my training philosophy
I watched a personal trainer on TV the other day. His workout DVD series has sold, what, a hundred thousand million copies?
He had such emotional energy. I can't imagine the demands of maintaining that level of unbridled swank. I swear he had to be the fittest man ever on the entire planet. I wondered what he's like in his personal life.
"Pick up some milk on the way home from work?
Oh yeah - Turkey Hill! Gonna bring that milk baby. WHOOO!"
I was amazed at the sheer number of words he could pack between two repetitions of a monotonous total body movement. Is there anyone who really prefers his absurd rate of motivational cliche per minute? How many truly believe his enthusiasm for 30 seconds of lunges. Maybe sincerity doesn't matter?
With expressive hands dancing, shoulders ever square to the camera, he never mumbled or stuttered, sneezed or scratched. His moves were smooth and bold, especially during the unnecessary invasion of others personal space.
And then there was the outfit. You know the fitness look. The posture. No cotton within a square mile. The well controlled haircut and perfect shave. The tan. But he wasn't even being showy. He actually had a shirt on. That covered his biceps. About half way.
If that's what it takes to be a successful trainer/fitness/gym guy, count me out. Counting reps, reminding people to breath, that's not me. I'll lock myself in the basement (a basement that happens to have more than enough gear to keep a handful of clients, friends and I healthy and fit) where everyone is perfectly capable of counting their own reps.
This is why I train in old T-shirts, worn out sweats, and junky skateboarding shoes. This is why I hesitate at turning a passion and hobby into a job. I just may be a horrible trainer. I'm no real chief. No quarterback. I have a hard enough time feeling comfortable leading my own children. I'm just not up for giving people the "healthy choices during the holidays" lecture, okay?
"How many carbs should you be eating? Well lets tidy up that squat pattern and see how many strict chin-ups you can do."
But I know the obvious truth here. Physical therapists are trainers too. We move others and ourselves all day, never in need of a warm-up. I need to own what the trainer guy is doing. Our style may vary, but we basically claim the same calling. On any given day you can easily catch me saying "don't do it this way, do it that way." Most days I do deliver air jabs, shouts of encouragement, and loud music.
"Give most of your attention to tailoring the boring basics to your interests and inclinations. Fight to remain an athlete. Perform multi-joint lifts with good form. Sleep enough. Eat vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. Have some ice cream now and again."
When it comes down to it, I'm all about promoting fun in the process of physical size and strength and speed and stamina, including the discipline and tactful showboating. I'm an advocate for the freedom that training enables. I'm a minister of movement as medicine that changes our physical and mental state.
Maybe there will be a place for this style yet. Maybe not. Just don't ask me for tips on how to get enough fluids, 60 (or was it 80?) ounces per day. Go drink some damn water.