3 Systems You Need to Have in Place to Be an Elite Strength Coach

Systems.  That’s a word I say VERY frequently throughout the day at Champion PT and Performance.  Our center revolves around systems.

The two biggest mistakes I see with new personal trainers and strength coaches are very simple:

  • They don’t have a plan
  • They don’t have a system of developing a plan

One of my biggest pet peeves in this industry is just slapping together a bunch of exercises without a solid rationale.  This often happens when you pick the exercise first.  Maybe you just went to a new continuing education course and learned a new exercise, or you just read a new article on the web, or saw an exciting new exercise on Youtube.  You’re excited and want to try this shiny new exercise.

The second phase of our coaching evolution often revolves around understanding the fact that it’s better to build a solid program first, then fill in the exercises second.

That’s great, you’re evolving.  But…  my second biggest pet peeve is writing programs month-to-month.  I use the phrase “start with the end in mind” quite often when it comes to program design.  Most of our clients have clear goals that we should be prioritizing when designing their program.

If their season starts in 4-months, or their wedding is in 12-weeks, to achieve the best results we should assure the program is designed to peak and maximize their performance at the perfect time.  You can’t do this when writing programs month-to-month.  You need to have the program mapped out ahead of time.  Sure, you’ll probably tweak the program a few times as the client progresses, that’s the art of coaching, but it’s always better to start with the end in mind.

 

3 Systems You Need to Have in Place to Be an Elite Strength Coach

I really think that if you want to become an elite strength coach or personal trainer (or heck, physical therapist…), you need to have a few systems in place.  It really all comes down to developing systems to allow you to quickly and easily provide your expertise in a consistent and reliable fashion.

 

You Need to Have a Program Design System

Program design systemWhen we are just starting out in this field, program design is one of the most challenging aspects your job.  It’s because you don’t have a system in place and try to re-create the wheel each and every time you write someone a program.

It’s daunting,

You don’t need to sit down and start from scratch with each and every client.  You need a program design system to accomplishes the goals you’ve established and style of training you provide.

 

You Need to Have a Periodization System

Periodization SystemOnce you understand how to design a program, the next system to master is how to string together multiple programs.  This is essentially periodization.

Again, you don’t need to get fancy and mix this up for each and every client.  I’ve overview a a little bit of my periodization system for strength and rehabilitation in an Inner Circle webinar.

There are periodization schemes that fit well with specific goals and specific clients.  Developing a system of categorizing all this is the next step in becoming an elite coach.

 

You Need to Have a Coaching System

Assessing overhead shoulder mobilityLastly, it doesn’t matter how good of a program you can write, or how well you periodize the program, your results are going to suffer if you don’t know how to coach.

The third system that I think you need to reach that elite level is a coaching system.  This involves developing a consistent approach to cueing, analyzing technique, making adjustments, progressing and regressing exercises on the fly, and connecting with you clients in general.

Just like anything else, this can be a system as well.

 

How to Develop Your Own Systems

Systems take time and experience to develop.  This is natural.  But finding an excellent mentor and always seeking out continuing education is a great step.  You have to find what works for you.

I’ve learned so much from some of the experts in the field by studying their systems.  I am always assessing how other people do things and trying to determine which aspects of their system I can adopt and integrate into what I am currently doing myself.

Alwyn Cosgrove has done a great job outlining his systems in his educational work.  Mike Boyle has as well.  But the person that I can say I have probably learned the most from over the years is Mike Robertson.  As my readers know, I really connect to Mike’s style of coaching, ability to teach information, and his focus on developing his own systems.

 

Physical Preparation 101

physical preparation 101Luckily for us, Mike has just released his latest DVD which completely overviews his program design and coaching systems.  And when I say “completely overviews,” I mean it!  Mike has just release Physical Preparation 101, a whopping 12-DVD set that discussing exactly how Mike has built his systems.

I watched almost all of the 12 DVDs over the weekend and can say that if you don’t currently have a system in place, this is the resource you should invest in to begin developing your system.

The program is $100 off this week for the launch and a must have for all of our educational libraries.  Click below to save $100:

 

 

 

 

 

12 Things You’ll Learn at the Champion Performance Therapy and Training Seminar

Champion Physical Therapy and PerformanceJust wanted to alert everyone that this is the last week for early bird registration for the upcoming Champion Performance Therapy and Training Seminar on Saturday June 6th in Boston.  Save $50 if you register by the end of the day on April 30th!

Everyone here at Champion has been busy putting together our talks for the seminar.  We want to start an annual seminar that overviews our system of integrated rehab, fitness, and sports performance.

Our goal is to help rehab and fitness professionals develop better programs for the patients and clients.

 

12 Things You’ll Learn at the Seminar

Below is a link to an article on the Champion website that I wrote overviewing 12 things that you’ll learn at the seminar.  While I think these 12 things you’ll learn are worth 10x the price of admission, I think I’m most excited about the optional social event at Millers’ Ale House after the seminar!  That is where the “real” discussions tend to happen!

6 Things You Do That Your Clients Hate

6 thing you do that your clients hateIt’s funny, over the years you start to accumulate several thoughts on a subject that one can only do through experience.  The old saying “if only I knew then what I knew now” is certainly true.  I often laugh at some of the things I did and say to my clients when I was less experienced.  We were having this discussion with our students at Champion the other day, and I consider this a normal part of your career advancement.

In addition to reflecting on your own personal practice, I think there is also a lot to learn about from your clients when they tell you their past experiences with other professionals.

I tend to see a lot of clients that have tried other health care and fitness professionals and for whatever reason find themselves with me after not achieved the results that they wanted.  In my experience, this is often due to a few reasons:

  1. They didn’t listen
  2. They didn’t connect
  3. They didn’t put in the time

 

Notice how none of these things are “clinical” in nature.  Sure, I see my fair share of clients that were not diagnosed well or treated properly, but in all reality, I’m not perfect either.  But I listen, connect, and put in the time.  This allows my the luxury of being able to call an audible with my clients when I feel we may have started down the wrong path.  They trust me.  If they didn’t trust me, they’d move on to the next clinician.

How about these two comments I received recently from clients about their past experiences with other professionals.

  • “All my therapist did was tell me what I was doing wrong.  I know what I am doing wrong, that’s why I went to therapy.”
  • “I left my last therapist and always felt bad about myself.  They made me feel bad about myself.”

 

For the young clinicians (and I guess the more experienced one’s too!), I want to share some of the things I have picked up over the years that clients hate.  Remember, you need to connect in order to do you best with your clients.  Learn from my mistakes and errors and avoid these 6 things you do that your clients hate!

 

Stare at Your Device

I can’t think of a worse way to start off your experience with a healthcare professional than having them stare at their computer and typing while asking you a series of questions.  Not a great way to connect and help your client feel like your are compassionate about them, rather than just trying to finish your “task” of their evaluation.  I still take notes briefly when pencil and paper and do my documentation afterwards.  Sure, it takes more time out of my day, but it’s the right thing to do.

This also goes for staring at your phone their whole session.  You could be responding to a highly urgent and work-related email, but realize your clients will just assume your are posting pics of your kittens on Facebook.  Excuse yourself and respond to an urgent message if you must, but don’t do it right in front of your client.  This looks like they are not important to you at the moment.  Otherwise, keep your phone in your pocket.

I’m not sure if the Apple Watch is going to help us here or hurt us, we’ll see!

Your client needs to feel like they are the most important person in the world to you during their session.

 

Don’t Listen to Them

Your first interaction with someone is really important for several reasons.  Obviously you need to determine where to start with your client, but it’s also the most critical interaction to development a connection.

This starts with letting them talk.  You want to hear their story.  Some will want to get right to the point, while others will want to elaborate.  Let this happen.  Don’t interrupt if you can, and let them lead the discussion.

As I get more experience, the subjective portion of my exam could really only last 30 seconds for me to have enough information to start looking at the client.  However, I have learned that a big part of connecting with your clients is listening to your client.  You need to provide the platform for them to share what they want with you.

 

Force Feed What You Want Instead of What They Want

It’s not about you.  Starting with this simple concept is a great start.

As an example, perhaps a client comes to you and says “kinesiology tape really makes me feel better.”  How do you think they’ll respond when you say, “Your shoulder pain is coming from signals in your brain, kinesiology tape won’t help that and doesn’t really do anything.”  Ummm, probably poorly.

You said that kinesiology tape “doesn’t do anything” and they said it “really helps.”  That sounds like conflict, not connecting, to me.

In all honesty, we don’t know as much as we think we do about the human body.  I have no problem providing a treatment, such as kinesiology tape, if there will be no harm, no long term consequence, and there is no definitive research saying it is ineffective.  Obviously, if scientific evidence is available to completely say something is ineffective that changes the topic.

Don’t get me wrong, I will do what I want to do with that client, but may also try some kinesiology tape as well.  Perhaps that makes my treatments even more effective.

Another great example in the fitness world is the focus on movement and corrective exercises.  I think this is great, but don’t lose focus.  If someone comes to you for fat loss and all you talk about is how poor they move and how you want to fix their asymmetrical 1 on the FMS straight leg raise, you are forcing what you want on the client, and not focusing on what they want.  They don’t give care at all about what their straight leg raise looks like.

Again, I think you should work on that movement pattern.  But that can’t be the focus of the program.  It has to meet their goals first.  Sure, we sneak our goals into our programs too, but be careful here.

 

Tell Them Everything That is Wrong with Them and Nothing That is Right

I think we all get carried away sometimes with finding “deficits” during our assessments and evaluations.  That is normal.  But we need to be careful with how we present this to our clients.

Some people will focus too much on the little things, while others will seem just feel bad about themselves.

Every client should leave your facility feeling better, more optimistic, and in a good mood.  You want to be one of the best parts of your clients’ days.

I’ve actually talked about this in the past in an article on The Dale Carnegie Approach to Assessments.

 

Talk Over Their Head

As you can see, communication and people skills are pretty valuable in our professions.  Another area that I often see as being an issues is not bringing the discussion to your client’s level.

Just like you should be trying to match your clients’ energy levels, I also try to bring my discussion to their level as well.

Students and young clinicians are often guilty of this for a few of reasons:

  1. They are used to talked scientifically to justify what they are doing to their professors
  2. They haven’t accumulated that database of analogies we all use on our heads
  3. Unfortunately, they are a little too egotistical and trying to impress the person with how much they know

Confusing someone and talking over their head is not going to impress someone.  Some people like to hear all the detailed scientific things, while others just shut you out.  You need to feel this out and adjust.  However, your ability to convey your points and messages in a manner that connects with each person will impress them.

I use several different tools to accomplish this based on how I feel the conversation is going, but my go-to methods are:

  1. Using pictures and videos during my evaluation
  2. Using analogies to compare a complicated point to one they understand.  Car analogies work well!  Things like, “it’s like driving with your wheels out of alignment, eventually your tires are going to wear down unevenly.”
  3. Using a whiteboard to express thoughts.  This doesn’t always just mean drawing a picture.  I also often write and make lists.  Some people are more visual learners.  You can usually tell when they whip out their phone to take a pic of the whiteboard when you are done!

They key is to give them the science but don’t stop there, back it up with something they can understand.

 

Criticize Their Other Healthcare Professionals and Past Experience

I’m surprised at how common this point is in our professions.  I have many clients that have commented on how other professionals they have worked with in the past just criticize everyone else they have and had worked with in the past.  Like a personal training putting down their physical therapist or their physical therapist putting down their chiropractor, as a couple of examples.  Realize that your client has probably built up a lot of trust and respect over the years for the other people they are working with, which have not currently built up.

Not only does this make the person feel bad about their past choices (see above), but it’s also very transparent that you are just slamming someone else to try to make yourself look good.

I have a general rule of thumb that I developed over the years after seeing many “prestigious” people commit this error – Don’t make others look bad to make yourself look better.  It may work in the short term, but always catches up to you.

Yes, you are a genius when you have the power of hindsight.  Everything is clearer in retrospect.  Be respectful of their other people your client is seeing and has seen, you aren’t always right.

 

In reality, I probably could have listed another dozen, but these are a great start.  Avoid these 6 things that you do that your clients hate and focus on connecting, listening, and putting in the time to maximize your own effectiveness in helping people achieve their goals.

 

 

 

Announcing the 1st Annual Champion Spring Seminar!

I am really excited to announce that we will be holding the 1st Annual Champion Performance Therapy and Training Seminar on Saturday June 6th, 2015!  We’ve been planning this out for several months and know it’s going to be a great opportunity to come to Champion and learn about our system  of integrated rehab and performance.

 

Champion Physical Therapy and Performance

1st Annual Champion Performance Therapy and Training Seminar

The 1st Annual Champion Performance Therapy and Training Seminar is a 1-day seminar designed to overview the Champion system of integrated rehabilitation, fitness, and sports performance training for physical therapists, personal trainers, strength coaches and other rehabilitation and fitness specialists.  The seminar will include live lectures and hands-on sessions from the entire team at Champion.

At Champion, we believe in developing complete performance, no matter what “performance” means to you.  All of our programs are designed to focus on all aspects of human and athletic performance development, combining mobility, strength, power, endurance, speed, and agility into one complete program.  Personal trainers, strength coaches, and other fitness specialists will learn the concepts behind the Champion program design system, including how we select, regress, progress, and periodize exercises based on movement patterns to enhance performance.

Do you want to build programs to optimize mobility, develop strength and power, and enhance speed and agility?

 

You’ll learn what goes into the Champion system and be able to improve your rehabilitation, personal training, and sports performance program design immediately.

 

Physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists will learn our concepts of movement-based rehabilitation, included strategies to assess movement dysfunctions and prescribe appropriate manual therapy and corrective exercises.  We emphasize a hands-on approach that includes a thorough biomechanical assessment of how the body moves and functions to determine what specific muscle imbalances and movement impairments may be leading to dysfunction or limiting performance.  We then offer an individualized approach that produces amazing results.

Fitness specialists will benefit from learning how we integrate rehabilitation concepts into our programs to develop appropriate self-myofascial release, mobility, and corrective exercise programs.  Likewise, rehabilitation specialists will benefit from learning how we integrate performance training concepts to understand how to integrate appropriate strength and conditioning concepts into advanced rehabilitation programs.

Champion Spring Seminar

 

Champion Seminar

Schedule

Date: Saturday June 6th: 2015 – 7:30 – 5:00; Optional social event that evening.

Location: Champion PT and Performance, 108A Clematis Ave, Waltham, MA 02453

Registration is at 7:30 AM.  The seminar begins promptly at 8:00 AM.

Morning lectures:

  • 7:30 – Registration
  • 8:00 – 8:15: Introduction to the Champion System of Integrated Rehab and Performance – Mike Reinold
  • 8:15 – 9:00: Optimizing Movement – Mike Reinold
  • 9:00 – 9:45: Developing Strength and Power – Rob Sutton
  • 9:45 – 10:00: Break
  • 10:00 – 10:45: Enhancing Speed and Agility – Malcolm Goodridge
  • 10:45 – 11:30: Performance Therapy: Movement-Based Functional Rehabilitation – Lenny Macrina
  • 11:30 – 12:00: Q&A Session

Lunch (On Own) 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Afternoon Hands-On Sessions:

  • 1:00 – 2:00: Assessing and Optimizing Movement (Hands-On Session) – Mike Reinold and Lenny Macrina
  • 2:00 – 3:00: Progressing and Regressing Movement-Based Exercises (Hands-On Session) – Rob Sutton
  • 3:00 – 3:15: Break
  • 3:15 – 4:15: Speed and Agility Drills (Hand-On Session) – Malcolm Goodridge
  • 4:15 – 5:00: Q&A Session

Optional Social Event with speakers at 6:00 PM at Miller’s Ale House, 617 Arsenal St, Watertown, MA 02472 (Food, Beverage, and Transportation on Own)

 

Registration

The normal price for registration is $199.99, however, there is an early-bird discount of $50 – register by May 1st for only $149.99!  Click the button below to register today:

 

 

 

The Best of 2014

Mike Reinold Best of 2014

As December rolls around, I always like to reflect and end the year with two articles – 1) the top articles from the past year, and 2) a summary of what I have learned in the past year.

2014 was another great year!  We had nearly 2 million people visit MikeReinold.com from all around the world.  It still amazes me that this website can impact so many people around the world.  In fact people visited MikeReinold.com from 210 different countries ranging from the United States to literally 1 person from Burkina Faso, and even 1 person from Vatican City (perhaps Pope Francis had tight hip flexors…)!

My Readers

Mike Reinold Visitors 2014

 

 

Top Articles From 2014

Here are the top articles in terms of visits that were written this year.  I slowed down a bit in 2014, not sure if you noticed.  With the opening of my performance center, Champion Physical Therapy and Performance, I have been busy building out our business and systems.  We’ll be releasing more information on upcoming seminars and mentorships at Champion so we can share these with you!  2015 is going to be exciting.

 

Top Inner Circle Webinars from 2014

 

 Thanks for Another Great Year!!! 

 

 

 

 

Live Q&A Webinar

The latest Inner Circle webinar recording in now available.

Live Q&A

mike reinold inner circleThis month’s live Inner Circle webinar was a live Q&A with members.  These are always some of my favorites because we talk about so many different things, it just turns into a whirlwind hour of questions and answers!  This year we talked about things such as:

  • Dry needling
  • Lumbopelvic control
  • Designing rehab and performance programs
  • Assessing core strength
  • Treatment for epicondylitis
  • FAI
  • Posture shirts
  • How to know when to push harder or change your treatment plan
  • Thoracic manipulation
  • Knee extension devises
  • Advice on building blog readership
  • Strengthening the shoulder
  • And more!

Access the webinar now:

Black Friday Deals – Up to 50% Off Everything Starts Today!

It’s that time of year again!  The holidays are about to start!  As you start planning which stores you’ll be going to at midnight on Black Friday, I want you to be able to get a head start and announce that our annual Black Friday sale starts today and boy do we have some amazing discounts on all of of our products and websites!

Please see below for all the different discounts ranging from 25% to 50% off!  The sale begins today and runs until the end of the day on Cyber Monday, which is midnight EST on Monday 12/1/14.  Pay attention as most of the below will require you to use a special coupon code at checkout.  Happy shopping everyone!

 

Black Friday Deals

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25% Off all My Products with Eric Cressey

Functional Stability Training for the Upper BodyEric and I are putting all of our products on sale for 25% off, including all of our Functional Stability Training programs and our Optimal Shoulder Performance DVD.  This even includes our latest, Functional Stability Training of the Upper Body, as well as the past FST’s of the Core and Lower Body.  Your best bet to save is definitely to take advantage of the 25% discount with the complete FST bundle!

Use coupon code BF2014 at checkout:

 

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25% Off All My Products with Kevin Wilk

Kevin Wilk Shoulder DVDsKevin and I are also putting all of our products on sale for 25% off!  This includes our rehab protocols and DVDs on the examination and treatment of the shoulder and knee, as well as Kevin’s new DVDs on the rehab of shoulder instability and rotator cuff injuries.

Use coupon code BF2014 at checkout:

 

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25% Off IASTMtechnique.com

IASTM toolKeeping, the theme consistent, Erson Religioso and I are offering 25% off our online course teaching you how to perform instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization at IASTMtechnique.com.

Use coupon code BF2014 at checkout:

 

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25% Off ShoulderSeminar.com

ShoulderSeminar-comFor those that missed my massive sale in the fall on my acclaimed online program teaching you exactly how I evaluate and treat the shoulder, you are in luck.  I’m going to offer 25% off this as well at ShoulderSeminar.com

Use coupon code BF2014 at checkout:

 

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Try My Inner Circle for $1

Inner CircleMy Inner Circle is where I discuss my latest thoughts and teachings.  It’s essentially a new webinar each month where you can learn and interact with me live.  They all get recorded and Inner Circle members get access to all my past webinars too!  I also have exclusive offers for Inner Circle members throughout the year as well.  It’s already the best value in education at $5 per month, but I am going to offer a $1 trial for 7-days for you to test drive all the webinars.  After 7-days you’ll start recurring the $5/month membership fee until you cancel (but seriously you won’t, it’s awesome for $5!).

There is no coupon code, you must use the link below:

 

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50% Off RehabWebinars.com

RehabWebinars-comLast but certainly not least, we are going to offer a HUGE 50% discount on a yearly membership to RehabWebinars.com, which has a mind blowing amount of awesome webinars from the best in our fields.  You won’t be disappointed.  The normal price is $199 a year but if you use the link below, you can get 1 full year and access to all the past webinars for $99.  After the 1st year you’ll start recurring the $199/year membership fee until you cancel.

There is no coupon code, you must use the link below:

 

 

7 Habits of Highly Effective Rehab and Fitness Professionals

The latest Inner Circle webinar recording on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Rehab and Fitness Professionals.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Rehab and Fitness Professionals

7 Habits of Highly Effective Rehab and Fitness ProfessionalsI’m always getting questions from young professionals (and older ones too!) about what they can do to get ahead in our profession.  It’s one thing to simply want to get ahead and another to actually make daily habits designed to help you get there.  It takes effort.  Here are what I consider 7 of the habits that I see many of the top rehab and fitness pros stick to in their lives to get ahead.