The new prototype of trainer must understand movement
The needs and expectations of our Clients and athletes have increased and become more complex, our training methods need to do the same to help them reach their goals. Simple methods of training will no longer keep them seeing the results they want, it will not keep them coming back and it will not fully prepare them for what they wish to achieve.
I like most trainers at the start of their career felt I was capable to do the job because I knew hundreds of different exercises and understood how to execute them safely and properly. I was an expert in exercises not movement. I knew the major muscle groups and a bag of exercises to train each one from each angle to “hit specific areas”.
To meet the goals of the new prototype of client and athlete, the new prototype of trainer must understand anatomy and movement.
Those new to the fitness industry as professionals tend to focus on learning exercises and workouts, trainers looking to become more advanced in their training study anatomy and bio-mechanics, it’s all backwards! How can we expect to be proficient with our exercise selection and program design if we don’t know how the body works? You can give a chef the finest ingredients to make you an amazing meal but if the dude does not know how to turn on the stove it doesn’t matter how good the ingredients are.
If we understand movement we can better coach and train it. A great example is the squat, a very complex movement that many of our clients and athletes have a hard time with. I’m sure many of you have clients you work with for some time that just can’t seem to “get it” and no matter what you do they still squat poorly. If there is not a deep understanding of what is going on during a squat we can coach and throw “corrective” exercises at them all day but in the end really just throwing darts at the wall. If I don’t know what the problem is or where I will never be able to fix it. BUT if I understand the chain of events that happens in the body when a person squats and through proper assessments I can pinpoint where the restrictions lie. Now I can fix the problem and help them get better.
So how do you make the necessary improvements to your skill set to become a New Prototype Trainer?
· Purchase an anatomy atlas, one with lots of good sold pictures with varying angles, view, cross sections and layers of the human anatomy.
· Get comfortable with your kinesiology. Flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, ect. As well as location terminology; anterior, posterior, proximal, distal, ect.
· Understand basic physics. WHAT?! Thought you were done with that stuff from high school didn’t you! Human movement is based on levers, angles, momentum and force production; understand the mechincs that move the body and how it generates force so you can learn to minuplate it through training.
· Develop an understanding of how the body works as a system. There are many great resources out there to help you understand how the body works together to make movements possible. Gray Cook and Gary Gray are leading experts in the field and have some great books and information on the subject. Another great author is Thomas Myers and his book “Anatomy Trains” (this one is a personal favorite of mine). The reading can be a little heavy but is well worth it, it helps to have your anatomy atlas nearby when diving into these texts.
Time to get studing!