I like to think that the health and fitness industry has grown in leaps and bounds – resulting in (most) personal trainers having a thorough education in amatory, physiology, and the underlying principles of both exercise prescription and resistance training.
This, for the most part, is an extremely positive thing.
It has greatly increased the service quality of the industry in its entirety, effectively weaseling out those trainers who are in it for nothing more than just a ‘quick buck’ (which is ridiculous: anyone with half a brain realizes a quick buck in the fitness industry doesn’t exist).
This has come with an increased value being placed on assessments, and subsequently, the evaluation of an individual as just that – an individual – becoming the norm. This has led to a premium being placed on individualized exercise prescription, corrective exercise interventions, and of course, specific training programs.
But there is also a downside associated.
A number of personal trainers have veered too far to the dark side, spending way too much time assessing the function of individual muscles, while spending too much time focusing on corrective exercises - when they should in fact be training.
It is our role as exercise professionals to assess an individual’s capacity for movement as means to improve movement while also ensuring they are training both safely and effectively so they can meet their training goal.
If you find yourself spending 50% of a session on a foam roller or on a massage table, then you probably aren’t doing anywhere near enough training.
Yes assessment is important.
It allows us to establish a baseline for each individual, providing valuable information on areas of weakness and dysfunction. But more than that, it gives us an idea of where we can start training. It tells us what squat regression we should use, what hip hinge movements we should start with, and what single leg exercises will provide us the most benefit.
It is not our role to find out every tight piece of tissue – it is our role to get people moving better – building strength, stability, and function in the process.