Bad Trainers Revisited

Posted: August 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

A great article was published in T Nation in regards to bad trainers. The article was insightful, thought-provoking, and direct. As good as it was, I feel it missed a lot of key aspects that make a trainer, “bad”. I hope to shine light on the most common areas that make a trainer terrible at their job. Before you dive in, here is the link if you would like to read the article I am referring to:  http://www.t-nation.com/training/how-to-tell-when-a-trainer-sucks.

Before going forward, here is the reason why I chose to write this article– most trainers suck. I am not saying this with arrogance or a pompous tone.  I am saying this based on my nine years of working with different trainers in a variety of different gyms. With that being said, here are the areas I feel put a trainer in the “suck” category:

1. Being late or not showing up to appointments 

late client

I mean, how hard is it to show up to a scheduled appointment? Apparently, extremely difficult for most trainers. To me, this is a clear sign of a trainer who doesn’t give a s***. A client is paying you to be there, offer an experience, and keep them accountable to their goals. If you cannot even make that appointment, how committed are you to your clients goals? If you are a client and your trainer is constantly late or worse, not showing up, fire their ass.

2. Recycling workouts

recycling-bin

I see this more often than any other offense. A trainer gives every client the same exact workout; there is no individualization or planning. A workout not only needs to be specific towards a clients’ goals, but also to their abilities. Not everyone can do the same things and it’s irresponsible on the trainers’ behalf to assume so. When a client comes to see me, the first thing I do is assess what their current abilities are. After that, I design a workable program that consists of appropriate exercises for them. Recycling workouts usually occurs in the trainers who take on a boat load of clients, and are more into the money-making business rather than the helping- people business.

3. Getting too personal or making the session a social hour

fucked

As trainers, we have to draw our line in the sand and not allow people to cross them. To add to this point, we shouldn’t cross them either. I see trainers divulging their personal lives to their clientele all the time, and it makes me sick. The hour should be about them, and the purpose of the hour is getting the client to their goals. I am not saying you shouldn’t talk; there is nothing wrong with friendly conversation at the appropriate times. I am talking about the trainer talking about their relationships, the s***y day they are having, gossiping, and so on. These are the types of trainers who never get their clients to their goals. Instead, they bank on building relationships, not results.

4. Negligence 

drg

Negligence is something I see in trainers who market themselves as experts, as though they are doctors. If you are not certified in massage, stop massaging your clients.  If you are not certified in stretching or have not taken a class, stop stretching your clients (I will explain why in a bit).  If you are not a health care provider or more specifically, a medical doctor, you should not be giving medical advice…..EVER!!!! Here is why. These are all specialties and require extensive training to be performed effectively and safely. I see trainers ramming their thumbs and tennis balls into clients’ muscles all the time, claiming it will help ease the tension. If you are not familiar with the orientation of muscles and the nerves that innervate them, you will do more harm than good. For example, I witnessed a trainer jamming a tennis ball in a clients rhomboid, for the sake of relieving tension. What the stupid a** didn’t realize is that the dorsal scapular nerve is right underneath the rhomboid, and he was running the risk of impinging the nerve. Secondly, I have witnessed trainers stretch their clients’ shoulders by holding them off the edge of the table with their arm hanging off to the side.  The trainer proceeds to push the trailing arm towards to the floor. This is a horrible position for the shoulder joint to be in, considering the glenohumeral joint is more prone to anterior dislocation. Listen, there is nothing wrong with not knowing everything, but there is with claiming to.

5. No desire to learn

knowledge

A gem I learned from Charles Poliquin is that you have to learn more to earn more. I have a passion for weight lifting, body building, and nutrition. I spend a lot of hours, dollars, and time attending seminars, reading books and listening to lectures. I also surround myself with people who do the same. I am passionate about what I do and I don’t think I will ever stop learning. A continuous thirst for knowledge is what makes a trainer valuable. Unfortunately, some trainers do not care to learn and are content with the little knowledge they have. They think what they know is the best way of doing things, and that anyone who questions them is dumb. These are usually the trainers who put down other trainers, because they are insecure about themselves. They spend most of their time trying to convince their clients they are the best, rather than showing them.

This article is not aimed at putting down anyone, it’s aimed at building awareness. If you are a trainer who happens to fall victim to the above faults, it is not too late. If you care about your clients, business, and integrity, you can still turn things around. Simply do the opposite things that a s***y trainer would do.

The posts I share now will be related to what I am doing to prepare for a photo shoot I am doing in September. I will discuss my meals, supplements, training, and various subjects that might help you with your fat loss endeavors.

 

 Training should always be periodized and broken up by goals. 

The first thing I do when I make a decision on what training goal I aim to achieve, is to map out a plan. I break up my training into cycles. If fat loss is the goal, a cycle can last 3-4 weeks. If strength is the goal, the cycle can last 4-6 weeks. The goal dictates the reps, sets, rest, tempo, and choice of exercises. As you can tell, I leave nothing to chance; I micro manage everything.  Here is what my current 3 week  cycle looks like:

Day 1: Lower Body

A-1: BB Back Squats: 4 sets of 4-6 reps, 50X0 tempo, rest 10 seconds

A-2: DB Walking Lunges: 4 sets of 10 reps each leg, 20X0 tempo, rest 10 seconds

A-3: Petersen Sled Drag: 4 sets of 50 ft, AFAP (as fast as possible), rest 120 seconds

B-1: Lying Leg Curl: 4 sets of 4-6 reps, 50X0 tempo, rest 10 seconds

B-2: RDL’s: 4 sets of 8-10 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 10 seconds

B-3: 45 deg Back Extension: 4 sets of 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 120 seconds

Day 2: Chest and Back

A-1: BB Incline Press: 5 sets of 4-6 reps, 50X0 tempo, rest 10 seconds

A-2: DB Decline Neutral Grip Chest Press: 5 sets of 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 120 seconds

A-3: Neutral Grip Chin up/weighted: 5 sets of 4-6 reps, 50X0 tempo, rest 10 seconds

A-4: Thick Grip Neutral Grip Pull Down: 5 sets of 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 120 seconds

Day 3: Interval Training

Jacob’s Ladder, 4 sets of 3 minutes, rest 90 seconds between sets.

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Arms

AM Workout

A-1: BB Close Grip Chest Press: 5 sets of 4-6 reps, 50X0 tempo, rest 10 seconds

A-2: Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extensions: 5 sets of 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 120 seconds

A-3: Seated DB Zottman Curls: 5 sets of 4-6 reps, 50X0 tempo, rest 10 seconds

A-4: Standing EZ Bar Reverse Curls: 5 sets of 12-15 reps, 3010 tempo (pause at 10 degree’s of elbow flexion), rest 120 seconds

PM Workout

A-1: Single Arm DB Curls on Scott Bench: 6 sets of 3 reps, 80X0 tempo, rest 100 seconds

A-2: V-Bar Dips: 6 sets of 3 reps, 80X0 tempo, rest 100 seconds

Based of how you feel and your recovery, you may not need to perform the PM workout.

Day 6: Accessory Work/Upper

A: Side Lying Powell Raise: 4 sets of 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 90 seconds

B: Hi Cable Chest Fly: 4 sets of 12-15 reps, 3030 tempo, rest 90 seconds

C: Seated DB External Rotation w/ Elbow on Knee: 4 sets of 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 90 seconds

D: Seated Reverse Fly: 3 sets of 20 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 90 seconds

Note: Because of the high volume of  pressing, anterior deltoid work will not be necessary. The prime focus on this day is focusing on areas of the shoulder that are not getting direct work during the week.

 

As you can see, my training is dialed in. I will follow this for 3-4 weeks with the 3rd week being a de-load week. I will post videos of the actual workouts being performed, so you can get an idea of what the exercises are. I will save the topic of nutrition for my next article.

 

Posted: January 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

This is a bit late, considering I performed this workout on Friday of last week. But with the holidays, it has been hard getting in front of my computer. This workout was brutal and probably the most mentally demanding. Maybe because it was the last workout of the week and I was drained from the previous workouts. Here it is.

Wave Loading Front Squat

A: BB Front Squat: 6 sets of 8, 6, 4, 8, 6, 4 reps. 40X0 tempo, rest 180 seconds.

I used lifting straps to help with the front rack position. I will post a video shortly of the technique. It makes it easier to support the load for heavier loads and higher reps. It is also easier on the wrist and fingers as well.

B-1: Inertia Squats: 4 sets of 6-8 reps, 22X0 tempo, rest 90-120 seconds

B-2: Toes Pointed In Leg Curls: 4 sets of 6-8 reps, 50X0 temp0, rest 90 seconds.

C-1: Seated Leg Curls: 3 sets of 10-12 reps, 30X1 tempo, rest 60 seconds.

C-2: 45 Degree Back Extensions: 3 sets of 10-12 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 60 seconds.

The volume was really high for this workout and I also introduced different exercises as well. I will post a video this Friday of the workout.

DAY 3 OF WAVE LOADING CYCLE.

Posted: December 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

This is the workout I have been looking forward to all week, mainly due to the fact it has arm work in the workout. This workout is centered around the pull up. I must say as a disclaimer that I performed 50 strict chin ups after Muay Thai on Monday night, so I was pretty sore. Enough banter, here’s the workout.

Pull

A: Neutral Grip Chin Up: 6 sets of 8, 6, 4, 8, 6, 4 reps, 40X0 tempo, rest 180 seconds.

B-1: Weighted Dips: 4 sets of 8-10 reps, 40X0 tempo, rest 90 seconds. I used 30 lbs. between my legs for this.

B-2: Incline DB Curl: 4 sets of 8-10 reps, 40X0 tempo, rest 90 seconds.

C-1: OH Rope Tricep Extensions: 3 sets of 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 75 seconds.

C-2: Straight Bar Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 75 seconds.

I was pretty wrecked for this workout. I performed this on Thursday and the holiday spread did anything but optimize my performance.

Pre-Workout

I just had a Rockstar energy drink with this new supplement I am trying out called Ciltep, http://naturalstacks.com/products/ciltep, just in case your interested in trying. Anything that increases brain function will increase your workout drive and performance. I am always experimenting with new supplements and let me say this, most of them don’t work. Just in case you care, here is the supplements I take.

Transdermal Cream

Dermacrine

Progestacare

Topical Magnesium

TestoPlex

I prefer topical over orals when it comes to things that support hormone function. I actually use these supplements to help with sleep. It may seem like a lot but the topical’s last longer than oral versions.

Oral Supplements

Pregnenlone (Allergy Research)

T-150 (Xymogen)

B-6 Complex (Pure Encapsulations)

Magnesium Glycinate (Pure encapsulations)

Hope this helps. I have decreased the amount of supplements I use in the last year. I try to get most of my needs met with food.

 

I am definitely on the right track with this new cycle that I am on. I woke up sore in all the right places. Before going forward with what I did in the gym today, I would like to say a few things. This is a great cycle for promoting strength and developing work capacity. A lot of individuals, especially body builders, tend to favor high volume throughout the year. High volume is necessary for hypertrophy, but eventually, your results will stagnate. This cycle will give a slight pump, but it is not the focus of the program. Building strength is the missing link in most gym goer’s arsenal. Increases in relative or absolute strength increases hypertrophic potential in two ways; one, it will recruit fast twitch muscle fibers that won’t get recruited with standard high volume cycles. secondly, by increasing overall strength, you can use heavier loads when you switch back to a high volume cycle. Heavier loads= greater tension placed upon a muscle.

Here is today’s workout:

A: BB Incline Chest Press, Mid grip: 6 sets of 8, 6, 4, 8, 6, 4 reps. 40Xo tempo, rest 180 seconds.

Loads: 8 x 165 lbs. 6 x 175 lbs. 4 x 185 lbs. 8 x 170 lbs. 6 x 175 lbs. 2 x 185 lbs. I bonked out the last working set. I know once my sleep improves, my strength numbers will be more consistent.

B-1: DB Flat Bench, Neutral Grip: 4 x 8-10 reps, 40X0 tempo, rest 90 seconds. (60 lbs. each hand)

B-2: Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 4 x 8-10 reps, 40X0 tempo, rest 90 seconds. (155 lbs.)

C-1: Pec Dec Rear Delt Fly: 3 x 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 75 seconds. (85 lbs.)

C-2: Cable Single Arm Row: 3 x 12-15 reps, 30X0 tempo, rest 75 seconds. (55 lbs.)

Loads felt more accurate than my loads for the lower body. I will increase the sets and decrease the rest as I increase my work capacity.

Pre-Workout Meal

I just had 12 oz. of orange juice and 1 scoop of protein powder in the morning. I had a green apple slush from Quickly last night, so I was not worried about low glycogen levels for today’s workout.

Post Workout

6 dates and 2 cans of smoked oysters. I am trying to improve my copper and zinc levels, so this is where I choose to get it from. As my workouts become more challenging, I will use ice cream post workout with steak. Just based off of preference.

I am now back in full gear and ready to dominate. I have taken a 4 month hiatus from working out due to some health issues and now I am ready to hit it hard. I will be documenting the cycle, loads, rest and diet for each cycle. Feel free to use the following cycle for yourself as well.

Wave Loading.

Wave loading is a cycle that uses different loads and reps from workout to workout. The idea is to challenge the body by cycling intra workout intensities. You will start with higher volume/medium intensity and work up to low volume/ high intensity. I have used this form of training with fighters coming off of lay off’s to boost relative strength and work capacity. I picked assistant exercises based off of my own weaknesses and it also helps add volume. Well, enough rambling, here it is.

Workout 1/Wave cycle-8,6,4,8,6,4

A: BB Back Squat: 6 sets of 8, 6, 4 x2, 40X0 temp0 (this order of numbers to the lay person pretty much means lower your self for a 4 second eccentric), rest 180 seconds.

Loads for A: 8x 165 lbs. 6x 185 lbs.  4x 205 lbs. 8x 175 lbs. 6x 195 lbs. 4x 215 lbs. The weights felt good but my capacity is really low. I will definitely starting my 8 reps at 180 lbs. in week 3.

B-1: DB walking lunges: 4 sets of 8 reps each leg, X0X0 (as explosive as possible), 45 lbs. rest 90 seconds

B-2: Lying Leg curls: 4 sets of 6-8 reps, 40X0 tempo, 130 lbs. rest 90 seconds

I will use much heavier weight for the lunges next week, probably 60 lbs. I will also decrease the rest each week to raise work capacity.

C-1: Poliquin Step up: 3 sets of 20 reps, 20X0 tempo, rest 90 seconds

C-2: Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets of 20 reps, 2010 tempo, rest 90 seconds.

My quads were fried by the time I got to the step ups. I will use 20 lbs. next week but did not use weight for this workout. I will also decrease the rest as well.

The workout felt good and tomorrow will be a wave cycle centered around the Incline Chest Press.

Morning Nutrition

I actually dropped the low carb lifestyle I was on because it wrecked me and my recovery. I try to hit anywhere from 250-300 grams of carbohydrates a day. I just had 12 oz. of orange juice, 1 scoop of Jay Rob’s protein mix (25 grams of protein), 1 Tbsp. of sugar, 1/8 tsp. of Celtic Sea Salt and some coffee. I used a rockstar energy drink for Preworkout. My main source of carbohydrates comes from fruits (dates, OJ, cooked apples, berries and grapes) and rice. You do not want to train with low glycogen, especially if you are trying to increase lean mass.