Famous 19th century essayist and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The men who grasp principles can successfully select their own methods. The man, who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”
The fitness industry has been built on a foundation of methods. We have witnessed most of these methods disappear into obscurity while others have stood the test of time. It is a time of evolution in our industry. We have enough science and shared information (thanks internet and social media) for individuals to be dangerous but also really smart about how we educate performance training for our athletes and clients. This article is about just that thinking different. In order to think different, we need to make an important distinction between training methods and training systems. How do we perceive the two and why NAKOA believes in training systems?
Before we dive into the NAKOA training system, the very first question that we have to ask ourselves is, what is the difference between a system and a method? A method simply is, or can be simply classified as a procedure, technique, or single way of doing something. Methods are subject to change over time and are not always robust across a diversity of context. When we take a glance at the fitness industry, it is not hard to see the overuse of businesses and coaches pitching the “new” method as the end solution. NAKOA does not want to handcuff our clients and athletes with methods. We understand that single methods may not always lead you to achieving the results that you want. On the other hand, this system is going to be resilient and it is designated to handle a diversity of context while having the capacity to adapt over time.
So what is a system? A system can be classified as the coordinated body of methods forming a complex or singular whole. From this perspective, understanding how these methods work and using them properly is going to be important, but to the greater whole of you being able to achieve results, it is more useful to understand how all of these different methods work in concert with each other and our athletes. For example, how is one action affecting something else that you’ve chosen within the bent of your entire program? Are Olympic lifting methods the way to go or can we accomplish our goals using kettle bells or plyometrics? Understanding the nature of the interaction of all of these various methods is what we are striving to achieve inside the NAKOA system.
All right, so what is the NAKOA Training System you ask? Simply, it is our mission statement, core values, and foundational principles. Inside NAKOA there is nothing that doesn’t adhere to our company’s vision. As our clients and athletes grow, as companies grow, as they have more opportunities afforded to them. As these opportunities are exposed to more diverse clientele base that’s going to ask for different ideas, different methods, different philosophies, our vision is going to be the funnel, filter and code that drives the integrity of our system.
It is simple! Anytime we meet someone, we’re proposed with a new piece of equipment that should exist on our floors, that will claim to help our athletes achieve better performance, it has to go through this filter. The questions then become; can we seamlessly integrate this particular product, method, and/or thought process into the system that exists? If the answer is no, then we know unequivocally that it does not exist in our space. If the answer is yes, then we know we can start to assimilate that into our system and start educating.
We understand that everything in the system is interconnected. We believe, it is all about a system! No one concept is more important than another concept or idea. In our system, we believe that our principles should guide our method selection.
When people walk through our doors, client or athlete, we will figure out all the pertinent information. We want to know their habits, goals and lifestyle. We want to know what physical condition they are in right now, both bio-mechanically and physiologically. In this step, we want to take a wide lens view of the clients or athletes foundational pillars, mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery. (We detail out our pillars in the next article).
Our evaluation process is going to drive the prioritization of the training system relative to that individual. For example, where does the athlete need to increase mobility, stability, and motor programming for better performance? Our job as coaches is to build the framework for clients. This must start with evaluating and benchmarking. This is going to allow us to build intelligent, specific, individualized programs that progress demonstrating results. The NAKOA system allows us to do this efficiently and effectively through what we call ‘The NAKOA Experience’. The NAKOA experience is the starting point in providing a blueprint for all our athletes to achieve their goals and realize their true potential in a way that is challenging, fun, efficient and most importantly SAFE! We assure every one of our new athletes or clients will be empowered with this blueprint for success. The NAKOA experience includes an opportunity for clients and coaches to determine the following:
- Goal Setting: Establishing tangible and realistic individualized goals for the short term (2-5 months) and long term (6-12 months and beyond)
- Body Composition: Utilizing InBody’s cutting edge technology, we can create Body Composition baselines that can both feed data into the goal setting portion as well as assisting with accountability, nutrition needs/concerns and program design
- Functional Movement Screening: Allows NAKOA coaches to identify issues that may present a higher risk of injury in a training session, also allowing us to build the client proper “homework” protocols and referring to physical therapy if necessary
- Basic Performance Benchmarks: New clients will be challenged with some of our most basic performance benchmarks to evaluate overall fitness levels
Needs Analysis: Analyzing the data, with consideration of the individual’s goals, to develop each new member’s ideal NAKOA Program.
Specifically, our athletes use our sport program implementation system.
NAKOA SPORT Program Implementation
- In-depth Movement Analysis: Breaking down the athlete’s mechanics while teaching the proper techniques of Acceleration, Deceleration, Sprinting and Multi-Direction Transitions
- Advanced Strength and Power Evaluation: Assessing the athlete’s training age/experience through a series of unloaded Barbell Progressions and Jumping Protocols
- Performance Testing: Establishing baselines in speed, change of direction agility, power, anaerobic endurance and when appropriate Loaded strength.
The complete design of all the methods in the system allows us to be resilient against anything we encounter. The system drives accountability. Not just of our sports performance specialist, physical therapists, nutritionist, but the accountability that we place on our athletes and clients.
Together, we are a team. Successful teams are accountable to each other, PERIOD! We understand we are always evolving, this industry is always evolving and the people we work with are always changing. Our system will allow us to be able to coach and manage those changes without compromising what we think and feel is the most important for our clients and athletes. We believe in utilizing, not just science, but also the discipline and the passion of our team of personal trainers as our guides and as our beacons to helping enhance our clients, athletes and communities.
In Part Two, we will dive deeper into our system pillars, process and fundamentals.
The owner, founder, and empowering leader of our team, Jason Waiton had a vision that he could revolutionize the way people experience fitness. His underlying belief, though simple, is harder to truly infuse into people’s mindsets regarding themselves, and that is that anything is possible. As a small kid Jay excelled in all sorts of sports, but when he got to high school, not having hit his growth spurt yet, he was told by coaches on the football team that he was too small to play. Discouraged, disheartened and not knowing any better, he figured that his sports career was over. It wasn’t until chance introduced him to a personal trainer already established in the fitness industry who showed him that there was a world of possibly available to him to help him train and transform not just his body, but all sorts of areas of his athleticism. This was the spark that ignited Jay’s interest in fitness and led him to pursue an extensive journey of research and education to make himself a master in this field.