Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Here we go ...

Brace yourself, I'm about to rant.

Close this page if you're not in the mood ... but know that I share this to enlighten you, or really to protect you from the goofballs out there.

There are some silly crazy things offered as "fitness" in the industry that we love. 

Recently a long time mentor, Juan Carlos ("JC") Santana, share a video with me which, if I didn't come to expect this level of stupidity, would have made me insanely mad.

Here's the video:  http://youtu.be/BDDyxXyf6UU .  You really don't even need to watch past the first 15 seconds to get the picture of horrible trainer ideas.  Words like "appalling" just aren't strong enough.

I wish this was an isolated incidence of crappy training.  

Unfortunately it's becoming more and more acceptable. 

By and large, trainers are uneducated and inexperienced in the areas that should have minimum industry knowledge & practice standards in order to help clients. 

Far too many trainers share information and develop workouts that are silly at best, crazy and potentially life-threatening at worst.

And recently my frustration hit an all-time high.

First, I got a call from a 23 year former soccer player after she "blew out her knee". 

She thought the knee injury was due to running 8 miles.  But this is a woman who runs half marathons, has been in Adventure Boot Camp for Women for a while, and is young and very fit.

Turns out she joined a CrossFit program when she moved away for grad school.

It should be noted that I have no qualms in general with the CrossFit concept.  Work hard.  Perform challenging compound and complex movements and metabolic circuits to maximize the workout hour.

That's what we do in Adventure Boot Camp.

However, with a growing cult-like following, it seems like some of the CrossFit instructors follow the philosophy that harder is ALWAYS better.

On day one, here's what our 23 year old friend was told to do (keeping in mind, there was no progressive warm up):

50 reps of the following (with the goal to "use as much weight as possible and go as FAST as you can" per the trainers) - kettlebell swings, burpees, roman chair, squat w/ overhead med ball throw, squat with overhead barbell press, walking lunges, superman's, pull ups, box jumps, jump rope (either 50 doubles or 150 singles) 

It was called "The Filthy Fifty".

Well, that sure was filthy, so much so our young athlete blew out her knee the next day running.  Too much stress on the connective tissue and structures created a ripe environment for a knee injury.

And instead of thinking the workout was the villain, she blamed the blow out on running.  Something she's been doing since age 6 with relative ease.

Hard, gut wrenching exercise is DUMB if the ONLY reason it's being done is because it's hard and gut wrenching. 

Education and experience are required to develop a discerning eye for proper progression, modifications, and a clear understanding that a template workout (AKA: the WOD, or workout of the day) does not fit all.  Unfortunately, our friend was continually implored to "use more weight" when she was already overwhelmed by the workout.

And unfortunately, this is just another example in a long history of bad trainer ideas.

Here's the problem ... and this IS the problem.

It is WAY too easy to become a trainer.  People do not need any formal education or training.  And MOST states do not even require certification.  And even IF someone has a certification, 98% of those are laughable (or can be obtained in an 8 hour home study course).

You surely wouldn't turn your taxes over to someone that didn't go to college but rather got a "certification" in an 8-hour tax course. 

You wouldn't want a surgeon operating on you after a weekend crash study program on open heart surgery.

So why should we trust the one thing most precious to us, our health, our fitness, and our ability to function effectively, to someone without the skills and knowledge to help us get better?

Shortcuts don't work.  They never have.  The industry needs higher standards.  Right now there are no standards.  And to me, that's SCARY!

Many of you have been a part of Adventure Boot Camp for a long time.  Some are here for 4 weeks.  Regardless, we appreciate you very much, and take your health and fitness very seriously.  For those in camp for only one session, choose your future fitness professional wisely.  Choose one that doesn't buy into the "something for nothing" philosophy. 

Rant over.  I just had to get that off my chest and let you know that YOU deserve a professional fitness experience.  Not craziness. 

Have a GREAT Tuesday ... and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com


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