And with a speech impediment that I am occasionally reminded and self conscious about, I guess I don’t even have a voice for radio either. I have always maintained that I wanted to be the guy in the background. A leader, yes, but in the sense that Robin Sharma (if you do not read any of his work yet… you need to) describes it; a leader without title. Like I posted a month or so back, I choose to be a Ghost in the profession. I got to talk yesterday with one of the best “ghosts” in the business and someone I consider a privilege to work with, Matt Jordan (if you do not read any of his work yet… you need to). Every conversation with him inspires me. Actually a conversation with any of the group from the Sports Centre inspires me.
Some of you may not know, but I was asked to break trend of hiding in the shadows, and did a photo workout article for Impact Magazine. It was a rather simple, 4 exercise article in their annual workout guide. I was asked to give them my four favourite exercises, to which I easily replied, “Cleans, Romanian Deadlift, Push Press and Front Squat.” Boring yes, but four effective exercises. I tend to shy away from things like that, those types of articles. When I read the popular magazines, where they ask the professionals for their go to exercises is usually turns into a contest to see who can come up with the most ridiculous exercise, something so obscure that it proves to the readers that this person is in such fine shape that they would have to train with them. I was extremely please to see that in this Impact Issue, that was not the case. Many of the groups demonstrated the basics. Chris from 2110 had a great shoot; Shawn Hope Ross from National Sport Development did a great shoulder program. The guy from Westside went into a mobility circuit. With the exception of one group this showed me some hope, that the trend to come up with gimmicks may be on the down slope.
The trends for personal training really was, “throw everything you can at your client in the first four sessions. Wow them. Repeat for four more sessions and then scramble to create gimmicks for them if they continue with you.” The trainer then stands there with this disengaged look on their face, checking their test messages while the client does some ridiculous exercise. I assure you if I see that at any place I work, someone is getting called on it. Have I been guilty, yes from time to time, checking a text that is? Ridiculous exercises, yes… years ago.
Ridiculous exercises put our clients at risk for injury or the development of imbalances. Do I need to have a client do push-ups on two upright dumbbells to get “depth” when they cannot perform a push up normally, with solid core contraction? Are squats on an unstable surface necessary when the client exhibits poor glute firing allowing their knees to buckle in when they do a regular body weight squat? See my point? Trainers get caught up with what is on “The Biggest Loser” and other shows of that caliber. They want that wow factor, but usually that “wow” factor leads to a lack of substance in programming. Attention to the details is key in developing a program. And you really cannot screw up the basics; mobility, pushes, pulls, lunge, squat, bend and twist. And guaranteed your clients will see better results with less frustration.
It is time that I go to go back to my cave, hide in the shadows and write a few more boring but effective programs, relieved that those reading the current issue of Impact are receiving some decent workout ideas for this month.
Yours in Health and Performance,
Jeff Osadec, Mikn, CEP, CSCS