Ask your average trainer/coach how many muscles there are in the body, or in trainer/coach parlance how many muscle groups exist and they will give you the circulated ‘correct’ answer which is:

  • biceps, triceps, deltoids, lats & other back muscles, abs, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves

In total, they will typically identify 9 muscle groups or approximately 40 individual muscles if you account for both sides of the body and the fact that muscle groups are comprised of distinct muscles (e.g. quad = 4, hence quadriceps means that 4 individual muscles make up the muscle group).

Ask a bodybuilder and the ‘correct’ answer is even simpler: when working out at the gym since there is only… arms day, chest day, back day, and once in awhile leg day that must mean there are 4 muscle groups.

Ask your average masters swimmer, cyclist, runner or multisport athlete and they don’t even think about muscles because they don’t do strength training… all that matters to them are heart rate [HR] zones, power zones and/or pace times… muscles… who cares about muscles.

Ask Google how many muscles there are in the body and you will end up with a varied response but a response that starts at no less than 600 or so muscles, and depending on how discrete you want to be when counting muscles you may get an answer closer to 800 muscles.  Point being… it ain’t the 40 muscles or whatever the number the typical trainer/coach or bodybuilder gives.

Wait a minute… 600+ muscles? Where? What do they do? Did evolution have nothing to do for a millennia and spent its time screwing around creating random muscles or are all these muscles actually important? Evolution wastes no- time and no- thing; evolution especially does not waste energy so screwing around, randomly creating muscles is simply stupid talking. Seriously… think about it… do you really think you have hundreds of muscles in your body that are ornamental?

Yet this is exactly what the typical trainer/coach believes and the fact that strength training for most trainers & coaches hasn’t changed in 40 years only proves the point. Most trainers and coaches still rely on the same old circuit of machines that came at the start of the fitness craze in the ’80s (to clarify… that’s the 1980s that I am referring to). Ask a trainer or coach today for ‘core’ work and they will give you ab exercises circa 1990, or if they are tech savvy they will show you the latest ‘core’ work they found on Youtube (typically performed by a former gymnast who makes single arm push ups look like a sissy warm up rendering the video pointless to anyone who isn’t a gymnast or doesn’t have plans on becoming a gymnast).

If sport is the demonstration of physiological and psychological mastery of the body, shouldn’t that mean that the starting point for trainers & coaches should be knowing all muscles, what role they play in the function of the body and how they contribute to peak performance? Seems reasonable. But leave it to the un- and under-educated who are too eager to actually get an education & experience, because all that matters is short cutting their way to being able to ‘coach’ asap… so let’s swipe all that stuff away as if its irrelevant. Indeed…its all irrelevant until you strain or sprain a ligament, a tendon, a muscle, or are in such chronic pain during or after training or racing that the simple thought of sport makes you sick, or like in unfortunate cases… you end up as the athlete in a local 10k, 1/2 marathon or triathlon suffering a heart attack because your coach encouraged you to “go for it”, “give 100%”, and of course… because its either “PR or ER” (and sometimes the ER – i.e. emergency room – does in fact happen).

In the end, when you work with those who have taken short cuts to get where they have gotten, all that they can do is offer you short cuts to where you hope to get. Problem is there are no short cuts… anywhere. The long way is the right way, hence it is the shortest way to your goals, to your peak potential and consistent peak performances in sport, and in life.

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Stephen Hawking

Today, we are overwhelmed by trainers & coaches who call themselves experts… all deluded to the nth degree by their illusion of knowledge. Trainers, coaches and DIY athletes who have taken a weekend course, who have completed an ‘epic’ event over the past weekend, or whatever they deem qualifies them as ‘knowledgeable’ enough to spew advice on how to train for any event. The stupidity that reigns in sport is beyond belief.

Meanwhile, for those that take the time to become educated and experienced… in 1st year of the Rehabilitation Medicine degree – which is the prerequisite for the Physiotherapy National Exam (PNE) and becoming a registered physio – a full cadaver dissection is required to truly learn not only the muscles of the body, but how those muscles actually exist in the body, under the skin, in and around all the other tissues. A full course is required to truly understand how muscles connect to tendons, to other muscles and finally to bones making the entire musculoskeletal system functional. Thats not the end of it though, in addition to studying the muscles, all the nerves, the arteries and veins supplying each muscle and how all those tissues travel through the arms and legs to reach their destination is part of the curriculum. It still doesn’t end there… then there is all the connective tissue including the structure and layout of the bones and the joints they form. In courses that follow, physiotherapists have to learn how to test muscles, nerves and connective tissue discretely to isolate which one was and which ones aren’t injured, and then how to restore normal function.

Physiotherapists use this education to rehab injured athletes, but the best of the best work with physiotherapists from the start. To avoid injury and the time off from training and racing, top athletes who are pursuing their potential know that the way to start is the right way… training the body to develop symmetrically to achieve peak efficiency in movement, to obtain mastery of movement, so that injuries and down time are avoided at all costs.

Meanwhile, trainers and coaches think that after a 2hr session on ‘injury prevention & rehab’ they actually know all that there is to know about injury prevention & rehab. After all, if you walk out from the session with a ‘pre-hab’ routine for your athletes you must be a bonafide expert, n’est pas?

This is what passes as acceptable education & experience for typical trainers & coaches, and worst… most think that this level of knowledge is all there is.

That is how dumb-ed down human anatomy has become.
This is how dumb-ed down strength training has become.
This is how dumb-ed down training for sport has become.

What level of performance do you want to experience? If you seek to experience your fullest potential, there are no short cuts, so stop working with short cut experts and take the time to find someone who has invested in becoming educated and experienced to the point that they truly can guide you to an Olympian experience.

Article at Velonews.com (click on the title to link):

The Outer Line: ‘Did I Just Bonk?’ – signals no cyclist should ignore

There are some signals which might suggest that you should take a more serious look at your health, rather than simply “soldiering on” in silence.

How is it that we have taken exercise to the point that pushing and pushing and pushing ourselves til we give ourselves heart issues has become near normal? How is it that athletes both young (as young as 15) and old are all suffering from a wide variety of heart health issues? Is it really a stretch of the imagination when you have spin class instructors & CrossFit instructors all constantly screaming “go hard”? Enlarged hearts, arrythmias, silent heart attacks or full blown heart attacks are written up consistently in the sports media, but then are written off as statistical outliers and swept aside as quickly as possible. Why? Because those who are pushing us to train in such a manner that we end up inflamed, in pain, injured, ill or worse, dealing with a self inflicted disease do not have anywhere near the education or the experience in order to be ‘advising’ anyone on anything dealing with their health. Trainers, coaches and the entire industry surrounding them have tried to distance themselves from health referring to themselves as the fitness industry and fitness experts…as if one thing hasn’t got anything to do with the other. Exactly… this is what you get when the uneducated and the inexperienced short cut the system in order to profit themselves, saying screw you to everyone that they hurt in the process. But… my trainer/my coach is passionate about training, about sport, about me achieving my goals… great… if they are that passionate how about they start by getting themselves the education and the experience through apprenticeship needed in order to be useful.

Imagine this scenario…

Imagine needing surgery to solve a medical crisis; upon meeting your surgeon you learn that they only completed a couple weekend courses and have never actually completed medical school, nor observed or performed the surgery that you need and that they are supposed to perform on you. In their defense they exclaim that they are passionate about helping people and equally passionate about helping people be healthy… and besides, they really seem to a “nice” person. So, how excited are you to be under the care of this “surgeon”? Does passion and being a ‘nice’ person make up for being 100% ignorant?

Never would any of us allow anyone without appropriate or sufficient education and experience help us with our health; meanwhile when it comes to our “fitness” any uneducated and inexperienced individual claiming to be a trainer/coach and we will take their advice and take it in spades and then return next week for more despite the fact that we could hardly walk as a result of being so sore after the prior training session with them. And we call this smart, and we call this taking care of ourselves, and we call this living an active and healthy lifestyle. Nutty? Just a tad.

In any other industry we would call this fraud.

In the ‘fitness’ industry we accept this as the norm.

Gee… real stretch of the imagination why in a time with so many fitness facilities and so many fitness trainers and coaches that we are the most over-weight, obese, medicated and diseased society ever to exist. Actually, what else can you expect when con-artists are deemed the ‘experts’?