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What does strength mean to you?

When a new client comes to me asking for coaching or even just for a training plan, I ask them a few basic questions.

We need to know what the person wants to gain from the training.

The answers to these questions tend not to vary a whole lot, folk want to be stronger, fitter etc.

But what I think of as strong may not be what they think of as strong.

So we have to get a wee definition of terms first.

A great example came up in a conversation with the participants of a workshop I was teaching in Drum Martial Arts and Fitness.

We used a lady in the group as our example and drafted a program for her on the whiteboards

When she said she wants to be strong, my mind ran immediately down a line of thinking, I've been writing a lot of programs for a variety of people these last few weeks, especially with there being some big events coming up in the BJJ world

So, when the lady said strength, I immediately asked her, "What does strength mean to you?"

After a moments thought she told me she'd like to be able to do Pistol Squats, Pull Ups and be better at Push Ups.


Now we have a start point, or rather an end point.

We know the destination, all we need to do now is define the start point and we can plot the route.

This example is great,as most think of strength as lifting weight, doing squats, deadlifts etc.

But this lady wanted bodyweight skills.

Without finding out this info, she could be given the wrong program, leading potentially to disillusionment on her part, maybe a lack of trust.

I guess the point I'm waffling around is that each person has their own thoughts on what they're training for.

It's up to the coach to ask the right questions to find out what this is and not fire our biases at everyone we see.


Dave Hedges

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