Core Performance: evaluation session

I did it. I signed up for the 10 session introductory plan at Core Performance. It was the most cost effective way to test drive their facility, including receiving the full intake evaluation process. Their staff have been persistent about following up with me since my initial tasting and I committed to getting my ass in gear once I got back in training. After a week setback stemming from being hit by a car, I am officially back in training as of this week. Monday I kicked things off with a 1 hour run and wound up going 6.8 miles. This may not have been the best move given that I was doing a V02 max test the next day!

I had already done their behavioral test online – ten minutes of questions asking me to pick from word lists words that described me most and least. Perhaps 20 or 30 questions, each offering a choice of 4 words. It was no Myers-Briggs, but it was designed to understand how I identify myself and communicate with others. 

The intake session began with a Core Performance coach asking me what my goals were – not just in vague terms, but identifying if it was linear power, cardiovascular fitness, wattage output, explosive redirective power, strength, sport-specific performance, or any number of other options. My primary goal was sport-specific performance with regards to triathlon, secondary goal of linear power (triathlon is all linear power), and the ability to maintain high performance over long distance. Then I was asked what my sankalpa is.

That’s not true. They asked me what my mental goal is, which is something that my yoga teacher has included in her classwork. Before her classes she asks her students to determine their sankalpa, which can be closely adapted to mean Intention. Setting an intention before a practice whether it’s to become more focused, or to bring about whirled peas, or to generate power are all perfectly fine sankalpas. When I was asked what my intention was for my Core Performance work I had an immediate answer: Fear-Death=Fun. 

Yes, I want to win my slot for World’s. But I also know that if I don’t meet that goal I don’t want to sink into disappointment. I am focused and driven to succeed, but I also enjoy the training. If I enter a practice knowing it won’t kill me I can enjoy the fear that comes with it, and find the joy in the doing. It’s more than just saying the joy is in the journey, it’s my intention. If I’m not having fun, even in moments of physical pain and stress, what’s the point of doing any of it at all? I want Core Performance to push me, but I also want there to be an intrinsic level of joy, too. Therefore my sankalpa, my intention, is Fear-Death=Fun.

From there we did about a half an hour of documenting my physical stats (height, weight, body measurements, photos), and then a series of functional range of movement tests involving stepping, squatting, and the like to identify areas of asymmetry or compensation. I had no ego in the testing and found it enjoyable. I’ve got no shame about what I can or cannot do. That confidence comes from having crossed enough finish lines to remove the judgment from my body and turn it into a study.

Then it was time for the V02 max test. This test involves running on a treadmill in increasing levels of speed and incline with measurements of heart rate and breathing capacity. By slowly increasing the workload and measuring the breathing response, the tester can determine how efficiently the subject is working until they reach a maximum exertion point. This test took about ten minutes and I really wish I hadn’t run for an hour the day before. But the legs were solid and I was able to indicate to my coach that I was able to go faster than I initially thought. I had thought we’d play it safe and do the 8mph test, but quickly I asked him to move it up in speed to 7.5mph for testing. I hadn’t done the calculations before of my minute/mile pace into mph, so I’m glad my coach was able to pull out the calculator and do the math.

A note about my coach – once again, this is where Core Performance stands out. It was clear that I was being handled by someone who wasn’t just filling out a chart according to company roles. This is by no means Bally’s. My coach was college educated, was adaptive and responsive, and prepared for all of my questions. It was clear he had an interest in his work, rather than just moving a body through a set of prescribed, templated motions.

At the end I was given copies of all my data and my coach walked me through what the information collected showed. The range of movement tests confirmed a lot of what I already knew. I’m weak in the upper body and tight in lots of places. The personality test was the really interesting part, and quite accurate in many ways. The reason for the behavioral test is to inform the coaches how to design the workout plan for the client as well as how to communicate with the client during their workouts. Since the goal is a 3:1 client:coach ratio on the floor, the coaches need to see at a glance what each client’s needs are at any given time for the particular movement they’re performing. My test revealed that I do not like being told the same thing twice, I need to discover things for myself, and I’ll accept advice when it’s given clearly and competently. I’m going to give my triathlon coach a copy because I think he’ll find it a helpful model when he sends his clients to Core Performance. Especially the “communication don’ts” section. Some of the guys at CP had said their wives loved reading the behavioral analysis and my experience was no different. My wife and I laughed at how uncanny the software they use works, and there’s a part of me that would love to read a dozen of them to see if they’re like Zodiac charts and can be read the same for everyone. However, I imagine not everyone’s chart warns the coaches “not to be put off by his ‘cockiness'”.

My first full workout is scheduled for Friday. I’m excited to see how the intake testing is going to inform my new plan and very eager to incorporate Core Performance into my schedule. I just have to hope my clients have enough emergencies to cover it.

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3 responses to “Core Performance: evaluation session

  1. Congratulations. All you had to do was add the die markers and you had a cardiovascular stress test. Actually, CP sounds like an incredibly rational approach. And the behavior evaluation should also shortcut the hit or miss of shopping for a personal trainer who is in synch with your learning style.

  2. Sounds great all round. Of course I’m interested. I’ll watch your experience with them, so keep being detailed. Do they do nutrition with you too? Or are you leaving that to the other folks? What’s the cost for the 10 sessions?

  3. They offer a comprehensive nutrition plan with a real nutritionist. In fact, at the opening party, the nutritionist for Childrens Hospital knew the Core Performance nutritionist from graduate school. Because I’m already working my own plan I’m not using all their services, but their food plans are a standard part of the package.

    The 10 introductory sessions were $650. A 1 year membership costs $100. After the intro period sessions are purchased in blocks of 25 or 50 bringing the per-session cost down to just under $60.

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