Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Gurus Gone Wild" by Josh Henkin

OK fellas, I've decided that once a week, I will post something from one of the strength and conditioning coaches I mentioned in my last post. Our inaugural post comes from Josh Henkin, developer of the Sandbag Fitness System. In the about section of his blog, Josh says this about himself:

Josh Henkin is a Strength & Conditioning Coach in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is owner of Innovative Fitness Solutions ( He has trained professional athletes, composed creative fitness programs, and helped clients rehab from serious injuries. Coach Henkin is also the creator of the Ultimate Sandbag and author of two E-books on Sandbag training.
I found his post on "Gurus Gone Wild" an interesting read that I wanted to pass along. Click on the title to be taken to the original post and leave a comment:

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Gurus Gone Wild!

One of the most common questions I receive is "what do you think of what (enter guru name) said about this or that?" Let's face it I don't blame people, it can be very overwhelming nowadays. I use to feel overwhelmed 13 years ago when I first started in the industry. When I began I was attending seminars like crazy, this was my passion!! Even during these seminars coaches would say conflicting information and often I would leave confused and having what I call "seminaritis".

What is seminaritis? It is a common disease for most coaches and trainers. Seminaritis is when you enter a seminar with one philosophy and after the seminar COMPLETELY change your thoughts because of what was said. I use to be incredibly guilty of this and have seen it with other coaches soooo many times. Why? I believe in my early stages I wasn't completely confident with how I was working with people. I believed anyone giving a seminar must know more! This was probably a good attitude for a young person, however, as the years progressed I became more engrained in my own philosophy of training.

What else happened? I continued to grow more and more experience working with people. Currently I train people 60 hours a week, yep, you can call my assistant to verify this number. Insane, but true. So, just this year I will log almost 3,000 training hours! If we take this to a greater level, if I say I average 40 hours a week (I can only wish) in five years I will complete almost 10,000 hours of working with people. I can tell you in this day and age of internet coaches, very few will have logged that much experience working hands on with people.

So, when I attend seminars now my attitude is very different. Typically I will use the Bruce Lee idea of taking what is useful and disregarding the rest. I will look for ideas of subtle cueing or training concepts that I can relate to with my clients and their goals.

Here is what I DON'T do:

1. Perform a program because it is hard.
2. Perform an exercise just because it is hard.
3. Judge the success of a training session on the intensity of it.
4. Throw out my philosophy, I know it works I have worked with too many successful clients to say otherwise.
5. Listen to anyone that does not work with people daily.
6. Blindly say a method or technique works or doesn't because a Guru said so, this is foolish as almost anything works for a certain amount of time.

This may sound negative, but really it is a positive. My trying to understand how we can always improve what we are already are doing is evolution. Currently I am at a great program that I am looking forward to implementing some great concepts, but it won't change how I work with people. If you boil down all good systems they generally work with very similar principles.

Be careful of those that espouse that they have all the secrets, something completely doesn't work, and more importantly can't tell you from experience whether some ideas have potential or not. I can speak about a lot of different training methods because we have done most of them in my facility. The keyboard is a powerful tool nowadays for good and bad, you have to be the judge though.


Tara said...

Great to see you back!

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Thanks Tara, and it's good to be back! How's your bf doing?

Tara said...

Thanks for asking!
He's doing better.

He cut way back on caffeine, and lost 10 lbs.

He has cut out some carbs, but still does not really eat frequently enough, and still has a regular coke, pizza, etc. at least a couple times a week.

I have started modifying my Atkins diet (really liked Steve Maxwell's post on food), and my bf is familiar with weightlifting diets, so I think he is getting more inspired.

He likes tuna, turkey, chicken, grilled meat, protein shakes, and loves veggies, but I have to fix it for him - he will not do it himself - mainly because he has a lot of back pain and low energy.

I have gotten into Pilates, and that seems to be inspiring him, too.
Today was the first day that his back pain went away for awhile after I did some Pilates stuff with him.
It did come back, but if he continues to see results, I think he will be encouraged.

I myself have suffered from chronic fatigue for years, so I understand how he feels.
Going on a low carb diet has helped me IMMENSELY, but I still have to watch it as I have a fraction of the energy of a "normal" person, and have to budget it for my priorities.

Anyway, LOVE your blog cause you put up lotsa good info, and are yourself a HUGE inspiration - gives me and my bf hope for better health.


Anonymous said...

Do you think that you regimen and advice works for the ladies as well as the fellas?

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Hi Laranda and thanks for your comment. I do think that a lot of what I say can be applied to women, especially the message of being aware of how much you're eating and that you'll have to eat less and move more to lose weight as the basis isn't too far off.