Implementing programming for individuals with disabilities should not deviate far from the expectations and programming of "typical" clients. Effective accommodations, modifications, and support allow all people to benefit from the same experiences.

This week marked the end of the summer session of my Developmental Strength classes. What made this session different was that I offered more opportunities for free choice, making classes much less structured than normal—and I was amazed by some of the choices.

The following were some requests, and how I was able to modify them for success.


If the idea of racing or competition is involved, the kids love it. It could be the most grueling and unappealing task, yet just by enticing them with the idea of winning, interest can be reignited. This concept is individual, and it is important to realize that explosive issues related to losing should be a major consideration. Personally, I like to win—so I have some work to do in this area. Luckily, though, they are still sort of scared of me, so there weren't any blow outs. We did sandbag races, Prowler™ races, and races with nearly any mobility exercise we do.

This week, a preferred choice involved one mom participating in a Prowler® push/pull race. Not only was she a good sport, but she ROCKED it and gained new understanding of how difficult the Prowler® really is.

Stone Loading to Keg

AKA: Wall Ball Loads—complete with stone loading sleeves for the full strongman effect.


Yep, one guy laid right down and wanted to bench. We worked with the PVC pipe until he understood the movement. Then, we worked up to pressing a light, hollow bar. He did ask to squat, but the SSB and chains were set up in the monolift, and my motivation to move them wasn't high enough.

Tred Sled

We also did some football drills on the Tred Sled. If you've never used one, let me tell you a few things. First of all, those things are terrifying to get on and to just start running. It also takes some practice and some getting used to...and it takes some work to get the tread moving.

We did run some defense drills on it, but the kiddo couldn't get it moving. So while he held the tackle dummy, I was bent over and pulling that tread as quick as I could in order to get it moving. I'm not sure who was sweating more by the end!


In other news, one comment that popped up was that things were "too hard"—and this was often associated without the willingness to try. The mental shutdown is immediate, and thinking on your feet to problem solve is critical. For instance, at one point the Prowler® was begging for some extra weight, so I threw on two 10-pound bumper plates. However, the size of the plates made it "too hard" and everything came to a halt. Too hard = I'm not going to do it.

Therefore, I pulled off the bumpers and put on the small 10s. It was the size difference that caused a mental block, not the weight. The next session I even threw fives under the tens without one boy knowing, and he was able to do it successfully.