Program Design

Program Design is a concept which is oftentimes explained to the client, but they usually interpret this as ‘exercise selection based on ability or preference.’  Recently I made the choice to invest in learning more about program design.  Though this, I had one really big Ah-ha moment when I realized that program design is the primary driver towards achieving the goal(s) of a client-and keeping them motivated long-term.

Variables to Consider

For ability, you have different progressions and regressions for exercises.  For preference, you have the delivery method (i.e. one-on-one, small group, team training).  But for achieving your desired goals, you have (and need) proper program design.  This will keep you attaining goals, and subsequently coming back for more (i.e. longevity).


If one client presents her primary goal of improving functional fitness and the other of improving body composition; each of these two clients will require different training programs in order to achieve either goal.  If one has home workout equipment and the other is a member of a local gym; each of these clients will need different training programs.  If one can only commit to 1-2x per week training and the other 3-4; you guessed it-each of these women will need different training programs.

The point in saying all of this is to turn your focus to Program Design as a possible explanation for lack of adherence, discouragement, or better yet-turning your mind ‘off’ to the idea of exercise because it just isn’t serving you anymore.  Program design is longevity, and longevity is program design.

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