Who was your Best coach?

Over the weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Perform Better Functional Training Summit in Long Beach, CA.  Every year the company Perform Better puts on a seminar where all the great minds of fitness come together to give talk and hands on lectures on all of the latest, greatest exercises, equipment and ways to train.  I always walk away feeling inspired, motivated and re-energized about my life, my job and my attitude.  I really enjoy a lot the hands on lectures because I am more of a visual learner and I enjoy learning new exercises and/or new twists on classic exercises.  This year was a little different for me because instead of learning more exercises, I learned more about myself and how to be a better coach and more successful in business.  Being a trainer you learn anything and everything you can about movement, exercise and nutrition but not so much about how to be a great business man or sales or how to be a better coach.  This seminar helped shine some light on the gray areas in my life and perhaps the areas in which need more attention.  Training is more than giving someone a killer workout and beating them into the ground, almost anybody can do that.  Training is more about shaping lives, getting others inspired about fitness and motivating people to make great choices throughout their days.  On average, us trainers see a client 2 to 3 hours of the week out of a possible 168 hours.  Being a great trainer is making a difference on how the clients do with the rest of those 165-166 hours out of the week.  We want to make a lasting impression and want to know if: are they fueling enough with the right foods?  Are they sleeping 6-8 hours a night? Are they getting in any extra movement when they are not seeing you?  Are they parking far away and taking the stairs every time they can?  Are they taking the proper steps to eliminate stress?  These are all questions a trainer asks themselves and hopes to exercise these areas as well as the physical part.

By far the most captivating, entertaining, inspiring and motivating speakers we had the luxury to see speak is Mr. Martin Rooney.  Martin Rooney is the creator of Training for Warriors and is the most energetic speaker I have ever seen.  He has the power to fire up anybody and get them ready to conquer the world.  He has an attitude that high energy and enthusiasm is contagious and it is.  His speech was on how to be a better coach and it really hit home with me.  Think about all the great coaches in your life and think about why they were the great ones.  What did they do that helped you or influenced you?  What was different about they way the coached you than any other coach?  I think being a great coach is more than being excellent in their sport but more so connecting with their athletes and getting the most out of them as possible.  Coaching is about being passionate about what you do and truly caring for who you are working with.  Not only are coaches good for the game but the good ones should be good for their lives.  Coaches should instill the values necessary for the athletes to be successful in life.  I attended a going away to college party this past weekend for one of my former divers and it made me feel great when the diver’s parents and two other friends of hers complimented me on what a great job I did coaching her this last year and how much I helped her.  It is stuff like that fills me up with pride and makes me proud to be a coach.

Mr. Martin Rooney  had these rules which he created which helps us trainers and coaches become better and what we do. He calls them paradigm shifts and and thought not only do they apply to trainers and coaches but also to every day real world applications and I would like to share them with you.  Here are the 8 paradigm shifts we all could try to work on:

  1. Make sure you are aiming at the right targets.
  2. Treat your job as if it were a profession and teach as if you were a renown artist.
  3. Plan your sessions (or hours/days) like you are in charge of planning a birthday party.
  4. Don’t seek to make people tired.  Seek to make them better than before they met you.
  5. Become the coach you always dreamed you would have had.
  6. Don’t wait for the perfect time to start.  Start and maybe the time will be perfect.
  7. Coach every session as if they will someday build a statue in your honor.
  8. Serve.  You will hot be measured by what you got, but by what you gave.

Wow.  Hopefully this hits home to those fellow coaches and trainers out there like it did to me and for the others, hopefully this is useful just as much.  I love and enjoy my jobs and I will continue to strive to be the best at what I do and will continue to connect and make them better than they were before.  That is my job, that is my passion, that is my mission.

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Article for Arnold

For all you lifters out there who love the pain, the struggle, the triumph, the feel of the cold weights, the bar across your back, the sweat, the grind and the pure satisfaction and freedom of lifting weights and all the great things that come with it, here is an article that will rock your world.  It is written by Mr. Martin Rooney from Training for Warriors and it written for the man himself Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger about lifting weights, the love, joy and satisfaction of it and why it is vital to continue for optimum levels of longevity and success.  I found myself nodding in agreement so many times while reading this and felt I just had to share it to spread the good word around.  Like Mr. Rooney loves to say “Viva la resistance!”  Enjoy

[Earlier this year I was contacted by Schwarzenegger.com to write an article for legend of the fitness industry, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I learned that Arnie was a fan of some of my previous work and really liked what he saw happening with Training For Warriors.  To say this made my day (if not my year), is an understatement!  Arnold has been an idol of mine since I was old enough to bicep curl, so I jumped at the chance to write something for him.  The following piece, “Got Resistance?” was the result.  Although I wrote it up in less than an hour (you don’t keep Arnold waiting!), this  turned out to be one of the most popular articles I have EVER written when it hit over 10,000 “likes” within 24 hours. Check out the full article below and let me know what you think]

Got Resistance?

I love to lift, plain and simple.

Weight on my back, in my hands and the sound of jingling 45’s clears my mind and offers me the hour of freedom some find in other pastimes.

I dont just get through lifting, I get from it.

I don’t count the reps, I make the reps count.

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If we can have men lauded for spending their lives with “hobbies” like mastering tea ceremonies or brewing beer, then why can’t I lift in peace without hearing I dont have to?  We are allowed to make our choices and I choose IRON.  I dont need any one telling me I can’t or shouldn’t do certain lifts.  Thousands of people are congratulated for getting shocked with electric barb wire at a mud run.  The stats show us sports are dangerous.  Yet I don’t see internet articles raging about shutting those down anytime soon.

Throwing a ball is bad for you.  So is a cutting movement to the side.  Full tilt collisions will give you a concussion.  Want to get hurt, do those.  But is the Squat, Deadlift, Bench and Overhead Press really the problem?  I don’t think so.

Although I have three degrees in health and fitness, my first form of training education were articles about and movies featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Know what I learned?  Use big lifts and lift heavy.  Know what he did for years?  The same thing, because they work.  As I originally learned, if you want great knowledge, go read an old book. Seems like if an “eastern block” manual was found in some Russian cave like a Dead Sea Scroll, everyone would be listening.  Well, just pretend the rest of this article was translated from Cyrillic into German into English and you will value it more.

To review, I came from a time when there weren’t many training books to read, any websites to surf and the biggest guy in the gym was the professor.  I was given salt tablets and thought shirts shouldn’t have sleeves. Did I make mistakes?  Sure, I made a ton of them.  But that is also what made me what I am now.  But one thing stayed consistent.  I used big lifts to always place resistance through my body.

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When the first internet articles started the information and questions revolved around how to increase the squat, bench, dead and sprint faster.  Since then, so much “new” training has joined the dance.  There have been Swiss Balls, Bosu Balls, lacrosse balls and other tools that have seemed to try to remove the “balls” from lifting.  As people got into their skintards and jumped into corrective exercises, postural exercises, Yoga and Pilates, I just kept lifting heavy.  Good thing because as you will see below, training and the basics will come around full circle.

Here is my take on the training life cycle of a person today:

Intro to the gym

Lift heavy as possible with big lifts

Get results

Get bored and try accessory variations

Get into a new fitness related hobby

Get some injuries

Get older and quit fitness related hobby

Fitness becomes the hobby

Go back to the accessory variations

Get no results

Intro back to the gym

Lift heavy as possible with big weights

Get results

Some people may not agree with the life cycle, but I have bad news for the fitness industry: there are no awards for creativity when it produces nothing. The real reward comes from producing consistent results.  And the results people want are fat loss, strength gains and to feel good.  Want that?  Make your plank a pushup.  Weight your chins.  Bend some bars.

I believe great training starts and ends with a bar and about 400 pounds of plates.  I get it that it may not be exciting, but neither is the small set of arms that comes with much of the fashion, fad and “science” today.  Face it, nobody ever died of tight hamstrings, tight lats or having their knees go over their toes while squatting, yet so many people spend time arguing what is the best ways to fix them.  But people do, however, die every day when they lose muscle.

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Not convinced of that?  Go to an old folks home and look around.  Most of the people there won’t be too fat or too skinny.  The ones that preserve muscle mass and keep the strength will live the longest.  Still not convinced, read up on legends Jack LaLanne or Frank Zane and check out their physiques at certain ages.

Break your hip and there is high risk you lose that mass and check out.  Bones get weak when there aint no load.  I used to say there are no silver bullets in training.  Maybe silver bullet is simply put high resistance through your body and crack a sweat 3-4 times a week by simultaneously getting your HR up.  Resistance is what we were designed for.  Remove it and suffer the consequences.  Hey, if you don’t like it, don’t do it.  If you don’t care how much you can lift, don’t do it.  But to remove weight or exercises from training sounds like a little too much weak sauce on your beloved avocado and bacon for me.  And hey, unless having the body of a marathon runner becomes the rage, I still think the heavier weight can help your confidence too.

Pick A Side Of The Fight

There is a war going on.  Not just in far off places of the world, but in your gym.  And I say it all revolves around the word I featured above, “Resistance.”

Face it, the world (and many of your friends) don’t want you to be healthy.  When I explain the Resistance, I state that resistance is not only on both sides of us, but it is also within us.  Not only are we battling the inaccurate info about food, the push for sedentary lifestyle, and the constant marketing and flow of products designed to make people unfit, but also on the other end of the spectrum of what is good exercise.  Today people may either be doing nothing and eating the wrong food, or getting electrocuted with barb wire at a mud run or getting terrified seeing passed out people on the ground as a result of “exercising.”  Today people are being convinced that exercise is pain and that it can only be productive with soreness and fatigue.  Even the word “Bodybuilding” has seemed to become a curse word! Time for a change.

The strongest Resistance to overcome, however, comes from within.  You will find that the person most often responsible for holding you back is actually you!  People often give themselves a “no” before they allow anyone else to.  In the mission to promote fitness and help people exercise, we are outnumbered.  We do not share the same beliefs as the common person today.  Face it, if you read this site, you are not “NORMAL,” but you cannot let this deter you.  Someone has to take a stand against the rise of obesity, diabetes and the decline of self esteem.

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Resistance is essential for progress in the gym. We all know that.  Without resistance placed through the muscles, tendons, joints and bones, strength and growth will not occur.  So, we must recognize Resistance as our ally, not our enemy. Just as you get excited for more weight on the bar, you need to get excited the same way when you meet a difficult person trying to push toward the direction of poor fitness.  With this mindset, you become like Arnold, a champion of fitness on a mission to help others.  And with the right passion and mindset, Resistance will be unable to stop you.

However this article resonated with you, it will tell you what side of the fight you are on.  Time to step up to the rack with callused hands, load the bar and get into the hole.

VIVA LA RESISTANCE!

[If you found yourself nodding in agreement while reading, you will love the Training For Warriors Dojo. Every month students of The Dojo receive new workouts, motivational videos and a live coaching webinar! There is also the “Ask Coach Rooney” section where you can submit your questions directly to Martin Rooney to receive a video response! Register as a new student today – TrainingForWarriors.com/Dojo

– See more at: http://www.trainingforwarriors.com/2013/12/as-requested-by-arnold/#sthash.vGvgNrpg.dpuf

Mantathlon

Alright for you serious lifters out there I present to you the Mantathlon. The mantathlon consists of 5 exercises designed to test your true overall strength. It is designed by Martin Rooney from Training for Warriors a serious educator in the fitness world.  The mantathlon consists of 5 exercises, all done to a maximum of 20 reps and it must be completed in 20 minutes.  The 5 exercises are:

  1. Bench Press Body Weight
  2. Chin Ups
  3. Overhead Press 1/2 Body Weight
  4. Dips Plus 1/4 Body Weight
  5. Bicep Curl 1/2 Body Weight

Your goal is 20 reps on each exercise with a total maximum score of 100  but so far this test has been getting the best of many.  I only scored a total of 56 with me only doing 1 rep on the bench press due to a bad shoulder.  It is a great way to test yourself and see where you stand and areas that need improvement.  I am already fired up on it and want to start training for it to increase my score.

For the full specs on what it is and the correct way to do it, here is the link:

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_mantathlon

Remember strict form is enforced, no cheater reps or body wiggles.  Keep in honest.  Good luck to you and go get em.