A Question Every Athlete Should Ask Their Strength Coach

Dr. Joel Seedman, PhD
This is a Dr. Seedman's contribution to an article originally featured in STACK titled "11 Questions Every Athlete Should Ask Their Strength Coach."

Question to Ask: What is the purpose of each exercise and why are we doing it?

There are three reasons why this question is so important.

First, when a client goes out of their way to inquire further about an exercise or protocol, it shows the trainer that the client is very interested about the training they are participating in and desire a deeper understanding. This is typically a positive sign as it shows the trainer that the client is more serious about their training and are more likely to adhere to a program if in fact you provide high quality services.

Second, it gives the trainer the opportunity to further educate that client and provide more detailed scientific rational behind their training. Besides helping the client, this is one of the most beneficial things for a trainer, since it forces them to evaluate their own training and understand the concepts at a level high enough that they can clearly and thoughtfully explain it to any and all clients. Over time, this is what separates great trainers from mediocre trainers. So in essence, the client is forcing the trainer to become better at their job.

Third, further education helps the client buy into the training more, rather than mindlessly following everything the trainer tells them to do without questioning. From my experience, an educated client is much more likely to be a long-term client, because they've bought into what they're doing, they believe in it, they understand it, and they have a greater level of dedication and commitment than those who have no understanding of their training regimen.