I Believe What I See

deep squat

Great Squat, Marty !!

After reading Brent Holm’s article “Your Success Can’t Be Quantified” I was inspired to write this post.  Thanks Brent.  Brent makes a lot of great points so you should read the article, but certainly one point is that it’s not always about the numbers, i.e. pounds lost, weight lifted.  Those things are in fact very important, but as a coach, there is more to the story. I’m currently reading the book “Strength Coach: A Call To Serve” by Jeff Connors. One of the things Jeff says is “I believe what I see”.  After reading Brent’s article this made me think of two important things:  I can see someone’s physique looking leaner.  I may not know if this person has lost any weight or maybe they haven’t at all.  I just know what I see.  Sometimes a heavier weight isn’t lifted, a new PR not attained, but as a coach I know if the movement looked better or stronger this time around.  Maybe the bar just moved faster.  I believe what I see.  The numbers don’t tell the full story.  Better movement is, although sometimes easy to see, not always easy to quantify.  I’m not the guy who is going to kneel next you with a goniometer, but I can see improved movement and as a coach I think it’s also important for the person you are working with to feel and/or know when the movement is better.  This is certainly not something that’s impressive on paper but as I said, equally important.  That’s part of “Better Everyday”, not exclusively the numbers.


The second reason I’m fond of the saying “I believe what I see” is that, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, I don’t necessarily “believe” anyone already knows how to perform certain movements or with X weight, or at X number of reps, before they show me.  There, I said it.  Sorry I’m not sorry.  People make outrageous claims on the interwebz all the time about various feats of strength/endurance and it’s also easy for them to walk through our door and truly believe that they already know what they are doing as far as kettlebell training or even flexibility is concerned.  Well, truth is, there is no need to be in a hurry.  Let’s start off easy and progressively move forward.  Demonstrate great movement and then let’s add weight.  I believe what I see.


 Not a great squat at the expense of adding weight

– Mike Baltren

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