Perform Better One-Day Learn-By-Doing Seminar – Phoenix

Posted: January 21, 2013 by dannytwoguns in 2013 Seminars

With one of my 2013 goals being to go to as many educational opportunities I could, when I heard there was a Learn-By-Doing in Phoenix, it was a no brainer that it would be my first stop on my continuing education tour. My childhood best friend moved to the Phoenix area a few years back and it served as a good opportunity to catch up with him and get some learning in as well (also adding no need to spend on a hotel room either haha). Plus the line up was stacked.

I’m going to start a little series throughout the year where I summarize and give some thoughts on the events and seminars I attend. This line-up of presenters was definitely a good one and didn’t disappoint. Here is the breakdown of them and their topics.

Lee Burton – Functional Movement Screen Myths Exposed : What You Should Really Know

I had seen Lee in Long Beach at the Functional Training Summit and saw him a little more closely and in depth at the Functional Movement Screen Workshop and Certification a few months later.

With Lee Burton and Gray Cook (the founders and developers of the Functional Movement Screen) you always seem to learn something new or have an “Ah I get it now” moment that you didn’t have before. This time was no different. Seeing him present with a now thorough understanding of the FMS that I didn’t have either time before really helped things sink in.

His presentation focused upon how with the FMS gaining more and more popularity also comes more and more people misunderstanding and at times completely butchering what it is actually about. He reinforced facts about how the “goal score” of the FMS is a 14 (with symmetrical 2’s and no asymmetries) and not a 21.

He also emphasized how the FMS isn’t simply about “what corrective exercises do I need?” but more about what one actually needs to avoid doing that could be making them deficient in the movement pattern in the first place, whether it be lifestyle or something being done in the gym. My main point that resonated with me was that the FMS is about improving performance in the grand scheme and its goal is ideally to eliminate the need for corrective exercise as much as possible.

His hands-on portion focused on the Y-Balance Test and the mobility tests of the FMS including an ankle mobility screen.

Mike Boyle – Functional Coaching

I originally saw Mike at the Providence Functional Training Summit and regularly interact on his forum and one thing about him is that he is one of the best teachers in the industry. He has this simple, direct and to the point way of explaining things that pretty much anyone can understand.

For those not familiar with Mike Boyle, he is widely known for (and not of his own doing) for the boom of functional training. He is a well-known for almost exclusively advocating single leg lower body exercises over bilateral and he makes a very valid case for it. He is also an outspoken advocate for true “functional training” (not what its become butchered as) and against Crossfit as one of the things wrong with the industry.

“Functional Training” has gotten a bad rap in the recent years as the new buzzword with everything from a Squat to a Turkish Get Up to a One Eye Closed Standing on One Leg on a Bosu Ball Overhead Press seemingly falling into the umbrella.

His hands-on component focused on teaching and coaching single leg hip dominant exercises such as bridges and deadlifts.

The single leg deadlift, I’ve found is one of the harder exercises to teach and coach and his hands-on was an extremely helpful insight to how to make that smoother and easier.

Some of his lecture take home points…

– “Functional” changes with each person and what is functional for your high school athletes isn’t necessarily the same for your middle-aged female fat loss client.
– Not all function is good function. Function causes dysfunction. Good function is good.
– He showed a video of a couple of his female athletes doing a single leg squat variation and asked what plane it was in. The assumed answer was sagittal plane but realistically there are major muscles doing major stabilizing in the frontal and transverse plane as well and for the vast majority of athletes, that is completely functional.
– “To me, Crossfit is like a frat. You pay people a lot of money to do a bunch of stupid shit and then throw up at the end.”

He made it a point that functional training leaves people moving better and most importantly feeling better. He gave an example of how 9 times out of 10 when a client comes to him and says “their knee hurts, what do they have,” the answer is “a wicked case of weakness” or poor training/programming.

Getting people stronger, moving better and feeling better should be the goal of “functional training” and that doesn’t come from random one leg bosu exercises or running 400m in between high rep snatches sets.

Todd Durkin – The 10-Day IMPACT Solution

Todd Durkin is one of those guys who when he enters the room, absolutely everyone knows he is there. Not in that annoying and obnoxious way, but in the way that he emits so much energy to everyone in the room, you can’t help but get sucked in.

I saw him in Providence but only went to his lecture then. Seeing him in his hands-on component this time around is a completely different aspect. His presentation was on his 10-Day IMPACT Solution which is a fat loss promotion he runs at his facility to get new clients in the door and spark a fire in his current clients. It is definitely something I am contemplating incorporating at Twoguns Training Systems. He is a great motivator and finished asking, “What are you doing to do this year that sets you apart from your competition and from yourself last year?”

When it came time to start the hands-on portion of the day, my group didn’t start with him and seeing a couple groups go to his before we did definitely made everyone look forward to his. He took us through a variation of his group training sessions and there is definitely no slacking at all from anyone. It was a fairly simple combination of three circuits (lower body, upper body and movement drills) but the energy he gets out of everyone was crazy and he got everyone moving and moving hard.

Todd Durkin
Myself (left) and Evan (right) with Todd Durkin after he kicked our ass

Alwyn Cosgrove – Training the Executive Athlete

Alwyn is one of the, if not the leading fat loss expert in the industry as well as the owner of one of the most successful training facilities in the country. His topic was on a new market in the personal training industry, the executive athlete.

In the past there was been two main markets, the athlete and the fat loss client. But recent trends like mud runs, tough mudders etc that now give the former athlete or the fitness enthusiast something to compete in and work toward has yielded a new breed of client.

I had been thinking about this new type of client for a while and the “success” of things like Crossfit serve as proof that this new type of client exists and need a proper training program (which they don’t get from Crossfit) to safely succeed in their goals. Alwyn detailed special considerations for this specific population and how they differ from other markets of clients and did a great job of doing so even though he was under the weather.

Since he was under the weather and didn’t want to get people sick in his hands on, one of his coaches and program designer, Mike Wunsch as well as sandbag training expert Josh Henkin ran the hands-on session. Alwyn noted the sandbag and “asymmetric and alive” training as part of the future due to its constant instability and constant demand on the core.

The session went through their RAMP warm up protocol, a couple of interesting core progressions and then different ways to load and increase the difficulty of training with the sandbag without having to increase the weight of the sandbag itself. It left me with some good ideas to immediately implement as well as a pair of sore glutes to sit on a plane on the way home. Twoguns Training Systems clients got to feel some lateral lunge progressions with the sandbag too when I got back so I could share the fun.

The Phoenix One-Day Learn By Doing was a great kick off the 2013 learning season and definitely left me excited for the upcoming Perform Better Functional Training Summits over the summer.

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