Group exercise and what you NEED to know

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to training and developing a successful program. What works for one athlete/client isn’t guaranteed to work with the next, no matter how much you try and fit that square peg in that round hole.

“As such, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that anyone can offer you. The hot water that softens a carrot will harden an egg.” Clayton M. Christensen

A great coach will understand the principle of individualisation. For example, two clients can perform exactly the same exercise or program but have different physiological outcomes E.g. client 1 & client 2 execute a barbell squat at a high intensity in a program. Client 1 has limited ankle (talocrural) joint flexibility thus he is unable to keep a vertical upright torso and has to bend more at the hips; client 2 has mobile ankles and is able to keep a more vertical position when squatting. This results in two very different effects from thegroup same exercise – client 1 will have a greater loading at the hips which will involve more of the glutes and hamstrings; versus client 2 will have significantly more loading at the knee which will involve more of the quads. The same principle of individualisation applies to nutrition, mental engagement, learning, recovery and performance.

Cookie cutter nutritional and training programs applied without adequate clearance testing, may work for some but certainly not all. I’m pro-group exercise, (after all, I did meet my soon-to-be-wife at the gym Christmas party where she worked as a BodyPump instructor at the time!), particularly if someone finds it enjoyable and it gets them out of their sedentary lifestyle… however the key is making sure that people stay away from injury and play the long game for health.

Two tips when choosing to take part in generic fitness programs.

  1. Get assessed in the competencies that you will need for the training program e.g. mobility, stability, strength and skill.*
  2. If you don’t clear certain competencies be aware of your limitations to reduce the chances of injury

* If the program or group training doesn’t provide this then seek a qualified professional that can help.



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