For those of you who don’t know, I’m currently attending graduate school working on my Doctorate of Physical Therapy. One of the concepts that I had already been aware of, but it has been reinforced during my schooling was one I thought was interesting and has a lot of similarities with training. I would like to share that with you now and provide a little insight.
As you see, the title of this post is “It Depends…” and that is a phrase that I have heard a lot throughout my schooling. The reason it is a frequented phrase is that we are all unique and every single case is different. That’s just the reality of it. One therapist that I have spoken to had this quote to offer, “I have never had a patient that has read the textbook”. Meaning, they have never had a “textbook” case in their therapy. I thought that was a really good quote because I think a lot of the time, we are all looking for a black and white answer, when the truth is, most of the answers are gray.
This is something that even a lot of students in the DPT program have a hard time grasping. We want an “if A then B” situation where there is no sense of doubt. If there is some doubt present, this makes the outcome of the situation less likely to be predicted. Because of this, I think it’s important to understand to look at things as a whole, not just the presenting problem. For example, when someone comes to me and wants to lose weight, I will definitely pay attention to that but I also look at strength, functionality, and mobility to name a few. In most cases, each of those aspects is reciprocal to one another. Meaning that increasing strength leads to functionality and increasing functionality leads to weight loss, so on and so forth. I also believe that this leads to a longer-term benefit and an actual change in behavior and lifestyle, which is extremely important.
The other aspect of this that is important is something that I addressed in another article titled, The Programming Predicament. If you haven’t read that one yet, I suggest you take a peek at it because it provides a good insight into the thought processes of coaches and trainers. Which, can actually allow you to get more out of a coach or trainer if you ever decide to go that route.
I don’t know about you, but I know that I’m not like everyone else and I want my relationships to reflect that. This is why I try to go above and beyond for my clients and try to get to know them and what exercises, workouts, meals, etc. that fit best with them and the person that they are. If you have patience with coaches and trainers who are willing to go the extra mile to get to know you and adapt to your uniqueness, I promise the long-term benefits far outweigh any short-term gains that might be expected.