As fitness professionals, we all have a training philosophy, which molds our approach to putting our knowledge into practical application. Now, some people develop their own philosophy while others (unfortunately) adopt one from someone else, which is very dangerous as it leads to guru-worship and basing what your training practices on beliefinstead of science.
The scary reality is, fitness (even in much of the professional fitness training realm) has increasingly had little to do with what’s real (i.e. science) and not real – It’s a religion. And, “faith” is basis for religion, not science.
Put simply, there’s a big difference between learning from some one and following them like a shadow. At Performance U, we have simple philosophy on learning, “stick your head into everyone’s work, but never stuck your head up anyone’s ass.”
In other words, we never let our schooling (i.e. what we learn from others – in theory) get in the way of our education (i.e. what we learn about ourselves – that works for us in reality).
Today we’re sharing our 20 favorite (best) quotes from other health professionals that have had a powerful influence on our hybrid training approach.
Since we feel these quotes have helped us to become better trainers and teachers, we wanted to share them with you as we’re confident they can provide extremely valuable insight to all fitness professionals:
1. “Due to different schools of thought among industry leaders, functional training is often pitted against modalities like bodybuilding. The result is a gang-like environment where the strength coaches think functional training is a circus act, and the functional advocates think strength training is for “no-necks” just interested in aesthetics or lifting heavy stuff. Then, of course you have the yoga and Pilates crews that look at the other two groups and think they are nuts.  It is always: function vs. strength, bodybuilding vs. Pilates, Yoga vs. who knows what. These comparisons aren’t even accurate; they are like asking what do you think is best to eat for optimal nutrition: apples or broccoli? Of courses, “both” is the right answer.  Eating only one or the other, although each is nutritious, leaves one without the nutrition of the other. Bringing this simple example to the world of physical training drives home a very important point.  Every training method has its benefits (i.e. nutrition), and combining the most effective methods (i.e. combine apples and broccoli) will provide better training than exclusively using any one training method…. Therefore it behooves, it behooves the fitness and conditioning professional to learn as many different training disciplines as possible, keep an open mind, and continuously re-examine the efficacy of one’s training philosophy and continuously push to develop a “system less system of training.” Juan Carlos Santana
2. Although some personal trainers give themselves fancy titles (like “Corrective Exercise Specialist”), at the end of the day, we are just modern physical education teachers for a population who has lost physical education.” Juan Carlos Santana
3. “If your hips aren’t movin, your core isn’t groovin” Gary Gray
4. Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers love to talk about getting faster by training  fast twitch muscle fibers, but you’re only as fast as your slowest twitch.”Mike Gittleson
5. “First it was spinal flexion, then it was spinal extension, now it’s neutral. I don’t know which of those is the best? All I know is that you can’t have sex in neutral.” Sean P. Gallagher, PT
6. “Nothing is guaranteed in Physical therapy. But, a good strength training program, designed around one’s current successful movement capabilities, can have drastic physical (and mental) improvements in 6-weeks.” – “These YMCA statistics describe what happens to most of us. The average American gains one pound per year after the age of 25, and loses ½ pound of lean body mass per year after the age of 25.  Consequently, the average 55 year old has gained 25–30 pounds and lost 10–12 pounds of those tissues required to counteract the weight gain. The increased weight gain overloads the skeleton, causing injury and pain (arthritis). And, the average female looses 1/3 of her skeleton in a lifetime. The key to living life to its fullest is to strengthen your body with the appropriate exercise, increase muscle mass and decrease body fat.  The home run: Get Lean and Stay Lean…Learn to Exercise and Become a Student of Nutrition.”  Jim Porterfield PT (of Porterfield & DeRosa)
7. “Compensation (if controlled) is a normal part of human function – Compensation is adaptability. Increased range of joint motion or compensation is frequently observed due to a variety of reasons. This hypermobile range does not necessarily constitute a stability dysfunction. Stability dysfunction requires a demonstrable lack of muscle control of joint motion. This is “uncontrolled” motion. Put simply, I’m not worried about compensation, I’m worreid about uncontrolled compensation because there’s a big difference between true dysfunction and simply a variation or normal.”  – Mark Comerford PT
8. “Jogging reduces strength, power, and muscle mass. It increases catabolic hormone output, punishes joints, and, in summary, basically reduces every commonly accepted marker of masculinity. The evidence against jogging is so abundant it needn’t be regurgitated here, but suffice it to say that jogging is probably the most effective form of non-surgical gender-reassignment available to those of you itching to explore your feminine side.” Charles Staley
9.  ”I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen what is referred to as some “new, functional, cutting edge, real-world, you-fill-in-the-blank” drill, technique, or method become highlighted as some intelligent, ground-breaking training solution when in reality it’s nothing more than an ignored component that got lost in the tidal wave of our field’s high percentage of attention-deficiency. In essence, the old becomes new again through a new coat of paint , and the forgotten becomes the new-found star via a sexy marketing campaign.” – “While there have been some marked advancements in a few key areas such as assessments, soft tissue and joint health, and nutrition, for the most part, the subject of program design and application has taken a few leaps backwards. The root of this regression is the focus on catchy, hyped systems and the ignorance of foundational principles.” – “Systems are excellent servants but horrible “masters.” Vince McConnell
10. “Metaphorically speaking, our physiology basically has the universe mapped out and you’re thinking it needs to be taught addition and subtraction.” Alan Aragon
11. “In regards to training athletes, understand the difference between a thoroughbred vs. a plow horse. Work Capacity is NOT a bio-motor skill – Anyone can work!” – “Drills don’t equal skill. You can be great at drills, but still suck at your sport.” – “I’m concerned with form, but there isn’t just one form. Don’t try to clone – Similar is not the same.” Vern Gambetta
12. “As Personal Trainers and Coaches, we always tell people what they’re doing wrong, but we rarely tell people what they’re doing well or that we’re proud of them.” – Your best will never fail you!” – “Fitness doesn’t come from a lab, it comes from your fire. If you’re IN fitness, you’ve got to be INTO fitness.” – “We seem to be chasing fatigue and cool exercises instead of results. Don’t sacrifice technique for intensity.” Martin Rooney
13. “Most people really don’t care about health & wellness. And, unless you’re working with a pro athlete who makes money with their body – People want to look better naked! Dr. Jose Antonio
14. “The answers aren’t as important as how you arrived at your answers. – “A good workout program is evidence based, systematic and scalable.” – “The biggest impact a personal trainer can have on their client is already within our scope of practice.” Bill Sonnemaker
15. “Training is a moving target, but certain exercises are always included regardless of the goals of the program.” – “Are you trying to IMPRESS me, or are you trying to EDUCATE me?” Jonathan Goodman
16. “If an exercise makes you better without making you worse, then you can’t say it is “non- functional.” Brad Schoenfeld
17. “If you know enough about anatomy, physiology, and strength training, you could make a case for why every exercise in the book should be avoided. Conversely, you could also make a case for why every exercise in the book should be performed.” Bret Contreras
18. ”In all tests which presume to measure bilateral balance, stability and strength ratios, it is essential to remember that everyone displays functional asymmetry, so that small to moderate differences in all of these factors tends to be rather meaningless. Humans are not symmetric machines and it can often be more damaging to try to alter “natural asymmetry” than it is to leave it alone. Far too many tests assume that there is some sort of norm or ideal against which everyone can be compared. At best, one can only validly make comparisons against oneself over time or against the mean of groups who are similar to you in age, bodymass, gender, sport, sporting level and injury profile.” Dr. Mel Sif
19. “Functional Training? Can you honestly tell the difference (during a sports competition) between the athletes who did squats and the ones who did the legs press?” Robert Taylor
20. “If you’re excited about what you learned from a book, course, DVD, etc., you may attempt to tell others what’ve you’ve learned. If you try to support it by saying, “(insert name of author or teacher) said …” then you do not yet understand WHAT was taught and WHY. You offer no support for your knowledge by referencing the name of an individual. In fact, you diminish it! The only support that matters is science itself, not hearsay, no belef in an individual.” Tom Purvis

Final Thoughts…

No smarty pants, that last quote (#20) doesn’t invalidate all the other quotes we shared and make them “hearsay” as no one here is using these quotes to “support” an argument for or against anything in the fitness training field. As clearly stated in the beginning of this post, we are simply sharing our favorite quotes, which have helped us and influenced our approach to hybrid fitness training.
Finally, if you’re wondering why we didn’t follow each of these quotes by answering “What does he mean when he says…” and injecting our own interpretations, this final quote from Tom Purvis will provide your answer: “There is only one person to ask about information you’ve heard. The person who said it.”
Sure we have our own perspectives on each of these quotes, which we’ve already shared by simply telling  that these 20 are some of our favorites. Interpreting what they mean to YOU, and deciding if they’re meaningful to you is part of the beauty and fun of being a free-thinking human!

About EdR

Tant que les lions n’auront pas leurs propres historiens, les histoires de chasse continueront de glorifier le chasseur. (proverbe africain)

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