a systematic whole. Being able to implement a system of training that’s reproducible to clients and athletes alike is the key to future success.
But training is supposed to be specific to the person? Yes, but not really. There is a Buddhist quote that says “in the beginners mind there are many choices, in the experts mind there are few”. There are only a few ways that we do pushing exercises, pulling exercises, sprint development exercises, etc. Trying to reinvent the wheel is a really bad idea… Putting wrinkles in the way we do things as strength coach’s is what makes each individual coach unique. Having a training system is what makes the repeat-ability of results much higher for every athlete, client, or team that you as a strength coach will train. There’s definitely not a one size fits all program, but having a system in place we will make sure we’re checking all of our training boxes each time we train our athletes. As much as strength coaches harp on periodization of programs, most coaches are still looking for a system that fits their athletes. Find a system, believe in it, and implement it. Train inspired!
In the fitness industry today there is, and most likely always will be, an epidemic of trainers and strength coach’s putting clients through “workouts”. Being on a training program and working out are different. Knowing when your trainer or strength coach is just working you out can be detected fairly easily.
When your being put through workouts you will typically do random exercises every single day with different reps, sets, and complete inconsistency workout to workout. You may also complete an exercise one week and then may never complete it again. As a personal training client this may not bother you in the slightest. After all, you are most likely looking to get fitter and lose body fat; so going through random exercises is no big deal. After you reap the benefits of exercise you lose your initial 10 pounds or so of weight and these “workouts” that you are doing will eventually become obsolete.
Typically you will get a trainer or strength coach that has a so called “philosophy” of training. A trainer that is sold out to one style of training such as crossfit, kettlebell training, olympic lifting, powerlifting, or the emerging philosophy of a functional movement screen junkie… BEWARE of this kind of person! They will have you adapt to their training philosophy instead of adopting their training to your capabilities as an individual. In return of their philosophy you will then receive one workout that’s great and the next that just doesn’t really fit. Or even worse you will get injured as a result of their training style.
Finding a strength coach or trainer that has training principles that he or she stands by and implements various styles of training is someone who will vary workouts, but be able to keep a program consistent enough to continue to see results moving forward. Having a training system and having a philosophy are two different things. Our training at Matt Grimm Performance is a principle based training system catered to the individual according to the initial assessments and goals that the client, athlete, or coach have vocalized. Our training principles at MGP are to get results, be movement based first, and prevent injury. Within those principles fall our training styles according to the most recent research in the field. In later blogs we will get into specifics of how our training program is structured, but for now, simply ask yourself, are you training or working out? Train Inspired!
With so many options available in the fitness world today it can be very difficult to choose the right gym or exercise program that fits you as an individual. When deciding what training program fits your personal needs, start with an assessment. This assessment should include a general health history, movement assessment, and if possible a fitness assessment.
The assessments listed above would fit for the general fitness client looking to shed some unwanted body fat and also the high school or college athlete looking to improve his/her performance on the field of play. Depending on which population or goal set you fall under will determine the X’s and O’s of your assessment.
For the general fitness client assessing your health history is most important. If you are in fact cleared to exercise, the next assessment would be a movement pattern screen to assess your tissue quality and quality of movement. A movement assessment will look deeper at potential movement patterns that may be more harmful than beneficial to the athletes.
After you’ve been cleared to exercise on the general health side and muscle/joint side of things, get MOVING! To get in better health you need to move. If you’re an athlete, training has to be specifically related to the sport(s) you play. Work with a strength coach or trainer to get a training program that would fit you. If you would rather train on your own find quality programs that work on movement not muscles. Get after it and train inspired!