In the past year I’ve done a lot more speaking than I’m used to, and quite often I steal other coaches’ quotes. Though I’m always sure to reference the quote’s originator, I’ve realized that the audience is always grateful whenever I relay these gems along. Below are the five quotes I steal most frequently:
5. Nick Tumminello
The only thing I claim to be an expert about is my clients. I know their bodies better than anyone
I love this quote by Nick. As a personal trainer or strength coach, you get to know your clients’ and athletes’ bodies and brains incredibly well. You know what exercises they love and don’t love, which exercises they’re great at and which exercises they’re not-so-great at, what gets them motivated, what methods and programs they prefer, what limitations they have in terms of form, how hard to push them, when to back off, when to scrap the program and ad-lib, what music to play, and how to keep them excited about training week in and week out.
4. Charlie Weingroff
Everything’s connected, and everything matters
Charlie nailed it here, and the longer you train, the more you realize it. Serial distortion patterns can wreak havoc throughout the body. The ankle can affect the shoulder and the t-spine can affect the knees. Everything’s connected. Moreover, everything matters. Whether it’s foot pressure patterns during the squat, neck position in the deadlift, or pelvic posture during the push up, it’s all important.
3. Gray Cook
Don’t put fitness on top of dysfunction
If only every personal trainer around the world understood Gray’s quote. That beginner client probably isn’t ready to put a barbell on his back and squat. Bodyweight mastery precedes barbell loading. Sure you can load the client up and have them quarter squat with decent weight. Sure you can place a heavy barbell on the ground and have clients round back the weight up in a deadlift. But guess what? You’d just be putting fitness on top of dysfunction. In other words, you’ll be getting them better at sucking. They’ll get stronger without improving their fundamental movement patterns and eventually something’s gotta give; whether it’s the knees, the low back, or some other joint or body structure. When squat and hip hinge patterns look good, then and only then should you opt for external loading.
2. Michael Boyle
If it doesn’t look athletic, it’s probably not athletic
This is probably my favorite quote of all time. In fact, I say it so often it should belong to me, not Mike. That hunched-over x-band walk isn’t cutting it, nor is the spastic pull-up or knee-valgus jump-squat landing. Learn to look athletic in your movements and you can’t go wrong.
1. Christian Thibaudeau
I have too much respect for every single successful coach or athlete to dismiss any technique, program or system just because it doesn’t sit well with my own personal likings and beliefs
I saved this for last because I think it’s the most honorable quote I’ve ever read by a fitness professional, and I commend Christian for saying it. We all have our biases. As trainers, coaches, and lifters, we have our favorite methods, systems, and exercises. But so does the next coach. If you haven’t learned anything about maximum strength from Louie Simmons then you’re a fool. If you haven’t paid attention to Mike Boyle’s success with single leg training then I pity you. At the risk of sounding conceited, if you totally ignore my glute training methods then I think you’re unwise. We can all learn from each other as long as we’re humble and open-minded.
So there you have it! These are the 5 best quotes ever uttered by strength & conditioning professionals. If you’re a speaker, throw some of these quotes into your slides and the audience will appreciate it…trust me!