Tribute to the Late Charles Poliquin

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Five years ago today, my late teacher / mentor Charles Poliquin passed away. While I have too many influences to mention below, he looms largest as the biggest influence of all on how we train clients at 3 Seasons.

Below are a few things I learned from Charles:

  • 1) Simple doesn’t mean easy. A strength training program can be simple, but brutally hard and results producing. This is especially true when doing program design for clients you are unable to train in person – don’t make things too complicated.
  • 2) Clients who pair soft tissue treatment with strength training get dramatically better results. When a new client has an injury or a major mobility issue, I always try to get them to see a chiro, physio, RMT or other soft tissue professional. Those who listen get better/faster results! Public figures in the fitness world have written endless books, blog posts, social media posts etc. on every possible exercise under the sun that could help rehab various injuries. Since he had limited time with his athletes, Charles went and learned all the most effective soft tissue treatment therapies direct from the source so that he could get his clients to safely to the main compound lifts in as little time as possible. He went and learned things like ART (Active Release Technique), Guasha/Graston technique, FST (Fascial Stretch Therapy), PNF Stretching, just to name a few and passed on the most effective of these techniques to his students.
  • 3) Consulting with THE expert will save you time and get your clients better results. Charles wanted to learn more about Vitamin E. He read a bunch of papers and noticed that two people were far and away the most often cited. He reached out to one of them and offered to pay him whatever he wanted to spend an afternoon with him to ask him questions and pick his brain. The professor named his price and Charles instantly said yes. He flew out to New York, and in an afternoon he got a crash course on the last twenty years on the topic.
  • 4) At the end of several of the courses I did with him, he discussed how if he could have a “do over” he would have slept more (for his personal health) and taken more time off to spend with loved ones. While this is something I struggle with, I have his voice in the back of my head reminding me that if I don’t have enough free time to get a full nights sleep, eat real food, and get in my own training sessions, then I have too many clients/am stretched too thin. What I have done well is ensured that the trainers that work on the 3 Seasons team do have a sustainable schedule where they have “protected time” to eat lunch and get in their own training session.
  • 5) Get a will! Charles had a complicated personal life. A lot of the pain and frustration that was caused to his daughter, students, and employees could have been avoided or at least minimized if he had a will and a clear succession plan laying out how he wanted his estate to be divided, and who he wanted in charge of his company/companies. After he passed I went and got a will made, and ensured that my lawyer, brother, and best friend all knew where they could find a copy of it. If you have a will but no one knows where to find it, then it isn’t very useful! If you are interested in having a will done but don’t know where to start, I know several excellent wills and estate lawyers (at least in Ontario) and would be happy to make a referral (I don’t get a fee or anything from this). Just send me an email (yoni [ at] 3seasonspersonaltraining [dot ] com