How We Classify Athletes At PhysXtreme Athletic Performance | athlete classification

I’m often asked how we differentiate our training between experienced athletes, and those with little experience in the weight room. One important distinction however, should be made. An athlete can be quite experienced in his/her sport (say a 19 year old hockey player), but have very little experience in the weight room, and have a poor ability to control their posture during weight training exercises.

It is a mistake to consider a skilled athlete to be a skilled lifter in the weight room. For this reason, at PhysXtreme, we have specific grading criteria that we use to determine the type of training program that we give to an athlete.

Whenever an athlete comes into our facilty, we run them through a specific warm-up routine with specific movement assessment patterns built into it. Our assessment of the athletes movement patterns allows us to create a map which most efficiently takes us from point A to point B. Without such an assessment, programming training variables would be blind. Blindly programming training for any athlete will produce average results at best.

Programming must be based on the preparedness of the athlete, and must both increase performance and decrease risk of injury.

Training Methods:

1) Maximal Effort (ME): Training uses maximum loads of generally 90%+ loads.
2) Sub-maximal Effort (SE): Lifting submaximal loads to near failure. 80%-90% loads.
3) Modified-Repetition Effort Method (RE): Lifting submaximal loads to near failure. < 80% loads.
4) Dynamic Effort Method (DE): Lifting submaximal loads at the highest possible speed. Load dependent on goal.

At PhysXtreme Athletic Performance we classify athletes as follows:


1) Inability to perform bodyweight exercises with correct technique.
2) Training involves mostly bodyweight exercises with an emphasis on general full body movement. Basic barbell technique is also taught with an unloaded bar.


1) Bodyweight exercise proficiency is nearly achieved though still lacking sufficient strength of movement to move into the next class.
2) Weight training with barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells is introduced using the Repeated Effort method with loads no greater than 12-20 rep ranges.
3) Bodyweight training still trained during all sessions.
4) Introduction of the Dynamic Effort method through use of jumps, hops, throws, medicine balls, etc. is used to teach explosive movement and improve rate of force production.


1) Bodyweight exercises are mastered.
2) Introduction of Sub-Maximal Effort method.
3) Use of Repeated Effort method for improving muscular weaknesses and body composition.
4) Use of Bodyweight training for strength, increased muscle size, and conditioning continues.


1) Possesses excellent body awareness and can move through space with control and precision.
2) Ready for more complex training methods and movements.
3) Maximal Effort method introduced with sets of 1-5RM based on the specific preparedness of the athlete.
4) Training focus is significant increases in strength to aid in power output during sport.
5) Concurrent use of Dynamic Effort and Repeated Effort methods for increased athletic ability and increased
muscle size.


1) Very likely that athletes will have moved on to semi-professional or professional sports by the time they reach this level.
2) Generally an athlete will only reach this stage of development if their natural athletic ability is extremely high, and their
specific preparedness increases faster than the average athlete, allowing advanced methods to be used sooner.
3) The Dynamic Effort method is a focal part of training at the advanced level. The DE method is used to heighten the expression of power output. This requires an already tremendous strength base.
4) The Maximal Effort method will continue to be used with loads that allow for 1-3 repetitions to be performed.


As in all areas in life, there are always exceptions to the rule. If we have a new athlete with tremendous strength in the weightroom, but who has not mastered bodyweight training, they would be classified as to the average of their abilities. Our training system will bring up their weaknesses, while not allowing their strengths to become detrained.

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