Online-educated lifters overutilize bracing.
The demands of a heavy deadlift are different than a high rep deadlift. If you brace every rep on a set of 12, it’s going to take you a minute and a half to finish the set. Plus, you’re spiking your blood pressure more than you need to.
A way to think about it: use as much as you need. Don’t lift 45lbs like it’s 405lbs.
Here are a few videos where I talk through more of the differences.
Have you seen asymmetry in heavy lifts? The bench press where the sternum turns to the right. The squat where the left knee and left elbow stick out to the side. The deadlift stuck over on the right foot.
These happen. Often. If you haven’t noticed them, look out for them. It’s actually pretty cool.
But as a trainer, it’s frustrating. I can’t train you into that asymmetry. I can, but… what good could that possibly do? Now I have to stop you when I start to consistently see that.
But I’ve seen people shift over there almost immediately. I mean, like, rep two out of twenty. They know how to do the exercise, they just can’t. Their brains won’t let them. Why? Because ‘dey scared.
Hierarchies are everywhere; we seek competition. The values are physical, social, political, and motivational. How can we throw that into our physical training intentionally?
It’s important to identify what you cannot do.
This post is NOT a comparison of private sector coaching and collegiate coaching. I have not worked in a collegiate setting.
This post is NOT a comparison of training athletes general population clients.
What’s the biggest change I’ve had to make? How has my career shifting after leaving the private sector (and Indianapolis) and moving into corporate wellness (mostly).
Personal training can get pretty personal.
When you’re one-on-one with someone, you have more time than you know what to do with. You can test-retest, make up stuff on the fly, and think up new cues that you can use with later clients.
When you have 30 people in a big group, you aren’t doing any of that. sure, you can make up some new cues or whatever, but can’t really see it through like you can when your one-on-one. Do you know if it worked? Too late. It’s time to coach the next person.
Large group training has its difficulties, but it’s also a really efficient way to train certain types of people. If you have people who are out of shape and not in pain, get them in shape in a group. You build camaraderie, forming team through shared suffering. and even if they’re already fit, a group workout is a great way to keep pushing everyone together. Community is one of the best ways to build fitness inertia.
But, if you’ve coached for any length of time, you know that not everyone fits into these simple buckets. I can count on one hand the number of clients I have who don’t have some sort of chronic pain issue that they’re dealing with. I don’t usually recommend that they join these groups, even though and they’re free to take over here at Google and they have some very competent coaches.