Everyone likes to get stronger and as coaches, we love to see our clients get stronger. But it’s important to keep in mind that if your client’s goal is to participate in fitness for a lifetime consistency is far more important than progressing and hitting goals.
In this week’s 10 Minutes(ish) of Fitness James FitzGerald and Michael Philhofer discuss the controversial idea that consistency is more important than progress and why muscle endurance is the key to building strength over a lifetime. You can watch the full episode for yourself here.
To give this conversation some context Michael as James “What would a program for client that wants to get stronger and exercise over a lifetime look like?”
James answers by comparing the difference between a progression for sport and a progression for life. “Currently all education on strength comes from a model of sports progression,” states James.
While some may view athletes as the pinnacle of fitness, how this rare breed trains is not how the average gym-goer needs to train in order to be healthy for a lifetime. “The sport’s model is about getting there fast like I need to be in the Olympics in two years fast. But if the goal of training is to be healthy for a lifetime it’s the complete opposite. Instead, programs should be written under the idea of how long are they going to be able to do this” finishes, James.
But if all of the current strength models are based on sports performance how do I program for my general population client? Well, OPEX Fitness saw this knowledge gap and created a practical strength course for just this. Learn how to create strength programs for a lifetime in this course.
Building on the idea that most strength programs are based on a sports model James gives coaches an insight into designing strength problems for a lifetime.
“People get really heated about this, but the goal of a strength program over a lifetime should be consistency. Consistency trumps progression if you want to build strength for a lifetime.”
To wrap up the episode James gives coaches a piece of tactical coaching advice. “The biggest limitation that people have when trying to build strength for a lifetime is not spending enough time building motor control. Do a lot of reading on motor learning, there is a certain amount of times people need to do these patterns to get really good at it.”
So what does this all mean? When programming for a client that has the goal of exercising for a lifetime make sure to spend adequate time doing motor control exercises following the primal movement patterns. This will build the client’s muscle endurance and build a great base of support for resisting entropy.
“If you do the intense stuff too early you will see some results. But three years later you be like whoa I have some compensatory patterns. I don’t know why I am laughing because we are talking about my knee problems and hormonal issues.”James FitzGerald
Progressing a client over a lifetime may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn how to program the big three strength movements – squat, deadlift, and bench press – and progress your client over a lifetime with our course Programming: Strength. Get the education you need to build life long strength progressions before your clients start to build compensatory patterns.