How to Group Your Clients by Ability Level
Like other elements of fitness classes, games work best when players are at the correct ability level for the task at hand. Sometimes this means putting people of similar fitness levels in a group or team together (ability grouping) and sometimes it means having people of many different fitness levels together in the same group or team (flexible grouping). You may already use a system like this for your classes, formally or informally.
A good method to use is to run a benchmark fitness test monthly at your classes, with clear delineated goals to reach to move to the next level. The test should assess what is generally taught in your classes. So, for example, at my boot camp, which is cross-training, I have members test for several body weight exercises and running. I encourage you to make your own, but for reference, here is the test I use for grouping:
Complete for Time:
- 50 Jumping Jacks
- 50 Push-ups
- 50 Squats
- 50 High Knees
- 300 yd run
Based on the time if takes the member to finish, they are assigned a wrist band of a specific color, similar to a karate belt system:
- White Band: Default band – given at completion of first class
- Green Band: Complete fitness test in 4:00
- Blue Band: Complete fitness test in 3:30
- Black Band: Complete fitness test in 3:00
- Camo Band: Complete fitness test in 2:30
It becomes very easy to give class instructions based on band color with this system. For example, higher band levels will do more reps, or run to further cones, or perhaps do harder modifications. The same goes for fitness games. You can assign teams/groups in an even way using the color system, or have the different color groups compete against each other, using specific mods for each group. For example, if we’re playing Reaction Tag, I will tell players to play against someone in their color group, but if we’re playing Rep Race Tag, players do a certain number of reps based on their color group to make the competition more even.
Pro Tip: Require all members to ALWAYS wear their wristband to class and then dole out the burpee penalties when they don’t have it on
Have some tips of your own to add? Hit me up in the comments.