In the last year-and-a-half, I’ve grown tremendously. Today’s post is a thank you post. There are many people in the fitness industry I pay attention to, but few who’ve actually helped progress the way I train; specifically, the way I cue exercises and what I look for in movement.
I should preface this by saying the biggest influencer of where I’m at now is my mentor, friend, and boss, Jason Seib. I was two quarters away from a bachelor’s degree in physical activity/exercise with no idea how to coach and no idea of what proper body mechanics looked like. I started my internship with Jason winter quarter and learned way more than I could’ve expected. Not only did his passion spew like a faucet, he could see a deviation out of the corner of his eye and was constantly challenging conventional knowledge. If you haven’t already, check out his book for pre-sale on Amazon – it will be released March 5th.
It was my desire to see the body the way Jason sees it that pushed me to search for information from other great coaches. That’s where the internet becomes a great resource. It started out that I wanted to learn more about mobility, mostly because my own mobility needs a lot of work. Then I started to pique an interest in corrective exercise. Along the way, I started to find more and more coaches whose knowledge of the human body blew me away. So here’s the top 5 most influential people I’ve never met.
1. Kelly Starrett.
Kelly, or K-Star, is a physical therapist and gym owner that started MobilityWOD or “mobility workout of the day.” It is a project to offer 365 days of mobility exercises to help people achieve better range-of-motion and offer some self myofascial release for a plethora of movements. I had known about MobilityWOD for over a year before I was reintroduced to it with a greater interest in body mechanics. This interest elevated in the summer of 2011 when I moved back to Oregon from Utah and realized just how poor my mobility was, and even though it’s improved, it’s still not where I’d like it to be. MobilityWOD started it all and is a big influencer on my decision to go to massage school.
2. Dean Somerset.
Dean is one of the few people who will speak and I will be sure to listen. He developed a reputation for himself as a go-to guy for post-rehab clients. The man is very smart, but what I like about him is that he wants his clients to throw around weight. If the corrective exercises are showing improvements, he’ll load up his clients for things like squats and deadlifts. He’s actually in the trenches training clients all the while providing material for his followers. His Post-Rehab Essentials is well worth it; he was able to describe things in ways I hadn’t thought of and it was really refreshing. And his T-Nation articles are legit.
3. Justin Lascek.
Justin operates the blog 70’s Big. I am sure I’ve said this before, but many of the cues I use I learned from his blog. The man is smart and loves to help people get big and strong, but he wants them to do it in a manner that doesn’t make them big and fat. He has some awesome videos on his YouTube channel, as well. And like I said, his cues for movements like the squat, press, and romanian deadlift have taught me how to help my clients get into good positions and have helped me refine my eye to correct any movement errors. He was also the first person to introduce me to Trail Guide to the Body, which is the main text for my massage program.
4. Mike Robertson.
Mike is one of those corrective guys who’s a lot like Dean Somerset. He wants to make sure you’re moving well, but he also isn’t afraid to load you up with a bunch of weight. It’s not often someone develops a reputation for corrective exercise and he can deadlift 485 with bands. Mike presents his knowledge in a clear, concise manner. He usually always gives the foundation for why he approaches movement the way he does before he presents his information. As a coach, your job is to teach. If the clients don’t know the “why”, they may fight you on performing the exercise, or they may become uninterested and stop training with you at some point. I would love to be able to pick Mike’s brains one day.
5. Tony Gentilcore.
Tony may be one of my favorite bloggers to read. He’s very entertaining, but he’s also very smart. He is co-owner of Cressey Performance; a strength and conditioning facility that has gained quite the reputation with baseball players from all levels. Tony also trains the average client who wants to look and feel better. His videos, advice, and writing style keep me coming back and have helped give me ideas on what to do for warm-ups, exercise variety, and exercise cues that help keep things from being information overload. The best part is the laugh you’ll have with every post. For example, in a recent post about giving thanks, his list includes: family, his girlfriend, friends and colleagues, bacon, and his followers.
I’ve been influenced by many more than just 5 people, but these people stand out as the biggest influence in my knowledge as a coach. I can’t thank them enough. I can only hope that I influence someone else as much as they’ve influenced me.