Question: I think I have weightlifters shoulder, how long should I rest? Hate this, any suggestions to your followers. — Shane Huffman
Answer: Shane, this is common amongst us guys that overwork on the bench press and pushing exercises, at the expense of not doing enough backside work. This is commonly referred to as upper-crossed syndrome. It results in rounded shoulders, tight chest & deltoids, and eventual shoulder or rotator cuff pain or neck/trap/upper back tightness.
• Working the backside (lats, posterior deltoids, rhomboids) in a 2:1 fashion to front-side.
• Work the rotator cuff 2-3 days per week for 5-10 minutes. This “pre-hab” can be a great way to safe-guard against shoulder injury.
• Be sure to warm-up adequately before benching or any heavy weight work. I always say, “Get lathered up with sweat before hitting the heavies.”
• Get some massage therapy work from a skilled soft-tissue expert to help release some of those tight muscles.
Lastly, if this has been a nagging injury, see a qualified physical therapist to get an exact diagnosis and proper treatment plan.
I always look at injury as your body’s way of innately communicating to you that it needs rest and attention. Focus on other areas of your fitness and conditioning as you heed attention to getting this taken care of properly.
Question: Hello Todd, I’m a Boutique Fitness Training studio in Nevada. I am having a hard time convincing the local high school football coach that the suspension trainer and the Rip trainer will benefit his program. What can I do? Thank you. –Mark Waggoner. www.getcpfit.com
Mark, remember that tools never make the program. They simply enhance it. So while I am never married to any one piece of equipment, it comes down to education of the high school coaches of the different ways to train their athletes to get maximum results. And several things are for sure when training the high school athlete:
• Teach and master some of the basic movements FIRST (squat, bench, pull-ups, plyos, etc.).
• Emphasize small muscles as well as big muscles. I think this is where many coaches make mistakes at the high school level. While there needs to be attention to the “big” muscles, it can never been at the expense of not working the stabilizers. 2-3 days per week of rotator cuff work, unilateral balance work, and joint integrity type exercises will only assist the high school athlete become bigger, faster, and stronger….and PAIN-FREE.
• Diversity is key. Likewise, many HS strength coaches get married to their program and don’t diversify the exercises enough. This leads to physical & mental staleness, lack of maximum increases, and burnout.
So how does the TRX Suspension Trainer and RIP Trainer fit into all of this. The TRX Suspension Trainer can actually help young athletes master some of the basic moves like the squat and there are dozens (if not hundreds) of exercises one can do with the Suspension Trainer (See my “Train Like the Pros” DVD). Heck, I even did a “Team Sports” DVD using the Suspension Trainer to show coaches how you can use it in a team setting to create great results.
(See details on the “Team Sports” & “Train Like a Pro” DVD here).
Lastly, the TRX RIP Trainer is a tool that allows for great diversification. Additionally, it provides the ability to get in phenomenal core conditioning, strength & power work, and sport-specific conditioning that will speak to any power athlete. I infuse the RIP Trainer with all my athletes as a simple alternative to the “norm” to keep it fun, fresh, and sport-specific.
Mark, all we can do is educate other coaches and show them the results you have attained. I know for me, tools like the Suspension Trainer and the RIP Trainer are part of my arsenal. And the more powerful your arsenal, the better the results you can get your clients!
Question: Todd, hypothetical: You have a small group training session with 5 clients who are all in similar shape with a goal of shedding fat and gaining lean muscle. You set up a circuit of exercises designed to incinerate fat, build lean muscle and drive up their metabolism…what exercises do you pick for them and why?— Brian LaFrazia
Answer: Thanks Brian. Small-group training is a growing popular trend for clients and I love the way coaches have the ability to motivate, educate, and inspire people in groups of 2-5 people. We love to mix up our workouts and provide different challenges each and every session. But an example would be:
5 minute dynamic warm-up
5 minutes of agility work (ie. agility ladder or cone drills) (yes, even with the regular Joes & Jane’s!)
Put them through 2-3 different circuits. Here is an example of 3 “simple” ones:
1. Burpees x 5
2. Pushups x 10
3. Bodyweight Squats x 15
Repeat 2-3 times
1. KB Swings x 10/10/10 (double arms & single arms)
2. KB Side Lunges x 8 each way
3. TRX Power Pull x 5-8 per side
Repeat 2-3 times
1. DB Alternating Bench Press x 12-20 total
2. TRX Curls & Rows x 10 each
3. Single Leg RDL’s x 5-8 per side
Repeat 2-3 times.
I would have all 5 people do station #1 together. I would then split them into a group of 2 or 3 people and assign them station 2 or station 3. Each station will last 6 minutes and they complete as much as they can in 6 minutes. Rotate to next station. Stretch & meditate for 5-10 minutes at end.
Question: We always here the negative effects of anabolic steroids, however, so many professional athletes are using them. What are the positive effects of them if used correctly. — Dan Trtanj
Answer: You can’t use steroids correctly—it is cheating. Anabolic steroids are synthetically made hormones and there are a ton of negative side-effects. I adamantly stand AGAINST the use of performance-enhancing drugs, regardless of age or level of an athlete.
Question: How do you assess the fitness needs for all new clients! Procedures for FQ10. –Brenda Weaver
Answer: Great question. There are several ways to “assess” the fitness needs of any new client. Here is what I suggest:
• FMS. The functional movement screen is a quick screen of 7 exercises (1, 2, or 3 grade on each exercise) to give you a snap-shot of any red-flags.
• Body Comp. I still love doing a complete analysis on any client that is open to the following:
–Inches. They don’t lie.
–Scale weight. Scale doesn’t lie either.
–Pictures. Pictures definitely don’t lie.
• Fitness assessment.
–Pushups. How many in 60 seconds?
–Single Leg Balance touch. How many can you do in 30 seconds on each leg?
–TRX Row. How many can you do in 60 seconds?
–Plank. Max time.
–300 yard shuttle. Cones are placed 25 yards apart. Up & back is 1 rep. Complete 6 reps.
Question: To crunch, or not to crunch for ab work? Many of my participants have lower back or neck issues. So I’ve been shying away from traditional sit-ups and on your back crunches. I’ve been doing standing core routines and planks. Do you have anymore tips? Todd Nicholson
Sorry to all you “purists” out there and corrective exercise specialists that I might tick off. But I’m going old-school and saying every now and then, YES…do a danged sit-up like you did when you were in 8th grade. Sure, don’t jack on your neck and round your back when doing it. Do it right. But bust your butt and see how many you can do in 2 minutes every now and then.
Now, if someone is coming to you with neck and back issues, I would make sure, like any exercise, that you are doing it correctly. Flat back, no rounding, no pain, head up, elbows back, tongue on the roof of the mouth, etc. Sure, the plank is a GREAT core exercise. Yes, standing isometric core exercises are fantastic.
But every now and then, lie down on your back, do a SIT-UP, and see what you got.
I would be more concerned with getting in enough hyperextension work, glute-exercise work, hip mobility exercises, and psoas-release type work.
Question: What are the Top-3 pieces of advice, that you have learned over your career that you would give to a “green” trainer? Derrick Bell
Answer: Man, tough question Derrick as I’m not sure I can narrow it down to only 3. Let me see what I can do.
1. Focus on the customer. It is not about YOU. It’s about your client. Do everything you can to make sure you provide an amazing experience and session for your clients.
2. Immerse yourself in learning. I call it “Master Your Craft.” You should always be reading a book, listening to a book on tape or podcast, attend at least 2 conferences per year, watch DVD’s, have mentors, be part of a “Mastermind” Group.
3. Your attitude determines your altitude. Regardless of your circumstance, you “be the change you wish to see.” And if you are in a situation you don’t love, either you CHOOSE to change or you CHOOSE to give it your all to the organization you work for. Don’t half-ass anything. Be ALL-IN!
4. Focus on your WHY…not just the How & What. Your “how” you do something and “what” you do may change, your WHY will not. Always remember WHY you got into this industry. WHAT you are teaching will change over time. HOW you are teaching it will change over time. WHY you are teaching it probably will not.
5. Be prepared to work. If you want to be successful in this field, you must be willing to work your butt off. There is no such thing as “entitlement” when it comes to being a great trainer—EARN IT with years of hard-work!!! While it at times can be physically & emotionally draining because we give so much, it can also be so darned gratifying and fulfilling.
6. Take Care of YOU. And because we give so much in this field, I would likewise say to make sure you treat your own health & fitness world-class also. Focus on getting in your own training time, clean up the nutrition if you have acquired bad habits, and do the little things it takes to be extraordinary. Being a “TRAINER” is a responsibility, not a right. Look the part, act the part, and PLAY THE PART.
Sorry, but that is 6 and not 3. That’s called AND THEN SOME. You must ALWAYS over-deliver!!!!