Personalize Your Strategy With These Tools

Everybody is unique,

from fingerprints to brain chemicals, biomechanics, and the complex digestive universe that breaks down food to produce energy. Perhaps you are aware of this reality already based on real-life observations.

A close friend that can eat anything without putting on a pound of fat, while you struggle to elicit any change on a highly restrictive diet.  Another lifts weights a few times and looks like a professional athlete, but you have to spend hours at the gym to reap minimal gains.

Your sibling may have a political stand that is the polar opposite of what you believe, and your significant other prefers to avoid social interaction when you love to be the life of the party.

People differ vastly, and fitness marketers know this very well. You see the words "custom" or "personalized" tagged to a workout and diet plan for sale.

The problem is that many of these "customized" programs are often products meant for mass-distribution and only vary based on variables such as weight or goal, which means everybody gets the same things with slight variations.

This article is the first of a three part series to provide you with the tools to help gather data and tailor a lifestyle strategy specific to your body, from your brain chemical profile to muscular strengths and weaknesses, and an application to study your response to food.

 

Part 1 - Know Your Body


Many people get hurt in these group classes because they either perform a movement with lousy form without knowing it or never strengthen their weaknesses which ultimately leads to an injury.

The same goes for workout plans you buy online or find in a fitness magazine. Some people may thrive, while others injure themselves or do not reap any results because the strategy did not address their specific needs.

A qualified exercise professional must assess your body before putting you through a workout. Here are four different tests used throughout a Private Mentorship at The Online School of Exercise:
 

Foundation Assessment

A test to evaluate the strength and mobility of the critical support muscles supporting your posture and joints:

  • Extraoccular Muscles of the Eyes

  • Grip Strength

  • Jaw Position

  • External Rotators of the shoulders

  • Lower Trapezius

  • Hip Mobility

  • Both functions of the hamstrings (flexion and extension)

  • Feet Arches

Unilateral Assessment:

Single-side exercises to determine the discrepancies between your left and right sides.

  • Single-Arm External Rotations of the Shoulders

  • Split Squats

  • Single-Leg Hip Extensions

  • Single-Leg Curls
     

Standard Strength Test 

Determine how much weight you can lift for a given amount of reps. This data provides insight into what needs the most work. 

You might have a strong bench press, but fail to do more than one chin-up, for instance. Your workout strategy will prioritize exercises to strengthen your weaknesses and contain fewer that target your strong lifts.
 

Maximal Strength Test (1-RM)

A test used for athletes and advanced lifters to determine the maximum amount of weight lifted for one rep. ( Not recommended if you workout alone)

Takeaway:

These four assessments will provide valuable insight on your body's biomechanics. Know your strengths and weaknesses to design a personalized workout strategy that will maximize your results and prevent an injury. 

A real personalized strategy requires multiple assessments. Study yourself to build a a stronger, athletic body.