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

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Old 03-27-2008, 01:44 AM   #21
Andrew H. Meador
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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.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:09 AM   #22
Steven Quadros
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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.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:19 AM   #23
Randy Tarasevich
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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.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:47 AM   #24
David Stitz
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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.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:00 PM   #25
Eva Bigongiari
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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. Clients that get results will buy more sessions with you. 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.
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:27 AM   #26
Steven Quadros
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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.
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:53 AM   #27
Jared Ashley
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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.
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.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:02 AM   #28
Steven Quadros
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

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Originally Posted by Jared Ashley View Post
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.
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.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:48 AM   #29
Jared Ashley
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

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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.
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.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:56 AM   #30
Jared Ashley
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Re: Bullhooey in the Fitness Industry

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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.
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.
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