15 things your Veteran Trainer wants to share with the commercial gym devotee
Oh you've seen me and my peers. We're those "older Coaches" of 20+ years at your commercial gym. We tend to share the scowl of the old muppets in the balcony- nodding our heads at the depth of difficulties our industry causes many. Quite simply success leaves clues- it always will, AND just because new things come along, it never means time to ignore the successes of practises past. Fact being the old truisms have stood the test of time, so juxtaposition them against new discoveries as a measure.
I'll get right to it . .15 simple things that seem simple to the Veteran Coach but inevitably get challenged by the new waves convinced they have found the "secret". . .to adding muscle, shedding fat, etc.
And let me prequalify this- these are my thoughts . .they work for many but if your method delivered to your client, pain free and without inherent risks to their health . .no matter how elegant my science, I can't refute outcome.
1. To me Hip thrusts are simply pull throughs lying down. The risk of loading a BB and resting it on your hip can lead to crushed blood supplies, femoral nerve issues and fascial thickening in response.
2. Standing on steps to DB Sumo Deadlifts is pointless if your depth is a glorified "curtsy" - my peeve is when trainers take the steps on the assisted dip/chin for this- client doing 1/2 squats . .get off my piece and go fix them.
3. Tubing and Chains work best with extensor muscles. It reflects their strength curve. Flexor muscles have the opposite strength curve.
4. Given #3, tubing assisted pull-ups make NO sense. They help at the bottom where you need the least help. They help least at the top where you need the most help. Use the assisted pull-up or better, start with eccentric only pull-ups until they can do a proper pull-up.
5. Pre-workout supplements with caffeine, ephedrine, etc. vaso-constrict. This makes them an incorrect choice when pursuing pump workouts.
6. Given #5 supplements DO stimulate the CNS much they are ideal for strength protocols. Use them with 8x3 but not 3x8 . .get it ?
7. BCAA's are a terrific peri-workout supplement. They are powerful as an anticatabolic BUT overrepresented outside the workout window can contribute to depression. They are Large Neutral Amino Acids and take the parking spots of tyrosine (dopamine) and tryptophan (serotonin). Keep them within the workout window.
8. Kneeling Unilateral Landmine presses don't strike me as a functional lead to the standing overhead BB press (assuming this is the goal). My grandmother can put heavy dishes and a roasting pan on the top shelf- it's a bilateral overhead press. Some stuff we were born to do. If it's a joint thing, fix the capsule and pick a grip width that works.
9. The poorer your digestive health, less varied your food supply, the more you'll need supplements to fill the nutrient voids. Support your digestive health with digestive enzymes, probiotics, fiber and glutamine for tract integrity. If you're still struggling, look to ancestral eating for food choices or do an IGG food tolerance test.
10. In over 30+ years in the gym, the best pecs I've seen are on those that focus on pec dips, pullovers and flyes. Habitual benchers tend to have awesome delts and triceps but not so much in the pecs (genetic blessings aside)
11. Squatters with long femurs should squat wide or they look like a clam from the side- the more their knees move forward the more they need to push their butt back to maintain a center of gravity between their feet . .make sense ?
12. Elevated Heel lifting shoes are terrific for squats/ front squats BUT for chrissakes switch to a flat footed heel like in Chucks for the deadlift- recruit that posterior chain.
13. (sigh) . .PLEASE . .honestly . .stop exercising on wobbly surfaces to recruit your core. The studies are clear. The extremities light up and the core contributes nothing. (picture a senior stuck standing on a piece of ice- hands and feet tensed) Want to train abs- train them Want to train other parts- train them Doing crap on a BOSU, a swing or a teeter totter does boo all for boo all.
14. When pursuing a physique you are NOT judged by your "hoisting strength" from point a to pint B. BUT if yo are lifting free weights to stimulate hypertrophy, time under tension and keeping tension in the muscle (training only those ranges of motion that create this) make sense. Many "functional coaches" will criticize the partial benchers, partial delt pressers . .but honestly- no arguing the outcomes doing this right ?
15. New trainers and trainees can become "zealots with blinders" as their guru du jour promises secrets of success that only he/she are privy to . .secrets . .meh . .phhht Arnold, Zane, Robby Robinson and all the greats of the Golden Era (may) have benefited from . .but NONE needed: Thick handled dumbells Supplements for their neurotransmitters Structural balancing Estro clearance or cortisol management supps 10 variations of the leg curl Keto supps (oh here we go . .) Alkalized water Aromatherapy To be clear none of these are being knocked but do challenge contribution value. Funny how training hard frequently, eating clean and resting well did 80% . .more ? . .of the job. To read "THREE MORE REPS" by George Snyder and Rick Wayne where all the greats openly disclosed their PED usage . .the regimes compare in parody to the amateur regimes of today.
If nothing else hope this stimulates thought, gives the odd "A-HA" movement and puts thing in the perspective of a "Veteran Coach".
Now go move forward a couple more steps.
Who loves ya ? "Coach Mike"

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