“Adapt to Empower”: Creating Seamless Pathways For Knowledge & Practice in the Fitness Industry

“Adapt to Empower”: Creating Seamless Pathways For Knowledge & Practice in the Fitness Industry
By Jess Silver

By Jess Silver

Executive Director, Flex for Access Inc.

Flex for Access Inc. releases comprehensive new E-book compiling research and practical knowledge related to Adaptive Fitness and Sport

It’s true that there are so many resources for fitness industry professionals to engage with, and latest trends to observe. Professionals have an interest in understanding ways to leverage their client base, membership sales and to keep pulse on the latest exercise innovations related to equipment, but there’s a very drastic gap in education and providing services for a necessary niche- the target audience often referred to as individuals who are part of special populations; this includes individuals with physical disabilities and acquired injuries.


Even with today’s society becoming more aware of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and the legal obligations that businesses have to comply with best practices for hiring in their companies, sensitivity training to different populations, person-first language and accessibility standards related to the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act); there still exists a drastic gap in the understanding, openness and competency of fitness industry leaders understanding why fitness is to be a crucial part of anyone’s life and especially across the lifespan of individuals with disabilities of all nature and specifically those which are physical in their nature of impairment.


It’s time that individuals who have physical disabilities be included in the conversation more when it relates to health, fitness, and their overall wellness, that needs be understood as individualized and not burdens to the healthcare system, and that it be more widely feasible for individuals of this demographic to exercise at mainstream gyms and exercise studios. It is ever- apparent that the discrepancy in opportunities for adaptive fitness exists because of barriers to infrastructural accessibility but also because of gaps in knowledge availability and translation of how to work with individuals who have varying needs.

adapt to empower

The Adapt To Empower eBook created by the team at Flex for Access; a Registered Non-Profit Organization for adaptive fitness and sport promotion now makes it possible to understand the need for adaptive fitness in the mainstream and equips fitness leaders and professionals with practical how-to’s.


Adapt To Empower looks at fitness and sport as two sciences that go hand-in-hand where the fundamentals of fitness which include Mobility, Flexibility, Strength and Conditioning directly impact both early exposure to sport and sport performance whether at a recreational, or amateur level or semi-pro or professional. The eBook was created to address the gap in providing meaningful opportunities for individuals with varying abilities, physical disabilities, and injuries to participate in sport and fitness and to highlight Flex for Access’ role as a Non-Profit Organization which facilitates these opportunities in partnership with gyms and exercise or sport facilities.


Adapt To Empower includes:
  • Definitions of Adaptive Fitness as it is to be recognized in the mainstream
  • A Breakdown of the targeted muscle groups and areas of the brain that are part of Functional Fitness
  • Modifications to exercises for individuals who are part of the adaptive population
  • An Elite Level Strength and Conditioning Coach’s Perspective On Working With Adaptive Athletes: the importance of the work and importance of mental performance and resilience to one’s physical wellness and training performance
  • Definitions of Person-First Inclusive Language and other considerations related to creating a safe fitness training environment
  • Sections on Flex for Access’ Impact and Work and Non-Profit Organization Milestones
  • Easy to learn sport fundamentals for working with children with Cerebral Palsy and other physical disabilities
  • Adaptive Exercise Equipment Considerations For Gym Owners to include in their facilities


Flex for Access is thrilled to have created a universally designed, accessible eBook that will help you stand out as gym owner, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Fitness Instructor, or Health and Education Professional that is currently working with adaptive athletes or individuals with varying needs or looking to tap into this demographic to change lives and redefine access to fitness and sport opportunities within mainstream facilities.

Adapt to Empower can be purchased at https://www.flexforaccess.ca/products_resources.html. Proceeds support Flex for Access Inc. and creating avenues for adaptive fitness and sport in Canada and beyond.

Jess Silver, Executive Director of Flex for Access, is excited to share the eBook developed by Flex for Access and its organization partners, Adapt to Empower, which is now available for purchase through Flex for Access’ website under the Products and Resources Tab. The goal for Adapt To Empower is to inform the way that all fitness professionals work with individuals who have physical challenges. The eBook also features exciting types of exercise equipment for fitness businesses to consider implementing in their establishments.

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