I am one that doesn’t follow the norm when it comes to exercise. When everyone is doing one thing I will do something totally opposite. I don’t like being apart of a “sheep herd” mentality. I like to invent new methods and pieces of equipment to spark new interest in my training. While others are fixated on having to commit to only one style of training, I will incorporate many different facets to my training. If I see that an isolated exercise works for what I need the muscle to do I will add it in to the program. If I try an exercise and it doesn’t stimulate my muscle or produce the desired outcome on my physique that I am searching for, I won’t do it. I have had many people come up to me over the years and ask me why I don’t do all the functional training, power lifting exercises that I teach to others on a daily basis. My answer is simple, there are certain exercises that just don’t work for my body type and symmetry. I think it is great for a person to be able to deadlift 700 pounds, that is their goal and that is great. But for me there needs to be a purpose to lift heavy weight in the deadlift that will enhance my symmetry and physical appearance. I am plenty strong enough, I don’t need to prove to myself that I can lift thousands of pounds. What would I ever use that type of strength for, besides building my ego?
When I was power lifting while working at the United States Olympic Committee I had a lot of fun lifting heavy, but I hated how my body looked. My hips were getting out of proportion of my symmetry, my butt was getting bigger, and my abdominals were losing the tapered cut look and were becoming thicker and square looking. Essentially I was losing the appearance to my physique that I had worked so hard for. For the Olympic Weight Lifters their goals were much different than mine, they were training for a Gold medal. They didn’t care about symmetry or aesthetics. I was a bodybuilder living in a power lifters world.
Through my Olympic experience I learned that not every exercise program fits everyone’s goals or needs. When I went back to bodybuilding I found that I could get the look I wanted back without compromising the strength I gained.
To be a great teacher in fitness is having the ability to differentiate between what exercises will work best for the individual. Not having any awareness of knowing how to train or what protocols to use can end up in poor results. I have seen many people who have tried to look a certain way, following the program of a closed minded trainer and end up looking totally different from their goals. In most cases the person looked worse. I have seen women who had large butts to begin with develop even larger butts after they trained on a particular program for a few months. This is because they are performing exercises that they shouldn’t if their goal is decrease the risk of developing a big butt.
I suppose that the new look for women is big butts, wide hips and big thighs. Because that is what some of the programs that are being taught in the mainstream gyms are producing. Like I have said a thousand times in earlier posts, NOT EVERY EXERCISE IS DESIGNED FOR EVERY-BODY! Not knowing what exercises are best suited for your bio-individual needs is a sure fire way of changing your appearance for the worse.
The bottom line is that, over the years of being in the iron game I have a keen eye of analyzing a persons physique and know which exercises they need to perform to develop the muscles effectively. This skill is something you can’t learn in books, or take a certification for, it is strictly based on years of experience with working with people, and spending countless hours experimenting with many different exercises.
If you are frustrated with your results thus far and would like to try another approach, please email me or visit me at my gym in Kennebunk, Maine (The Fitness Nut House). I would be more than happy to help you achieve a better looking body, a body that you can feel proud of.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed