What makes a great trainer?
The Personal Training Development Center (PTDC) has a lot of useful, informative articles for personal trainers. Are Personal Trainers Missing the Point is a recent piece with which I agree. The key observation is this:
“The ability to correctly coach exercises is slowly becoming a lost art in the training world, despite that it’s the most fundamental component of being a personal trainer/coach.”
The article advocates for trainers to teach the squat, deadlift, bench press, standing press and pull-up. (I would ad the push-up to the list.) It’s also suggested that trainers learn to teach regressions and progressions of these exercises. These exercises are the essentials. They have been and still are the basic building blocks of effective exercise programs and they offer the most return on investment of a client’s training time. Read the article to learn three steps to becoming a better coach.
Alex Hutchinson writes for Runner’s World and the Running Times. He recently wrote an article called the Science of Recovery. He briefly discusses six methods: antioxidants, jogging (as during a cool down), ice bath, massage, cryosauna and compression garments. Anyone who trains hard–runner or not–may find the article interesting.
Pete Larson at Runblogger.com gives us Do You Pronate? A Shoe Fitting Tale. Here, he describes overhearing a conversation between a confused shoe store customer and the mis-informed employee who tries to educate her on pronation. Contrary to what many of us believe, pronation is not a dire evil problem to be avoided at all costs. Larson says it well:
“The reality is that everybody pronates, and pronation is a completely normal movement… We might vary in how much we pronate, but asking someone if they pronate is like asking them if they breathe. I’d actually be much more concerned if the customer had revealed that no, she doesn’t pronate. At all. That would be worrisome.”
If you’re a runner then I highly suggest you learn about the realities of pronation.
- Always start with the builders. Do not start with the main lift.
Examples: Floor press, box squat. Sets: 3-5. Reps: 3-5.
- Move to supplemental exercises — exercises that build the builders.
Examples: 2-board press, safety-bar close-stance squat. Sets: 3. Reps: 5-8.
- Accessories — Either muscle-based (for size) or movement-based (for strength). Use supersets and tri-sets, as needed.
Examples: DB presses, biceps curls. Sets: 3. Reps: 10-20.
- Rehab/Pre-hab — Whatever you need, nothing more or less. Examples:
External rotation, face pulls. Sets: 2-3. Reps: 20-30.