Next week we will be testing and assessing all our clients.
Depending on the individual this could include a number of things:
- movement quality
- Core control
- Muscle length
- joint range of motion
While this is all great, what’s the actual point of it all? Nobody has ever come in to us and said their goal is to get assessed, that they’d really love to know which of their muscles are tight or what type of posture they have.
Most people don’t care because that’s not what they came in for in the first place. They probably want:
- to look and feel better
- Lose some excess body fat
- Get stronger
- perform better in their sport
- Put on some muscle
A lot of trainers get caught up in focusing more on assessing and I’ve been guilty of this myself. We obviously think it’s very important but from a coaches point of view it’s serves a very simple purpose- how to get the client to their goal in a safe and responsible manner.
We may get a ton of information but it still serves the same purpose. If John wants to lose 5 kg of fat and X, Y and Z shows up in his assessment, Johnny still wants to lose 5kg of fat and that is what he is paying us for.
But what if we could lose 5kg of fat and clean up X, Y and Z? Or only X and Y?
Johnny achieves his goal and we cleaned up a things that may have caused him issues down the line. Now imagine that we cleaned up X, Y and Z but didn’t help Johnny lose his 5kg? Johnny thinks you just wasted his time.
This is a bit simplified but I hope you get my point.
When we assess and test clients it allows us to make better programs for them. We might get information that says Johnny’s shoulder seems to be very restricted. Maybe pressing a weight overhead isn’t the best option for Johnny. Lets add in a push up instead and as part of his warm up we can focus on making that shoulder move better.
Johnny’s program still gets him to his goal of losing 5kg of fat and we improved the quality of his shoulder movement.
Or maybe your assessment shows up that muscle X is very tight but muscle Y is fine. Wouldn’t it make sense to focus on reducing the tightness of muscle X during your warm up and cool down instead of focusing on muscle Y? Your program just got more specific to you and therefore better.
Or maybe during your assessment something hurts you. This tells your coach there is some underlying problem that needs to be addressed. I need to refer him to a physiotherapist to see whats going on as this is outside my scope of practice. Your physio finds out what the problem is and gives you some exercises to add into your pogram. The assessment has once again alowed your coach to design a much better program that won’t aggravate the issue but instead will make it many times better. This could be the difference to hitting a new personal best in your next 5k race or having to bail out after 2k or simply not having as much pain on a daily basis compared to what you used to have.
From our point of view, thats the sole purpose of assessing our clients. How can we design this clients program to give the client the most benefit from it while still getting them to their goal and clean up a few potential problem areas. Simple
Don’t get hung up on the hows or the why’s. Let your coach assess you and trust them to give you a great program.