It has recently come to my attention that there is a specific field of study dedicated to analyzing muscle structure, muscle arrangement, and the action of muscles. This field of study is called Myology. I was recently joking around with my brother about being a muscle doctor. Since I have began writing rehabilitation blogs, I’ve had an uptick in the number of people who have reached out to me about some pain they are experiencing. This prompted a conversation with my brother and resulted in a linear thought of being a “muscle doctor… no wait, a muscle-ologist… no wait! A MYOLOGIST.” I arrived at this word knowing that “myo" is generally the medical prefix for the word muscle. After saying it out loud, I thought, “this HAS to be a thing.” Low and behold, it was!
I did a quick Google search and found that myology was actually a field of study! I was so thrilled! Out of curiosity, I began looking for certifications, classes, and schools that perhaps offered degrees in myology. To my dismay, though, it appeared as if the field of myology hadn’t made it past the face. Orofacial myology was the only thing that kept popping up except for a couple of websites that looked… well… sketch. What the HECK!? How is this a thing but not a thing?? It got me thinking again. Why is the study of personal training not CENTERED around myology?!
PERSONAL TRAINERS SHOULD BE MYOLOGISTS
To be a personal trainer, all you need is a certification. Most personal training certifications are lackluster when it comes to useful information. I have yet to come across a mainstream certification that highlights the importance of knowing about muscle structure, arrangement, and function. In fact, my NASM certification barely asked me anything about muscle function on the final exam. Not understanding muscle structure, arrangement, and function as a trainer is negligent. It puts your clients at risk of injury and means that you are now attempting to teach them something you know absolutely nothing about. Myology is so crucial to personal training that I am now convinced that personal trainers and myologists are the same damn thing or at least they need to be.
Understanding a muscle, its structure, its arrangement, and its functions means that as a trainer you will know how to target that muscle, setup exercises correctly according to that muscle, optimize the output required from that muscle, and how to address that muscle should anything happen to it. It means that you can weed through the crappy broscience exercises or Instagram moves because you completely understand almost everything there is to know about the way that muscle functions and why it functions in such a manner.
Because all you need in order to be a personal trainer is a shoddy certification, the industry is ABSOLUTELY LOADED with inadequacy. If you take any trainer who just got their certification (or almost any trainer at all), I can almost guarantee you that their training style before and after that certification is almost identical! This is horrifying because it means there was no revelatory information in that course. Nothing of any use to them. Nothing that altered the way they thought about training. AND THIS MEANS, that clients are paying for a GIMMICK! Outrageous.
GET ON THAT MYOLOGY TRAIN
If you want to set yourself apart as a trainer, understanding myology can instantly take your service to the next level simply because you will have a greater understanding of exactly how your client needs to be set up and move through a specific exercise. Understanding myology will also lay the framework for more advanced information in the future. From myology sprouts the understanding of resistance profiles, strength profiles, lever arms, corrective exercise, stimuli, and more. Personal training is anything but casual. In fact, it is a very scientific and exciting field with plenty to study! If you are a personal trainer, you’ve actually entered the field in its infancy. The collective understanding of what it means to train is currently pretty far removed from the heavy science that inundates the reality of this field. I believe that once colleges realize this, personal training will no longer be a certification but rather a degree. Therefore, personal trainers need to prepare themselves for the direction the field is going. Understanding myology can give you a good jump in the right direction. Begin studying muscles, their structure, the direction of their fibers, their origin, their insertion, their arrangement, and their function. Then begin training your clients based on the information you learned. Without the shadow of a doubt, it will instantly set you apart.
With all of this in mind, I have now decided that I will begin a series called Myology Mondays. Every Monday I will drop a post that highlights a specific muscle; detailing its structure, its arrangement, and its function. As I go along, I will also update the exercise library on my website to include a brief myological introduction for each muscle that you can click on. I believe that those who are interested will find this beneficial and help them in their training endeavors. I also hope to just give people a better understanding of their body and how it functions. Furthermore, I believe that it will benefit me to brush up on my understanding of myology and bring to my attention any lacking information that I may have about certain muscles. As a personal trainer, I strive to be the best at what I do. Personal training is not just a job to me. It is something I am quite passionate about because it mashes all of my favorite things together; working out, learning, interacting with others, and helping in any way that I can. As I continue to grow and learn, all I want to do is share the stuff that I'm interested in with everyone around me. I believe that, for these reasons, Myology Mondays are going to be a blast!