More Lessons From a Commercial Gym


I’ve spent the last week in New York visiting family and friends. I’m a people watcher. During my time in Upstate NY, I’ve been frequenting a couple of different gyms in the area and taking mental notes of some great things happening (people are actually deep squatting!) and some not so great.

At a local gym I have seen multiple people learning some Olympic-style lifting technique (not with the idea equipment, mind you). A father and his two sons, who looked to be in early High School, were performing Split Hang Clean & Press.  The rep range was far too high and the resistance being used was far too low from where it needed to be to elicit the training stimulus I could only assume the father was aiming for. I really don’t have any problem with people who are self-taught or taught by someone who isn’t a formal “coach” because, in certain scenarios, people can learn that way. But, what is frustrating is when you see someone coach or give feedback or teach who has great intentions, but has been misinformed. This misinformation can lead to worsened technique and stagnant training very quickly.

I didn’t get one ounce of the car gene when I was born. Me trying to fix anything under the hood is like trying to put puzzle together upside-down. It’s the same as people who have no formal education or experience in the industry feel they know how to train or that it’s somehow something you don’t need a professional for. If I ran into some car troubles and tried to fix it myself, I’d end up doing more damage than good. I would probably set myself up for bigger problems down the road as well. I would be much better off calling a mechanic and having them fix the problem. It might cost me a little more, but I would be sure that it was done right.

John Grace

John Grace

Sport Performance Coach at Athletic Lab
John is a Sport Performance Coach at Athletic Lab. He earned his Master's degree from Ohio University in Coaching & Sport Science. John holds his CSCS, USAW-L1, and USATF-L1. He is the former Assistant Fitness Coach of the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
John Grace


Performance Coach | @ChicagoFire | I tweet about all things sport science, coaching, training, and athlete development.
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