Identifying Movement Patterns & Improving Training with Baseline Testing & Restesting for Athletes
Have you done any type of baseline testing? How has it directly impacted your training?
Testing for an athlete can be many things, max testing, conditioning challenge or just overall adherence and control of your body to a given strength pattern. Testing will look different from person to person based on their goals, imbalances and stressors.
Why do we retest ?
When in a training block you and your coach will establish baselines and a goal.
Why are baselines important? it is where we build from, a date point to show your growth and also to let the coach properly program based on where you are currently at.
From here your coach will build out a program to create a certain adaptation to achieve that given goal. These blocks can last multiple weeks, with minor changes as you go based on your body and life stressors day to day. As you reach the end of this block retesting will happen, this is how you and your coach can analyze. Did you reach the goal? did we create the desired outcome we were looking for? If no, what changes need to be made as we enter the next block to help us better reach it.
Game Planning in Baseline Testing
In each of your blocks based on your testing your coach has designed a program specific to you and your needs. Your program is a road map to your goals and is built off of your baseline tests. If the results you get back do not elicit the outcome you were hoping for, it is not seen as a failure just merely a shift in the game plan. For example, in setting baselines using a variety of testing options we explored the force plates. Due to an old injury, the force plates caused flare ups and was not the right entry point for my training.Based off of the response from my body, I now had data points and real time information that we used to make a shift in our game and set my next training block up for success.
Frequency of Testing
Retesting can only be done once your body has made significant changes to be able to compare. Our bodies respond to consistency which takes time. Your body needs at least 4-6 weeks (maybe longer) to make the changes you are consistently asking of it. You must put in weeks of consistent work and progression in many variables to elicit a desired outcome. As I like to say Rome wasn't built over night.
Retesting isn't always Personal Records
As a coach, something I have seen in both my own training and my clients is that when retesting you do not always set a new record, or personal best. Sometimes you have to go back to the drawing board and work hard for the next 4-6 weeks. I have many times walked into a retest day on my program hoping to reach a new personal best, and not achieved it.
This is not failure, it is feedback. Take my program for example, I may not have set a new PR; but we had elicited changes from my program that still showed progress and growth in a big way! I have been working on my front squat for the last 6-8 months. Yet I have been stuck at the same obstacle of 125 lbs since I started. Each time I have retested this weight I have not been able pass it as I had planned. The information I walked away with is, I maintained more tension in my arms and upper back, my breathing patterns and bracing were more effective under load, and I am gaining a greater range of motion. This to me is still a success in creating the outcomes my training was working towards, and more data of areas I need to improve. We have not stopped working this pattern or chasing this goal. We have simply manipulated the volume at which I am working week over week.
Testing Services at MOTIVNY:
Regardless of your goals, MOTIVNY offers many different types of testing protocols:
-Strength Baseline testing : 10 rep max squat, 3 rep max overhead press etc.