Stronger Sundays

Dominate your fitness business with this weekly collection of strategies, tips, and tricks.
By trainers, for trainers.


Quote of the week:

"Food is powerful, and moderation is hard. It has to be earned. You may need to avoid some foods altogether. Moderation is definitely a better place to be. But it's the finish line, not the starting line."
                                                                                          - Bryan Krahn on Facebook (mild profanity warning)
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. "Movement quality" is a meaningless term
  2. Who’s metabolic now?
  3. NT Loops are my new favorite tool
  4. The most expensive information is bad information
1. "Movement quality" is a meaningless term

Buzzwords have a predictable life cycle in the fitness industry.

Terms like "functional training" and "clean eating" catch on because, with just a couple of words, they communicate something that sounds noble. After all, who’s in favor of dysfunctional training or dirty eating?

But it’s never long before purists take the noble ideas too far, while contrarians poke holes in the original concept.

That brings us to "movement quality," a term Mike Robertson says is past its sell-by date. "At a base level, the term is dumb because everyone wants their clients and athletes to move well," he writes. "But here’s the bigger issue: The term ‘movement quality,’ by itself, tells us absolutely nothing."

The takeaway: More important, Robertson says, are movement goals—yours and the client’s. "Once you start to understand the goals of training, it becomes that much easier to unpack and describe your movement models, and what movement quality really means to you."

Go deeper: Christian Finn tackled one of the core tenets of "functional training" in this memorable PTDC article:

--> Weight Machines Build Functional Strength. Seriously.
2. Who’s metabolic now? – Lou Schuler

Another term that’s entered the spin cycle: metabolic conditioning. Unlike the others we’ve mentioned so far, its eight syllables aren’t instantly understandable. But they sound like cutting-edge science. And, until a few years ago, we thought we could make the scientific case for its unparalleled fat-burning potential.

Alas, the science we used to justify it didn’t hold up. That was painfully apparent to us when we decided to update a metabolic conditioning article we published at the PTDC back in 2011. What seemed reasonable eight years ago looks like magical thinking now. The author, Brad Schoenfeld, encouraged us to revise it from top to bottom, using a new author.

Kevin Mullins, a frequent PTDC contributor, was happy to take it on. Like so many of us, he’d made claims for metabolic training that he’d never make today.

You can check out our do-over here:

--> Metabolic Conditioning: Don’t Say It Unless You Understand It

Go deeper: Until reading this article in The Atlantic, we had no idea that "greasing the groove" had become yet another buzzy phrase. As the reporter notes, it was first popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline two decades ago. But now, for reasons we still don’t quite understand, it’s having a moment.

Brad Schoenfeld makes an appearance, this time to add a well-reasoned "yes, but …" Greasing the groove, he says, makes sense if you’re talking about a complex movement like the kettlebell swing. But if you want to accomplish anything with those swings, your training can’t be random. You need a structure that allows for focused practice to improve form and progressive resistance to build strength and power.
3. NT Loops are my new favorite tool – Lou Schuler

Way back in July, in the seventh issue of Stronger Sundays, I expressed my love of band exercises. I keep a set of minibands and a Glute Loop in my gym bag, and do my best to wear out my gym’s heavy-duty resistance bands and tubing.

Now I’ve added two more stretchy things to my bag: NT Loops. Created and sold by Nick Tumminello, they’re 10 inches longer than Perform Better's Superbands, and I’m still figuring out which movements they’re both suited for.

The clear winner right now is this pull-through variation that physical therapist Tom Biggart recommended as a way to train hip extension without aggravating my knees or lower back. I had tried the movement with Superbands, but it wasn’t until I used the longer NT Loop that it felt like it was working the right muscles in the right way.

I got both NT Loops (Burn and Burn+) for $79, a special price Nick is offering through the end of October. Check it out here.  
4. The most expensive information is bad information Jonathan Goodman

Shortly after we released my new book, The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Online Training, I was informed that someone who charges $5,000 for "business coaching" was upset. As I heard the story, he accused me of giving away the entire blueprint, and now nobody was signing up with him.

That’s one example of the price of information:

You can pay $5,000 for a private business coach, or you can get the same basic template from a book I’m giving away for free; I only ask readers to pay for shipping and handling.

But how do you know what information is worth? How do you know that expensive coaching is really better than what someone like me offers for next to nothing?

The short and scary answer: You don’t. Not unless you take some time to learn what else is available.

What I can tell you is that the most expensive information is bad information. It’s what you get for free from people who speak with the utmost confidence about subjects they actually know little about. And it’s what you might get for thousands of dollars from a business coach whose entire program could be derailed by a (nearly) free paperback.

The most successful people I know spend tremendous amounts of money on information. The information could be curated—that is, it comes from writers and publishers who understand how to find the best information and reject the rest. Or it could come straight from primary sources, people with an extraordinary track record in their area of expertise.

Either way, successful people are willing to pay because the people selling the information have earned their trust. They earn that trust by providing value. The higher the stakes, the more value great information has.

But the higher the price, the more skeptical you should be. Like if someone asks you to pay $5,000 for coaching, you should at least look around to see if you can get the same information somewhere else.

Like, say, a (mostly) free book you can get here:
--> The Wealthy Fit Pro's Guide to Online Training

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