7:00 AM. Saturday. January 14, 2012.
I walked through the empty, cavernous halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center, rubbing my drowsy eyes on my way to Perform Better’s One-Day Learn-By-Doing Seminar. It was my first-ever fitness event, and I felt a little nervous because I had no idea what to expect – I knew the speakers were Mike Boyle, Alwyn Cosgrove, Todd Durkin, and Gray Cook (some of the absolute best in the industry), and I also knew I would absorb some great information. But my relative lack of experience made me a bit apprehensive.
Nine hours later, I left with a grin.
The seminar simply blew me away. Not only did the event pump minute-after-minute of powerful and valuable information, but it gently and thoroughly exposed my physical weaknesses while offering encouragement and many points to consider.
With all that knowledge I soaked during those hours, I wanted to share a few memorable lessons from the event that really impressed me:
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]1[/dropcap] Don’t worry about the research.
“If we wait for [incontrovertible] proof that what we are doing is exactly the right thing, we will be frozen in inaction, waiting for researchers to tell us our next step. This is not the real world.”
– Vern Gambetta
We cannot wait until we are absolutely sure of something before we attempt it. We have to go with what we know and make changes as we discover more.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]2[/dropcap]Teach the correct patterns and the individual parts will take care of themselves. For example, don’t strengthen the glutes to improve the squat; improve the squat to strengthen the glutes.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]3[/dropcap]”What is the first thing the client sees when they walk into your gym,” asked Alwyn Cosgrove. That sends an enormous message to your patrons. It is fun? Inviting? Intimidating? Needlessly complex?
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]4[/dropcap]I always thought I had mobility problems; I actually had motor control issues. After three quick tests, Gray Cook separated me into the “motor control issue” group and hit me with band-resisted Bear Crawls, kettlebell waiter walks, and kneeling halos to activate the correct muscles. “Oh… my… God… Becky…” To say it was challenging would be an understatement.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]5[/dropcap]Don’t lower your standards just to compensate for dysfunction. Gray Cook used the example of when the U.S. military eliminated the squatting position from their arsenal because recruits increasingly could not execute the stance:
Rather than improving mobility and encouraging the right pattern, the U.S. Armed Forces simply removed a great shooting position.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]6[/dropcap]Clients train with Personal Trainers because they want to feel better. They don’t want to be like us, and they certainly don’t care as much about anatomy and research. They just want to lose weight, reduce their waste size, gain more muscle, etc.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]7[/dropcap]If you can’t do the pattern, don’t load the pattern. Period.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]8[/dropcap]Training in small groups may very well be better than training one-on-one. Alwyn Cosgrove added a few statistics to support his philosophy and noted that many activities (martial arts, CPR, swimming, etc) are taught in groups. It adds a social dynamic for the client, and it provides further motivation and encouragement.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]9[/dropcap]Many clients just want a map and don’t want a chauffeur. In other words, make available an option only for program design so they can do the rest themselves.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]10[/dropcap]The core comprises sixty percent of your power. But that doesn’t just mean your abs – it includes your hips, glutes, and back.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]11[/dropcap]Pain isn’t a problem, it’s a signal. What else is going on that we need to work on? “Tight” muscles reveal that something is not operating correctly.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]12[/dropcap]If you want a great athlete, strengthen the backside. Todd Durkin recommended a two-to-one backside to front-side emphasis.
– Closing Thoughts –
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]T[/dropcap]he event was worth the price. And more.
“Investing in yourself always pays the best interest.”
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]I[/dropcap] was shocked that only about 130 people showed up for the seminar… in Los Angeles. I know it’s a long weekend, but still…
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]I[/dropcap] met some tremendous professionals. For example, after I checked into the seminar, I found a seat and chatted with some people next to me. One gentleman was an intern at UCLA’s strength and conditioning program and another woman coincidentally managed the gym I currently use for over ten years. She left it to open her own facility in Santa Monica, California. There were quite a few entrepreneurs, as well.
However, with that said, it didn’t appear that everyone maximized their networking potential at the event, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a fan of schmoozing or acting like a sycophant, but I noticed quite a few cliques and several people avoiding eye contact, sitting by themselves, or whispering put-downs toward others.
I’m beginning to realize that professionalism is more of an art than a skill.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]B[/dropcap]eer is a great leveler.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]M[/dropcap]ike Boyle, Alwyn Cosgrove, Todd Durkin, and Gray Cook were amazing speakers who skilfully blended entertainment and education into their lectures.
[dropcap bg=”red2″ color=”white”]I[/dropcap] really have to decide what path I want to take. Getting into fitness was a big step, but now the real decisions begin.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”
– Lewis Carroll
Did you find any of these lessons helpful? Did you enjoy a Perform Better event, as well? Leave a comment, hit me up on Twitter, or add me on Facebook.