Like a lot of you all I assess my athletes in a sneaky fashion. I do some really basic stuff in the first session measuring lever length, general mobility etc. After that almost all of the “assessment” done while observing technique and form of lifts.
Real imbalances often show their true colors when the weights get heavier. Not dangerous heavy but just once the athlete has to think about something other than making sure they are doing everything correct and looking sexy. Once their mind shifts to the weight then i can really see where physical traits are causing movement patterns etc.
but the reality is that I can get gabillions of corective mobility done in between sets. In fact, and steal the shit out of this idea if you want, I find that if I load in the mobility drills and other light corrective work in right after really hard “anaerobic” conditioning work as a sort of “active rest” people really love it. It means they get 3 minutes of not doing the horrifying conditioning Bullshit they just had to do [BB complex, litvinov lift/sprint (had one gym even move a power rack up to the track section for me on this one), sled etc]. Little do they know that a non-asshole might have just let them rest for the 3 minutes, on the floor even.
But i say what they dont know about they dont miss. Plus many client/athletes really like hearing about how the mobility drills are helping to create better fat loss because of better posture and therefore more weight moved in big lifts and better sprint mechanics etc etc.
But apart from any injury status I dont think there is any need to be poking and prodding athletes in leiu of actually training them.
send them to someone else who does that type of stuff all day long. I personally have a chiropractor that I would trust the lives of my unborn children to to tell me all about the postural deficiencies of most of my clients, except the ones the “dont believe in chiro’s” to which im like “So santa claus, the easter bunny and a chiropractor walk into a bar…”
But mostly i find that cooling down with all the corrective work and isolation work [I love tibialis ant drills while doing grip work at the end].
Also this becomes more of an issue with massively obese or unfit-to-do-more-than-sit clients. You have to spend ages just getting them ready to learn to lift. Had one fella moving plates from one side of the gym to the other by hand. all the 45’s from one rack to another and back along with some squat work to get his mechanics right. Now that he’s on to bigger and better things he’s telling me how he wants to go back and do the pate carrying drills to see how fast he can do it now and how easy it will be. Im like WTF? but he is dying to rearrange te whole training area like its an olympic sport. its like his passion. go figure.
Hi Chris (Cool Name)
I totally agree with you about fillers between sets of a major exercise -a great way to get extra work done.
As regards moving the weights -I sometimes think that the most cardiovascular part of my training is putting my weights away; it’s getting to a stage where I have to psyche myself up for this more than my lifts;)
I think the cut off so to speak, with assessments, is if the gym session is the toughtest activity the client is likely to do then assessing during a session while they’re training is premitted, but if you’re training athletes, those where the gym isn’t neccassarily the physical high point of the week then extra assessment probably needs to be done. True, or am I talking out of my behind -again:)
Hey chris [a very dignified handle by the way],
I think you have it about on. Even with sports competitors I use the training as the assessment tool MOST of the time. Using lifts like the snatch, clean, jerk, front squat, press etc. etc. I can always see mostly what the deal is as far as mobility and imbalance goes. I even end up reprogramming assistance work on the fly as the core lifts give me the heads up.
The only real exception is when athletes have injuries. That is the best case where assessment comes up as a stand alone fun-time activity. Even then I get my “anabolic response” [kelly starret] training items done before i start working on my rehab focus items. even then the rehab focus items are hard shit. I hate doing them for my shoulder/ankle injuries. Do you know how much holding DB’s isometrically to flood the shoulder with fluid/blood hurts? It hurts more than when we all sucked at training and we would smash our biceps beyond belief for 1.5 hours 2x/week and then couldn’t even move our arms the next day. I think isometric flooding is worse than rest pausing or drop sets because at least you get to move there and the tension can let up or change.
So I try and keep it all looking like it isnt assesment but it is. The real question is if someone came to you with all their little research and asked you specifically for such-and-such’s assessment mobility screening process would you take them on and do it? I’m not sure how i answer that. I would check the disposition of the person first obv. but i still think id send them elsewhere and let them know that I use a different but equally effective [IMHO] method and that they are welcome to it but it wont ride like the specific one they’re asking for.
good thing wierdos like that are few and far.