The Prototype Assessment
By: Michael Collette Head Coach/Owner of CrossFit Prototype
At Prototype we have evolved over the 3 years of being a CrossFit affiliate. Our origins and background stem from education and practice in the Sports Medicine world. As many of your know and we have spoke about in our post on What to expect in a CrossFit class at Prototype, we believe in proper warm up and movement prep. Doing a bunch of air squats, push ups, sit ups, pull ups, running and PVC pipe dislocates isn’t a warm up by our terms. To that end, we take our prep work seriously and want everyone coming into our facility to get the most out of their training.
What we also understand is that movement prep should not only be specific to the exercises you are going to perform for that day but also specific in regards to the individuals movement capacity. So what is movement capacity. How we define movement capacity is an individual’s ability to create desired and appropriate mobility and stability through a given domain. Your movement capacity on a squat might not be as high as your movement capacity on an overhead press and vice versa. Do not confuse movement capacity with movement competency. These two things are entirely different. What is movement competency? Quite simply its an individuals ability to recognize and perform the desired movement pattern through well versed and synchronized coordination. This can be understood easily when comparing an elite weightlifter to a beginner. The elite weightlifter has a much higher movement competency than the beginner. But with that said, the beginner might have better overall movement capacity.
So why is this important? I am glad you asked. The reason why understanding the difference between movement capacity and movement competency in a training environment is to identify whether someone can actually move well or has the ability to perform an exercise or, if its a technical cueing issue. You can’t always cue someone out of poor movement patterns. If I continue to tell an athlete “elbow’s up” and they can’t physically get their elbow’s up it’s like beating a dead horse, it’s not going to do any good.
At Prototype we have developed a system where we can identify and understand an individuals movement capacity and movement competency through our Prototype Assessment. Our assessment process is very thorough and is a combination of global and localized movement patterns which are broken down into further intricate movement tests based on our findings. A philosophy that we have adopted from Gray Cook is “move well, move often”. This is an approach that many people don’t think about when exercising or moving in general. If you don’t move well, that needs to be our focus to get you in a position to move more. And if you move well, then lets get after it!
What is the Prototype Assessment?
The PA consists of 5 movements which are broken down into sub divisions to identify movement flaws. In addition, static and dynamic posture is evaluated, breathing mechanics as well as scapular positioning. Based on how well you do the tests is indicative what will be the next test to rule out certain movement flaws. The PA takes roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour and is always preceded with a screening of prior exercise and injury history and goal setting.
After the PA, your coach will create a specific warm up and corrective plan for you to do with an explanation of what you will do and how often you will do these specific drills. There will be a follow up session to go through and teach you some of the movements. It is expected that this plan is to be done prior to and after your workout of the day. Some clients will have additional work to do day to day to improve movement capacity and/or movement competency.
Who is the assessment for?
Identifying your movement areas of opportunity (I don’t like to use the word weaknesses) allows us to develop a specific plan for you to get you moving better. Hence everyone should go through a thorough assessment because we can all move better. If you goals are:
- Move better
- Decrease risk of injury
- Get stronger
- Increase endurance and work capacity
- Lose weight
- Slow the aging curve
- Feel better
- Increase energy
Or what ever your fitness goals are, moving better is at the route. You want to increase your squat but your movement is limiting you? We need to solve the movement issue. You want to increase your running capacity but running is really challenging for you? Lets look at how you move, maybe we can fix it and help facilitate a better pattern.