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exercise prescription

Lycholat: “Look at Paula Radcliffe. How many PTs would waste time telling her to keep her head still?”

These ranged from Dr John Berardi’s staggering 26-page report, three-day dietary log and full blood work analysis to Greg Roskopf’s hands-on Muscle Activation Technique assessment, which had improved Ziegle’s stability by the end of the on-stage session itself. Lenny Parracino also favoured manual manipulation, while Mark Verstegen looked at how to instill programmes with a sense of fun and enjoyment. Holistic therapist Paul Chek had

the most eclectic approach, working from the inside out with the aim of allowing Ziegle to affect her own change programme. Says Chek: “I fi nd out what you want to do and then I give you a diet and exercise programme that provides the tools to do it. That way you go into it knowing you can [achieve your goals], because you’re confi dent in yourself.”

empowering the individual For Ziegle, the tangible results of hands-on work by Roskopf and Parracino were reportedly the most valuable, but the framework of nutritional advice and holistic thinking was “helpful and interesting, if not life-changing”. So for Ziegle – a motivated fitness professional – it was specific, relevant biomechanical advice that proved most desirable. However, although most clients will

never encounter multiple assessments as experienced by Ziegle at Meeting of the Minds, clients from a background of severe inactivity or obesity may find holistic tools as crucial to success with their training as the instruction itself. Yet even this is only suitable in the

context of sound science and safe practice – something we have a care of duty to offer fi rst and foremost. Note that specialist instructors – including those qualifi ed to work with clients referred from GPs, with expertise in areas such as cardiac disease, falls prevention, lower back pain, stroke, mental health, obesity and diabetes, and accelerated rehabilitation (military only)

– sit at Level 4 on the REPs framework. Where the multitude of approaches can

strengthen the client offering lies in being able to draw on the knowledge of trusted colleagues, and in creating an intense level of personalisation that starts at the pre-


activity assessment and continues for the lifetime of the relationship. Says Lycholat:

“There’s little value in spending time developing a personalised prescription if it’s delivered and communicated in a fashion that doesn’t fi t with the client’s preferred learning style.” The need to genuinely understand the

client is key to creating programmes of worth – asking more than a few rudimentary questions and, furthermore, not only asking “what do you want?”, but also hearing the answer rather than simply prescribing “what you need”. As Meeting of the Minds host

Robert Cappuccio explains: “As fi tness professionals we can’t change anyone. Every change in our client’s outer world is preceded by a self-determined change in their inner world. What we can do is facilitate the process by which each client can crystallise what they want, and then guide them to that end result.”

food for thought There are some simple, but nonetheless valuable, lessons to be learned from the Meeting of the Minds experiment: Information without specifi c

programme solutions means nothing. Our clients need directives they can implement that day

Read Health Club Management online at

• •

It’s not just the education we

impart to our clients, but what the communication process draws out of them that creates meaningful impact The more personalised the solution, the

greater the commitment to its execution No one assessment or training

methodology is the answer. Our clients are emotionally, physically and emotionally an indivisible whole – our solutions must also be holistic There’s a reason why gym fl oor

assessments can be cursory and programming far from bespoke: our time is often limited. However, our clients’ success is not just a matter of what’s given to them, but also what’s going on within them. Start with what is most compelling – with the story of why they want what they want, whether that’s wedding weight loss or enhanced competitive performance. You can give them what you think they need: that’s your professional gift after all. However, crucially, you must package it around what they want, with measurements that take into account their own reasons for change. laura mcstay, training

education manager, fi tpro july 2010 © cybertrek 2010


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