At my gym, we have just received a new fitness director who is under the impression that the best way for people to achieve results is to throw the iron around. He is an old school power lifter who believes you can receive all of the benefits of core, reactive, balance, etc. training through heavy lifting only and insists that the rest is a waste of a client's time.
I live in a small town without a lot of alternative options and have developed a loyal client base, so leaving would be difficult. I would welcome any suggestions in helping to work through this situation without compromising my belief that the best approach to general fitness is a well rounded program that includes all modalities.
I think many of us have dealt with this scenario. It's a tough one when someone is closed minded. My first suggestion is to stay focused on your belief system, train your clients accordingly and show OBJECTIVE results.
In my opinion, objective results are what matter. Don't waste unnecessary energy trying to get someone to understand your belief. As the saying goes, "You can only lead the horse to water."
Point: Get great results and people will talk (especially in a small town). Never "bash" another training philosophy and remember the following: If everything is connected to everything else, how can we ever hope to understand anything? To explain one, you must explain the others. The answer is approximate knowledge. In other words, neglect what is less relevant. The point of this paradigm shift is not to get stuck in any one training philosophy. I have used this question many times when presenting to physicians, etc. I simply start by asking the question.
The following points are my follow up in hopes to open a closed mind:
- Create a relationship between the part and the whole. In our model, the part and the whole are more symmetrical. First explore the whole followed by the parts as opposed to breaking down the parts to determine the whole function. We must always keep in mind we are interconnected!
- Shift your thinking in terms of structure to thinking in terms of process. Our application focuses on the process, which dictates the structure. In other words, every structure is a manifestation of an underlying process (we can adapt to any environment to a certain degree).
- Think movement to create exercises
- Enhancing function vs. taking people through workouts
- Develop knowledge as a network with no firm foundation. Because foundations of scientific knowledge have not always remained solid, it is essential we change our paradigm. Look at the whole while neglecting the less relevant components as it is impossible to gain knowledge of everything.
- All scientific concepts and theories are limited and approximate. It is the science combined with our clinical experience that will yield the greatest objective results.
In closing, many people in our industry have loud opinions based on their own emotional biases. Unfortunately because of their biases, their clients with varying goals tend to get trained the same way. We must look at every training philosophy as a positive one for some of the people - some of the time. By applying an assessment and collecting objective results, one can make educated decisions on what the client needs, not what we are emotionally attached to.