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Coaches Corner: Common client mistakes and quality movement patterning

by Shaun Kober
November 16th 2020

 I've had so many great conversations with friends and colleagues about what we see happening in the fitness industry, and thought to myself, "I wish we would have recorded that." More

your what is up guys? Welcome to this episode of the lift transformed podcast. This is part two of my coaches corner chat with my man marshall from anvil training and development, if you've ever had a really good conversation with a colleague or a friend or somebody in your space and thought afterwards we need to record that. That's exactly what the coaches corner is. So in the first episode we went through movement screens and the benefits of barefoot training in part two of this episode, we're going to be going into common mistakes that we see our clients make as well as how to create good quality movement patterns through intentional movement. Let's get started. Mhm I want to change direction a little bit um and talk about some of the, the biggest mistakes that you see with your clients. So I've got a lot of people listening to this who are coaches or are on their own fitness journey um and you know, for the most part I'm doing a lot of solo podcast and then I get people to do interviews and things like that.

But for this series, I want to get my friends, fellow coaches colleagues on and just shoot shit and you know, talk about as we have done, going back and forth with our experience with certain things and how we can bring value to those people that are listening because for the most part, most people go through the same shit Yeah fucking earth, I've said so many times that there is nothing new in the fitness industry if you're out there trying to sell something that you believe is brand new. Um Step one, take your head out of your ass and then step to figure out how to package it in a way that is going to make it more approachable to people because it's been done before, guaranteed people have been moving since people started existing. So, um there's no new ways of training, there's there's definitely better and worse ways of training for sure. We're all just evolved from monkeys, mate. Um but there's certainly not a newfound things. So I think the first mistake that that I wanted to touch on is um is related to expect expectation management, um clients coming in and expecting the world in a in a six week challenge is probably one of the most common things out there.

In fact, even this weekend, Someone said to me, someone that isn't really part of the fitness industry, but they're like, oh yeah, I prefer 12 week challenges and where I live just in the office, six and eight week challenges, like the fact that you structure your fit, the fitness component of your life Around 6, 8 and 12 week challenges. There's a lot to me about the bullshit that you have been fed by fitness professionals your entire life, because I've heard you say before, it's generally not the consumer's fault. You know, they have a responsibility to educate themselves, but the amount of bullshit that is out there um pushed by online Pts or coaches that generally just trying to sell something, hang on a sec. Yeah I think the cleaners rolled around. Yeah. Mhm. Just quickly edit that. Better not leave it in my authenticity. That's exactly right. We leave everything to continue.

Um yeah. I think the number one mistake that I find is the expectation side of things, clients come in. They want to score 200 next week. Um they wanna they wanted to fucking do handstands the minute they walk through the door there or they on the other side of things. Um They've got a lower back injury so they never ever squatting again. Like all of these things these fixed mindset shit is um is my number one frustration as part of the reason why anvils doing what we're doing trying to get a bit of free education out there to help people understand that injuries don't last forever and you're not going to get fit in six weeks. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah. I wanna, let's touch on that for a moment, injuries don't last forever. Okay if you don't fucking fix them then they do. Yeah and and so I go on. Yeah I think unfortunately the way our medical system is set up um you know the first point of contact, generally the GPS um Their job is pain relief like these their job is not rehabilitation.

Um But how many people do you know that never go any further than a GP when it comes to solo backs or sore shoulders or whatever. Um You know, they'll walk in, they say to a GP, I'm getting lower back pain, you know, spend a lot of time sitting, Yeah, I try to do my weekly 40 minutes of fucking exercise, but um the G. P. Just write some scripts for like Panadol for it and then 15 minutes later they've got someone else doing the exact same shit. So GPS, it's not their fault, that's the way the medical system works here in Australia anyway. Um But it is very rare that the GP might say to them, look, the main problem here is your movement or lack of um you need to I'm prescribing you time with a pt or a coach or you know, six days of walking a week just to try and fix this lack of movement that is making that injury as permanent as it probably possibly can be. Mhm. Yeah, and that ties in with what you said before about um you know, people wanting the quick fix, that's the fucking world that we live in now, unfortunately, you know, like you said, it's a gP, I've got a little bit of pain here and here, take this and you know, Western medicine is very good at treating acute issues, but not very good at treating chronic issues.

Now, the problem for me is for the most part, unless you've been a fucking motorbike accident and had your fucking legs snapped in half and needs to be cut off or whatever. You know, any traumatic fucking acute injury for the most, like, injuries and issues come from chronic issues. It stems from some chronic systemic problem that is going on with the body over long periods of time, you know? So if you again, going back to that person who rolled the ankle when they were 15 years old and they didn't do their rehab probably, or they did their rehab just long enough to get out of pain. You know, they're going to have some movement pattern issues and, you know, when they're 20 years old, they're like, uh my knee kind of hurts a little bit when I squat every now and again then when they're 25 there, like, I've got this kind of dull pain in my knee um all the time and when I do some foam rolling, it feels better. And then when they're 30 35 years old, they're like, now I can't squat at all because my knees are fucked.

And it's like, your knees just didn't just, you didn't wake up one morning and your knees were fucked. It's been a movement or, you know, less than optimal movement patterns that are putting a lot of stress through the joints over fucking years that caused issue and then you walk into a GP and the GP goes here have some penalty in forward. It's like, you've been fucking moving less than optimal for 15, 20 years, Like, yes, that Cannadine four is going to give you some pain relief. Just like the phone rolling, it's going to give you some pain relief and you know, it can be a good thing, it can increase your train ability for that hour, but it's not fixing the underlying issue and that's where a good coach comes into play. You know, you need to you need to work with a fucking good coach, a good physical therapist that's going to maybe even a Cairo, osteo, whatever, that's not looking at you and go on here, do these drills, let me rub this fucking cream on you, give you a little bit of a massage, come back and see me next week.

Like if the person you're seeing is going through that process that protocol, then they're probably, they probably don't have your best interests at heart, they want to get you back in so you can fucking spend money on them again and they keep you coming back as a ongoing customer. Whereas a good coach or a good trainer, physio, whatever is going to say, hey look, you've got some issues here, it's likely caused by this, let's give you some pain relief now, but here's some homework that I want you to do. You know, come back and see me in a month's time or come back and see me in two months time or you know, let's go online and touch base once a month. Yeah, yeah, I've always said that a good coach is setting a climb up to never ever come back to that person ever again. Um Yeah, the The mark of a good coaches, they spend more time educating than they do training. Um I think that it's important when you're on the gym floor with somebody or when you're having a conversation with a potential client that you spend 90% of that time explaining to them.

Um you know, the implications of the things that they're saying to you, you know, you're asking them fairly basic questions, you know, how old are you, what are your injuries? Um What do you like to do in the gym? And all of those answers are probably the exact fucking same on surface level. Um especially I just want to lose fat and gain muscle is probably my most common heard response. Um But what they mean is they want to feel better about the way they look um and what they need to know as a result of that is That they have to understand, there's a very long period of time and a complete readjusting of how they see themselves in the mirror, whatever that goes along with a goal like that. It's not just about getting in the gym and sweating for 45 minutes, it's more about learning to move properly and then um it's about understanding that strength will allow you to do more things than weakness ever will. Um it's about understanding once again that strength is one of the best ways to prevent pain.

Um and strength doesn't necessarily have to mean squatting 200 fucking kilos. It just means being able to do a loaded squat, progressively overloading it for hopefully the rest of your life with a movement pattern that Stigned you full range of movement with zero pain. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think, you know, going back to what you said about the six week challenges, eight week 10 week, 12 week challenges and things like that. Now, don't get me wrong, man. Like I, my online coaching program is 12 weeks, right? 12, 12 week long, but it's not like that's not where it ends. That's Yeah, that's right. That's exactly right. It's not like, hey, let's test your body composition at the start and then let's test your body composition at the end, and let's see how much we can lose in the next fucking 12 weeks. It's not that at all, like, I literally have some of my clients get annoyed at me because they're like, week two and they're like, hey, uh you know, you've just got me focusing on training at the moment.

You've just got me focusing on intentional movement, every single rep that I'm doing. I'm paying attention to, I'm noticing any imbalances between left and right between upper body lower body. Um I'm, you know, I'm paying attention in my warm up and going through the stability and mobility based drills, like what else can I do? And I'm like, that's all there is to it. You don't need it. Yeah, yeah. Right now, and you know what I want you to do over the next two weeks is start tracking your food and they're like, oh what about macros? What about how many calories should be having trouble. I'm like, don't fucking worry about that stuff, it does not matter right now, Pay attention to your training, Start tracking. So then we've got a good idea of what your baseline is, so then we can set the direction we need to go next. And it's funny, man, because, like you said, most people are like, you know, I want to build muscle, I want to burn fat, um you know, I want to improve my body composition and within like six weeks of training with me, we've only changed like two or three things with their diet with their training and you know, they're fucking sleeping better, they've got much better energy, they're moving better, they're more pain free throughout the day, you know, they don't have these fucking niggles come up when they're driving their car or when they're walking up the stairs or when they're carrying their child or playing with their kids or whatever, you know, and it's always funny because, you know, 68 weeks in there, like, man, I I thought I wanted X.

Y. Z. But I've noticed that my quality of life is so much better with just these few changes and you know I haven't haven't made these wholesale changes, it hasn't been that hard right now. And I think that is the fucking key man. Yeah human beings suck at changing things. Um There's nobody out there that is good at doing something different to what they've been doing their entire lives. Um It's you know, nobody can go from 0 to 100, you know at the flick of a button, you know or overnight. You know there's no way that I can take somebody who eats fucking fast food six times a week that um that just hates cooking. That idea of a hard session is like three sets aid of everything um spends more time on their biceps than they do on their um you know on their legs or something like that. Um You can't take that person and in six weeks expect them to become a pro athlete or even someone that just is healthy.

Um That's six weeks is not a long time. Um and I don't like to even 12 weeks is not a long time. All of my programs are for 12 weeks because I believe that over the course of three months, that's a really good time to help somebody build a habit. A new habit and then reinforce that habit For the minimum of six weeks. Um but then after that 12 week program is over, we run it again, you know, and we run it again and again and again, ideally until the end of their life, you know, and I tell them that once they're in the gym with me or once they start exercising, this should be something that they're looking at doing forever. They don't have to squat forever, although I would like them to squat forever. Um but they should be looking at exercising regularly for the rest of their lives. This is not something that you do because you've got a power lifting competition coming up or you do things a certain way because you've got a power lifting competition coming up.

But once the competition is over, you keep exercising, you can change how you do it, but and you keep doing it. Yeah, that's, that's another great point that I want to touch on as well. Um if you do have a competition or something coming coming up then of course your training needs to be specific for that and you use progressive overload and use period ization to peak for that competition or peak at the right time. But then once that competition is over, once that beach destination holiday or fucking wedding or whatever is over that event, you know, you should be looking at moving to feel good and exercise should be um it should be enjoyable. It shouldn't be a chore. If you're looking at exercise as a fucking tool then how how Yeah, exactly, man. Like how often do you do something every single day for an hour? That's a fucking chore that you don't like doing. It's a punishment.

Like that's that's that mindset is not going to allow you to build that habit of getting some form of quality movement in every day and it doesn't matter what that quality movement is, okay. Quality movement for you is going to be different to quality movement for someone else. But I always say that exercise should be either complimenting your lifestyle or it should be counteracting your lifestyle. Yeah, it should be 100% something you look forward to to be that thing that, you know, whether you do it first thing in the morning. Some people really love that they get up early and they do their exercise. Some people do in the afternoon. Um Some people find that they are more easily motivated because just because it's enjoyable, doesn't mean it's going to be easy, in fact, most of the time it's probably going to be a little bit unpleasant. Um But you're right, I've got a client at the moment who is competing in three weeks or something now and for the uh for the Peking cycle that we've been doing, his, the focus has been the best possible results we can get in that competition, you know, when he gets on the platform, he knows exactly what his opener is going to be and he's going to fucking smash it because that's what we've been practicing for, you know, almost 12 weeks now.

Um but when that competition is over, we've got other priorities, you know, he's a lot of the, a lot of this time he's been saying to me every so often, he's like, um You know, I really want to lose a bit of weight, like, yeah, sweat, we'll do it, but we're doing it after November 29 because right now we've got one thing to focus on weight loss is not a priority right now. Um and you're right, get look good for that day. You know, if you're if you've got your wedding or whatever or that beach summer or whatever look good for them. Um you know, maybe you're stepping up on stage for WBFF or something, um make that your priority and work your fucking ass off for that. But understand that once that is over exercises a break, you know, it's um it's meditation, its flow state, it's your ability to get away from whatever bullshit you're dealing with. Um and if it's so, you know, it's so extremely hard and draining every single time you set foot in the gym, you need to take a step back and go, maybe this isn't complimenting my life.

So the way it should be. Yeah, you brought up something then that I absolutely agree with and that is um getting into that flow state in the gym for me that training is it's fucking my time man, like that's the time where I put my headphones in and I don't want to fucking talk to anyone if you see me in the gym, my headphones are in, do not fucking talk to me, I'm in the zone like, you know, that's my time, I do not touch my phone unless I'm like videoing a fucking uh you know, a set or something, so I can critique my own um form or I want to, you know, put put it on social media or whatever, okay, but that's the only time I use my phone while some training because I disciplined myself too, you know, be in the fucking moment and be in that flow state and it is therapeutic for me. So that's a really good point of and again, going back to what I was saying before about different modalities of training are going to bring you into that therapeutic state.

So you need to find what that therapeutic state is. Like, some people love the runner's high, I could think nothing fucking worse than running along for an hour. It is boring to me, but for some people that's the modality that they really enjoy and it gets them into that flow state, right? So um yeah, that's a really good point, man, Yeah, there was there was a short period of time between leaving the army and now that I really enjoyed running. Um I realized for a very long time that I was really bad at running and it gave me a lot of pain. I felt extremely uncoordinated. I think I just, I was doing everything you could possibly do wrong, I might as well been running on my hands to be honest. Um But I taught myself to run again. I you know, I started looking at coaches that do a lot of running technique training. I spent a lot of time on the treadmill, working on my gate, working on where my point of impact was really trying to build my toe running strength so that my shock absorption was just so much better.

Um I still fucking hate running to this day, but there was this one sunday that I remember quite clearly, it was supposed to be just like a rest day or like active recovery and I went into the gym and I accidentally ran a 10-K and it's like the longest running my life. I was like, oh just jump on the treaty and I'll just cruise and like in less than an hour, it was like a 52 minute 10-K. And I'm like this is pretty fucked. And um and it's probably the only time I've ever enjoyed running, the only time I found a flow state in running, but it's possible, you know, and that's one of those things you can learn to find a flow state in all different kinds of exercise if you fucking hate squatting right now, chances are that you could learn to love it, especially because once you develop your technique, you find once you get a little bit better at it, hey, this actually doesn't suck. Um Like you said, your flow state is potentially a 90 minute gym session where you've got your headphones in, nobody fucking talk to me. Um For me, it's a little bit different. We've, because I work in this gym, I don't wear my headphones when I trained.

I generally trained with a group of people. Um you know, it's good to have spotters around and stuff like that, but my flow state is usually the 8-10 seconds that it might take me to do one heavy single, you know, and I get that probably um you know, at least three times in a session. Um it might be the period of time that I do one set and then after that I can breathe, I also don't touch my phone. I'm not a big fan of that in the gym. I use it to look at the program or write some notes on how should I'm feeling that day. Um But I don't like to message during my sessions because I think what you said before about being present in the moment is essential. Um That's one of the reasons why I like powerlifting is that it forces you to be present because if you don't, you're getting squished, you know? Yeah, yeah. You've spoken about visualization a couple of times with yourself when you're hitting a heavy single and also with clients, how important you think visualization is when training the mental competition.

Yeah, the mental game is the most important thing. Heavy or not. You know, a lot of people, I had it when people listen to something like this and they are well, I don't live that heavy, so that's not that important for me, The mental game is number one. Um the best thing that I find about the type of training that I do is it's teaching somebody a movement pattern, I'm teaching them to do it in the simplest way possible for them. You know, we go through the setup, you set your feet the same way every fucking time you set your hands on the bar, the same way we do a lot of variations, you know, with the close group bench and fucking wide stance, squat and stuff, but every single time they're doing the same thing, you know, they're getting the three points of contact on their feet, they're getting their back tight. Um and for them, it just becomes this, uh as soon as they lay their hands on the bar, it's um it's this sequence, it's almost like they've programmed themselves to calm down to understand what they're about to do, they get their head in the right spot because if they don't, they'll never succeed.

Um If you get under the bar or if you, I guess in broader terms if you undertake anything with your head in the wrong place, you're just asking to fail realistically. So the mental game is number one, um I personally spend a lot of time, my spare time picturing my heavy squats or my heavy bench, I run through my setup sequence in my head, I would never expect the average person to lie at home um in their bed, picturing squatting. Um But if they can come up with a simple process, simple being key. They know where their feet go, they know when they breathe, they know how to initiate the descent. Um then visualization becomes very easy. Um And it's it is key. You're right, the mental games, number one. Yeah, that's a good point, man. You said before about you don't like running, but you were working on your technique for a while.

Now, I assume that visualization was a part of that, and what you're doing there is you're paying attention, you're being attention or intentional with your movement, with your walking, you're paying attention to your foot placement, you're playing paying attention to, You know how you're rolling through the foot through your stride, you're paying attention to any imbalances, any tension throughout the body etc, okay, and then, and then what you're doing is addressing those areas of tension and you're addressing your recruitment patterns and then you accidentally fucking ran 10 km. I mean that is part of the intentional process and what you're doing there and I'll tie it into what you just said about foot placement and all that type of stuff. But you're creating a ritual and yeah, and this is the power of habit man. When you create a ritual, then it makes it so much easier for you to just follow through the plan to get from A to Z through the entire alphabet because you're paying attention to it and you're doing that same thing over and over and over again.

So that when you do get to that point where it is competition time or it is training time, it is go time. Like you go through that ritual and you've patterned it so many times that you know, you're you're thinking about it and you automatically put yourself into good positions. An example of this is when I have, you know, I go through that assessment with new clients and the same thing. I'll go through a gate assessment, then I'll go through a hinge assessment, squad assessment, lunch assessment, push pull carry and what I'm looking at there is um you know, how do they set up, how are they moving through those different positions and I'm looking at um trying to figure out what they need and I just lost my train of thought then what was I talking about? It happens to the best of us did. It's you know the ritual is important and however you term it. Um You know I I one of the guys that I train is extremely strong, like this dude is um you know his bench presses intense, it's like it's close to 1 80 now and um and the reason why he is so good at benching is every time he sits down on the bench, everything is exactly the same.

He when he grips the bar, his hands are in exactly the same place when he sets his back, it's done the exact same way. Um And when he feels that he puts his feet down one ft and then the other and it's always the same fucking foot. You know he moves that one an inch or something and then and then once he does the rab it's blank. You know, there's no thought involved in that process. Um It's the same and this is Q. Q. This is this is the cue, the response and then the reward, like he's thinking about the queue is right, I'm going to bench, he sits down on the bench and his brain goes boom and fires this fucking pattern that he's ingrained over and over and over again, okay and then he probably gets into that flow state and his body just kicks off that response and that um that chain of events and then he wraps the bar up, he sits up and he goes boom, I feel good. That's the reward. That response between Q and reward.

That's the fucking pattern man. That's that habit. That's so important. Yeah, and that's not something you can just do. You know, there's no such thing as somebody that there are people that can learn this stuff quicker and generally the people that learn quicker are the ones that find a good sequence that works for them right at the beginning and then they just copy it over and over again. They do the exact same thing and that is it for today's episode. Guys, hopefully enjoyed that chat that I had with Marshall, stay tuned for the 3rd and final episode to be released on thursday. Any five star ratings and reviews much appreciated. If you've got something out of this episode or any of these podcast episodes, please make sure you pass them off to your friends and family and share the love much. Love Guys piece

Coaches Corner: Common client mistakes and quality movement patterning
Coaches Corner: Common client mistakes and quality movement patterning
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