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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 03-25-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
Steven Quadros
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Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

Hey all, is anyone here a personal trainer? I am one at a globo gym, and quickly losing my patience. Today, among other things, I was told to "forget everything I've ever read" about fitness, because it was all worthless inside that gym. I need to start people off on things like the nautilus leg press because there are people who can't squat- not even in a shortened range of motion. I argued that everyone needs to sit or go to the bathroom, to which I was told that some people use diapers and others still go to the bathroom standing up into a bucket.

The company is big on NASM and bosu balls, and swiss balls. I guess my question is for trainers here who use crossfit.

What would some of you use to train people who were so weak, old, injured, fat, or otherwise physically untrained that you had to start at square one with them while still not giving in to making them use a ton of machines and doing silly swiss ball movements?

I'm basically hoping to avoid having to quit my job, because I love working with people, but hate all this silly bullhooey that I'm supposed to use to "sell myself." If I can't sell myself being straight up and honest about what I believe, I'd rather be in another industry.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:05 AM   #2
Daniel Schmieding
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

As an affiliate, I don't face the same problem as you, so I don't have a direct answer to your question.

That being said, it sounds like you're at the wrong gym.
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:17 AM   #3
Dave Gibbs
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

Steven.
Globogyms are businesses pure and simple, they are there to make money, not help anyone.
Ultimately it comes down to you, and your personal standards. I worked in the industry at a senior levl for many years and eventually just could not look at myself in the mirror anymore.
just be true to yourself and you will do whats right for you.. thats all that matters
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:59 AM   #4
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

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Originally Posted by Daniel Schmieding View Post
That being said, it sounds like you're at the wrong gym.
Agreed!
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:31 AM   #5
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

I think about your question a lot, because I'm working more and more (nutrition and weight loss counseling) with people who are very overweight. After a few weeks working on diet, I introduce activity and the gym.

In thinking through how to construct workouts for extremely deconditioned folks, I try to think about the principles of Crossfit that make it so effective, and then build them in to very simple routines.

I try to incorporate activity that:
1. Uses the whole body
2. Are functional movements
3. Can be executed safely but the intensity can be manipulated through weight, reps, or time.

So some of things I have in my scheme include:
1. Pushups (from pushing off the wall to full pushups)
2. Pullups (from pulling on the Woody bands while standing, to the full gamut of pullup scales)
3. Squats: if only up and down from a chair all the way to full weighted squats
4. Overhead work: from just lifting arms overhead with full ROM to presses and push-presses
5. Walking up stairs
6. Getting DBs (or a light bar) from the ground (DL) to overhead. Walking with the DBs overhead for a length, repeat.
7. Farmer's walk with weights as light as necessary.
8. Throwing a ball back and forth
9. Ball slams with as light a ball as needed
10. Step-ups onto as low a step as needed
11. Deadlifts---with DBs if necessary.

I'm sure there's tons more but incorporating these types of exercises into workouts for the very deconditioned can be creative and rewarding, and most of 'em can be done at a globogym, I think.

Susie
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:34 AM   #6
Andrew G. Greenberg
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

hi, i am a trainer at a globo-gym, and i have many overweight clients. there is a ton of stuff you can do with them: planks, knee pushups, pull-ins, assisted pullups, swings, deadlifts with a DB, etc. i have them simulate rowing on the seated row. high pulls with the little bars. overhead half squats with the dowel. bear crawls.

the NASM stuff is OK for a warmup but you can do better for the actual workout.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:13 AM   #7
Robert Casella
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

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Originally Posted by Steven Quadros View Post
Hey all, is anyone here a personal trainer? I am one at a globo gym, and quickly losing my patience. Today, among other things, I was told to "forget everything I've ever read" about fitness, because it was all worthless inside that gym. I need to start people off on things like the nautilus leg press because there are people who can't squat- not even in a shortened range of motion. I argued that everyone needs to sit or go to the bathroom, to which I was told that some people use diapers and others still go to the bathroom standing up into a bucket.

The company is big on NASM and bosu balls, and swiss balls. I guess my question is for trainers here who use crossfit.

What would some of you use to train people who were so weak, old, injured, fat, or otherwise physically untrained that you had to start at square one with them while still not giving in to making them use a ton of machines and doing silly swiss ball movements?

I'm basically hoping to avoid having to quit my job, because I love working with people, but hate all this silly bullhooey that I'm supposed to use to "sell myself." If I can't sell myself being straight up and honest about what I believe, I'd rather be in another industry.

I'm a master peronal trainer at a reputable health club and my adivice is be yourself. Honesty always wins the selling war. There's nothing wrong with having different training methods. It will make you stand out from the other "old school" trainers that preach bodybuilding techniques as the key to fitness. You can modiy most exercises for any population or demographic. Once the members at "Globo" see your techniques, you're sure to gather some buzz and attract clients.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:52 AM   #8
Steven Quadros
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

Wow, thanks for all the amazing replies everyone; I'm certainly surprised that a midnight rant garnered such attention from some great people.

I am working at the wrong gym; unfortunately, it's a job, and it's related to what I want to be doing, as well as a great way to start working with people who are literally funnelled to me looking for help. The bad part, as everyone has hit upon, is that it's all about numbers, and my manager is, quite literally, an idiot. He doesnt' want me to train people, he wants me to give them "progressions that will keep them my client." To me, that sounds like a sales tactic, not a training tactic. I want them to be able to leave me and work out, and if that makes me a ****ty trainer, so be it, though, to be honest, I will also have shown them the value, by introduing variety and being motivating and fun, of a personal trainer.

It's not me to start someone on a stupid easy, and quite useless exercise like the leg press (according to the boss, even regular squats are hard on the knee, even if done with a 2 inch range of motion) so that I can "progress" them to eventually doing standing airsquats- in three months time mind you, according to him- and tell them "look what a good trainer I am, I got you from there to here." That's horrible, and I will not whore out my good intentions in any way, shape or form to maintain clients. If it costs me a living in this business, or my job at that club, so be it, there are more important things.

That being said, there might legimately be a reason I'd have to use the leg press, though I really doubt I'll find anyone who can't sit back in a chair.

I'm thinking about transfering clubs because of how pugnacious my manager was; outright telling me to forget about reading SS, PP, all the info I've gotten from working out myself, observing others, and reading this board and many others, especially since I know a few other managers who would like to have me aboard, even though I'm brand new to the company and industry.

Thank you all for listening to me ranting, the voracity with which I type is telling me that this is good to get off of my chest; four years studying English has taught me that sometimes writing can be more therapeutic than talking.

Finally, and please feel free to tell me if I'm asking too much, but how to you introduce variety into workouts without straying from some of the really useful moves? My basic plan was to scale and alter some CF workouts and use them on my clients, since many of them just need to get moving, and the workouts are quite varied, interesting, and, if scaled appropriately, challenging on all levels.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:02 AM   #9
George Mounce
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

The globogym business model is based on the premise that people don't get fit.

Have you been to the certs? I watched 60 people (including myself) get destroyed by medicine balls. I then got back home and had my employees learn the medicine ball clean and jerk through the same progressions and had them do 20. They were worked out afterwards - with very little weight!

The basic skills are most important in the beginning, correct technique is essential. I'd start just about everyone off right there.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:13 AM   #10
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

Even just varying the parameters, but doing the same exercises, makes a different workout.

For example, you can do Cindy AMRAP in 20 min; or you can do rounds of 5 pullups/10 pushups/15 squats 20 rounds for time; you can do Cindy in rounds of 1 pullup/ 2 pushups/ 3 squats, 2 pullups, 4 pushups, 6 squats, etc. up to whatever number you want and then ladder down again (for time);

you can row a 2k as fast as you can
you can row as far as you can in 7, 7:30, 7:45, 8 minutes;


I remember the first "Crossfit" workout Jason had me do. I walked into the weight room and he said, "don't talk don't ask questions just do what I tell you" and he moved me through a 30 minutes weight circuit (on the machines) alternating with walking lunges and step-ups onto the bench that left me on the floor gasping and sweating when we were through. I thought I was gonna die, but it was the beginning, and it took place in a typical weight room.

I hope you find a more suitable work environment and can fully enjoy your work, but until then, if you apply the principles that are the foundation of Crossfit workouts, you can give your clients good training with what's available.

Good luck!

Susie
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