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  1. #1
    Registered User sunrisesunshine's Avatar
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    Unhappy TO THE EXPERT PT'S: HOW THE HELL DO YOU CUE AN ABSOLUTE BEGINNER? (please respond!)

    hi guys,
    im new to the business, so i trained a newbie today..
    and i just found it so dang difficult to cue this person.
    its like they werent listening or didnt want to or they didnt understand what i was saying or something. or they just werent naturally able to get these points. i did a demo and tried to cue them the best i could with short simple cues eg 'bend your knees, squeeze the abs, keep your back straight" etc but they just didnt get it. they would do maybe one rep with ok form but they go back to their origional bad forms.

    so my question is how do you PT's help these people who have no idea what theyre doing?
    what techniques have u tried that worked. please help me and share your experience..
    i feel like im already a chitty PT because my explanations are NOT getting through.
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  2. #2
    Fitness Anarchist SerpentHearted's Avatar
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    sounds like you have a beginner client but you might not be giving them beginner enough stuff to begin with?
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  3. #3
    Registered User sunrisesunshine's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SerpentHearted View Post
    sounds like you have a beginner client but you might not be giving them beginner enough stuff to begin with?
    No a basic squat is pretty beginner to me
    And a bent over barbell row is simple enough. I’m not introducing complicated movements at all. The basics are usually the best! Helpppppppp
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  4. #4
    husband, father, trainer KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Three things.

    Firstly, how to perform a squat is not intuitively obvious. If it were, nobody would pay us to teach them how to do it. Don't be offended at your beginner's difficulty, it's how you make a living. Be grateful they don't know.

    Secondly, because of the first point, you need a teaching method. Do not confuse your inability to coach a movement with their inability to perform that movement. There are many teaching methods. The video below offers a teaching method for the low-bar back squat, but of course there are other squat variations.

    Lastly, just as your client needs practice, so do you. Look at the videos in this sticky thread:

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177237111

    I say two things there relevant to this. One is that every trainer should have had a trainer. I know you have never had a trainer, or never had a competent one, because if you had then you would have a teaching method for the squat - your old trainer's one. The other is that you should pick a movement and teach a new person that movement every day in the gym. Let's say that's the squat. If you go to your workplace gym 5 days a week, then in a year you will have taught 260 people to squat. In two years, 500 people. After teaching 500 people to squat you will have figured out some things about it.

    In the meantime, steal someone else's method. Rippetoe's is a good start.

    "A fox has many tricks, a porcupine has only one trick - but a very good one."
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  5. #5
    Registered User sunrisesunshine's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    Three things.

    Firstly, how to perform a squat is not intuitively obvious. If it were, nobody would pay us to teach them how to do it. Don't be offended at your beginner's difficulty, it's how you make a living. Be grateful they don't know.

    Secondly, because of the first point, you need a teaching method. Do not confuse your inability to coach a movement with their inability to perform that movement. There are many teaching methods. The video below offers a teaching method for the low-bar back squat, but of course there are other squat variations.

    Lastly, just as your client needs practice, so do you. Look at the videos in this sticky thread:

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177237111

    I say two things there relevant to this. One is that every trainer should have had a trainer. I know you have never had a trainer, or never had a competent one, because if you had then you would have a teaching method for the squat - your old trainer's one. The other is that you should pick a movement and teach a new person that movement every day in the gym. Let's say that's the squat. If you go to your workplace gym 5 days a week, then in a year you will have taught 260 people to squat. In two years, 500 people. After teaching 500 people to squat you will have figured out some things about it.

    In the meantime, steal someone else's method. Rippetoe's is a good start.

    you bloody legend
    thanks for this, this guy was great!
    very clear and precise with his cues
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  6. #6
    husband, father, trainer KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Every day, mate. Teach one new person to squat every day. You'll figure it out. And you'll figure some other things out, too.
    "A fox has many tricks, a porcupine has only one trick - but a very good one."
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    I'm not a trainer but I coached kids gymnastics for many years and if you think you've seen someone not understand a body movement try teaching a level 1 gymnastics class to 6 year olds lol. A lot of time is spent on very simple stuff - not even working on strengthening, just getting them to understand how to move different joints.

    You can always break a simple move down even farther. A big issue people have is inability to control their core. Tell someone to do a hollow hold - what seems like the simplest thing in the world, most people can't even figure out HOW to do it. Not they don't have the strength, they just have never given these movement patterns any thought or effort their entire lives.

    I think a lot of these people could benefit from much simpler movements - crunches, one leg extended crunches, both legs extended crunches, stretching, more stretching, actively moving through range of motion (V ups, reverse hypers, leg raises, etc), isometric holds - hollow holds, "superman" holds as we called it for the kids (arch), L holds or tuck if L is too hard, plank, push ups, reverse push up (tricep dip position) side plank.

    Ask someone to do one thing with thoracic spine, another with lumbar spine, and yet another with hips, and good luck getting 99% of the population to do it.
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    Originally Posted by sunrisesunshine View Post
    No a basic squat is pretty beginner to me
    And a bent over barbell row is simple enough. I’m not introducing complicated movements at all. The basics are usually the best! Helpppppppp
    When you break it down, a squat is actually a pretty complex movement. Some people will get it right away, others will need to develop a lot of smaller skills before they'll be ready to perform it. That's okay. Work on those smaller skills. These include, but are not at all limited to, thoracic extension, hip abduction, core bracing and spreading the load equally across the feet.

    Barbell rows aren't always easy to learn, either. The client needs to learn to sustain a braced hinge position, how to retract their shoulders, how to move through shoulder flexion/extension and lateral abduction/adduction without compensation, etc. Again, there are plenty of skills in there, each of which could be a sticking point for the client.

    With some people, the Big 3 + some extras are a great place to start. For some people, you'll get more results up front and give them more morale doing pure assistance work to focus on specific skills that go into bigger movements. Each of the skills I listed above could be translated into its own exercise to drill the skill, and the client would stand to gain a lot from doing just that for their workout as you scaffold the way to more complex movements.
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