Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Training Philosophy

Welcome to my blog. As a coach/trainer and former Marine, I try to incorporate the best possible training strategies for my clients. I will adopt and use whatever works to provide safe and effective training. I am not wedded to a specific program or modality. I believe in training for functionality so you will never see my athletes working on a machine doing curls, etc. Instead, I concentrate on having my athletes perform compound multi-joint movements in a variety of ways.

So what is the best method for training? Well, there is no one best way to train. Much depends on your goals. Obviously, an professional athlete in a given sport will train In my own experience and those of my atletes, the best methods are specific, measurable, repeatable and performance-based. For that reason, I believe in the CrossFit model. CrossFit incorporates best practices for use in their training methodology. If a given modality is demonstrated to help clients be better, faster and stronger, CrossFit will use it, and so will I.

During my service in the Marines, fitness was not an option. We had to be fit as part of our job description, just as a law enforcement or fire fighting professional. In my current life, I strive to be fit so that I can remain functional as I get older. I also learned the value of discipline, dedication, and commitment. These attributes have served me well both professionally and personally. Given this background, you could say that my coaching style is military oriented, but in reality, I train clients as athletes. It is an important distinction. All too often, many personal trainers fail to challenge or expect excellence from clients. I believe anyone can train as an athlete - programs don't change, only load and intensity.

My training and coaching philosophy incorporates weightlifting movements because they are the cornerstone of any effective strength and conditioning program. These movements include, but are not limited to, the Deadlift, Squat, Press, Cleans and Snatch. Another focal point in my program includes bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, and other exercises. I am also an avid believer in the use of Kettlebells . The Kettlebell is one of the oldest training tools; the Kettlebell comes from Russia, and was a common tool for conditioning athletes before the body building movement destroyed functional training in the late 1960’s. I use Kettlebells for conditioning, strength training, rehabilitative work, and endurance. When you put it all together, my program will combine these exercises in a variety of ways and maintain a high level of intensity. For example, a typical workout may include as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of pull-ups, push-ups, and bodyweight squats. Another may require 2 sets of 5 repetition max weight deadlifts (squats, bench presses, etc). You may row 500 meters and then run 400 meters for time. As you can see, the possibilties are endless, but the common thread is intensity.

Training as an athlete also yields esoteric benefits which are impossible to accurately quantify. Confidence, feeling good, being more mobile and agile are the intangible benefits this type of training provides.
It does not matter where your current fitness level is now. What matters it your commitment to YOUR personal excellence. I can scale the training to allow just about anyone to train with me. What matters is that you are doing YOUR best and progressing at the best rate YOU can.

I measure output as a benchmark of performance. I time, score and measure work done because I believe that speed, agility and strength are the outward, visible results of the CrossFit methodology. Fitness can, and should, be measured because the hard work required for this training should bear such results. The goal is to strive for personal perfection in action and movement.

Training intensely- yet safely - truly gives clients a sense of accomplishment, and is the cornerstone of my coaching philosophy. Unfortunately, we live in a world where all too often, lower standards and mediocrity are somehow rewarded. You will not find that with me.

In our quest for excellence, we will work as often as necessary to master movements. I will re-teach the skills needed to succeed in mastering every movement. I'll modify the movements and scale a workout as necessary based on a client’s fitness level and physical limitation. Each training session is not only an opportunity to workout; it's also an opportunity to perfect your skills and movements. Learning to move better is a pillar of success in my view.

So now you have a basic idea of how I roll. No shortcuts, no excuses, no whining. I want to work with clients who are ready to learn and who are willing to totally commit to excellence. You will work hard, probably harder than you ever thought possible. You will sweat and sometimes curse. You will endure sore muscles and ask yourself why. If you can hack it, you will get strong, you will gain confidence, and you will become the best you can be.

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