“I really try to put myself in uncomfortable situations. Complacency is my enemy” – Trent Reznor (Academy Award winning musician & songwriter)
Many fitness coaches just accept the way things are presented by the standard fitness industry teachings, because they get results. But what if you could get even MORE results simply by asking a few questions in a slightly different way than usual?
If you’re content to let injuries be inevitable for your clients, if you’re happy to deliver the same kinds of results as every other fitness coach out there, then this post is not for you. But if you want to help your clients to crush injuries BEFORE they happen and skyrocket their performance at the same time, then keep reading, I’ve got 3 simple questions that will take your coaching way beyond what everyone else is doing, and help you to deliver results with less effort!
Question #1: What’s causing the technique problems I’m seeing?
Most fitness coaches are great at observing technique problems in their clients. They can see that knees cave in rather than tracking over the toes during a squat, or that there’s a low knee lift in running, or even that the arms cross the centre line in swimming…it’s what we do next that’s important.
If our standard response is to give teaching points like “knees out” or “high knees” or we try to get our clients to swim with wider arms, then we might get a short term improvement in what the technique LOOKS like – but is that actually making our clients’ movement more efficient?
In many cases, it actually takes MORE effort to force our bodies into the movement patterns that look better (or so-called “correct” technique”, which leads to early fatigue and a higher risk of injury.
Investigating the movement restrictions that are causing the body to make those movement compensations (or so called “bad” technique”), leads to a much more effective long-term strategy for delivering results and avoiding injury.
Question #2: How can I help the body perform better?
Most of the standard fitness methods of improving movement are focused on telling the body what to do. Activities such as foam rolling force the release of tension in the fascia, and the conscious contracting or “engaging” of muscles around the core try to tell the body how to function. The problem is, the human body is doing a much better job of functioning than our tiny human brains will ever be able to comprehend.
Our brains are coordinating the functioning of 50 trillion cells, simultaneously and will always do what is best for the whole structure of the human being, not just a few bits of soft-tissue.
Rather than forcing our bodies to do what we THINK is right, a much faster solution is to HELP the body do what it does best. Using movement to help the brain acknowledge, assess and resolve a movement restriction gives the brain the chance to make the decisions that are best for the entire structure of the human being, and more specifically, for each individual.
Question #3: Are the fundamental needs of the human body being met?
All too often as coaches, we get hyper-focused on the activity we coach and lose sight of the needs of the body itself. But by putting the needs of the body first, we can skyrocket out clients’ performances AND help them avoid injury at the same time.
How? By using Applied Variety of Movement to improve and maintain maximum movement in every joint, building strength in ways that complement joint function (not absently replicating our sport movements, or using arbitrary standard strength training movements) and HELPING nature to do what it does best (so it can do it better).
Chris Yates is a Certified SMARTT® Coach who is helping his clients by using these methods every single day. His escapades have been immortalised in the brand new fictional series called “Fitness Coach Heroes” – you can check out the first episode here
If you’re looking for a new challenge, or you want to discover new ways of delivering outstanding results to your clients, then grab a cuppa and read the first episode, oh and of course, feel free add your comments too!
See you there!