Why Getting an Assessment is Important for Your Fitness Goals
Maybe you are finally ready to stand up and start pursuing your goals of getting swole. Or maybe you are a former gym rat who was hit hard by the daily grind and you want to return to the iron clad weight room. Whether you’re just starting out on your fitness journey or you’re ready to get back up on the horse, the first thing you need to do is get a physical assessment from a certified and experienced professional. Before you even consider doing curls in the squat rack, let’s take a look at the reasons why a fitness assessment is so critical to your goals.
ENSURE YOUR SAFETY
The primary reason for getting a fitness assessment is your own safety. I’m not talking about your knowledge of how to perform a proper bench press. I’m talking about key areas in body composition that you never think about such as postural distortions and muscular compensations. In other words, how your normal posture affects your ability to execute an exercise correctly. Then there’s the issue of having weak muscles that stronger muscles have to overcompensate for. Both of these issues may lead to serious injury.
Here is a great example: Let’s say you have a desk job. During your normal work shift, you are sitting in a chair for up to 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. When you finally arrive home, you perform minimal physical activity (errands, walking the dog, etc). Before bed, you sit on a couch to watch television. See the pattern here? You have a critical set of muscles that are not being used! Imagine attempting to perform a barbell squat when your hip flexors, glutes, and quadriceps have been inactive for months, if not years.
BUILD YOUR FOUNDATION
Having these musculoskeletal assessments may hurt your ego, but they won’t be hurting your body. In fact, getting an assessment is the key to building your fitness foundation. Regardless if you want to pack on 5 Kg of lean muscle tissue or lose 10 Kg of fat, you need to have a game plan laid out. (Need some advice for goal setting? Check out my article on making S.M.A.R.T. goals for more information.)
One of the best ways to create a fitness plan is to have an assessment completed. Once you are made aware of your limitations such as an arched back or forward favouring shoulders, you will be able to create a plan that does the following:
- Safely addresses these issues and corrects them
- Sets you on the road to your final goal
- Helps you avoid injury (thereby setting you even further back in your progress)
TYPES OF ASSESSMENTS YOU CAN EXPECT
Before you head off to get your assessment, I’ll fill you in on what you can expect. Assessments may be very detailed, providing you with the information you need in order to create the perfect program. They may include the following:
- Body Composition: Weight, height, tape measurements and body fat percentage will be taken.
- Postural Analysis: You are observed during standing, squatting and performing a variety of other compound exercises and different movement patterns for any distortions in the neck, shoulders, thoracic spine, hips, knees, and feet.
- Physical Fitness: You are observed during one of several fitness tests (pending on current health and ability) including heart rate via treadmill, sprint test, obstacle course, or vertical jump etc.
- Flexibility: You are observed during basic to intermediate stretch tests. Examples include touching your toes, yoga-based poses, or twisting movements and many more.
You will most likely be asked to keep a personal assessment diary for the following:
- Food Logging: Track your daily meals (for at least one week)
- Sleep Patterns: Track the hours you sleep each night (for at least one week)
ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS FASTER
Keep your ego in check. Ignore the naysayers and haters. Just because you are seeking professional advice doesn’t make you any less of a man or woman. Physical assessments provide you with an in-depth blue print that is created specifically for YOU. Think about how many of these guys you see in the weight room that are simply copying a celebrity fitness program. A program that was designed for that particular celebrity. Months go by and you see the same guy at the same weight, lifting the same volume, looking exactly… the same! Any insecure guys or girls who are taking time to snicker at anyone looking to avoid injury and achieve their goals isn’t worth your time. What’s more, it’ll be you who is having the last laugh when you achieve your fitness dreams faster than they ever could. Do yourself a favour: Get the assessment! You’ll be happy you did!
Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all training program. Your lifestyle is reflected in your body composition. Therefore, it is essential for you to have a physical fitness assessment performed. In this way, you’ll be protecting yourself from injury and setting yourself up on the road to success. If you would like more information about physical assessments, please hit CONTACT US now!