Hey everyone, ive been a member of this site for a few years now, and before that I got most my information from bb.com I also have a degree in kinesiology, and will be starting my master’s soon. I consider myself to have a good knowledge base, but lack experience. That is why I recently got a job at a commercial gym to get some experience.
Eventually I want to own my own business, so I can do things as I wish, and take the clients that I want, but I figure the easiest way to get experience would be through a commercial gym. I want to make sure that the experience I get is useful though, and that it doesn’t turn me into the typical “24 Hour fitness” personal trainer.
I also understand that while Im working for someone else, Ive gotta follow their rules, but these are some things that have been bugging me lately, and I want to see what you guys think. And I do have some freedom to create programs for my clients, so if theres anything i mention that you definately wouldn’t do, please let me know.
1.) They emphasis exercise variety as being one of the most important variables. In variety, i mean that you never do the same exact exercise two workouts in a row.
EX: This workout you might have a client do a db bench press, and next workout you’d have them do a standing tubing chest press.
I can see some reasons for this, mainly in tricking the client into thinking that creating a program is really complicated. But they take it to extremes.
EX: Their mentality is if you have two good exercises, and you combine them into one, then that must be a better variation. Like combining lunges and curls, or squats and rows.
Also, they try to emphasis working at different angles as being more functional. Like first you can do a standing db curl, but next time you can do a bent over db curl, or a db durl while bent over a swiss ball.
I think they are still stuck on the whole functional trend. It just seems to me that if this type of training were that great, I would have seen some mention of it on here.
2.) They do a lot of band work and I dont mean westside style. This kinda goes along with the first one, but as if free weights aren’t good enough, you gotta have people doing a band lunge press.
3.) BOSU balls. I’ll admit, ive used them from time to time, and mainly by turning them upside down to dow pushups on them. But Ive already seen them have many people doing squats standing on the rounded part. Isn’t it common knowledge that this just an accident waiting to happen?
4.) They pretty much have everyone doing sets of 15-20. Now it may be ok to start someone at 15, but after a few sessions, I would definately like to progress someone to sets of 5-8, while still including some workouts with higher reps.
5.) Their supplements. I understand its a business, but ive never heard of any of the supplements they are suggesting, and they dont put much emphasis on the ones ive heard of.
EX: everything they have is APEX, which seems to be a good company, and their main supplement seems to be pyruvate, which ive never heard much mention of. For body comp improvements they dont use fish oil, casein, creatine, or BCAA’s, and they DO set SOY protein.
6.) Their cardio seems to mainly be steady state, except for highly trained individuals. I dont know too much about this one, and I do know that the ACSM’s recomendation is similar to theirs. But wouldn’t it still be better to start a new person on intervals, but just keep their HR under a certain range?
7.) Lastly, it seems like they have an all around “more is better” or “different is better” mentality. It completely ignores the KISS principle. Here are some examples.
EX: Super-sets are good for body comp improvements and time efficiency. Well, if two exercises paired are good, why not pair three or four?
I AGREE THAT THIS MIGHT SEEM BETTER AT FIRST, BUT IN THE LONG RUN YOUR SELLING YOURSELF SHORT ON STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT, AND BASICALLY TURNING RESISTANCE TRAINING INTO CARDIO. SURE COMPLEXES CAN BE USED WHEN YOUR TRAINING FOR FAT LOSS, BUT WITH A PERSON NEW TO TRAINING DONT THEY NEED TO DEVELOP THE MOTOR PROGRAMS, AND INCREASE THEIR STRENGTH?
EX2: My thoughts on the whole different is better thing are this. There are a group of “big bang for your buck” exercises; squats, deadlift, presses, pulls, explosive lifts, etc… There is plenty of variation for these lifts by including different angles, stances, grips, DB’s vs. BB’s, set/rep variations, etc… Do we really need to complicate things further by adding bands, cables, bosu balls, stability balls, and worst of all balancing exercises to the mix. Theres a reason those core lifts have stood the test of time and are so well recognized by successful trainers, and thats because they are the most effective. I dunno just my opinion, maybe someone feels differently.
I know im young and naive, but I just want to make sure that this experience is a good one, and doesn’t set me back, or turn me off to the fitness industry. Im sure many of you trainers out there have dealt with the exact same situations. Please give me some advice.