Treadmills, Rowers, and the Bosu: Personal Trainers Need To Stop Sucking

…and how you can stop it in it’s tracks.

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Don’t be sad.

It doesn’t take much, and I promise I am not being condescending, but caring about your craft, the client, their goals, and the effectiveness of the program should probably the utmost priority when servicing them.

Why?

Because my goodness, they paid you money for your time and knowledge and it is a complete disservice for you to take money you didn’t earn because in fact, your time isn’t valuable (as in WHY and HOW is your time more valuable than the next guy/girl who can look the same stuff up on YouTube or Instagram or a Google Search) and you have little knowledge and just passed a test.

Personal training is just that…PERSONAL.

Damnit, why do I see 99% of trainers (not just in big-box gyms) doing the same nonsense?

It goes a little something like this:

Client: Hey Shmo, how are you?

Trainer: Great! Let’s get to work!

{DEEP THOUGHT because there is nothing prepared}

Let’s go to the treadmill and errrmmmm get you warmed up.

[Does 10 minutes of treadmill walking to “warm up”]

NEXT let’s go to the yoga room. Let’s stretch.

[Does 15 minutes of stretching]

NEXT let’s go to the rowing machine…how does that feel?

My God, what are you people thinking?

Did it ever occur to your your client didn’t pay for damn near 30-minutes wasted on the stupid treadmill and rower? Did it not occur to you they could do this low-risk, low-impact, low-learning curve, boring, a-puppy-could-be-trained-to-do-this type work on their own WITHOUT shelling you money?

Clients are coming to you to lose weight, become more mobile, stronger, fast, feel better, so on and so forth…NOT to do the same exact thing they would come to the gym on their own and do because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to press ‘START’ on a treadmill or sit and row.

Let us not forget the stupid Bosu.

For the unteenth time, Bosu balls have little use in the gym setting when the goal is anything above. *Get mad*. The exception would be in a rehabilitation setting. Eric Cressey and Dean Somerset (here & here) both wrote about this in depth…so STOP.

Now that we’ve got that out the way, I bet you’re wondering if I am going to offer you what I offer to my clients because I’m a “know-it-all”…and guess what…you’re right! I WILL lay down my training template WITH some education on how to set it up for yourself and/or your clients for the best results.

First we have to understand how the training program works in relation to the body. You start with the HIGHEST Neuromuscular work and work your way down to the cardiovascular work.

So what do you do?

-Dynamic Warm-Up

The roll of the dynamic warm-up is to simply get your body ready for the session ahead. This is when you get your joints and muscles warmed up to reduce the chances of pulling or tweaking a muscle. It is also a good time to get some weaker muscles more activated.

Like to foam roll? Do it. Squatting that day? Have at it with bodyweight squats. Getting the glutes active? Get some band walks in. There are a TON of things you can do, unloaded, that mimic your movements of the session, that can and should be done.

THAT is a warm up. Not 10 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical. Period.

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After you have gotten through the warm-up, you still have the option*, before you get to the strength work, to work on things like Speed/Agility/Quickness drills, explosive movements (O-Lifts, box jumps, bounds, plyos) to get the nervous system fired up and the muscles ready to work.

Again, this is more so optional, depends on the clients fitness level, and doesn’t even need to be done if it doesn’t aid in reaching said-goal.

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Once you get through your warm-up and reactive work, you then get to the strength training portion aka the meat & potatoes of your training.

-Strength Training

It’s really disgusting how much this is often missed. Need better balance? Strength train. Need to become leaner? Strength train. Want to look better? Strength train. Have to pick up your children easily? Strength train. Want to carry all the groceries in one trip because going to the car 10 times sucks? Strength train.

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She wanted to get lean. She wanted to be strong. She lifts.

Yes, I know, theres more to training than barbells and dumbbells. Well yes and no. For instance, as a bodybuilder (as you ALL are bodybuilders because you are in fact, building your body), I use the TRX for curls, pistol squats, push ups, and other movements as a different stimulus to the muscle I’m training but the movements themselves, is still what Im training. No one says you can’t use suspension trainers or kettle bells or band or chains or sandbags. These are all TOOLS. A tool is only effective when it is used in the proper context using the proper load.

That said, before you even consider using ANY piece of equipment, you have to know what you will be training that particular day to then best effectively train that muscle/movement. For instance, you wouldn’t do shoulder presses using a TRX. That’s silly. You wouldn’t do standing chest presses with a barbell. That’s not the smartest thing in the book and could end up in a lawsuit if you let go and smash someone in the face with it.

Movements are:

  • Vertical push/pull
  • Horizontal push/pull
  • Lunge
  • Squat
  • Hinge
  • Core *if working directly and/or necessity

You must know the client’s (or your) abilities, strengths, and weaknesses as well as time to determine the tools and movements in the program.

NO ONE TRAINER SHOULD BE GIVING THE SAME THING TO ALL HIS CLIENTS AND IF YOU SEE THIS, THAT TRAINER IS NOT EQUIPPED WITH THE TOOLS TO HELP YOU GET TO SAID-GOAL.

Adequate reps, sets, rest, volume, time to train, needs, helps, desires…all go in to a training program.

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After all this, you come near the end.

What to do?

Well a few options.

You can end with cardio (as you don’t start a session with it..why would you get someone super tired before they even lift?)…WHICH is when rowers and treadmills MAY have their place in a program…

or you can stretch them or go over the session or talk basic nutrition concerns for the week.

However, this is the time to attack the secondary stuff…not in the beginning…not in the middle…but in the end.

Quick note by my brotha from another, Nick Tumminello: (Paraphrased) Do not forget about the SAID (Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands) Principle. This means your body will adapt to the stressors placed on it. Whatever needs more work, stay in that area of training a bit longer than other areas but still train accordingly in all aspects.

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I hope this helps any new trainer, current trainer who gives their clients less-than-stellar coaching, and also helps you set up your own program.

Going to the gym without a training plan is like going to an EDM concert. You think it’s cool when you go in and end up hating it more when you leave.

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Personal trainers: STOP with the theft of clients. These people want what we have to offer: confidence in the gym and *perhaps* a body they admire so they want you to teach them how YOU go there while personalizing the experience and training to them and their goals.

You know damn well you didn’t achieve the “fit” look (in this general context meaning some muscle definition and lower body fat %) by hopping on the treadmill, hitting yoga, then hitting the rower…although I have seen many of you use an object that simply doesn’t live up to the hype.

Educate yourself and THAT will make you the industry a much better one and will make you more money.

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Speaking of education, if you have been looking for a trainer who takes your goals seriously, will coach you on your lifts and nutrition and help create the best body you have ever had, I am taking on clients online and if the above resonates with you, I want to hear from you. Apply here for online one-on-one coaching and let’s get to work!

PS (which is really an edit): Selling shakes..asking people to join your team…selling stupid saran wrap…does not make you a coach! STOP calling yourself one.

 

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