For those of you that are currently training with me, have in the past, or are currently even considering it. There are three things to be aware of…
1. Be on time.
2. Prepare to put some work in.
3. I record everything.
Now, I’m not going to go on a rant about shoddy time-keeping, or simply not thinking you would be expected to graft. Sessions with me are not a social event, you’re there to work hard, and to learn something. That’s a given. What I do want to talk about though is the third point. My recording of everything I do with my clients.
Why do I record results, and why is it so damn important?
The most obvious; my memory. It’s not the best. I have reminders to remind me to remind myself to remember to do things, and I still forget, so how will I remember what we did months ago if I don’t record it. With a diary full of clients, with varying programmes and goals, how else can I keep track of everything. I’m a professional and to me that means being prepared, and having a plan.
Have you ever been to see a coach or trainer who seemed unprepared?
You know the type. Shaker in one hand, snack in the other. Fresh from his/her latest self harm session. Nothing prepared. Wings it throughout the whole session. Constantly adjusting the weights, or changing the training, as they can’t remember your plan. If there was a plan in the first place. In fact, the chances are you are probably doing the same workout they have just finished.
No. No it’s not. It’s lazy. Simple as that.
How else will I know as a coach, if you are getting stronger, fitter, putting muscle on, shedding fat? You get the idea. I won’t. I track and record everything to see if the programming is working. If it is, awesome. I’m the greatest coach ever. If it’s not, why not? Do I suck at my job? Is my client being held accountable for following the plan? I won’t know any of this without records and client feedback.
‘Everyday you make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever ascending, ever improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. but this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and the glory of the climb’.
Winston S. Churchill
How do you chart progress?
Most people come to me to improve their fitness/conditioning, they want to be able to move better, become stronger, learn new skills. One way I like to chart progress is via ‘Benchmark’ workouts. This could be anything, and varies from client to client. What it isn’t is a load of exercises randomly picked, to beast the client, to make them work harder and push further than they are capable. The benchmark workouts are planned. They are appropriate and there is reasoning behind the use. Every benchmark workout generally presents a different metabolic response. Whether it has a strong aerobic influence, with a continuous 20 minute piece, or x-amount of rounds for time. Or it may even be strength based with some weightlifting and gymnastic movements involved. It could even be based around lactic endurance or working on the CP battery.
The point is, whatever we do, it is recorded. Times. Weights. Speeds. All the variables. Then when we repeat the benchmark, the client has that added incentive. They have an additional goal to reach. A time to chase. A weight to achieve.
If the programming has worked, they will show signs of improvement. Every single time. Across each different metabolic stimulus. On every benchmark workout. If the programming hasn’t worked. Again, as I mentioned above, why hasn’t it? Has there been to much focus on one stimulus, rather than a good variety? Without recording what I do with my clients, I simply wouldn’t know.
It’s great for me as a coach to know that my programming is working, as the time and effort I put in is all worth it. But importantly it’s even better for my clients. They know that everything we do, as random as it can be, serves a purpose. They are all achieving their goals.
I record everything to chart progress. You should to.