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Another Student X: The Way Men’s Fitness Should Be…

Another Student X: The Way Men’s Fitness Should Be…

letter X by Leo Reynolds

X marks the spot again big guy! As you may know I did a profile concerning Student X for the ladies and now it’s time to do one for us guys on men’s fitness. Once again inquiring minds want to know about what goes on inside my head when looking at a new or potential trainee. In the last blogisode I made up a profile called Student X to demonstrate some common issues that I encounter with folks when getting them started back on track with getting in shape.

The reason I’m doing this is to drive home the point that health clubs make my head want to explode, but I guess if folks are doing something it is better than doing nothing at all. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if folks are exercising that is a great thing, however the point of Student X is to show how folks more often than not end up doing harm to their body by not understanding how the body functions. The names and identities have been changed in this blogisode to protect the innocent from feeling too stupid. Um anyways read and enjoy!

Student X…A Look At Men’s Fitness

So today I’m really interested in trying to create a profile that may mirror some problems that you may or may not be having in your men’s fitness program . If you are a trainer or coach I know you can empathize with me on these issues and maybe something I say will help you with assessing your students. For those of you who know me you know I am open to ideas and your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Now onto the matter at hand. Pause…Cracking  Knuckles…Let’s Go!

Men’s Fitness Scenario


Name: Student X

Gender: Male

Age: 39

Activity Level: Moderate to Vigorous

General Health: Fair-Slightly Overweight-Experiencing Some Shoulder And Lumbar Back Pain. Everything Else Seems Normal

Goals: Fat Loss, Wants To Look Better Than David Hasslehoff At The Beach…

David Hasslehoff by mtnman867

Ok, so it looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me. Anyways, I hope you got a chuckle out of that. So with this particular individual I’m immediately honing in on why he is having issues with shoulder and low back pain. Going back to my previous statement about health clubs making my head explode it seems that a common issue with guys is the over emphasis of push related exercise and the continuous internal rotation of the shoulder head when it comes to the typical gym workout. Say what you ask?

Basically I can look at Student X and deduct that he has a an over developed anterior deltoid, some pectoral shortening, and his posture is such that his shoulders have a forward protracted lean. He also happens to have a desk job that has him sitting in a slouched posture all day long for about straight 8 hours. Student X has good intentions, but goes to the health club after work and reinforces his already continuously bad sitting posture by engaging in bench press, crunches, and upright rows! He is basically throwing fuel on the fire. No wonder he is having shoulder and lumbar pain. This is a common theme, but it happens to guys like Student X all the time.

Men’s Fitness…The Solution

So to get Student X back on track he’s got to change the way he trains and make some lifestyle adjustments. For one, internally rotating the shoulder is a bad idea in my book anyway, but when you couple this with the fact that Student X has a weaker posterior development compared to anterior development at the shoulders he is only going to exacerbate the problem by continuing to engage in an exercise such as upright rows and bench press. Student X needs to engage in more pulling related exercise. As a matter of fact, he needs to incorporate about 3 to 4 pulling exercises to every push related exercise he does. A 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 ratio is a good rule of thumb.

RCK Authentic Kettlebells

In addition to this he needs to lay off the isolation single joint lifts and convert to engaging in big multi-joint lifts that involve some serious pulling action to strengthen his posterior chain (back, shoulders, lumbar, glutes, hamstrings, etc.) Of course, he must do this with solid technique and under the supervision of a professional. If you or Student X don’t already have someone in mind then yours truly can certainly help out! So I’ve touched on some general things that can initially help with the shoulder and lumbar issues by simply changing and being smarter about his exercise selection. This is what men’s fitness is all about.

Student X also needs to engage in more mobility work while maintaining an effective level of flexibility. The point of this post is to point out how a lot of folks tend to cause problems such as the shoulder and low back pain demonstrated here with Student X without even knowing that they did it. The only way to head this problem off is by having sound strength training principles that guide them through to putting together a solid strength and conditioning program. This is the only way Student X will have an effective men’s fitness type of program.

 Beast Tamer How to Master the Ultimate Russian Kettlebell Strength Challenge

After making the necessary adjustments in Student X’s program his other goals of fat loss and the desire to beat out the Hoff on an episode of Baywatch become closer to a reality. Well, I guess not since the show has been discontinued for quite some time. Surely Student X has bigger goals than that. Anyways, if you want to make sure that you are on the right track and not potentially doing yourself more harm than good then you need to get your copy of Brandon Richey’s Better Than Steroids right here:

Also if you happen to be a Kindle user I can now infiltrate your digital reader! That’s right you can now subscribe to my blog right hereon Amazon! Remember that most anyone can train hard, but real men’s fitness is about training smart!



I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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