“If you’re not assessing you’re guessing”
A good quote many would benefit from remembering.
When it comes to programming any form of training there is a large amount of people that do it blind.
This means they jump in head first without first assessing the basic strength, ability or condition of their trainees, it’s a shocking state of affairs.
While you may indeed get away with this if your clients are exclusively bodybuilders, this sort of behaviour won’t cut it with people who are interested in performance or strength. The chances of success are about the same as hitting a fish in a barrel with no fish in it.
So what tests do you have?
- RM Test (squat, bench, deadlift are the classics)
- Vo2 Max Test (1.5 mile run for example is often used)
- ROM Testing (movement/flexibility can be FMS or other)
That’s essentially it for most people, and something all coaches/trainers should do, yet many don’t.
You literally have endless tests you can perform, however they will differ depending on the overall goal of the client.
If you’re looking at some options I will share with you what I use (keep in mind most people I see are after strength and/or performance progress).
RM Test – 1,3 or 5 reps
- Power Clean
- Press or Push Press (goal dependent)
- Weighted Chin with Half Body Weight
- Farmers Walk with Body Weight
- Standing Broad Jump
The above give a good gauge of where the athlete is in regards to relative strength/power (Say I’m working with a sprinter, ideally they are hitting a 2xBW squat for 5 and 1.5xBW on the power clean, meaning they have optimal lower body strength/power)
Vo2 Test – Sport Specific
- Example: 40 yard dash
- Example: Watt Bike Test
- Example: 2k Row
- FMS (functional Movement Screen)
That’s essentially it.
This gives me a good idea of a persons level of strength, power, fitness and overall movement capabilities.
While a little different than what you may need, it’s worth remembering that having these is essential for good programming and progress.
Always assess, never guess.