Coaching Language That Matters: Customizing vs Scaling
Video by Kirsten Ahrendt & Fritz Nugent

Customizations can be progressive, regressive, and substitutes. We’ve opted to use the term “customizing” over “scaling” with Invictus members because “scaling” implies “less than” and that’s not the purpose of changing a workout for someone. It also tends to make members feel like they are not as good as others in the group because they aren’t doing the “Rx” movement. 

Customizations aren’t about scaling, they are about individualizing. Words really do matter. Think of customizations as a 360-degree, nebulous construct that can morph and adapt to any need you have. A big part of Invictus-style of coaching and programming is the level of agency and freedom to personalize that we encourage our members to have. Customizing is essentially taking opportunities in group classes to individualize the training session to better align with what you need or want. Read more on what customizing is and how to use it with your groups…

Are you a coach who wants to learn more about customizing for your group coaching athletes? Check out what Invictus University has to offer you in this area (and many other areas too)!


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Chet Manly
Chet Manly
March 27, 2023 5:45 pm

Thank you for this video/article. I’ve had a lot of conversations with other coaches on this topic with the classes that are run. This is certainly a “thing” that we all need to continually look at to improve the team we are coaching as well as ourselves. This is the principle of individuality that often gets overlooked when time becomes the overarching obstacle in a class setting. One thing I’ve done, is post the likely daily movement expectations for the week and promote conversation prior to the workout as to individualize the WOD as best as possible. So far, it… Read more »

Kirsten Ahrendt
Kirsten Ahrendt
March 31, 2023 11:45 am
Reply to  Chet Manly

Thanks for sharing your experience and insight, Chet! Glad this coaching topic resonated with you and the folks you’re coaching. This is a central topic and focus for our team of coaches at Invictus – we are constantly looking for ways that our interactions, cues, and briefs (pre and post workout) can foster a “culture of customization”. There are so many layers to ensuring there is “buy-in” with both other coaches and members to this idea, and it is NOT an overnight process. It can take a long time to shift culture at a gym to think beyond just Rx… Read more »

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