Trending Post from Nick Tumminello

Another great post by Nick Tumminello.

I love that people of all stripes are appreciating the value of strength training and getting stronger. However, the current obsession with barbell deadlifts among personal trainers greatly concerns me, as it causes fitness pros to make the capital mistake of 1) thinking that a specific exercise is a “must do” for everyone, which 2) leads one to try to fit clients to specific exercises, when the job of the fit pro is to fit exercises to specific clients. And, when we start putting specific exercises on a pedestal instead of putting the specific needs and abilities of the client on a pedestal, we not only become dangerous and less effective as fit pros, but we also become as simple minded about exercise prescription as one can get.

Here’s a reality: Unless you’re a powerlfter or someone interested in training like one, which is NOT most people who’re working in gyms and with fitness pros, there’s NO SUCH THING as “the big lifts” (or “assistance exercises” for that matter) – There’s JUST “resistance training exercises.” Full stop!

In other words, to a powerlifter or weightlifting enthusiasts, the barbell deadlift is a “must do” *event.* However, to everyone else (e.g., fitness training clients along with field, court and combat sport athletes), the barbell deadlift is… wait for it… JUST ANOTHER FRIGGIN EXERCISE!

That’s right! For all non-powerlifters (i.e., the majority of people who are exercising) the barbell deadlift is not magic and it’s not a “must do.” It’s just one exercise in a list of many viable exercise options that can be substituted, modified or not used at all depending on the individual.

As my friend, and iron game legend Richard Sorin says, “Athletes are not in the gym to be weightlifters, they’re there to be athletes made stronger in the weight room.” I would also add, as I’ve alluded to above, that individuals with physique and general health & fitness related goals aren’t there to be weightlifters either. And, if you don’t know the difference between training for the goal of weight-room mastery (i.e., being a weightlifter) and using resistance training to enhance something outside of the gym (i.e., lifestyle, physique or sports), than you’re absolutely lost as a fitness pro.

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“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer


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