Guest Blog: PJ Striet

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Side Note: Last week, I wrote a blog titled Everything is an Assessment. I thought it was pretty good. I mean for all intents and purposes, I held the jokes to a minimum, included some good content, and felt it was a halfway serious post. Basically what I’m trying to say is that it was pretty much the best post ever written in the history of the internet.

That being said, I have some really smart people who are loyal readers of my blog (I have no idea why). As such, every now and then one of them will drop a knowledge bomb in the comments section that will completely trump my awesomeness. Below is a comment made by Cincinnati based personal trainer, PJ Striet, that he left in the aforementioned blog from above. I thought it was fantastic, and felt it was a perfect adjunct to the original post I made. Enjoy!


Good post as always Tony. I see a lot of debate among trainers about assessments, and, more specifically, the concept of assessing vs. guessing. Here is my take…

Guessing is bad…but ASSUMING is ok in my book, especially if you are working with an adult/general fitness/fat loss clientele. I personally use Assess & Correct as my client assessment protocol. However, in 90% of cases, the results of my assessment would match my assumptions had I not done the assessment protocol to begin with. If you are working with 9-5 adult professionals, you can assume the following and 90% of time you are going to be spot on:

Tony’s Note: Just thought I’d break things up with a random picture of Lacey Chabert. Continue……..

1. There general strength levels are terrible in all the major movement classifications. This is either due to not training at all in the past, or, as Tony pointed out in another post, “trying” when they did actually go to the gym, having no rhyme or reason to what they were doing and making all of their existing imbalances, deficits, asymmetries, etc. worse.

2. Their ankle mobility sucks.

3. Their knees hurt or have hurt due to both #’s 1&2 above and #4 below.

4 Their hip mobility AND frontal plane strength suck.

5. They have or have had back pain due to #4 above and #’s 6, 7, & 8 below.

6. Their core stability sticks.

7. Their static and dynamic pelvic alignment stinks.

8. Their t-spine mobility is non-existent.

9. They have or have had shoulder pain due to #’s 1 & 8 above and #’s 10 & 11 below (and also due to performing too many open chain upper body movements in the past). Tony’s Note: ahem, guys benching with shitty form, not to mention doing it every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

10. Their scapula stability, mobility and positioning suck.

11. Their shoulder mobility is awful due to # 10.

12. Their overall level of conditioning and work capacity is woeful due to very little past training or trying and/or the fact the most activity they get is walking 40 yds from their executive up front parking spot to the elevator in the parking garage before they sit all day at work before going home to watch American Idol and then claiming they don’t have an available hour to exercise.

I could go on and on but you get my point, and, 90% of the time, 90% of what I have listed above I find to be true, assessment or no assessment.

The problem as it pertains to the typical “fitness trainer” is this: they don’t even have the slightest clue as to what they should be assuming (never mind an actual assessment)and how those assumptions impact programming because their continuing education stopped after they passed the ACE exam or some bogus $20 online certification course.

I think the issue is knowledge. You just have to be aware of the issues, which most trainers are not because they don’t read Gentilcore, Hartman, Boyle, Cook, Cressey and Robertson (Tony’s Note: for the record, I didn’t pay PJ to say that) and don’t try to get better. A trainer doesn’t have to have the same knowledge or be as well versed in assessing as a physical therapist, but they at least have to understand the basic issues and then be able to program accordingly.

And that, people, is how a man-crush is started. Awesome stuff, PJ! For more information, you can check out PJ’s site HERE.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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