Monday, February 15, 2010

Ideal Client/Gym Movement Thoughts

"Great motivator and teacher"

I had never been in a gym until October of '09. I signed on and have been seeing Faizal once a week ever since. He's taught me many things in terms of technique and fitness. He's super easy to get along with and I'd recommend him to anyone looking for a trainer whether it be w/ kettlebells or your standard gym machines and free weights. I learn something new every time we get together."

Name and Address withheld by me (actually name is in official Dragon Door review).


He is being very modest. He had never been in the gym before working with me, and he is in his mid-40s, but now he can pass for his twenties. I have been working with him since November, and in that time his BF has gone from about 16% to about 9.5%. Greg has been a model client for the following reasons:

* CONSISTENCY: He shows up every time he makes an appointment. He has not missed one session with me, and more importantly, he brings it between our workouts as well. It is easy to motivate people during a one-on-one session, but the other 167.5 hours of the week is what gets you in shape. He rarely ever misses the prescribe volume, and if he does, it is not because of a lack of effort. Someone who works out four days/week will beat someone who one does one day/week, no matter how optimal that one day is. SHOW UP.

* UNDERSTANDING: He asks questions when he does not understand something. This is the most important reason why he learns something in each and every session. No blissful ignorance here.

* ACCURATE RECORD KEEPING: He writes everything down. I can't even begin to tell you how important this is. When I see him on Monday afternoon, he has written down everything he did that week (exercises prescribe, sets, poundages, how he is feeling). This helps me know EXACTLY what to do for the following week, included what new progressions he is ready for, what protocols, do we need to back off?, etc.

* DESIRE: He wants to make changes. While there are some people who are "in love with the process," he is looking to make changes. He has his EYE ON THE PRIZE. External motivation eventually dies, but internal motivation is very robust.

* INTEGRITY: He isn't full of shi'ite. If I ask him a question, he answers it honestly. He understands that the words that comes out of his mouth are not going to get results, but the actions. I cannot tell you in probably how many intake interview where people said they have a grilled chicken breast and a salad for dinner when I can literally smell the BIG MAC on their breath! Oh yeah, and everyone drinks a gallon of water a day.

* MASTERY OF THE BASICS: One thing that I will say works in his favor is this. He is an accomplish guitarist, and he has been formally trained. One thing that this means is that he has an appreciation for the fundamentals. He has no problem practicing something until it is automatic, even if it is boring. No Bosu, no walking lunges. Even though this our dedication to the fundamentals may have been boring at first, its has given him the foundation to build on new skills. This is one of the reason that his progress is continuing well into his fourth month while others plateau and/or quit (usually with a lame excuse). Many time, esp. in the boot camp mentality, start to early with complicated routines and circuits without building up that foundation of correct, strong movement. Two things usually happen:

1) The client gets hurt because they are stressing quantity before quality.

2) The client never builds a foundation of strength and work capacity, and they can't really do any volume of quality work. I see this when some yahoo sends me a "killer workout", but the heaviest bell used is the 12kg because they aren't strong or skilled enough to use anything heavier.

==> A good example of stressing quality before quantity is MASTERING "ENTER THE KETTLEBELL" (strength and quality movement the TGU/swing/C&P/snatch) before going onto "RETURN OF THE KETTLEBELL" (density training with the double military press, long cycle clean and jerk, double snatches, and double dead clean). If you did RTK first, you would either 1) kill your client, or 2) have the client only working with trivial weights while gaining balloon muscle.


There is a lot of talk about the Gym Movement, and whether it is great or not. I have reserved judgment for the following reason: You really can't appreciate it until you have tried it.

When I first got into KBs, ETK had just come out. Just reading the book, I was not overly impressed. The production qualities were not slick, and the workout protocol was not quite familiar to either the bodybuilding (2-5 day/week bodypart splits) or the Westside Barbell conjugate method that I was familiar with. So upon first look at it, I was not wowwed by it, simply because I could not deeply relate to it. You don't learn something by reading about it, you learn by doing it. This is why I hate when (dumpy) people criticize me when I eat a sandwich. "Too many carbs!" Now, if I tell them how to incorporate veggies, whole grains, fruits, and even the occasional candy bar so that they will optimize blood sugar, regulate hormone levels, and improve performance - they will not "get it" until they "feel it" for themselves. Frequent practice, "waving the intensity" even though you are keeping exercises the same, "rolling the dice", back off weeks, never to failure were ideas that you really can't understand until you "feel it" for yourself. Same for RTK, you don't understand long-cycle clean and jerk ladders until you do them. If you ask "can I do Atkins while doing RTK because I am not interested in mass?", I will know damn well that you have not done long cycle. You may understand it logically, but you don't know it until you experience for yourself. In the "sacred cows" video, I understood why the stuff was happening, but I won't pass judgment until I can experience it for myself. Personally, I don't find it at all in conflict with the RKC. In the normal programming world, you design a program so that you can always move forward. In Gym Movement, you use biofeedback to determine what your body wants to/can best do to move forward. Certainly interesting on some level.


Jennifer said...

yeah... I gotta figure out a way to master that long cycle clean and jerk. It's not jiving with me somehow...Are you thinking about doing FMS in May by any chance? Or maybe assisting in Orlando in October?

Faizal S. Enu said...

I am not sure if you have gotten RTK yet, but it sounds like you have.

The biggest difference between the clean and press and the clean and jerk is tension.

In the press it is from the tricep, lat, and shoulder. In the jerk, it is from the legs. You have to be able to keep the upper body upright, yet relaxed.

There are a few keys for this:
* Thoracic extension, with your eyes looking down on the horizon. This will improve your leverage by keeping the bells closer to you.

* Diagonal grip, with thumb on the top horn of the bell. This will take tension out of your bicep, and get the bells lower in your hand, which improves speed and rear shoulder leverage. If you have a parallel (press) grip, the bell are more apt to pull the hands forward.

* Heels down. If your heels come up, you can't drive the bells up with your posterior chain, it because of quads and calves, which with heavy weight equals knee and back strain. Too many people go straight down, like a bad swing. Think back, and the weight you are carrying will push you down.