If you're an athlete of mine you're probably familiar with our testing days, but in case you aren't let's learn about them! These testing days are done periodically throughout your time training with me. For most, testing is done about every 3 months (this is not true for everyone for varying reasons, but that would need a whole other blog). For example, for middle school and high school kids we test at the beginning of the summer when they are getting out of school and before the fall right before they go back to school, then once in the winter.
What are testing days?
These are days where we gauge the athlete's movement efficiency, strength, speed, and power. Things you will see on testing days are dependent on age, sport, and any movement restrictions specific to that athlete. Some things you may see are: deadlift, reverse lunge (load dependent on age and movement restrictions to specific to that person if needed), bodyweight split squat hold time, push ups, chin ups, pro agility (dependent on sport), 10 yard time, 30 yard time, broad jump, vertical jump (dependent on sport). If an athlete is having specific issues/pain I may also do a full movement assessment similar to what I do when they first start with me. This way we can gauge progress and see what needs more work and what is improving well. This keeps the client motivated, goal oriented, and accountable but also keeps me accountable and on the right track with programming and coaching. Based off of the re-assessment, I may need to make adjustments to the program and the athlete may need to make some changes.
What if you had a bad testing day and don't get the results you wanted?
There are tons of things that could lead to a less than ideal testing day-poor habits outside of the gym like poor sleep hygeine, severe changes in schedule, lack of proper nutrition and/or undereating (more common than you think), dehydration, nervousness about doing "well", stress, doing too much and being run down (also more common than you think) not pushing yourself enough and upping your weights throughout your program, a recent cold, not putting in 100% in your speed work, just going through the motions during your lifts, not following thr program how it's written, coming in inconcistently, a less than ideal program, etc.
How can you avoid less than ideal testing days?
Well for starters, don't do the things I mentioned above. But if we are going over your results and we are trying to figure out where you're struggling the most, it's important to be honest with me and also yourself. Open dialogue between coach and client is incredibly important and necessary when it comes to reaching your goals and making real improvement.
How important are testing days?
Testing days aren't the end all be all but they are very useful. Sometimes you don't hit a deadlift PR but the week before you had a really good day and hit your old max for 3 reps...does that mean you didn't improve? Absolutely not! There will be some testing days where you improve on everything, some where you improve on one or 2 things, and some where you can't even get through it all and that's okay! These days are here to give us information and we adjust based off of that information and we go again. That's how you learn and get better and that's always the goal.
Looking to get started with training? Email me to schedule your first testing day!