Monday, April 20, 2009

Pushing through the gym myths, jargon, and ignorance to get results

I workout at the University gym during the week and hit the up the local YMCA on the weekends for a change of pace and scenery. I try not to pay attention to every one's methods of exercise, but it is hard to not want to give tutorials to the patrons and even the staff at some of these places. Just this weekend I heard the following advice and observed the following things:

  1. "you ain't never gonna get big wit out no set (that's right, "set") ups and push ups"
  2. The guy saying the previous statement had a trashbag suit on that matched his son
  3. A staff member," Ya see, your stomach muscles are never fully activated that's why so many people are so big"
  4. Same staff member, "That's what I love about sprint'n, regular jogging doesn't use your lungs or get your heart a pump'n at all"
  5. This guy was on a roll, "Ya need to just eat a buncha good ol' chicken breast to lose weight. I did it all last summer... chicken breast and water. I have put some weight back on, but it worked then."

After I died a little bit on the inside from watching the little kid with guy from statement number one doing half push ups with his feet against the wall I had to go to a different part of the gym. I am all for these people getting in the gym and sweating, I just want them to realize that there are more effective ways to get results.

I read some of the profiles of the workers and they don't have very many exercise science undergraduates and only one masters graduate at the facility. I am taking a mental note of the things that irk me about current gym processes or staffing problems that I observe to make my facility as idiot-proof as I can. I want to be able to educate my staff and make them have confidence in what they say is fact. I want to have my staff go through some power training sessions with me so they know how to properly execute a snatch, jump squat, and clean ... also I want to go through some essential lifts like deadlift, back squat, front squat, and incline dumbell press to make sure that my staff has at least an idea of proper form and body placement.

I have the university population to get my workers from... I will find as many kinesiology and health promotion students that want to work in this field as I can to staff my gym. All of this should help the problem.

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