Part of being a good coach is boiling down complex concepts into simple terms that everyone can understand. As a result, I find myself using the same the coaching cues and sayings over and over. Here are some of my favorites…

– Stop whining and get stronger: Anyone that trains with me knows that I am not very sympathetic to complaints about something being too hard. I set people up for success so if I ask you to do something then odds are pretty good you can, it is just a matter of whether you think you can. Most people are simply too weak, both mentally and physically, and need to just get stronger.

– Drive through your heels, squeeze your glutes and get tall at the top: This is how I coach coming back up out of the bottom of just about every lower body exercise. If you do this then you will be sure to use your hips to drive the movement, not your lower back.

– Scare the normals: The “normals” are the people on the treadmills, crowding the group classes and doing 3 sets of 10 reps for everything. They don’t like it when you push them out of their comfort zone. Doing things like deadlifts, Turkish Get Ups and intervals scare them and that is good. Anytime I introduce something new and painful into someone’s routine and they ask why, I tell them because if we aren’t doing something that would scare the normals then we may as well go join them.

– Drive your elbows back behind you when you row: Too many people don’t row, they simply pull their hand to their chest. In order to really use the upper back muscles to row you have to think about driving your elbow behind you.

– Keep your shoulders down away from your ears: Your shoulders and ears are like the naughty kids in class that you want to keep separated. When they get together bad things happen…

– Change the conversation in your head: When you are doing an exercise you are having internal dialogue about how to execute the movement. For most people they are not even aware of what that is. Just ask someone what they were thinking about after they finish a set and odds are you will get a blank stare. You have to literally change the conversation in your head, or in most cases start having one. Chant your coaching cues in your head as you execute your movements and you will have a much easier time “fixing” bad habits.

Anyone else have some good sayings or coaching cues that they like to think about or use when training?

-James Wilson-

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