What I Learned as a Student Trainer at Beach Fitness
By: Eric Palma
I used to believe that I knew all the major techniques of fitness and that school had exposed me to just about everything I should know to successfully help clients improve their well-being. I also thought I knew how to work with different kinds of clients with different needs. However, during my time as an intern I was exposed to ELDOA for the very first time and as my internship progressed, I quickly learned that there are sometimes different solutions to the same problem, and that even those solutions can change over time. The trainers at Beach Fitness are so knowledgeable that every day I looked forward to seeing them train their clients and learn something new. Sometimes they would even have me try a couple of the exercises so I could understand each one better.
In school, we learn about myofascial release (foam rolling), proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF stretching), and basic stretches to help with sore muscles and prevent pain. While interning at Beach Fitness I learned that there are many other ways to accomplish similar results, and that sometimes these methods may be better depending on the situation. On my first day at Beach Fitness, Nate had me do two ELDOA’s for the back pain I mentioned to him. One was to decompress my spine, and the other was to stretch my psoas. This immediately helped relieve the pain I felt, I could not believe it. However, over time the pain began returning, despite stretching and foam rolling consistently, and I could not figure out why.
One month into my internship, Matt performed a quick posture assessment on me and he quickly pointed out that I had rotated hips. This immediately put me on a mission to find the cause for my hip rotation. A few days after Matt’s assessment, I realized that my left foot was significantly pronated, especially when I stood still. This caused my hips to rotate towards the right, which in turn added to the back pain I felt on the lower right of my back. This lesson taught me there is no, one single way of solving an issue with the body, because things change all the time and there are so many variables that need to be considered. Lester taught me that the best thing to do is assess. assess, assess. He taught me that every time you train a client, you should also be assessing and taking notes because something may change and require a modification of the program.
I am very grateful I had the opportunity to intern for such a knowledgeable and talented group of trainers. I look at fitness with different eyes now. My standards as a trainer have increased after being at Beach Fitness. After learning all that I learned in my internship I will do my part to make sure I am doing all I can to truly help clients and give them the most effective program for them.