Episode 022: How To Avoid Overwhelm And Self-Doubt When Planning Workouts For Personal Trainer Clients

Planning workouts for personal trainer clients often create overwhelm and self-doubt.

FitPros often feel overwhelmed by the amount of choice available in planning. They feel confused and get STUCK, either doing too much or not enough planning.

The good thing is, these emotions can be eradicated with 5 key principles. We are going to explain on today’s podcast.

After this episode, you will be able to apply your knowledge using a simple and clear structure. This means planning for your clients becomes purposeful and not a chore.

Click the PLAY button below to listen to the entire episode

How to Avoid Overwhelm and Self Doubt When Planning Workouts For Personal Trainer Clients

Grab the FitPro Sessions Podcast show notes:


1:00 Introduction to Episode 022 of the FitPro Sessions Podcast
2:00 Common problems with planning workouts for personal trainer clients
3:30 Overwhelm from too much planning and underwhelm from no planning
6:00 The opportunity created by planning with structure and simplicity
7:00 Principle 1: Volume
11:00 Principle 2: A Specific Client
13:50 Principle 3: Value Planning Time
15:50 Principle 4: Format in Crayola
19:00 Principle 5: Physiological Adaption
22:00 Action Steps – start with the end in mind
31:00 Knowing the funnel to follow in planning
32:30 Overwhelm is just a feeling
35:00 Leave a review, comment below and join our Inner Circle FB group

5 Principles: Planning Workouts For Personal Trainer Clients

Principle 1: Volume

It’s crucial to remember that planning gets easier the more that you do.

So, if you are a new FitPro and have only a few clients you have fewer chances to practice the planning. The more you do over time, the easier it will get

TIP: Make up hypothetical clients to practice the art and science of planning.

Principle 2: Specific Client

If you had to plan for EVERY type of client, and every type of GOAL, it would definitely be overwhelming.

By specializing in one client type and/or one goal, you can focus your research to one area.

This means that you don’t have to panic or get overwhelmed. You will KNOW the answers to the questions they have and be EXPERIENCED at planning for them.
Principle 3: Value the time

To do planning properly, it will take a little bit of time (especially to start with). It is certainly not going to be something you can doodle on your hand whilst in your client’s session.

If it takes time you need to think about money and pricing. You cannot just charge an hourly rate for your services, as you have to factor in the time it takes to plan and prepare.

Fit Pros that fail to factor in planning time into their package prices will usually not plan at all. This has a knock-on effect on the client, as it will limit their ability to achieve the goal.

Principle 4: Format in Crayola

FitPros can get overwhelmed by the many options of planning formats. This includes software, planning templates and excel spreadsheets

The good news is you don’t need any of this. You need to use a format that you are happy with and that makes it easy for your clients to understand.

Some software platforms will give you videos and all sorts of funky features. However they focus on the EXERCISES and not important aspects of the GOALS, and key variables.

Principle 5: Adaptation

If you start your planning by thinking about exercises, you are going to get overwhelmed.

The primary focus of planning should be a physiological adaptation, not exercises.

This is another reason why you need to know your anatomy and physiology and variables.

Action Steps:

To improve your planning instantly make sure you tackle the planning in this order:

  1. start with the end in mind (the goal)
  2. Client measurements
  3. Gradual progression of the four key variables in order:
  4. Frequency = How many times per week
  5. Intensity = The sets, reps, tempo and level/resistance
  6. Time = Time of the main session, warm-up and cool down
  7. Type = The exercises are the last part of the planning process

Need more help with your planning?

We have a special opportunity for 8 FitPros, who want to improve planning confidence.

Our Coach In Confidence workshop will teach you how to confidently plan and progress your sessions.

We will teach you how to focus on achieving client goals through physiological adaptation.

This one day workshop is perfect for qualified (or soon to be qualified) FitPros, that lack confidence to plan and instruct client sessions.

To get details on our next Coach In Confidence Workshop, which will be in Spring 2020; please reach out to us to request a call with us. This 20 min call will help us understand what you want for the workshop and talk you through the details…

Dedicated to More

Hayley “Avoid overwhelm” Bergman

Parallel Coaching

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