If you’re not assessing then you’re guessing!

personal trainer assessing a fitness client

It’s a phrase made known by a mentor of mine, Paul Chek, but what does it mean to you and why is assessment important?

First, though, a question: Why are you going to the gym? When I ask you that, I don’t mean why do people go to the gym, I mean why are you going to the gym?

Here are a few different things that might have come into your head:

  • Get fitter
  • Lose fat
  • Gain muscle
  • Improve health
  • Look better
  • Improve posture
  • Lessen pain (i.e. back pain)

So, which of these do you want? Or is there something that’s not on the list that you would have answered? Once you have your answer we have a second question: How will you know when you get there?

The answer is simple, you won’t! Not until you start to assess or as a well-known author said: “Take stock of yourself!”

If you want to lose fat, for example, then you should have your body fat levels measured. If you want to improve your posture this you should have this checked. And this should be done on a regular basis. Why? There’s a few reasons. One is that you want to know you’re heading in the right direction. The next is that you want to know how quickly you’re improving.

If you want to lose fat and build muscle then cardio will help you burn the fat, but if you’re not doing any weight training then you can hinder your body’s ability to put muscle on after you lose the fat.

As personal trainers, we have all different kinds of methods for getting people, just like you, to achieve your goals.

However, if we’re not assessing then we are guessing, and that’s worse than you guessing for yourself, as we’d be effectively guessing with your body. Not a great position to be in.

Here’s an example:
A client came to see me yesterday complaining of nagging back pain when she does certain classes. So, I said let’s have a look mechanically at what’s going on with your body.

What was the conclusion? She had tight lower back muscles and weak hamstrings, but I wouldn’t have been able to figure that out without first assessing her.

I also took several measurements of her back so that when she returns for a further assessment in a few weeks’ time I can check to see if what she’s doing is improving her posture and her pain levels.

What do you want?
When do you want it?
And how will you get there?

Let’s start by where you are now: get a qualified individual to assess you and then you have the full picture.

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