Good day Armati Tribe. If you have been in the gym during the past week, then you likely noticed the newest graphic up on the message board (see image below). What’s up with that? Well, it’s funny you should ask. This is our latest and greatest technology known as the Armati Energy Exertion Scale, and here’s what it is all about.
Let’s start by discussing why the exertion scale is on the board. The other coaches and I want to establish a way for you to improve awareness of your energy levels when you are at CFA. The underlying goals in developing awareness are to decrease injury risk, improve your gym experience and better match your expectations with your effort. During each class, it is our goal as a staff to deliver the very best hour of your day, and this simple graphic will help us accomplish that.
Here’s how you use this fancy piece of technology. Upon entering the gym, you will look to your right. Your eyes will catch sight of the exertion scale. You will then take an internal assessment of your current energy level, mood, and expectations. Based on your internal assessment, you will determine if you best identify with the green circle (high energy/refreshed), yellow triangle (moderate energy/mild fatigue) or red square (just here for the coffee). Now that you have found your “identity” for the day, you can keep this in the back of your mind as the coach explains the workout and intended stimulus and again as you begin the warm-up. The scale will help you determine how much energy you will expend during the day’s work.
Green Circle: This athlete has high physical and emotional energy levels. They are refreshed with minimal to no soreness, focused and in good spirits. They might be coming off the weekend or a rest day and are ready to get after it. Workout intensity can be high.
Yellow Triangle: This athlete has a little bit of fatigue setting in. They may have worked out a couple of days in a row, did not get great sleep the night before, have some muscle soreness or possibly returning from an injury or illness. The “yellow triangle” athlete can get a great workout session, but it is recommended that this athlete avoid the max effort intensity levels. A recovery day may be needed tomorrow. A great warm-up and cool down with mobility is also a great idea for this athlete.
Red Square: This athlete may have struggled just to get into the gym. They are battling fatigue for various reasons. They may have walked into the gym with their head hanging low as their mood and focus are low. The red square athlete might be at the end of a very demanding week of workouts, recovering from a prior day’s max effort workout and/or dealing with significant muscle soreness and tightness. The main focus for this athlete is mobility and quality movement and not high intensity. Training at high intensity repeatedly while at this particular zone is likely to lead this athlete to higher frustration levels as well as much higher injury risk. We are glad this athlete is in the gym, but let’s get some good quality movement today and call it a win. Please be aware that repeated “red square” days are not normal and are NOT a sign of getting some good workouts in. This zone is never the goal of our workout programming.
Here’s what the Armati Energy Exertion Scale is:
- A basic indicator of the amount of effort you will expend in the daily workout.
- A tool to help you recognize patterns and trends in your training and fatigue.
- A way to recognize when you need to focus on movement quality, mobility, deload or take a day off. If you come to the gym several days in a row as a “red square”, your body is begging you to recover. Do it!
- A way to recognize when to BRING IT!
- A way to improve communication between you and the coaches. We program every workout (unless specified otherwise) for athletes to perform at high intensity. If a coach is encouraging you to pick up your tempo/pace you can let them know you’re in “red square” mode and your goal is simply to move and survive the day. Now the coach has a better idea of your expectations for the day and how to help you succeed in other aspects of the workout.
Here’s what the Armati Energy Exertion Scale is not:
- Perfect. It’s close, but not quite there.
- The AEES will not tell you how to modify or scale your workout. It is based upon your personal, subjective experience and not specific movements, weights, times, etc.
- The AEES is not built into our programming. We will not make specific workout suggestions based upon this scale. This is for your benefit and to aid in developing awareness of your current physical and mental state along with pattern recognition in improving member – coach communication.
We hope you find this tool useful and ultimately improve your member experience at CrossFit Armati. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to bend the ear of your coach.
As always, hold the standard.