How Are You Getting Better?

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We’ve been holding our staff in-service meetings every Monday morning for the past three to four months, and it’s served as a welcome wake-up call on just how important continuing education is to not only our interns, but for the staff as well.

As it is, Eric will do two per month namely focusing on assessment, corrective strategies, and the like. I’ll conduct one per month usually focusing on the programming side of things – program design, exercise technique, coaching cues, the benefits of listening to techno, you know, the important stuff – while Chris Howard will generally use his week to give everyone a refresher on their functional anatomy, which inevitably ends with him leading everyone through a sing-a-long:

Your toe bone connected to your foot bone, Your foot bone connected to your ankle bone, Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone, Your leg bone connected to your knee bone, La-la-la-la-la-la-laaaaaaaa. Look a shiny!

All kidding a side, while I know my way around the body fairly well (that’s what she said), I’ll be the first to admit that functional anatomy is one of my weaker points and something I need to constantly stay on top of.

This was never more apparent than the other day when, being 10 minutes late to the in-service training, I walk in and Chris immediately shouts out, “Tony, walk over to the board right now and list all 17 muscles that attach to the scapula!”

As someone who hates being put on the spot, you can imagine what I was going through – sweaty palms, hyperventilating, voice cracking, lying in the fetal position -you know, the exact same reaction I have every time I see boobies. Nonetheless, while I was able to get most of them, I definitely failed miserably. In my defense, though, Mr. Robocop of functional anatomy, Eric Cressey, missed one so I didn’t feel quite so bad.

Either way, I was embarrassed, but more importantly, I was pissed. Ask me to name every Best Picture winner from 1990-Present, and I can do it. Hell, ask me to name 17 characters from He-Man, and I can do it.

Ask me to name the distal attachment of the long head of the tricep, and you’ll get nothing but crickets.


This isn’t to say that I expect myself to know everything about everything when it comes to anatomy, but I want to get better. I need to get better. Which, coincidentally, I feel is one of the main traits of what separates those who are successful in this industry, and those who aren’t.

There are a lot of personal trainers, strength coaches, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and any other number of fitness professionals who are far too complacent in this industry. Take for example an email I received last night from a kid who told me his new physical therapist had NO IDEA what a foam roller was. Never heard of it. What tha what!?!?!?! How does that happen?

Or what about the personal trainer who feels they know all they need to know after reading ONE book. True story. Or maybe the strength coach who has been taking his athletes through the exact same programs for the past 15 years. Hard to believe, but it happens.

And these are the same people who bitch and whine about not getting enough clients, working long hours, never having time for vacation, blah blah blah. Really, what it comes down to, is being a self enabler. Much like those who always have an excuse for not being able to make it to the gym on any given day – missed the train, forgot my shoes, have a headache, my vagina hurts (figuratively, not literally. No offense, ladies) – many in the fitness industry are the same way. How about going to a seminar every now and then? Or, I don’t know, opening a book that’s been written in the past ten years?

I don’t care whether you’re trying to improve your bench 50 lbs, trying to shed those last few layers of fat, or trying to pay the bills and pick up more clients, How are you going to get better?


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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.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

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