Fitness training is movement training. Most people don't know how to move properly, and often are not ready for more intense exercise. Whatever your goal is (fat loss, health, strength, etc.), it all starts with moving well. If you don't move well, then you can't pursue any of those goals. So, for all of my clients, I perform an assessment which includes:
- Standing posture
- Joint range of motion,
- Joint stability,
- Movement patterns and strength.
- Form- Do you know how you should be performing the movement? Are you able to put your joints and limbs in the correct position? Most people don't and need lots of cues and regressions of basic movements to learn how to demonstrate the proper form.
- Function- Now that you know how to perform the basic movement, is it natural and intuitive? Do you have to think about it, or need to be talked through it? Most people don't "function" efficiently and need practice to develop the ideal motor coordination. It often takes numerous sessions for clients to really feel good with the basic movements and perform them naturally.
- Strength- Strengthening is really just reinforcing function with greater loads. Once you can perform a basic movement pattern (i.e. squatting) efficiently and naturally, you can gradually start adding resistance. However, you need to be mindful of what is the limiting factor (i.e.spine stability), and understand that fatigue sets in quickly and form and function can quickly deteriorate.
- Performance- Once an adequate level of strength is achieved (with solid technique), then training to improve performance can begin. Performance can be developing maximal strength levels, or the endurance to maintain a level of activity. Most fitness training programs start here, ignoring form, function, and strength.