Personal Trainer & Yoga Teacher Manual

Table of Contents

Sand & Steel specializes in forging elite personal trainers.  The Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher Manual is your guide for how to train clients, how to scale workouts, how to mobilize muscles and help clients recover from injuries.

Mentorship Personal Trainer & Yoga Teacher Manual.

If you haven’t applied to work at Sand & Steel yet, please fill out an application.

Principles of Coaching @ Sand & Steel in 100 Words

Correcting, Seeing, and Teaching

Be assertive and direct with feedback. Short, simple, direct cues. Be relentless when correcting form. Use a tactile cue (touch) when a demonstration or auditory cue doesn’t work. Don’t cue if nothing is at fault. Confirm when a fault is corrected. If it is not corrected, continue to work with the client until it is the absolute best the client can do.

Plan your Workout

Minimize transition time. Know your client, their goals, injuries, strengths and weaknesses. Build the best workout possible, every time.

Principles of Mobility

The Exercise is the Test, and the Test is the Exercise.  Tight Muscles move joints into deformed positions.  Loose muscles allow joints to move into deformed positions.  Isometric holds and body weight exercises upregulate nervous response and create activation.  Rolling and stretching downregulate muscle and improve range of motion.

Sand & Steel All Star Coach

All Star Coach Criteria

Coaching Quality

  • Safe Movement: Injuries and how many sessions we lost.
  • Understanding the Exercises
  • Preparation for Sessions
  • Obtaining new certifications and pushing the envelope on how good of a coach you can be
  • Working on Mobility
  • Notes on Workouts (Write the actual workout the client does.  Write the actual mobility exercises.)

Client Organization

  • Maintaining client program sheets, proper notes, updating program sheet with specific warmups and exercises.
  • Conducting complete fitness assessments
  • Updating client program sheets timely
  • Organization of workout with other coaches
  • Helping other coaches when you have free time
  • Asking other coaches to help you when you need help
  • Teaching each other coaches what you know
  • Filling in for other coaches when a coach is sick

Customer Service

  • Client Retention
  • Properly and completely handling renewals
  • Contacting Dawn as soon as it’s learned that a client hasn’t renewed.
  • Learning what the clients need, and writing those goals into the client information packet.
  • Meeting your client.
  • Talking with all clients as clients of the gym.


  • Follow through on ideas,
  • Taking videos,
  • Taking photos,
  • Uploading media into Smugmug,
  • Writing blog posts.

Gym Operations

  • Organization of the gym equipment
  • Responding to emails completely and timely
  • Cleaning the gym
  • Opening and closing
  • Reviewing the Mentorship Manual


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The following topics are designed to prepare you to be self-sufficient with your schedule, have working email with notifications, and understand current procedures in place. Any questions regarding standards please contact management at [email protected]

Operations Checklist

Email Setup

Upon starting your mentorship, you will be assigned a username and password for both Ez-Facility and Rackspace. Once you receive the login information from Paul or Dawn for Rackspace, follow the link to setup your email for your phone.  To check your email on a computer, goto Rackspace

Bio Page Setup:

A Bio Page is an important resource to have while coaching at Sand and Steel Fitness. The information you set up highlights your specialty, personality and gives the client a chance to get to know who their coach is before they book their session. Clients will always book more of their sessions with coaches that have stronger Bio’s.  Login into the website

As part of the mentorship, Paul will put your bio on the website.  However, you are responsible for assembling the content.

Your Bio Page:

Red items are required, green are recommended:

  • Name and coaching speciality.
  • Video Overview of why you are a coach (45-90 seconds)
  • At least one blog post about your speciality
  • 2+ Pictures of your coaching
  • Featured Image
  • List of your certifications with copy in the excerpt
  • Linked youtube playlist of exercise demonstrations
  • What are your favorite training methodologies?
  • Who is an ideal client for you?
  • What are your two favorite pieces of equipment?
  • Why did you decide to work at Sand & Steel?
  • Something unique about you that you want to share
  • Your favorite fitness quote


  • Head Shot
  • Full Body Shot of You
  • 8-10 Pictures of you Coaching Pictures to make an image slide show


Ezfacility is our scheduling software and provides you with a calendar.

You need to be familiar with all 3 views to help clients and view your schedule.

Color codes on Ezfacility

EzFacility Explanation

Scanning clients in:

Always scan in clients first thing in your session – if it’s your client – you have to scan them unless someone tells you they have already done the scan.  If you don’t scan, you aren’t paid for the session, and the client gets a no-show fee.

Look at their check-in information.  Determine how many sessions they have left.  If it’s two or less, ask them if they would like Dawn to renew their package.  If they say yes, immediately send Dawn email indicating how many sessions they are renewing for.

Pay attention to the trainer notifications in the top bar of EZfacility, messages about client renewal are provided there.

Client Retention:

Average Client Acquisition cost is between $400-$800.  Every client that we can keep fuels the business and ultimately your paycheck. On the check-in screen, a coach can determine and should keep track of how many session the client has left. When a client has 2-3 sessions left, the coach should check in within the client to see if they have questions about renewing.

Last session. If you did not renew the client — you likely lost the client!  Let the client know that we will close out their folder and put it in the Dawn’s inbox.

Renewing their package:

If a client has 2 or less sessions, ask them if they want to renew.  You will do this at the front desk.  Ask them how many sessions they would like to purchase, there are three options:

  1. Have them log into their account through the EZfacility portal:  Click buy and choose their sessions.
  2. Have them log into their Sand & Steel Website account: and have them purchase sessions here:
  3. Pay through Paypal.  Sand and & Steel’s paypal address is [email protected]  A client can pay for their sessions by making the payment to this email address, just make sure you email what the sessions are.

If a Client Doesn’t Renew:

If a client doesn’t renew, please pull their program sheet and put the program sheet in Dawn’s inbox.  Email Dawn and Paul that the client has elected not to renew.  Do not put the client’s program sheet back in the folder if they do not have any more sessions.

Please take ownership of renewals

Junior Coaches, please acknowledge all emails about renewals, and immediately send an email after the session in which a renewal is needed about what transpired.  You do not want to let the client walk out the door without renewing.  If they are hesitant about renewing, talk with the client and investigate the reasoning.

  1. If Dawn or Paul are working that day, bring the client to the owners to let them handle the renewal conversation.
  2. If it’s updating their programming, see the example 1.
  3. If it’s vacation, see example 2.
  4. If it’s price, see example 3.

Example 1– Programming and renew online:

  1. Coach, “David, would you like to renew your package?”
  2. Client, “I will renew online. I wanted to update my program.”
  3. WRONG RESPONSE. Coach, “OK contact Paul to update your program.”
  4. Never leave it up the client to take a step.
  5. CORRECT RESPONSE. “Well let’s renew your package now, and then I can set you up with a free 30 minute consultation with Paul to update your program.

Example 2 – Going on Vacation:

  • Coach, “Jim, would you like to renew your package?”
  • Client, “I am going on vacation, so I’ll renew when I get back.”
  • WRONG RESPONSE. Coach, “OK have a nice trip.”
  • Once a client goes on vacation they usually don’t come back.
  • CORRECT RESPONSE. “Client, we process your renewal and delay the start date of your package until you get back. This way can reserve your session. In addition, knowing that you have made a commitment to keep training, will help you make better decisions while you are on vacation.”  Also, the Coach should send an email to Paul and Dawn to let us know the client is going on vacation.

Example 3 – Finances

  • Coach, “Have you thought about buying more sessions?”
  • Client, “Yes, I can’t afford it right now.”
  • WRONG RESPONSE Coach, “OK, well it was good working with you.”
  • Coaches! It’s never finances.  Clients know exactly how much our personal training cost before they walk in the door.  We discuss this with the clients before they walk in.
  • CORRECT RESPONSE. “Are there any other reasons you don’t want to renew?  Have we delivered everything we promised?  Didn’t Paul and Dawn go over prices during your initial consult?  What can we do better to retain your business?

Gym Tour and Consult

  • Review the client intake form and make sure you have memorized their information.  Name, goals, history, etc.
  • Provide the new client with a guided tour of all of our equipment and explain how we use it.  Make sure you focus on the workouts and equipment that is relevant to this specific client.
  • Open FaceTime on the iMac and call Paul on FaceTime.  This way I can help you during the consult in case you get stuck and don’t know how to complete the sale, etc.
  • Go over the Starter Pack and explain to the two starter packs we have. Draw a diagram by hand and explain what is included in each one. Be sure you pull up the starter pack on the website to double check your information. Explain to them they get a 15% coupon on their first purchase when they purchase the starter pack.
  • Explain that we offer 3 kinds of services (Personal Training, Nutrition, and Mobility).  Be sure to explain what is involved in each service.
  • Let them know they can use their personal training sessions for Nutrition and Mobility if they like.  They just need to book into those sessions when they reserve their session.
  • Ask them if they have questions about the Starter Pack or how our Personal Training works?
  • Ask them if they would like to buy the Starter Pack today.
  • If they want to purchase the Starter Pack, have them sign into their account on the website and purchase the Starter Pack.  Have them purchase it through the EZfacility Portal so that their sessions are available immediately.  Let them know that we’ll add their nutrition session later in the day.
  • Do their InBody Scan, fill out the new client contract, and informed consent.  Have them take a picture and add it the Membership Portal.
  • Make sure you tell them about 24 hour cancellation and 12 hour booking window
  • Reserve their first session.

Walk-in Gym Tour

If a client comes in that doesn’t have an appointment, here is the process.

  • Tell them about yourself, the gym , and the kind of personal training that we offer.
  • Ask them if they are interested in scheduling a gym tour and new client consult?
  • If yes, walk with them to the gym computer and open up the contact form. Fill in their name,  email, and phone.  In the message area have them fill in the type of personal training that they are looking and specific questions they may have.
  • If no, then ask them how you can help them.
  • If you have a client when the new client comes in, tell the existing client that you need to help the new customer. Make sure the existing client knows what he or she should be doing for the next 5-10 minutes. Check in with the client 2 or 3 times during the new client consult to make sure the existing client knows what to work on.

Opening and Closing:

The Opening and Closing Tasks List of all the opening and closing procedures and checklist is available online and also in the Front Desk Binder.  Coaches are responsible for making sure all the opening and closing tasks are completed — not the owners.


Please utilize the two spots near the curb first.  If those spots are both full please pull all the way up into the spot closest the backdoor of the gym.  If you block someone in, please leave your keys in the mesh drawer underneath the front desk so other coaches can move your car as necessary.


Book Care:

Protect the bindings of books.  Do not leave books face open.  Do not insert pens, folders, or other materials into the bindings of books.  If you need to save the page of a book, you may use a Post-it Flag.

Book Organization:

Books must be put back in the shelf when you are done using it.  Do not leave books on the front desk if you are not using them (e.g. you are training a client.)

Book Loans:

Only coaches that have passed our Level 1 Exam may borrow books.  Only books that have a ISBN and are available for purchase on Amazon may be checked out.  Checkout and Checkin is a manual process and only Dawn or Paul can check out a book for you.  Books must be returned with 7 business days.  A $2/day late fee is assessed for all books returned later than 7 days.

Drinks and Supplements

If a client wants to purchase something from the shop, please have them use their phone.  Help them through the process as needed.  If they do not have an iPhone or Android, they won’t be able to purchase the item.

Forms and Documents

Program Sheets

Notes Pages

Mastering Your Training Session

Preparing for your Client

  1. You are responsible for knowing everything about every client that books with you.  Strengths, weaknesses, injuries, goals, etc.  You will be spot-checked during your sessions and embarrassed if you are not prepared.  If you don’t know what a client’s goals are… you don’t have any business training him and her.
  2. You must know every workout in a client’s program.  Once a client book’s you, you are responsible for knowing each and every workout in their program.  You must be able to demonstrate, cue, scale, identify, every workout in their entire program.
  3. Getting training on workouts.  We are happy to help you learn new client programs with the following two exceptions:
    1. We do not provide training “on the fly.”
    2. We do not provide training on the day of your session.  10 MINUTES BEFORE A CLIENT IS SCHEDULED ARRIVE IS TOO LATE TO ASK FOR HELP WITH A WORKOUT.  If you aren’t prepared for that workout, just let the client know you aren’t prepared, and select a workout you are prepared to coach.  On the workout sheet, indicate substitution, and note the reason on the workout journal.

XT60 Program and Exercise Database

  1. Exercise Database: please check the exercise database before requesting information on how to do an exercise.  Please also check our books and manuals for instructions on how to do exercises.
  2. Exercise missing in the Exercise Database.  If you identify an exercise is missing from the Exercise Database, it’s your responsibility to film a senior coach and have it uploaded to the exercise database.  You need to have the Exercise Uploaded to the Database before your workout session with the client.
  3. Error in the XT60 Program.  If you find an error in the XT60 Program, please handwrite the change in.  Be sure you edit the most recent version, and circle the workout on the table of contents.

Administering a Workout

  1. Substituting Equipment.  You can substitute equipment as space requires provided you are substituting like movement for like movements.  E.g. Kettlebell Deadlifts for Barbell Deadlifts.
  2. Checking with all coaches and determine optimal location for each workout.  Do not start your workout until you have spoken with all coaches coaching at the same time as you.
  3. If there are more than two clients in the gym, do not use:
    1. Battle Ropes
    2. Sleds

Preparing for your session:

  1. Open EZ Facility to check for what client are booked for particular coach and time. Reference the client’s book to determine next workout.
  2. Make sure you have looked carefully at the client intake form and inbody scan.
  3. Analyze their fitness assessment, injury history and notes to prepare for modifications.
  4. Determine what the next the workout is, and double check the notes against the workout sheet.  Review the exercise database for how to do all the exercises.  Review books from our library about how to cue and scale the exercises.
  5. Scaling: Progression/ Regression of each movement.  Always have a back-up plan. Preparing for movement faults and having multiple option for scaling is necessary when coaching a client at Sand and Steel Fitness.
  6. Quality of Session: Coach must fully be engaged in the client. Attention to detail of movement pattern, rate of perceived exertion and engagement of the client in the workout experience are all things to look out for.
  7. Check their Client folder to determine what the last workout was.  Look at both the workout sheet and the workout log.  Initial the current days workout.  Write on the workout your name, WOD, WOD name, and date.
  8. Look at the client summary sheet for mobility movements, blacklisted movements, etc.
  9. Ending your Session – Last five minutes of the session: write down any movement problems you saw on the client summary sheet.
  10. Check the workout log: is the workout information complete?  Weights, reps, worktime, modifications.
  11. Make sure you have done a walk-through of the workout (setup the equipment, done a few sample movements of each movement.)  The client will know if you are guessing at it.  You and I know that you not knowing a particular movement isn’t a good measurement of your ability as a coach.  However, a client will think you aren’t knowledgeable as a coach because you don’t know a specific movement.
  12. Keep in mind that many of clients you are training I have trained for a year or more.  They’ll know the moment you don’t know you are talking about.

What if you Aren’t Prepared for a Workout

  1. Skip the workout and move to the next workout in the program.
  2. If you don’ t know the program, ask to switch clients with a more experienced coach.
  3. If a more experienced coach is not available, call Paul or Dawn as soon as you realize you are out of your depth.  Don’t let us catch you coaching a workout you don’t know.

Following the Program and when to modify:

  • Check the workouts around the current workout for which exercises are being used in the program
  • Weight and/or volume should increase on the subsequent pass through on the workout
  • At 40-45 minutes in, it’s recommended to ask the client if they want to work on mobility or continue strength training and/or conditioning
  • Always make modifications if the client’s pattern isn’t perfect.
  • If a client gives you feedback (generally this will sound like a complaint), the client is actually requesting that you modify the exercise…. So do so.
  • Check in with the client about intensity. All clients list the intensity they want to work, check the intensity on back on the folder to make sure you are in the area.
  • Clients often select a weight 20-30% below what they need:
    • Weight loss is done at 60% ORM
    • Conditioning at 60-75% ORM
    • Hypertrophy at 70-85% ORM
    • Strength at 90%-100 ORM
  • Observe the client’s rate of perceived exertion (body language), and modify as needed.


Equipment Location

Make sure you know where the equipment is.  If you don’t you will lose track of timing during the session.  If that happens you’ll appear disorganized to client, and they will lose confidence in you. Have the client help you put all equipment away in the last five minutes of the session.

Moving Equipment Between Floors

The following equipment is the only equipment that you may move between floors.  Do not move other equipment between floors.

  • Do not move exercise tubing or bands.
  • You may move Sandbells, Small Viprs, and Surges.
  • You may move lacrosse balls.

Damaged Equipment

If you observe that any equipment is damaged (or furniture, etc.) please email [email protected] as soon as your session is over.

Yoga Equipment

Yoga equipment is for yoga clients ONLY.  If you aren’t a yoga instructor, you shouldn’t use any yoga equipment with the following exception.

You may use these yoga blocks with personal training clients.

You may use the foam yoga blocks located on the Mobility rack.  All other yoga equipment is off limits, unless you are teaching yoga.

Gym Mat Care


You may use the gym mats with clients (they are yellow/orange).  You may not use yoga mats with personal training clients.  Make sure you wipe down the mats after every use (or ask the client to wipe them down.)  Do not walk on the gym mats with shoes.

Workout Flow:

  1. Check in the client
  2. Explain the workout to the client
  3. Perform a warm-up based on the exercises in the workout
  4. Teach the skills needed for the workout
  5. Complete the workout
  6. Stretch and Mobilize the client
  7. Clean up Equipment
  8. Double Check your Notes

Tips for Getting More Clients on your Schedule:

  1. Assist Dawn or Paul in coaching clients that book with them.
  2. Write a blog post on exercise.  See example below
    1. Upload a video to our Youtube or Vimeo Channel.   You’ll want to discuss TAFS while performing the exercise and after completing it.
    2. Content of Post:
      1. Technique: description of how to do the exercise
      2. Advantages: why is the exercise useful
      3. Faults: what are common faults for this exercise?
      4. Scaling: what are some tips for scaling this exercise.
    3. Header Image 1200 x 630
    4. Instagram image is 1200 x 1200

Coach Like A Rockstar

  1. Improve your coaching.  Clients know when you are prepared for a session, and when you are not.  If you do an amazing job on the workout, the client will rebook with you.  If you do half-ass job, they won’t.
  2. Greet clients, warm them up for other coaches.  Provide them with A+ Service, and they will book you.
  3. Stay focused on coaching the client throughout the workout.  For example, you would not want to work on pull-ups for yourself while clients are doing a long string of kettle bell swings.
  4. Coach actively and attentively.  Sitting a ball or leaning against wall looks like you are uninterested.
  5. Always be on the client’s eye level.  If your client is on the floor, you should be on the floor, etc.
  6. Every time a client books with you, you should be doing 100% your best job.  Clients talk … they know who puts in the effort and who does not.
  7. Cheerleading: Most clients don’t need cheerleading from you, they need competent corrections and scaling.  We don’t expect you to get this right on your first attempt but listen as we help you get better at this.

Workout Intensity

All clients indicate on their intake how hard they like to train (it’s called intensity on the workout sheet.)  Check-in with the client during the session and ask them on  a scale of 1 to 10 how tough it is.  Make appropriate modifications during the session.

Workout Complexity

Complexity: always make a client can do simple version of an exercise before moving onto a more complex version.  Make sure they move full the range of motion before weighting the motion.


Don’t let us catch you letting a client get away with imperfect from.  We’ll call you on it in front of the client every time.  Full range of motion and perfect movement is required.


Know you anatomy.  You’ll be tested on this in front of the clients.  Know all your major tendons and muscle groups.

Improve Your Craft

The mentorship is step 1 on your journey to becoming an amazing coach.  Plan to read at least 12 books on personal training each year.  Register for at least one additional certification.  Write blog posts about what you learn.

CrossFit Scaling Course Certification Review by Paul Roberts

MWOD Certification Review Movement & Mobility 101

Finishing Your Workout

If you do not finish a workout.  You must indicate in the workout log, why you failed to complete the workout log in it’s entirety.

If you are running too long, you are likely:

  • Talking too much to the client;
  • Spending too much time on warm-ups;
  • Taking too much time setting up workouts;
  • Spending too much time teaching a complex movement;
  • Giving the client too much rest time;
  • Spending too much transitioning between workout movements.

If you are running too short, you are likely:

  • Not scaling the weights correctly;
  • Not reading the workout program correctly.

Keep Paul and Dawn in the loop on your training

Email us if:

  • If you get stuck in cueing a movement and the client isn’t “getting it.”
  • If you observe any injuries or muscle recruitment problems
  • If you observe any problems with mobility.
  • Check the front cover sheet and make sure the problem you are noting is on the sheet.

The Professional Standard

Coaching at Sand & Steel requires you adhere to a professional standard in the way you act in front of clients.  Here are some general parameters:

  • Avoid being too familiar with clients — clients pay a lot of money to train at Sand & Steel and you should act professionally
  • Dress professionally with clean clothes, combed hair.
  • Don’t come to work hung over or fatigued.
  • If you need to cancel because you are sick, please provide the staff with as much notice as possible.
  • Don’t distract clients when they are training.
  • Avoid having prolonged conversations with clients.
  • Many clients come to Sand & Steel to work out, not to have a conversation with you.  If a client engages you in conversation be polite and respond, but focus your efforts on the training.
  • Avoid joking around or other childish behavior.  Again, this is a professional studio, treat it as such.

Feedback from Other Coaches

Key points: Support other coaches.  Be supportive, work together with the other coach.  The client should feel he or she is getting a bonus of having two coaches working together to help.  Don’t argue with your fellow coaches in front of clients.  We hire amazing coaches at Sand & Steel, disagreements are inevitable, and lead to improvements.  However those discussions are best done in private.

Remember, the supporting coach has the benefit of seeing your movement pattern plus their own.  Generally, they are in the better position to make a change.  Coaches receiving feedback – keep in mind that if a coach is correcting a movement – there is potentially something severe going on.  No one intentionally makes mistakes, but everyone does.  Accept the criticism, and confer afterwards as needed.  The client’s experience, safety, and improvement supersedes and personal ego bruising that may occur.

If another coach emails you with suggestions be polite and write them back a fully responsive answer within 12 hours.  Make sure you respond to all emails from Dawn or Paul within 4 hours or as soon as possible.

The Five Basic Scenarios:

  1. You are showing an SDL but the workout says Romanian deadlift;
  2. The exercise is right, but your execution or the client’s execution is unsafe;
  3. The exercise is right, but there is a more effective modification;
  4. Programming problem in the workout;
  5. Movement quality program in the standard


  • If another coach corrects you on (1) and you agree, just make modification. If you disagree, just follow what the other coach told you to do.  Discuss with coach after session.  If you disagree after discussing, have Paul break the tie.
  • If a coach corrects you on (2) and tells you it’s safer to do it this way, and you feel that their movement advice is safe, make switch (even if you think yours is safe too.) After the session, discuss with the coach why they thought your technique was unsafe. If you disagree after discussing, have Paul break the tie.
  • If a coach corrects you on (3) and tells you it’s more effective to do it this way, make the switch (even if you disagree.) After the session, discuss with the coach why your technique was unsafe. If you disagree after discussing, have Paul break the tie.
  • If you feel a WOD isn’t programmed optimally, make the correction during the workout and email Paul the workout, what you changed, and why you changed it.
  • If an exercise description is unclear, consult with your fellow coaches during the workout. It’s embarrassing yes, but you should look at the program in advance.  Don’t make it up, the client will know.
  • If you find that Sand & Steel’s modification or movement standard isn’t ideal, bring that up with Paul. We update our standards when we find reputable sources and scientific evidence that a global change is needed.

Keypoints to Consider:

  • Keep in mind if you are providing feedback you might not know the reason a trainer has modified a movement
  • You also might not be aware of a particular clients goals and/or limitations

Required Reading to Pass the Level 1 Certification

If you are planning on taking our Level 1 Personal Trainer Certification, this manual, the spreadsheets, and the below articles are you study guide.  Paul, Dawn, and the Senior Coaches are your mentors.  Good Luck, and welcome to the Sand & Steel Team.

Suggested Online Courses From CrossFit (Personal Trainers Only)

Beginner Personal Training Programs

Currently, there are ten beginner programs to choose from.  These are listed in order of difficulty.

  1. Seniors Biomechanics and Motion
  2. Level 1 Biomechanics
  3. Level 1 Weight Loss
  4. Redline
  5. Redline No Shoulders
  6. Lower Body Symmetry
  7. Upper Body Symmetry
  8. Zero2Fit
  9. Everyday Strength
  10. Transformation I

These are the most common programs from a volume point of view.  By your fourth week, you need to know every workout and every exercise in each of these programs.

Fitness Assessment

Our Fitness Assessment comprises 12 exercises which you must analyze in terms of:

  • Technique,
  • Reps,
  • Volume,
  • Scaling,
  • Weight, and
  • Work

It’s very important that produce quantitative and qualitative evaluations of every exercise.  Strict Press?  How many reps unbroken?  What weight?  How was the form?  You will need to make observations on each exercise.  You will also need to know 3-4 scalings of each of the exercises shown.  After completing the Fitness Assessment, you will need to identify the major imbalances noticed, mobility restrictions, injuries, and muscle weaknesses.  You’ll need to provide us with a recommended program plus a rationale as to why you picked that program.

When you complete the fitness assessment you must clearly fill out all fields, explain why you did not complete any exercises.  You must print the program template based on the program you have selected, and place the program and fitness assessment in Dawn’s inbox for review.  Then email Dawn and Paul to check over your Fitness Assessment.

Workout Program

All clients must have a workout program.  The workout program sheet is the organization of the program flow for each individual client. Normally a client goes through an 8 workout cycle that is repeated 4 times. The program is assigned after the Fitness Assessment is completed.  Coaches must initial and date the workout completed the day that they coach the session.

Completing the Workout Program

Second to Last Workout.  If you complete the second to last workout, you need contact Paul and Dawn regarding what the next program.  You must contact Paul and Dawn with this suggestion on the day you coach this second to last session.  Last Workout.  Verify that a new program has been selected.  Remove the old program sheet from the program folder.  Put the new and old program sheet together in Dawn’s inbox.  Email Dawn and Paul to approve the program selection.  This must be completed on the day you coach the last workout of the program.

Workout Program Spreadsheets

First check to see if we already have the workout template for the program you need.  If so, update the clients name and warmups and print updated workout template.  If not:Go to the coach template folder and make a copy of the coach template file needed.  Put the copy in the working directory.  Update the template with the program information from the XT60.  Save the new template into the Workout Templates folder and name it by the name of the program.  Do Not modify Coach Template Files!!!  Also do not forget to save your new template into the workouts template Folder.  This duplicates efforts by creating the same programs over and over again.  This is not an efficient use of your time (and frankly is boring to do anyway.)

Workout Notes + Standards

Write your workout notes in your Coach’s folder, unless the client is a Get Steel Strong Client.  In the case of the latter, the notes go in the client’s folder.  Coaches are responsible for writing down all notes for the session. These notes must include:

  • Workout number completed, the name of the workout, coach’s initials, and date.
  • Rep schemes, rest periods, rounds completed
  • Length of time each round took (if applicable)
  • Warm-ups and Skills Taught
  • Specific Stretches and Mobility Exercises used.  With the names of the mobility exercises.
  • Modifications: Any modifications should be listed in detail and notes to why the modification was made.
  • Special scenarios: note if the client was late, had to leave early, couldn’t go up in weight because of lack of sleep, etc.

Social Media Channels and Sharing Your Media

When you to take pictures/videos of a client — use “Air Drop” to share them with the client (iphone to iphone).  If the client has a droid – email them the videos and pictures as link. Clients prefer to actually get a copy of the photos and videos you take of them, so sharing with them is a MANDATORY part of the process.  If a client is concerned about what the photos look like, tell the client you are going to share them with him or her at the end of the session.

Social Media: FacebookInstagramTwitterRedditG+LinkedInBloggerFlipboardVimeoYoutubeSmugMug


Taking Pictures and Video is very important for marketing on social media.  The number of pictures and videos you have in your smugmug folder also influences who we recommend to clients.  More pictures and videos allow the gym as a whole to get more clients.  Coaches that put more effort into marketing deserve more clients.


  1. Text Paul to get the credentials for Smugmug so that you can login to our account.
  2. Install the app on your phone so you can upload pictures and videos to smugmug.

Folders and Galleries

  1. You are allowed to create galleries only.  Do not create any folders.
  2. You are allowed to upload photos and videos to your own folder.  Do not upload photos and videos to any other folder or the root folder.
  3. You specific coaching folder has the domain structure like:


  1. Make sure you have no music playing
  2. Trim all your videos to the good parts.  Videos don’t have to be long but they do need to be at least 4 seconds.
  3. Clean your lens
  4. Don’t shake the camera

Photo Quality

  1. Check your white balance
  2. Check your lens before taking pictures
  3. Make sure your photo is in focus
  4. Don’t crop your photos.

Personal Trainer & Yoga Teacher Rules

  1. Don’t Erase the whiteboards.  Don’t let clients erase them either.  We use them to write down valuable notes.  If you need a white board, please send Paul a picture of the whiteboard before it’s deleted.
  2. Do not remove books from the gym.  There is a checkout procedure for borrowing books.  Don’t take any books without permission.
  3. Schedule: Our schedule is completed one month in advance. We cannot make changes after the schedule has been posted.
  4. Pay Dates: Twice per month – around the 5th & 20th (depends on the calendar)
  5. Work Attire.  All coaches are required to wear a Sand & Steel t-shirt.  They cost $20 each.  You may buy additional ones or win them through work related contents.  Please choose pants that are well fitting and in good condition – they should not be torn, ripped, wrinkled, or stained.  Hair should be combed, beards trimmed, nails clean, etc.
  6. Keys to Gym.  You will receive keys the gym after we have determined you are competent to coach clients without supervision.
  7. All opening/closing tasks must be completed – every time.
  8. Additionally, when opening/closing with a co-worker, everyone should pitch in.
  9. Personal Workouts.  You may use the gym for your personal workouts. Schedule them outside of our peak training hours.  Clients always come first.
  10. Equipment: Make sure you know where the equipment is.  If you don’t you will lose track of timing during the session.  If that happens you’ll appear disorganized to client, and they will lose confidence in you.
  11. If you observe that any equipment is damaged (or furniture, etc.) please email [email protected] as soon as your session is over.
  12. Have the client help you put all equipment away in the last five minutes of the session.

Organizing and Cleaning

Vacuuming and Mopping

  • Tuesday morning we Mop the second floor.  You’ll do this at the end of your session if you are training clients on Tuesday mornings.
  • Wednesday evening we vacuum the first floor. You’ll do this at the end of your session if you are training clients on Tuesday mornings.
  • Thursday morning we mop the lobby.  You’ll do this at the end of your session if you are training clients on Tuesday mornings.

Front desks

  • Do not leave mail, personal items, water bottles, or any other objects on the front desks.  We have walk-ins and this makes the gym look messy.

Cell phones

  • Cell phones must be in silence or mute while you are the gym.

Cleaning at the end of your session

  • All equipment must be returned to its original location at the end of the session.  You can have the client help you, just end your session a few minutes early.

Cleaning at the end of your day

  • At the end of your day, do a walk through and organize any item that looks messy.  Sand bags, dumbbells, plates, whatever.  Spend five minutes and help organize.

Personal Trainer Technique:

Personal Trainers Mentees must request specific training on specific movements as needed.  Ultimately, it is up to the mentee to make sure they have received training on those moves that they do not know.

For each Exercise: mentees need to:

  • Determine whether they know the movement
  • State whether they have reviewed the exercise in the Sand & Steel exercise database
  • Determined whether the movement is missing from the database
  • Schedule a date for training on the movement if they need training
  • Keep their list up to date with whether they have received training
  • State that they are ready to be tested on this movement.

At Sand and Steel Fitness, we use a variety of different tools for functional fitness that include bodyweight, exercise tubing, TRX Suspension, exercising tubing, dumbbells, barbells, surges, VIPRS, etc. A successful Level 1 Coach must practice, and execute the movements listed in Exercise Workbook below.  Check the exercise library for the movements. Exercises can be also referenced from of the many books in our library. For instance, Starting Strength is an excellent resource for technique on barbell movements.

Exercise Workbook

Download Spreadsheet

Equipment FamilyEquipmentExercise - ClassificationExerciseDo you know this Move Y/N
SquatAir Squat
Low Bar Back Squat
Hi Bar Back Squat
Front Squat
DeadliftConventional Deadlift
Sumo Deadlift
Hex Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift
One Leg Deadlift
Stiff Leg Deadlift
SnatchSnatch Balance
Power Snatch
Hang Snatch
Split Snatch
Olympic Snatch
Push Press
Push Jerk Power Jerk
Squat Jerk
Split Jerk
Bench Press
Kettles, Clubs, DumbbellsKettle Bell
RKC Swing
RKC Alternating Swing
RKC Snatch
RKC Clean
RKC Turkish Getup
RKC Windmill
Kettlebell American Clean
Kettlebell American Snatch
Kettlebell American Swing
Dumbbell Work
DB Floor Press
DB Bench Press
DB Fly
DB Row
DB Reverse Fly
DB Tricep Kickback
DB Curls
DB Military Press
DB Thrusters
DB Deadlifts
DB Squats
DB Lunges
DB Cleans
DB Snatches
Bosu / Step360
Saddle Jumps
Step 360
Saddle Jumps
Ankle Rotations
Suspension Trainer
Rip Trainer
Exercise Tubing
Over head Squat
Reverse Flys
Rows/ High Rows
Tricep Press
Archer Pushup
1 Arm Renegade Row
Mtn Climbers
Knees 2 Chest
Stir the Pot
Bob and Weave
Lizard Tail
Body Saw
Side Plank
Hamstring Curls
Glute Bridge
Reverse Plank
Handstand Walk
Bulgarian Lunge
RIP Trainer
Hockey Check Press
Samurai Strike
Rifle Stack Hold
Overhead Squat
Plyo Row
Flag pole
Exercise Tubing
Ws, Ts, Ys, As
1 Arm Fly
Pull Over
External Shoulder Rotation
Sideplank Press
Overhead Squat
Front Squat
Alternating swing
Flip Swing
Around the world Lunge
Gripless Press
Overhead Squat
Rim Snatch
Good Morning
Bent over Row
Stiff leg Deadlift
Bulgarian Lunge with Twist
Sweeping Plyo Lunge
Lateral Drag
Plank Drag
Mountain Climber
Bentover Row
Dump Thruster
Crossbody lunge
Shoulder Ring
Gada Swing
Russian Twist
Back Squat
Front Squat
Overhead Squat
Good Morning
Plyo Squat
Spin Clean
Olympic Clean
Spin Snatch
Olympic Snatch
Shoulder to Shoulder Press
Suitcase Lunge
Suitcase Deadlift
Bent over row
Sandbag pushup and rollover
Dead bug
Bird dog
RKC Plank
Mtn Climber
Side Plank
Australian Pullup
Hanging Knees to Chest
Hanging Knees to Elbows
Hanging L
Windshield Wipers
Oblique Crunch
Russian Twists
Toes 2 Bar
Muscle Ups
Ring Pushups
Ring Dips
Ring Rows
Ring Flys
Dyanimc Black Burn
Warrior 3

Motion – The 3 Energy Systems:

Please review materials relating to the three types of energy systems.  Understanding the various energy systems, and how the body generates ATP is a critical part of making customizations for a client.

Practice Questions:

  1. Which energy system does the Kreb’s Cycle Pertain to?
  2. What is Lactic Acid Threshold?
  3. What does ATP Stand For?
  4. How long should you do a movement when targeting the Creatine Phosphate system?

Planes of Motion:

There are 3 planes of motion that the body functions in all movement patterns.

Spreadsheet Planes of Motion

Download Spreadsheet

Planes of MotionDirection of Movement
SagitalA plane that runs down the middle of the body splitting into left and right segments. Movements in this plane include flexion and extension.
FrontalA plane that runs downt the middle splitting the body in anterior and posterior segments. Movements in this plane include abduction, adduction, elevation, depression, inversion, eversion
TransverseA plane that dissects the middle of the body segmenting into and upper and lower quadrants. Movements in this plane include rotation, pronation and supination

Anatomical Movement Terms

The following link can be referenced for scientific terminology for movement of each muscle.

Essentials of Programming

Below are six general principles that relate to successful programming of exercise. Knowing and implementing these concepts will not only improve your coaching as well as your ability to modify and create new exercise programs within the XT-60.

  1. Within 4 workouts all basic movements patterns should be performed at least twice.
  2. Workout complex to isolation movements
  3. Consider the level of the athlete in terms of number of total sets
  4. Work two or three key muscle areas (e.g. back chest and core)
  5. If you are doing closed chain exercises work core last
  6. Include relevant warm-ups based on the movement patterns in workout

Acronyms and Training Tips

  • ORM – One Rep Max
  • TUT – Time Under Tension
  • EPOC- Excess Post Oxygen Consumption
  • EMOM – Every Minute On the Minute
  • # – Pounds
  • Eccentric – Lengthening of a Muscle
  • Concentric – Contraction or Shortening of a Muscle
  • Isokenitic- Isokinetic exercise is a type of strength training in which specialized machines, or dynamometers, maintain a constant speed of movement. It typically blends the intense contractions of isometric exercises with the range of motion achieved in isotonic exercises, and can provide a maximal strength workout.
  • Isometric- strength training in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction (compared to concentric or eccentric contractions, called dynamic/isotonic movements).
  • AMRAP- As many rounds as possible
  • Chipper – Lots of different movements at high volume
  • AFAP – As Fast as Possible


Bone Anatomy

Coaches must have a working knowledge of major bone groups in the body and what surrounding muscles are connected.  A better understanding of major bone locations in the body leads to better grasp of joint and muscle functionality.  A great link bone anatomy can be found here.

Muscle Anatomy

Our Muscle Anatomy Spreadsheet lists common joints and muscles that you will come across at Sand and Steel Fitness.  Anatomy is important to understand, because a coach needs to understand which muscles are supposed to fire in which positions.  The spreadsheet list the major muscles and muscle groups.  You also need to understand what the muscle do (e.g. which bones they move.

Muscle Anatomy and FunctionWhat Action Does the Muscle Do?What Bones does this Muscle MoveWhat Exercise Work this muscle as a primary mover?What Exercise Work this muscle as a secondary mover?

Muscles of Head and Neck

Scalene Muscles
Levator Scapulae

Core Muscles

Pectoralis major
Serratus anterior
Pectoralis minor
External intercostals
Internal intercostals
Rectus abdominis
External oblique
Internal oblique
Transversus abdominis

Back Muscles

TrapeziusMove, rotate and stabalize scapulaScapula and humerousShrugsShoulder retraction
Latissimus dorsiPulls Shoulders DownHumerousPull up & RowsRowing Machine
InfraspinatusPart of the rotator cuff, external rotationScapula, humerousClubbell Internal RotationScarecrow
Teres minor
Teres major
Levator scapulae
Rhomboid major
Rhomboid minor

Arm and Hand

Biceps brachii
Triceps brachii
Pronator teres
Flexor carpi radialis
Palmaris longus
Flexor carpi ulnaris
Extensor carpi radialis longus
Extensor carpi radialis brevis
Extensor digitorum
Extensor carpi ulnaris


Gluteus maximus
Gluteus medius
Tensor fasciae latae
Adductor longus
Adductor magnus


Rectus femoris
Vastus lateralis
Vastus medialis
Vastus intermedius


Biceps femoris

Lower Leg

Tibialis anterior
Extensor digitorum longus
Fibularis (peroneus) longus
Fibularis (peroneus) brevis
Tibialis posterior


Flexor digitorum longus
Flexor hallucis longus
Flexor digitorum brevis

Practice Questions

  1. Name all the muscles in the rotator cuff
  2. What is the scientific terminology for the calf muscle?
  3. Name all the muscles that make up the abdomen.
  4. What are the 3 muscles in the butt?
  5. Where is the levator scapulae?

Joint Anatomy

We have made a spreadsheet that lists all common joints that you will come across at Sand and Steel Fitness.  Knowing the joints allows the coach to identify sources of movements and prevent injuries

Metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP)The joint at the base of the finger.
Proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP)The joint in the middle of the finger.
Distal interphalangeal joint (DIP)The joint closest to the fingertip.
Radiocarpal jointWrist
Proximal radioulnar jointElbow —allowing for articulation between the radius and ulnar bones.
Humeroradial jointElbow --allowing for movement between the humerus and radius bones.
Humeroulnar jointElbow -- allowing for movement between the Humerus and the ulnar bones
ZygapophysialFacet Joints in the Vertabrae
Talocrural jointAnkle
Subtalar jointAnkle
Inferior tibiofibular joinAnkle
Metatarsophalangeal joint (MCP)Joint at the base of the toe
Proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP)Joint in the middle of the toe
Distal phalangeal joint (DP)Joint closest to the tip of the toe.

Nerve Anatomy

  • Sacral plexus
    • Sciatic
    • Superficial peroneal
    • Deep peroneal
    • common peroneal
    • Tibial
    • Sural
  • Lumbar plexus
    • Saphenous
    • Femoral
    • Obturator
  • Thoracoabdominal nerves
    • Intercostals
    • Genitofemoral
    • Iliohypogastric
    • Ilioinguinal
    • Lateral cutaneous
  • Brachial Plexus
    • Ulnar
    • Median
    • Radial
    • Musculocutaneous
  • CNS
    • Cerebellum
    • Cerebrum
    • Spinal Cord
    • Brainstem
    • Vagus


Cuing is a valuable skillset to have as a personal trainer.

There are 5 kinds of cues:

Cues for Personal Training Spreadsheet

CuesExample 1Example 2Example 3
AuditoryBig ChestPush TallShoulder Back
VisualDemonstrate the positionDemonstrate the FaultGesture what to do
ExemplaryShow the movement
Video PlaybackRecord the client demonstrating the faulted patternHave them video you perform the correct pattern
PropUse a piece of equipment to help move the client into correct alignmentUse a wall to limit or target a specific movement direction

Examples of Exercise Specific Cues

  • Squat Butt Wink: Foam Roller Butt Wink drill in quadruped position
  • Jerk: Bouncy bouncy press
  • Squat- don’t sit on your bones
  • Squat- Sit back like your chair moved on you
  • Kettlebell swing- your arms are a pendulum
  • Pull-up- Imagine someone is tickling your arm pits
  • Snatch- Pull your shirt up
  • Push-up- Punch the ground away
  • Overhead press- Punch the ceiling…you are superman
  • Thruster- Squish a bug under your heels
  • Deadlift- Back flat- you are a unicorn and your spine shoots out the top of your head
  • Dumbbell overhead press- put your suitcase in the overhead bin
  • Plank- Your mid section is an accordian- squish your bottom rib to your hip bone
  • Bench- Pec activation- use Pilates ring held in hands arms straight, squeeze it together to feel chest activation
  • Bicycle ab work- twist your mid section like you are wringing out a towel
  • Lunges- Your back knee is testing the water- ah, nope too cold, drives back up
  • Kettlebell High Pull- Glamor shot pose at the end
  • Sumo deadlift high pull- elbow the person behind you
  • TRX Row- Don’t wear your shoulders as earrings

Different people with differing learning types will require at least one if not all forms of cues to ensure movement quality.

If cuing doesn’t work: either you are not providing the client with the correct cues or you need to move to a different mechanism.  See Correcting a Flawed Pattern for more details.

Practice Questions

  1. What are some verbal cues for the air squat?
  2. What cues can be administered for rounding of the upper back during the deadlift?
  3. How do you cue maintaining an active arch in the foot?


Scaling movements typically involves progressing and regressing exercises based upon on the individual.Determine which of the 7 fundamental movement patterns is utilized in the exercise in order to determine regressions and progressions. We service a variety of clients with different movement patterns, injuries, deformities, and lifestyles. Developing the ability to modify exercises to cater to the individual will make you a better coach and improve the quality of movement for that person. Below is a list of general scaling principles that will help you apply this concept:

  • Less movement patterns at once are easier
  • Stable loads are easier than unstable loads
  • Bilateral movements are easier than unilateral movements
  • Stationary movements are easier than plyometric movements
  • Tubing is easier than TRX Suspension Trainer.
  • Range of motion should never be sacrificed for heavier weights. Always do full range unless a medical professional has diagnosed a specific restriction
  • Scale range bodyweight movements by changing the vector or providing tubing or TRX assistance

The 7 Fundamental Movement Patterns:

All movements can be categorized into one or more 7 patterns.  The squat, hinge, lunge/gait, pull, push, arc/hollow, twist/resist twist.

7 Fundamental Exercise Patterns of Movement

PatternEx 1.Ex. 2Ex. 3Ex 4
SquatAir SquatBox SquatDumbbell SquatFront Squat
HingeGood MorningRomanian DeadliftConventional DeadliftBox Jump Lift off
PullLat Pull DownSeat RowRope PullTrx Row
PushExercise Tubing PressBench PressPushupPush Jerk
Lunge/GaitStep UpPlyo LungeBox Step downSkater
Arc/HollowSupermansGHD Back RaiseStiff Leg DeadliftLeg Raises
Twist/Resist TwistTRX Core TwistRussian Twist1 Arm Pushup1 Arm Overhead Squat

Practice Questions

  1. Break Down the Thruster into its patterns
  2. Break Down the Renegade Row into its patterns
  3. Find a movement that works resist twist and hinge
  4. Find a pattern that works hollow and hinge
  5. Find a pattern that works the hinge and the squat
  6. Find 3 additional exercises that work the squat in a glycolytic energy system. Specify the how the exercise should be performed.
  7. Find 3 additional exercises that work the pull in a glycolytic energy system.  Specify the how the exercise should be performed.

Correcting a Flawed Pattern

Recognizing Faults

Faults are a client or coach’s body improper movement pattern. Faults can be a result of poor coaching, lack of mobility, and or lack of body awareness. Movement quality and safety are always the number one goal for the coach and the client. An example of a common fault with the deadlift pattern is rounding of the upper thoracic. This fault can be tricky because multiple issues can cause this movement pattern such as decreased flexibility and poor motor control.

When fixing the pattern follow these 5 steps:

  • Check the scaling
  • Check the cues
  • Mobilize the joints
  • Stretch the antagonist muscles
  • Activate the agonist muscles

Correcting Exercise Technique Algorithm

Corrective Exercise StrategyStep 1Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5
Coaching ProcedureIf a coach has done the workout before you, use their notes to determine scaling and difficulty areas in the workout.If it's the first time coaching this WOD, test each movement before beginning the workout. Unless the workout program has a specific warmup, change the warmup in a skills section (using lighter weights), and make sure the client executes solid patterns through out.Determine the proper scaling for each exercise. Before a client goes into a sequence of exercises, the client should know how to do the exercise, the correct form, and have the correction resistance or scaling.You should start coaching immediately when the session starts. You should already know the workout you are doing and how you are going to scale the workout by the moment the client steps on the floor.The workout we provide are an outline, you still have to coach, engage, cue, and scale. Study the workouts in advance, but take control of the session as soon as the client is ready.
Making CorrectionsStep 1 is the clients biomechanical pattern safe?No) immediately stop the exercise. Do not let clients do even one rep of an exercise in an unsafe movement pattern. By the Numbers calls this exercise slop. The tolerance for exercise slop at Sand & Steel is zeo.Yes) Let the client finish the set, then correct.
Analyzing the FaultIdentify the movement faultsThere are generally more than one fault, but there is always a primary fault. For example, if a client is doing squat, and they are not standing correctly, that fault will create several faults down the chain. In general start with the feet and work your way up.Fix one fault at a time using a light weight.
Correcting Faults by CueingProvide the client with a verbal cue. Sometimes all the client needs is a reminder of what to do.If the auditory cue doesn't work, provide the client with a visual cue. A visual cues might be putting your hand out to block the ventral movement of pvc pipe while a client is executing an overhead squat. An auditory cue would be keep the bar over your feet.Provide the client tactile cue. For example, you can tell a client to contract their core. And you can demonstrate contractin your core. However, the client is still sucking in their stomach. Ask for permission to touch the client first, and then push your finger into the client's core and tell them to push our their core. That's contracting your core.
Is it body awareness?Many times a client thinks he or she is doing the exercise right, but they are not.Show the client the correct technique yourself, and see if they can make the correction.If demonstrating doesn't solve the problem, use your phone to shoot a video of the client demonstrating the movement incorrectly. Be sure to upload the video into your Google drive folder so we can use the video for teaching purposes.
Is it a flexibility problemIf so mobilize the area by using of the 5 mobility methods and retest.Generally start with fascial release and smashing and flossing before moving to pnf or partner stretchesOcclusion therapy can be used if the joint range of motion is the issue.Joint Distraction can also be used to reseat the joint in the capsule
Is it a neuromuscular control issue?Sometimes the client doesn't know which muscles to contract. Tell the client the anatomical and common names for the primary and secondary muscles. Optional, show the client the muscles in our of anatomy books.Use isometrics to get the client to create engagement of the muscle in question. If that solves the problem, add correctional exercises for that muscle group to the client's folder.If the client still isn't engaging the right muscle, use bands to pull the client into the direction of the fault. Oftent times this will stimulate the client's brain to activate the muscle that is off. Once the client realizes where their transverse abdonimus is, then they can use their T/A in a lunge.
Is it a loading problem?Sometimes simply lowering the weight will correct the problem. If it's a body weight exercises, decrease the vector to make the exercise easier (pull-ups become ring rows) or provide the client with assistance (squats become trx squats) to provide adaptation.
Is it complexity problem?Many advanced exercises like the burpee or thruster simply have too many patterns to correct at one. Break down the burpee into its elements (its a push - the pushup and a squat -- the jump). Make sure the client can do both. More often than on a burpee, the client make have mobility issues with standing (so mobilize the back) or core recruitment problems with the pushup (so activate the core.)
ScalingThere are two parts to scaling: the movement pattern and the energy system. A proper scaling must use the same movement pattern and the same energy system to be effective.There are seven movement patterns to know -- see the Movement Pattern Article for more details.There are three energy system to know and understand. See the energy system guidelines for more information

Corrective Exercises

Corrective involves the combined strategy of inhibition, stretching, re-establishing motor control and finally integrating knew the muscular connection.

Recognizing an inhibited muscle:

Inhibition: Foam Rolling decreases the overactivity of nuero-myofascial tissue by providing stimulation to the nervous system and relaying to the brain to reduce the amount of tension in the muscle. Coaches should be able to know the proper technique for self-myofascial release for every muscle group. The NASM Corrective Exercise Manual has an extensive index with pictures and cues on how to effective foam roll different muscle groups.

Examples of Corrective Exercises

  • W’s – Banded W’s are a powerful exercise that help build and correct shoulder external rotation. A great deal of people have limited shoulder external range of motion from occupation or injuries. Improving rom and strength will prevent injuries and or reduce pain.
  • Wall Scrapes – A common movement used in Physical Therapy, Wall Scrapes help clients iniate scapular retraction and depression. Clients with poor posture, limited shoulder external rotation, and shoulder injuries would benefit from this specific corrective exercise.
  • Assisted Leg Lifts – Many of our clients have issues activating and maintaining core strength. Leg lowers with band are an effective tool for teaching clients how to control the pelvis and maintain spinal extension with moving limbs.


Muscular imbalances occur when muscles are either deactivated and or injured. The result is a muscle that is overactive (tight) and lengthened/deactivated (weak) muscle. Isolating weak muscles will help to improve engagement and restore proper muscle lengths.

Mobility Methods

Mobility WOD:

The collection features numerous stretches, mobilization, flossing and compression techniques for all joints and muscles. Important when learning these techniques to spend great attention to detail because there are a lot of opportunities to make errors. The Supple Leopard is another great source for Kelly Starrett’s corrective exercise methodologies.

  • Smashing– (myofascial  release) Similar concept of inhibition in foam rolling, smashing enables precise pressure on shortened muscle tissue. Pressure applied to the trigger points allows for nervous system response and muscle lengthening of overactive tissue.
  • Gapping – Utilizing a band or towel to decompress joint surfaces and restore range of motion.
  • Distraction – Banded distraction allows a person to increase the range of motion around the joint by providing a distractive force pulling joint surfaces apart, improving joint articulation and reduced joint restriction.
  • Flossing – Mobilization performed with either a band using distraction or small object such as a ball. “Flossing” involves moving through stiffness of tissue with a tool.
  • Occlusion – Concept of restricting blood flow through bands to compress fascia and stiff tissue and actively stretching and or moving to improve mobility in that area.
  • C-R(Contract & Release) – Follows the principles of prioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching. A stretch is held at the end ROM with active contraction of the muscle. After release the muscle is brought to its new range of motion.

Static Stretching

Stretching is a technique used to increase the length of a muscle and connective tissue improving the range of motion. Muscles that are overactive will have decreased strength, length tension relationship with the antagonistic muscle and can lead to muscular imbalances if not corrected. We utilize many methodologies for stretching. The Supple Leoapard, Kit Laughing and Anderson’s Book of Stretching are all excellent resources for learning stretching techniques.

Coaches should practice, review and ask for verification of the quality of the stretching technique. Just like exercise movements, there are many details and nuances that must be followed to have an effect on the client.

Contract and Release C-R Partner Method

Kit Lauglin uses this partners.

Partner methodology

  • Partner provides angular direction for stretches
  • Don’t provide force– just direction.
  • Partner provides balance support for stretches
  • C-R method made simpler through partner resistance
  • This also known as PNF, some PNF techniques are also found in the Anderson book on stretches.
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