Coach Tom speaks about how he views training.
Training and exercise are like a never-ending piece of chain in my eyes. Each individual link in the chain represents one workout. The more workouts completed, the longer the chain will get.
Now, the trick here is to ensure that each link in the chain is created equal.
Would you lock your bike outside with just any old chain? Would you let your kids swing on a swing set with weak or breakable links in the chain?
I assume the answer is no.
This is how I look at links in the training/exercise/workout chain.
My goal as a coach is to create as many strong links as possible and as few weak links as possible. This comes with planning, education, strategies and data.
Programming is all about planning. Ensuring that one body part is not more taxed than another, ensuring different angles and movement patterns are being utilized and ensuring there is enough variety but enough consistency to stimulate the response desired.
Nuances and systems can change. This is why it's important that we as coaches stay educated on current studies and remain open-minded to new thoughts and ideas around strength and conditioning.
Strategies are put in place once you have an idea of who your audience is. The strategies put in place for a former high-level athlete and the strategies put in place for a mom of two who has never worked before will never be the same.
Lastly, we must look at the data. Data will determine whether or not what we are doing is working. If the data is always trending upward the effectiveness of the program or the strength of the chain is growing. If the data is on a downward trend, it is likely the chain is only getting weaker and perhaps more susceptible to breaking.
What it boils down to is how well one can balance all four of those components (planning, education, strategies and data) as it can be easy to fall in a trap of biasing one far more than the others.
My role as a coach is to constantly give people opportunities to plan their fitness and stay accountable, while at the same setting realistic goals that can create measurable results.