Posts Tagged ‘personal trainer’

Whenever someone asks me what’s it like being a trainer, I give them my honest answer.

It’s frickin’ awesome!

Okay ‚ÄĒ¬†not all parts of it are fun.

It’s a sweet gig, and I can’t imagine doing anything else, but at the same time it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

But seriously though, wearing sweatpants to work is awesome.

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I’ve been a personal trainer for four years now, and I still can’t fully decide which population I have more of a challenge with, Type A personalities or people who need to be spoon fed. On one end, you have the go-getters. The people who are gung ho about their goals.¬†While on the other, you have the little-to-no compliance folks. With these guys, they peruse social media telling there friends they wish they had their motivation.

If I had no choice but to choose who I have more of a challenge with, I’d probably veer towards the Type A’s…SLIGHTLY.

And I say slightly because…

They Overlook The Value Of Rest and Recovery

 

We obviously know the importance of it. Unfortunately, this premise gets swept under the rug too often. Hell,¬†virtually every supplement out there is meant to hack your way into better performance. Finding a compromise and spitting facts at someone who’s hell-bent on training six days/week to damn near everyday is like trying to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s a tough pill to swallow for productivity junkies because they feel like they have to train a ton otherwise their progress will stall. Unless you’ve been injected with the super solider serum, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll achieve optimal results with that approach, let alone sustain it.

Remember: all you do in the gym is break your body down. I believe that you need to train with intensity and ferocity, but you also need to follow it up with a period of rest and recovery. 

Progress occurs outside the gym, not in it. Quality > Quantity.

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If you’ve never experienced joint pain, aches, or at the very least, muscle soreness, you’re obviously not training hard enough. In that same token, pushing yourself past exhaustion day-in and day-out is not an ideal approach either.

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I love lifting heavy just as much as the next person, but we have to be cognizant that not every training session is about hitting PR’s. Training is meant to stimulate, not annihilate.

A couple months back, I was doing deadlifts and I tweaked my lower back (so much for practicing what I preach). In hindsight, I should’ve backed off that day because a¬†load I normally did for reps felt unbelievably heavy. It took me awhile to realize that it was a pretty big deal because the next day I couldn’t bend over.

Honestly, getting injured sucks ‚ÄĒ big time! It’s no fun at all. One day you’re making progress, and then the next day you¬†find yourself limping out of the gym like you just went through war because you decided to do an extra set of heavy deadlifts.

Which leads me to a polarizing question: Is it possible to still train effectively when you’re injured? YES, ABSOLUTELY!¬†In my experience over the past few years as a strength coach, I’ve developed a distinct perspective on how you can train around an injury. Let me be clear: this doesn’t mean resorting to yoga or swapping out your program and only utilizing 5-10lb dumbbells or resistance bands. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather watch¬†paint dry.


 The effectiveness of a training program pales in comparison to your ability to consistently put in the work.

Before I go further, I do want to caution you that getting a thorough evaluation is an absolute must. Pain is an indication that something is wrong.¬†If an exercise is causing problems there are various ways to go about it, but seeking a professional first can get the dice rolling. ¬†If your car starts to jerk and act flaky on the road, you wouldn’t want to continue driving it. ¬†You bring it in the shop, identify the cause, and get it fixed. You only have one body, so take care of it.

Warm Up

The whole idea of warming up is to create a thermic effect in the muscles.¬†I’m still dumbfounded by how many people don’t take that seriously.¬†Alignment and how well you move is going to determine the loads and stress on your joints. ¬†Believe me when I tell you this, it’s much easier to maintain mobility than it is to regain it back. An ample amount of foam rolling coupled with 5 – 10 minutes of mobility and stability work can save you from a major setback.

Avoid What Hurts

Proper form and the effectiveness of a training program have a lot to do with minimizing the risk of injury, however, if the movement you’re doing hurts, stop doing it. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t be stubborn and continue to work through the pain. Remember: pain is an indication¬†that something is wrong.¬†Address the situation and adjust your training accordingly.

Tinker With Different Exercises

There’s more than one way to skin the cat. Shift your focus and utilize different exercises to induce a training effect while minimizing the risk of re-injuring yourself. If you can’t deadlift from the floor, do it from blocks. Instead of back squats, do front squats, or some single leg work. Instead of push ups, do dips. Instead of doing bench press, do close-grip bench press. Instead of chin ups, do neutral grip pull ups. ¬†You get the picture.

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Be Patient

When things start to clear up, don’t rush into it with guns blazing. I’m a gym addict¬†so¬†this is probably the hardest thing for me to do, but it’s necessary. Growth potential and consistency is of utmost importance if you want¬†continually get stronger and improve your body composition (get more “toned”). You limit that if you get injured.¬†Knowing when to give and when to take with respect towards your training is the key to longevity, so be patient.

If you’ve found this article to be informative and applicable, please share and/or comment below.

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I was training with a buddy of mine from Saipan a few weeks ago, and as is the case with everybody I workout with I ask what their training is like. He goes on by saying that he has been dealing with some chronic low back pain.

No surprise there.

Almost everybody at some point is going to experience some type of LBP.

After delving into the situation a little bit more as we were midway through our workout,¬† I asked him if he sought out a professional to help alleviate his LBP. He went to several physical therapists, chiropractors, and a few personal trainers, and they all basically said the same thing, “Just stretch your hamstrings.”

You can imagine my disbelief when he said that.¬†That kind of information is about as useful as a used condom. Mind you, these so called “professionals” are supposed to be the real deal in their community. It’s one thing to be incompetent in what you do, but I find it utterly repulsive to be held in high regard and still be an incompetent douche bag (<—yeah, I said it).¬† It’s people like them that give fitness professionals a bad name.

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Look, there are multiple factors that can cause an individual to experience low back pain ‚ÄĒ hip deformity, poor mobility, spinal misalignment, tight hip flexors, weak glutes ‚ÄĒ but in most cases, stretching is almost never the answer.¬†In fact, stretching actually makes matters worse.

What You Should Do

 

Your body is smarter than you think. That tightness you’re experiencing… it’s your body holding on for dear life because it’s out of whack.¬† Certain muscle groups (in this case the hamstrings) create a “protective tension” to try and provide some level of stability that is lacking elsewhere. Stretching those “tight” muscles destabilizes them, which will further increase your chance of becoming injured. So uhh…you’re basically just screwing yourself going through the same mundane stretching routine day-in and day-out.

Something as simple as a side plank, can get you feeling brand new¬† ‚ÄĒ it works like magic (seriously, it does).

Pretty cool huh? Like I said, just like magic.

To put things into perspective, when the muscles surrounding your spine is lacking adequate stability, it’s going to look elsewhere to garner some tension. That is why it is imperative to know why your hamstrings and/or low back is tight in the first place. While there are some people who absolutely need to improve their range of motion through various mobility drills and foam rolling techniques, it’s ignorant to assume everybody needs to do them because they’re feeling tight.

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