Assess Don’t Guess – Avoid Taking Chances with Your Fitness Program


The number one most powerful tool in the fitness industry is a thorough assessment. Before beginning any workout program ornew exercise regime/class, an individualshouldalways obtain a full assessment oftheir body in order togatheracompleteperspective on the current state of theirmuscles andjoints.Then based on the results of this assessment, clients will havea better understanding ofwhat type of exercises and style of program wouldbesthelp them reach their goals while also keeping their body safe and injury free.

An experiencedtrainer’s assessment should always include the following check points:

1- Postural Assessment – Looking for spinal curvature deviations (often due to desk posture or scoliosis), hip alignment issues (oftne caused from lower body injuries), head and neck positioning, and leg length discrepancies.

2- Flexibility or Length-Tension Relationship Testing – Checking all joints to make sure each of the body’s lever systems is operating at the ideal length-tension relationship (checking to find muscles that are over-used and too short/tight as well as muscles that are under-used and too long and weak).

3- Joint Range of Motion Testing – Checking to make sure that all the joints of the body are allowing the proper range of motion to allow the client to successfully and safely complete their daily functional activities.

4- Health History – A client’s full health history (including all previous/current injuries, medications, surgery), fitness background, blood pressure

5- Movement Analysis – Monitoring a client as they move through a variety of functional movement patterns applicable to their daily function and sports needs.

6- Strength Testing – Looking at the major muscle groups of the body and watching for extremely weak areas or areas that are overly developed.

7 – Cardiovascular Capacity Testing – Monitoring a client’s cardiovascular level and recovery abilities.

Now once this assessment has been completed and a program designed based on the results as well as the client’s goals, I recommend reassessing at each quarter or every 6 months depending on the level of issues which are found.

In the end, I recommend for any workout program, ASSESS Do Not GUESS. Find out what your body needs to run smoothly and repair any current imbalances before startinga genericworkout routine. Without this valuable step you are usually going to find less than ideal results and often you risk the CHANCE that the program will actually be counter productive to meeting your goals and keeping your body safe.

About The Author

Having grown up in North Carolina, I have lived in San Francisco for 16 years now. I began personal training in 1999 and my partner Mike Clausen and I opened DIAKADI Personal Training and Wellness Center in 2004 in the SOMA district of San Francisco. We currently have over 70 of the TOP personal trainers in San Francisco working with us as well as an in-house sports med doctor and physical therapist, a registered dietitian, an organic personal chef service, corrective massage therapists, and yoga/Pilates instructors. DIAKADI has become San Francisco's leading one stop shop for all of our client's wellness needs.

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