Home Blog 5 Overlooked Resources for Making Your Strength and Conditioning Programs More Effective

5 Overlooked Resources for Making Your Strength and Conditioning Programs More Effective

Written on April 27, 2012 at 7:38 am, by Eric Cressey

I know there are a lot of fitness professionals who look to EricCressey.com as a continuing education resource. With that in mind, I wanted to discuss a few resources that have been tremendously valuable to me; hopefully you'll benefit from them (if you aren't already) as much as I have.

1. Video - Video is a powerful tool for coaching and monitoring progress in clients, and it's also very accessible nowadays, thanks to smart phones and digital cameras. Still, I'm always amazed at how few fitness professionals utilize it to help coach. I use it quite a bit in my evaluation process, especially with tough cases where I want to be able to monitor progress in movement quality. It's just as valuable on the training floor to back up coaching cues that you're giving.

Additionally, having access to the RightView Pro software in our facility thanks to our pitching coordinator, Matt Blake, has been tremendously valuable in not only breaking down inefficient mechanics, but also demonstrating the powerful effects a good baseball strength and conditioning program can have on a pitcher's body control and power on the mound.

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2. Related Professionals - A fresh sets of eyes and a new perspective can have a huge influence on your strength and conditioning programs and how you coach. We've learned a ton from rehabilitation specialists, other fitness professionals, sport coaches, business consultants, and folks from a host of other professions.

As an interesting aside to this discussion, have you ever noticed how doctors - who have a minimum of eight years of higher education - refer patients out all the time to other doctors for second opinions? Yet, how often do you see personal trainers - who are a profession with an absurdly low barrier to entry - ask for another perspective from an unbiased third party? Food for thought.

3. Your Clients - I'm sure you'd love to think that you know your clients' bodies better than anyone else, but the truth is that those clients know themselves and how they're feeling much better than you ever could! I made the mistake early in my career of assuming too much and asking too few questions; I was talking 70% of the time and listening for the other 30%. Nowadays, I'm listening 70% of the time (at the very least) and I am a much better coach as a result.

As an example, now is a quiet time of year with all of our baseball guys in-season, so I'm using it as an opportunity to follow up with all our clients from this past off-season. I want to know how they felt during spring training, and how the transition to the start of the season went. All the feedback I get is valuable for not only next off-season, but helping them to tinker with things as needed right now.

4. New Training Equipment - Variety in a strength and conditioning program isn't just important to ensure optimal progress, but also to make sure that clients remain interested. Do you need to go out and buy all new equipment every other month? Of course not! However, adding some new training implements - or even just new uses for old equipment - can provide some variety. And, it's an opportunity for you to teach your client, as they're sure to ask: "What is this and what does it do?"

5. Business Partners/Assistants - When I first got started in Boston, I was doing all the scheduling and billing. While swiping credit cards and watching your schedule fill up is fulfilling at first, it eventually becomes a huge drain on your time, energy, and productivity. I'm a much better coach than I am a business logistics guy - and that's why the first person I contacted to help me start Cressey Sports Performance was my buddy, Pete Dupuis.

peted

Pete's become a fantastic business director (and vice-president) at CSP, and we've had double digit growth every year since we opened in 2007. He's managed my schedule, handled phone calls, done all our billing/invoicing, and become a liaison between coaches and clients when the clients aren't in the gym. In short, his efforts have made me more efficient so that I can evaluate, program for, and coach clients; review research; interact with other coaches; and do more staff/intern education.

Additionally, business partners, staff, and interns are great for asking the challenging questions that make you rethink the way you're doing things - and often provide suggestions and solutions that help make things more efficient and effective.

These are only five resources to get the ball rolling, but there are certainly many more available to fitness professionals in their quest to deliver a great client experience. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below on what resources have helped to make you better at what you do. 

And, in the meantime, I want to give you a heads-up about a new option on this front that I'm really excited to incorporate in my "continuing education arsenal." It's called the Examine Research Digest. This regular publication features reviews of recent nutrition and supplementation research by an accomplished panel of industry experts, and the reviews end with practical applications. It's a time-saving way to stay on top of the latest research, and it's also very affordable, especially at the introductory 20% off discount. The sale ends tonight, though, so don't delay in checking it out HERE.

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7 Responses to “5 Overlooked Resources for Making Your Strength and Conditioning Programs More Effective”

  1. Jimmy Lamour Says:

    This is an excellent piece. Thanks for sharing Eric. The one thing that has made us much better as coaches has been the addition of the mental side of fitness. We have goals sheets analyzed, read devotionals, studay character success traits, and develop mind strength. Keep up the good work.

  2. Tim Peirce Says:

    I am convinced that it’s the making of the those partnerships that’s makes the difference in a successful business plan and one that is lackluster. What’s really important though is finding the right partners. The wrong one can be an absolute disaster. Thanks for your insights, Eric.

  3. Conor Says:

    Great post Eric! The one that made me think most was referring clients out to other trainers. It’s a fine line because we don’t want to lose clients to others but at the same time the client well being and overall success should come first. To add to that, I always love talking training with other trainers though and love to hear what they do. There’s always room to learn and even develop possible business relationships and partnerships.

  4. Carolyn Appel Says:

    As you mentioned, video feedback has been really helpful in getting clients to see their errors and to learn from them. I could give verbal or kinesthetic cues ad infinitum but neither of those tactics are nearly as effective as when I show my clients how they move on video. And there has been research showing that video modeling is more effective for novices when they see a demonstration with flaws as opposed to a perfect demo. Therefore, they benefit more when they see themselves making mistakes than they would seeing me demo the “ideal” movement.

  5. John Says:

    Right View Pro has helped me out tremendously as a baseball coach. Our program can’t afford nor do we have the facility for the computer based program, but the $10 iphone app has proven to be very powerful. I use it for our hitters and pitchers, and also to show clients in the gym how they are moving. I highly recommend it.

  6. Tyler English Says:

    Couldn’t agree more EC.

    A big one for me has been #5. Still wonder how I use to do it all by myself!

    It’s great to have a team behind you.

  7. Roy Reichle Says:

    Great Info as always, Eric! Thank you for your continuing effort at improving our shared field.

    I know I have benefited from other trainers tremendously. I live in a rural area and train in a relatively small town, so there are really no other fitness professionals for me to go to in person on a regular basis. The internet is my main source of outside info. I’d like to do some one-on-one training with other trainers, but it’s impossible financially at this time.

    I do consult with an MD friend of mine on a regular basis, and he does have some good insights for me.

    I have been working on getting my video camera going, so I can give people better feedback and be able to post some videos on a my YouTube channel.

    Again, thanks for your excellent work!

    Cheers!


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