January 9, 2011

Sticky trainer/coach issues

Several of you have written to me with a similar concern: “I love my trainer/instructor/coach, but she/he has me doing some high risk exercises.  What should I do?”
My first response is to have you give him or her this blog link.  One of the main reasons I write this blog is to counteract what I see in the gyms and health clubs.  Several of you have posted links here from your Facebook page and I appreciate it; that has certainly helped spread the word.
If you love your trainer/instructor/coach so much you should be able to talk to him or her.  I know it can be a touchy situation; you do not want to appear confrontational.  I would suggest approaching in a similar way to how you have written me.  Stress the positive first.  Mention how much better you feel or how much you enjoy the classes.  Then ask a specific question.   If you are doing multiple curl ups or windmills, or stretching before you work out, ask why.  Perhaps your trainer has a good reason for the move.  If not, let him or her know you would prefer to work that area in different way.  If your trainer really refuses to change you can always plead, “that hurts my back” and speak the truth, for most of these moves will eventually hurt your back.
Dealing with a coach, especially your child’s coach can be equally sensitive.  It seems the majority of coaches (including those of million dollar professional athletes!) still have players stretch right before a game and do some very high risk exercises.  I would suggest printing out the abstracts of the two articles below, and showing them to the coach.  Each shows how pre-game stretching is actually detrimental to athletic performance.  I cannot imagine any coach wanting his or her players to run slower or decrease their jump height!

The fitness world is always changing, and it is hard to keep up with all the research, but most of what I have written about on this blog is not new.  It just seems the old school way of doing things is ever present and hard to overcome.  Feel free to e-mail this blog link to your friends, and maybe we can eventually get everyone exercising in a healthy way.

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