Friday, November 22, 2013

Monday (Fitness)Massacre - Trainers Behaving Badly Vol. 4 (11/18/2013)

Monday (Fitness)Massacre - Trainers Behaving Badly Vol. 4

Spending as many hours in the gym as I do on a daily basis, I'm afforded no shortage in sights of things that just make you shake your head. Unfortunately, quite often these sights are complete with a fitness 'professional' standing right there supervising the whole ordeal. I've decided the instead of standing silent and shaking my head, it would be better to call attention to said sights in order to educate my peeps.

This Week's Winner: BS explanations and not taking responsibility and admitting you were wrong or at fault.

A paraphrased recollection of a conversation between client and trainer I overheard recently while performing an exercise:

Client: "That kinda hurts my lower back."

Trainer: "Yeah, what happens is our abs get tired, and then our body says - ok my abs are tired, so now we'll let the lower back help out more."


If someone feels something in their lower back, particularly when the objective is to train something else, the explanation pretty much boils down to one of two things:

1. They have lost neutral spine
2. The have lost the ability to create/maintain sufficient tension or 'brace'

The above can happen for a number of reasons:

1. Using an exercise too advanced for that person's ability level
2. Pushing the exercise too close to failure through excessive volume
3. Lack of coaching which allows improper execution
4. Any combination of the above

A professional is able to readily identify any of the above. It's not about being perfect, it's about recognizing when you aren't!

Now I'm not perfect by any means - I've certainly been guilty of #1 in the past, and I'm certain people watching have seen clients of mine perform incorrect repetitions from time to time. The difference is I admit when I am wrong to my client and regress them to a more suitable version of the exercise, and/or coach and cue to correct any minor faults in their technique. They appreciate the honesty and understand I always have their best interests in mind. What I don't do is try to pretend I know everything and BS my way through some shoddy explanation of why I'm causing pain to my client. That is how a professional handles the situation.

But this person in the example above is not a professional are they? Just yet another person who 'likes to workout' or 'played football in college' and thought - 'Hey, I'm going to be a trainer!' Sadly our industry is rife with these type of folks.

If something FEELS wrong, it usually means that it IS wrong - don't be afraid to speak up.

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