From time to time I send emails to strength and conditioning coaches for one reason or another.
For that last year or so I've been more and more irritated by by many members of the industry who KISS EACH OTHER'S ASSES while picking on and making fun of the little guy. The guy on the forum or in the gym or what have you. Some of my favorites are prime culprits.
Perhaps becasue of career interests they sometime feel helpless so it make them feel more powerful to make fun of forums and such.
Some of these people I show the highest respect and regard for. I recommend their products. I tout their exerience and knowledge and I praise their willingness to share it. But what is always in the back of my mind….it's a business.
I mean if Alwyn Cosgrove blogs ONE MORE TIME about the business of coaching I'm gonna have to take him off my Christmas card list. Okay, so I already took him off when I figured out he couldn't interpret research for shit, plagiarized others work, and is really more interested in SELLING than teaching.
You look at some of these guys resource list and you will see resources that, if they have bothered to actually read them, differ so completely from their own training philosophies that it is downright hypocritical to include them.
Now maybe at seminars or whatever these guys get into it, but in public they are so far up each other's butt they have permanent tans on their noses. Why? Big Name X may just be able to give you an endorsement. May give you a leg up in the industry. So what if some of the things he says are ridiculous. If you feel frustrated you can just pick on gym rats and forum member when the parrot Big Name X's ideas and be myseriously deaf to the man himself.
Not too long ago a series of blog posts by two of my favorite coaches got my dander up a little. Swalling my usuall blunt tendancies and managed to send out what I thought were a couple of tactful and respectful emails. And to some extent they hit the mark. But in other ways they proved what I just said above.
Here are the emails which I will change a bit to protect the innocent, so to speak. But be assured they are not changed so much as to change the meaning.
Email number one:
Mr. So and so,
Love the new site design. And the training log is great to see!
I know you are busy but there is something I have always wondered about. After reading one of your latest blog post in regards to John Q's latest article and people's reactions to it it came to mind again.
Often times these forum members (not specifically T-Nation) are just regurgitating some googletized nonsense and there is no telling what misinformation they may believe in. But many times these ideas, such as the benefits of rounded back stiff legged deads, are populurized by your actual peers. This is where many of us get our ideas from.
This is not to accuse you but only to make a point you may not see. In the case of T-Nation readers, I'm wondering how you or anyone can find fault with any of that when the same things you are speaking against can be found by a highly rated coach such as Mr. Populsar in his articles. I don't want to have to bring up specific names but there it is. I'm sure there are others….
I've seen coaches such as yourself questioning the ideas of the average gym goer or forum members but I rarely see them question each other. This doesn't seem fair to blame the students before the teachers. I could be way off on this I know, and I could be misunderstanding a lot. But I'm just trying to get the mindset here. Most average trainees will just pick the guy with the biggest personality to believe, unfortunately. I hope this doesn't seem highly pretentious or out of bound. As a "forum member" I spend a lot of time calling people to back up their ideas. But with the coaching community I don't see a lot of this when it comes to public information.
With the utmost respect and admiration,
So, this peron never got back to me. But the very next day, or maybe the day after their appeard a blog post basically calling the industry to task. About doing the right thing, etc.. and so on. And how there are many very dedicated and knowledgable peope out there including forum members and gym trainers, etc…
It was all very general and read to me like someone trying to assuage his own guilt. Hey, I still like him but…..
Now here is the e-mail to "John Q":
Dear Mr. John Q,
In regards to your latest comments about spinal flexion you brought up two great points that I think could be summed up as:
1. Comparing unloaded to loaded spinal flexion
2. Doing something bad to prepare for something bad
On number one, Mr. Popular has stated that rounded back stuff is good because it is a "natural movement" and compared it to the way a basketball player would bend over to pick up a ball. Am I an idiot, or does a basketball bear little resemblance to a loaded barbell? The reason I asked is because I've seen this "natural everday movement" argument made quite often.
On number two I recently was trying to talk a friend out of doing rounded back goodmorinings. He said he was doing them to prepare for his back rounding during squats. I said the exact same thing as I stated in number 2. Then I read your boxer analogy (you always make good analogies, haha) and it reminded me of this. Does this mean, that in general a lot of trainees could be guided to do certain movements for the wrong reason? I.E. to "prepare" for something that might happen instead of preventing that thing from happening?
In response he agreed with me on number 2 saying I was on the money… which of course I already new. But on the rest of it he said something vague about an “old” article and basically tried to perpertrate like Mr. Popular no longer said that..which I new to be untrue. Then, even though I had clearly stated that I AGREED with him about spinal flexion and understood it..he suggested that I DO MORE RESEARCH and look up Stuart Mcgill! Now, my first reaction was to be a little bit annoyed that he would assume I never read or heared of Stuart Mcgill. Especially since I’d not only heard of him but read him extensively and own one of his books. But I got over that quickly. What REALLY pissed me off is that he had to find some way to make me “wrong” and didn’t have the balls to admit that Mr. Popular was wrong. Why the hell is he telling me to read Mcgill. He should be telling Mr. Popular.
But that WOULD NOT be helpful to one’s career now would it. So, as much as I like you, I hope that made you feel better to pick on one of your supporters instead of growing some balls and standing up for what you believe not only to the “little guys” who can’t further your career but to the “big guys” who are full of shit.