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  1. #1
    Registered User OhSoFocus's Avatar
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    On the field, whats it really like?

    Sup guys,

    Whats it like on a day to day basis for both private and chain gym trainers? Do you guys run client through the assessments in the book? Or mock up your own? I can remember a while back when I joined LA fit, one of the trainers/sales rep put me thru an assessment and I didn't do any of the rockport, shark skill, davies, bench, etc. Also how close do you trainers (NASM) stick to the OPT model and program design?

    Haven't landed a PT gig yet after passing the exam last month, so I'm more or less trying to gain some insight on what to expect. And for the independent trainers what guidelines did you use to start off? Im aware that chain gyms have more of a structure set up for there trainers prehand. right?

    All certs welcome to chime in thanx!
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  2. #2
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Most of us don't do any of that nonsense, it's simply not necessary. The assessments are excessive, designed for and by trainers who never actually train anyone and want to look smart to potential clients. The programme design is muddled and overly complex.

    Assess what's important to the person. People have expressed needs and unexpressed needs. Their expressed needs will generally be vague, "get fit / lose weight / tone up," but will come down to 1 or 2 of looking, feeling and performing better. Their unexpressed needs generally involve moving better, being stronger, with better joint mobility and less or no pain. Only assess what's relevant. Someone rocks up wanting their back to stop hurting, you don't need to know their VO2max. Someone else has a 110cm waist, their exact bodyfat percentage is not needed - they have a 110cm waist! Yet another wants to run a marathon, does his bench press matter?

    Our job is to teach correct movement. Think of the sorts of movements people need to do, then assess how well they do those movements. Everyone needs to be able to do a goblet squat, a pushup, a rowing movement of some kind, and a hip hinge (ie top part of deadlift). These are basic human movements, the building blocks of walking, stair climbing, putting heavy things on shelves and picking heavy things up off the ground; they're also the basis of more athletic movements like a split snatch or high jump.

    Watch them sit down on the chair for the initial chat. From that, you can guess whether they can do a squat. Later as you get better at it, you'll be able to guess if they have back pain, and if one leg has previous injuries - you'll see them move in such a way as to minimise the use of that part. Now you ask them the questions and find out about previous injuries and physical training history. That tells you what they can't do (risking further injury) and should do (improve function of damaged parts) and how well they'll learn new movements (bodily awareness which comes from previously learning new movements).

    If they can squat at all, get them to try a goblet squat. Try coaching them to a better one. Their attempts and how they respond to your coaching will tell you a lot about their relative muscular strengths and weaknesses, where is tight and so on. From this you'll now know if you need to start them with whatever it is on the scale from machine leg press all the way up to barbell overhead squat. Nine times out of ten it's the leg press or a goblet squat.

    Next you get them to try a plank, coach them to improve it. Anything the squat didn't tell you the plank will. Do they sag in the middle? Hunch their upper back? Have their feet spread wide? Tip to one side? etc. The middle slump means weak abs, the upper back hunch means weak rhomboids, you'll probably have seen this in the squat, too. A tip to one side means a left/right imbalance.

    If they can squat, they can deadlift (in whatever variation). If they can't squat, they may be able to do a deadlift, but usually you'll want to focus on the squat first anyway, getting a good movement happening there. If they can't do a plank, they can't do a pushup or a bench press. If their shoulders are all over the place in the plank then rows will be a problem. And so on.

    There are other ways to do things, but the point is that you should have a template of movements you want them to be able to perform, see how they do at them, and think what you need to put in the programme to improve those movements. Assess what's important, don't worry about the other sht.
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  3. #3
    Registered User PeteratCastle's Avatar
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    Kyle is bang on! Top post Kyle
    High quality Home Personal Training in Edinburgh, UK.

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  4. #4
    Registered User OhSoFocus's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Kyle, definitely cleared that up for me!
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  5. #5
    Registered User DeadliftDOMS's Avatar
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    Nice post man!
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  6. #6
    Registered User str160's Avatar
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    Going to jump in and say thanks Kyle for that great post.
    100% or go home.
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