Imagine you’re a personal trainer. You’ve just told a group of ten of your clients to do barbell front squats, and now they appear to be doing their best impressions of a dying worm. Like a broken record, they’re repeating the phrase, “I can’t do it.” Two of them complain that the exercise is uncomfortable and their wrists hurt.
Due to limitations of manpower, equipment, and time, you have two responses to choose from:
“Okay. Let’s take you back down to the kettlebell front squat we always do.”
“Okay. Can you keep going or do you need an alternative?”
Worth noting, you must convey sincere nonverbal and verbal compassion in your response. Obviously, there are other things you can do, such as kick them in the groin and tell them they’re being a child, but the two listed above are the top two choices in my mind. Feel free to discuss alternatives in the comments below.
Ty Terrell is one of the most “in the trenches” trainers that I know. He’s had experience coaching in the weight room, coaching basketball, and running speed & agility courses. He got his start in the fitness industry working under the great Lee Taft.
This guy knows a thing or two about athleticism, so when he talks, I listen.
I was able to get Ty to sit down for a question and answer session with us. I’ve repackaged this half hour conversation to make it flow better for you listeners out there.
Topics addressed include…
Speed and agility periodization for a basketball player. (0:09)
The basic speed and agility movements everyone needs to be able to perform well. (02:47)
How to determine the appropriate height for an athletic stance. HINT: you don’t just “get low”. (05:20)
Why sport-specific speed and agility training in the gym is a myth. (08:33)
Why sport-specific speed and agility training in the gym is NOT a myth. (09:49)
When to fix an athlete’s natural movement pattern. (13:26)
Speed and agility work for baseball players. (17:14)
A better term for “speed and agility”. (21:06)
Using the weight room to develop speed and agility. (21:48)
How to train speed and agility in professional athletes. (28:51)
Get ready to laugh and learn something.
Subscribers also have access to an audio-only version of the interview for convenient listening (like while you’re doing cardiac output).
If you’re interested in one thing, you’re interested in absolutely everything.
I want you to know what Isaac Newton discovered. How to do “work” in the physical sense. I want you to know why caffeine wakes you up and why you get so sleepy if you go without it. How your body uses food to make energy. How to use Excel to track your progress.
You will never know when you’ve learned everything you need to. That point does not exist. Thankfully, too, because now I have something to do for the next 70 years.
View learning as focus-oriented. If I’m interested in the brain, I’m going to start reading about that, but when that gets boring, I’ll pick up the next subject I want to learn. Maybe I’ll come back to the brain in four months. Maybe I’ll move on.
Experience = learning. Learning = experience.
Try new things. It amazes me when I do stuff these days and immediately think of a vivid memory from my childhood. Torque has always made sense to me because I used to climb the big tree in my backyard. I would go as high as I could go, but I had to make sure that, as the branches got smaller, my weight wouldn’t break them off (causing Newton’s gravitational laws to come back into play).
Coming spring 2015
Even the impression teachers can leave on you is amazing. I still remember making ice cream in 8th grade, or chewing that gum with the lights out to see it spark in 5th grade. Or that same 5th grade science teacher singing Barry Manilow, teaching us about music, rhythm, and setting aside the fear of what others think. In science class.
My lesson to you: do everything you can. Learn everything you can. When you wonder about the world, you have found optimal experience.