Old School Revisited

I began weight training at the oh-too-cute age of 9, between Little League Baseball seasons.  My “program” consisted of push ups, sit ups, and using my brother’s set of sand filled weights.  I’ve worked out in high school weight rooms, YMCAs, hotel gyms, $100/month fitness centers, parks, and even my car.  You name it, I’ve worked out there.

Thinking back on all of it, something occurred to me.  The first peak of my strength and fitness was from senior year of high school through freshmen year of college.  This is the case with the majority of the population.  In college and after, most people come into the “real world”, they get married and get a job, and they go down a decline of fitness that is far faster than it need be.  The reason for my decline, however, was not the usual “life got in the way”.  I had continued to work out, often more feverishly than ever.  So what happened?

I got hornswoggled, plain and simple.  Somewhere around my sophomore year of college, I moved to Santa Monica and joined a local chain gym.  The 10,000 sq ft facility, with its bright, shiny machines, grabbed this country boy by the short hairs and wooed me over to the dark side.  I was duped by the allure of selectorized weight machines.  They were just too fun to pass up.  That opened me up to being subsequently hoodwinked into the very popular belief that I needed to just be toned and stop training for strength.  Strength training (and the wrongly assumed bulk that would accompany it) would just get in the way of my ranges of motion (a big concern of mine, also being a lifelong martial artist), and I was convinced that I never need to lift anything more than my bodyweight.  Ever.

So I went on to all sorts of alternative methods of training.  A lot of machines.  A lot of work on my “stabilizers”.  Focusing on keeping mobile ultimately just meant that I got weaker.  And unknown to myself at the time, I wasn’t performing at my peak in anything.

Jump ahead to today.  All too often, I’m hearing many of my contemporaries add to their Murtaugh Lists, talking about how they’re “too old for this *&^%” or that they “can’t do that crap anymore”.  Meanwhile, I am measurably stronger, faster, more “functional” than I’ve ever been.  Yes, even more than that high school senior year of football.  I attribute it, in part, due to the fact that decades of training and learning has given me the experience to train smarter.  I give a lot more credit, though, to the fact that I dumped the new age style of weight training, and went back to the basics – the old school barbell and freeweight training that has been around for over a century.  The original techniques are tried and true.  They work better.  They work more efficiently.  They work more in line with what the human body was designed to do.

The best part about traditional weight training is that it can achieve any goal a person has, whether it be weight loss, weight gain, strength, endurance, speed, definition, balance, or just better overall health.  To name a few.  The only difference from goal to goal is the programming.  That’s what I’m here for.  I create programs that focus on an individual’s personal goals and/or needs.  Because don’t let these “muscle confusion” trainers and acolytes fool you.  While they may change the exercises their clients do each time, they rarely change their repertoire match the client’s actual goal.  I take the proven techniques of old, and I develop programs to match the individual.  Putting the “personal” back in personal training.  That’s how, together, we’ll use old school techniques to make a brand new you.

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