Coaching: It’s About More Than Sets & Reps…

Coaching: It’s About More Than Sets & Reps…

Ask any Strength Coach or Personal Trainer about fitness and we can talk to you about it until we’re blue in the face.  How to get; bigger, faster, leaner, fitter, into a smaller dress size, etc.  We love talking about training.  And if you’ve ever read a fitness magazine there is always the perfect program to achieve the results you want.


So how good is the perfect program?  We’ve all tried them, right?


The truth is I could write a program to get you to where you want, but how useful is that if I don’t know you?  If I don’t know how you move? Your level of fitness? Your motivation levels?  That perfect program probably won’t get you what you want.  That’s why coaching is about more than sets and reps.


A good coach will assess where you are now, and where you want to get to, then work backwards from the end point. The big question we are thinking when we are assessing is:


What will it take to get to the goal?


Each session should have a purpose that leads to the overall goal.  There should be a plan in place to get there.  Seb Coe once said, “If you don’t know how you won, it must have been an accident”.

You should always think about training with a purpose, with the outcome in mind.  How will this session help you get to the end result?  The goal might be long term, typically 3 months (12 weeks).  Each week, each session, there are certain points that will need to be hit to keep on track towards the goal.


Take Body Composition as an example:

Say you want to lose 6Kg of Fat (not weight – don’t trust the scales).

To hit that goal in 12 weeks  means losing 500g of Fat per week; a lot of people get disheartened, but that is a perfect amount to lose per week and it is on track to hit the goal long-term.   A coach’s job is to work out what needs to be done to get there, not just long term to hit the goal, but also short-term – each week and each session that builds the overall result.  But as I said at the start, it’s about more than sets and reps.  Yes – there are certain set, reps, loads, TUT for hypertrophy, strength, power etc.  A coaches’ job is also to assess what is right for you at that time, to motivate you, to engage, to educate, to make changes to the plan when needed.  Training needs to be individualised to the person depending on strengths/weaknesses, mobility, fitness, training age, current lifestyle … The list goes on.  And while this might sound obvious that everything needs to be personalised, a lot of the time it isn’t practised – some coaches will use the same program, grouping of exercises, rest periods, loads etc for every client on a given day.


Next time you’re looking through the fitness magazines at the perfect program, ask yourself is it right for you, or would a good coach that can assess you and prescribe the program that is perfect for you be a better fit?  Also remember that the models or fitness experts in the same magazine prescribing that program aren’t necessarily doing it themselves – and even then, if they are, it has most likely been personalised towards them!


Note – as I was writing this I read an article that Physiotherapists have seen an 85% increase in new patients since the start of January as more people are starting exercise!  Maybe a better designed program would lead to less injuries?!  Do your homework and get a good coach to help you, injuries won’t help you achieve your goal.  They’ll only delay you on your journey…


For help with exercise prescription, programming, measurements and training, don’t hesitate to contact us at EnhanceHQ Newstead – we are located in the New Farm, Teneriffe, Fortitude Valley area – we love helping new clients towards their goal achievement!

Chris Teasdale

Chris Teasdale is an Exercise & Rehab Scientist, having worked with soldier rehabilitation in the UK. Chris specialises in rehabilitation and strength & conditioning, as well as managing the Ladie Personal Training Program at EnhanceHQ Newstead.