Friday, October 17, 2008

Things Every Trainer Should Know & Do, Part 2

So I heard you liked Part 1 and were anxious to ead the rest of my list. MInd you, this list is not "written into stone" as some elitist would sell it to you as, it is simply compiled from my experience of training over 300+ clients and managing 25+ trainers over the years. Read on and feel to free to comment.

…name at least 3 top fitness experts or their work (which you’ve hopefully read). It disheartens me when I have a conversation with some trainers who have been in the field for a number of years, and they do not recall any of the sources that I cite in my programs or articles. For instance, by now you should know who Michael Boyle, Stuart McGill, Juan Carlos Santana, or Alwyn Cosgrove is. You should know or have read some of the written materials that they have produced to help reassure that your programming is up to date. Books like “Functional Training for Sports”, “Athletic Body in Balance”, “Low Back Disorders: Evidence-based Prevention and Rehabilitation”, “Starting Strength (2nd edition)”, and “Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes” should be on your “to read” list. Among the hundreds of resources available today, it is important to continue the learning process from those that are more learned than you. The internet has enabled users to obtain information from millions of resources across the world—albeit the more important it becomes to make sure that the resources you do use to acquire additional info comes from reliable and trusted sources. Here are a couple of good websites that are worthy of your valuable time to gain more info:;,

…maintain a minimum client load of 10-12 sessions per week. I know, it doesn’t seem like much, but it ensures that you are serious about your career. Keeping a dozen people happy is harder than keeping 3 people happy and easier than keeping 25 happy. So 12 is a well-rounded goal to meet for a minimum. Most trainers that work part-time, typically stay in the field”part-time”. Trainers who dabble with fewer client hours or typically work another 40-hour week job (not fitness related) tend to not fully grasp the on-going learning process; lack program creativity; and tend to miss client sessions or be tardy at them. If you are currently under 10-12 hours per week in actual training sessions and you are content with that amount, my advice would be to challenge yourself to learn a new concepts and take your continuing education seriously.

…be able to properly instruct a client to perform the Squat, Deadlift, & Push-up.
Over the years, nothing has been more and more compelling to me than the importance of these three movements. It wasn’t until I really understood why they were important that they became staples in every one of my clients’ programs. When you have a comprehension of human biomechanics and real-life functionality—the role of the squat, deadlift and push-up become clear. These movements help improve the body’s natural locomotive mechanism and assist in the progression of external loading. These movements are translated in everyday life and more often than not, are tattered with poor compensatory patterns and dysfunction. The typical general population client picks his briefcase up every day poorly; or has trouble standing from a seated position; or the simple task of closing a door becomes cumbersome because the over-abundance of joint deficiencies have caused these primal movement patterns to be lost through age, inactivity, atrophy, and injury. The simple, yet effective instruction, of these three exercises can propel a trainer to success—yet, too many trainers view this task as either “too simple and not overly complicated” so it is skipped in exercise programming for balance and “core work”; or they are not proficient enough themselves in performing them. In either case, if you are a trainer who is not sure how to perform these three movements, I suggest you hire yourself a good fitness trainer and learn them.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, John - I'll have to put those books on my reading list right away -


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