“LIT” — the Level Method Group Programming Philosophy (Part 1 of 3)

Levels, Intent, Themes — “LIT” – is a simple way to remember the philosophy behind Level Method programming.  Each of the letters — L, I & T — embodies a specific aspect of group fitness programming.

If you haven’t seen the 8 foot map at the gym or are new to our health & fitness newsletter you can read more about What Level Method Is here.

The Level Method Programming mission is to provide the best group programming to gyms that have wide ranging clients and fitness. 

There are two important points to address for group fitness programming before we get started. (If you’re a personal training client we handle this for you!)

1) In gym programming, one of the challenges is to be specific enough to be effective and get desired results, while also varied enough to be engaging, interesting, and fun over the long term. Very rarely is every person going to LOVE every single workout. 

2) Some members come in every day, others only 2 days per week. Different goals, different schedules, different priorities. This is a factor that can’t be controlled, and we make sure every workout is productive so no matter what day people come in, there is a good workout for them. Because of that, we don’t have dedicated recovery days at our gym but don’t recommend more than 5 high intensity workouts per week for anyone.

Our Programming Is LIT

The first principle of our programming philosophy is Levels — the L of LIT. It allows everyone in group class to do a workout that is appropriate for them, in terms of movement patterns, loading, stimulus, and energy systems. They perform at their appropriate (and proven) Level.

This concept allows systematic individualization in a group fitness environment – that is, we individualize the group experience. To do this, we need Levels. We need a structure that lets us put “handles” on our clients, so we understand their fitness at a glance.  We identify abilities and quantify performance, so we can systematically adjust and scale, based on real, dynamically adjusting data. 

Levels give us an objective, big picture view of clients in terms of their fitness. But this can still be too broad, so we need a way of further customizing workouts, to get closer to the ideal workout for each person. To do this, our programming uses Levels Considerations.

We can customize a workout based on the individual levels that pertain to a workout, rather than on the overall Level of an individual because everyone has some strengths and weaknesses.

This may sound confusing, so let’s use the example of a Breathe & Burn workout, with Deadlifts, and Pushups shown below in our new workout tracking app that we use for personal training in Glen Cove and group fitness classes in Glen Cove.

A female client with the overall level of BLUE comes in with a strength in Deadlift (RED) but a weakness in UB Push (ORANGE), based on her Levels (indicated in the bottom left in image).  We refer to the day’s workout for appropriate adjustments around safety & consistency, and we scale it down to an ORANGE UB Push level — in this case, to Box Pushups.  But for Deadlifts we can bump it up to a higher weight, in this case bumping her to 105lbs, because she has proven competence at this level and above — this allows an appropriate Deadlift weight, that matches our intention for the workout and produces a challenging workout that produces results.

So, for this client, she would do a workout that includes deadlifts @ 105, and Box Pushups.

With Levels Considerations we are able to systematically customize workouts, and hit the bull’s-eye of the workout’s intent. It takes us beyond normal scaling —  it’s much more thorough and we can provide a challenging workout totally appropriate for anyone, and in a group!  

This has always been a challenge for group fitness gyms, but, since we’ve been around longer and continue to improve and be the best we can, this is something clients can’t get at any other gym. No one else can do this — almost everyone in crossfit is still working from some version of the Rx Mentality, or in other workout programs you “just go slower” or “just rest more” or “just do less”. Not at One Life, not anymore, because if we know better, we do better.

That’s why we invested in Level Method and that’s the “L” in “LIT”.  Levels.

Tomorrow we’ll chat about the “I” Intent and Sunday the “T” Themes in “LIT” then Monday we start our workout assessments at the gym. 

I couldn’t be more excited for you to experience this.




Talk with a coach about your goals. Get the plan to achieve them.


Take the first step towards getting the results you want!

By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from One Life Fitness & Nutrition