Starting a new fitness program can be both exciting and intimidating.
So, we want to give you a roadmap for what to expect when getting started at South Loop Strength & Conditioning.
We pride ourselves in emphasizing best practices in assessment, coaching and program design, so our processes are based upon what we believe are the best protocols out there.
We require everyone interested in training with us to come to an initial consultation with one of our coaches so that we can get a solid background on everyone's training history and goals.
In this consultation, we will discuss your "why" behind training – the best path from someone looking to lose weight and maintain function throughout their daily life is much different than the best path for someone looking to compete at the CrossFit Games Regionals.
Similarly, the best program for an individual will depend on what their limiting factors are in progressing – are they missing the accountability necessary to stick with a training program consistently, or are they highly motivated but disorganized in their programming, nutrition and stress management?
One of these potential client avatars may benefit much more from the fun of the group classes, while the other may be much better suited for working one-on-one with a coach and following an individualized program.
We've also found it important to establish a baseline level of commitment to health and fitness before allowing someone to start at South Loop Strength & Conditioning.
Our program is very effective, but it's very challenging – and it requires significant effort and dedication to see results.
Quite frankly, we only want to work with people who are willing to, before starting a program, block off some time in their schedule to discuss their health and fitness. If someone doesn't have this baseline level of commitment, they probably won't get results from our program.
At your consultation, you will also go through a Functional Movement Screen. This is meant to pick out any major red flags or asymmetries in movement so that we can proactively address these, rather than just simply training on top of them.
Based upon the results of the FMS, your coach may have some suggestions for certain exercises to avoid (ie we probably don't want you deadlifting from the floor if you can't touch your toes). Your coach may also have recommendations for certain mobility and stability drills that you can do in warm-up or cooldown in order to work on problem areas. Have restricted ankle range of motion that limits your squat? We have some ideas on how to work on that. Always round your back when your deadlifting? We have some ideas on that, too.
We will also put you through a workout at your consultation that looks something like one of the workouts that may be programmed for one of our group classes or one of our individual design clients.
The goal of this workout is to give you a taste of what our training looks like – what we do is very challenging, uncomfortable, and effective, and it's certainly not for everyone. For some people, this discomfort is a massive selling point. For others, it's an immediate turn-off. We want everyone who becomes one of our members to understand exactly what type of training they're going to be doing before signing on with us.
After your workout, you can discuss with your coach whether or not you think SLSC is a good fit for you. We like to be very thorough in our evaluation and we try to give everyone a solid taste of what training with us is like. This gives you the tools you need to understand whether or not you'd like to move forward with training with us.
If you decide it's not a good fit, that's no problem at all. Again, what we do is not for everyone, and we'd like you to, at the very least, walk away from your consultation with an improved understanding of your own goals, your own movement patterns, and a feel for some different methodologies in strength & conditioning.
If you would like to train with us, there are two main paths that folks follow.
Path 1: Group Classes
Before joining our group classes, we require all members to go through our Elements program. This program is a series of one-on-one sessions in which you learn the technique on movements used in classes, the weights that should be used for different training protocols, how to read the "gym speak" on the whiteboard, and everything else you need to feel oriented in the gym.
We have dabbled in group Elements programs in the past, and while we do find value in the "team" environment that each Elements group develops, we found that, in terms of maximizing learning and getting started effectively, the one-on-one sessions dramatically outperformed the group sessions.
After completing your one-on-one Elements sessions, you're welcome to attend any of our group classes.
We also offer a CrossFit Bootcamp class that does not utilize barbells – in order to attend this class, you do not need to have to go through all of the one-on-one Elements sessions. We find some clients gravitate towards the more dumbbell and bodyweight approach of the bootcamp class, while others prefer the intensity and weights of the CrossFit classes. Some enjoy both, and the two can compliment each other quite nicely.
Path 2: Individualized Coaching
Some clients prefer to work one-on-one with a coach, either in doing personal training or doing individualized program design.
This option is ideal for those dealing with significant movement issues, those looking to maximize their performance in sport, or those simply looking for more one-on-one attention.
If this option resonates with you, then we will set up an initial one-on-one session with your coach so that you can go deeper on specifics regarding your training.
So, if you'd like to get going, schedule your free initial consultation here.