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Ebb and Flow or High and Low?

The first full day of the 2014 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute West triggers best practices and performances.

Friday, April 11

One of the things I like most about attending IDEA’s fitness conferences are the moments when I get to witness little epiphanies during sessions. These epiphanies often happen suddenly, as the presenter shares research or anecdotal information from his or her own practice. A personal trainer from Walla Walla,Washington, connects the dots between performance and self myofascial release techniques or his colleague from Portland realizes she’s been training her clients inefficiently. It’s during these drum roll instances that a microcosmic orbit of self-empowerment begins.

It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

I saw a lot of this happening today, during the first official full day of the 2014 Personal Trainer Institute West. I felt it too, in my own bones. This is why taking the time to educate and reeducate yourself is so crucial. It can mean the difference between ebbing and flowing and going to highs and lows.This was just one of many valuable and pertinent messages Lenny Parracino shared in his session “Gray Institute: Assess and Address Core Dysfunction.”

Parracino’s session was rich with practical information from years of field work and it’s impossible to extrapolate it here. However, one tenet he kept returning to time and time again was this: Ebb and flow or high and low? Are you connected to the rhythms and cycles of nature and life, or are you constantly in a reactive mode?

The latter sets you up for chronic stress, inflammation and congestion. Sure, you can do your HIIT routine–but are you doing it from a strong foundation and are you adding variables? More importantly, when you train your clients, are you training the obese woman in front of you who has never exercised before, or are you blindly doling out a template? Talk about highs and lows! How do your clients react to your expertise? Hopefully they ebb and flow with you and the intelligent design you build into your programs.

Speaking of highs, there were many high points today, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Chuck Wolf, MS, gave attendees a brilliant set of fresh moves to incorporate into their core routines in his session “Core Connections.”
  • Sherri McMillan, MSc, gave a thorough and objective lecture about the pros and cons of CrossFit and what personal training studios can learn and implement. For example, add more accountability into your programs and do a better job of a tracking progress while building a strong sense of community.
  • Newcomer Colin Carriker, MS, proved that just when you think you’ve tried every partner training idea in the book, there’s more to know in his session “30 Partner Training Ideas.” My personal favorite: partner one does a traditional sit up while partner two faces away and does triceps dips off partner one’s knees (trust me, it’s a good one!).

The take home message for day one: question what you know and commit to the ebb and flow.

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