Do you ever find yourself trying to reinvent the wheel every time you complete a cycle of training with your client? Or once you have reached a few weeks of progression, does it feel like you do not have an action plan to where to go next? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are not alone. The solution to these problems is having a long-term plan in place.
Planning is something that every great coach should practice. Having a plan creates a pathway for clients to reach their goals effectively and removes the program design guesswork for you.
Planning is the roadmap from A to Z. Without it, program design becomes a guessing game. A plan puts the coach and the client in the same vehicle, allowing a client to recognize where they currently are and where to focus their attention on the journey ahead. Visualization into the future is crucial for development and without a plan it becomes easy to get lost in the trenches, leading to a destination of unknown and uncertainty.
A coach needs to extract information about the client and what they are seeking to gain from their fitness journey. Some clients will have specific events or deadlines they wish to prepare for on their own. In this case, a coach has a framework to work with. Other clients will have a broad goal like becoming stronger. A coach must refine a broad goal into a specific goal.
Broad client goal: “I want to get better at squatting.”
Specific client goal: “I want to improve my 1 rep max back squat by 40 pounds this year.”
A specific goal is essential to create accountability for the client and coach.
The steps to effectively consult and identify goals are located in our Free Professional Coaching Blueprint.
Once a specific goal is in place the next step is to investigate what is required to take to obtain that goal.
Example: Improve back squat by 40 pounds this year
These requirements can now be implemented in the training plan.
The next step is to set a deadline and meet it. The reason a deadline is effective is that it makes the plan manageable and gives a date to work back from.
Example: Improve back squat by 40 pounds in 12 months.
This creates a practical sense of urgency by creating a healthy tension that will propel the client forward.
The last step is to take the specific goal and break it down into measurable phases of training.
Example: Improve back squat by 10 pounds every 12 weeks.
From here, take the 12-month deadline and break it down into 4 phases.
Phase 1) 12 Weeks: Increase 1 rep max by 10 pounds
Phase 2) 12 Weeks: Increase 1 rep max by 10 pounds
Phase 3) 12 Weeks: Increase 1 rep max by 10 pounds
Phase 4) 12 Weeks: Increase 1 rep max by 10 pounds
The program is now simplified into smaller subset goals, and the coach and the client now have smaller phases of training to focus on while building up to the goal.
This system creates a pathway for success. It’s simple and gives a coach a framework to follow no matter what the goal is.
It’s not only clients that need efficiency, coaches do too. The best way to enhance your program design efficiency is by having a solid foundation of fitness principles. Start with our free course on principle-based programming, The Professional Coaching Blueprint.