T Nation

What Makes a Good Strength Coach/Personal Trainer?


#1

I got my Personal Trainer Certification (NASM) about a year ago and have since followed up with a Fitness Nutrition Certification (NASM) and CrossFit Level 1. I'm looking to get into the fitness/health industry by the end of the year. More than likely, I'll be working out of your typical "globo gym" with clientelle who can afford to keep a regular trainer.

I don't want to go down the path of high-rep bicep curls with 10lb dumbbells on a swiss ball. At the same time, I'm hesitant to coax a client into barbell training...worried they'll think I'm crazy when I tell them we're going to learn how to squat, deadlift, and press heavy weight.

Anyone been in this situation? What's your approach? What's worked, failed?


#2

Do what will fix their issues & correct their problems. Take pride in bringing them the best workouts possible & don’t worry what others are doing. If you get people results you’ll earn their respect & you will have clients. Every exercise & technique is a tool. Use the tools when they need to be used & you will do well. Read articles every day, always educate yourself & you will go far. The big barbell ecrcises have stood the test of time & they work. Teach them perfect form & technique & correct them every time they need it. If you do these things I really think you will do well.


#3

I have worked in a lot of “Globogyms as you call it” and trained hundreds of average Joes and Janes. Heck even when I was the head strength coach in a high level performance center, 75% of our clientele was average Joes.

I NEVER went outside my beliefs. Of course I couldn’t always use my more advanced techniques, but I always stayed true to my beliefs and principles. To this day my clients all do (well baring an injury) do squats, bench press, overhead barbell work and deadlifts… A LOT of them do power clean variations and some of them do snatches variations.

The big basics work for everybody… The big basic lifts are the best to stimulate gains… if you are settling for inferior exercises with your clients because you think they can’t handle the big basics you are unprofessional: they are paying you a lot of money to get them results, it is your duty to use the best tools do the job. They don’t think barbell work is for them… YOU ARE THE EXPERT not them.

Heck, I remember a few years back, I had a 50 something housewife, linguistic teacher come to me for training… I had her do deadlifts, squats and benches… a few months later she competed in powerlifting, deadlifting 300lbs and bench pressing 175lbs at a bodyweight of 120.

I had a mother of 3 do cleans, push presses, prowler pushing, sled pulling, tire flipping… today she looks like a fitness model (of course the integration of these exercises was gradual).

Use the best tools to get results… just scale down the methods and loading to accomodate the capacities of each client.


#4

@CT: Well said!


#5

[quote]anothrjrzmike wrote:
Anyone been in this situation? What’s your approach? What’s worked, failed? [/quote]

Can’t say I’ve been in this situation, but show them how barbell work is directly applicable to life. Picking up stuff from the ground, getting stuff from a tall shelf and so on. Also be prepared for the “won’t lifting make me look like a man?” question from the females.


#6

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I have worked in a lot of “Globogyms as you call it” and trained hundreds of average Joes and Janes. Heck even when I was the head strength coach in a high level performance center, 75% of our clientele was average Joes.

I NEVER went outside my beliefs. Of course I couldn’t always use my more advanced techniques, but I always stayed true to my beliefs and principles. To this day my clients all do (well baring an injury) do squats, bench press, overhead barbell work and deadlifts… A LOT of them do power clean variations and some of them do snatches variations.

The big basics work for everybody… The big basic lifts are the best to stimulate gains… if you are settling for inferior exercises with your clients because you think they can’t handle the big basics you are unprofessional: they are paying you a lot of money to get them results, it is your duty to use the best tools do the job. They don’t think barbell work is for them… YOU ARE THE EXPERT not them.

Heck, I remember a few years back, I had a 50 something housewife, linguistic teacher come to me for training… I had her do deadlifts, squats and benches… a few months later she competed in powerlifting, deadlifting 300lbs and bench pressing 175lbs at a bodyweight of 120.

I had a mother of 3 do cleans, push presses, prowler pushing, sled pulling, tire flipping… today she looks like a fitness model (of course the integration of these exercises was gradual).

Use the best tools to get results… just scale down the methods and loading to accomodate the capacities of each client.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice Coach!


#7

CT, you probably have gotten this question before but where and what did you study in college? Also what certifications do you have or plan to have? Lastly, do you or Biotest offer any internships?