Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Master at Exercise Instruction

People who are visibly out of shape, undermine their credibility and effectiveness, because they do not inspire confidence by their appearance and body language (movements). I have pioneered leading edge thinking at effecting a transformation by simplifying the understanding of that process for improvement -- making it quick, easy, effective and immediate.

Raised in a family of exercise practitioners and instructors -- before it was fashionable to be so, I predate the popularity of contemporary thinking on exercise and trace my heritage to centuries-old roots, while independently evolving the state of the art in understanding, and present them in forums to those interested in such inquiry, including accomplished athletes, coaches, medical researchers, as well as the most disabled, because the universal principles and truths apply equally no matter what condition, competence and training one is in.

I moved to Salem, Oregon because I was interested in relocating from Honolulu, after ten years in which the cost of living increased from one of the lowest to one of the highest in the country. I went back in 1998 because I was told my mother’s health was in such poor condition she would not last another year. I was confident that my insight into the aging (deterioration) process gained from the ten previous years while in Seattle, Washington, could revive her chances of regaining independent living. That’s my objective with “disabled” people, while for most others, it is to obtain the greatest results in the least amount of time, effort, disruption and reservations.

Exercise and exercise instruction has been a lifelong interest for me because that is the way I was brought up -- but learned also from my earliest years of play, that that was not the case with others, and so I always tried to be helpful in increasing their confidence and abilities to participate.

By the time I entered high school in Hawaii where I spent my first 18 years, I was already regarded as a bodybuilding sensation -- mainly because that was how my body responded to a fairly disciplined exercise program at the onset of my unique growth spurt, which made most people think I was a professional wrestler in that age in which people were not used to prodigious development outside those very specialized groups of people and activities.

Only after I had gone away to college and was recommended to be the recreational weight room supervisor as a student at the University of Texas at Austin during the glory years of 1969-71, did weight-training become more prominent and credible in the public eye. Just as a focus for that activity, I formed, recruited and trained a club team, for the purpose of preparing and supporting those interested in competitions. On such occasions, I met those who were the backbone of organizing such events, and one particular individual, Arthur Jones, became a pivotal and influential figure in legitimizing resistance training as the fundamental preparation for all athletic activities, with his Nautilus principles and training machines.
Up to that point in time, there was no universally accepted rules about what actually worked -- and there still isn’t, except that from time to time, certain trade associations and commercial ambitions, want to reserve that whole arena of recreational activities as their exclusive jurisdiction. But in sport and athletics, the prize does not go to those who have the highest degrees and certificates, but those who can demonstrate their prowess at any and every challenge.

And although I had been a respected competitor, as well as coach and organizer of such activities, what primarily distinguished me above all others, has been the ability to instruct others through speaking, writing and demonstrations (video and live), on the nature and process of inquiry for anyone’s unique requirements, adaptations, proficiencies, and even disabilities -- rather than the “One-size fits all” conditioning approach usually advocated by those without these sensibilities and sensitivities.

That is really what a valued “personal trainer” has to do -- be able to innovate and design appropriately for each individual’s competence and personality -- rather than shoving them into the impersonal treadmills of life, and thinking that if they simply do more of what they are not vitally interested in and suited for, they will miraculously become and live the life they want to.

One becomes the person they condition themselves to be -- so that kind of mechanical, impersonal approach merely conditions them to become less involved in that possibility. In this, the real test of one’s effectiveness as a trainer is the number of people who will comment many years later and say, “I still do what you taught me,” even without that personal supervision and prodding, and do an excellent job of maintaining their own lives and fitness for it.

That’s my orientation, and thus, “proof” of my success -- rather than the lifelong codependencies of many less successful instructors and trainers, whose students will forget or not continue to do what they were instructed on as soon as nobody is around to force them to do so and personally supervise every repetition. That kind of training is not in anybody’s best interest -- which has been the failing of virtually all the personal training I have observed, usually conducted by those who have the certificates but no understanding of the principles implied. Unfortunately, that’s like a lot of teaching these days and why “education” has fallen into such disrepute -- that the “teacher” is not also a keen student who has learned what they know from their own discoveries, experimentation and experience.

They were not born, bred and made for that sphere of activities which inspires the unquestionable mastery of that field -- that is not gained by merely learning the protocol and jargon. Some are unmistakably the “real deal” and create the thoughts that emerge and endure.


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