Words of Wisdom from David Lasnier

David Lasnier recently made the trek down from Quebec (in the middle of a snow storm) to start an internship with me at Endeavor Fitness. Aside from how to taunt the Endeavor staff following a Canadian sweep over the Americans at the Olympics, David has learned a lot of valuable lessons since he’s come to Endeavor. Check it out below!

From David:

“Four weeks ago, I started an internship at Endeavor Fitness in New Jersey under Kevin Neeld.  To give you a little background on who I am, I would say that I graduated from College in 2006 with a major in kinesiology, I have been working in a commercial gym for the past 3 years in Quebec, where I am from and I am French speaking.  Since graduating from College 4 years ago, I have done my best to keep up with continuing education; buying books, attending seminars, searching the internet for interesting articles and chatting with other strength coaches and personal trainers around me.

Making the move down to New Jersey was probably one of the best move I could ever do for my career; first, because the environment at Endeavor is much better than in any commercial gyms out there and, also because I am working with great strength coaches who are very brilliant and know a lot.  I have only been here for 4 weeks and I can honestly say that I already learned a lot on strength and conditioning and on other things as well.  Here are some of the things I learned in the last four weeks.

– I already knew this before, but it really struck me hard in the last few weeks; the more learn, the more you realize you know very little. I hate to admit it because I am the kind of guy who wants to know everything, but you really need to be modest in this field and admit that you will never know everything.  If you think you know everything, this is a big mistake and you are the ones who probably know the least.  Why? Simply because when you think you know everything you stop learning, you are not aware of what’s changing and the new trends in your field.  Let’s face it, we are in a field that is constantly changing and you simply can’t assume you know everything you need to be a good coach or trainer.

– Short muscle vs stiff muscle.  I actually thought I knew the difference between the two, but I actually didn’t.  A muscle that is short simply doesn’t have the range of motion as compared to a muscle that is stiff has the range of motion, but has a hard time achieving that same range of motion. A good example would be 2 athletes who don’t appear to have the necessary range of motion to squat when you ask them to squat with their body weight only.  But when you load them with a barbell on their back with let’s say 185 pounds, the athlete who’s muscles are stiff will be able to achieve the full range of motion compared to the one who’s muscles are short just won’t be able to achieve it.

– On a related note, I realized that sometimes we (at least for me) focus too much on muscles instead of movements when trying to improve flexibility or range of motion.  When training athletes you need to realize that they need most is a better range of motion on athletic movements like sprinting, lunging and squatting and not only better isolated flexibility in their Tensor Fasciae Latae(one of the hip flexors), for example.  Don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that you shouldn’t stretch the TFL, but maybe spend more time working on their hip flexion/hip extension range of motion.

– This has nothing to do with strength and conditioning, but Archer is a great TV show! It is so hilarious I can watch the same episodes over and over again. This is by far the thing I enjoy the most on American television!

– Deadlifts can solve shoulder problems! Before coming to Endeavor, I haven’t been deadlifting in probably 3-4 months.  Not because I hated them (actually I love deadlifts), but because I was playing hockey and flag football 2-3 times a week, and I didn’t want my performances on the ice or the on the field to be affected. At the same time I was also focusing on increasing my front squat numbers, so it turned out I left the deadlift aside for a while.  I began dealing with some posterior shoulder pain on my left side at the beginning of the month of January.  I then started to look at it more closely and tried a lot of different approach to solve the problem; more stretching, more thoracic spine mobility, more soft tissue work, more scapular stability work, you name it.  But nothing was helping get rid of that shoulder pain that was getting pretty irritating.  Then I came to Endeavor, started to deadlift a lot (twice a week as an average) and noticed my posture was getting better by doing so.  And all of a sudden, no more shoulder pain!  Then it struck me; my upper back and spinal erectors muscles got stronger which improved my posture and led to a more upright standing position, which put less stress on my rotator cuff muscles.

– On another non strength and conditioning related note, I like that I can blame the fact that I am French for pretty much everything I don’t understand or whenever I make a mistake!

– People in New Jersey go totally crazy when there’s snow falling down! No, but seriously I really like the fact that there is not a lot of snow here (compared to what I’ve seen in Quebec) and that the temperature is a lot more comfortable during winter.

I have only been here for four weeks and I already learned a lot on strength and conditioning as well as general  American culture; which I already love!”

Thanks David!

For the current and future interns out there, you should also check out these two great posts from Eric Cressey:

Top 10 Mistakes Intern Applicants Make: Part 1

Top 10 Mistakes Intern Applicants Make: Part 2

Kevin Neeld

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