Many coaches rely on training templates for their clients.
While templates may ease the coach’s workload, it significantly impedes the client’s physical development. Why? Every client is physically unique, and are in different stages of physical and motor development. Therefore any program that falls short of being 100% tailored to their values, priorities, and needs, simply will not be effective.
It can be daunting when first faced with individualized program design. That’s why OPEX Fitness has devised a framework to simplify the process. After conducting a thorough client consultation and assessment it is time to design an individualized program using an OPEX framework for program design – The Three Ps.
( Tip: Looking for a one-stop shop to master program design? Master these simple principles and learn to program like a professional.)
First, start to consider a client’s program in relation to their priorities. Prioritizing is the idea that at each stage of training, a client is going to have different priorities specific to them. Knowing a client’s priorities and aligning not only their exercise program, but their nutrition and lifestyle pieces with these priorities are key to their long-term success.
Next, periodize. Before breaking down a client’s program into days and weeks a coach needs to work backward from their priorities. When working backward a coach can realize what needs to be in place at specific times and program accordingly to ensure a client reaches their goals.
Finally, there’s planning. Planning is done in deep consultation with a client and comes down to lifestyle questions.
How well does a client respond to stress, day to day, in terms of rhythm and circadian rhythm?
When can they fit in their training sessions given work and home-life?
When are they mentally acute? How do they best recover?
Knowing the answer to these questions gives the coach insight into the intricacies of the program. The intricacies include exercise selection, tempo, repetitions, sets and rest time, giving the coach the confidence that they are designing a program a client can not only execute on but build on long-term.
Program design is truly the culmination of a coach’s knowledge. Professionally designed programs use data from the consultation, assessment, and works with nourishment to deliver the client to their goals. Program design is much more than just writing out workouts, it takes informed planning and an understanding of the client’s values, priorities, and needs. Learn the art of programming with the program specific course, Programming: Principles.
Programming: Principles is a 3-hour course lead by program design expert, James FitzGerald, and covers how to assess your clients, program progressions to maximize each energy system, and how to train across the Strength Continuum to elicit the correct dose response.