For this article, I wanted to speak about the philosophies of The Strength Feed and about how these were developed with the betterment of our clients in mind.
First and foremost, The Strength Feed is a teaching gym. What does that mean? It means that we are not only here to tell you what to do, but also to teach you the “why” behind it. Each of the coaches here was selected to directly benefit the client in a specific way. If you take the education of our five coaches, we have a combined 25 years of college education, two of those coaches with their master’s degrees. This education is spread across two decades, giving us insight in the vast changes that have occurred in the fitness industry. On top of this, the coaching staff has spent many years training for their own development, experiencing the effects of resistance training on themselves. This, coupled with our training for sport, allows us to have advantages that some other personal trainers do not. We try to reciprocate this knowledge and our general experience to provide the best training experience for our clients.
Every year new information is put out in to the fitness industry, whether it is new training philosophy or technological advancements. While many of these have a place in training, we evaluate these by using past experience and education to determine the direct effect that it would have on our clients.
With that being said, you need a constant goal to be working towards. This allows you to stay focused and keeps you from drowning in new information or trends. At The Strength Feed constant goals will always be the same: to build strength, not just by mass, but tensile strength and cross sectional area of muscle fibers; continue to maintain a general level of aerobic capacity in one form or fashion, this doesn’t necessarily mean running marathons; and to always have a focus on mobility using full ranges of motion. Priorities during a training year may shift, with minor changes in your current short-term goals, but these pillars of training will never change. These roots will lay the best foundation for a healthy life and longevity of joints and muscles as you age. It will keep issues like obesity, heart disease, arthritis, atrophy and mental health at bay for the many wonderful years of your life.
These pillars were created over time by sticking to the factual, evidence based research findings that have been consistent throughout the history of Strength and Conditioning. These ideologies have then been tested by the coaching staff on themselves or clients, and have proven affective repeatedly. The Strength Feed coaches spend ample time talking ad nauseam about training principles and philosophies to challenge each other’s beliefs. This keeps everyone here fresh, up to date and gives us a stronger leg to stand on when teaching these pillars. These pillars enable us to facilitate all of our clients heading in the same direction of betterment.
These pillars include:
No matter what we change or what we do in this industry these pillars will never change. They have been practiced for hundreds of years and will continue to be practiced for hundreds more.
What seems to be happening in the industry though, with the influx of new information, is that many Strength and Conditioning Coaches are straying from these pillars.
In today’s society everyone is looking for the next quick fix. Technology has given us more power at our fingertips than ever before. It has also led us to be impatient. Every time I open Instagram or scroll through Facebook I see “get lean in 6 weeks” or “3 week weight loss challenge”. We understand the marketing push behind these ads, but we have a hard time tarnishing our integrity and belief in training correctly just to appeal to the masses. We need members and we are absolutely nothing without the people that walk through our door every week. But that is exactly why we value long-term training and take the time to generate corrective movement patterns. The issue that we take with these “quick fix” programs is that rushing through reps with the only goal to lose weight, actually can lead to an increased risk of injury.
The second issue that stems from these get fit quick programs is that these changes will not remain constant. It is difficult for anyone to stick to massive lifestyle adjustments. There is tons of research out there about attrition rates from people making huge changes to diet, frequency of working out, etc. Companies and facilities that push these programs are looking to lure clients in and are hoping to keep one or two of the clients in the class. If you just run a different program every 10 weeks then you don’t have to worry about turnover. You just get the next group of challengers through the door and that becomes your cash cow. Even the big cooperate gyms do a similar thing. They hire low experience, low education coaches that they can pay cheap and focus on turnover. They don’t preach longevity and they don’t give you the tools to continue on without them because they don’t WANT you to continue on without them. Not to mention, they probably don’t have the knowledge to enable you to be independent in the gym.
So how do you avoid becoming someone’s one and done cash cow? Find a different type of Strength Coach. Find one that will not only use the education he or she has to better your life, but one that will teach you how to make consistent lifelong changes. Find a coach and a gym that will enable you to feel comfortable enough to take over your own training safely and effectively. Find a gym with values and one that will facilitate your growth.
The Strength Feed will always stick to its roots, the pillars of strength and conditioning, and is the only gym in Raleigh with a goal to have life-long clients.