Guest Blog – Cody Mcauliffe
I just spent 4 days with some of the top performance coaches in Australia ranging from coaches of professional models, individual athletes and sports teams to some of the best cross fit athletes in Australia.
This is what I learned:
1. Relax the face – Keegan Smith
Your face sets the tone of the rest of your body. If you screw up your face that send signals to your brain that this is hard and you are more likely to tense up the rest of your body, quit earlier or make a mistake. The best example of this are gymnastics or Olympic lifters who look effortless in completing their routine or lift.
2. Neurons that fire together, wire together – Chris Aldersley
Habits are formed in the brain like a pathway. The more you do a specific task (e.g. a squat) the more that habit is ingrained into your brain. If every time you squat you screw up your face and hate what you are doing that feeling will come back every time you do that and your body. If you chose to relax your face every rep and enjoy the squat in this case, you will learn to enjoy it because you are wiring that association into your brain. This resonates very well with me. I started out as a personal trainer for the first year or two I rarely training legs, I hated it… because I did cardio and that worked them enough. Eventually I started bodybuilding and my legs were a lagging part of my body. I worked my ass off and learned to enjoy the process, which, in turn changed my perception and now my legs are my strongest body part.
3. Keep the environment mentally stimulating – Keegan Smith
As an athlete it is important to have your training environment mentally stimulating to keep you motivated to train. If you come to the same gym every single Monday and do a chest workout you will get bored of this and limit your potential. If you mix up your training and training environment this will become more stimulating and keep you on track for longer and be more motivated to do the work to achieve your goals.
This is the responsibility of the coach to make the changes where required and can be done in a variety of ways:
- Changing the set up of the gym.
- Changing the location of the workout (do an outdoor session or hike.)
- Change the style of training. Add in some gymnastics or something that is not 100% specific to the goal they are working towards however it will bring that new skill acquisition into the training making it more enjoyable.
Example – Nathan Gould, a power lifter added in gymnastics to training and added weight his 3 big lifts by training those lifts less regularly but just adding in the gymnastics work.
4. Ask the uncomfortable questions – Alexa Towersey
Asking clients about their bowl movements, menstrual cycle or if they have a history of disordered eating is certainly not easy or comfortable. These questions are able to give us some of the best data to be able to give clients the best plan of attack to help them move forward.
5. Injuries are just an obstacle (and opportunity) – Patrick Lane
Patty is one of the performance coaches for the Sydney roosters and discussed how he worked with injured athletes to recover from injuries and his role was to highlight that this injury was the best thing the athlete need to take his game to the next level and become stronger and better on the field. I can see this in my own training. Every injury I have had (I have fair few to say the least) has been an educational experience that has improved my performance in the gym out of sight and as coach.
6. Hold yourself to the highest standards – Keegan Smith
If you miss a rep due to technique or depth. Be willing to call yourself on that not being a counted rep. The higher the standards you set for yourself will mean the higher the standards you will set for you clients and that will lead to better results for you both. We have all seen a video of someone claiming a personal best that looks horrible and is not a rep you would count yourself. Your job is to set the highest standards for yourself and then achieve these. This will create a culture of this around you and lead to a higher quality of movement in the industry. It all starts with you and putting your ego behind you if you don’t make the rep. Getting the weight up is an improvement and will make it easier for the next attempt however it is not an official personal best until you do it properly.
7. Failed/missed reps – Keegan Smith
Lets start with the terminology on this one. The majority of people don’t want to be a failure so they don’t want to fail reps. I much prefer calling it a missed rep so that people do not think they are a failure based on 1 rep. The tendency is always to continue the trend you are on. So if you miss a rep drop the weight back and do a weight that you can do comfortable to create the positive trend then build up the weight you had previously missed. Do not continue to repeat the same weight over and over again. Rebuild the self-belief and use that positive trend to your advantage.
8. You have the power to make change to your local area – Clean Shred
Simon recently moved into a new space which is near a café. Since moving into the area Simon has brought copious amounts of business to the café of people who are focused on their health and fitness. This has forced the café to completely overhaul their menu to cater for these people. They would have easily sold over 300 meals that were not even on the menu before Clean Shred opened in the area. This dramatically highlights the potential influence we have as coaches and health/fitness professionals.
9. Your “perceived” limiting thoughts are holding you back – Ben Greenwood
Towards the end of the course we did hanging testing. Ben Greenwood had completed the testing 3 days earlier and scored a time of 3 minutes which was his original “perceived” limit. When he completed the next testing he scored a whooping 6 mins. Everyone else stopped after a certain goal they had set for themselves. This was 2 mins for most and over half dropped right after the 2 min mark. Ben Greenwood continued to push further and further past his previous best time because he chose to Ben Mitchell has a history of a navy clearance diver and told story after story of people pushing past their “perceived limits” to achieve things they never thought possible. Alexa also had stories of completing similar training at The Mill gym in Perth where their goal is to replicate what SAS candidates have to endure to be selected into this top role within the military.
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Cody is a great example of the diversity of the RealMOVEMENT as a competitive natural Bodybuilder and our most active Snap Chat user Cody adds unique experience and knowledge to our community. Cody also runs Chasing Gains Podcast.