Physical Training - Do we really have a clue?


The fitness industry, it’s a strange one


I’ve been plugging away at running a fitness business for 12 years now and I am not ashamed to admit… it’s been quite tough


It seems (and you are welcome to correct me if I’m wrong) there aren’t many absolutes when it comes to the human body


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It’s a complex piece of machinery


To add to the complexity, you’ve got this thing attached to it called a head, which also houses something else very important to us, you guessed right, our brains


Our brain also is home to something else which we must contend with each and every day, that being of course emotions


But our brains and emotions are not what I am here to talk about (although I will say, the way we think and our emotions are something we must ALL get on top of in order to achieve most results)


What I do want to point out today is this:


We still really don’t understand appropriate training.


I am not going to sit here and profess to know all the ins and outs of the human body, but I do know for a fact, many are getting injured out there due to poor standards of coaching


It’s not all the trainers fault, there is a source to this problem


I believe some of the problem is due to the “I want it now attitude”


And this problem is also further compounded by time and money


We get fooled into quick fixes, but most of the time you wonder how well it works out for everyone?


Again, I am no expert, have I made mistakes? Absolutely, but I strive to learn from some of the best in the world to improve how I do things with my clients


Is this the case for many of the brands professing “functional training” at present?


I’m not so sure, but you need to be more of a judge on the matter


There are other anomalies present in terms of injury management/prevention. The clothes you wear, your shoes, the jewelry around your neck, your diet, your sleep, how much you sit, your lifestyle in general, all these factors plus more play a part in injury occurrence. 


I will say with any form of physical training, there is a risk of injury, but here’s just a few things to think about before your coach shouts “gimme 20”




1. First can you squat? Like do you honestly have a reasonably sound squat pattern that displays good range of motion. If you don’t, you can run into problems


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2. Can you actually plank, do you have adequate core strength? When you are throwing yourself into your burpee, it’s not ideal if your belly keeps dropping because you can’t engage effectively


3. Can you do a push up?


4. Are your wrists prepared enough to take the impact of you dropping to the ground to perform your push up position during the burpee? The truth is, many of us don’t have the conditioning in our hands and wrists due to our lifestyles.


Chin up:


1. Have you spent some time hanging? You don’t have to, but if you want to avoid injury as best as possible, then it’s a worthy consideration


2. Have you worked on assisted or body weight scapula pull ups? Again, you don’t have to, but it’s ideal




1.  Have you been asked to engage your glutes during a plank, in more of a posterior position?


2. Any scapula depression?


3. Are your quads switched on?


4. Then are you drawing your rib cage towards your pelvis, while you’ve everything above switched on?


The list of course goes on for many exercises, but let me put it this way:


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“We are TRAINING to run, well before we can even crawl”


You may well be getting away with doing all of these exercises and many others with absolutely no problems whatsoever


But if you are over 30 or you haven’t trained in a while, then the chances are you are just not ready for this sort of stuff


It is not fair you be asked to do any sort of lift or movement with higher intensity, without at least some prior work on your movement. It is worth having some sort of screen to see how you squat, how you lunge or to see if you have any restrictions present, before you commence any sort of training


I know, you just want to train, you want to feel “the burn”. The problem is, or the question you many need to ask is, how well is this working out for you?


I definitely don’t want you to stop moving, because a problem we do have in our society is being too sedentary. I do believe, we need to be a bit more aware of how we are training, because sometimes you’re just not ready to try a squat with any weight thrown onto your shoulders. Or there is a very high chance someone needs to show you how to hinge with nothing more than a dowel along your spine, before you attempt any sort of deadlift or kettlebell swing


I reiterate, the fitness industry, it’s a strange one. We can pick up a magazine, we can look at a vid on youtube and instantly we have gained enough knowledge on the “how to’s” of certain exercises


Yes I know I said there are no absolutes, but I have to say…


There is more depth to training and we all need to start realising it, because it is our bodies we are dealing with and there’s a lot to how it operates. So whether you are training for aesthetics, for competition or you are doing it for health, I think it is fair to say, we all do it to improve something in our lives.


So let’s all be a bit more careful, let’s try to be a bit more aware and let’s try and learn a bit more about how we do things in the fitness world.


Because training is to improve life. It’s time to be more prudent in our approach to it.

Scott Jenkins