What I See in My Weight Room

TAGS: women, frausto, educate, coach, athlete, strength, training

It’s funny some of the things you see being a strength coach. I probably see most athletes more than their sport coaches do on average. So during a normal day in a somewhat normal week the things I see always amuse me in some form. Now don’t get me wrong—there are many people who come through these doors and actually learn a thing or two about sports performance training, weight loss, nutrition, conditioning, body changes, and the like. On average though, I see many more that come through these doors during their competitive eligibility and pick up nothing.

For example, there is a female athlete who comes in and does the same routine with the same weight every time. I have never seen her do anything significantly different. What is she trying to accomplish? I would say from the looks of it wasting time. Maybe she’s afraid that lifting heavier weights or changing up her routine will make her big and bulky. Fat chance of that happening. Females hardly contain the necessary components to gain the muscle that men do. The worst she could do is to have her body composition resemble the likes of Mia Hamm or Anna Kournikova. Now I’m not saying women won’t get a little bigger but most likely only in the hips, thighs, and butt area. Even then, the difference isn’t significant, and this most often applies to women who have never worked their lower bodies before.

Another example is a particular male athlete who seems to be doing the same upper body circuit that he’s done since middle school, and he seems to be using the same weight that he used then as well. His body resembles a tank up top and a chicken down low. I guess his excuse would be that wearing pants would cover up his weak looking legs. I’m not saying that everyone should have huge legs—far from it. I just think that your lower half should have some resemblance to your upper half. As for not changing the weight, that gets me every time. How does he expect to see any effects from what he is doing? I guess he doesn’t. It must be the burn he feels that is enough. I love it when people have no clue as to how the body works. They think lifting weights is always supposed to burn, and if it isn’t, they’re wasting their time.

Another male athlete who trains in here has never listened to a word we, as coaches, have told him. Then he wonders why he can’t get better. I’m not saying we are the answer, but what I am saying is that we weren’t hired just to keep the place clean. His problem is that he is always trying to max out on every lift all the time, especially bench, and even if that means benching every day of the week. Can you imagine how much better we would all be if this staff had the same problem with people wanting to squat?

Yet another example is of a female who only comes in here because it is required. Even then when she comes in, everything she does is half ass. Maybe she is telling herself that being in here is not going to help her, and she is just wasting her time. From the way she works out, I would tell her that she is 100 percent correct. There is so much about the human body that we know yet this person refuses to tap into it. Confusing isn’t it?

Maybe you have seen this athlete. He looks the part, and if you’re lucky, you might actually catch him working out hard. Or so he would have you think. He wants to be on top but doesn’t want to do the dirty work to get there. He often comes and asks me what he should do, and when I give him ideas, he does the total opposite. Why does he even ask? His excuses are, “My _____ hurts” or “I think I’ll just do this instead.” What a character.

These examples may not be funny to you, but it does ensure that my job as a strength coach isn’t limited to writing programs and sending athletes on their way. I have a huge problem on my hands, and it’s my responsibility to try and educate every athlete who comes through my door. I have a strong passion for teaching strength, mobility, stability, sound nutrition, and energy system development, as these are the things that I see most underdeveloped in my athletes. However, I also know that I must learn from my athletes. And of course, there will always be the funny things I see being a strength coach.

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