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Old 08-01-2015, 03:43 PM   #1
Sean J Hunter
Member Sean J Hunter is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: North Shore  New Zealand
Posts: 805
PART 1 - Idea we have to automate strength programming in our Box - Feedback wanted

Just to be clear, our small group of merry men are in the process of affiliating our little garage box.

In a perfect world I would love to help my members to get stronger more quickly, by giving each of them an individualized strength program. From my experience mass programming slows down strength gains by 20-30%, even more for intermediate lifters.

Problem is, it requires a large programming time commitment to do this, so its not really financially plausible.....unless we automated the heck out of it.

We have this kid in our little garage box group. Him and his class mates need a project for their Masters in Business Software Engineering. He's come to me wanting to do something PT focused. Essentially he's asked "is there anything you do in your club that would be better off if it was automated".

Just to be clear, neither I (with corporate software implementation experience), not the student, have the experience to create a marketable product, and this isn't our goal. So this thread isn't me advertising. We just want something that would work in our own box.

Him and I have thrown this idea around, he's pretty excited, but before we dive in and start looking at it more deeply, I wanted to get a read from others on here.

I'm in no way an elite strength coach, so it's possible there are other ways of solving these problems without software, but as we've gotten more members, solving these issues on a mass scale seems impossible to me without software automation. All feedback welcome.

Here's a problem I think we can all relate to as coaches. Let's say today's lift is Deadlift.

John is an intermediate lifter. In a perfect world we'd
- Have him on a periodized program (Let's say Wendlers 5-3-1)
- We'd give him exact lifting goals each session to avoid the "max effort stalling" trap or the "lame effort no gains" trap
- We'd be watching for his stalling, so we can execute a reset immediately
- and let's say he's on a deloading week, so 60% lift or whatever.

Wendy is new to the box and shes 55. In a perfect world we'd
- Be able to direct her on her exact warm up weights
- See that the last time she Deadlifted, that classes coach noted she was struggling with Valgus collapse and Delt strength. So in the warm-up we'd perhaps direct her to execute an abductor resistance band 'stretch' and after the working set execute a high rep barbell row for 3 sets.
- We'd perhaps make sure she's partnered on a bar with one or two of the more friendly female class members
- And we'd program deload weeks for her as we're aware that lifting heavy 3dpw will overload her slower recovery time (age).

Bobby is determine to get on the school football team, his focus is strength AND hypertrophy. He's still on linear gains, but been lifting for 4 months now. In a perfect world we'd
- have him execute 5 working sets across to encourage greater lean gain, were as everyone else in the class is executing 1 working set and moving onto skill development. Bobby would then join them for the metcon
- Then we'd cut Bobbys MetCon in half (i.e. 3 rounds not 6), to mitigate the volume imbalance.

We'd also be aware of athletes injuries, and maybe even be aware of where they're at CNS wise, if they're feeling a bit fried, this session they could just do a deload, while everyone else maxes or whatever.

In my perfect world, I'd want to be able to achieve all these things for my athletes, while having them all in the same class, and having a computer just printing it all out for me. I'd tell the computer my individual programming methodology. (or select the already programmed options (SS, 5-3-1, Texas Conjugate)) and it would be my programming coach for me. allowing me to focus on relationships, not maths.

How do I see most Boxes solving this problem
Deadlift (5-5-5-5-5)
The logic goes if we can get our clients stronger (let's say 20-30% more quickly), and avoid less stalls and "no-gain frustrations", they are going to see more value. On a larger scale, clients who see greater value more often, will refer more often.

I have a few boxes I talk to closely, and they tell me, strength gains can be pretty slow going, compared to what is possible.
- Difficult to periodize for intermediate lifters without creating 2 separate groups. Which causes multiple issues. Creates 2 'social clicks', dilution of schedule, dilution of class numbers (lower coach ratio - greater costs). etc.
- Athletes have a habit of not pushing hard enough to see gains, or pushing too hard and seeing premature stalling

So here's what the software would do (dumbed down version).
A class starts in 15 minutes, the coach walks up to the comp, clicks a button.
- The program looks into the ATHLETE SCHEDULER (Let's say Zen Planner) to see who's attending the class
- Then it looks to see what LIFT you've programmed today (Let's say Deadlift)
- Then it looks into the ATHLETE DATA (let's say Beyond the White Board) to collect each 'attending' athlete's fitness info. It combines this with other info that will effect that athletes prescription for that day. (What program does the coach have me on, what level am I on, is there an injury effecting this lift today, have I indicated I'm CNS fried, etc etc)
- It then creates an INDIVIDUAL PRESCRIPTION for each athlete using the variables mapped out in the 'program builder'. (even including recognizing stalling and asking the coach if they want this athlete reset on this lift)
- It then takes these individual prescriptions and puts them all together on a COACHES SHEET that the athletes / coach can use to run the class smoothly. Everyone's doing the same lift, but different stuff. (i.e. it even groups people onto the right bars for each other)



Last edited by Sean J Hunter; 08-01-2015 at 03:58 PM..
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:46 PM   #2
Sean J Hunter
Member Sean J Hunter is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: North Shore  New Zealand
Posts: 805
Re: PART 1 - Idea we have to automate strength programming in our Box - Feedback wanted

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