Fitness Designer? Part 2: Acute Variables

Six steps to a better program design

Part 2:

Explain how it serves to allow for proper progression/regression

In part one, I explained the 6-step program design model, and what it entails. In part two, I will show you how to regress and progress the Acute Variables.

1) Speed

A) Slow B) Medium C) Fast

 

2) Movement

A) Known B) Somewhat Known C) Unknown

 

3) Stability

A) Stable B) Moderately C) Dynamic

 

4) Force (weight)

A) Low B) Moderate C) High

 

5) Complexity (Movement)

A) Simple B) Moderate C) Complex

 

6) Surface

A) Stable B) Changing C) Dynamic

 

7) Base of Support

A) Wide (Stable) B) Narrow C) Varying (Movement)

 

8) Volume (Sets + Reps + Intensity)

A) Low B) Medium C) High

 

9) ROM (Range of Motion)

A) Small (Initial Range) B) Medium (Self Selected Range) C) Large (End Range)

 

All of the Acute Variables are written in “bold italic”, and the corresponding letters underneath represents there progressions; A= Beginner, B= Intermediate, and C= Advanced. How can we apply the AV (Acute Variables) to the 6-step program design? Let’s take a look, (you may need to refer back to part one of this three part article for reference, Sept. 12th post “Fitness Designer?” http://www.getatpblog.com).

Movement Performed: Squat

Client: Let’s say our client is a beginner who is new to exercise.  No health issues and no injuries. Their goal is to learn how to squat and in the future add challenges to their squat.

1) Orientation: Standing 2) Action: Squatting 3) Device: Bodyweight 4) Footprint: Neutral hip width (XXX) 5) Handprint: Anterior @ shoulder height and 6) Threshold:  Acute Variables (1-9), 1) Speed: Slow, since they are new to exercise, slowing the movement down will allow them to control their body better. There’s two sayings I particularly enjoy “Slow is smooth, and smooth becomes fast”, I heard from a friend of mine, and “Speed kills”. 2) Movement: Known, people squat everyday in some form or another. 3) Stability: Moderate, since my client doesn’t have an injury or is recovering from one, I will let ASK them to try to squat without holding on to anything.  I could always modify if their having trouble stabilizing, by having them hold on to a railing (A) Stable), or when they are ready to progress, I can have them squat down and stand up in the balls of their feet (C) Dynamic). 4) Force (weight): Low, my client will only be squatting their bodyweight (Keep in mind that the clients weight and strength level, can have a different affect on them, and can have a significant influence on their ability to control their Force (weight). 5) Complexity (movement): Simple, A basic down/up vertical drive. Moderate could be a down/up with a rotation at the top of the movement, and Complex could be a marching in place squat with a bicep curl to shoulder press. 6) Surface: Gym Floor, a nice flat stable surface. A Moderate surface could be squatting on a BOSU (blue side up), and a Complex could be on an INDO Board (on a roller). 7) Base of Support: Wide, if your base of support (Footprint) is wider than the center of gravity, you will have more stability i.e. Shoulder width. Moderate would be to have them stand with their feet closer together i.e. hip width or together. Varying could be a single leg (pistol) squat. 8) Volume: Low, maybe 2/3 sets, 5-7 reps or 30 seconds, and rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how they feel. If they had a heart rate monitor, I may go off of their zones and goals. Finally 9) ROM (range of motion): Medium (self select range), since my client has no injuries and is healthy, I will ASK them to go a low as they can without feeling any strain/pain. Unless I see something very abnormal that could result in injury, I will let my client explore their ROM.

This was just an example of how a fitness professional or a fitness enthusiast could utilize the 6-step program design, and the AV to mix up their exercise/movement program. This style of programming allows for a lot of creativity and play between the client and trainer, not to mention add a little fun to a routine. In part three, we will wrap up the 6-steps to a better program design, by putting this model into practice with various drills in view of integrated anatomy.

-Arthur-

References:

Michol Dalcourt. Institute of Motion. 6-steps to a better program design. IDEA World Fitness Conference, Los Angeles, Ca. August 2011

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