One of the unique features of all the TRAINFITNESS programmes is the ability of the instructor and/or personal trainer to modify the workouts to suit their clients. When the programme developers put the programmes together, they don’t know who you will have in your classes and workout sessions. The intensity level of the workouts is therefore set at an intermediate to advanced level.
As fitness professionals, we all know that to achieve results, we have to put the body under enough “stress” so the body is “encouraged” to improve. The body likes to be efficient, so when we put stress on it, it will adapt to become more efficient at working under that stress. In other words, we get results!
The programmes are therefore set at the level we want our clients to aim for, not start with. If our clients were able to do the programmes as performed in the videos on week 1, where do they go from there? If workouts are easy to begin with, then they would always be easy and we would not see any results.
Each client we train has a different level of fitness. We have some who are beginners, then others who are advanced and may have been participating in our workouts for years. Delivering a group workout suitable for all levels provides the biggest challenge for fx exercise to music instructors and T3 HIIT instructors.
To help, we have put together a number of helpful tips. These are only suggestions and while some may suit your workouts and clients, others may not. Feel free to use the ones that work best for you and your clients.
Tip 1 – Introduce modifications to the more challenging moves before the workout: every workout, before you start the mobilisation, introduce your clients to modifications you have in mind for the more challenging exercises. This allows you to keep up the pace during the workout. Remember, we want to keep the group moving as much as possible with as little rest between tracks and complexes as possible. Introducing modifications before the workout allows you to just recap at the start of the track or complex that contains the modification.
Tip 2 – Aim for the high, be prepared for the low: after you have introduced the exercises and everyone is comfortable, you need to go for it. Challenging our clients is our aim, so teaching the higher intensity version is the best way to do that. But should you have anyone in your group struggling, having a simple modification up your sleeve makes it easy to offer it on the spot when required.
Tip 3 – Take week 1 a little easier: every TRAINFITNESS programme release has exercises you and probably your clients have likely not seen before. Therefore, week 1 is going to be the week where you may choose to dial-it-down a little. There is a learning process for everyone when it comes to new movement patterns, so week 1 is the time to start with the simple modifications. This allows your clients to get used to the basic movement pattern before increasing the intensity in the following weeks.
Tip 4 – Let the group know “It’s ok to stop”: As with all high intensity training, the aim is to have our clients work in the anaerobic training zone. Some clients will reach this zone before others and therefore, will reach the point of fatigue sooner. Letting our clients know this means they have achieved the workout aim will mitigate any feelings of deficiency they may have from stopping. Encouraging words will help in this situation. Congratulate them for achieving the workout goal and remind the group, “next time, it will be easier because you are getting results”.
Tip 5 – Do the easier version in cycle 1: This is probably the easiest way to introduce modifications to a group. Each track and complex has a sequence of exercises that is repeated a number of times. Each repetition of the sequence is what we refer to as a cycle. During the first cycle, demonstrate the simple modification. Then on subsequent cycles, do the more challenging variation. Keep in mind, the aim is to at some point get everyone doing the harder version to ensure they get the best results possible.
Tip 6 – Review the modification videos now available in the TRAINFITNESS App: today we have released the v16.3 modification videos. These videos include a number of modifications for various exercises in each track. This is not an exhaustive list. There are many more modifications possible. In fact, we would love to see any modification you may come up with, so feel free to post them on our Facebook page and share them with the TRAINFITNESS community.
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Be a Pro
With pre-choreographed programmes having been around for years, and instructors forced to ONLY teach what is shown on the videos, we seem to have lost the ability to teach multi-level classes which cater for different fitness levels in the one workout. This used to be a basic skill of every instructor and personal trainer. One of the primary objectives of TRAINFITNESS is to help fitness professionals teach workouts that are suitable for ALL fitness levels. During the fx and T3 instructor workshops, instructors and personal trainers learn how to modify the programmes to suit the level of their clients. We call it Pro-choreography and Pro-design.
We challenge you to become a true fitness professional and put the pro back into your programmes.