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First Impressions

by Joy Keller on May 05, 2013

The best personal trainers in the Pacific Northwest leave their marks at IDEA Personal Trainer West

May 5, 2013

As this weekend of education, inspiration and fun comes to a close, I have to say how impressed I am with the experience I shared with hundreds of West Coast personal trainers. I have been to countless fitness industry conferences and events, and this one stands out. The program was great, as usual, and the presenters were all on target. However, the attendees really made this event shine in a specific way.

To the attendees at this event: You people care. You care hard. You're hungry for knowledge and you ask the deeper level questions that make the most difference in understanding. You come from all age groups and demographics and you're not satisfied with offering your clients the basics. Status quo doesn't compute in your world. You're the kind of trainers clients clamor for.

I wanted to close IDEA-style with some practical nuggets you can hopefully use in your practice, and some good advice from a veteran fitness professional and educator.

The Forgotten Five

Corrective exercise is magical, isn't it? Once you learn the reasons why function is interrupted and the proper methods to shift it, you become a wizard in a sense. Brian Richey shared the five muscle groups that atrophy with age and begin to shut down. They are:

  1. Rotator cuff
  2. Multifidi
  3. Transverse abdominus
  4. Gluteals
  5. Vastus medialis

According to Richey, if you train just these five correctly you won't deal with muscular imbalances as you age. He also shared protocols for each one and a short video demonstrating it. Here's one tip for the rotator cuff: work both the internal and the external rotators.

Progressing Beginners

Tom Purvis, PT, talked about "potentially the most important subject" in his session Progressing Beginning Clients. "It's easy to train athletes," he told attendees, "it's much harder to train beginners because no standardized protocol or assessment exists." Why? According to Purvis all the assessment tools used in the fitness industry are for athletes. In addition, the continuum for beginners is vast and varied.

Here are some quotes of note from Purvis:

"We pass by the number one all the time in this industry. Start your client with one. One minute, one step, one repetition."

"Burning calories with just cardio is like working a minimum wage job. Strength training pays dividends."

"By the time your client fails at a movement or rep, you've already missed about 150 things."

He also talked about the importance of micro progressions and not "killing" clients' bodies and minds. He used getting a suntan as an example. Ideally, if you're very pale and want to get a tan, you don't lie out in the sun for 8 hours, you do a little at a time until you have a base and then you continue to build.

As we successfully close this amazing conference, I hope you will continue to build your practice and your relationships with the people who trust you with their health and wellness.

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.