10 Questions An Athlete or Client Must Receive Before Training

Dan John has had a profound impact on my life as a strength coach and I’ve never met him.  Those who have spent time with him speak highly of how humble, fun, and loving the guy is besides knowing a TON in the strength and conditioning world.  Seriously, read some of his PDF’s (an abundance for FREE).  In his new book Intervention, he provides 10 questions which he believes are pivotal to ask athletes, weekend warriors, or fat-loss clients.  Hopefully, I don’t get yelled at for including these straight from the book but damn it’s good..it’s almost too good.

My Christmas present will be the dvd set

My Christmas present will be the dvd set


1. What is your goal? Meaning…where’s your point B!
2. Is this a health or a fitness goal?
3. Will this goal allow you to spiral out, to enlarge your
4. What quadrant is your goal in?
5. How old are you?
6. What do you lift in the weightroom?
7. What are your gaps and are you willing to go back to
the basics?
8. Let’s just double-check a few things…assess, reassess,
9. The issues—Are you willing to correct your problems?
10. Would you mind if everything was seamless from start
to finish?

I keep thinking of our athlete’s.  What is their goal, are they willing to accept the basics, are they willing to sacrifice in order to correct the problems?  These are the “big rocks” I see on a daily basis.  Often times, athletes may train because they think it will help them work like magic but simply showing up isn’t always enough, in fact, it’s showing up with a passion to get better every day.  How about the basics?  These are the bread and butter of any training program and it is why I will almost always stick with goblet squats, push ups (presses), loaded carries, KB swings, deadlift variations, and rows (or chin-ups).  Of course there are a lot more but the big rocks need to take center stage.  Our athlete’s as well as ourselves must constantly strive for mastery.  I love working with athlete’s from a variety of sports especially football or soccer for two reasons…

1. Football: They are probably the most exposed to lifting and I believe we can make a huge impact on them because many school’s training programs may not have a full understanding of the basics and how to really coach form or the quality of fundamental movement.  Typically, football lifting philosophy is about quantity or the “more intensity/volume is better because it’s harder” approach.

2.  Soccer may be the least exposed of the sports.  This makes for an even greater first impression to help these athlete’s understand the basics.  The culture of soccer seems to put an emphasis on playing all-year round to improve skill.  While playing the sport often will help with skill it may degrade other qualities such as improving strength, speed, power, improving asymmetries, or lessening the probability of overuse in the body.

As Dan John has said, athlete’s or clients need to first have a “Point B” or idea of where they want to go and are they willing to sacrifice to reach these goals.



Categories: Strength Training

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