Our group classes provide a broad prescription for strength and conditioning. We squat, push, pull, hinge, and carry throughout the hour as part of this general curriculum. For specific and detailed individual workouts, we direct athletes to our 1-1 and individual design programs, but that doesn’t mean our group classes are one-size-fits-all. We like to do a sight better than that, and our Fitness/Performance/Sport Matrix allows us to accommodate multiple levels of performance across fundamental human movement in a group setting. Here’s how we do this:
First and foremost, we use the designations fitness, performance, and sport to describe individual movements and workouts, not athletes. One isn’t a fitness athlete any more than one is a sport athlete; in fact, over the course of any given hour an athlete, in conjunction with their coach, may opt for the fitness movement in one segment and the sport movement in another.
In general, we mean these three designations to work simply:
Fitness describes movements and workouts of mild complexity and joint strain. Here we might think bodyweight squats instead of goblet squats, or dumbbell presses over their more complex barbell cousins. Fitness connotes healthy movement and sweat.
Performance describes movements and workouts of mild to moderate complexity and joint strain. Here we are often adding a degree of difficulty–you might need to think a little harder or enact one extra point of performance. Goblet squats, for instance, require you to stabilize and center an external load while you squat. In this way, performance connotes additionally purposive movement and sweat.
And sport describes movements and workouts of moderate to appreciable complexity and joint strain.. Here we think of movements that require multiple moving parts and a bit of extra attention in so doing: an overhead or American kettlebell swing, for instance, rather than the chest-level Russian swing we prescribe in performance. Because these movements are often components of particular strength sports like weightlifting, strongman, and CrossFit, we use the sport designation to connote specifically-skilled movement and sweat.
As with the movements (and weight ranges) they describe, these levels work best when thought of as tools. An athlete who usually opts for sport or performance movements and workouts might very well choose several fitness components on a day when they’re running on poor sleep and stiff joints. This doesn’t mean our athlete tries any less or meanders through the workout; it simply means they are aiming that day’s full effort at targets that enact less complexity and joint work.
In this way, our athletes in group classes are able to handle each workout in its own season with their day’s available resources. Some days feel harder than others, some movements more arduous, but the Fitness/Performance/Sport matrix allows us to empty our cups properly in service of that day’s work, movement by movement and segment by segment.