As far back as I can remember, my buddies and I have always belonged to a gym. At the age of fourteen we joined a local YMCA and played a lot of basketball and started to get into weight training. At about the age of sixteen we stepped it up a little bit and joined a big box gym so that we could do Bench Pressing five days a week, and throw out our idiotic pick up lines to any ladies who would listen. Even today I belong to a big box gym, (no more pics up lines) and it allows me to learn a lot.
My years of playing sports, lifting weights, going through school to become a Trainer and the amount of hours that I spend in gyms every year has given me "the eye". "The Eye" is a term that my mentor, Barry Fritz told me about back when I had a pion brain and was a new student. He basically told me to learn the anatomy, physiology and understand human movement so well that you can literally just watch someone walk and be able to spot potential issues. This ability take decades to master, and every day you can hone in on this ability to see more and more. This ability to see issues in your clients (hopefully before they get too serious) can be a life saver for your clients health and their joints.
At No Bull Training, we have approximately three-hundred to four-hundred people walk through our doors every week (obviously some repeat visits), and this amount of volume allows me to coach so many different clients through so many different movements, and it allows me to see things that only very experienced coaches can pick up on. Once I see a client move, and especially when they move through an exercise with a load, it can open up the floodgates for movement pattern problems. Some things are very simple and easy to fix if you make the client aware of them; other issues may be a bit more serious and may need to be referred out to a PT or a qualified massage therapist.
The reason for tonights blog is simple, I watch people on a daily basis train themselves for failure, not success. The exercise choices, their form, their reps, their sets, their overall volume (or lack there of) and the lack of body awareness is a recipe for disaster. Now these injuries a lot of the time are chronic (over time), not acute. So years of poorly performed push ups eventually catch up to you, and your shoulders are jacked up. Or the years of caving knees (valgus) during lunges and squats have finally caught up and now your knees are trashed. I want this to change and my goal is to make everyone move WELL, then often!
I always joke with my clients when they're training; I tell them that: "When I die, I want your next trainer to be shocked at how well you move, and how well you have the basics mastered". I really mean that statement! When I'm running a Group Class and see my athletes not paying attention to details, not creating tension, and not having that mind/body connection, it bugs me. It bugs me because I know they are setting themselves up for injuries and I know that they know better. So as a coach, it's my job to constantly remind my team to pay attention to the details in every movement. I'm positive that I annoy some of my clients with my repetitiveness, but I can guarantee you that those same clients move well...
So for all you coaches, clients and everyday gym goers, do yourselves a favor and start training with progress in mind. Don't look ahead a day, a week or a couple of months; look ahead a year, five years, and even ten years. Training is supposed to make you bullet proof from injury, not hurt you. Training should allow you to do things that you never thought possible. Training should make everyday life easier for you. Training should allow you to play pickup basketball with your kids for hours. Training should allow you to carry ALL the grocery bags in at once. Training should allow you to pick up your grand-babies with a proper hinge and no back pain. Training should make you better, not worse!
Train Hard but Train Smart
Pay Attention To Details (head position / foot position / scapulae position / pelvic position / etc)
Proper Intensity (weight)
Proper Reps, Sets and Rest
If something hurts, don't do it / There are many modifications that can easily be made
Create that Mind/Body Connection
Train for Longevity...