1 – ‘Correcting’ Imbalances
It’s not that imbalances aren’t a thing. Or that it isn’t a trainer’s responsibility to prevent injury or prescribe exercises that improve range of motion. But there are degrees to this.
Clients comes to us for their own reasons. Those reasons are, 100% of the time, fat loss or muscle gain or a combination of both. They googled the words “lose weight“, not “improve my first rib angle”.
Don’t take this the wrong way: It may be necessary to work on correcting issues in order to help a client reach their goal. But it is amazing how often you see trainers disappear down the rabbit hole of correcting “dysfunctional” movement patterns, while forgetting the priorities, ie getting their clients fitter, leaner and stronger.
2 – One Rep Maxes For All
No other style of training is more desired and less necessary than maxing out. Working up to one eye-bursting set is fun. It’s not painful, you’re not particularly out of breath and it strokes your ego. It’s an easy way to fool yourself into thinking you made progress. But if your goal is fat loss or muscle gain, there’s a good chance you just wasted your session.
Both of those goals require a high work volume at a moderate weight. The direct opposite of maxing out.
Never say never. It can be fun and satisfying to work up to a heavy weight and strength phases are very beneficial when scheduled into a long term training plan. But one rep maxes for the average client is like eating checking your bank balance before your bills have gone out. You may feel a fleeting rush of happiness, but it’s not a sign of progress.
3 – Giving Clients More Weight Than They Can Handle
Another case of trainers linking their own ego to their clients training. The worst exercise for this is the squat.
It’s borderline heartbreaking to see a client huffing and puffing beneath a dozen plates, and then, with a look of confused determination, flexing their knees by 2 degrees before wobbling back into the rack and accepting a high five from their idiot trainer. Don’t do this. Move an appropriate weight through a range of motion that is actually perceptible to someone watching.
If bigger people than you are lifting lighter weights, it’s probably because they’re doing it right, not because you’re a hero.
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