Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What is a Strength Cruise?

Good question.

As trainers, continuing education is important to us and our time is valuable
…time away from our clients is money lost.
Being the hard workers we all are; we also could use a little R & R from time to time.
Coach Nick Tumminello decided to combine the best of both worlds and BOOM The Strength Cruise was born!

The weekend was put on by Coach Nick Tumminello and featured presenters Jon Goodman, Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic Jose Antonio, and Bill Sonnemaker.

Our time together went something like this
Daily lectures from 7:30/8am to 12pm each day, then we had free time to explore the Bahamas together!  
We had group dinners, hit the beach, worked out, did yoga, and some of us had fun into the wee hours of the morning! The long weekend was the perfect time frame, not too long and not too short.

Coach Nick had written my programs online for 2 years, we had emailed and talked on the phone but never actually met until this weekend!  Nick went with the hands on approach- teaching his Naked Athlete Technique.  His unique and fun bodyweight exercise protocols, challenged everyone in the group.

Jon Goodman, creator of the Personal Trainer Development Center (an online collaborative effort designed to make personal training better throughout the world).  Jon discussed the fact that there is an abundance of advanced training advice out there, which is great for those of us who can train at advanced levels, but doesn’t do jack shit to help us train the average client. In order to enable trainers to work successfully with a wide range of clientele, Jon developed the Focus System.

Dr. Jose Antonio, director of the International Society of Sports Nutrition drove home the point that as a Sports Nutritionist the ultimate goal is not health. 
For most seeking performance gains the goal is BIGGER FASTER STRONGER and of course PRETTIER :)
For those of you who know me, might think I’d have a slight problem with this.  Joey’s no frills point of view did exactly the opposite and it was surprisingly easy for me to see his point of view.   Joey did not stress the importance of changing ones diet before beginning supplementation; rather he stressed that supplements work great on their own.   Another large take home point was that anyone who takes fitness seriously should be supplementing with caffeine, whey protein, fish oil, Vitamin D as well as creatine.  My favorite lesson of the day was creatine supplementation for youngsters.  Numerous studies were provided to us in which creatine supplementation greatly enhanced strength with no adverse effect. Whether it was helping children with traumatic brain injury, helping kids bodies stay strong while undergoing chemo, or improving performance based tests in swimming creatine is highly encouraged for children. Joey even brought in his two daughters ages 9 and 11, both had been on creatine for some time. Just add to chocolate milk :)
If you can let your kids drink soda why not feed them creatine.

The female presenter on the cruise was Cassandra Forsythe. I had been waiting to meet her for some time now. Unfortunately there are not that many female fitness professionals on the speaking scene, especially not with a back round as solid as Cassandra’s. She co-authored the book New Rules of Lifting for Women with Lou Schuler, whose tagline is Lift like a Man, Look like a Goddess.  As many of us in the fitness industry often do, she went back on her previous statement and based her presentation on why women should train and eat differently then men.
This is a very important topic to address because the majority of personal training clientele are women!
First off, women need to be reminded of their self worth.  As a woman, I know how hard I am on myself. Sometimes its like nothing is ever good enough.  Meanwhile men think they’re amazing all the time ;)  It is true that women are extremely well suited for strength training, however they recover faster after high intensity exercise than men.  As a result women can tolerate more volume more frequently then men.  Hmmm Cassandra has a point J this is why women love and are good at CrossFit!  This is definitely a topic I will expand on at a later date.
One major take home for those of us who train women is in regards to their menstrual cycle.  The first day of your period probably shouldn’t be a strength day unless you want to be disappointed hahaha.  Obviously when you are training hard nutrition is of the utmost importance.  Without proper nutrition, injury, loss of menses, and lower metabolic rate can result. Trust me this is no fun.  Yet as women we still feel the pressure to look a certain way despite what it may be doing to our bodies long term. 
If as an industry we can teach women that lifting heavy will get you strong and strong is SEXY we have succeeded.

Ah finally we get to Bill Sonnemaker of Catalyst Fitness! Bill has a similar back round to myself so I found his presentation to be AMAZING!  Just as I did in my 500 hr yoga teacher training Bill took us through the major facial lines from Tom Meyers Anatomy Trains.  Bill works in conjunction with Trigger Point Performance Therapy.  For the past few years I have utilized restorative yoga and self myofascial release to keep myself pain and injury free while training hard.  Previously I had only used lacrosse balls and foam rollers, boy was I missing out.  I honestly thought that the the Trigger Point Kits were just another sales ploy.  The fact is THEY ARE AWESOME. Honestly I have been home for just 2 days and have my clients hooked already.

This post was definitely longer than I intended it to be! Needless to say it was awesome to be amongst like-minded folks in a not so formal atmosphere this past weekend.  Looking forward to expanding on all of these topics at a later day and most of all looking forward to next year!

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