I got an email the other day asking if I could provide a “philosophy” for a class. I remembered I had posted this a few years ago.
1- First we will do no harm.
As strength coaches and personal trainers our athletes and clients trust us to make decisions for them. Much like Hippocrates in early Greece we must first agree to not intentionally or unintentionally harm them.
2- We will train no further than technical failure.
There is a difference between training to failure and training to technical failure. In truth even training to technical failure may be more intensity than an athlete or client needs. However, no client needs to train beyond the point of technical failure. After technique has failed the potential for injury rises drastically. Reps done after technique has failed are simply asking for trouble. You may not trouble right away but it will find you eventually.
3- We will deliver the minimal effective dose
The minimal effective dose is a medical term but, the implication is fairly obvious. If one aspirin is needed, take just one aspirin. Don’t encourage someone to take the whole bottle. The key to delivering exercise is knowing how much is needed to create a training effect. Any more is wasted and, potentially dangerous.
As you can see, two of these concepts come from the world of medicine. I think we are the greatest medical society in the world and have more power to heal than any drug company or hospital. Unfortunately much like Superheros we must learn to use our power wisely.