As is pretty clear in most of my articles, I work with a diverse crowd: Kids, competitive athletes, masters athletes, people in rehab, and average folks who want a better quality of life. I want to focus on two of these groups in particular here: Kids and older folks who are either just beginning fitness or trying to sustain a long term athletic career. With these folks, strength is invaluable. I've seen it reverse long term damage, improve performance, and lengthen periods of time between (if not eliminate altogether) debilitating injuries. In fact, anyone I know who has kids in athletics, aging parents, or are, themselves, experiencing pain or physical difficulty in every day life gets the same response from me. Strength training is a must.
Strength training makes you stronger. Duh. But what else does it do? Good question. A lot. Its like teaching a kid to read and its a very lucrative investment. An investment in joint stability, core stability, tendon and ligament strength, increased coordination, injury prevention, and improved performance. The catch 22 that I run into with this is when people ask me, "Who should I train with? Should I let my kids strength train? Should I send my parents to X trainer?" This is where I pause.
|Two of these kids are mine. The other is also mine, but only|
in the sense of the coach/athlete relationship. I care way more
about their health than my ego.
I don't know what the solution is here. Obviously, the training industry needs to take a leadership role in making sure their trainers are executing their training correctly and not just profiting on the tests they administer. Even more so, the colleges selling degrees to students who are meant to be authorities in our high school and college weight rooms should make sure that their graduates are teaching biomechanically sound movements. I think training is about teaching, correcting movements, and coming up with sound programming templates that advance the individual in a way that is safe and effective. This doesn't seem to be the goal of most programs. Hands on training and mentoring, which rarely happens, is far more important in this arena than all the questionable training theory based on experiments performed on novice athletes and electrical devices. (That's purposeful snark, but check it out, its mostly true.) Lastly, I think there should be a grassroots movement to educate our children and their PE teachers and sports coaches on how to properly prepare their bodies for the stresses of sport and play through focused strength training. There are several individuals amd groups starting to target this niche with sound hands on teaching techmiques. I teach this to third and fourth graders, it is possible. Furthermore, I teach this to parents and coaches and trainers and I know there is a demand for it.
|Too bad being a bad-ass viking impersonator |
isn't a sport. Cause he'd have made
the pee-wee team.
Demand more of your coaches, your trainers, and your children's athletic programs. This should be the norm and if we create enough of a demand, we will increase the supply.