CrossFit LA | CrossFit Los Angeles - HowWeAreDifferent

By: Petranek Fitness  09-12-2011
Keywords: Personal Training, Gym, Weight Machines

Coaching vs. Personal Training

Most personal trainers rely on their clients to


think. They are happy when their clients leave the gym and have no idea what they did. They also count on their clients not quite achieving their goals. It’s called job security. If your client never achieves his/her goal, and never really knows what to do in or out of the gym for a workout, he/she will always need you!

At CrossFit LA, when you hire us, you are hiring a coach. Our job is to help facilitate your listening, thinking, learning, being aware and being responsible. We guide and steer you on a course and are there to help you maintain your heading when a “storm” throws you in the wrong direction, however, it is clear from the start of our relationship that


are ultimately responsible for your health, fitness and vitality. Our instruction focuses on movement techniques and skills, physical conditioning, and the development of healthy workout, eating habits, and self-discipline, so that after a period of time, you’ve got all the essential elements, experience and confidence to make it through your life with health, fitness and vitality.

Exercise Selection

Why is it that gymnasts never have to do a bicep curl to get big and strong biceps? How about weightlifters.. you may not know it, but they NEVER do leg extensions, leg curls, leg press, or adduction/abduction exercises. Weight machines were designed by engineers to simulate the isolated movement of one muscle in your body. In real life, your body rarely uses one muscle at a time independently of all others. So while you may be getting bigger biceps, you are functionally less strong.

At CrossFit LA, you'll NEVER do a bicep curl or a leg extension. We choose exercises that make large demands on your nervous and muscular systems and require many muscle groups to work together synergistically. Body weight exercises challenge you to be strong and agile enough to be in control of your body (pull ups, dips, handstand push ups, push ups, etc). Weightlifting exercises require technique and skill, and call upon a large number of muscles in your body to work together at the same time (squat, deadlift, clean, jerk, snatch, kettle bell, etc).


Most gyms emphasize training on benches or with weight machines. They also have trainers teaching exercises originating from bodybuilding. They do this because it is "safe", easy, and requires little thought or effort outside the specific movement for which the machine or exercise was designed.

Next time you're in your gym sitting in a weight machine, ask yourself, "How closely does this resemble a movement in real life?" How would it look to kick a ball from just your knee down or to take a drink out of a glass by moving just your forearm? Single joint movements (like those done with typical weight machines and and traditional bodybuilding exercises) will isolate a specific muscle, however, rarely in life does our body activate isolated muscles without the support from others. As soon as you sit or lay down on a bench or machine, all of the balance, stabilization, proprioception, and accuracy functions that your body must use in normal activities of real life and sport completely shut down, their functioning unnecessary.

At CrossFit LA, most of what you will see when you come to the gym is open space. Our "machines" are free weights - to simply use them pick them up requires skill, balance, stabilization, proprioception, and accuracy. The skills and movements we teach are all functional and multi-joint (require movement across 2 or more joints in your body). These neuromuscular activities are commonplace in both life and in sport, and since our objective in training is to mimic both, we find that free weights, with proper instruction and coaching, do this best.

Training vs. Exercising

Exercising is something many people do to make themselves feel fit. You’ve seen examples of this: people on the treadmill reading the newspaper; a person moving through the machines, taking lots of breaks, talking to their trainer, looking hardly like they’re “working.” These people get to feel good about themselves because they’ve “checked the box” on their to do list labeled “workout.” These are also the people you see whose physiques never seem to change.

You will never see our clients doing "cardio" while sitting on a bike, reading a magazine. Nor will you see them "exercising" using a weight machine. Our workouts are intense - challenging you and your body to do things you never dreamt possible. They require you to be mentally alert, present and focused and will call upon your coordination, agility, strength, speed, endurance, stamina and flexibility. This is what we call "training" - and its purpose is to make improvements regularly in all areas of fitness.


When you step into most gyms, the first thing you usually see is a multitude of weight and cardio machines configured as closely as possible together to fit as many as possible into the space. Moving around without bumping into something is next to impossible. After you’ve found the little space that is available, you must squeeze between people, weight machines, off in the corner, or in the middle of a walkway. And forget about leaving your spot or bench or piece of equipment for more than 30 seconds – it will be taken by someone else. In this environment, athletic training is not only impractical, it is impossible.

At CrossFit LA, our emphasis is on space - space to move, to jump, to lift to balance, to climb, tumble, or in other words, train as an athlete, unencumbered by equipment, people and/or other “stuff” in the way.

Keywords: Gym, Personal Training, Weight Machines

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