Memorizing Exercises vs Understanding Mechanics
There is an epidemic of personal trainers who merely memorize exercises and either blindly accept their perceived value or blindly dismiss their value (e.g. best exercise for core, chest, shoulder, back…, Everyone should…, No one should…, This is functional…, this is non-functional…)
The rationale to explain these sound bites are often open ended and magical. Usually just good enough to convince the consumer. They are rarely based upon a true understanding of physics involving joint forces and muscular influences, which can be quantified and proven. This is because they were not learned that way. They were ingrained into the trainer’s brain by an organization, mentor, tradition, poorly designed study, article, social media outlet, or even their own personal exercise experiences.
As for the consumers, they are usually accepted as truth because A) They trust that a professional trainer always know better or B) The trainer looks and sounds the part (great body, good looks, and fun personality).
Only by first understanding all the components required for things like balance, shoulder stability, core strength can you start recommending exercises. This requires a desire to examine the details (the why) and a passion for them (different than just enjoying working out). This goes WAY beyond counting reps, programming routines, and memorizing cues. However, choreographed stuff is easy and simple. Thats’s why we love it. This also makes things easily marketable (e.g. Try our booty blasting program…, 5 step core strengthening program…, Corrective exercise protocol…, Balance routine…
Regardless of our desire for it, there’s no magic bullet or secret. There’s simply a lack of knowledge for fundamentals of resistance training. Despite the hundreds of fitness fads that have come and gone obesity is at an all time high. Joint pain is still rampant. Confusion by the consumer is worse than ever. Many people hate exercise because they don’t happen to fit neatly into the protocols that were designed for the masses. There must be more accountability! There must be a higher standard! Trainers must challenge their teams sound bites if they’re ever going to improve or help people long-term. You can market your innovative exercise all you want, but you're still targeting the 1% of the highly tolerant fitness types that thrive on any version of fatigue, which includes breathing heavy and feeling demolished after the workout. The other 99% of the population that truly need professional exercise guidance are again left in the dust because they don’t conform to any of the “best programs.”