Pages

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Personal Trainer Personalities Part One

I've seen quite a few personal trainers over the years. I've interacted with quite a few too. Over the past few years I've had a few contact me on various social media sites. If you recall at one time I was certified by ISSA, which is recognized by many clubs and institutions. While this lends a certain amount of credibility for some, there are always the college educated ones out there too.

If you've never climbed a difficult peak in a remote setting, you might be able to offer valid training advice.
According to the reputable Mark Rippetoe:
A modern university education is most often an expensive waste of money. Universities compete for students. They do so by developing a reputation students are attracted by, and by offering degree programs they think students will want to pursue, whether they are useful or not, marketable or not, or even legitimate in an academic sense. They host sometimes-successful sports teams, they spend money on beautiful campuses, and they cultivate an academic reputation by hiring faculty who publish in peer-reviewed journals. They seldom cultivate an academic reputation by hiring competent teachers – people who know how to communicate the material to college students, regardless of their publishing history. T-Nation
He goes on to rip on the publishing machine based on irrelevant studies:
So it turns out that as you get tired, the exercise gets harder. And the longer you rest, the easier it gets. Oh, and heavy stuff is harder to lift than light stuff. This is pointless nonsense, assembled for the sole purpose of obtaining a publication credit. But the NSCA actually reviewed this paper and published it in their "research journal."
If you've never trained someone who placed in an International Skyrunning Event you might be qualified to train another with similar goals
He also points out using basic principles of lifting that are hard to dispute, that the electromyograph isn't a reliable indicator of muscle activation and exercise efficacy, though science type people are relying completely on them now. I've read countless articles about how different exercises are garbage or "The One" based on these studies. In fact, you could honestly quote study after study to prove or disprove the exact same point, sometimes even using the exact same studies.

How do I know? Well, for some odd reason I'm troll bait. I post a comment somewhere, and like my Quora Stalker, within the same day I get my entire post ripped apart by someone who obviously has no life and gets to read lots of studies. That level of diligence implies they have no clients as well. Especially when they're in a 3rd World Nation and not in any way competing with me. Same on Facebook. Within the day someone posts results of some study to prove that I'm wrong about something.

If you've never run a marathon, you might not be able to offer valid training advice for one.
One of the ways to convince people you actually know what you are talking about, as discussed by Mark Rippetoe, is to have a lot of paperwork on your wall and know all the different names and angles of all the little tiny ligaments that cause an ankle to move and how to train each and every one of them in isolation for the best effect. Why, after 10 years of solid rehab/prehab work you could be running 15:00 miles. That's encouraging, right?

Another way is if you're a genetic freak and look gorgeous all the time no matter what you do. That can usually be milked into the mid-30's until it all comes back to haunt you. You can say any silly thing and people and clients eat it up. Many of the bodybuilding article ghost writers are completely dependent on these people to front for them. Well, the two of them anyway...

If you've never finished an International Skyrunning Event you might be qualified to train others
Lastly there are the people in the trenches. They've trained enough people to success of one type or another, or they've achieved their own success in some endeavor that they can teach clients how to do the same in similar endeavors. This last category is where I fit in. Yeah, I used to want to chase certificates and even considered going to college to learn more.

I became somewhat cynical over the years and realized that a lot of the mythology out there was to sell supplements and magazines and cult fitness centers. I plugged away with basic lifts and basic cardio methods and eventually formed my own training protocols that helped me achieve my goals.
  • I gained over 14 pounds of muscle and lost over 74 pounds of fat. A net loss of 60 pounds. I have kept it off for 4 years. 
  • I finished the Elbrus Race 2014 Skyrunning Race in the Caucasus of Russia, while Kilian attempted his record. 
  • I trained Elbrus Race 2014 3rd Place Finisher Todd Gilles.
  • I successfully climbed Carstensz Pyramid, one of the most difficult of the Seven Summits in spite of grave injury.
  • I have completed several trail 10k and half marathon events, and one trail marathon.
The list could go on, but the point is that I am here in the trenches going about my business of trying to make myself the best I can be for whatever goal I set my mind on. I would like to help my select group of clients to do the same in those things I feel qualified to help them with. No, I can't prescribe a 3 year rehab program to stabilize some ligament issue during which time they can quit all other forms of working out. But I can work with people on mountaineering goals. I've been there several times.