In this article, which was written for an online publication focused towards other fitness trainers and athletic coaches, I talk about how I believe our clients and athletes need to earn the right to progress in their training. Although it is focused towards the trainer/coach, I think it might be insightful for our members and clients about how we approach our training for you on a personal level. I hope you enjoy and gain some inisight from it........
When dealing with exercise or program progression for your athletes or clients, I believe there should be a sound, uniformed level of mastery of fundamental basics and exercise foundations before the reward of progression is applied.
Sometimes it’s easy for us as trainers and coaches to get caught up with a new fad training concept or piece of equipment and feel the pressure to keep up with the crowd. A positive bi-product of this is creative design, the new kit or concept enables you to explore and understand new possibilities and ideas which ultimately leads to the industry furthering itself. On a whole, this is a very good thing. However, the negative side to this, as I see it, is the over complication of exercises by trainers who’s creativity get the best of them (*Note: Creativity is a good thing, applied correctly!), and the progression of clients and athletes who still haven’t achieved technical competence of an exercises fundamental technique.
“Let them adapt before moving on.” –Kelvin Giles
If we progress a client or athlete who is yet to gain technical competence in a certain area of their training, they will carry this deficiency of skillset through their development where there is going to be an increase in load, speed, volume and power output. When these aspects of an exercise are increased without a sound, competent foundation to work with, the result for your client or athlete can be injury, plateaus and restrictions in strength development. This could then ultimately also have a psychological impact on an athletes mindset or a clients motivation which can potentially result in a lack of faith in themselves, you and your methods.
The right path through an exercise progression begins with your client or athlete having mastered the exercises foundations before moving on to adding load, increased speed, higher volume, and greater power output. By taking this approach of ‘Earning the right to Progress’, you are ensuring the best possible long term development of your client or athlete. By increasing their body awareness you in-turn, increase their abilities.
1) Movement Dynamics Athletic Development – An Introduction to Athletic Development. –Kelvin B. Giles MA, CertEd