How do you know what you need in your training? What you want and want you need are two different things. In the process of working toward your overall fitness goals, there will be holes in your fitness that need to be addressed in order for you to acquire your desired results. It isn’t uncommon to hire a coach/trainer, and for that coach/trainer to ask you what your goals are and use the broad information given to them to develop a training plan that they think will work for you. This approach isn’t very effective, due to the fact that there hasn’t been an assessment completed to identify what your training needs are. When starting an individual training program you should go through an assessment period that identify’s your strengths, weaknesses, imbalances, movement dysfunctions, previous injuries, health conditions, and to determine what the priorities in your training will be. Even the assessment itself is individualized. A power lifter, long distance runner, and bodybuilder would all have different testers programmed because each of these sports require different levels of strength and energy system training to be successful in their selective sport. Think of it like this. Would a doctor prescribe someone medication without actually running any tests to check for the condition that they are treating them for? Not likely, so why would you want someone to do that with your training? The answer is that you shouldn’t. By going through an assessment you will get a better understanding of where your starting point in your training should be. For example, if you show an inability to be stable on each leg individually in your assessment, than why should you start your training with bilateral movement prescription such as back squats. When split squats would be more beneficial to you in your current state of fitness to improve strength imbalances. So the next time that you consider starting a new training program. Take the time to find a coach/trainer with the knowledge base and qualifications necessary to develop a proper fitness assessment and build a program that will deliver you long term results.