When I am training new clients I follow a certain protocol. I developed this protocol out of experience with working with people and athletes for the last 5 years. My principles are Movement, Core strength, Strength Training, and Conditioning.
The first thing I do when I get a new client is establish a movement baseline. All I care about is how well you move or don’t move. I will use the Functional Movement Screen( FMS ) with people that can complete all 7 test without hindrance.
From the FMS I can learn your quality of movement. If you quality of movement is high your chance of injury is decreased. This is by far the most important principle. If your client is not moving appropriately they will injury themselves. An injured client is a unhappy client. For the first month I am hammering how you move lots and lots of cues and adjustments and repetitions of bodyweight to low resistance, mobility, soft tissue work is done. Helping the athlete develop awareness of the body. I do not perform a lot of “corrective exercises” I just do basic movements and keep making adjustments until the athletes gets that “ah-ha” moment.
Core strength is very important. I define the core as the area from the base of the neck to above the knees. The core is the root of all movement with out it you are sunk. A lot of core training is teaching the client how to breath. Properly breathing helps to align the body properly. With improper breathing comes improper movement. The core musculature has two purposes first to create movement. and second to resist movement. I train the core for both facets. I perform a lot planks and strongman exercises yolk carry, farmers walks, planks, and other variations of core exercises. Once my client is able to perform a proper plank for 2 minutes I know they are ready to handle high resistance strength training.
Strength is the foundation for all athletic performance. I want my clients to be strong relative to their body weight. I have strength standards for both men and women. All my strength standards I took from Dan John and modified based on my own experience. The standards are based on the 5 movements of the human body: Push, Pull, Squat, Hip Hinge, and Carry. Each movement is based on your body weight. So my clients have two choices 1. Get stronger in all the movements, 2. Lose weight. Some people will need either or a combination of both.
The last principle is conditioning. The reason why I have conditioning last is because running, cycling and swimming put an immense amount of stress on the body. If you body can’t move properly, or is not strong enough to resist the stress it will break down. Getting the body ready for conditioning is very important to insure that my clients stay injury free.
These are my principles when I am training clients this is to insure that they are happy and injury free. If you have any questions feel free to ask me anything.
As I am about to come up on my first full year without school I began to notice a lot in the world. The biggest thing I have notice is that the bell curve still applies to just about everything. The one topic in particular is the abilities of trainers. I have had the chance to visit and talk to many trainers from different walks of life. Each bring something unique to the table. But i still notice that even in the same facility trainers will still stay true to the bell curve. I find that trainers that share the same certifications will have completely different skill levels when dealing with clients. I see one trainer who walks his clients from machine to machine and basically becomes a human rep counter. The other will take a similar client and teach them how to use free weights. I can’t say which is wrong or right because sometimes you won’t be able to do a lot of exercises due to limitations(personally lean towards teaching clients how to move properly). How can a professional who have the same certifications perform exercises that are detrimental to their client. I guess I haven’t been in the business long enough to understand why those trainer decide that it’s important to take their clients money like that. I guess it shocks me because I expect better from professionals in this field but I guess people will always fall under the bell curve.
As you go through your workouts day after day you start to lose some motivation. Now there can be a number of reasons why this happens it could be your diet, boredom( or tired of doing the same exercises) or it could be that things are happening in your life. Eventually you find your yourself constantly trying to amp yourself up before a work. Constantly trying to get your juices going before your work out. Now this constant amping yourself has made you good at preparing yourself for the workout but what about after the workout? Can you also teach yourself how to relax? Teaching your self how to relax is a very underrated skill. The constant abuse that we put our body through on a daily basis can cause the body to break down. Muscle tissue, ligaments, tendons, nervous system, bones, and the rest of your body is put under stress from all the physical activity. There are times in which we have to give our selves time to recover, heal, and rebuild. If you constantly in a hyped ready to tackle the day mood. You’re putting your body under stress. Chronic stress will do a lot of damage to your body with time. That is why I tell my clients that they need to practice how to relax. Some of my friends who are great basketball players and athletes can tell their mind and body to relax at the drop of a hat. It is a skill that has kept their bodies healthy. Being able to turn you body off will help decrease Cortisol levels and allow the body to go into repair mode. It is very important to schedule time for relaxation and rest. It is just as important as working out and without rest how do you expect your body to rebuild to make improvements.