Archive for June 13, 2011

Evolution of a Fitness Enthusiast

Posted in Guest Authors, Random Thoughts on June 13, 2011 by mboyle1959

Here’s a great guest blog from member Robert Rey


I found Coach Boyle’s article Evolution of a Strength Coach quite interesting and thought I’d briefly share my journey, which is a bit different but has some similarities. I’m not a strength coach, athletic trainer, or even a personal trainer. I’m simply a fitness enthusiast who because of cost and location is trying to make the most of his time at a big box commercial gym. I managed to avoid the Powerlifter and Injured Powerlifter stages, but the middle stages I went though could be considered as bad or worse. Anyway, no question here really but I hope all who read this find it interesting.

Stage 1 – The Clueless Machine User

I had no instruction and no clue what I was doing, so I went around and did sets of ten on all the machines 3 times in circuit fashion.

Stage 2 – The Bodybuilder

This is the same as Coach Boyle’s Stage 1. We’re all too familiar with this stage so I’ll move on to the next.

(Note: Stages 3 and 4 happened simultaneously for the most part. I can’t really remember which came first.)

Stage 3 – The Unstable Surface Guy

In this stage I was doing what I thought was functional training but it really wasn’t. I was absolutely in love with the Swiss ball and used it for every exercise I could. I was trying to see how far I could push the limits of balance and unstable surface training and did a lot of stupid and dangerous stuff like squats standing on a Swiss ball.

Stage 4 – Everything but the Kitchen Sink

In this stage I was doing long workouts and was completely obsessed with cramming in as much variety as possible. I was doing everything from squats standing on a Swiss ball (as mentioned in the previous stage) to seated machine preacher curls. Name any exercise good or bad and I was probably doing it in this stage.

Stage 5 – The Functional Training Guy

In the previous stage I was doing a lot of good exercises (along with the bad) so this stage is more about cutting out exercises then it is about adding more. This is by no means a completed journey. I’m continually revising and improving as I learn more. I still err on the side of having too big of a tool box, too much variety, and workouts that go too long. I guess I’m a gym rat that likes too many exercises. I have managed to cut out the crazy unsafe unstable surface training, seated machine exercises, lumbar flexion/extension/rotation exercises, and most of the other not-so-great stuff.