Robert Collier will tell you how to achieve optimal results from your exercise programme.
Valuable information for yourself and your clients.
There are many variables that make up a good exercise programme. The first place to start is to administer an objective assessment and prescribe an exercise programme based on the following variables.
Consistent assessment and exercise programme progressions are also necessary to achieve superior exercise programme results. Following are variables necessary for optimising your Exercise programme and the results you get.
What level of physical function does the client want to achieve?
Do they wish to lose weight or gain weight?
Do the wish to overcome injury and prevent re-injury?
Do they wish to feel better about themselves?
What are the primary and secondary motivators for being fit and healthy?
What is the clients level of motivation and what ways or tools can be used to maximise motivation, compliance and
Liasing with or referral to other health professionals is essential to the success of any exercise programme. Appropriate exercise modifications need to be made to a person’s programme that has current acute or chronic injury problems.
Past injury history
Carry over effects of past injury often affect an individuals ability to perform specific exercises correctly e.g. An athlete who has suffered a significant ankle sprain in the past will often demonstrate altered gait mechanics.
Current health and health history
Health status will influence what exercises are prescribed and what are the intensity, duration and frequency of exercise. E.g. Use of certain medications will have an influence on heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. Exercise is a stress on the body and the wrong type of exercise for the wrong person can be detrimental.
Current level of core strength and stability
The ability to progress from a base conditioning programme and beyond will be directly related to a person’s level of core conditioning. The specific demands of an individuals living, working or sporting environment. E.g. The level of core control for an elite Rugby player will be different from an elderly person wishing to maintain balance and function for activities of daily living.
Correction of posture in vital in creating balance in the musculoskeletal system and thereby preventing injury and improving physical function and performance e.g. A forward rotated pelvis can contribute to low back pain.
Ideal posture is the position from which the musculoskeletal system functions most efficiently.
Stretching the appropriate muscles are an important part of muscle balance. E.g. short hamstrings can contribute to low back pain and limit stride length in running.
A different programme will be required for a person who has been involved in endurance sports to someone who has been involved in speed and power sports. In addition a different programme would be required for someone with a predominantly machine training background verses a free weights training background.
What weather conditions will the person be exercising in.
For playing, working and living. Is the surface slippery, are stairs involved?
Vision and air quality
E.g. a Fireman will need increased levels of balance, functional strength and strength endurance (lactic acid threshold) to perform optimally in a burning building.
A builder and a fireman need to work with tools as part of their job. A conditioning programme must take consideration of this by using similar objects in their conditioning programme.
Is the sport or activity the person involved in contact or non contact and what type of contact is it? E.g. high velocity and low amplitude e.g. boxing and martial arts or high velocity, high amplitude and high velocity e.g. Rugby
Bio motor abilities
Bio motor abilities for each persons sport, work or activity. These include strength, power, endurance, speed, coordination, flexibility, agility and balance. Which are the dominant bio motor abilities that need to be trained for this sport and individual? Which ones should be
started with first and which ones are they deficient in?
E.g. an elderly person wanting to maintain independence may focus on functional strength, flexibility and balance. In addition, what are the person’s current bio motor abilities?
Energy system requirements
What is the dominant system(s) that needs to be used? Aerobic, anaerobic (without Oxygen) or ATP PC (Speed and Power). What amount of time needs to be dedicated to each?
Muscle imbalance findings from assessing posture, flexibility and stability must take priority in a base conditioning programme. The alternative is chronic, reoccurring muscle and joint injury.
The sport or activity being undertaken will serve as the foundation for your exercise selection, along with the clients goals and the persons orthopaedic and health status.
What functional movements or primal movement patterns are involved in the activity or sport? These are squats, lunges, pushes, pulls, twists, bends and gait (walking, jogging or sprinting) E.g. Tennis is a multi movement pattern sport. Golf is predominantly a twist and push pattern as per the golf swing.
An elderly person wanting to maintain everyday independence may focus on squats (getting in and out of chars), pushes (getting off of the floor or the ground e.g. gardening), pushing and pulling e.g. sliding doors, garden hose, in addition to balance exercises.
Primal patterns may need to be regressed due to lack of exercise, injury, poor stability e.g. Squats may be regressed to squatting using a dowel rod. As the persons function improves progressions need to be added. E.g. Taking away the dowel rod for the squat.
Other factors to be considered for any exercise programme include Exercise repetitions, sets, speed of movement, exercise selection order, number of exercises, rest periods and loads.
Regular assessments and progressive programmes should also be part of any persons exercise regime.
How is your exercise programme?
Is it specific for your goals, posture, movement demands and the many other variables?
Is it periodically changed to provide progressions to improve your function and help you achieve your fitness goals?
To learn more about how to get more from your exercise programme call Robert today and receive a FREE, no obligation fitness assessment.
(Free assessment offer ends October 30, 2008)
Robert Collier (Holistic Health & Fitness) Personal Trainer & C.H.E.K Practitioner
(CHEK 1, CHEK Golf Biomechanic, CHEK NLC 1, SESNZ 2, Dip Physed, B. Rec Mgmt, REP)