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You’re a Queen & You Know it

http://www.negharfonooni.com/feed/ - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 17:52

PICTURE THIS: You’re so hype on your own damn life. You’re doing work that brings meaning to your life and adds value to others. You go to bed every night believing that you did enough—that you are enough. You’re well rested. Hydrated. Moisturized. Magic lives within your bones. You don’t […]

The post You’re a Queen & You Know it appeared first on Neghar Fonooni.

Categories: Feeds

Boom or Bust: Why You’re Always Hurt

http://www.tonygentilcore.com/feed/ - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 15:35

I work with hurt people for a living.

It’s not uncommon for people to seek out a coach or trainer because an exercise doesn’t feel right or because something – a shoulder, a knee, lower back, their soul perhaps – routinely hurts and they can’t seem to get out of their own way.

That’s where I come in to save the day.

Most of the time.

To fix someone’s squat technique and to maybe (probably) give him or her a reality check.

Copyright: france68 / 123RF Stock Photo

Boom or Bust

This is a term I stole from a friend of mine, Dan Pope of Champion Physical Therapy & Performance, and to a larger degree has its roots from a presentation I watched him do centered around the conversation of understanding shoulder pain.1

“Boom or Bust” refers to the person who handles their business as follows:

Train/Overload –> Do a lot –> To the point where it becomes painful –> Get pissed off, becomes upset, is inconsolable, and inevitably increase their volume of ice cream and Julia Roberts’ movies –> Feels better –> Repeat –> What an asshole.

I’m sure many of you reading – whether the above sequence of events describes you or some of your clients – can commiserate.

It can all be summarized using the following graph:

Again, props to Dan Pope. I essentially drew his graph, but added a little Tony LOLs.

What this depicts is a scenario and approach that keeps the alarm system sensitive as well as pain levels up. They train hard on Monday and hit their bench pretty aggressively, of course.

A day or two passes, the shoulder feels okay, and they decide to test the waters again and perform a bunch of high-rep push jerks. Another day or two passes, the shoulder starts to feel, normal again, and since they have zero fucks to give, decide it would be a swell idea to perform kipping pull-ups paired with handstand push-ups for AMRAP on broken glass.

All they do is perpetually plow through their pain threshold and the cycle continues over and over and over again like an episode of Russian Doll.

This, of course, is absurd, and makes zero sense.

Conversely, what also makes zero sense is the opposite approach…

…UNDER-loading, over corrective exercising people to death, or worse, doing nothing at all.

I’m not dissing the corrective component. Depending on how sensitive someone’s pain threshold is, we may very well have to resort to a myriad of side lying external rotations, arm-bars, and band work.

The key to improving pain, though, particularly with the long game in mind, is to elicit a smidge (key word: SMIDGE) of it during training. You want to tease it, buy it a drink, make out with it a little bit.

If you want to elicit change, you need to move. When we move, we induce something called mechanotransduction, which is just nerd speak for “tissue begins to heal.”

Pain, when DOSED ACCORDINGLY, can be beneficial during exercise. When we push into a little pain there’s generally better short-term results than if not. Think of it like this:

There’s a line in the graph above labeled “pain threshold.” On a scale of 1-10 (1 = no biggie, I got this and a 10 = holy shit, a panther just latched onto my carotid), exercise should hover in the 2-3 realm.

In this case, the person can tolerate things like push-up, landmine, and row variations.

 

  • When (s)he perform those exercises, the pain level never exceeds a “3.”
  • When (s)he’s done exercising, along with the hours after, the pain level never exceeds a “3.”
  • The following day, the pain never exceeds a “3,” and in an ideal situation is back down to baseline, which is a “1.”

That’s the sweet spot and what we’re after from a managing pain standpoint. We’re doing juuuust enough to elicit a training effect, playing footsie with the pain threshold, but avoiding any boom or bust scenario where we place commonsense ahead of our ego.

And then, over time, the graph looks like this:

I’m an idiot. That arrow pointing up should be labeled “Improvement in Pain.”

The pain threshold slowly creeps higher and higher, and before long, push-jerks, bench pressing, and fighting Jason Bourne ain’t no thang.

Training (with weights), when matched with someone’s current ability level, and when dosed effectively, can be corrective.

The post Boom or Bust: Why You’re Always Hurt appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

Categories: Feeds

Garrett’s A.I. Coaching Log #10

http://www.jtsstrength.com/feed/ - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 11:26

Follow along with Juggernaut A.I. Co-Creator Garrett Blevins’ training.

The post Garrett’s A.I. Coaching Log #10 appeared first on Juggernaut Training Systems.

Categories: Feeds

How to Tame the Meet Prep Beast

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 10:35
The meet prep beast is going to rear its ugly heads at you sometimes, and its mugs come in many forms: injuries, stress, or a lousy no-show training partner. When one of them tries to bite, it's best to have a flexible plan of action that helps you nimbly dodge from the monster's jaws.
Categories: Feeds

Positivity, Desire, and Magic

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 10:34
I had the pleasure of hearing Earvin “Magic” Johnson speak at a leadership conference I attended. Magic discussed his experiences in business and basketball and his pervasive passion for winning, regardless of the endeavor, much like elitefts' approach.
Categories: Feeds

How to Dial in Your Half-Kneeling Exercises

What if I told you one exercise variation could help you:

  • Loosen up your hip flexors,
  • Strengthen your core, and
  • Improve your stability and control in split-stance and single-leg exercises?

Well guess what – half-kneeling can help you do all of those things!

In this short video, I detail exactly how I coach half-kneeling exercises, and give you a handful of exercise variations that you can take to the gym and start experimenting with TODAY!

Once you review the video, here are a few big takeaways that I think you’ll want to jot down:

  • Getting the toes underneath you on the back leg (if possible) really cranks up the stretch in the hip flexors.
  • Work to get the ribcage and pelvis stacked on top of each other.
  • Whenever possible, do your best to keep the knee/hip/shoulder of the “down” leg in line. This may not be possible at first, but should improve over time.

I hope the video helps, and have a great day!

Best,
MR

The post How to Dial in Your Half-Kneeling Exercises appeared first on Robertson Training Systems.

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“Help! My client is in love with me!” How to establish boundaries in your coaching practice—and avoid all kinds of nasty situations.

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 22:01

What do you do when your fitness client asks you out for a drink? Or texts you at 2am? Or slightly recoils from your touch during an assessment? When you’re a health professional working closely with people who need your help, things can occasionally get awkward. Use this guide to set professional boundaries, while still creating a trusting coach-client relationship.

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The details: A Precision Nutrition Certified coach—we’ll call her Sue—reached out to our private Facebook group for advice on a serious problem. Her client, also a coworker, had developed feelings for her.

Sue didn’t feel the same way.

She cared about this client and his goals. He’d already lost 50 pounds with her help.

But she didn’t want to be a caregiver or caretaker. His behavior had become an emotional drain.

When Sue tried to distance herself from the client, he lashed out and became self-destructive. His health habits regressed, and he went back to emotional eating.

As a coaching professional, Sue understood the dynamics. She knew the client’s reliance on her had become unhealthy. And she recognized that she herself was becoming more and more distressed.

Understandably, she felt stuck.
  • She’d have to confront difficult feelings: The client would be upset.
  • He’d regress: Asking him to change his behavior would cause a health-damaging backslide.
  • She was also caught in conflicting close relationships: They work together every day.

Tricky situations like Sue’s are very common in health and fitness coaching.

Yet while therapists, psychologists, and doctors are formally trained to navigate the boundary issues that arise in client-practitioner relationships, fitness professionals often aren’t.

So consider this your crash course for conduct, complete with practical tools you can use now, no matter how where you are in your career.

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The relationship between a client and a health practitioner is inherently intimate.

This is true whether you’re a strength coach, a group fitness trainer, a psychologist, a massage therapist, or a yoga instructor.

Deep feelings are discussed. Bodies are touched.

It’s “closeness,” even if it’s not romantic closeness.

As a result of this intimacy, it’s quite common (and natural) for coaches or clients to develop feelings (negative or positive) for each other. Feelings of friendship, tenderness, protectiveness, jealousy, anger, and/or frustration spill into the professional arrangement.

Without honesty, clear expectations, and mature, open communication, stuff gets messy.

Defining and upholding proper boundaries ensures that feelings don’t confuse the ultimate goal: to help the client achieve his or her health goals through self-empowered action.

When we don’t have well-defined and well-communicated roles, everyone is kinda standing around wondering, “What am I allowed to do here? And how are we supposed to interact?”

Anxieties, frustrations, and old hurts emerge, often vaguely and vexingly, and we feel pushed and pulled in many directions.

That’s why we need boundaries.

Boundaries are the invisible lines of division between the service provider and the client or patient, the social (and sometimes physical) norms and practices that define:

  • who is playing what role (e.g. who is coach and who is client);
  • what those roles involve (e.g. who provides direction and how); and
  • what the limits of that professional relationship are (e.g. how available the coach is for the client, or what’s discussed in sessions).

Good boundaries mean that clients:

  • feel safe and secure with their coaches, trusting they’ll act in their best interests.
  • understand the care a coach shows is the universal care of an invested, compassionate professional, and not a sign of romantic interest (or some other attachment).
  • are obligated to show up maturely and responsibly; to regulate their emotions, own their behaviors, and be consistent.

Good boundaries mean that coaches:

  • avoid ethical breaches or working outside of our scope of practice.
  • show our clients clearly who is doing what, when, and how.
  • recognize the potential power imbalance that is part of coaching, and respect our clients as autonomous individuals.
With clear boundaries, we have fewer misunderstandings and awkward situations.

Which is always good.

With well-defined, strong, healthy boundaries, our “emotional bank account” is freed up to invest in a robust coaching relationship that keeps us as coaches safe and sane, while helping clients reach their goals.

Appropriate behavior is context-dependent.
  • There’s a green zone: Totally cool almost all of the time. Like smiling and making eye contact as you greet a client.
  • There are “gray zones”: A little more blurry, and depends on the context and nature of the relationship. Like hugging a client after they just did their first pullup.
  • And there’s a red zone: Definitely—and always—a hard “no.” Like, “Don’t steal from clients” seems pretty intuitive.

But in real life, boundaries aren’t one-size-fits-all.

Therefore (and to make things more complex), the same action can be “green” with one client and “red” with another.

With a client you have a secure, trusting relationship with, it might be totally cool to exchange the odd gift.

But that newer client you suspect might be crushing on you? Exchanging gifts may send the wrong message and confuse the purpose of the relationship.

Context is everything.

With more experience, trust, and maturity you have more freedom—to get close, to joke, potentially to do or say “inappropriate” things.

With relationships that are newer, more fraught or confused, play by stricter rules.

In terms of ethical codes, health and fitness coaching is a little late to the party.

Other fields of service provision, such as psychology or social work, have clear codes of ethics they abide by.

Many mental and physical health care service providers receive ethics training as part of their certification, but coaches often don’t.

Yet part of your job as a coach is to behave ethically, which includes defining and maintaining clear boundaries.

So Precision Nutrition wrote its own Code of Ethics for the coaches we certify.

You can start with our Code of Ethics as a template, and add to it as you wish, according to your own value system, and the nuances of your practice.


PN Coaching Certification Code of Ethics

In your professional role as a coach:

Act in the client’s best interest. Prioritize their wellbeing, safety, values, goals, and comfort where possible.

Respect the worth and dignity of the clients you serve. Treat all clients with professional courtesy, compassion, and care.

Protect your clients’ privacy and confidentiality. This includes that you:

  • Follow standard data security protocols, such as protecting your personal logins and storing client data securely.
  • Be careful what you discuss about clients, and with whom.
  • Do not disclose personal or identifying details of clients.
  • Ask permission before sharing anything on social media.

Act with integrity. Make yourself worthy of your clients’ respect and trust. Don’t exploit your clients, financially or otherwise. Don’t seek personal gain from your client relationship (beyond your coaching fees, obviously).

Act with objectivity. Know the rules, regulations, and procedures expected of you, and follow them equitably and appropriately for each client.

Set clear, accurate, and reasonable expectations. Define the terms of the coaching arrangement (e.g. payment, frequency of meeting, how coaching works, etc.) immediately and reinforce them often. Be upfront about what results the client can realistically expect to see.

Have clear professional boundaries. Avoid multiple relationships (e.g. coaching friends or family members; becoming friends with clients) where possible. If you must have multiple relationships, recognize the inherent power imbalance in coaching, and be very clear what hat you’re wearing in a given situation.

Know the limits of your skills and scope of practice. If you can’t serve a client for reasons of ethics or expertise, refer them to another coach and/or care provider if possible.

Keep your skills current. Pursue professional competence, excellence, and mastery. Seek to be a credit to your profession.

8 tools to define boundaries in your coaching practice.

For coaches, there are lots of ways identify, establish, and maintain boundaries in your professional practice. We’ve got 8 to get you started.

The more tools you use, the more clear, comfortable, and secure your relationships will be.

Plus, less awkward situations.

1. Pay attention to your “emotional radar.”

Often, when boundaries get pushed (or trampled on), your body will tell you.

For example, you might notice that around a certain client, you feel tense, “icky,” or even repelled.

If you observe those sensations, check in with yourself.

  • Are roles defined and contracts clear?
  • Are you being asked to do things (either implicitly or explicitly) that make you feel uncomfortable?
  • Are you being exposed to some “TMI” material, either through the content of your client’s words, or images they sent to you?

If you can identify what’s bothering you, work to fix the situation:

  • Model appropriate behavior.
  • Communicate clearly, assertively, and maturely. (Keep reading for ideas on how to do this.)
  • Inform others about your boundaries and expectations for the working relationship. Don’t assume people “should just know” what appropriate behavior is. They might not.
2. Use body language to manage the space between you and your clients.

We “say” a lot without actually saying it.

Humans have a sort of sixth sense when it comes to expressing and reading body language. What we do with our bodies, and what others do, is worth a thousand words.

That means you can actually use your body as a tool to shape the coach-client relationship.

You can use your nonverbal cues to steer or “lead” clients.

For example, if a client is getting a little too close, you can lean or step back a little to increase the distance between you, or put an object between you (such as a desk or bench).

Without using words, this suggests, “This is a better amount of space between us.”

Other times, you may want to encourage closeness.

One simple way to do this is by “mirroring” your clients’ movements (subtly), and making eye contact. This demonstrates your attention and presence, and can foster a feeling of connection.

To convey confidence and authority, stand or sit tall, with good, but relatively relaxed posture. You’ll look like someone worth respecting and listening to.

3. Use your voice to show the right balance of care and authority.

Voices are powerful.

Your voice can command, cajole, calm, or control—and it can help you set and maintain boundaries too.

Generally, a warm, yet professional tone will signify interest and authority.

Speak clearly at a moderate pace, and unless you’re actually asking a question, be careful of a tendency to use a rising tone at the end of a sentence. (Which will make everything sound like a question? And it’ll imply that you don’t need to be taken seriously?)

Match your voice volume and cadence to your client’s to show attunement.

You can also use your voice to steer someone gently if you feel things should be going in a different direction: talking slower and lower to a client who’s gotten worked up and is talking fast and loud; speaking gently to a client who’s intimidated, scared, or defensive; or speaking firmly and clearly to a client who’s gotten a little too… friendly.

4. Write like a pro.

Even if your main jam is one-on-one sessions with clients, talking in an office or on a gym floor, you’ll probably do a fair bit of writing too: in emails or texts, handouts, contracts, and signs on the wall.

Your professional image is reflected in your writing, so cover the basics: Use proper punctuation, check your spelling, and get your message across clearly and concisely.

Make sure signs are clearly displayed and contracts are reviewed and understood, ideally before you begin your coaching relationship.

Signs and contracts tell clients what to expect, what their responsibilities are, and what you’re here for (and not here for). Articulate this up front, and you’ll have fewer problems later.

5. Make informed consent an ongoing conversation.

If you’ve ever joined a gym, had a massage, received psychotherapy, or joined a sports team, you might have had to go through some kind of informed consent and waiver-signing process.

An informed consent form usually covers things like scope of services and liability, and the potential risks to clients. It’s a good idea for every coaching practice to have one.

But it doesn’t have to stop there.

If made an ongoing conversation, the informed consent process can be an awesome, useful tool that helps define boundaries and helps clients feel heard, respected, and comforted.

Check in with your client on consent topics every few weeks. You can organize the conversation around themes like:

  • What’s happening for you as a client right now? Can you give me a “status update” about how you feel / think about our process, or your current situation?
  • Are you OK with what’s happening now? Does this match what you expected or wanted? Would you feel more comfortable doing something differently?
  • Do you understand what’s happening now? Do you as a client, comprehend why we’re doing something, and/or what the risks and benefits are? Do you understand how this activity connects to your goals?
  • Do you want to continue in this direction? Or do you need a break? Informed consent includes the client knowing that they have the right to say no to anything the coach proposes.
6. Protect your time.

Pop quiz: If a client texts you at 2am, do you respond?

Clients may email, text, or even call at all hours of the day or night. While you can have your business hours clearly displayed on your website, contracts, or signs around your office, clients may still pop in when it’s convenient for them.

That’s OK. (So long as they’re not banging on the door of your personal home at midnight. That’s “red zone” material.)

When and how quickly you respond to clients signals to them what you will accept, and what they should expect.

For example, if you start answering emails at 10:30 at night, a client may expect you to be available during those hours. If you always respond to texts within three minutes, a client may expect nearly immediate answers from you.

You get to decide what your boundaries are here, and what you’re comfortable with. If you don’t want your evenings to be crowded out by client emails, then turn the computer off before dinner, and respond to them in the morning.

Similarly, you get to set the tone for how time is spent during your in-person time with clients.

If a client is consistently late or missing appointments, or if they keep directing the conversation to who they went out with on the weekend instead of how their food journaling went, then it’s your job to gently but firmly call them out.

Sometimes an adult conversation needs to happen.

Like:

“Hey, I’ve noticed that you’ve been 20 minutes late for the last three appointments. Is this still a good time for you? If it is, let’s agree to start our session on time so we don’t have to cut into your appointment time.”

Or:

“It sounds like you had a fun weekend! But hey, I’d love to talk about your nutrition. I know one of your goals is to eat better, and I’m curious to know about how you’ve been doing. The more we focus our conversation, the better we can get both of our needs met.”

Approach these conversations as if you and your client are on the same team, rather than adversaries. Be friendly, and focus on the win you both want!

7. Dress sharp.

One perk of being a coach: You get to dress comfy!

One downside of being a coach: You get to dress comfy! Which means that sometimes, it’s hard to know what looks appropriate and also helps you demonstrate a squat or run a few agility ladders.

However, if you choose carefully, you can convey professionalism in athletic gear.

If you look professional, your clients will be less likely to treat you as a buddy or a potential hookup, and more likely to treat you as, well, a professional.

Make sure your clothes are clean and well-maintained, and that all your, um, parts are contained.

Your dress should also be appropriate to your environment. If you work at a gym, gym clothes are good. If you work in an office, “business casual” is likely the better dress code.

8. If physical contact is necessary, check in with your client’s experience of it often.

If you’re a personal trainer, massage therapist, yoga teacher, chiropractor, etc., body work is part of your job.

Make sure to have clients sign a form that provides consent to touch.

Even with contracts signed and squared off, always ask your clients for permission before you touch them, especially in potentially awkward or vulnerable areas. (This is especially important in situations where touch could be misinterpreted—for instance, a male personal trainer touching a female client’s glutes.)

If you’re a coach, here’s a handy checklist for considering boundaries when touching your client.

  • Does touching my client make sense in the context of our professional relationship? Am I, for example, a massage therapist or personal trainer legitimately touching my client in particular ways?
  • Does touching my client raise any issues given our social identities? That’s a fancy way of saying who are you, and who are they? Are you male, female, older, younger, the coach, the client (and so on)?
  • Does touching my client make sense in a cultural or social context? Different cultures have different norms on touch. And “culture” can be anything. For instance, your local MMA gym may consider it perfectly normal to choke someone with your thighs… but that’s not a good look at your average gym.
  • What are the benefits to touching my client? Am I helping teach them an exercise, giving them useful feedback, creating a genuine personal connection, and/or calming them?
  • What are the potential risks to touching my client? Might I be invading their boundaries, making them feel less comfortable, or sending signals that could be misinterpreted?
  • What are my motivations for touching my client? Is this to benefit them, or me?
  • Do I know my client’s personal history or level of comfort with touch? Some people have a history of physical or sexual abuse, or simply aren’t that comfortable being touched. Since you likely don’t know all clients’ personal details, start by assuming your client may have some kind of discomfort with touching. Proceed slowly with caution and assess their comfort as you go.
  • How am I letting my client know what to expect? A simple way to judge comfort is just to announce, then ask. For example, “I’m going to put my hand just underneath your left armpit to feel if your lat muscles are engaged. Is that OK?”
  • What feedback am I getting? Read body language, and ask. If your client gives you a hearty handshake with a bro-back-slap while making eye contact and smiling, you’re probably good to do the same. If you hug them and they shrink back or go rigid, quit hugging them.
  • Have alternatives handy. If you’re trying to give a client proprioceptive feedback, you can often use some neutral object (like having their butt hit a wall when you’re teaching a hip hinge). If hugging is a no, you may be able to do a less-threatening touch of the upper arm, or just work your smile and wave game.

And this should go without saying, but we’re gonna say it anyway:

For heaven’s sake, don’t touch your clients inappropriately. If you don’t know what constitutes consent or assault, educate yourself.

What to do next

When your “boundary radar” goes off, pay attention.

Don’t wait or avoid a situation that’s bothering you.

If you do, it’ll often get worse.

Prevention is the best option here, but if that hasn’t worked, then sometimes you’ll need to deal directly with an uncomfortable situation.

If possible, prepare documentation—such as emails, text messages, or a written summary of what happened from your perspective—or discussion topics in advance, and consider your overall strategy before having a difficult conversation.

Remember: You never have to work with someone who’s abusive, aggressive, or otherwise violates your boundaries.

Whether it’s a persistent series of misunderstandings and misalignments; someone who constantly gives you the “ugh” or “uh-oh” feeling; or outright harassment, you never have to tolerate a physically or psychologically harmful situation.

Get out or refer out.

Want strategies to level up your coaching?

It’s no secret that master coaches develop over time, through education and consistent practice, usually under the guidance of a mentor or coach.

Precision Nutrition is the only company in the world that both works with thousands of our own nutrition coaching clients and teaches health, fitness, and wellness professionals our real-world methods for getting results.

And here’s some great news: Our next Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification Master Class kicks off on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019.

Want to achieve total confidence in your coaching skills? Get (and keep) more clients? Grow and strengthen your practice? If so, the Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification is definitely for you.

It’s designed specifically for Level 1 students and grads who realize that knowing about the science of nutrition isn’t enough.

Part master class, part grad program, part mentorship, it’s the only course in the world designed to help you master the art of coaching, meaning better results for your clients and a better practice for you.

Since we only take a limited number of professionals, and since the program sells out every time, I strongly recommend you add your name to our VIP List below. When you do, you get the chance to sign up 24 hours before everyone else. Even better, you get a huge discount off the general price of the program.

[Note: The Level 2 Master Class is only for students and grads of our Level 1 Certification. So if you haven’t yet enrolled in that program, please begin there.]

Interested? Add your name to the VIP list. You’ll save up to 37% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification Master Class on Wednesday, April 3rd.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following VIP list which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to get started and ready to gain mastery in their coaching practice. So we’re offering a discount of up to 37% off the general price when you sign up for the Master Class VIP list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the PN Master Class twice per year. Due to high demand and a very limited number of spots, we expect it to sell out fast. But when you sign up for the Master Class VIP list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready to take the next step in becoming a world-class coach, we’re ready to share our knowledge and help you master the art of coaching.

jQuery(document).ready(function(){ jQuery("#references_link").click(function(){ jQuery("#references_holder").show(); jQuery("#references_link").parent().hide(); }); }); References

Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. (2015). Standards of Practice (5th ed.) [PDF file]. Ottawa, ON. Retrieved from https://www.ccpa-accp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/StandardsOfPractice_en_June2015.pdf

Canadian Association of Social Workers. (2005). Code of Ethics [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.casw-acts.ca/sites/default/files/documents/casw_code_of_ethics.pdf

Bryson, Sandy. Understanding Professional Boundaries [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.dsc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Understanding-Professional-Boundaries.pdf

The post “Help! My client is in love with me!” How to establish boundaries in your coaching practice—and avoid all kinds of nasty situations. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Categories: Feeds

Winning at social media: Get more clients with these 6 proven strategies.

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 22:01

From lack of know-how to fear of failure, there are plenty of reasons coaches struggle to develop an engaged social media following. But it may not be as complicated as it seems. Try this simple but effective advice from Precision Nutrition experts who have used social media to build thriving businesses.

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Frustrating. Useless. Scary. Humbling.

Those are just a few of the ways we hear coaches describe their experience using social media for their business.

Perhaps you can relate.

It could be you’ve tried Facebook or Instagram or YouTube or Twitter, but with uninspiring results. Or maybe you have no idea where you should even start.

You may worry that you’ll fail. Or that you’ll simply be wasting your time.

After all, how could you compete with the legions of well-established social media gurus? The ones who have tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers?

These are all legitimate concerns.

That’s why we spoke to some of Precision Nutrition’s most successful Certification graduates—great coaches who also get most of their clients through social media.  

They each went from zero followers to building a thriving coaching business with absolutely no training or prior knowledge of social media, other than using it in their personal lives.

And you can do the same.

Discover the strategies they used to overcome the most common social media challenges, and apply their advice to your own efforts.

But just like body and health transformations, don’t expect to flip a switch and see overnight success.

It’s simply about choosing small actions you can do consistently, and that fit your lifestyle and personality.

All so you can help more people achieve deep health, and grow your business in the way that feels right to you.

And in a word, we’d describe that as awesome.

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Challenge #1: “There are so many social channels, I just don’t know where to start. I can’t keep up with all of them!”

Covering all the social bases isn’t necessary.

Start with just one.

You wouldn’t likely ask a new client to adopt several new eating and exercise habits on their first day. It’s too much. Don’t expect more from yourself.

“One of the biggest mistakes I see, especially with new coaches trying to go online, is they’re on Facebook and they’re on Instagram and they’re on Snapchat and they’re on Periscope and they’re on Twitter. And they’re not concentrating on any one of those,” says Christie Miller, PN2, a 53-year old former corporate attorney who started her own coaching business—EatTrainWin—in 2014.

But don’t you need to be everywhere? Not according to Christie, who used a singular focus to amass nearly 50,000 Facebook followers.

Likewise for Mike Doehla, PN1, founder of StrongerU, a nutrition coaching business that started as a one-man show four years ago and now employs over 50 coaches.

“I almost downloaded Snapchat many times because I heard it was the hot new thing,” he says.

“Ultimately, I stayed away from it because going on another social platform meant I would spend less time where I was already reaching people.”

Instead, he nurtured his Facebook group, which now boasts over 15,000 members.

So which one should you choose? Go with what you know, says Christie.

She started out with Facebook because it was the platform she already used on a daily basis. So there wasn’t much of a learning curve.

“Now, 95 percent of my clients come from Facebook,” she says.

Another consideration: Where are your people?

Mike chose Facebook because his ideal clients are women and men in their 40s. And he thought, where do they “hang out?”

  • They’re probably not immersed in Snapchat.
  • They’re probably not spending hours on YouTube.
  • They’re probably not living on Instagram.

No, he determined, they’re mostly on Facebook, and they’re in groups.

So that’s where Mike spent most of his time posting—and still does—and it’s paid off in the form of a full client roster and booming business.

You may not be entirely sure where your audience spends time. And that’s okay. Resources such as this Pew Research survey can help provide useful insights.

But mainly: Don’t overanalyze it. Just make a choice based on your personal comfort level and preferences, as that’s likely to create the best fit.

Challenge #2: “There are thousands of coaches on social—it feels impossible to distinguish myself.”

This certainly isn’t a problem exclusive to you. Or to social media.

Every coach has the exact same challenge, whether it’s on Instagram or in their local community.

For instance, how do you compete with the Gold’s, YMCA, and Planet Fitness in your area? Or the well-known training guru whose 30,000 square foot facility just expanded… again?

The answer is you don’t.

Instead…

Focus on your unique abilities.

Your unique abilities are the intersection of what you love to do and what you do best.

When it comes to coaching, what gives you the most fulfillment? Who are you most passionate about helping? What are you really, really good at?

By figuring out the answers to these questions, you’ll automatically create a more vivid snapshot of your audience. These are the people you want to work with most, and who you’ll be best at helping.

The reality is coaches who use social media successfully are extremely clear with themselves about who their ideal clients are.

This is how they cut through the noise and make their voices heard.

But you have to go granular.

  • How old are they?
  • What are their jobs like?
  • What are the biggest health challenges they face?
  • What do they like to spend their time doing?

Take Christie’s approach, for example.

“My ideal client is essentially me before I lost weight,” she says.

As Christie tells it, this woman is 53. Maybe she has kids that are out of the house. She’s a successful entrepreneur or professional, and almost everything in her life is going great.

What keeps her up at night is this thought:

If I’m so smart, why can’t I lose weight?

She likes:

  • Brands like BMW, Nordstrom, and Whole Foods
  • Wine, convenience, and dining out
  • Inspirational and self development authors like Brené Brown, Tony Robbins, and Jack Canfield

And for the first time in her life, she wants to try losing weight in a way that doesn’t require deprivation or hours of exercise.

With such a rich picture of who she’s looking to engage on social media—and potentially work with as clients—it becomes a lot easier for Christie to connect with followers on a meaningful level.

She understands exactly who she’s speaking to, and is passionate about helping them.

This also helps solve another common (and related) problem: What do you say in your social posts?

When you have someone specific mind, it suddenly comes more naturally.

“Because I know my audience so well, I’ve chosen one female and one male client that are in my head as I’m writing,” says Melissa Boufounos, CHN, PN1, a nutritionist who works with obstacle course race athletes, and has a packed schedule of clients thanks to her social media efforts.

Melissa’s found the more in-depth she gets at targeting those specific people’s issues and needs, the better the response she gets.

Challenge #3: “I hardly have any followers. How am I going to get clients?!”

“Building your business online is like cooking in the crock pot,” says Christie. “But everyone expects a microwave.”

Let’s level set for a moment: We’ve shared advice from Christie and Mike, both of whom have huge social followings.

That’s a product of consistent effort over time. But each will assure you:

You don’t need 50,000 or 20,000 or even 1,000 followers to start growing your business with social media.

Case in point: Melissa’s Instagram followers are only in the high 1,200s, but because they’re extremely responsive, they’re a key driver of her business.

She often posts on narrow topics that “most people” probably wouldn’t be interested in. That’s because “most people” aren’t her audience: Obstacle course racers are. And they’re very interested in what she has to say.

Which just goes to show:

The quality of your audience matters a whole lot more than the quantity.  

“When I first started, I was spending some money on a campaign to gain followers,” says Christie. “It worked. But some of my earlier followers weren’t my ideal clients.”

Instead, it’s the people who connect with her organically—by finding one of her posts or being referred by a friend—that eventually sign up for her programs.

So find value in your existing network, because chances are, it provides plenty of opportunity.

The truth is, most of us know enough people already to be successful coaches.

The hard part, of course, is convincing them to work with you. And social media can be a great way to do that, as long as you have a plan.

Which brings us to our next challenge…

Challenge #4: “When I post a link to sign up for my program, I’m not getting any response.”

This doesn’t happen because you suck as a coach.

It happens because you’re not being strategic about when and how you ask people to sign up.

And take heart: This is the case with thousands of coaches and businesses.

But there’s a better way, and it can help further differentiate you from the crowd.

It’s called the give-give-ask strategy, says Melissa. This three-step process helps you build a relationship with people who might be interested in your services—long before you ever ask them to give you money.

Step 1: Give free advice.

Melissa’s gained most of her clients by doing exactly this.

She’s a member of several obstacle course race Facebook groups, where there could be many potential clients for her.

When she sees someone post a question she knows the answer to, she’ll respond.

But there’s one important caveat here: “I don’t answer as if I’m looking for business,” she says.

In order for this strategy to work, you truly have to be giving.

Giving is:

  • Answering a nutrition question
  • Sharing a blog post you’ve written that relates to a posted question
  • Providing support, words of encouragement, or a listening ear

Giving is not:

  • Talking up your coaching services
  • Directly asking for someone to sign up for your program
  • Asking people to like your page, follow you, or like your posts

The best part: This establishes you as an expert. Not by telling people, “I’m an expert.” But rather, by sharing your knowledge, and letting those who benefit make that determination for themselves.

Step 2: Be genuine.

Part of giving is showing people who you really are.

When Christie came back from a recent vacation, she discovered she’d gained seven pounds.

Instead of hiding this “slip-up” from her followers, she decided to get real about it on Facebook Live.

It’d been a really tough year. Her husband’s identical twin died of cancer, while her husband had cancer at the same time. Because of that, they’d been extra vigilant with their nutrition, and hadn’t consumed alcohol in months.

But when they got on vacation, they let loose. Big time.

“It was awful,” says Christie. “It got to the point where I’d wake up in the morning and then be mad that I was still fulI.”

After she shared her experience, she laid out exactly how she was going to get back on track, step-by-step.

That triggered a flood of private messages and emails.

Turns out, Christie’s followers thought she was perfect.

But by giving them an inside look into exactly how she’d use her nutrition expertise to bounce back, Christie was able to show she was both relatable and human, all while establishing her authority as a coach.

So be authentic, and be vulnerable. It’ll make you far more interesting to people.

Step 3: Make your ask.

If you try to “sell” too aggressively or too early to your audience, you could lose the opportunity to work with them.

But here’s how one coach, Carolina Belmares—owner of Sweat Glow Fitness—did it right.

She found a community of people like her—Latina women who were interested in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

Over several months, Carolina built up a reputation of someone who was kind, selfless, and helpful by commenting on other people’s posts and answering questions about nutrition and fitness.

She gave. And gave. And gave.

It was only after all this that she put up a single post letting people know she was taking on new clients.

The result of this approach?

Carolina signed up eight new clients in one day.

So before you post a sales link or ask people to join your coaching program, ask yourself:

  • Have I established myself as an authority in this community yet?
  • Do people know, like, and trust me?

If you can answer “yes” to both of these questions, go ahead and make your ask. If not, put in a little more time before making your pitch.

And if you still dread the idea of asking, even at this point? Keep reading.

Challenge #5: “I hate doing sales posts. They feel inauthentic and I can tell people don’t like them.”

“We don’t ask anyone to sign up. We simply show our work,” Mike says.

And he’s not just talking about before/after photos. What really resonates, according to Mike, is stories.

In January, Mike posted in his Facebook business page to encourage clients to share their experience with his coaching program over the past year.

“I thought 10 to 15 people would comment,” he remembers.

Instead, over 100 people responded with their photos and experiences.

When coach Mike Doehla invited clients to post transformation stories to Facebook, the response was huge. Testimonials “literally grow your business for you.”

Now this massive testimonial lives at the top of his Facebook page.

And all he had to do to accomplish that? Be a great coach and invite clients to share.

“Serve your clients well, and give them the best service and the best quality coaching you can. Then, they’re going to literally grow your business for you,” says Mike. “Happy clients lead to many more clients.”

So hone your coaching superpowers.

For your clients to get amazing results and want to share them with the world, you’ll need to be the best coach you can be.

Challenge #6: “I’m spending so much time on social that it’s taking over my life. Help!”

“Social media can be such a time suck, especially for new coaches,” says Christie.

To avoid that black hole of time-wasting, use these three strategies.

Schedule time for social.

Christie designates a specific chunk of her day for social media work, and limits most of her posting and commenting to this window.

It’s a smart idea, right? By bucketing your efforts, you’ll probably be a lot more efficient than if you did them randomly, fracturing your day and perhaps interrupting “you time.”

When you first start, this may require a good degree of self restraint. But remember: It’s all for your own sanity.

Granted, there’s a high likelihood this falls into the category of “obvious advice you know but never do.”

And if that’s the case, think about how you might help a client eat more vegetables.

In other words, you have coaching skills. Use them to help yourself.

Log on with an objective.

“When you sign into social, make sure you’re either going there to post something or connect with clients,” says Mike.

Maybe your goal is to comment with advice on three posts in a nutrition group.

Perhaps you just want to respond to something you were tagged in.

Or maybe you’re going to spend 30 minutes—max!—reading and participating.

But have a game plan. Otherwise, you’re likely to get sidetracked, and before you know it, your entire day (or night) is gone.

Put another way: Use social media; don’t let it use you.

Take advantage of technology.

There are plenty of tools that help improve efficiency. You may have to search around for what works best for you, but here are two strategies our experts recommend.

Use notifications.

Set up notifications for clients you’re friends with on Facebook or you follow on Instagram. That way, when they do something, you know about it.

“My whole theory on this is that people want a coach who is good with nutrition, but they also want someone that gives a crap about them. And that involves getting to know them on a deeper level,” says Mike.

One small way to show them you give a crap? When you get a notification that they’ve posted, comment. Ask a question.

Make it clear you’re there to support and praise them throughout their journey.

You don’t need to act right way (remember your time block!), but you can use the notifications as a “to-do list” when you log on.

Schedule social media posts.

Scrambling each day to find something to post can be incredibly time-consuming.

To solve that problem, Melissa uses a program called SmarterQueue, which allows her to pre-schedule posts. When there’s nothing new to post, the program will auto-populate with an old post that she’s designated safe for reuse.

And that’s just one option. There are many time-saving apps out there.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask fellow coaches—or friends who use social media in other industries—what they use.

(As a Precision Nutrition Certification student or grad, you get access to our community Facebook group,  which is an awesome place to get answers to questions like this.)

Remember: Social media may be part of your job, but it’s not your whole job.

Even if you work exclusively online, your job title is still “coach.”

And that’s the single most important thing to keep in mind.

Being a great coach takes care of a lot of problems.

It helps your clients achieve better results. Which helps lower your anxiety and self-doubt, and makes posting on social media and asking for business easier.

And all of that allows you to help more people.

So put the bulk of your energy into improving your coaching skills and working with clients. Don’t stress if you miss a couple of days on Facebook, or can’t post on Instagram all week.

Sometimes that happens. And that’s okay.

Because you aren’t in the business of social media.

You’re in the business of changing lives.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in way that also helps you build an authentic and successful business—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 33% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

The post Winning at social media: Get more clients with these 6 proven strategies. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Workout of the Day: Legs with Mark Dugdale

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 10:27
1. Unilateral Leg Curls 2. Cambered Bar Squats with Chains 3. Blood-flow Restriction Leg Extensions and Goblet Squats 4. Cable Pull-Through — click to see the sets, reps, and equipment I used for this leg workout so you can enjoy the same pump.
Categories: Feeds

Add 100 Pounds to Your Deadlift

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 09:44
I decided to go back to powerlifting and tested out where my sumo deadlift was. The first time I went back to it, the weights were flying off the floor, and I went on to pull 800 pounds at the meet — a 100-pound increase in my deadlift. If I can do it, so can you. Read on to learn how I did it.
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The JuggLife | Pro Athletes We Want To See In Strength Sports

http://www.jtsstrength.com/feed/ - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 08:56

Which football player would make the best Powerlifter? What NBA star could be a great discus thrower? We make our picks for the mainstream Pro athletes we’d most want to see crossover into Strength and Olympic sports.

Today’s episode is brought to you by… Blinkist, get 7 days free at blinkist.com/jugglife Breathe cleaner air and sleep better with Molekule. Get $75 off your first order with JUGGLIFE at molekule.com 

The post The JuggLife | Pro Athletes We Want To See In Strength Sports appeared first on Juggernaut Training Systems.

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Two Swing Cues to Unlock your Power, Posture, and Athleticism

https://www.strongfirst.com/blog/ - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 08:00

There is a big difference between swinging a kettlebell around and executing a powerful kettlebell swing. The first is common with kettlebell beginners who often start by mimicking what they think they are supposed to do. But learning where and how to focus their efforts, and what that power feels like, well, it leads to a lot of ‘aha’ moments. And we never get bored of those. Read on to explore two cues that might help you or your students get that feeling.

If you’re here, you probably already know that kettlebells can be pretty powerful tools for change. The first part of this article talks a little about how the kettlebell (particularly the swing, Turkish get-up, and goblet squat) changed the quality of my movement (and life). Part two includes a couple of tips that I think can vastly improve the quality of your swing in a hurry.

StrongFirst-Two-Hand-Swing-2 Part 1: My Story—How Kettlebells Improved my Posture and Injury-Proofed by Body

Almost a decade ago I purchased my first set of kettlebells. I was playing a lot of football (soccer) and touch football (like rugby league, not gridiron), but I wasn’t strong and nagging hamstring issues hampered my performance. I wanted to get stronger.

I decided against joining a gym. Instead, I allocated two years’ worth of membership fees towards setting one up at home with a power rack and weights. I was satisfied. But then I got an email. It made wild claims about kettlebell training—android-like work capacity, back like iron, etc. I thought if these things are even half as good as they say, I’ll be pretty happy.

I got the bells, gave them a try, and… was rather disappointed. They were ok, but I wasn’t getting anywhere near the promised outcomes.

Then I heard that an expert instructor was coming to Brisbane to teach a kettlebell course. I thought, why not, I might as well learn to do it properly before I dismiss it.

We covered three movements, the Turkish get-up, swing, and goblet squat. It only took me a few weeks of mindful technique practice before discovering that my posture had improved, my performance improved—I was scoring ludicrous numbers in both football and touch football—and my hamstring issues had all but disappeared. From “only” three skills. Now I was excited.

My gains encouraged me to develop more skills. First from Master SFG Shaun Cairns, and then later, from Pavel himself in St. Paul, MN. I traveled there multiple times to learn as much as I could.

I believe a few key factors contributed to my transformation from weak, nerd body to relatively strong, useful human body. One of them was the kettlebell swing.

StrongFirst-Two-Hand-Swing

The swing is crazy powerful. But people, especially kettlebell beginners, often miss out on some of its benefits because they fail to realise its power as a full body exercise. The swing is an amazingly comprehensive exercise because it strengthens so much: grip, glutes, hamstrings, quads, lats, and abs.

I’m constantly seeking ways to help my students to feel that power so they get the most out of their swings. What follows are two cues I have found equally helpful for beginners and seasoned swingers alike. Beginners because they don’t know what a good swing feels like yet. Seasoned swingers because once you get good at something, you don’t have to think so much and therefore, can zone out. Have a read, have a play, and leave questions or comments below or on our StrongFirst online forum.

Part 2: Two Cues to Get a Lot More out of Your Swing

You may not know this, but there are multiple muscles in our posterior assets—our glutes (visual inspection of your nearest human will confirm this, but there are actually more than two). When we swing, we want to stay as tall as possible and fire off as much of this musculature (as well as the rest of your posterior chain) as we can, ensuring a good, tight pelvic lock. This helps to generate power in a way that benefits our lower backs (especially relevant for those who sit a lot, don’t walk much, and generally behave like 21st-century humans).

Through the years teaching our system, I’ve used a variety of cues—“squeeze your butt,” “crack a walnut,” “mint a coin,” “try and touch your pelvis to your belly button,” and so on. Because not every cue works for every student, finding the perfect one to help them connect with this incredibly powerful position could be a long process. Since I want people to grasp things quickly, particularly when it’s going to be as beneficial as the swing, I knew something in my toolbox was missing. So when I heard this next cue, I was pretty stoked to add the new language to my coaching kit. Not just because it worked with almost everyone, but also because it boosted my own swing power.

Pelvic Floor

Currently, your pelvis is likely resting on a chair (if not, imagine it is). If you are sitting up straight, the patch of skin between your ‘sit bones’ resting on the seat is called your perineum. At the top of your swing, if you can maximise your muscular contraction around this area, you’ll notice a significant boost to the force of your glute contraction.

Essentially, I cue my clients to get their glutei to ‘hug’ or compress down around their pelvic floor. Once you’ve contracted the musculature around there, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that your pelvis has situated itself in a full, powerful lock position.

StrongFirst-Two-Hand-Swing-3 Rhomboids

Something else that can de-power the swing is when students don’t fully understand the shoulder packing cue, so they keep their shoulders cemented back and down all the time. Shoulder “packing” is often the victim of “good cue gone wrong.” There is a huge difference between connected and cemented. Keeping your shoulders packed to avoid shrugging or arms hanging off of soft tissues is a good thing. Packing that restricts the natural movement of your scapulae is not. A misplaced emphasis on keeping an incredibly closed position can lead to cranky shoulders.

Ultimately, there is so much going on in a person’s swing that to get their lats active (critical in so many movements) without restricting the rest of their back’s ability to perform beautiful movement is a challenge. So what cue do I use here? 

It turns out that the beauty of irradiation means that I can have active lats without compromising the surrounding musculature’s movements. My cue is to focus instead on actively holding their rhomboids (not crushing them, just actively engaging them).

Where are your rhomboids? The point that I identify for my clients to ‘squeeze’ (done correctly, very little on your back will move, you’ll just feel this area become tight) is directly between the bottom of their scapulae. Follow the line of the shoulder blade until its lowest point, and then run a straight line until you’re almost at the spine—like where you’d attach a heart rate monitor strap. This is the spot that you want to get active. It’s great because it should remain fairly constantly active throughout the movement, and doesn’t have any of the moving parts directly attached to it.

By cueing this spot instead of anywhere else, I’ve noticed that people find it easier to retain their posture at the bottom of the swing, and that they don’t tend to have as much ‘chicken necking’ at the top—both things that seem to greatly impair power production. If I can kill two power-stealing habits with one cue, that’s a big win.

Cues in Action: Your Turn

Hopefully, these cues are simple and clear enough that you can give them a try. Try them out and let me know how they go for you. Also, have a think about the first one and see if you have a more delicate way to describe it, so that my daughter doesn’t die a little inside as she gets older and hears me yelling about people’s ‘perineum’ across the room. While I believe these are great starting points, they are just that—the start. If you want to get the most out of your kettlebell, you would benefit from taking a StrongFirst kettlebell course or by learning from a StrongFirst certified instructor near you—expert eyes and personalized coaching to get you moving well quickly. These cues are a good place to start before you get there.

The post Two Swing Cues to Unlock your Power, Posture, and Athleticism appeared first on StrongFirst.

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5 Strategies to Avoid Overthinking Strength and Conditioning Programs

https://ericcressey.com/blog - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 07:55

I frequently run Q&A sessions on my Instagram stories, and sometimes, I’ll get an inquiry that warrants a detailed response that goes beyond a 15-second time limit of the small amount of text I can squeeze into a respond. This question is one such example:

The more I learn, the more stressful I find programming for athletes. Any tips for this?

First off, I should acknowledge that this is an incredibly common problems for not only new trainers, but experienced coaches as well. The curse of knowledge is a very real thing that can lead to a lot of frustrated tapping on the keyboard as you write up programs for clients that really don’t require things all that advanced. Here are a five strategies I’ve found to help:

1. Identify the biggest rocks and circle them.

After I write up all my notes on an evaluation, I go back and circle 2-3 things that I view as the highest priority items. Maybe it’s very limited cervical range of motion, or brutal single-leg strength. If it’s a resting heart rate in the 80bpm range, maybe we need to hammer aerobic capacity. Regardless, I find that when you definitively identify and highlight the highest priority items, it makes it easy to get the ball rolling on the program and build some momentum in the “don’t sit in silence and overthink things” direction.

2. Think quality movement first.

When joints move efficiently (work from “neutral”), it impacts a host of other systems. You take longer to shift from aerobic to anaerobic energy systems strategies. The length-tension relationship is optimized to enhance strength and power. The lymphatic system works more efficiently to optimize recovery. Effectively, moving efficiently has a “trickle down effect.”

These downstream benefits are why we take so much pride in our warm-ups. They shouldn’t just get your body temperature up, but rather, they should also work to reduce bad stiffness and improve good stiffness. For instance, with a back to wall shoulder flexion drill, we’re reducing bad stiffness in the lats, scapular downward rotators, and lumbar extensors. Meanwhile, we’re establishing good stiffness in the anterior core, deep neck flexors, and scapular upward rotators.

3. Acknowledge that you very well may never use some of the tools in your toolbox.

If you’re working with post-pregnancy women who are just looking to lose their baby weight, don’t expect to use French Contrast Training. And, if senior citizens are your niche, your extensive knowledge of plyometric progressions probably isn’t going to have much of an impact (sorry, bad pun).

If you hire a contractor to fix something at your house, he rolls in with his toolbox, but isn’t emotionally attached to the idea of using a chainsaw, hammer, screwdriver, or any other specific tool. Rather, he matches the right tool to the job in question, even if it means all the other tools are unused that day. You have to be willing to recognize that a ton of the things you’ve learned over the years may, in fact, be completely useless for you.

4. “Batch” your programs.

Believe it or not, I have an easier time writing a program for a professional baseball player with years of training experience with us than I do writing a program for an untrained female. The reason is very simple: I write a lot more programs for baseball players, so it’s familiar and I have a lot of related cases from which I can draw perspective (“X athlete is similar to Y athlete, so I can build on the success I had with that athlete instead of reinventing the wheel”). For this reason, try to write multiple programs for similar demographics in the same sitting instead of breaking them out to different programming sessions. As a general rule of thumb, I never sit down to write a program unless I’m doing at least 3-4 programs in that sitting.

5. Build on the previous program.

Most of the time, when I write a program, I’m writing it right over the top of the previous month’s programs, as doing so allows me to contemplate progressions and regressions quickly and easily. Never, ever start by staring at a blank programming template!

Wrap-up

In closing, remember that program design is only as complex as you make it. When in doubt, simplify!

This post delved into programming strategies, but the truth is that our programming is just one aspect of the systems that make our two Cressey Sports Performance facilities what they are. In our upcoming Cressey Sports Performance Business Building Mentorship, CSP co-founder Pete Dupuis and I will pull back the curtain on these systems to help other gym owners improve their systems. Our next offering will be April 7 at our Jupiter, FL location. For more information, click here.

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Categories: Feeds

Troubleshooting Weightlifting Problems Pt. 3

http://www.jtsstrength.com/feed/ - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 16:36

If you have a very strong squat but are lacking the ability to accelerate the bar in the squat, here is how to fix it.

If your legs are strong but you are failing to accelerate the bar from your hip, check this out.

The post Troubleshooting Weightlifting Problems Pt. 3 appeared first on Juggernaut Training Systems.

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Troubleshooting Strength Injuries: What is Autoregulation?

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 08:21
There's a sweet spot where stressors are present as motivating and growth factors but not too much to where athletes become chronically sympathetic, causing a cascade of performance-altering events. This spot is called autoregulation.
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General Criteria to Consider When Writing a Program

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 08:15
It's important to note that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all training protocol, and these are just some general suggestions based on a few successes and countless failures over my career that I consider when writing a program.
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Hand and Wrist Position In The Snatch and Jerk

The hand and wrist position overhead in the snatch or jerk needs to provide the most security and stability possible with the least strain on the joints. Imagine your arm and hand like the post and cradle of a squat rack. The wrist should be extended so the base of the palm is directed somewhat upward. Position the bar in the palm, slightly behind the midline of the forearm. Then simply close your grip around the bar. Grip tension should be only what’s necessary to maintain control.
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Anti Hustle

http://www.negharfonooni.com/feed/ - Sun, 02/17/2019 - 18:00

Sunday morning, 0845, I opened my eyes and drew the curtains to wash the bedroom with late morning light. I slept until I felt like waking, made coffee, and then proceeded to lounge around in my robe and do absolutely nothing for the next few hours. In our perfectionist culture […]

The post Anti Hustle appeared first on Neghar Fonooni.

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The Good and The Bad About Insulin

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Sun, 02/17/2019 - 01:30
I don't think most bodybuilders who use insulin as a performance enhancer truly understand WHY they are using it and what it can actually do to their bodies — both good and bad. So let’s dive into the nitty-gritty on the subject of insulin...
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LISTEN: Reactive Training Systems Podcast #80 with Dave Tate

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Sun, 02/17/2019 - 01:04
In the 80th episode of the Reactive Training Systems podcast, host Mike Tuchscherer and Dave Tate talk about how to build and strengthen relationships in order to lay down the foundation for a strong business and a legacy in competitive powerlifting.
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