Exercise Thievery and How To Commit The Perfect Crime
I had the pleasure of spending some time with the iconic Dan John this past weekend and had the chance to talk about a lot of very cool topics related to training, sports, and life. Needless to say my mind was blown and I think anyone who has the opportunity to listen to Dan speak would say the same thing. There was certainly no shortage of conversation pieces as that is usually the case when discussing training but one of my favorites when hearing Dan speak was accumulating, processing, and applying new information. As a trainer, this is a natural part of evolving and becoming a better practitioner over time. It can come from reading, observing, or it can come from continuing education but the one word that gets passed around that I notice people have a hard time admitting is theft.
From a young age we are told not to steal and we do make the world a better place by following this principle. However, there are exceptions to the rule and I believe that a little bit of thievery isn't such a bad thing. In fact I believe that in order to evolve in this business you're better off coming clean and admitting that you've been stealing. I will be the first to admit that I have done a lot of it lately and looking back at the first paragraph I can say that I robbed Dan John blind. This isn't exclusive to training either. Musicians make music by drawing out inspiration from their favorite artists and innovation is a result of drawing inspiration from already existing platforms and finding ways of making them better.
In training I have to say that if it wasn't for drawing inspiration from others and of course stealing their ideas that they had previously stolen from their own inspirations I wouldn't have the identity that I posses and continue to polish day in and day out.
Here is the catch. You don't want to get caught stealing. Smart criminals know how use their loot in a way that does not expose them and we need to follow a similar principle. For anyone with the ability to observe what goes on in a training environment can tell a good criminal from a bad one by the way information is put to practice. It looks copy and pasted and it just doesn't look pretty and you can easily find them guilty of theft. Unfortunately in some training environments there may even be a case for attempted murder. A major characteristic of solid training is the ability to be a smooth criminal. Good trainers have the ability to not only steal quality information, but follow a protocol that allows them to put it into practice with safety, efficiency, and originality. This is how they do it.
The question is do you want to go to jail or do you want to go home?
Commit The Crime
First of all if you're not committing theft on a daily basis I suggest you do so. Training is a profession where you can never know too much in my eyes and if you're not learning daily you're falling behind. Whether it be books, articles, seminars, or observing and speaking with colleagues you admire be sure that you take what you can from them.
Don't Get Greedy
Thieves get busted when they get greedy. I've seen it happen and I can say that I have been guilty of it in the past where you cash in in some good information and all of a sudden you're sidetracking your programming and your progress to showcase your loot. I look at putting information into practice as having to go through a process of critical thinking vs. flooding your programming with it.
Remember to have faith in your decision making and remember that the goal for you and your client is to keep the goal the goal (I stole that from Dan John).
|Very Smooth Criminals|
Be A Jewel Thief
When looking back at my history as a thief some of the biggest game changers for me didn't come from staling exercises, periodization models, or programming concepts. They came from words and I call these words jewels. Stealing jewels may not give you immediate gratification but what they will do is stick with you and reshape the way that you think about your training. I have a number of jewels that I have stolen over the years and they continue to transform the way that I train and the way that I think. Here are some of them.
''Don't let school get in the way of your education" - JC Santana
"Learn how to train for the electronic era" - Thomas Myers
"Every exercise is an assessment and every assessment is an exercise" - Eric Cressey
"The goal is to keep the goal the goal" - Dan John
"Functional training is training specific to a desired outcome" - Chris Hodgins
"Change is the law of life. Those who focus only on the past or present are certain to miss the future" - John F. Kennedy
(Hodgins if you read this don't let it get to your head that I've put you in there with Kennedy)
Steal It, Feel It, Deal It
Arguably the most important component of any good fitness thief. A good coach has the ability to acquire new skills, to train and understand them to a point of proficiency, and then be able to integrate them into their coaching models. I can't stress enough the importance of knowing the movements you are prescribing inside and out.This will provide you with the arsenal of cues, progressions, and regressions in order to successfully coach it and this is one characteristic that will define whether or not your coaching truly is effective.
Once again I want to say thanks to all of the presenters that I had the pleasure of learning from in Indianapolis this past weekend as once again I am back in the gym with a clear head and some fresh knowledge. I am proud to say I am a law abiding citizen but sorry fellas I robbed you all blind and I am grateful for you giving me the opportunity to do so.
Also wanted to express my excitement to be starting with the University of Calgary this week and being a part of the Dinos Baseball program. Means a lot knowing that my work is appreciated to a point where I am asked to be a part of the coaching staff. It could have been anyone in that position but you selected me and that means a lot. Looking forward to being a part of it for the year and I'm beyond excited to get after it.
All the best