Sometimes working hard is not enough.
Our ethical approach keeps us working well.
5 FACTORS TO DETERMINE INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE*
( * ) Extracted from the upcoming QTX book, by Will Arias
Regardless of the nature of any fitness pursuit, our vision is that every Health, Wellness & Fitness Professional should consider the following factors, when it comes to design tailored training programs for clients, athletes and referred patients. These factors are:
- What you want;
- What you need;
- What we've got to work with;
- What we know about it;
- What we do to communicate with you.
1. What you want
These are the goals that brought you to us in the first place (e.g. a six-pack, strength, speed, bodybuilding, mobility, rehab, variety, fun, confidence).
When sensibility prevails, there are many examples of realistic and valid goals. For example, you may find yourself identifying with one of the following sensible pursuits:
Looking "fabulous" in that strapless cocktail dress; daring to wear 'that' bikini; getting rid of centimetres around the waist; assisting your specific sport of choice (like improving your golf handicap, or daring to snowboard elite runs); pursuing a modelling career; looking for specific information; muscle mass; becoming stronger; bringing your mobility back; having more fun and variety in the gym floor; achieving a personal best for a given lift or movement; keeping fit enough to play outdoors with the kids; finding therapeutic alternatives to perform despite impingements or physical limitations; or, enhancing functional confidence for daily activities.
However, as it turns out, it's all about the way you achieve it. Short cuts are not always the solution an rather they can be detrimental for your health and personal safety. You give us your training goals and we will design your performance training sessions, so as to achieve safe and long-lasting results.
2. What you need
In order to get what you want, sometimes we might have to fix one or two imbalances before heading towards your goals. For instance, smoothing motion patterns, polishing motor skills, rediscovering essential movements, correcting a given postural habit and giving priority to weak links are all factors that need to be addressed while mapping your fitness pursuits.
Long lasting benchmarks are determined by safety, planning and relevance. Temporary or Palliative solutions are only as bad as having unrealistic expectations. In that order, giving priority to "Goals" over "Needs" is one of the main reasons most body practitioners are kept busy all year round. Bad enough is not exercising at all. Paradoxically, its even more frustrating when people get injured while trying to do the right thing: performing exercises on the gym floor.
Generally, there is not such a thing like a bad exercise but rather a poor execution or a wrong prescription. Either culprit can be detrimental to health and safety if the drill and the training gear are not suited according to the user's requirements. That's when a proficient coach matters.
At QTX, we understand that identifying your needs is the most important step before chasing your conditioning goals. Then, we teach how to avoid potential set-backs in the process. Once you discover what you can do with your new physical skills, it will turn easier to set up new standards of performance.
3. What we've got to work with
Both techniques & equipment used must be relevant to suit priorities. Never the other way around.
For instance, if you present poor thoracic mobility, don't expect that QTX is going to prescribe "Presses Overhead" within your tailored training program.
4. What we do to communicate
Connecting with you is not only about providing effective coaching cues. It means identifying and sharing human qualities on a regular basis. It is your session. It is your time. That is our priority.
Different ages, tastes, personalities and characters require different approaches. We know how to connect. We are also graduated professionals in Communication.
5. what we know about it
It is pretty simple, "If we know how, we assess and intervene. Otherwise, we refer to somebody better qualified". In other words, we provide alternatives to musculoskeletal imbalances. However, in some cases, like the example below, some solutions to treat chronic pathologies are based on the advances traditional medicine. In short, At QTX we are fully aware of both our professional capacity and limitations.
The image above is a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a scan used for a medical imaging diagnosis). As you can see, between L4 and L5 levels of the vertebral column, there is a significative swelling that is compressing the sciatic nerve (which runs along the spine), which not only results in a functional impingement but it produces a severe pain for the patient.
This brave woman, Sophie*, the wife of one of our dear clients, was initially misdiagnosed by diverse Health Professionals, including a physiotherapist, a chiropractor and even a GP (General Practitioners). They all thought it was only a "muscular issue". So, they prescribed massages, acupuncture, exercises and pain killers.
When listening to Mike* (Sophie's husband) week after week about the evolution of her condition -while having his training sessions at QTX- we repetitively suggest him to request a referral for a MRI scan from one of those Practitioners.
Yet, despite been arguably the most sophisticated imaging modality that has revolutionised modern radiology, those Health Professionals failed to produce a referral letter for "that" MRI and preferred to keep guessing and prescribing palliative alternatives instead (while Sophie's situation was turning unbearable). Notice that we said "guessing" because a MRI scan would have shown the root of the problem in the first place, saving weeks of pain to the patient. Just imaging not been able to lying on bed due to excruciating suffering. Such was Sophie's torture. it was clearly one of those cases were a structural approach was needed, in the form of a surgical procedure.
Happily, a Physician -friend of a Mike's friend- finally decided to order a MRI scan and, after analysing the images -just like the one above- decided to schedule a surgery for the very next day! After his successful intervention, the Doctor revealed that he never saw a case like that before during his many years of medical practise. Today, Sophie is recovering her functional lifestyle back, following a strict rehab plan and, most importantly, pain free.
In conclusion, rather than yelling "I-told-you-so!", Sophie's case is a strong example about our professional limitations but also it reveals a shade of our ethical standards. At QTX, we strongly believe in conjunctive strategies (mutual referrals) for the treatment of clients and patients.
( * ) Names have been changed to protect personal privacy.