Coach Kirsten going over a workout

Does “Scaling” Workouts Disrupt The Flow of a Class?
Written by Kirsten Ahrendt and Kelly Sekulovski 

Group classes are such a popular option for workouts because of the comaradery it brings, and the joint suffering that you and classmates go through together. But when you are all scaling to different fitness levels, does this take away from that aspect of group classes? 

Why Invictus Customizes Workouts vs. “Scaling” Them

Still stuck in the world of scaling? That’s so last year.

Customizing is essentially taking opportunities in group classes to individualize the training session to better align with what you need or want. If Invictus was Burger King, it’d be our way of saying “have it your way”.

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. So now let’s look at what customizing workouts for your athletes does to the flow of the class.

Why Is Customizing Workouts Important? 

Customizing workouts is both common and necessary for ensuring that athletes maintain the stimulus of the workout, aka the intention behind the workout. If that intention is to go fast and sprint through a workout, but the amount of volume in the workout is too high for you to maintain a sprint, are you maintaining the stimulus of the workout by going slower to complete all the movements? No, you aren’t. 

But, if you are cutting back the volume to a point where you are able to sprint through the workout, are you maintaining the stimulus? Absolutely. Whether you are doing the prescribed volume or not, there is always an intended stimulus behind a workout and that should be the guide for workouts. 

Whiteboard Debrief: Keeping the Stimulus of the Workout and Customizations 

In this video Coach Kirsten goes over how she approached a workout with her class, and how she encouraged people to customize the workout to maintain the intended stimulus. 

Does Customizing Workouts Disrupt The Class? 

When athletes are doing different versions of the same workout together, does this throw off the flow of the class? Absolutely not according to Coach Kirsten. 

We have all been in scenarios where we didn’t customize the workout to our needs and avoided scaling accordingly, and we are finishing WAY behind the rest of the class. Call it ego, call it not understanding the stimulus, but by NOT scaling to maintain the stimulus- that is disrupting the flow of class. 

“When people are doing different things, you might think that it creates disparity in classes, or they don’t feel cohesive, but the opposite is actually true,” said Coach Kirsten. “When everybody is making adjustments and customizations to achieve the intended stimulus they end up kind of staying on the same clock and they quite literally move through the workout together and now they can be pushing themselves and they have that camaraderie.” 

Want More Coaching Tips? 

Learn the principles and methods that our team has used for over a decade to develop top-tier professional coaches that are committed to their craft by enrolling in Invictus University. Join the next Invictus University cohort waitlist by emailing   

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