The Case of the Missing Barbells

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Lets get one thing straight, before there was Harry Potter, the greatest literary icon to any 8-12 year old boy was Encyclopedia Brown. When I was kid I used to be an avid reader of those Encyclopedia Brown books. During the school year, I remember always being so excited to head down to the school’s library and asking Mrs. Perrault whether or not she had the latest edition in the series.

Each book involved a series of “mysteries” that were intended to be solved by the reader, thanks to the placement of logical or factual inconsistencies placed somewhere in the text. Examples included, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Dead Eagles, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Midnight Visitor, and Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Handprints.

In the end, Brown invariably solves the case by exposing the inconsistency in the “Answers” section in the back of each book. Alas, I was never able to solve a case without cheating and looking in the back.

By now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. Well long story short, I took yesterday off, and rather than drive the 40 minutes to train at CP, I just walked the 10 minutes to a local commercial gym instead. I’ll be honest, as much as I bust on commercial gyms, I do welcome the change of scenery from time to time. And, what’s more, every time I go I always walk away with some great blog fodder.

All in all, I was there for roughly 90 minutes. I busted out some front squats. Followed that with some speed pulls. And then finished everything off with some single leg work, natural glute ham raises, and a few sets of Pallof Presses. In that time, I watched three personal trainers take their clients through their training session (and I use that term lightly).

I saw some good things. I also saw some not so good things. But one of the things I didn’t see, which really surprised me, was a barbell. Not a single one used a barbell (or dumbbell above 10 lbs for that matter) the entire time I was there.

Of course, one could make the argument that I didn’t know their clients. True. More to the point, I had no idea what their goals were. Valid point. Taking it a step further, I had no information with regards to their training history and/or injury history. Absolutely, 100% correct. So, who am I to judge?

I don’t know, maybe I’m a jerk for being so judgemental. I have to assume, given that I didn’t see any missing limbs, that these people were completely healthy and capable of holding a barbell in their hands.

It just seems that, in an effort to look different and seem unique, many trainers are reverting to “smoke and mirrors,” rather than you know, actually training people.

Listen, I understand that there’s more than one way to get someone results. But come on, what could be simpler (not mention more versatile) than a freakin barbell? I would think a barbell would be considered an important component to any well-rounded program. I’d go so far as to say that it’s a STAPLE of any well-rounded program. Jesus, I’m getting all fired up again just thinking about it. I need to cut down a tree or something. Someone grab my nunchucks!

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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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