Progression in the weight room is not solely based on external loading (i.e. how much absolute weight lifted). Progress can be accomplished in various ways in order to improve performance, movement options, fitness, experience, and may even assist in external loading abilities.
Here are some valuable elements of client/athlete progress:
See the whole forest before seeing one tree:
Then work backwards, learn and coach basis exercises, optimize the exercises that you do, accumulate volume, then use your tools to intervene only when a barrier towards fitness/performance is encountered.
When we learn something new about movement problems during continuing education events or within systems we tend to start with, how can I fix this person’s movement problems?
We tend to want a clean slate to work from but we are not going to give people a clean slate with movement. We have very limited time with people, thus limited influence. The best thing we can do is use the tools to address movement problems to develop fitness.
Addressing movement problems is a need but not a necessity, the majority of the time. Don’t let the tools you have acquired to become the barrier towards fitness.
“The lie you are fed becomes the story you believe”- Dr. Bryan Chung
I don’t typically barbell back squat clients as we have safety bars and cambered bars that I think are useful tools for adding load to the squat pattern. But the words I choose are careful. I don’t tell people that back squatting ‘isn’t good for you’ or that ‘you will get injured back squatting” as your words have the ability to influence someone’s beliefs. Be responsible for that influence with the words that you use, which they will then use as prior information to make future predications.
Someone saw me back squatting last week and said “that’s not good for your back.” That is a scare tactic that they have been fed.
Usually people put personal limitations on their own capabilities so they will cling to those words or use those words to limit...
Gym Partners, Group Classes, Semi-Private Training, Tribes.
Each of these satisfy the human need for relatedness through socialization.
As humans we have a fundamental need to be connected with or able to relate to other humans. Relatedness, how connected and secure we feel in our environment, is dictated by our personal relationships and past experiences to help to regulate and guide our behavior. So, if we lack the sense of connection and security to our environment, we as humans may lose our motivation to act and dysregulated behavior may ensue.1 This can take form as an elevation in heart rate, poor sleep quality, reduced work efficiency, or even social seclusion. We have to have strategies to help us self-regulate.
A logical first step in regulating behavior in a new environment is to develop relationships to allow any threat perceived to be dampened. Coaches are positioned to have a pivotal role in helping regulate their clients behavior....
Most people just need to gain muscle mass, lose body fat, and accumulate volume.
The idea of ‘fixing’ a fitness client or using some of your new continuing education catch words to tell people they are something that needs to be fixed is a lack of understanding of the end game and the big picture.
* “You shouldn’t deadlift because your thorax is narrow”
* “You’re so jacked up, I’m surprised you haven’t gotten hurt back squatting yet”
* “You don’t ‘manage pressure’ well in your pelvis so you shouldn’t squat” Can you even explain what pressure management means?
* “You need to do these specific exercises because ‘you’re extended’”
These are all promoting mindsets of ‘there is something wrong with me’. We sometimes like to prove our value and spit out some new knowledge we learned at a con edu event but lose sight of fitness.
At the end of the...
The use of passive constraints to manipulate a task: External objects are used to assist in finding certain references and muscles.
* The dumbbell behind the foot is used to find heels and hamstrings. The ball between the knees is used to find adductors. The weight in the hand is used to find abs and close a space. The weight of the cable can be used to reach and feel a scapula move.
* Training Principle: Proximal structure position influences movement of distal structures
* Focused Attention: Heels. Opening a side of the thorax and closing the opposite side.
* Guided Experience: Initiate questions before providing feedback. What was that like? How did that feel?
Creating an exercise to match intent. The intent of the exercise is to transition from leg to leg working on frontal plane mechanics.
* The chop will assist in centering over a leg: stacking the nose over the zipper line, over the knee, over the big toe.
* Training Principle: All athletic skill acquisition includes the ability to transition from leg to leg; gait, skating, throwing a ball, or changing direction (push mechanics).
* Guided Experience: What was that like? How did that feel? Where do you feel your weight? Why do you think this is important?
* Focused Attention: Arch of the foot.
* Client accomplished a personal record weight in the Trap Bar Deadlift which was an externally focused activity. To finish the session, we turned to thinking about the body and feeling muscles in specific areas, which was an internally focused activity.
Hard work is the basis for everything you desire to achieve. It is applying your ability with focused attention and the exclusion of other abilities. You must know the purpose or intended outcome of the work especially in relation to the type of person you desire to be.
The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. By Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. Penguin Books, New York, NY. (2014)
The most effective coaches are those that have the ability to connect with others, understand the importance of psychology, and value knowledge about human behavior. You cannot have physiology without psychology. There is information out there about coaching tactics for personality and temperament (Brett Bartholomew), neurological profiling for program design (Christian Thibaudeau) , and targeting neurotransmitters for adherence.
These can be important considerations for training and coaching, however humans are extremely complex and there is always a deeper level. When you interact with others, that deeper level may include understanding how trauma can manifest itself in the body.
We all interact with people who are in pain (not just...
When we leave the academic system we know how to speak a certain language using specific words based upon a curriculum (most likely outdated). In relation to specific degrees such as Exercise Science the curriculum is based upon an accreditation program, guidelines, or certification. In many Exercise Science or Strength and Conditioning programs these include:
There are specific terms and definitions utilized within an overarching language of these structured curriculums. Language involves a method of communication by structuring the words in a...
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