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Your fitness coach may offer various services including exercise instruction, fitness consultation, computerized diet analysis, wellness evaluation, and fitness testing.
Fitness tests may include body composition, cardiovascular, flexibility, strength, and endurance testing. Power, speed and agility evaluations may be provided for certain athletes. Fitness tests are designed to monitor progress and to assist in the development of your fitness program. For example, regular body composition testing will allow you to track changes of fat and lean body weight (e.g. muscle). Body composition testing can discriminate bodily changes much more effectively than weight alone. This may be of particular interest to those who are interested in monitoring fat loss as well as those interested in tracking muscular development.
Regular fitness testing can objectively measure the effectiveness of your program and can possibly save you months or even years of hard work. If progress is not significant, immediate changes can be made to your program. Your fitness coach can help you decide the tests most compatible with your fitness goals and how often you should test.
Your fitness coach may redesign your program or simply make a few suggestions for continued progress. Informational handouts relating to exercise, nutrition, and wellness may also be made available. These services are a great way to enhance your current fitness program or just get you started on a new workout in a safe and effective manner. Your fitness coach may encourage you to get a comprehensive fitness tests performed every 3 to 6 months. Body composition tests may be performed more often; once every month or two; once every two weeks if significant dietary changes are made.
Fitness tests can be taken periodically to monitor progress. It is difficult to conclude an actual change has occurred if a fitness test's measurement error is greater than the difference of two fitness test values. Simple supplemental tests can be administered along with standard tests (eg. waist circumference with body composition). A general trend of the data may need to be analyzed if measurement variations are suspected to overshadow small changes in fitness. Schedule tests more often if rapid change is suspected. Likewise, administer fitness tests less frequent if progress is presumed to be modest. Progress may be impeded if fitness tests are not taken often enough. Fitness tests can potentially identify stagnant progress, which may not otherwise be detected. Program changes can be implemented immediately if progress is not adequate.
Note: Before administering a fitness test or prescribe exercise, participants should complete the PAR-Q or the Exercise Readiness Questionnaire. If there are health concerns, participants should be advised to contact their physician for a letter addressing their participation in a structured fitness program