This week on Barbell Shrugged we are excited to welcome Carl Paoli back to the show. In case you missed our chat from last year, make sure to go back and check out Episode 84 of the podcast.
Carl is always a pleasure to be around. He’s also an inspiring and well-grounded coach that is changing the way that we think about movement. He certainly changed the way I view gymnastics, elevating it from a Crossfit programming curiosity to a training element that I now consider essential to balanced, sustainable strength development.
I’ve spent the majority of the past year doing handstand holds as frequently as possible. I have to thank Carl for that amazing insight. But there’s also one other giant insight that comes to mind when I look back on our conversations - Above everything else, Carl excels at occupying the common ground. That starts with a few realizations.
First, the most important thing is to realize that no one has all of the answers, and no matter how confident a coach might be in their opinion, no one has a flawless approach. The very best accept that fact and use it as a fuel to drive their daily education and a continual refinement in their methods. To that point, Carl’s view serves as a balancing force.
Christopher Sommer’s view of the competitive fitness world is that there’s only one way to do Gymnastics properly…His way (check out Episode 114). That’s fine, because strong voices serve to push the discussion forward. But still, we need to be careful with balance here. To Carl’s point, not every elite method is suitable for all athletes, especially those just embarking on this journey.
The second realization has to do with how the coaching itself is dished out. There’s a bias right now in the fitness community towards programming. A ton of value is assigned to the way things are done, and that is very important. However, it’s not the only thing. Far from it. What matters just as much, if not more, is why things are done. Specifically, the very best coaches aren’t necessarily the savviest or most complicated. Rather, they are the ones that can get their clients to understand why it is they’re doing what they’re doing. With that, you can accomplish anything you want in the gym. There’s no need in feeling certain.
Carl, it’s always a pleasure, friend.
You can scoop up Carl’s excellent book, “Free+style”, on Amazon right now. Do it! It’s great.