Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Planning Ahead

I really hate making promises that I don't keep, sorry again for the long lay off everyone, been really busy with just life overall. The fact that this is the busiest time of the year for sports and I'm a huge sports fanatic is not helping me one bit. Just the same I probably shouldn't let that be an excuse to me not getting on here and posting on a more frequent basis. That being said I am back today with some stuff that I hope will help those out there in the training and coaching world. Have a look at the title and you can guess this one is about planning, good for you.

We plan everything, we plan our day, our week, and pretty much our entire lives we are planning. In the fitness world there's plenty to plan as well; planning meals for the week, planning what time to work out, having a work out plan to go by and so on. The same should be said about training and coaching, PLAN ladies and gents. It usually baffles me to the point where I do a cartoon double take when a trainer or coach doesn't either have a plan or isn't at least writing down the things they do in a session.

You're Doing What Now?

Some prefer to just wing it from the start and write things down as they go, others prefer to have a strict plan to follow and go step by step. The truth is the answer lies somewhere in the middle, as it does in many cases. There are exceptions, but for general purposes we'll go with it. To have at least a good general plan, and I don't mean 1st Warm-up, 2nd Mobility and Activation, 3rd Shoulders and Back, 4th Conditioning. Really not the worst way to go about it, but still it leaves you thinking guessing and pondering what to do most of the session. Having a better, more specified plan, with actual drills, exercises, sets and reps planned is far better and the session will go much smoother.

Those that lay out their plan for a session and follow word for word and don't waiver from it, well there's an issue with that too. Say a client comes in and has tweaked something, is a little under the weather or is just plain old drained. The last one is usually avoided by good programming but sometimes it happens just simply from life and we all know how that feels. In any case if you are following a program to the letter, you'll probably make things worse if one of these scenarios pops up and you don't adjust accordingly. Be ready to adjust on the fly to accommodate things like these and make note of them in you're program notes.

The other thing with writing down what's going on in your sessions and taking notes lets others know what's happening, if it's detailed or not so much helps either way. Why is this important you ask? Reasons for this are multiple in numbers; if you go on vacation, are sick, find a new place to work, you have an Doctor's appointment, your house has been eaten by a sink hole (look it up it's happened). Whatever the case may be someone else needs to at least have an idea as to what was going on in those sessions on the off chance you miss a day. I'm one of the lucky ones that tends to not be sick and/or not give in to sickness easily, but I still miss days and you will too. Writing stuff down and keeping track of weights, sets and reps may seem trivial but it helps to make sure the other coach won't break the person by giving them too much, or baby them by not giving them enough. I get that sometimes you are just motoring right through a session, and you don't remember to write down what was done, at least do it shortly after. Hopefully you've programmed rest somewhere in the workout, OK everywhere, so you should have time to jot a note or two down.

That'll do it for today kids, good to be back. Go out there and get after it today!

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