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May 24, 2017

The Importance of Establishing a Baseline

by Michael Hughes

Walking out of Fresno State with my Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology, I thought I was equipped with theories, case studies and techniques that would put me on path to a vibrant career of fixing what’s broken and enhancing what exists in any human body in front of me.
I get my first client. Guess what their goal was? To lose weight, get toned and increase flexibility. So I write my workout program, dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”. Low and behold, one week into my program I start to see flaws in my plan. For my client to build strength I needed to add extra load on their body but their joints couldn’t handle it and it caused pain. To be able to help them lose weight they needed to be able to run long enough to burn extra calories. But when they ran on the treadmill their knee hurt. When we worked on flexibility their low back would seize on them at home. It felt like I was constantly finding new problems and not getting closer to delivering results that my new client desired.

What I came to realize was that I was making the same mistake the entire fitness industry is guilty of making.

I assumed my new client was coming in at a 0 level (meaning everything is in balanced working order just not maximized) and wanting to build up performance to a level such as a 3 out of 5. All my education, tools and strategies were based on taking someone from a 0 to a 3 or a 3 to 5. But what I found out was most people do not come in at a 0. Some are at a -1 or even a -3; they have aches and pains that flare in certain planes of motion and under certain cases that don’t show up in normal day to day activity. It was becoming clear that I would continue to run into a training wall and therefore not build results as fast without knowing what my clients’ baseline or starting point was walking in the door.

Imagine being a dentist trying to reduce tooth pain without access to the x-ray? How much harder did that make their job? What is the likelihood of success the first time he or she drills into your teeth? I would hate to find out!
How well could a business leader solve a problem without the context of KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)? How successful could a pilot be flying to a new destination without knowing the updated weather patterns of the area? You can see where I’m going with this.

Where I have landed in my career is that until we take a baseline, we cannot adequately meet our clients goals in their expected timeline with consistency. This is a problem I’ve been working to solve now for a long time.

In fact the entire evolution of the Gymnazo service suite was based on solving this problem. We started off with different levels of group training so our programming would match capabilities and pain thresholds. Then we evolved to Semi-Private and Exclusive training to take the time to identify the root of the issue and work proactively to neutralize any painful movements or limitations. Most currently, with the addition of G-Flow (yoga) and Melt/ Mold/ Move (foam rolling, cage stretching and stability training) our group service suite now offers entry level restorative training to every member.

But our team really got excited when we embraced a new movement assessment called 3D MAPS that gives us a consistent baseline for any athlete for any goal. In a twenty minute movement screen we can consistently identify pain, see limited range of motion and ascertain many mental insecurities of the athlete before us.

But knowledge without a plan and roadmap does not offer lasting results. So for the past six months the team and I have been working to take the movement screen results and create effective programs designed to bring athletes to a true baseline score of 0 and beyond. We are now set expectations on time, effort, and investment to help align expectations.

Our team is committed to taking the time to learn about each one of you because we know you evolve constantly. Just as Gymnazo has changed its services and capabilities, your body has evolved since joining our ranks. We want to commit ourselves to staying current with you.

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