Random Thoughts From The Long Beach Functional Training Summit

Posted: August 19, 2013 by dannytwoguns in 2013 Seminars, Random Thoughts

I think if I had to rank how good each Functional Training Summit was, the Long Beach one would be at the top. I had the privilege of attending all three and being able to soak in as much knowledge as possible at all three and the Long Beach one was definitely at the top, though that isn’t intended to sell the other two short but the way the presenters and topics ended up laying out for me, I definitely got a ton out of this one. Here are some Random Thoughts on the Long Beach Functional Training Summit.

Who and What I Saw

I stuck with the same approach I used from the two previous Functional Training Summits for the most part and when I could saw both a presenter’s lecture and hands on sessions. Stuart McGill had two separate presentations that I was really looking forward to and he didn’t let down.

Dan John’s lecture while being on Sunday, the last day at 8am was still my favorite lecture of the weekend and possibly of the whole trio of summits. He has a way of making the complex, painfully simple and is amazing. If you don’t know who he is look him up. Stuart McGill’s content is worth mentioning in the top category as well. He is the leading researcher when it comes to lower backs and back pain and the one who brought the dangers of repetitive flexion to the mainstream. Hint: If you havent stopped doing crunches, stop. He also has a freaking sweet mustache.


Topics I saw both lectures and hands on were…

Stuart McGill – “Mechanisms and Training Techniques Used for Elite Performance”
Stuart McGill – “Painful Backs : Cause, Corrective Exercises and Progressions to Performance”
Lenny Paracino – “Assessment and Problem Solving for the Hip Complex”
Kelly Starrett – “The Dysfunctional Shoulder : Pain, Performance and Solutions”
Mark Verstegen – “Barefoot Training : Benefits, Pitfalls and Programming”

The lectures only that I attended were…

Thomas Plummer – “Building a Training Brand”
Rachel Cosgrove – “How to Run a ‘Drop Two Jean Sizes Challenge’ With Your Clients”
Dan John – “The Baby Boom Generation Continues to Boom”
Dennis Keiser – “Power – The Key to Performance”

Memorable Quotes

“If your food has cartoon characters on it… seriously… stop! Eat like an adult.” – Dan John
“Fill the gaps. Then bring these gaps up to standard.” – Dan John
In regards to programming… “When you are building an “engine,” you need to know what race you are running.” – Dennis Keiser
“Core stability drives everything that is athletic.” – Stuart McGill
“If you cant physically write down on a piece of paper – “why”… Don’t do it!” – Stuart McGill
“As trainers get better, they always learn that less truly is more.” – Stuart McGill
“If abs were meant for flexion, they would be a hamstring.” – Stuart McGill
In regards to injuries… “Stop focusing on the victim (injured knee) and not the criminal (dysfunctional hip).” – Lenny Paracino
“If it doesn’t scare the crap out of you, you aren’t dreaming big enough.” – Thomas Plummer
In regards to lack of mobility… “If its not pathology or catastrophe… it’s your fault.” – Kelly Starrett
“You don’t run to get fit. You get fit to run.” – Mark Verstegen quoting Mike Boyle

“As trainers get better, they always learn that less truly is more.”

This seemed to be the recurring theme throughout the weekend from all of the presenters and I agree whole heartedly. I cant think of too many times with current clients that hit a stagnation, where the answer is that they do more. Most of the time is that they do what they are doing but better, such as taking out running and adding some strength training or sometimes it’s even that they actually do less.

In a current society where we’ve went from sitting on our ass all day to thinking that you need to be dead on the floor and/or vomiting and this is the normal cool down…

CrossFit CoolDown

It’s no wonder there are those misconceptions. Dont get me wrong, if you aren’t doing anything, get off your ass and strength train. But the whole crush yourself all the time people, stop. As I get better and better as a fitness professional, Im realizing more and more that the answer is always “better” and not “more.” The make you tired endless burpees, push up, run around the track workouts not only don’t make you any better and only make you tired but they actually make you worse because now your body still has to recover from something that didn’t actually do anything for you.

Dan John said, “Strive for perfection in all things. Your client’s goals should revolve around mastery.” And it makes complete sense. I’ve said this before but getting tired might be a byproduct of your workout but that isn’t the goal of your workout. This isn’t an excuse to not work hard, but you have to work smarter and better.

Playing In The Middle Of The Road Is Sure Death


This was in my notes specifically from Thom Plummer’s presentation, which was the first of the 3-day summit but it was also reiterated a couple more times in different variations throughout the weekend and seemed to be the secondary theme of the weekend. The bottom line is that no one ever got anywhere worth going to by being average. This goes for fitness goals, performance goals, career goals, etc.

I’ve been described as “obsessive” at times. But I’ve never agreed with it (for the most part haha). Mainly because it was never an obsession, it was just an absolute and adamant refusal of average. If Im going to do something, it isn’t only going to get done but it’s going to be fucking excellent.

Being average doesn’t require too much effort or sacrifice but being excellent certainly does. Whatever excellent may be to a specific person may differ but we will always be able to differentiate between average and excellent without effort. I genuinely want to be a catalyst for people to change their lives through fitness and being average at that is not an option.

I say pick a goal. And to quote Dan John, “Your goal is to keep the goal the goal,” which seems simple but is rather profound. Defy average and only don’t do anything that isn’t conducive to your goals, but crush them and get excellent outcomes and results. No excuses, realize you are capable of far more than you think you are and do it. It really is that simple.

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