This is one the best questions I have read on this website so far. There should be very little to no guesswork when it comes to exercise programming. Therefore, a knowledge in the sciences relative to physiology and biomechanics in crucial to proper programming and sequencing of clients/patients. I recall another question, “what is your favorite equipment to use with clients” I was astounded, that people select equipment they like as opposed to what is proper for their client at the point and time. I believe in order to provide the best service to clients/patients (as well as yourself) is to understand the human body from the inside out. Understand how the body progresses. Also, understanding the force (resistance) you are applying to the body. Understanding the different types of strength training machines, body weight training, resistance tubing, free weights and how they all tax the muscular, skeletal, and neural systems in different ways. Awesome question. If there was a like button like facebook i would be all over it! *Hint to IDEA people reading this
My most fundamental belief in exercise programming is to get the best possible base assessment prior to making any exercise recommendations. If I have assessed a client myself, taking his/her history into account and talked to a physical therapist, as applicable, I should not have to guess at all with the exercises.
Yes, I do find myself in situations when, after having done all of the above, I am still nost sure where imbalances are originating. Carefully selected unilateral exercises with minimal resistance usually help narrow down the problem.
Which modality I apply after that depends entirely on the client’s needs and goals. Some clients wish to work out mainly on their own and do not wish to purchase much equipment. In that case, I find the best solution given the restrictions imposed on me. If clients choose to see me for all their exercising, I have more comprehensive programs. It ultimately comes down to the needs of the client, and in the end, no two exercise programs are alike.
This approach to exercise programming has worked very well for me.
However, I have a different interpretation on the ‘favorite equipment to use with clients’. I may be partial to a specific type of equipment, and if it is appropriate for the client, I may use it more frequently instead of another comparable modality. That does not mean I use it on every client regardless of efficacy.
I take my time with my assessments and communicate with my client
I also have enough experience and intuition to know when to switch things up if need be.
I agree with Jason about no guess work to a point, however, people do change, injuries do happen, certain situations may arise that we didn’t for-see and we must know how to adapt