After a discussion tonight about how some people benefit from various fitness programs where some may be too advanced or not advanced enough.
After many years in the fitness biz I can honestly give my 2 cents. Below are the steps most people take on a path to fitness:
1. Untrained, overweight, under-motivated. These people generally react to simple changes in daily habit to account for more caloric expenditure. They include simples household tasks such as gardening and cleaning. Generally regarded as couch potato, febrile or elderly. In this list it generally works backward for the advanced stages of life.
2. The Mobile. This group has movement skills above group 1 and may include new mothers and people recovering from sickness or surgery. A good program consisting of loaded exercises including bodyweight and maybe some external tools.
3. The regular Joe. This group contains those that work all day or are mothers and generally use their bodies for normal tasks with ease, and are needing the extra exercise included in a training plan from the local gym or are the weekend warrior.
4. The able and adept. These people are above the basic requirements set by the previous group. These people may have belonged to a gym for a few years and are in need of something to spice up their training plan to break through plateaus.
5.The advanced. These people have regular jobs, workout out 3x a week or more and have knowledge of body movement principles but lack methods to overcome the staleness of gym routines.
6. The pre competitive. These people are skilled at a sport, have been active longer than a few years and may compete in league play and/or are high school athletes that are training for the next level. They train daily.
7. The competitive. These people are extremely competent in the sport of their choosing, may even compete at a national level (triathletes) and may also include college athletics. Train daily, sometimes more frequently.
8. Professional. These people’s jobs require physical fitness. They include police, firefighters, NBA, NFL etc. They know the principles, they understand the methods and train multiple times a day.
In each of these groups the goals are similar (ie advancing to the next stage, getting stronger, more flexible etc) but the way they train are very different. Groups 1 and 2 tend to get the most benefit from simple changes to frequency, and tend to have the most body recomposition in the shortest amount of time.
As you go up the ladder, it gets harder for the athlete to progress, and more changes are needed in time, intensity and volume are required.
Its like learning to walk, run, sprint, then do it all at once carrying heavy objects (body).
Next post I will try to put into words the methods and tools each group benefits from the most.