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The 4 Lifestyle Categories:Action, Fit, Athlete, Elite

A long time ago when I was trying to find ways to be inclusive I came up with 4 lifestyle categories. Action those who are beginning to move. Fit students who are moving regularly without a general focus. Athletes are those who are training with the goal of increasing an outcome. Lastly is Elite. The elite focus on all areas of their life capitalizing on sleep, food, recovery, etc. to positively impact outcomes. 

My intent with these was to give my team the ability to quickly identify the category of person and a language they could use that was supportive and inclusive of their place in the journey. These 4 lifestyle categories also are critical to providing the correct programming. Long-term adaptation of fitness behaviour is very reflective of LTAD. I broke it down in the following ways:


-3 times per week

-6 exercises, 2 being constants and 4 variable


-3-4 times per week

-6 exercises, 3 constants and 3 variables


-3-4 times per week

-6 exercises, 4 constants and 2 variables


-4-5 times per week

-6-10 exercises, all constants.

This outlines the untrained to the trained pathway and allows for exercise exposure to capitalize on each stage of the process. 

The untrained (Action group or grade 7-9), is defined as someone who has less than 80-100 hours of resistance training within a 6-month time frame. The largest impact on progression for this group is a variety of movements. Programming should be more of an exploration of movements that allow the subject to learn how to lift in a plethora of ways, with only a few constants that allow for the subject to have insights into their own development and build a knowledge base of how consistency affects progress. 

As we shift out of Untrained or Action, students move into the Fit category which is grades 9 to 10. To really win we must move slowly. Here a foundation of knowledge and understanding has been created with respect to the various different types of equipment there to use. Along with how to move correctly across hundreds of different exercises. We begin to program more constants with slightly fewer variables to learn and track the effects consistency along with different exercise affect outcomes. Outcomes should remain general here, and not be 1RM’s just progress, for example, being able to do more push-ups, more sit-ups, and more squats at a percentage of body weight. This stage is about another 6 months of time and for some could be the stage they settle in for the rest of their life, which is great. 

Some folks will graduate so to speak from untrained to trained and move to Athlete usually your grade 11-12’s. ‘Athlete’ is just a term to define that folks here are interested in using the 4 laws to get specific outcomes with their training. Almost the entire program will be constants with the variables shrinking again.  Here we are tracking performance metrics deeper and using progressive overload to maximize the adaptation curve. 

The last stage is Elites, or your grade 11-12 athletes trying to move on from high school sports or students who are pursuing a career in the fitness and health industry. Programming at this point is completely structured. Even routine warmups are done to allow for reflection on how the subject is feeling before a training day. Every single thing is measured and targeted to a specific outcome. Some students will just get here without a sports focus or career focus, they just feel in love with exploring how great they can feel and perform and is a sign that they moved through each phase correctly.  

The main takeaway here is that using these 4 lifestyle categories is useful in making sure that we don’t place students in phases that are not right for them. The second is respect for the development curve. We allow students to learn at a safe pace that gives them the confidence to move in life. 

This is a massive process which places extreme demands on teachers to fulfill and execute in a group setting. This is why we built REP so we could empower teachers and inspire students.  

Schedule A Demo To learn more about REPerformance and how to leverage it in your classroom to build individual pathways to success.

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