There is always debate on research and it’s applicability to exercises by personal trainers, exercise physiologists, and strength coaches (among others in the related field). In my opinion, there is much more than simply reading or hearing that “such & such research says…” These 3 types of evidence or defense for what you do as a personal trainer or strength coach are…
- Common sense
When you defend with all of aspects, it is then that we have a solid argument or reason why you or the facility you work at is the right choice.
One of the reasons why people may be defensive towards what they believe is because they have an emotional attachment to it. As strength coaches, whether someone loves “a” or “b” it is our job to provide them with the best possible practice so that they can be to point “a” and point “b” effectively and with as little harm to the body. This is one of the reasons I disagree with the Crossfit community. There are a few who do Crossfit and have good PT’s on site and assess but these are rare. It is also never bright to crush someone physically and say they “work out hard.” Because you may have crushed yourself today but as someone who also trains, you need recovery time so that you can be better the next time. Recovery is the most overlooked aspect to training.
To be honest, I do not read lots of research and the research I do read I ask for an opinion by the coaches I work with or see if other coaches I read about are using it with their athletes or clients because I know that these individuals would change what they do because they are humble enough to realize that if they are wrong, they are wrong. These strength coaches are willing to change and grow if it will get their clients to the goals they desire, all while minimizing the risk of injury.
How do you find open minded or like-minded clinicians and trainers? Who knows. More of a reason to continually learn and find answers. We are hear as strength coaches to help athletes and people. It goes back to the debate on whether we should do crunches or sit-ups. I give credit to all these insights to Charlie Weingroff because it in interview he did on MyRehabExercise.com, he talks about how EMG research is not all it is cracked up to be, and as he states “I do not know anyone who is interested in being hunched over in the standing position.” Obviously, because this is what the crunch or sit-up reinforces. Common sense, right?
In the end, these are some of the concepts to look at when reading research or doing exercise. Take in all of the evidence in terms of research + common sense + fact. Then you have a monster to defend. Think about movements and good training. In basketball, a jump shot is a bad squat technique. Does this mean that you teach that type of technique for squats? No. Absolutely not, as the strength coach you teach good movement.