How Archon Combine Works
Archon Combine allows people of all abilities to perform standardised assessments and be evaluated according to their own personal ability, not anyone else’s. Our algorithms take into account all factors including height, weight, age, gender and even wingspan to ensure your statistics are measured according to your personal performance – this allows everyone to be assessed on a level playing field and is why it is the perfect software for Fitness Professionals to asses their clients. Keep a record of everyone you train and assess their improvement from the analytical data that automatically populates as you input client scores.
The Assessment Criteria
When it came to the criteria for the assessments the one word that kept coming up was standardisation. How do we standardise a movement pattern so that we can create consistency of the results and therefore the data being obtained? By reliability, validity and repeatability so that we could be sure that if one person is doing a squat then 300 miles away someone else doing the same assessment will essentially look the same. The hardest part was that everyone has their own opinion as to what they believe constitutes a perfect squat or the stance that you should come out of when performing a 40 yard dash and in the whole scheme of things that’s great as it proves that there is more than one way to do anything. However, it’s not good for standardisation and so we had to find a compromise.
How do we sort the criteria out for each assessment?
It didn’t matter how diligent we were the one thing that will always happen is someone will question your methodology and so we thought the best way in which to limit this type of response was to obtain the criteria from the very highest possible sources that we could. With this in mind we set out to seek the endorsement from the various governing bodies that would be involved in the assessments and we formed close relationships with British Weightlifting for the Relative Strength Assessments, Woodway for the Running, British Rowing for the Row Assessments, Wattbike for the cycle and PAS for agility. We also went directly to Dr. Paul Comfort of Salford University and the NSCA for his input to create the ultimate set of criteria for each assessment.
So once the endorsements were in place then it was a case of sitting round a table and discussing the criteria and coming up with a breakdown for each assessment. We then went back and forth making every adjustment that we thought possible until everyone agreed on the format of the assessment and the performance criteria associated with them and they became the standards to which every assessment on the Archon Combine platform would abide by.
It’s now up to you to make sure that you understand the criteria and follow them, either when performing the assessment yourself, with your clients or with your players. Once you’re a part of Archon you’re part of community and we want you to have that sense of belonging but with that comes a responsibility to the other people within that community. So don’t think that the criteria don’t apply to you, they apply to everyone and if we are going to achieve our goal for the project we need everyone to play by the same rules.
The Tier System
When we first started we just had a scoring system in place, which essentially gave you a percentage once you had completed one of your assessments. The only trouble with this is that a percentage is linear, it goes up in a straight line, so people with a 60% score would just refer to themselves as above average as its 10% higher than 50%, which most people regard as average.
The thing with performance though is that your progress doesn’t follow a linear line. If you are at the start of your journey then your progress is really fast and you will jump from one personal best to another in a matter of days or weeks, but as you start to progress further though PB’s start to get further apart in duration. And so this is where the percentage system fails. Sitting at 10% and trying to get to 20% should be pretty easy but getting the same 10% increase from 70% to 80%, even though its still 10% will be considerably harder to achieve and therefore this is why we decided to look at a tier structure which is linked to your Archon Combine Assessment Score.
How do the Tiers work?
Each assessment tier is slightly different, through research we know that progression in certain areas is faster than others, and so the tiers represent this. Let’s take the jump as an example. We’re not going to tell you the exact workings behind how the tiers work but rather give you an indication as to how they became as they are.
There are 6 tiers in total, Tier 6 being regarded as a novice, or in some cases, this could be due to injury, lack of mobility or motor skills, and Tier 1 elite standard. This would represent someone who is at the very top of his or her game, think Rebekah Tiler for British Weightlifting or Nathan Togun at British Bobsled. To progress from Tier 6 to Tier 5 might, in this case, require an improvement of 5% with Tier 5 to 4 being an additional 15% and so on.
In the Row however the curve maybe slightly different with the figures being 8% and 20% respectively. The only thing you need to know though is that they are the same for everyone.
A famous quote out of the film Layer Cake with Daniel Craig perfectly sums up how you should think about the in’s and outs of the Tiers:
“Details, details, things to get done. Don’t bother me with the details; just tell me when it’s done.”
Concentrate on doing the assessments in line with the criteria and leave the rest of the details to us.
This is at the very heart of the Archon Combine system, it’s the bit that everyone wants to know and is probably the hardest to describe. We also can’t give you the entire structure as it would give away all of our hard work and research over the last 6 years of development.
Think of if as a handicap system, a way of levelling the playing field.
How do we sort the criteria out for each assessment?
Too often when forming a comparison within fitness we look at one singular unit and make our decision based upon that with no regard to any other factors that could play a significant part. The best example to use is Relative Strength versus Pure Load Lifted. When someone says “what do you bench” in the gym what they essentially asking you is “how much weight do you put on to the bar?” Their response of 120kg then forms the basis of comparison to the number of kg that you place on the bar and you formulate a conclusion that either you have more load on the bar than he does or vice versa in order to decide who therefore has the best bench press.
This is without doubt the most flawed, dated philosophy ever when it comes to comparing performances within fitness. Just some of the things you have failed to take into account are the weights of the individuals lifting the loads. If person A, lifts 120kg and weighs 120kg then they are essentially lifting a 1:1 ratio. Person two, who only lifts 100kgs only weighs 80kg in bodyweight and therefore has a lifting ratio of 1.2:1 making his lift more impressive than the higher load, lifted. You will then need to take into account their ages, their genders, their heights and in some cases anthropometric measurements as well to get a truly accurate picture of which lift was the best.
All of the assessments work in the same way, some are calculated in power output (watts per kilo) others speed, distance or time. Some will place you in a heavyweight or lightweight category depending on your bodyweight, which can hugely vary the expected result. It’s for these reasons that Archon Combine has taken so long to develop and why we were so careful about whom we’ve let see it and whom we haven’t.
Do you need to know anymore about the algorithms? No. You just need to know that every time you type in your result there are a million different equations going on in the background so that you can turn around to your gym buddy who’s been lording it over you for years due to heavier loads being lifted and finally prove that you are in fact the stronger one. How good will that feel?
SIGN UP TO THE COMBINE
If want to become a part of the Archon Combine then please sign up and start your journey!