Quick Question. Why?


Why do you train people the way you do? Why did you give your client that movement and why did you choose that weight?

running for the train

The idea for this blog came as I was walking past a train station and I noticed a number of people who were running to catch their train. None of them had performed a warm up. None of them would have been well hydrated or taken any pre-workout supplements (for more on those click here). None were wearing supportive, cushioned running shoes and none of them were in their ‘active wear’. As I noticed these people run, in varying states of distress, for in their minds what could actually be their lives, it reminded me of a quote I once heard the Canadian Strength & Conditioning Coach Peter Twist say. “You need your best when your best is needed”. Think about it: at that point in time, they actually needed to perform at, for their system, a high level. For that very brief moment they needed their ‘best’. The consequences of missing that train could be dire.

Now, back to the gym. If any of these people have gym memberships or a Personal Trainer, I wonder; has their gym or trainer has prepared them for this epic segment of their daily life? Have they done anything that replicates a rushed leap out of bed, a quick lunge into the shower, a fast, weird joint angle dry off, a segment of the sport of speed dressing, then the energy demand of a 400 meter sprint in heels or pointy dress shoes followed by a long period of inactivity? Have they done any movement carrying weirdly shaped asymmetrical loads? Have any of them done any recovery to take some of the mental – let alone physical – stress out of their systems?

As a coach, you need to be aware of what your clients do outside of their time with you. In fact, knowing this should guide your movement prescription for that individual. Yes, they’ll have specific ‘fitness’ goals. But if they can’t get to work, how can they afford their fitness dreams? If they can’t get out of bed on time because they couldn’t sleep from too much stress or overtraining, how will that affect their ‘fitness‘ goals? Your clients spend very little of their actual lives with you. Prepare them for their life! Help them be WELL, and their fitness dreams will follow.