Friday, April 3, 2009

Benefits of a Fitness Assessment & Why You Need It

By Eduardo Lorenzo

What is a Fitness Assessment? A proper fitness assessment consists of a series of measurements that will help determine your level of physical fitness. These tests can identify your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your physical needs and fitness goals.

There are several standard tests in a fitness assessment. Depending upon the assessor, other tests may be added to achieve a greater picture of your fitness level or lack thereof.
Bear in mind that a Fitness Professional should be able to explain to you the benefits of a comprehensive fitness assessment before developing any kind of fitness program. And I say this because the main reason to perform an assessment prior to any exercise regimen is to help educate and motivate regardless if you do personal training or not. These tests and screening processes will establish a baseline or blue print that will allow for monitoring your performance and progress throughout your exercise regimen; remember fitness is not a one size fits all. Like the old saying says: “If you’re not assessing, you’re just guessing”.

So a proper assessment should include a Health History Review, followed by measurements of Cardiovascular & Muscular Strength along with a comparison of the anterior and posterior muscles and even exercise technique. There should also be a screen process that will allow measuring any muscle imbalances, body movement and alignment patters. A ROM (range of motion) assessment along with either a Body Fat Analysis or a BMI and Body Composition Measurement are also suggested. Further assessment may also be performed of an individual's dietary habits.

Most of this assessment process is already part of an orientation for first timers at Electra Health Club & Spa; which also includes equipment set up orientation to show you how to use and operate cardio and weight machines. The assessment process will vary slightly depending on your fitness level and even perhaps your health background. If you haven’t taken advantage of this program or feel you have hit a plateau in your exercise regimen, go ahead and approach a personal trainer or the front desk personnel to set this up.

In summary a fitness assessment is beneficial for both personal trainers and their clients. By following the guidelines described in this article, personal trainers can remove the guesswork of exercise design, and provide sensible starting and progressing points for resistance training programs. With follow-up evaluations, members will see measurable improvement that may help them maintain interest in the program, but most importantly maximize your results.

If you’re interested in learning about proper technique and are a results driven person, contact me by e-mail or at Electra as I would like to help you build a better body.

Eduardo Lorenzo – NASM-CPT; specializes in sports performance, injury prevention, corrective exercises, physique enhancement and weight loss programs.

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