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Focus Factor

Focus Factor

Focus Factor

Putting More F In Your Training Program

I use a simple formula to assess a physical therapy patient or fitness client’s potential for success. The formula has two components. The first component is a percentage. For a physical therapy patient, it is percent compliance to home exercises/activity modification. For fitness clients, it is percent compliance with the prescribed training schedule. The second component is the focus intensity level created by the patient or client. The

F factor is by far the most significant influencer of a rehab/training outcome.

The Focus Factor is a whole number score from zero to fifteen. Observation of performance allows the therapist / trainer to make an educated assessment of mental effort. I often ask the patient / client for the 0-15 focus intensity level they brought to a session. My assessment and the clients report are rarely off by more than one digit.

Success Potential Formula:
Focus Factor (% compliance) = success potential

Physical Therapy Patient
Focus Factor 5 (%100 compliance home exercise / activity modification) = 5

Fitness Client
Focus Factor 15 (%50 compliance prescribed training) = 7.5

Physical Therapy Patient
Focus Factor 10 (%100 compliance home exercise / activity modification) =10

Fitness Client
Focus Factor 15 (%66 compliance prescribed training) =10

A seven or greater historically indicates the patient / client is on the way to a good outcome. A score of five or less indicates that the client / patient is unlikely to succeed. Consistent scores below five are challenging to improve. Lower scores can be improved by increasing the client’s mental effort / concentration during training. The compliance percentage is much more difficult to improve.

Physical Therapists and trainers should make every effort to improve the focus their patients / clients devote to each and every exercise. The discipline needed to maintain focus is a skill that can be strengthened with consistent practice. Trainers have an advantage in that they can spend all of their efforts developing better client focus. They are not impaired by the need to split time between the patient and the laptop. Working with the same professional at each and every session is important. You need interaction with the therapist or trainer that knows how to elicit optimal concentration with every training activity.

Read next weeks article for four focus building training tips.

Michael S. O’Hara, PT, OCS,, CSCS

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