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-   -   Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry (https://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=29479)

Steven Quadros 03-25-2008 08:13 PM

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.

Daniel Schmieding 03-26-2008 12:05 AM

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.

Dave Gibbs 03-26-2008 01:17 AM

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

Anthony Bainbridge 03-26-2008 03:59 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
[QUOTE=Daniel Schmieding;280095]That being said, it sounds like you're at the wrong gym.[/QUOTE]

Agreed!

Susie Rosenberg 03-26-2008 04:31 AM

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

Andrew G. Greenberg 03-26-2008 05:34 AM

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.

Robert Casella 03-26-2008 06:13 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
[QUOTE=Steven Quadros;280017]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.[/QUOTE]


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.

Steven Quadros 03-26-2008 06:52 AM

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.

George Mounce 03-26-2008 07:02 AM

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.

Susie Rosenberg 03-26-2008 07:13 AM

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

Mark Miller 03-26-2008 07:29 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Steven I worked at a gym which was only concerned about $$$$. Everytime they tried to get me to follow their programming I went along with the initial "training class" and then as soon as I was with my client I was back to having them doing squats with pvc pipe, and attempting pullups. Last time I checked you are the trainer. Train your clients as you see necessary to get them to lose the weight and increase their functionality. Ditch the balls and stability disk and get them moving, lots of movement. Least we not forget the diet portion. You may not be a nutritionist and prescribe a diet but you can look at what they are eating and tell them what is crap and what isn't.

My 2 cnents.

Steven Quadros 03-26-2008 08:43 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
I love this community, you guys are singlehandedly saving my faith in this industry. Please keep the replies coming, as this is already a source of encouragement for me, and might be for other trainers.

I learned yesterday that sometimes I just need to shut my mouth, show the management that I can do what they want me to do, and then just do what I need to do to get my client happy and healthy, as well as keep me from feeling like a cheap salesman and regurgitator of horrible information.

Rohan Sookdeo 03-26-2008 09:23 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Steven,
I am by no means a trainer. But I have been that guy who wanted to lose lots of weight and have better health. So I am going to give a customers perspective. I went to a gym for about 4 months at my college which was populated by machines. I Ran the ellipticals, used all the machines. and saw no results. I got discouraged and stopped. I made time for everything else because if i don't see results its not worth it. I was discouraged for years till i looked in the mirror one day and wondered what the hell happened. I started the "mens health" routine and saw some progress but then it stopped. this time I was determined and found crossfit and read a few of Dr. Sears Books. I could not do a pullup or even deadlift half my bodyweight. Now I can do pullups and dl more than my body weight. I saw progress and continued and the results are still coming (I started cf a little over 9 months ago and have lost 65 lbs went from waist size 38-40 to 34).

I have alot of freinds who have attended globo gyms and do the latest and greatest diet and never see results then they waste money by not going to the gym because they get discouraged and put on more weight. They are slowly coming to me for advice.

Use yourself as a walking billboard. And give the customer what they deserve once one customer sees results and they continue working with you, they will tell a freind and the chain begins. Then if you decide to venture out on your own and become an cf affiliate those customers will more than likely follow because they saw results. Recommend they read The Zone or Visit the website in the in the first week because as I found nutrition is key. It for some people can be a drastic change from the norm. Because its not only a physical thing but mental as well so you may have to ease them into it (dont want to break them). But as so many on this forum can attest to its a lifestyle change that will only help.

Following the Globo gym model is the worst thing you can do if you want to continue working in the fitness field. In the long run the customer loses money, ambition and faith in you as a trainer. You lose a customer as well as your reputation is being compromised.
Hope this helps
CF + The Zone = Results

Matt Thomas 03-26-2008 09:46 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
[QUOTE=Steven Quadros;280207] 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. [/QUOTE]

I'd start looking for a new gym just in case. A good friend of mine used to be a trainer at Gold's and he thought a lot like you. He wanted to be a good trainer, not a good salesman and people liked that. Only problem is if you get too many clients one month I guess you don't really have time to train many new ones the following month. So they fired him. If you become too good at training people you might not be welcome there for very long. I'd check around for a gym that actually embraces fitness.

Michele Weeks 03-26-2008 11:02 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Steven,
I'm a personal trainer, but have never worked for a McGym. I've always worked for myself and truly believe you can get a full workout using your own body and simple equipment. I train my clients in their homes. Then I found CrossFit, a philosophy that meshes with my own, about 1 month ago.

I've always used the basic CF exercises (not knowing they were CF) with my clients -- everyone of them doing squats, lunges, pushups, etc. -- regardless of body type or fitness level. All of these exercises can be modified to keep it suitable and interesting. As you probably see with yourself and I certainly find with myself -- I love the challenge of learning a new exercise, getting better at it, building confidence with it, and then aiming towards perfection. Mastery builds confidence which allows your client to want to build upon what they have become good at. CrossFit is a never-ending learning process. I don't think you'll have a problem coming up with new things to keep it interesting.

Good luck with your clients. I know you'll do a great job for them.
Michele

Michele Weeks 03-26-2008 11:03 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Steven,
Have you checked out CrossFit Brooklyn at the Lyceum?

Looks like a great facility and you'll find lots of like-minded trainers.:)

Michele

Steven Quadros 03-26-2008 11:08 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Wow, Rohan and Michele, you guys are incredibly encouraging! I'm definitely not going to give in, though I will practice shutting up and saying "yes, I understand" when my fool of a boss "demonstrates" things to me.

Matt, I will definitely be looking for another job too, though the club in which I work has me starting at a level where I don't really have to train more than a few people right now, and ramping that up as I progress. They also tend to have a lot of new members joining, so customers shouldn't be a problem. That being said, I hate the philosophy enough to realize this is not the place I'll be working for the rest of my life, so I'm constantly looking for new opportunities, especially with trying to incorporate my love for writing with my love of fitness.

Thanks for the replies! Keep them coming!

Steven Quadros 03-26-2008 11:10 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
[QUOTE=Michele Weeks;280341]Steven,
Have you checked out CrossFit Brooklyn at the Lyceum?

Looks like a great facility and you'll find lots of like-minded trainers.:)

Michele[/QUOTE]

I am definitely going to check out CF Brooklyn; the problem is, however, that I need a job, not an expense. I doubt that they have either the extra income or the desire to hire someone brand new to the fitness industry, even though I'm almost obnoxiously driven. That being said, one never knows until they try, so I'll give them a visit and see what comes of it.

Matt DeMinico 03-26-2008 12:01 PM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
[QUOTE=Steven Quadros;280017]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.[/QUOTE]

Just tell the boss "yes sir, will do sir" and do what you know needs to be done.

That being said, people who are so incredibly either fat or weak that they can't do even the most basic things (like do anything resembling a squat), you are not training them, you are rehabbing them. And there's specific tools for those, and personally, if someone were THAT bad, I'd send them to a physical therapist first, and let them deal with their issues, then when they're able to at least move their body in some semblance of a real motion, then you can start training them.

Kevin Perry 03-26-2008 03:38 PM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Hence why im going into business for myself.. so few gyms that actually care for health and wellness over money.

Steven, have you thought about slowly training people outside the gym in their own homes or at a nearby park? a lot of Affiliates actually start out that way.

Andrew H. Meador 03-27-2008 01:44 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Take your soul back and quit your job. You're smart and passionate enough to land on your feet. Good luck.

Steven Quadros 03-27-2008 09:09 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Thank you all again for the replies. I think the only thing keeping me here at this job is the fear of not having a job. As I see it, I've only worked with a few people, which is not exactly something that would have me raking in clients. nor do I have the equipment to train others. Seeing as I'm lacking the experience and the equipment, I think it would be prudent to use the club in which I work for all it's worth, suck it up, and get some experience working with a wide variety of clients, and then leave when I have something I could put on my resume and help me pay for a good cert from the NSCA.

This seems to be the most prudent action I could take, one that has me getting paid while doing what I love in the hopes that eventually I'll be able to do what I love on my own terms.

Even some of the other trainers and salesmen there told me to just be myself, successful or not, you'll be the best salesman indirectly if you are just true to yourself. Lucky for me, as that's always been my plan. I'm no nonsense in how I address myself (most of the time), and I'd like to be that way with clients. I don't want to draw out their business and keep them down, I want these people to get healthy and fit as quickly as they can handle.

Randy Tarasevich 03-27-2008 09:19 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
The Y paid for my entire ACSM cert. Two weeks later I went to a CF cert. (which I paid for). I was the only trainer in the whole place and they quickly tried telling me what was what. I left and never looked back. That was Novemeber 2007. Look where I am now. Just aquired aanother 600 sq. ft. of space to add to my recently opened affiliate. As someone on here told me, its time to blow that popsicle stand bro.

David Stitz 03-27-2008 09:47 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
My sister is a Gold's member and she told me that while she was there the other day she saw on the class schedule that they were teaching a Crossfit class. I don't think it was an actual WOD class as much as it was more about the theory behind Crossfit. Either way I thought it was interesting.

Eva Bigongiari 03-27-2008 03:00 PM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Steven,
It sounds like you work for a 24 Hour Fitness. I used to be a trainer there before I had my baby, and I encountered the same problems. The fitness manager often sets the tone for the training staff. If your FM is all about sales then that's what everyone will be pushing for, but if your FM is about getting your clients results then it won't matter if you throw NASM out the door. I worked under both kinds of managers and working for the former can really suck the life out of you. I hated constantly being asked how many supplements I had sold and how many sessions my clients were going to buy. Sales quotas often stressed me out to the point that it would distract me from designing really good workouts for my clients. I hated getting all these new clients that bought a "Jumpstart" for $50 and not being able to really train them because a "Jumpstart" has a strict protocol of machines only. It boils down to the fact that the gym has all these expensive machines that they would like the trainers to show off. I usually told my "jumpstart" clients that if they really wanted to get results they needed to get off the machines. I took my clients (the ones that had regular training sessions, not a jumpstart) through bodyweight exercise progressions, balance, and flexibility training. (This was all before I found crossfit) The NASM workouts that the computer spit out usually just gathered dust in my clients' files. My managers didn't have a problem with my methods because my clients were happy and were getting results. [B]Clients that get results will buy more sessions with you.[/B] There's no reason to hold them back with ultra-slow progressions. If your sessions are too easy they won't want to come back to you. If your manager has a problem with you training in your own style, then you should switch clubs. Neither of you will be happy with the other in the long run.

Steven Quadros 03-28-2008 10:27 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Eva, firstly, your child is beautiful! Looks as smiley as I've ever seen a baby.

It's not 24 hour fitness, however. It's a company that operates in NY, Philly, Washington, and Boston. I'm giving this guy a chance, but only because the other people on staff agree with my view of him, and are telling me not to sweat things, only to do what he says, smile while doing them, and generally avoid him. Considering our last manager stayed here for 2 months, we might not have to deal with him for too long. If so, I have other managers I could contact for employment away from him that would like me on staff. Sometimes in one's life you just have to grin and bear it, and considering that I cannot support myself without this job, I'll have to deal with it while I find something better.

Jared Ashley 03-28-2008 10:53 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
[QUOTE=Steven Quadros;280017]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.[/QUOTE]

Hey Steven,

I am a trainer at a Globogym, and it definately can be frustrating. I didn't get the treatment you describe, but at the same time I'm not able to simply throw out the 3-day split sales pitch and tell my clients on day one that the guy that just convinced him to buy $5,000 worth of training is an idiot... bad for buisness, bad for the career.

My solution with most clients has been to do 2-3 "normal" excercises using the 3-day split system, but make sure they are good, functional ones... no bicep curls or lat raise machines. For the remainder of the session, usually 10-15 minutes, I'll put them through a crossfit-style workout, although generally it has to be scaled WAAAY back to puppy or buttercup level, sometimes even beyond that.

Most clients have responded positively, saying they feel more worked out and less bored than with other trainers. A few, mostly people who have switched from another trainer and were happy with machines, think I'm an idiot and promptly go back... I find it best to let them go.

I think the best thing to do until you can change clubs is to be as quiet as you can about it... my managers don't care what I'm doing as long as my clients are happy, and honestly it doesn't matter to me if they buy into my training ideas as long as they aren't trying to make changes. The less they know, the less they will try to change. If you have an intrusive, micromanaging type guy in charge, there probably isn't much you can do about it though.

Steven Quadros 03-28-2008 11:02 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
[QUOTE=Jared Ashley;281639]Hey Steven,

I am a trainer at a Globogym, and it definately can be frustrating. I didn't get the treatment you describe, but at the same time I'm not able to simply throw out the 3-day split sales pitch and tell my clients on day one that the guy that just convinced him to buy $5,000 worth of training is an idiot... bad for buisness, bad for the career.

My solution with most clients has been to do 2-3 "normal" excercises using the 3-day split system, but make sure they are good, functional ones... no bicep curls or lat raise machines. For the remainder of the session, usually 10-15 minutes, I'll put them through a crossfit-style workout, although generally it has to be scaled WAAAY back to puppy or buttercup level, sometimes even beyond that.

Most clients have responded positively, saying they feel more worked out and less bored than with other trainers. A few, mostly people who have switched from another trainer and were happy with machines, think I'm an idiot and promptly go back... I find it best to let them go.

I think the best thing to do until you can change clubs is to be as quiet as you can about it... my managers don't care what I'm doing as long as my clients are happy, and honestly it doesn't matter to me if they buy into my training ideas as long as they aren't trying to make changes. The less they know, the less they will try to change. If you have an intrusive, micromanaging type guy in charge, there probably isn't much you can do about it though.[/QUOTE]

What do you mean when you say 2-3 normal exercises? Squats, bench, overhead press, etc? Do you ever use machines?

Have you had to deal with people who were too inflexible to squat, or too weak to do something like Pullups or pushups? I'm trying to think of ways to work people out while coaching them on technique as well. I figure I could open up the session with some technique work on a big lift, then, after that, give them a watered down CF style workout to finish and get them moving.

Jared Ashley 03-28-2008 11:48 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
[QUOTE=Steven Quadros;281644]What do you mean when you say 2-3 normal exercises? Squats, bench, overhead press, etc? Do you ever use machines?

Have you had to deal with people who were too inflexible to squat, or too weak to do something like Pullups or pushups? I'm trying to think of ways to work people out while coaching them on technique as well. I figure I could open up the session with some technique work on a big lift, then, after that, give them a watered down CF style workout to finish and get them moving.[/QUOTE]

Good questions.

"Normal" excercises: Most common ones I use are deadlifts, squats, step-ups (step onto a stair/aerobics step while holding weight), lunges, pushups, standing press, dips, pullups, standing rows, situps, back extensions, leg raises.

LOTS of people too weak for some or all of the above! I use a few machines, gernally as a way to work up to one of the above. Examples:

Pullups: Start with lat pulls, once they can do 75 pounds or so, go to the gravitron until they can do real pullups. No kipping in my gym though, as I don't want to get yelled at.

Pushups: Start against a wall if you have to, gradually move farther from the wall, once they're a foot or so away, have them do pushups on their knees with their hands on a bench. Then on their knees on the floor, then on their toes with hands on a bench, then full pushups. I don't generally bother with bench unless someone can do 20-30 pushups.

Dips: dip machine/gravitron/dips

Squats: Usually this is balance or weak stabilizers. A few people I've had to start with leg press machines, and yes, the occasional leg curl/extension... I hate them, but sometimes it's all they can do. Most people can do step-ups with some weight, even if it's only a 3" step... once they're up to an 8-12" step, their balance is good enough for squats, though usually just partial ROM. At that point you can start adding weight... just have them hold a dumbbell or plate to their chest. Some will never get to the level of a back squat with the bar, but it's pretty neat to see an 80-year-old lady doing 20 squats with a 15-lb dumbell:)

Deadlift: actually, almost anyone who can do a 1/2 ROM squat can deadlift... we have a 30-lb bar that is great for teaching technique. One trick I use is to tell people to lower the bar only to mid-shin, since a bar with 45-lb plates would only go that low anyway. Most big form problems occur when the bar is less than 8" from the floor.

The most advanced clients I will teach power cleans, power snatches, maybe a front squat or OHS... all of the above are tricky, and it's very difficult to teach effectively without using up a lot of a 1/2 hour session.

And I admit occasionally I'm forced almost entirely onto machines... typically because of severe recent injury/surgery or severe obesity. My 450-lb client with an 85-inch waist (no exaggeration here!) is not going to be up to squats or pushups (even wall pushups... belly is too big, arms are too stubby to allow any reasonable ROM), or even going to fit on a bench to do dumbbell bench presses so, well... chest press and leg press machines have to do.

Jared Ashley 03-28-2008 11:56 AM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
[QUOTE=Steven Quadros;281644] I figure I could open up the session with some technique work on a big lift, then, after that, give them a watered down CF style workout to finish and get them moving.[/QUOTE]

Oh, one more thing: a TON of people can only handle 10 minutes or even less of a metcon-type WOD at first. When I started, I thought they just didn't have any willpower, but i'm learning otherwise... some people get worn out before they even break a sweat. go real easy at first, and give a lot of encouragement, even if they're pathetically weak and slow. Once they get used to being fatigued, they'll start pushing harder.

After a month or so, I'll tell someone "ok, it's time to prove that all this crazy stuff is working... I'm going to have you do one of the first workouts you ever did with me and I want you to really try to beat your previous time." Works wonders... it's like something goes off in their head, and real intensity comes from nowhere. Usually they will absolutely slaughter their old time. They'll finish panting and drenched, but you can see the smile and the light in their eyes.

Christian Gotcher 03-28-2008 12:09 PM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
Another option I've been considering (thinking about far future possible job opportunities) is to develop your client base as best you can, teach them good fitness, get referalls, establish yourself as a trainer-who-happens-to-use-Globo-Gym-facilities, and some of them might follow you if you finally choose to leave the gym. It's a little shady in terms of your obligation to the manager, but at the same time, your obligation is both to your employer and your client, and when your employer is cheating your client, you essentially have to pick sides.

David Ristau 03-28-2008 03:25 PM

Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry
 
I'm a trainer in a community rec center {as well as on my own} and my manager sees no problem with 'whatever' I give my clients. I know I'm lucky that way. A couple of things come to mind and may have already been said, but here goes:
Suck it up ~ for now only!!! It's a job, you need to eat. On the other hand, you need to be you and develop your style of training. Be honest to yourself. Can you look for something else while working at this facility? Now you now some more questions when "YOU" interview the next facility manager.

How about starting your own company? You don't need to be a Crossfit affiliate right out of the gate. You'd be surprised where your clients start coming from, I know I am. Right now I'm looking at doing almost all the dry land training for a local hockey association, running conditioning classes at a local high school {that will take a while to develop with internal bureaucracy}. This is not including the individual clients, self defense training, other sports and things popping up.

Good luck.


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