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Embracing Modification

Modification is a practice of self-awareness. It’s not about doing less; it’s about doing what’s best for you. In this blog, we explore exercise modifications through the lens of women at different life stages.

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Modification is a beautiful practice of self-awareness. It’s about tuning into your body and making choices that honor your current state while fostering long-term health. At Vie Athletics, we see every modification as a sign of wisdom and strength. It’s not about doing less; it’s about doing what’s best for you.

So, when do you modify? Let’s explore this through the lens of different life stages and scenarios, using a typical mini Vie Athletics workout as our guide. Our made-up cast of characters does not account for everyone. There are ages missing, all nuances aren’t considered, and more. What we hope this does show is that each woman is approaching her workout with self-control and grace, allowing her to find the strength her body is offering her that day even if it is different than what she is normally capable of. 


15:00 EMOM (5 Rounds)
Minute 1: 6 Kettlebell (KB) Burpee Deadlifts
Minute 2: 6 Alternating Gorilla Rows
Minute 3: :40 Box Jumps

The Energized Gen Z

  • Age Range: Late Teens to Early 20s
  • Dynamic, energetic, and always on the move
  • Juggles volleyball and multiple activities
  • Modifications involve enhancing intensity for a workout that matches her boundless energy and athletic pursuits

Emma approaches the workout with enthusiasm and a strategic mindset. She tunes into her energy levels each day, knowing that even a young, dynamic body needs balance. Emma’s goal is to maximize her performance while maintaining long-term athletic health. If she feels particularly fatigued from a previous volleyball game, she moderates her pace during the workout, ensuring she maintains form over speed. On days when her joints feel sore, she opts for lower Box Jumps or substitutes with step-ups to reduce knee strain.

Technical Insight:

  • KB Burpee Deadlifts: Emma focuses on explosive power, adding a jump at the top of each rep to enhance intensity while ensuring her core is engaged to protect her lower back.
  • Alt. Gorilla Rows: Emma uses a lighter weight if she feels fatigued, ensuring she maintains proper form and avoids overuse injuries while keeping a steady pace.
  • Box Jumps: On high-energy days, Emma performs high Box Jumps to challenge her agility. On low-energy days, she opts for step-ups, preserving her joints and maintaining cardiovascular effort.

Post-workout, Emma incorporates static stretching and foam rolling to enhance muscle recovery and flexibility, preparing her body for future activities.

The Resilient Mother

  • Age: Early 30s
  • Experienced mother with a busy schedule
  • Occasionally experiences stiffness but feels strong overall
  • Modifications involve adjusting intensity while prioritizing core engagement and proper form

Palmer approaches her workout with focus and determination, understanding the importance of longevity in her fitness journey. She listens to her body, especially on days when fatigue from her busy life sets in. Palmer aims to balance high-intensity workouts with proper recovery, ensuring she doesn’t overstrain herself.

Technical Insight:

  • KB Burpee Deadlifts: Palmer chooses a lighter weight, focusing on the mechanics of the movement. She ensures her core is tightly engaged, and her form is impeccable to avoid lower back strain.
  • Alt. Gorilla Rows: To protect her back, Palmer uses plates as a base to reduce the range of motion that taking the kettlebells from the floor would demand. This adjustment allows her to maintain strength training while reducing stress on her lower back.
  • Box Jumps: Palmer opts for lower Box Jumps to decrease impact on her joints. She ensures each jump is controlled and mindful, focusing on soft landings to protect her knees.

After her workout, Palmer incorporates specific stretches targeting her back and hips, followed by a gentle yoga flow. This routine enhances her recovery, promoting flexibility and reducing stiffness.

The Committed Fitness Enthusiast

  • Age: Mid 40s
  • Dedicated to her fitness journey but noticing age-related changes
  • Deals with occasional aches, particularly in the shoulder and lower back
  • Modifications are essential for safety and progression, emphasizing controlled movements and active recovery

Brooke approaches her workout with a blend of intensity and mindfulness. She values joint preservation and listens closely to her body’s signals, recognizing the importance of preventing injury and maintaining her fitness over the long term. Brooke’s strategy involves adjusting her workout to avoid aggravating any aches while still challenging herself.

Technical Insight:

  • KB Burpee Deadlifts: Brooke selects a moderate weight to minimize strain on her lower back. She performs the movement slowly and deliberately, ensuring each rep is controlled and her form is perfect.
  • Alt. Gorilla Rows: Brooke replaces Gorilla Rows with bench rows, focusing on maintaining proper alignment and engaging her back muscles without putting undue stress on her shoulders.
  • Box Jumps: She opts for step-ups instead of jumps. This modification allows her to continue cardiovascular training without the high impact on her knees and hips.

Post-workout, Brooke engages in gentle stretches and mobility exercises aimed at improving her range of motion and promoting joint health. She understands that active recovery is crucial for maintaining her fitness level and preventing injury.

The Determined Newcomer

  • Age: Late 50s
  • New to Vie Athletics, eager to build strength and confidence
  • Takes it slow and light initially to learn and adapt
  • Modifications are crucial for gradual progression and injury prevention, focusing on building a strong foundation

Shannon approaches her workout with determination and a focus on gradual progression. She prioritizes safety and proper technique, recognizing that building a strong foundation is key to her long-term success in fitness. Shannon takes a little extra time to find the correct position and understand proper muscle engagement. For example, she seeks out the hamstring engagement in her movements to ensure she’s targeting the right muscles.

Technical Insight:

  • KB Burpee Deadlifts: Shannon selects a light weight and performs the movement slowly, ensuring she maintains proper form and engages her core muscles effectively. With the goal of increased mobility in mind, Shannon steps her feet out into the proper positions versus jumping. 
  • Alt. Gorilla Rows: She opts for bench rows to provide additional support for her lower back, gradually building strength in her upper body without risking injury.
  • Box Jumps: Shannon opts for plate jumps instead of box jumps. This approach allows her to maintain control and minimize impact on her joints while still challenging her cardiovascular system.

After her workout, Shannon incorporates gentle stretches and mobility exercises to improve flexibility and promote recovery. She listens attentively to her body, recognizing the importance of modifications for her safety and progression.


At Vie, we understand that everyone’s journey is unique. While our characters represent common stages of life or challenges, we know that you won’t fit perfectly into these molds, and that’s okay. Our goal is to show that regardless of your season of life, modification is not just expected but celebrated. By embracing modification, you’re building a fitness routine that supports your life and goals. It’s about creating a sustainable path that allows you to thrive, not just today but for years to come. So, let’s celebrate these adjustments and recognize them for what they are: intelligent, thoughtful steps toward your best self.


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