Wednesday’s Random Thoughts

Filed under: Movie Review, Training

A lot of stuff rattling around the brain lately. Man it feels good to be blogging consistently again (knock on wood!). Now that my wife has started her residency we seem to have finally settled into a bit of a routine, which allows me to blog on a much more consistent basis.

1. Do as I say, not as I do. Right before I left CP I decided to try and trap bar deadlift a new PR of 620, even though only weeks before I had just pulled 615. I chose to pull it on a trap bar with a somewhat lower setting than the one below, just to be more of a man, or something like that. Testing deadlift PR’s within weeks of each other is something that I would probably never let a client do, but me, I’m the expert right? Well, I did complete the pull, but I believe it was the ugliest one in my lifting career and my back has been paying the price ever since. I just tried to pull 315 for speed the other day, about 2 full months since the 620 pull, and my back gave me the finger. Needless to say, don’t be a hero. To quote myself, train smart and hard, not one or the other.

2. I had the distinct displeasure of going to see that new Twilight movie, Eclipse, the other night with my wife. Now I make her watch all kinds of stuff that I love that she isn’t too fond of, so it is a compromise. Having said that, I should get 3 of my films in exchange for that horrible excuse for a movie. The best part was the trailer for the last Harry Potter. Holy shit did that look amazing. I bet Tony will destroy the back of his pants when he sees that for the first time.

3. Speaking of movies I’ve been meaning to discuss this one for a little while, I just haven’t gotten around to it. I watched State of Play the other day and I was impressed. I didn’t have incredibly high expectations for it, though I had heard it was worth watching. I would agree. While it has a few stumbles and mis-steps, when it hits it hits dead center. I would probably give it about an 80, and definitely say it is worth watching.

4. One thing I definitely miss about CP is the gym atmosphere. When I train now it is startling how much different it is when you have to provide all of your own motivation. My new gym is rather sterile and life-less, and has definitely affected my training. Do your best to find a gym that has an environment and atmosphere to help you reach your goals, not one that will actually slow you down.

5. On that same theme when I am at the gym the inner strength coach wants to come out very badly. I see people doing all kinds of stupid shit, but I also see people trying to train properly but maybe are not executing the exercise correctly or just a need a few pointers to clean it up. Thus far I have held my tongue unless I was spotting someone or something, but how do people feel about getting advice at the gym? Should I continue to keep my silence, or do you guys think it would be prudent to help people out from time to time? I would love to hear your feedback.

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Posted on July 14th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

9 Comments

  1. Ian Says:

    As long as you’re polite about it, I’m all for offering tips. I’ve always appreciated it when a total stranger who knows what he’s doing gives me pointers in the gym.

  2. Joe Says:

    Too many gyms think you are trying to steal clients if you start offering advice. If you are training at the UMaine Rec center I know they have a policy against non-staff training and may throw you out

  3. Darcy Says:

    Lead by example! I think if you are outgoing and make eye contact with people, they will be more willing to approach you with questions. I think in general, though, you are going to see a lot of bad/dubious stuff going on in the gym and you’re just going to have to cry a lot on the inside!!!

  4. Chris Says:

    I’ve always struggled with this one myself. I think it might depend on how helpful the critique is as somethings are worse than others. For example, the next time is see some young guys bending their lower backs on deadlifts I’m going to say something. Probably wouldn’t if they’re using too much weight on lunges and losing their balance though.

  5. Glenn Says:

    I always struggle with this, especially since I completed Poliquin’s Level I course, and can legitimately say that I’m a certified strength coach. I go a lot by the vibe I get from the person. Seeing a young doing squats the other day, I suggested he needed more depth and he was grateful. Now we chat whenever we are training at the same time. But usually the vibe is not good, and I err on the side of silence. Too many guys have told me to get lost or just ignored my suggestions over the years.
    Looking forward to more regular blogging!

  6. Sharif Jomaa Says:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with offering your advice. If the person is willing to learn and actually wants to learn and improve, they’ll take your advice and work with it. If it’s some meathead who thinks he knows it all then it shouldn’t bother you what they think, just sit back and laugh as they curl in the squat rack.

  7. Mike Groth Says:

    t all depends on the approach and how you frame your constructive criticism. If you were to say something along the lines of, “that deadlift looks pretty clean, i can tell you’re an experienced lifter and have worked hard to get to were you’re at. However, I used to make the same mistake that you are doing (hips rise too fast, rounded thoracic spine, whatever the issue is), and my back still pays for it sometimes today. Have you tried (such and such) mobility drills, rack pulls, etc. before? i think they might help correct your form”, then that would be acceptable.

    keep bloggin saint! hope all is well back up in Maine.

  8. Bobby Ankenbauer Says:

    Hey Brian,

    If I were at a gym and someone offered advice or tips on form I would love to hear it. Especially if it’s someone that I just saw deadlift 600 lbs or what not. The people I don’t want to hear from are the ones who do biceps curls every day.

  9. danny Says:

    i think this is an interesting philosophical issue. there are a couple of problems with helping people in the gym IMO. first of all, people do not care about doing their best, and they are not in the gym to do their best. so this isn’t an issue of knowledge that you can correct, but a deeper problem with humanity. secondly, even if it is about knowledge in a specific case, people don’t change their behavior simply because a stranger advices them to do so.

    now, with that being said, i think helping people in the gym is fighting the good fight. while it might be rare that you truly help a person out, it is a good. on the most basic level, giving someone advice in the gym has to be a good thing because you are one person (an expert at that) trying to help another person. what can you do better than act in good will towards other people?

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