"I've been following along with you guys off-site for almost 2 years now. I love it. I love what it has done for my body. I love what it has done for my health. I love what it has done for my appearance. I'm stronger and leaner than ever and I can't wait to see what next workout will be tomorrow. There is only one problem.
I do the workouts at the local fitness center here in TX (no GPP yet). All too often one, or two of the trainers approach me to tell me I'm doing something wrong. So far they've tried to correct me on pushups (I snake them), situps (for using my arms), biceps curls (when I swing them), jumping jack presses, and many others. They about lost their minds the first time I did kettle bell biceps curls. LOL.
I know GPP works for me, but want to explain it to them in better terms than - Oh, just shut up! Do you have any suggestions for what to say to people (it's not always just the trainers) when they do this? ... "
- Jill from TX
Haha. Hi Jill. Yours is not an uncommon problem. Not remotely. Unfortunately, your problem doesn't have an easy fix. Not remotely.
Maybe the best thing to do would be to congratulate them on being so concerned with your health and fitness success. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here, but it seems great that trainers in your gym (and other people) care so much. Surely, they are not just trying to make sales, or market a different program, right?
So, you have THAT going for you.
And since NOBODY likes having something rammed down their throats (not so subtle hint - for them), maybe the best way to explain GPP philosophies, programming and methods would be by living the principles of it and letting them try to argue with your results. Maybe if that doesn't work, you might try asking a few reflective questions.
Some of these questions would go as follows (based on actual conversations):
Them: "You know, swinging while doing biceps curls is the wrong way to develop that muscle."
Me: Is there anything it could be RIGHT for? (I usually ask this with a wry little smile).
I love this question. It is a question that many (even those in the profession) will have never even considered. But, it catches them off-guard a lot of times, and they'll generally respond with either, pertinent/relevant questions, or condescension. Pertinent/relevant questions will end this journey. Condescension, however requires more questions from you.
Let's pick the conversation up from them interpreting your question as a challenge.
Them: Um ... (rolls eyes). Not really. I mean, I would never do them that way ... And, I would NEVER have a client do them that way either.
Me: Why NOT?
This is where he/she will begin to back up their points (the bad ones will bully and attack). They start with their credentials. Move to their training. Quote several studies they are aware of (hopefully they are THAT knowledgeable) and finally they'll get around to the scare tactics centered on how many different ways you will hurt yourself while wasting your time NOT getting fit.
Me: (just asking questions here - in review) So, it's BAD to do exercises that don't target specific muscles completely? It's bad to use momentum during movements? It is also bad and frightfully injurious to go from one plane of motion (forward) directly to another (sideways) during the same movement?
(still trying to hold back sarcasm)
Me: I wonder then ...
How did anyone in the history of earth ever throw a ball?
How do people swim?
How do people hike?
How do people play tennis, or golf, or ride horses?
Are these not exercise?
Them: That's different. Those are not targeted at muscle groups.
Me: But just earlier you said an exercise NOT targeted at specific muscle groups would "not really" have any useful purpose. You said it isn't something "you would do." And that you'd "NEVER have a client do them that way either."
Which muscle group does swimming target? Which one does hiking, tennis, or playing ball?
At this point you'll either be stimulating further enlightening conversation, or just kicking a dead horse. Move forward appropriately.
Over the years I've gotten a lot more miles out of appealing to a trainer's expertise and professionalism than I have by challenging their training, or thoughts. By asking a few simple questions, common sense will usually prevail.