If you are reading this, you are an allied health professional who has a client who is enquiring about my services. This intention of this page is to give you a little bit of insight into who I am, what I do and where I fit into the training puzzle for your client. So ultimately, you can make an informed decision about what may be the best next steps for your client, whether it is to train with me or not.
So first, a little bit about myself:
My name is Rowan Smith, I am the founder of Summit Strength which is an online personal training service which specialises in working with hikers and mountaineers. I have a bachelor in Sport and Exercise Science and have been coaching for over ten years.
In my role, I do two things:
I am not a physiotherapist, and I do not pretend to fill that position in a client's journey.
My role with these clients is as a return to performance specialist.
We know, as allied health professionals, that in the traditional rehab model, there is often a big gap between when a client comes out of the early stages of rehab/injury and actually being in a position to perform capably, comfortably and safely in their chosen activities.
While we often think about return to performance in the world of sporting, hiking definitely does have its own unique demands. And when you consider things like 10+ hours on the trail, extremely uneven terrain ,extended ascents and descents, heavy pack loads, unpredictable weather and dozen other factors which makes hiking what it is, it is pretty clear that hiking is much more demanding then just walking and physically preparing for this is something which should be taken seriously.
So my intention is to help a hiker who is out of the initial stage of rehab/injury, to build the resilience, capabilities and confidence to return to doing what they love. And also ensure their body is prepared for anything the trail may throw at it, not just the ‘best case’ scenario.
So how do I do this?
Well, my service is centered around 3 big pillars:
My training is all about the slow and steady approach and initially is aimed at progressing, and building off the initial foundations you have made together.
So, we will generally work through a mixture of:
The actual makeup of all of this is entirely dependent on the individual circumstances of the client but, in general, it is all about structure, consistency and slow progression. And ensuring the client moves towards their desired outcomes (i.e. hiking safely/comfortably) in a way which will support their injury history and minimise risk.
*Obviously the online model does have some limitations in regards to strength programming. So with this in mind, risk management is a big factor in the programming. So, generally, we avoid things like barbell work, plyometrics, HIIT or anything else which could potentially go wrong.
On top of the training, I really do make a big emphasis around educating my clients around the strategies they need for long term success. Because I firmly believe education leads to empowerment. And I don't want my clients relying on my forever, I want to empower them to be confident to do this on their own.
As alongside everything, they get educated around subjects like:
Finally, I make sure they do have the support and accountability to see the success they want over the long term. We know that long term adherence is incredibly poor for most people in pain prevention journeys, so I have a number of systems in place to ensure the clients stay on track, stay motivated and also are able to get immediate support and advice, if anything does come up or go wrong.
Now obviously it is impossible to fully explain the intricacies, processes and philosophies that I follow with my coaching in this format. But hopefully this gives you a bit more an insight around what I do, as opposed to being just some random trainer on the internet.
If this gives you peace of mind to know that I might be a good fit to help you clients on their long term journey, fantastic. And I look forward to collaborating with you to ensure a smooth transition.
However, if you do need to know more or want to dive into things a bit deeper, please feel free to reach out so we can chat.
You can either book a time to chat here or reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summit Strength is a personal training for hiking service created specifically to help hikers have the best chance of a safe, enjoyable and successful adventure.