Tag Archives: strength coach

Choosing a Strength Coach or Personal Trainer

12 Feb

Would you send your child to a physician who had never been to medical school?  How about a doctor who was never certified in his or her field?

When choosing a strength coach or personal trainer, I would encourage you to apply the same selection criteria.

Since the industry is not regulated, anyone can self-proclaim the title, personal trainer or strength coach.  Much like professionals in other industries, strength and conditioning professionals should have a working knowledge of foundational exercise science and its practical application.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a strength coach or personal trainer:

  • Educational background that includes Exercise Science or Human Performance
  • Accredited Certification (through an organization like the NSCA)
  • Personal Liability Insurance (it’s expensive, but protects both trainer and client)
  • Experience, Expertise (knowledgeable, reputable, credible — ask for references)
  • Training Philosophy

Do your homework, choose appropriately — based on your needs and goals, and inspect what you expect.

Get STRONGER Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Work with a Trainer for Better Results

28 Aug

Have you ever wondered if working with a strength coach or personal trainer is right for you or your children, or worth the money?  Well, according to research from UCLA, a personal trainer can help make you much stronger than exercising on your own.

In the study, individuals who worked with a strength/fitness coach gained more muscle and 10% more endurance than those who chose to follow their own program.  They also gained six times more leg power than the “do it yourself” group.

The reason for the difference?  A qualified, experienced strength and conditioning professional can provide an expert-guided plan, helping you to stick to your workout and do it right.  Most individuals lack the experience and expertise to develop a personalized plan that incorporates appropriate exercise selectionintensity levelrepetitionssets, and rest intervals.  Additionally, a coach can motivate you to train harder and help keep you accountable.

Even if working with a trainer is not in your long-term plans, it can be a good idea to start there.  A trainer can better point you in the right direction, providing instruction, demonstration, and making your workouts more focused and effective when you do them on your own.

And, for you parents of student-athletes, be wary of the teacher or coach acting as your child’s trainer, or your school’s weight room attendant.  Typically, these folks are no more qualified than you are when it comes to developing well-designed and -supervised, safe, and effective strength and conditioning programs.

When looking for a strength coach/trainer, do your homework.  Since basically anyone can “hang a shingle” and call him/herself a trainer, it’s important to find one with a certification such as CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) or CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) through a nationally/internationally accredited organization like the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association).  If you’re in or around the greater Cleveland (OH) area, check us out at AthleticPerformanceTC.com.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Sport Coaches Are Not Necessarily Strength Coaches

8 Apr

Columbia-High-School-coach-Phil-McCrary[1]One of the things I really enjoy about my job is the opportunity to travel to high schools, colleges, clubs, and other organizations to work with coaches and student-athletes in their athletic facilities and weight rooms.  Typically, my work involves the creation, design, and development of strength training programs, including explanation and demonstration of exercise selection and technique.  We also discuss pre- and post-workout nutrition, supplements, and a variety of other pertinent topics.  And, although the coaches I work with are very good at what they do, one thing has become clear: Sport coaches are not necessarily equipped or prepared to effectively function as strength and conditioning professionals (note to coaches: don’t take it personally; strength trainers aren’t necessarily sport coaches, either).

Here are some examples of what I’ve observed:

Inability to effectively manage big numbers.  This is especially prevalent among football programs.  I’ve seen coaches implement group aerobics and calisthenics, P90X, and other programs without any rationale (except for the fact that these programs make it easier to manage big numbers because they’re “one size fits all”).

Inadequate — little or no — qualified supervision.  Athlete to coach ratio is typically very high (sometimes the kids are supervising themselves!).

Poor program design and exercise selection.  No needs analysis or thought given to personnel, equipment, time, and/or resources.

Most of the coaches and athletes with whom I’ve worked are less than proficient at teaching and performing exercise technique (especially the Olympic lifts; some of what I’ve seen pass for proper form on even the most basic exercises is scary), and are unsure/unaware of appropriate selection of loads, repetitions, sets, etc.

I know of several programs whose workouts have come directly from internet searches, Men’s Health videos, and You Tube, without any consideration given to evidence-based strength and conditioning.  “Everyone does it,” “I heard about it from another coach,” or “I learned/observed it at a clinic or conference” do not constitute good reasons for implementing something into your program.

Coaches, you were hired by someone who felt that your experience and expertise were the best fit for building a program.  No one expects that your experience and expertise are all-encompassing (certainly you have assistant coaches to whom you delegate some of the coaching responsibilities).  You can improve the overall quality of your program by enlisting the direction and guidance of a certified strength and conditioning professional — there are lots of qualified individuals out there.  X’s and O’s, strategy and tactics, and sport-specific skill development are crucial to the success of any team or program.  Strength and speed are “difference makers,” and also important to the development and success of your program.  Let us help you, your staff, and your athletes.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Choosing a Strength Coach or Personal Trainer

6 Jun
CSCS Logo

CSCS Logo

Would you send your child to a physician who had never been to medical school?  How about a doctor who was never certified in his or her field?

When choosing a strength coach or personal trainer, I would encourage you to apply the same selection criteria.

Since the industry is not regulated, anyone can self-proclaim the title, personal trainer or strength coach.  Much like professionals in other industries, strength and conditioning professionals should have a working knowledge of foundational exercise science and its practical application.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a strength coach or personal trainer:

  • Educational background that includes Exercise Science or Human Performance
  • Accredited Certification (through an organization like the NSCA)
  • Personal Liability Insurance (it’s expensive, but protects both trainer and client)
  • Experience, Expertise (knowledgeable, reputable, credible — ask for references)
  • Training Philosophy

Do your homework, choose appropriately — based on your needs and goals, and inspect what you expect.

Get STRONGER Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Work with a Trainer for Better Results

7 Apr

nba_ap_tgrover1_600[1]Have you ever wondered if working with a strength coach or personal trainer is right for you or your children, or worth the money?  Well, according to new research from UCLA, a personal trainer can help make you much stronger than exercising on your own.

In the study, individuals who worked with a strength/fitness coach gained more muscle and 10% more endurance than those who chose to follow their own program.  They also gained six times more leg power than the “do it yourself” group.

The reason for the difference?  A qualified, experienced strength and conditioning professional can provide an expert-guided plan, helping you to stick to your workout and do it right.  Most individuals lack the experience and expertise to develop a personalized plan that incorporates appropriate exercise selection, intensity level, repetitions, sets, and rest intervals.  Additionally, a coach can motivate you to train harder and help keep you accountable.

Even if working with a trainer is not in your long-term plans, it can be a good idea to start there.  A trainer can better point you in the right direction, providing instruction, demonstration, and making your workouts more focused and effective when you do them on your own.

And, for you parents of student-athletes, be wary of the teacher or coach acting as your child’s trainer, or your school’s weight room attendant.  Typically, these folks are no more qualified than you are when it comes to developing well-designed and -supervised, safe, and effective strength and conditioning programs.

When looking for a strength coach/trainer, do your homework.  Since basically anyone can “hang a shingle” and call him/herself a trainer, it’s important to find a well-accredited one at nsca.com (website for the National Strength and Conditioning Association).  Look for NSCA designations such as CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) or CPT (Certified Personal Trainer).  If you’re in or around the greater Cleveland (OH) area, check us out at AthleticPerformanceTC.com.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Sport Coaches Are Not Necessarily Strength Coaches

15 Mar

Columbia-High-School-coach-Phil-McCrary[1]One of the things I really enjoy about my job is the opportunity to travel to high schools, colleges, and universities and work with coaches and student-athletes in their weight rooms.  Typically, my work involves the creation, design, and development of strength training programs, including explanation and demonstration of exercise selection and technique.  We also discuss pre- and post-workout nutrition, supplements, and a variety of other pertinent topics.  And although the coaches I work with are very good at what they do, one thing has become clear: Sport coaches are not necessarily equipped or prepared to effectively function as strength and conditioning professionals (note to coaches: don’t take it personally; strength trainers aren’t necessarily sport coaches, either).

Here are some examples of what I’ve observed:

Inability to effectively manage big numbers.  This is especially prevalent among football programs.  I’ve seen coaches implement group aerobics and calisthenics, P90X, and other programs without any rationale (except for the fact that these programs make it easier to manage big numbers because they’re “one size fits all”).

Inadequate — little or no — qualified supervision.  Athlete to coach ratio is typically very high (sometimes the kids are supervising themselves!).

Poor program design and exercise selection.  No needs analysis or thought given to personnel, equipment, time, and/or resources.

Most of the coaches and athletes with whom I’ve worked are less than proficient at teaching and performing exercise technique (especially the Olympic lifts; some of what I’ve seen pass for proper form on even the most basic exercises is scary), and are unsure/unaware of appropriate selection of loads, repetitions, sets, etc.

I know of several programs whose workouts have come directly from internet searches and You Tube, without any consideration given to evidence-based strength and conditioning.  “Everyone does it,” “I heard about it from another coach,” or “I learned/observed it at a clinic or conference” do not constitute good reasons for implementing something into your program.

Coaches, you were hired by someone who felt that your experience and expertise were the best fit for building a program.  No one expects that your experience and expertise are all-encompassing (certainly you have assistant coaches to whom you delegate some of the coaching responsibilities).  You can improve the overall quality of your program by enlisting the direction and guidance of a strength and conditioning professional — there are lots of qualified individuals out there.  X’s and O’s, strategy and tactics, and sport-specific skill development are crucial to the success of any team or program.  Strength and speed are “difference makers,” and also important.  Let us help you, your staff, and your athletes.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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