Stuff To Read While You’re Pretending To Work: Core Strength, Should Trainers Assess, and Bench Press Voodoo

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You know that feeling when you go on vacation and you come back and go to the gym for the first time and it’s readily apparent that you were on vacation?

Yeah, that was me yesterday after being away for over a week.

In my defense, while we were down in Florida Lisa and I did get plenty of activity in – we walked a TON around Miami and South Beach, made a few cameo appearances at a local commercial gym in her hometown (I was even recognized by a random woman training because I was wearing a Cressey Performance shirt!), and while Lisa went roller blading once or twice, I elected to head to the local park and do some bodyweight training and sprints for good measure.

But to say I did any hardcore training would be a big, fat, lie. Kind of like when someone on the internet claims he squats 500+ lbs for reps.  Ass to grass.  On one leg.

Although I did crush some pec deck chest flies at our friend’s condo gym right before heading out to South Beach, so that counts for something, right?

Nevertheless, it’s great to be back in Boston – despite the massive temperature drop, snow, traffic, complete lack of anything green, and general “Jonny Raincloud” attitude most people have around here this time of year.

Someone please explain to me why do I live in the Northeast again?

On a serious note, I am stoked to be back and I feel rested, relaxed, and ready to tackle a grizzly bear.

But I have an insane amount of work to catch up on – emails, programs, writing, as well as my presentations for next week’s appearance at my Alma Mater, SUNY Cortland.

That said, since I wrote a fairly epic post (in both content and length) on the plane back home yesterday, today I’m just going to offer some good stuff to read.


Ask Dave: Why Is Core Strength So Important? – Dave Hedges

I felt this was an absolutely fantastic post by Dave on not only the significance of placing a premium on developing core strength, but what the actual FUNCTION of the core is in the first place!

Many people are under the assumption that the core only consists of those washboard abs you see on the cover of Men’s Health or Men’s Fitness every month.  While not entirely wrong, it’s not remotely close to the entire picture and is just the tip of the iceberg.

If nothing else, read this post for Dave’s genius water bottle analogy.  Awesome stuff.

Most Personal Trainers Shouldn’t Do Assessments (How to Collaborate) – Jon Goodman & Mike Reinold

This is a message that I, along with my fellow CP colleagues, are routinely hammering to the masses.  We live a unique bubble where we’re surrounded with a vast network of PTs, manual therapists, chiropractors, athletic trainers, the works.

While I like to think we’re smart dudes, we also understand (and RESPECT) the notion of scope of practice.

We do assessments at Cressey Performance, which is something I feel most (not all) trainers should be doing to some capacity. Whether it’s a the FMS, Assess and Correct, or playing musical chairs, some sort of movement screen or assessment should enter the equation when starting to work with a new client.

Doing so serves as the foundation so that you know what you need to do as a coach to address the needs/imbalances/weaknesses of your client.

The coup de gras, however, is understanding that our roles as personal trainers and strength coaches is not to DIAGNOSE anything. I don’t care how many books you read, how many DVDs you watch, or how many Holiday Inn commercials you watch (I’m not a doctor, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night), if you’re playing the role of physical therapist and you’re not a physical therapist, you’re setting a very dangerous precedent for yourself.

This is where going out of your way to establish a network of other fitness professionals that you can refer out to is crucial.

6 Stronger Bench Exercises – Todd Bumgardner

As someone who likes benching about as much as a Nicholas Sparks novel, I thought this article was bang on. I’m not built to be a good bencher, and I’ve (reluctantly) accepted that fact.  BUT, that doesn’t mean I’m forever going to cower in the corner in the fetal position and avoid benching altogether.

In this article, Todd offers some innovative and straightforward advice on how anyone can bust through their bench pressing rut.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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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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