The Hero's Journey

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2019

Storytelling is one of the most instrumental tools that humans developed towards evolution. The ability to learn, and teach, through the experience of others allowed for the growth of language, community, and modeling. A common theme in the learning process is the “Hero’s Journey” and almost every story you know, from the Bible to the Avengers story arc, follows it.

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Every client wants to be the hero in their own journey, and every session is classically set up as a Journey in itself. We start with character development (goals/needs analysis), move into anticipation and plot development (prep), ramp into the challenge and adversity arc (strength BRO), and finish with the climactic reward (cooldown and reinforcement). Following this plan will almost always lead to client engagement as it’s literally in our DNA to be stimulated by this “story.” Too little or too much challenge leads to disinterest and an inability to relate once...

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On Imposter Syndrom

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2019

The truth is that I have imposter syndrome, every successful person I’ve ever known has imposter syndrome.. if you want to do truly great things you’ll never be doing “well enough.” That doesn’t mean you’re not doing well though, and that you don’t have a valid message to share.
Imposter syndrome isn’t a bad thing, it’s often a necessary stimulus to push harder. Self-doubt, insecurity, and anxiety are a part of anything involving risk for good reason, they provide the spark for growth, and they fact that you’re going through probably signifies that you’re on the right path.
Simply seeking to be “good” at something leads to complacency but seeking out “great” will inherently lead to insecurity, as you’re acutely aware that there will always be more to do. Enjoy the push and put your message out there, sometimes you have to jump in the deep end.

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Stress Management

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2019

We tend to use ambiguous terms to conceptually categorize contextual inputs. What is stress, how is it that the same stimulus can elicit completely different reactions within different individuals? Understanding that the stressor often isn’t the issue is the first step in understanding “why” it’s affecting you. The second step is understanding why we inherently seek it out when our lives are absent of it.
Stress is little more than stimulus and we are constantly processing stimuli at the sensorial and interoceptive levels, and typically only cognitively aware of novel stimuli or novel contextual applications. Repeated exposure to these stimuli results in an individual’s ability to learn (cope) and form physiological and psychological strategies respectively. Here’s the kicker, these strategies have an equal opportunity to be maladaptive or adaptive.
As coaches, can we find a way to apply stress to our clients in a way that they perceive as...

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Assessments and Patterning

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2019

Three very different and distinct morphologies (four if you count the gorilla in the background), will most likely lead to four very different and distinct pattern variations. What objectively constitutes a good archetype (squat, hinge, upper-body movement vectors, etc) across all morphologies? Would you expect all four of these individuals to move the same from a visual perspective? Would that constitute their movement as being either “good” or “bad” respective to one another? Or would you look at how structures move in relation to one another within the same organism?
These questions are one area where I see a huge hole in the active assessment process, the other being that motor learning with increased immersion will inherently lead to improvements in testing scores and potential false-positives (a post for a different day though). This is why I’ve began leaning towards passive ROM testing that last few years, you can learn to game a movement but you...

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On Goal Selection

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2019
What’s behind a goal? Is it born out of expertise or ignorance, inherent motivations or (often arbitrary) social norms?
In my experience the majority of potential clients that I’ve interacted with have come to me with a goal, but very little knowledge of the lifestyle considerations or cost involved in achieving that goal. How do you turn the subjective to the objective, the qualitative to the quantitative, the abstract to reality? How do you bridge the gap and set them up to succeed?
Understanding WHO your client is, WHAT they want to achieve, and WHY they are pursuing it will allow you to intelligently discuss HOW you can help them along the way. Your intake process matters, the questions you ask matter, and allowing them to articulate their perceptions without interrupting matters. As trainers, we tend to see training as a priority as that is what our bias dictates, but often fail to understand the obstacles our clients face from a coherence standpoint. Questions to...
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Are You Setting The Table?

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2019

Environment often dictates the quality of a workout. A mix of familiarity, anticipation, and the right community (lifting partners/demographic/coaches) can create an overall feeling of eustress (as opposed to distress) respective to the session. This often impacts your experience much more than your program design and available equipment selection, and these are things that everyone recognizes (often subconsciously) and inherently appreciates.
This is service, creating an environment that drives engagement and perpetuates adherence. THIS is what creates a platform for your message to be heard.
As a trainer you should be trying to recreate those variables respective to each clients needs.
Ask yourself, how do you set the environment to create eustress rather than distress?
How do you communicate with them?
Do you care?
Would you train with you?

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