Integrating the FMS into Group Training
I have a pretty special post today that includes an interview of Steve Long, one of the co-founders of Smart Group Training, discussing how to integrate the FMS in group training. More exciting, Steve was willing to give an exclusive discount on their Smart Group Training Assessment product for my readers only!
Steve and I have been chatting about stuff for a little bit and I was really impressed with how he and Jared Woolever created the Smart Group Training system. As a physical therapist, I have always felt that one of the draw backs of the group training format was the lack of individualization. Steve and Jared have essentially systemized an approach that solves this problem!
I have watched their latest DVD and definitely recommend it, especially with the special discount for my readers.
MR: Tell us what exactly is Smart Group Training and what made you want to create SGT?
SL: “That is a really great question actually. Smart Group Training is many things really. It’s a training system, an educational website, educational products, workshops, etc, but more importantly it’s a movement. It’s a movement towards increasing the quality of group fitness training, and a movement towards increasing the communication between trainers, strength coaches, and clinicians.
Myself and business partner Jared Woolever had been doing 1 on 1 and semi private training for many years when we decided to open up “bootcamp classes”. We knew there were a lot of great benefits for clients mainly the price and atmosphere, but the quality of training was just not as good as semi private.
We knew from that point, that we had to either cut bootcamp or make it just as quality as semi private training. We dedicated ourselves to creating the best group training system available, and that is how Smart Group Training was born. We just didn’t know at the time, what it would really end up becoming.
Our first product, Smart Group Training Volume 1 – Screening and Corrective Exercise, came about because so many people were asking us about our training systems, and how we incorporated the FMS into bootcamps. We created the product for our friends, and it has started to explode.”
MR: The corner-stone of the SGT system is the FMS. I like how you integrate a system to customize the large group training programs. Since you have probably seen 1000’s of FMS scores over the years, what do you tend to find are the most common deficits you see?
SL: “It probably won’t surprise you to find out that we see a lot more mobility issues with men, and more stability issues with women. So we find that a lot of the men start with 1’s on the Active Straight Leg Raise and Shoulder Mobility. We will typically see women start with 1’s on the Rotary Stability, Trunk Stability Push Up and the Deep Squat.
Almost everyone starts with a 1 in the following:
- Active Straight Leg Raise
- Shoulder Mobility
- Rotary Stability
- Trunk Stability Push up
These are the foundational movements that we spend the most time working on by far. These movements must be cleared before moving on to the functional movements like lunging, stepping, and squatting.”
MR: What are your top corrective strategies to address these common findings?
SL: “The biggest thing is to make sure that people stop doing exercises or actions that could make it worse. Then we give them a corrective exercise strategy to correct the pattern. We find the weakest link on the FMS Hierarchy and attack that pattern with corrective exercise. We have the client do 1 or 2 exercises. Those exercises should be done pre workout, during the workout, and 1-2 times per day outside of training sessions. Some examples of exercises we use to correct the bottom four are:
- ASLR: Pelvic tilts, pelvis repositioning, Leg lowering progressions, toe touch progressions
- SM: Breathing, ribcage repositioning, reachbacks, cat cow, wall slides
- RS: Rolling, bird dog progressions
- TSPU: Elevated push ups, band assisted pushups”
MR: In your experience how long does it take to start seeing improvements in your clients’ FMS scores?
SL: “Our goal is to see changes in the first session. That’s definitely not always the case, but many times it is. Typically we want to have each movement limitation cleared within a few weeks at the most. If it takes longer than that we refer out. The screen usually points you to the right spot to make sure that we are correcting in the right order. Most people who have issues with the correctives not working are not following the hierarchy.
For example, sometimes one set of leg lowering will clear a clients ASLR deficiency forever, and sometimes they have pathology that caused it to never be a 2 or 3. Generally speaking however, it usually takes a couple of weeks.”
MR: What kind of carryover do you see in your clients’ general fitness goals by individualizing their programs and developing corrective strategies based on the FMS?
SL:“They blast through plateaus! Clearing movement dysfunctions allows the clients to do things they couldn’t do before, it keeps them injury free, and a lot of times takes people out of a “high threshold life” which lowers cortisol and helps with fat loss. Moving good and feeling good, are huge for general population, and the FMS helps us with that.”
MR: When will we be seeing more SGT products?
SL: “We have so much great stuff coming out this year. I can’t even begin to explain how excited both Jared and myself are to get this stuff out! We have asked thousands of trainers, PT, chiros, and strength coaches what they need, and we are producing it. We have close to TEN great products coming out this year.
A lot of the stuff that we are doing this year is based around program design and giving people “done for you” programs that you can use immediately.
Over the next few months, keep an eye out for:
- Group Training University: Basically and MBA on starting and running a group training business.
- SGT 365: This is an entire year of done for you group training program design based on the FMS, and SGT training systems.
These are our next two products that will be available over the next few months, but like I said, we have a lot of great stuff coming out all year-long. Check out our blog, and get on our newsletter list to stay up to date with everything that Smart Group Training is doing”.
Special $50 Discount for My Readers
Steve and Jared were nice enough to give me a special discount code for my readers to get $50 off their Smart Group Training Assessments DVD program. Click the link or image below and be sure enter coupon code MR50 in the shopping cart to receive $50 off. This is a limited time offer for this week only! The discount ends at the end of the day Sunday.
Steve Long NSCA, FMS, USAW, IYCA, TPI, HKC, KBA
Steve has made quite a name for himself in the fitness industry, achieving many awards and acknowledgements for his accomplishments. He has trained a variety of clients ranging from ages 6 to 80 in 8+ years in the fitness and performance industry. He assists clients in many aspects of health, fitness, weight loss, performance training, nutrition, and more. Steve is known for his practical approach to training and blending the many benefits of corrective exercise into highly metabolic conditioning and fat loss programs. Among other things, Steve specializes in functional fat loss, sports performance, golf fitness, injury prevention/post rehabilitation, kettlebell training, and lifestyle coaching. Steve has been mentored by, and continues to learn from the best professionals in the industry, bringing the most cutting edge programs to his clients and fitness trainers worldwide.
Learn more at SmartGroupTraining.com.