2.) Personal Training and Strength & Conditioning are NOT the same

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In this context, S&C refers to athletes in a collegiate or professional setting.

I used to think they weren’t so different. While they may look the same on the surface: both client and athlete squat, do push-ups, chin-ups, deadlift and hip hinge, etc. the context and setting REALLY matter. As does the individuals you’re working with.

Athletes are paid or on scholarship. Their workouts are required as a part of the job. They HAVE to show up at 6 am and lift, two or three times each week, for several months in a row. My clients are paying me for my service, so if they don’t feel good, didn’t sleep well, or have a meeting at 8 am, guess what happens? The workout falls to the wayside (sometimes).

Now most of my clients are diligent and never miss a workout. But the reality is that their lives and the things they’ve got going on are sometimes more important than our workout. So while we were going to squat and press and do some chin-ups today, we’ll have to wait until later this week. Remember, it’s not what you WANT to do..

As an aside-athletes move pretty well. They can squat and hinge and have pretty amazing relative body strength. Not all my clients can move really well, and in fact the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz arguably moves better than some of my clients. Foam Rolling, dynamic stretches, and basic bodyweight movements are all we’re going to cover for the first few weeks of workouts. Barbells and kettlebells not included.

To put my clients under some sort of external resistance like a bar, dumbbell, or kettlebell on day one would most likely result in injury. First rule of Strength Coaching? Do No Harm

it’s what you CAN do

Athletes also have to be pushed pretty hard, and usually require hardcore coaches. Personal training requires a little more delicate touch. Be encouraging and soft sometimes, and step it up and be firm other times. It’s a ‘personal’ touch that’s the difference.

1.) It’s not what you WANT to do

Andy Van Grinsven

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