What Have You Got?


Where do you begin when embarking on a fitness/exercise/training/workout program? Let’s just say you’re an average Joe or Jane.  There are so many options.  And if you’re a coach, where do you start with a new client?  Even the best coaches sometimes do things quite differently in some aspects.

There are two things you need to look at:

#1 What is the desired result?  AKA, Where do you want to go or be?

#2 What have you got?  In other words:

a. Group or individual situation

b. Age of the person (both physiologically and in terms of training years)

c. Previous injuries and current restrictions (does your body even move “that” way?)

d. Other logistics (time, space, equipment, etc)

Looking at #1.  Generally speaking most people want to feel good and look better naked. And there are so many ways to make this happen because well, everything works. Everything works for at least some amount of time.  So how you get to where you want to be can be a little confusing.  For me two things come to mind.  First is finding what’s effective.  Everything works but not to the same degree of effectiveness.  The second part is sustainability.  Everything works but if it isn’t sustainable you need to either know that “this” is purposely done in the short term and then move on, or find something that is more sustainable for you, preferably while also being the most effective.  In other words, what offers the most while taking away the least?

The tricky part now is looking at #2.  If you are a coach or someone trying to get stronger/fitter/lose fat, what have you got?  What some may consider the most effective may not be an option for the several different reasons listed above.  It’s easy to criticize others for not doing it your way, something I’m trying to do less of while focusing on my own situation.  The key is to be open minded.  Remember, most of us are trying to get to the place.  Progressions, regressions and lateralizations (term I stole from Charlie Weingroff) are key.  Regardless of the recommendation by someone to do XYZ it may not be best for you but there are other viable alternatives that still fit the effective and sustainable parameters.  I’m not talking about giving up squatting for Zumba classes here, just finding what’s best for you.  Now you could do XYZ but also consider the path of least resistance.  If ABC gets you to the same place that XYZ does, but with less time, stress, work, etc., which is better?

To sum it up:  #1 Determine the goal.  #2 Taking several factors into consideration, what have you got to work with?  Then plan accordingly.

– Mike Baltren