Air Locker training Avatars
In every ALT class you are bound to see a variety of class members, each with different skill levels, strengths, challenges, and needs. We’ve identified the 5 most common ALT Avatars that you will see in any given class, and what needs they might have.
These five are listed in order from ‘most’ important to ‘least’ important from a safety standpoint.: –
- People that need immediate attention.
They are performing a movement incorrectly and are in danger of hurting themselves or others. They are your top priority and should be handled immediately.
- People that need a modification.
They cannot perform the given exercise due to lack of experience, physical limitations, injury or fatigue. Give them a modification so that they can keep moving at a pace or movement that works for them today.
- People that need a tweak.
They are doing a good job but need a minor tweak to their form. They aren’t in danger of getting hurt, but they could improve their form. This can also be a chance to reiterate a focus on a Boost, Rep or Form exercise where the proper execution isn’t quite there.You can also achieve a great outcome targeting this level of focus to a station or group and summarising by way of repetition from your intro for that exercise.
- People that need motivation.
They are tired or feeling physically weak or mentally feeling like they can’t do this. Your support might be the thing that gets them through this workout today. This can be achieved through general or targeted motivation. Ideally you should communicate with them on a personal level, understanding that for each member, there could be potential contributing lifestyle factors.
- People that need a challenge.
They are doing a great job, have awesome form, and could use an extra push or movement progression to really crank it up today. These are generally our experienced or long-term members. We also utilise this strategically at the right times during varying workouts.
Injuries & Poor Movement
You will see member injuries and limitations in all of your classes, and as a coach, you need to be prepared to monitor them and modify movements accordingly.
It’s not expected you will know the physical needs and limitations of every injury that you might come across, but it is expected you have a strong understanding of how to regress any exercise into its most basic movement pattern. With that knowledge, you can adjust any workout to someone’s needs, so it’s imperative that you do the research and preparation work needed to run a safe class.
Here are three questions you should ask anyone with injuries: –
- What is your injury? If you are unfamiliar with the injury, you can ask for more information or inquire about where they experience pain.
- Have you been cleared to participate in a workout? Most people will not come to class if they are physically unable to workout, but for serious conditions, it’s important to ask if they have been cleared by a doctor or health professional to return to their exercise regimen. Examples include heart conditions, surgeries, seizures, and strokes.
- Which exercises might agitate your injury? Members often know which stations will be difficult or uncomfortable with their limitations and asking them will give you an opportunity to offer modifications on the spot.
Here are three friendly reminders that you should offer them: –
“Don’t stress. We can regress any exercise for you, once we have gone through today’s workout, we can make a plan and adjust the appropriate exercises.”
“We are here to help. If at any time you are uncomfortable with an exercise, stop, raise your hand, or flag us down for a modification. We’re here to make sure that you get a safe, high level workout.”
“Don’t overdo it. With the energy, excitement, music and commotion in the room, it is easy to be filled with adrenaline and not feel your injury as intensely as usual. We would rather you take it easy and get through this workout without pushing your limits. We know that staying healthy will allow you to attend class consistently and that it’s more important to build good habits rather than go to your max today.”
Scanning The Room
Air Locker Training incorporates a wide variety of complex movements, weights and cardio equipment. As a coach, you must constantly be scanning the room to find any dysfunctions and possible safety issues, prioritise which members need to be corrected first, and understand the proper way to regress their movement level by level.
At the start of each working set, coaches should be active and alert, ready to allocate their attention to the highest priority. From there, they must assess the entire class, looking for ‘red flag’ members that are in danger of hurting themselves and others.
Generally, from an exercise perspective, movement correction priority would look like this: –
- Complex Loaded Plyometrics;
- Complex Loaded Strength Based Movements;
- Plyometric Movements;
- Single Leg Movements;
- Simple Single Plane Movements;
- Cardio Exercises; and
- Stationary Exercises.
To regress these movements, you must first understand the dysfunction.
To regress this movement, first identify the main dysfunction. For many, it will be a ‘plyo’ based movement. For example, the jump lunge and landing. In which case, you might regress this exercise by: –
- Taking out the jump.
- Continue to perform alternating lunges with a small hop transition at the starting position.
- Continue to do alternating reverse lunges.
- Regress further and perform a stationary lunge.
- Take away the movement and perform a static isometric hold in the lunge position.
The same theory can be applied to any of our compound strength movements. For example, the Barbell RDL: –
- Reduce the weight.
- Perform with a barbell only using the barbell as a reference to understand the movement pattern.
- Regress to bodyweight only, no bar. Utilise the palm method, getting a member to perform one rep and hold taking the middle of their palm to their kneecap and holding.
- Regress further by having them perform the hinge in front of a wall to utilise as a reference for the hinge pattern and body awareness. Once achieved, perform isometric hold in this position.
You can see that although we couldn’t continue with a supplementary exercise that replicated the movement, the focus with a loaded strength-based exercise was to correct the poor technique and alleviate the risk.
This regression order looks to maintain the foundation of the original movement whilst breaking down complexities one layer at a time.
This is a template pattern for how you could break down a particular exercise and the different layers of progression.
Our primary goal is to cue a member to make the correct adjustments and continue on with the full exercise where possible. Use regressions as a tool for novices, working around injuries and identifying floors in a certain movement.