Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Differences in training

I’m actually typing this at work because I don’t have the time to blog at night anymore. I get home, cook dinner, stretch, do abs, unpack my gym bag, pack my gym bag, pack my lunch, eat dinner, & go to bed. Not necessarily in that order but close enough.

I’ve been getting up to go to the gym for a solid week now. I’m really surprised how much I like it. I feel accomplished. Tired but accomplished.

This week I’m working out with my friend, Leanne, who has recently been working on her personal trainer certification through the continuing ed office at the community college (she doesn’t know who she’ll be certified by—don’t ask). The organization she is working with requires that she work 20 hours with a certified/experienced trainer. She’s working with this guy Ernie.

Yesterday I was doing side lying rear delt flyes, (Wendy, I assumed this was the same as what we did together). Ernie came over & asked Leanne if I had had a shoulder injury; she told him yes. He told her that he better not ever see her doing them! He proceeded to tell her that I shouldn’t be doing them after being discharged from p.t.; that the rotator cuff is not a strength bearing muscle & that working it would only cause more damage.

Today I was doing alternating lunges (I was supposed to do side lunges but brain farted). While I was doing them Leanne told me that Ernie doesn’t like people doing them because it’s not a natural movement; that the forward motion is always done with too much impact. He told her that there are no sports that require that kind of move; that its an unnatural move; blah, blah, blah. I was thinking about it & thought, um, a baseball player (for one) lunges for a ball all the time. I told her that. She shrugged.

I moved on to leg extensions…doesn’t like those either. Says that the pad at the feet puts too much pressure on the ankles & limits the range of motion in them. I know Alwyn & Lou don’t like machines but I’m not using many either so whatever.

I’ve had enough experience myself to know that I’m not happy with the stuff he is teaching her; I’ve never heard anyone say the things I’m hearing from him (through her). I’ve read enough to know that the rotator cuff is an area that needs to be protected. My physical therapy tech had me doing those same exercises & advised to keep doing them forever…

We talked about it a little about the difference in what different personal trainers will teach you. That I’ve read 4 or 5 different books that all have these same exercises in them & not a single one that says anything like what he is saying. He calls himself a “scientific” personal trainer. WTF is that?

It will be interesting to see what those of you that “know” stuff &/or are trained have to say about this.

As a side note: So I’m not sharing my workouts with her—we’re just working at stations close together. But I had to laugh because she thought she wanted to do what I’m doing because she’s impressed with the changes I’m making but then won’t do half of the exercises because Ernie doesn’t like them (hear the sarcasm).

I did legs today—heavier & heavier every time! Time was getting short so I only did 30 minute steady state on the bike. I wanted to do more but needed to get to work. Tomorrow is chest & hard abs; the kind that made my muscles hurt when I sneezed a couple of hours later.

I’m getting through the Wharton Stretch Book. Actually going to work through some tonight. I didn’t go through the headache of the 2 hour flexibility test. I’ll be able to tell if my flexibility improves without that.


Laura said...

I think Ernie is a chucklehead. The exercises you mentioned certainly are not appropriate for everyone, but executed properly they are not unsafe. I do forward lunges with at least half my clients, and I consider them very useful for improving performance in a number of sports as well as activities of daily living. Think about what happens when you run, or even when you walk down stairs--you're absorbing a lot of force every time the front leg lands. Alternating front lunges help teach good landing mechanics.

If a client is very overweight or has poor balance I agree that forward lunges might not be a good choice. For that person I might suggest step-ups onto a low box, or split squats holding on to a barre to aid balance and reduce workload.

Doin the Math said...

Ernie is why I don't like *most* personal trainers. If you're new, like Leanne, you don't know you've been stuck with an Ernie, until you have had a Laura or Wendy to compare him to. So you end up with these ideas that you think are fact because someone with letters after their name told you so. :(

WTG on sticking to your early a.m. routine! I hear you on the night routine. I get home between 5:15-6:00 depending on errands, and bedtime is 8:00. Cook, wash, lay out clothes, bed. I've actually started staying up til 9:00 in an effort to spend more time with J, but it makes me sleepy.

Wennndy said...

There are reasons to argue for or against every freaking exercise on the face of the planet. At least Ernie reads about training, I'll give him that. I don't know how much time he actually has spent doing hands-on training, though. It's through watching the body in motion and actually DOING exercises and workouts yourself that you learn important things about clients, IMO.

So, my underlying thought is: blahblahblahblahblah, Ernie. You are showing off for Leanne with your Extensive Knowledge and want to keep her confused so you can remain like Confucius.

When it comes to lunges, I specifically choose the lunge I want clients to do based on what I'm trying to accomplish. Or what they are capable of. Or what we did the previous workout. Or, sometimes, I admit it, what mood I'm in that day. Of course, I would NEVER give a client a specific lunge if they couldn't do it safely.

Do you notice how the leg extensions come at the very END of the workout? That's because we've blasted the hell out of your legs with compound movements before then (yeah, mostly quad-centric exercises but still compound), and now it's time to finish toasting the quads with a specific isolation exercise.

And you are doing that isolation exercise because you want some very specific physique changes. Yes? Yes! :)

Curious: How bent are your elbows in the rear delt raises?

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