How to Design a Personal Training Plan in 8 Simple Steps
We have all read magazines telling us the best workouts for thinning down, putting on muscle and developing 6 pack abs. But the workout section is only 1 part of designing a professional personal training program. Following the 8 steps below will ensure you get results quickly, safely, and consistently. It will also catapult you above the average personal trainer and establish you as a professional in your field.
Soft tissue work. Exercising and then stretching with bad soft tissue will only make matters worse. Consider an elastic band with a knot tied in it, pull the ends of the elastic band and the knot gets tighter. The same thing happens with soft tissue. Use a foam roller to remove these knots and adhesions before the workout begins.
Muscle activation and corrective exercise. Following your initial assessments you should know what muscles require awakening. You will have begun this process with the foam roller but certain areas may need more focus, in particular the glutes. You may also want to spend some time working on muscle firing patterns.
Core training. For many clients TVA activation may be poor or even non-existent so you will want to go through a series of progressions to improve the situation. Once TVA has been mastered both laying and standing you can move onto some static stability, namely planks.
Mobility. The fountain of youth and an area very under emphasized. Go through numerous joint mobility patterns concentrating on every joint in the body. Here you are looking to improve your clients joint mobility and also highlight areas that may need attention in the future. You may find it easier to work from top to bottom or vice versa. Joint mobility also acts as an active warm up.
Strength Workout. Here you take your tools of choice and put them into a 20 minute workout. Put together Circuits, Tabata's, Ladders, Timed Reps, Challenges etc. Concentrate on the BIG movements and keep rest periods short to improve cardio levels. Try to include: a horizontal push and pull, vertical push and pull, one legged exercise, squat, deadlift. We use a lot of Kettlebells but you can use Dumbbells, Barbells, Powerbags, TRX etc.
Cool down. Don't just stop after the workout. Your body still needs your muscle activity to circulate oxygen around your body. Go through some more mobility, the areas that need most work. Spend 5 minutes just bringing the heart rate down.
Stretching. You need to stretch a lot to make a difference. Education is the key here. Teach your client how to stretch, don't do it for them. Concentrate on only the areas that need stretching. Like tuning the strings of a guitar only work on certain areas. Do not just develop the same stretching routine for every client.
Post Nutrition. Often neglected by many trainers. Encourage your client to eat a good combination of protein and carbohydrates within 1 hour of their workout. We do not encourage our clients to drink artificial protein drinks but that is up to you. Inform your clients why this is required and the consequences of missing out this important part.