This blog is going to introduce you to 5 steps to periodise client programmes and get the goal WITHOUT hours of planning.
- What is a periodised client programme?
- Why many Personal Trainers don’t periodise client programmes
- 4 Reasons WHY you should periodise your client programmes
- Five simple steps to periodise client programmes without overwhelming or confusion
- How to advance your knowledge and confidence as a FitPro
What is a periodised client programme?
Periodisation divides a long timeframe into smaller more manageable chunks. It allows for greater focus on a specific physiological adaptation at any one point and helps manage all aspects of training towards peak performance.
Periodisation is used with athletes and professional sports players, to ensure they are ready for a season of competitions, and then use the off-seasons effectively to improve performance and recover.
There are some key periodisation terms to know:
Macrocycle = The long-term goal or long timeframe (usually between 12 weeks and 1 year)
Mesocycle = A chunk of training with a specific purpose and focus. This is usually 4 weeks in duration.
Microcycle = A one-week cycle within the mesocycle.
Why Many Personal Trainers don’t periodise client programmes
Although periodisation is included in the Level 3 Personal trainer syllabus, it is often seen as a “hoop” to jump through for the case study assessment.
As a result, many fitness professionals graduate from their course without an adequate strategy that allows them to use it with clients to focus on training and guarantee results.
Without a strategy to follow periodising, a client plan can feel daunting and overwhelming.
As a result, thousands of trainees and qualified personal trainers don’t create a periodised plan for their clients. They end up struggling to plan single PT sessions and struggle to guarantee results.
If that sounds familiar, then keep reading as the 5 steps below will add simplicity and structure to how you plan for clients:
4 Reasons WHY you should periodise your client programmes
1. It focuses you and your client on one thing- GOAL SUCCESS!.
Your periodised plan will be agreed upon between you and your client before starting, and this is a great time to get the client really excited that their goal will be achieved.
For example, have you ever started planning a wedding or a big event – it feels like a big tangle of things “to do”, and half of them you don’t even know how to do. Hire the event planner, and at that point, you take a sigh of relief that it is being handled by an expert, and you can enjoy the journey as well as guarantee on an end result.
It’s the same for your clients. You are their event planner; coach and mentor, they will be relieved that you want their goal as much as they do
2. It prevents Injury and overtraining.
Using principles like the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) principle will encourage a rest week or a de-loading on the 4th week. This encourages full adaptation and recovery, by forcing a plateau.
This also gives a client something to look forward to rather than each session getting harder and harder. Remember exercise is a stressor, so the most adaptation happens on these rest/ de-load weeks.
3. It is focussing
Periodisation is kinda like writing a book. You have the full book (macrocycle) and then individual chapters (mesocycles) with set outcomes and achievements.
Not only is this better at guaranteeing physiological adaptation without conflict, but the client knows how to prepare for future sessions.
It can be much more exciting and achievable to achieve small stepping-stone goals, for example, you may have:
1st Mesocycle = Foundation Fitness for 4 weeks – increase endurance and learn basic skills
2nd Mesocycle = Hypertrophy for 8 weeks – increase calories and training routine to increase the size
3rd Mesocycle = Fat strip for 4 weeks – gradual taper of body fat and calorie deficit
Goal achieved – Beach ready in 16 weeks
4. It creates a framework to plan around
This can still be flexible as clients do have a life outside of training. The periodization is completed in advance, predicting what will happen for weeks and months ahead. This is a great chance for you and your client to discuss barriers that may stop them from completing and find ways to work around this and accommodate the client’s “life” into the plan.
5 steps to periodise client programmes & get the goal:
Use these steps to add structure and focus to your client’s programming without spending hours writing plans.
Step 1: Rectify your mindset and PT package.
“YOUR Goal is for the client to achieve THEIR Goal”
You should be an action taker and do whatever it takes for your client to achieve that goal, both with your help and in their own time.
This makes it very difficult to charge per session, as getting the result doesn’t just rely on physical sessions.
Make a package that is goal focused and factors in all of the nutrition, lifestyle and mindset advice required alongside training to get the goal they desire.
This immediately removes the comparison of pay-per-hour prices, as they are signing up to get a goal, rather than have a handful of PT sessions
Step 2: Find out What They Want.
Success is all about finding out what your client wants… and giving it to them.
This all starts with sitting down with your client upon enrolling, and finding out exactly what they want. It should be a really clear agreement, be honest and make it super achievable as well as REALLY EXCITING for the client.
The client will tell you what they want (i.e. to get fit), but what does that really mean?
Who do they want to become by the end?
What do they want to achieve and why?
Step 3: Formulate the basics
If you are starting out, keep it simple and chunk it using the GAS principles, like the image below.
Start with the big goal, the big event/ re-measure in 12-16 weeks.
Then create a few chapters or shorter goals, these are mesocycles – ( i.e. maybe every 4 weeks).
This should create a distinctive difference in each mesocycle which will help focus your programming.
Now you know that the next 4 weeks are dedicated to hypertrophy for example, and you can map the nutrition and training plans to this. The above should take max 30 mins. Keep it simple and just do the overview in advance
Step 4: GAS
Using the GAS principle (simplest – if you are new to Periodising) and schedule de-loading weeks to allow adaptation and progression.
GAS – the general adaptation syndrome, requires a “de-load” week in week 4, which forces a plateau and allows for recovery and adaptation, before increasing the intensity again in week 5.
De-load can be achieved through a reduction in frequency, intensity, time or type of training.
You could de-load by taking out one session in week 4 (reduce frequency). But still, meet with your client – do their measurements and discuss nutrition and mindset. The detail of the sessions you can add closer to the time, as said earlier- clients do change:
Step 5: Be Flexible
Accept that there are some sessions that may not work the way you planned, but you have invested time and knowledge into an awesome and effective periodised plan which will keep you and your client focused on the goal.
Stick to this the best you can, but be adaptable to your client and their daily troubles and physical condition.
Apply logic, and find a new way to achieve the same result (you’ll be surprised how many different methods can help you reach the same outcome).
Planning doesn’t need to be overwhelming
Our FIT-Progressions online programme breaks down each of these in detail with clear protocol to follow for each one.
Plus you learn how to periodise your planning of these systems to allow for logical progressive overload so your client can get their goal every time.
Become a knowledgeable and confident FITPRO, with a clear strategy to get results with your clients every time.
There’s no more self-doubt. There’s no more guessing what to plan or how to get client results. FIT-Progressions has 8 modules and 18 video tutorials that guide you through every stage of your Level 3 Personal Trainer case study, and how to work with clients effectively.
This is for you if you’re…
- struggling to complete your coursework for PT, Yoga, or Pilates
- a newly qualified FITPRO that feels stuck or overwhelmed
- unsure where to start when planning a client session
- worrying about applying your course knowledge with a real client
- doubting you could get results and lack structure to client packages
- anxious and confused about how to get found and get busy
Click the link to find out more and join us:
Dedicated to More
Hayley “4 Steps To Plan a Clients Main Session” Bergman
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