Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crappy Trainer Techniques - A series....

Over the past few weeks I've been contemplating writing some non-politically correct blog posts about some stuff I see in the gym that would earn a "Suck Status" for a personal trainer.  I really didn't want to "rant" but the more stupid stuff I see going on at the gym, the harder it is for me to keep my filter shut.

Blogging should be about educating, informing, and getting stuff "off your chest" and that's exactly what this series is intended to accomplish.

I have to admit that I have done some dumb stuff with my clients through the years, and I wish that someone would have pointed out exercises to avoid and beneficial movements to include in my programming.  I am still learning ways to improve as a trainer and will continue to get better.

I intend on providing my clients and athletes the best training and programming I possibly can, and it annoys me that some trainers are just going through the motions and are not providing any real education and instruction for their clients.  What's worse is when an exercise is being done wrong and it's completely ignored because of a trainer that is too lazy to actually  "teach" something.
"Now give me 2 minutes on the elliptical so we can  burn  some fat!" 
When I first started personal training the Internet wasn't thriving with information, so a lot of my learning came from trial and error.  It amazes me that with all of the "good" information and advice that a trainer can attain from reading various articles and blogs of some of the most successful people in the fitness industry, some trainers think they know it all and chose to ignore the opportunity to increase their knowledge.

The real "loser" here is the paying client.  Most clients don't realize they are getting ripped off during their training session.  For most people, if they break a sweat or feel a little "burn" in their thighs they've had a good exercise session.  There is more to a good training routine than being thoroughly exhausted or being sore the next day.

Time to get on with the series.  If your trainer does any of the following, please inquire the purpose and effectiveness of the exercise or protocol.  If you work in a gym or workout in a commercial fitness facility chances are this list is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crappy trainer techniques.

Crappy Trainer Technique #1
Having your client jog for 2 minutes between sets of tricep kickbacks, lateral raises, or another "small muscle exercise".  Basically having your client jog or perform the elliptical between any resistance exercise is somewhat pointless.  As Jason Ferruggia stated many times, "It Ain't Strength Training Unless You Are Getting Strong".  Throwing in an obscure cardiorespiratory exercise between a set of a resistance exercise will deplete your energy system even further and there will be insufficient recovery to achieve any sufficient strength gain.

Why do trainers do it?  It appears that some trainers feel that they need to have their clients gasping for air throughout the training session so that the feel like they got an intense workout.

Another theory of mine is that the trainer wants to waste time.  Some trainers are not educated enough to teach exercises that actually matter (squats, deadlifts, proper pressing exercises and pulling exercises), so wasting 2 minutes here and there gets the session over without any real teaching or instruction.  It's pretty easy to talk for 2 minutes while a client is on a piece of cardio equipment, but it's hard to correct posture and a deviated movement pattern.

Next blog I will discuss another Crappy Trainer Technique that we see way more often than someone performing curls in the squat rack, stay tuned....

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