Saturday 16 December 2017

Top 10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

      Throughout my career I have been fortunate enough to work with and be taught by many different strength coaches and experts in my field and have been able to get a look at what works and what doesn't work in regards to program design. Recently I talked with many of the industry’s leading professionals about the common mistakes they have seen over the years. Originally I only planned to use notes that I took down to better myself as a
Professional Personal Trainer but soon realized that the information that they were giving me could benefit many others out there and so I put this together to identify the biggest program design mistakes in the hope that you will be able to avoid making these in your own programs.

Mistake # 1: Not assessing Clients.
Assessing clients is a huge part of program design but it is all too
often left out. There are many ways to test a client and obviously,
you can’t  spend hours on functional tests but this doesn't mean that you cannot assessyour client. Before workouts even begin you can talk to the client
to get a feel on how they are doing, during warm-ups you can assess,
during the workouts you can look for things that need to be fixed ifathletes don't respond to cues.

Mistake # 2: Creating Programs based on one training methodology.

All too often strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers build training programsaround their own individual bias. Maybe they used to be a Bodybuilder,an Olympic lifter, a powerlifter, or a strongman and so when they sit down to write their training programs often they are will look like they are designed for that sport. For instance if you come from a powerlifting background you may decide to bench, then do board presses, then rack lockouts followed by another tricep movement. Buthow effective is this going to be a developing the client for anythingother than the bench? There’s so many different methods out there toimprove a clients performance that you need to keep an open mindtake pieces from all of these training methods and figure out what ismost applicable to your athletes and put them all together in yourprogram.

 Mistake # 3: Teaching variations as progressions.
It seems there is a current trend that in order to teach a squat you
must first teach a bodyweight squat, then a dumbbell squat, then a
front squat, and then a back squat. This is not a progression but a
series of variations. A progression should follow a specific plan of
teaching a motor skill or a skill through that plane until it becomes a
complete skill. And then you start adding a load or other external
variables to that skill.Let's look at the squat. First you would teach athletes how to do abodyweight squat, next you would want to teach them how to squat
with a piece of dowel or PVC pipe, next you would add the bar andlastly you would add weight.

 Mistake # 4 : Not being able to justify what is in your program.
There is so much information available on the Internet now and so
many personal trainers are coming out with innovative exercises that it is very
easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest and forget about what
it is we really need to achieve with each training session. I am not
saying that you should not include other exercises but make sure you
are including them for a reason and not because you read somewhere
that you should. If you can’t justify why everything in your program is
in there, then it shouldn’t be in your program.

 Mistake # 5: Lack of Attention
Often the personal trainers lack attention to details and will allow the client to getaway with not doing things properly. You must spend time teaching
your athletes the fundamental basics and techniques to executing the
lifts before you begin to load up the weight. We cannot expect a
client to know that they are performing a lift incorrectly if they have
never been taught how to perform that lift correctly. Once you know
they can perform the lift it makes it easy to give feedback in regards
to whether they are squatting low enough or not, whether they are in
the correct position or improper positions etc.

Mistake # 6: Number Inflation
For some reason some personal trainers decide to throw the
rule book out the window and allow clients to perform lifts incorrectly
in order to lift heavier weights. Unfortunately, although this
may look good on paper in the long run it does nothing but hurt the
client. This is a lose, lose situation.

 Mistake # 7: Pushing too hard
Personal trainers often push their athletes too hard in the weight room.I see it everyday. It isimportant to take into account everything that goes on in a clients
life and know when it is time to push and when it is time to back off.
When designing your program remember that there are a lot of things
outside of the weight room that have a huge affect on clients (diet,
sleep patterns, school, relationship, etc) that need to be taken into
account as well as the demands of training itself. Often personal trainers will
mistakenly think that there clients are giving them a low level of
effort when in reality the client is giving it their all but they just have
not recovered from a long ,hard week.

 Mistake # 8: Too Much Volume
By the time you factor mobility work, dynamic work, agility work,
lateral speed work, linear speed work, plyometric work, strength work,
power work, and conditioning you end up with a huge list of possible
exercises and often people get carried away and try to include it all in
one workout. A lot of times people just – you try to spread that out
and it's really easy just to get carried away and just use way too much
volume. What is interesting to me is I have yet to work with an
athlete who didn't respond to a workout that focused more on quality
than quantity.

 Mistake # 9: No long-term plan
Believe it or not there are many personal trainers out there who do not have an
organized plan and have no idea what their end goal is for their
clients. When you sit down to write a program you should always
ask yourself where do we want to end up? Where do we want them be
in six months,12 months. When it finishes?  Where do you want the clients fitness levels to be at ? Etc. Then once you have figured out where you want to end up you work backwards and design a program that will help you achieve those goals. The biggest mistake you can make is not having your goal written down and just trying to do things week by week. If you don't have that end goal then you are not going to know where to start or what you need to do each week.

Mistake # 10: Copying someone else's program
Many personal trainers  believe that if they copy the top guy on the internet or Youtube training program then they will become successful. However, using a program with the mentality that one size fits can become very counterproductive to both the athlete at the end goal. Because, generally the programs that are copied are designed for really advanced athletes and this means that beginning athlete might get overwhelmed by the demands of the workouts. Of course you can always learn from other programs but it is important to find out for ourselves what our clients need and be able to create a program that meets those needs.


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