Reviewing the Cressey Performance Fall Seminar – Part Two

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Yesterday in PART ONE I reviewed a little less than half the line-up at last weekend’s Cressey Performance Fall Seminar

Today, in part two I’ll highlight the rest.

The Role of Physical Therapy in a Strength and Conditioning Facility – Eric Schoenberg

Eric is the founder, President, and all around badass of Momentum Physical Therapy located in Milford, Mass. We send pretty much all of our more delicate or serious cases to Eric, and he does a fantastic job of getting people better but not treating them as if they’re trapped in some bubble where they can’t train or get after it in some way.

We’re really lucky to have Eric in our back pocket and it’s only a matter of time before his name starts getting thrown out there more and more.

1. The fields of physical therapy and strength and conditioning are moving at a thousand different directions, but what would happen if we combined our strengths, where there was clear communication and NO egos?

We’d see and bare witness to:

– More thorough evaluations and re-evaluations.

– Improved programming, progressions.

– Better movement quality.

– Less dysfunction/pain/injury.

– Improved performance/results.

– Happier customers!

2. Don’t just refer out, refer to someone who have a relationship with – understanding the language and communication used by a facility or practice you refer out to is imperative.

3. You don’t have to be an expert on everything. Just try to be good at something.

4. When you combine forces (Strength and Conditioning and PT) a few cool things happens:

– Able to offer a premium service to your customer.

– Optimal outcomes (people get better quicker,and stay consistent).

– Better retention.

– Improved credibility.

5. The role of both the PT and strength coach has evolved.

PT: expert in human movement; evaluates and integrates multiple disciplines and body systems (no longer is someone ONLY a Graston guy or ONLY an ART guy or ONLY a DNS guy); bridges the gap between PT and S&C; many are now CSCS certified and understands exercise principles and progressions; understands scope of practice.

S&C Coach: has created a “niche” (trains baseball players, fat loss expert, combine prep, prepares for the Zombie apocalypse); often wears multiple hats (business owner, coach, writer, speaker); currently carries the torch for growth and development of new ideas; understands scope of practice.

Getting to Know Your Athlete – Chris Howard

I thought this was a fantastic presentation and a topic which I feel is an often glossed over as irrelevant when it’s anything but.

1.  There are three learning styles as popularized by Neil Fleming: Visual (29%), Auditory (34%), and Kinesthetic (37%), and people will generally gravitate towards a preference (as shown with the percentages).  That said, it’s often efficacious to dabble in ALL THREE to be most effective.

2. It’s important to show (visual) then explain (auditory) the name of an exercise to a client. If he or she still struggles, then it may be pertinent to place them in the proper position(s) with your hands (kinesthetic).

Note from TG:  This is something I talk about in more detail in Play-Doh Coaching.

3. Chris also spoke to the differences between introverts and extroverts – both from a client standpoint and coaches standpoint – which I always find fascinating.  As an unabashed introvert myself it was refreshing to hear Chris speak to this topic in more depth.


– Tend to recharge by spending time alone.

– Lose energy from being around people for long periods.

– THINK before they ACT.

– Use a lot of eye contact when listening (but exhibit the opposite when speaking).

– Prefers one-on-one conversation.

– Enjoys reading, writing, and watching Jason Bourne movies (<— I added that one).

– Prefers quiet, non-stimulating environments.

– NOT the same as shy.


– Gain energy from other people.

– Recharge by being social.

– Drained by isolation.


– Show lots of expression

4.  Coaching the introvert – be patient; ask relevant questions; let them observe first.  Some challenges that arise when coaching the introvert is that they often do no ask a lot of questions,and that they don’t demand attention so it’s important to check in with them.

Coaching the extrovert – you may need to help them “get to the point;” reign them in.  Their strengths are that they’re outwardly enthusiastic and they bring a lot of energy to the gym.  The obvious challenge is that they’re typically not great at listening to instruction and feedback.

5. The introverted coach – strength is in listening; often calm and quiet.  Challenges may include coming off as “unapproachable,” and he or she may not give as much feedback or encouragement.

The extroverted coach – strengths include lots of energy and very encouraging to clients.  Challenges of weaknesses include they get easily distracted, not great listeners, and they may want to jump too quickly to the next thing/client.

Excellence in Group Training – Greg Robins

Greg has really jumped into the scene the past year where he writes a weekly guest post on Eric Cressey’s as well as making cameo appearances in various websites and magazines in the fitness realm.  In addition he recently launched is own brand spankin new website which you should absolutely go out of your way to check out.

On top of being one of our full-time coaches, Greg also runs our bootcamps during the week and he had a few sage words and advice on how to operate a sound group training environment.

1. What’s important?

Movement Quality and Technique: get people to move better, feel better, and know how to and trust themselves in performing exercises correctly.

Work Capacity: help people develop a base level of “fitness” so that we can throw progressively more challenging training means on them.

Strength or Resistance Training: get people stronger, and to understand the importance and benefits of strength training.

2. Variables to consider with group training: time, equipment availability, demographic, setting, number of people, # of coaches.

3. The right REGRESSION is a great PROGRESSION

Note for TG:  well, well, well – it just so happens I also wrote on this topic as well.  Click ME.

4. Group Training Programming Schemes:

Intervals (strictly assigned work to rest ratios) – STRENGTHS: easy to organize, forces movement, very adaptable. WEAKNESSES: does not allow for effective coaching, limits “strength” component.

Density (more work in less time, group of exercises in assigned time) – STRENGTHS: easy to organize, allows for effective coaching, blends strength & conditioning.  WEAKNESSES: allows for “slacking” if not monitored.

Classic (prescribed sets and reps) – STRENGTHS: maximizes strength component, allows for extensive coaching.  WEAKNESSES: can be difficult to monitor in large groups, higher risk if not not managed well.

Training Jane From Joe:  Do Women Need to Train Differently Then Men? – Tony Gentilcore

1.  Short answer: um, NO!

** While there’s really no inherent reason why women need to train differently then men, there’s are circumstances where women can (and probably should) train differently (pregnancy, differing goals, etc).

2.  If anything, stressing PERFORMANCE based goals – performing an unassisted chin-up, for example – should take precedence over what the scale says.  Get women to “buy” into strength and performance and it’s not only liberating but empowering as well.

3.  Yes, I dropped an EPIC f-bomb during my presentation.  And yes, it was totally directed towards Tracy Anderson, thank you very much.

Best quote during my Anderson rant:  “I’m half expecting her to come out one day and say something equally as asinine such as bathing in unicorn tears will help decrease cellulite.”

4. You can’t build perkier, rounder, or sexier anything without building muscle. And anytime someone says they want to get “toned,” what they’re really saying is “I want to be less fat.”

5. Comparatively speaking, unlike a few years ago, I’ve changed my stance on yoga and recognize there’s plenty of benefits and redeeming qualities.  Having said that, I still get mildly (okay, a lot) irritated about how it’s marketed as this all encompassing panacea of health.  Without hesitation, I 100% feel that strength training trumps yoga in every department as far as what most (not all) women are looking to do with their bodies.

6.  I hate the term “girl push-up.”  Instead I prefer to always place a priority on showing women SUCCESS in the gym and I don’t feel as if telling them that there’s such a thing as “girl push-up” is doing them in any favors.

7.  I do feel there’s an archaic mindset when it comes to training women through a pregnancy. I know it’s a bit crass:  but if a woman is capable of growing a human being inside her body, she’s capable of still working out.

Still, each pregnancy is different and it’s ALWAYS a smart approach to place her comfort level first.

For a MUCH more detailed look into my thought process on this topic, I highly suggest reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting (In the Gym).

And that’s that.  See you next year!


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