Thoughts From San Diego

A crazy summer it has been as there has been a lot of time spent in the gym and unfortunately the writing has been put aside to an extent. Fortunately the summer experience is leaving me with lots on my mind and lots to put on paper. The big experience being spending time in San Diego with the PTA Global team as it was one of the most thought provoking experiences that I have ever been a part of. Thought provoking enough that now that I have had a few days to unwind from it all I feel the need to get it written down.

The PTA Global experience was able to provide me with a friendly reminder of their systems that were applied throughout the certification experience but being in the presence of the people behind it all brought it to a whole new level. While I have always appreciated what the certification has provided to my training game, it was witnessing it all first hand that has made me appreciate the underlying brilliance of it all.

What I can say about training and I will be the first to admit that I have been guilty of in the past is an over reliance on systems in order to bring what we sometimes perceive as the best possible answer. The idea that in order for a person to get to where they need to be it is going to be a well periodized program consisting of macrocycles of strength, hypertrophy, speed, power, and conditioning. Not to take away from the validity of these vital training cycles for specific training environments. However I really do believe that thinking only in this fashion is overlooking a lot of characteristics of fitness programming for the general fitness population.

There is and will always be certain programming components for this population and it was certainly covered by these guys, but where it all really hit home for me was that it was not a lesson systemizing your training. The brilliance behind it all for me came from understanding the client and not the training. The idea that programming not only comes from expected outcomes, but from the ability to adapt your programming to any given client on any given day around any given circumstances. This is a much more elusive concept than I ever would have thought as it is quite often something that gets overlooked in degree and certification learning. For me it was more or less a skill acquired by learning as I went and when talking with newer trainers, it is a lesson that I try and drill home more than anything out there.

The healthiest trainer client relationships I have ever encountered come from the ability to listen, respond to feedback accordingly, treat every exercise as an assessment and every assessment as an exercise, and designing programs around clients and not clients around programs. If you are able to grasp those concepts as a trainer then everything else within your skill set will become relevant and you can say that you are making a difference in the people you are working with.

Once again big thanks to the PTA Global crew as well as the incredible attendees for such a thought provoking experience as well as the sleepless nights upon my return to Calgary as a result of it. The forward thinking that you guys are providing is exactly what we need in this evolving game of training.