Barbell Shrugged

Bret Contreras: The Strength Coach Empowerment Model vs The Rehab Dependency Model  — Barbell Shrugged #361

Doug Larson


  • It’s kind of messed up in the intro Anders singles out chiros and quoted Brett saying the Chiro world is BS when Brett clearly points out multiple professions(ATCs, PT, DC) and in the title, you make sure chiro comes up fist before PT.

  • Hi guys,

    I listened to your podcast and I enjoyed hearing you and Bret’s thoughts regarding corrective exercise, chiros and PTs. I agreed with your thoughts on empowering individuals with positive statements about moving, staying active, and getting stronger even when other areas of the body are in pain. I also liked how you mentioned that negative labels have a powerful impact on how people view themselves. Correctly educating patients and using the right terminology is paramount, as it prevents people from catastrophizing and avoiding movements that could be beneficial for them. While I appreciated hearing some of the concerns that were mentioned, I thought there were some comments that were groundless and not factual:

    47:06 “they’ve been to 9 PTs and have 9 different dysfunctions and they’re completely scarred” – are you really running into that many incompetent physical therapists? Is that an example or did you actually experience that?
    50:15 I know you included personal trainers and strength coaches, but comments like “PTs will find some dysfunction rather than analyze your program design or movement mechanics” is inaccurate. That’s such a blanket statement with no basis at all. Since when do PTs not understand or assess movement mechanics? It really surprised me to hear Bret say that. I thought he’d know better.

    1:02 “how do we get our clients to come to strength coaches before they go to the athletic trainer, chiro or PT, where they get their brains filled with a bunch of crap?” Again, I have no idea how you could make such an ignorant, unprofessional statement. At the very least, PT education is standardized, and it has a stringent curriculum to ensure some level of quality. One problem plaguing the personal training industry is the complete lack of standardization. You can become a personal trainer after a weekend course. Are we really going to say that PTs, athletic trainers and chiros fill people’s heads with more garbage compared to personal trainers? I don’t believe that. Even those with a CSCS can get the certification with a bachelor’s degree in a non-related health field. I respect those with the CSCS, but even that doesn’t guarantee a great strength coach (FYI, I’m not implying Bret isn’t a great strength coach—I’m sure he’s fantastic).

    1:09 “you need a strength coach who knows how to look at your form for your body, who will give you the best exercises, and variations for your body.” You talked about PTs and strength coaches staying in their lane. I do not entirely agree with the lane statement, but if you want to go this route, this flies in the face of staying in your lane. I worked as a PT in a fitness facility, and I can’t count how many times patients were injured while working with a personal trainer or strength coach. PTs, in general, are experts with movement and exercise prescription, giving people movement variations that are patient specific. I refer my patients to strength coaches who want to become fit and strong. I refer them because I know that most strength coaches are better than me in these areas. If you’re telling me strength coaches (as a whole), are better than PTs at analyzing movement, you need to get out more. These statements are absurd; there is no way that strength coaches (as a whole) are superior to PTs in this area of expertise.

    Words matter, and I think it’s important we use them correctly. People listen to your podcast, and ironically, your words may negatively influence the people that SHOULD be going to their PTs.

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