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Theory into Practice

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Introduction

Effective Application of Theory in Practice Natalie Sproxton For any gym programme to be effective and allow individuals to achieve their fitness goals, a number of different factors have to be considered. Having obtained indepth information regarding their goals, current activity levels, medical or injury issues and their likes and dislikes within the gym environment a good programme or training session can be devised. Everyone in the gym has a goal of some kind, whether it is set by themselves or by a gym instructor . Setting goals is vitally important if motivation is to be sustained or increased. All too often, however goals are set inappropriately and serve only to create negative motivation which reduces the desire to continue. 'This is why setting goals appropriately is a high level skill and one feature of coaching that distinguishes effective coaches from their lesser counterparts.' (The Health and Fitness Handbook, Julia Dalgleish; Pearson Longman 2001) A goal can be defined as a target to be achieved and a yard stick to measure performance. ...read more.

Middle

The point of setting goals is that it enables both the instructor and client to analyse and evaluate performance in detail. For example they could have five basic goals to evaluate, analysing the reasons for achieving them or not. A plan for recording such evaluation might be useful because writing things down on paper always raises commitment to what is written. Effective action planning and goal setting is essential in the fitness industry. It is extremely important to remember to take an 'intra-individual' approach when dealing with new clients. This means seeing the person as a unique individual, remembering that no two people are going to be exactly the same and are therefore going to benefit from different motivational techniques and goals set. How do I find out what my clients really want? When I first meet with a new client I try to be as thorough as possible and find out exactly what they want to achieve. This overall goal is an important starting point. From this I try to clarify what exactly the client expects to achieve and importantly, in what timeframe. ...read more.

Conclusion

How well do I go about setting goals for clients? To be honest it is only recently that I realised the importance of setting short term goals. Although it's nice to watch the progress on paper but it would give the client so much more satisfaction if I had actually set that goal in the first place. For example going from 15kg on the lat pull down machine to 17kg in the next 3 weeks. Something that would probably occur anyway but the fact that it was set as a goal will help the client recognise success and will make long term targets seem attainable. ' A goal properly set is halfway reached' Abraham Lincoln. Programme prescription is a controversial and creative area that is continually developing in the light of new research and training methods. However, in general, sessions or programme cards need to be tailored to the individual as specifically as possible, reviewed regularly and adapted to continually progress the individual towards their goals. Writing a standard programme for every individual will not enable their goals to be met as effectively or within the desired time frame. It also leads your client to become de-motivated and stop attending the gym. ...read more.

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