2XL Training: “Strength for Every Body”
2XL Training’s “Autism Strong” Program
2XL’s Autism Strong Program is a fitness and exercise program designed for children, teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other related special needs. 2XL Director of Training Eric Stone along with 2XL Co-Owners Dr. Howard Penrose and Joe Atef designed the Autism Strong exercise program to meet the growing need for fitness training in the autism community. Eric Stone has 10 years of experience training individuals with special needs, and has helped design and implement both private and small-group programming through his career. Dr. Penrose is a former board member of the Autism Society of Illinois, helping to raise awareness and funding to help families with children on the autism spectrum. Joe Atef is a World-Class strength athlete and trainer.
2XL Powerlifting, LLC and the Autism Society of Illinois are working together in a continued effort to bring awareness and programs/support to the community. A percentage of all 2XL Autism Strong program proceeds are donated to ASI each year as part of this effort. 2XL also provides a bridge to the powerlifting and strongman community for volunteer support of ASI programs!
The Autism Strong program works to improve your, or your child’s, coordination, endurance, strength and help improve body composition through a structured exercise session:
- Dynamic Warm-up: Each session begins with a dynamic warm-up both to raise your, or your child’s, heart rate and prepares your body for exercise, but also to work the fundamental locomotor movement patterns: running, skipping, shuffling, jumping and moving in multiple directions which directly translate to daily activities.
- Cardiovascular Endurance: After preparing your, or your child’s, body for exercise through the dynamic warm-up, the session moves to cardiovascular training. In addition to using traditional “cardio” machines, such as treadmill, exercise bike, or elliptical, to improve aerobic capacity, this part of the session will continue to work to improve your coordination through additional movement drills and implements like an agility ladder and mini-hurdles.
- Strength Training: Using age and developmentally appropriate exercises and equipment, 2XL trainers will teach proper technique to develop your lower body, upper body and core strength. Lifting weights may be a tool used, but not before a foundation of proper movement patterns has been developed with bodyweight and core exercises.
- Conditioning: This part of the session will challenge you or your child with short bursts of intense exercises like sled pushes, sled drags and battling ropes. These types of exercises that are usually used in a sports training or “boot camp” settings work well with individuals with special needs. They are of short duration and challenging improving your cardiovascular health and improving general resistance to disease.
- Free Choice: Every session ends with a free choice time where you or your child can choose a favorite activity, play a sport and/or earn a reward or motivator. identifying and rewarding each session with a motivator is a key component to the success of the program, making it fun and something you and your family will look forward to.
The 2XL Autism Strong program is customized to fit your needs. Does your child have low muscle tone? The strength training section of the session can be emphasised and will focus on developing stronger muscles and core strength. Is weight control a concern? The focus of the session can emphasize the cardiovascular and conditioning sections to keep the heart rate up to burn more calories and mobilize fat. These two are merely examples, and demonstrate how the structure of the program can fit multiple needs.
The Autism Strong program can be implemented in a private, partner, small group and family setting:
– Private Training: In order to reduce distractions and place a laser focus on individual needs, we may need to establish a foundation through one-on-one personal training. For children, teens and those initially with a shorter attention span for structured activity, 30-minute sessions are available in addition to the traditional 60-minute private sessions.
– Partner Training: If appropriate, you or your child may perform well with a partner in their exercise sessions. Be it a friend, teammate, or even a sibling, the sessions can be adapted for two clients at a time.
– Small-Group Training: In groups of 3-5, a class that utilizes the components of the Autism Strong program can help improve social interaction in addition to improving fitness. While a small-group setting may not be appropriate for everyone, it can provide a lower cost, challenging and fun training option for many while practicing your, or your child’s, social skills.
– Family Training: Working together and sharing a program is used to help strengthen family bonds providing a fun, interactive and challenging opportunity.
How Do I Start?
You and your child will have an initial Assessment and Consultation with 2XL Director of Training Eric Stone. 2XL Training can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (855) 797-5438 (PWR-LIFT) ext 202. The assessment helps us work with you to determine the best program fit!