Programming is our “thing” and one of the most powerful tools that we have. It can directly affect people – our athletes/clients – on how they move, look and feel.
It can help coaches, raising their skill level by managing proper progressions with individuals. It can be chaotic OR organized, with the latter giving trainers the ability to get in there, coach, and have a two-way dialogue.
As the owners of a facility, always on our minds is the concept of “do no harm.” It’s the way we approach our programming. We ask ourselves “what is the minimum effective dose that will allow people to make progress and be free of injury.”
The training we do is called concurrent training, which means that we are concurrently trying to improve a few metrics at the same time – strength and endurance.
We design four to six-week training phases/blocks that have purposeful progressions in strength training and aerobic work that advance within those weeks. We write a six-day-a-week program where we are cognizant of not overlapping muscle groups too much or having a level of volume that will affect joint health. That is extremely difficult to be able to do well.
We use several different training methods and principles and, to be able to do that, we must have an understanding of if they can be integrated together effectively.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are dedicated to different types of strength work – these are the days people should prioritize. Tuesdays and Thursdays incorporate different types of aerobic work. On Saturdays, we typically test.
When writing programming, our goals are:
- Movement quality
- Getting people strong in fundamental movements and different planes of movement
- Improving aerobic systems and understanding how to pace
- Teaching clients how to maintain composure in a workout
- Getting them to be able to do complex movements safely
Programming is so powerful that if we were to take one of the strength days out, say Wednesday, and replace it with an aerobic workout or a test, it could easily have an effect on the hundreds of people in our gym. That could cause signaling and adaptation for them to lose muscle and possibly gain body fat. Or we could have overuse injuries pop up.
Our workouts are planned ahead of time and movements are tested to be able to deliver proper progressions. If we were to throw in something random or something with too much volume, it could have a negative impact on the entire upcoming week, affecting the training phase. Often people use words like “fun” or “hard” to describe workouts and that doesn’t necessarily mean purposeful or good.
What we don’t do: random workouts that don’t have a purpose. It’s pretty easy to program a workout that will kick someone’s ass. All you have to do is pick a bunch of movements, assign tons of reps, and get everyone sweaty and exhausted. BUT, expect them to be sore the next day. And bank on the fact that this one workout will negatively impact their ability to train the day(s) after.
We have to ethically feel good about our clients doing our workouts.
Want to know more? Let’s chat…we are big fitness nerds and love to discuss this stuff!