Do you feel confident to build a training programme?
This was just one of many questions we asked the groups this weekend in Milton Keynes.
We have literally just returned from 6 jam packed days in the classroom.
Building confidence is a key part in all of our courses, but especially in the Personal Trainer Course.
Before I explore training programmes and building confidence, I want to give a massive high 5 to the groups who attended the last 6 days in Milton Keynes.
All told 4 courses, 24 learners and 6 days… all geared towards building confidence when kick starting and progressing a career in fitness.
These guys stepped up and rose to the challenge.
So what do all these courses have in common?
What is the link between training kids to adults to those with common clinical conditions?
It doesn’t matter who you are training, their age, gender, ability, size etc etc
It comes down to confidence and knowing how to build a training programme that can easily be progressed or regressed and more importantly, being able to guarantee client results.[NOTE: Want to explore your inner confidence as a coach, check out the SP1: release Your Inner Coach Workshop]
The most overlooked planning principle is FITT; Frequency, Intensity, Type and Time.
Just working off these 4 categories alone allows you to ask questions and map out a clear progressive plan for your client. Check this out
How many times a week can your client train?
How many session will the client need to train for in order to progress towards their goal?
How many session are CV, resistance, motor skills and/or flexibility based?
How intense are the sessions your client currently completes?
What is the desired intensity for the clients goal?
What is the intensity needed on session in order to adapt towards their goal?
How much rest will be required in order to fully adapt?
What type of exercise does your client currently do? and like/dislike?
What type of exercise do they need to do in order to achieve their goal?
How long can your client realistically train for each session and each week?
How much time is ideally required in order to fully achieve their goal?
Use the table below to map out your client progression within FITT. Depending on your clients goal, will determine how long you should map out. Its not just 12 weeks! If the client has a half marathon booked for 6 months time, you can use FITT to logically progress your 6 months with them for example. Finally, any major shift within FITT should mark the next phase of training. You don’t have to stay linear to every 12 weeks or every 4 weeks. You might plan a radical shift in week 4, 6, 10 and 16 for example.
Once you have the back bone of your plan mapped out you can start applying more detail. Each category of FITT can be expanded in lots more detail however, I am going to focus on Intensity and applying training systems.
Training systems are essentially a pre-set system that has proven results.
A system that others have used to get results.
A system that has set variables.
They give huge amounts of structure to a single session and guide your client progression within all training variables. The main variables being sets, reps, rest time, tempo and volume.
These variables change for each system, to get slightly different results and progressions.
So, if you wanna build training programmes with confidence, then systems are the next thing to add to your map above.
Training systems ultimately fall within intensity. Now there are hundreds of training systems available to us, all offering a slightly different approach and outcome. Training systems are in all types of training including resistance, cardio,motor skills and flexibility.
I have picked out 4 resistance training systems below as these were the favourites of the level 3 personal trainer course this weekend in Milton Keynes.
The first training system I want to expand is supersets.
What is a superset?
A superset is performed when two exercises are performed in a row without stopping.
When you start doing these for the first time, you will find that your endurance may be a problem, but before long you will learn to love them.
Supersets are one of the easiest ways to cut time off your clients workouts and add a challenging metabolic component to hypertrophy-specific training. Not only will supersets allow you to nearly double your overall workload and volume per workout, they can enhance the overall performance of all exercises in your routine and ultimately increase muscle size.
Utilise supersets by either adding them to certain parts of your workout or creating an entire workout solely composed of supersets like the one that follows:
FULL BODY SUPERSET WORKOUT
Seated Row (3×10) superset Pushups (3×10)
Leg Extension (3×10) superset Leg Curl (3×10)
Seated DB Shoulder Press (3×10) superset Lat Pull Down (3×10)
Triceps Pushdown (3×12) superset DB Curl (3×12)
Next, a logical progression from supersets would be trisets.
A tri set is one large set comprising of three sub-sets of different exercises which all target the same muscle group.
This may be easier explained with an example (targeting the shoulders); the client performs ten repetitions of dumbbell lateral raises, then completes ten repetitions of upright rows, finished with ten repetitions of shoulder presses. These three exercises are performed back to back without any rest.
Tri sets are an advanced, high intensity training method which is guaranteed to push the target muscle group beyond its limit. The reduction to workout duration is more than offset in the increase in intensity. This makes tri sets a great option for when your clients workout time is limited, such as during a lunch break.
Said differently, two sets of rest have been taken away… leaving all three exercises back to back. If you were to complete a triset session, imagine how much time you save by taken away rest time.
Note you may opt for exercises which use the same piece of kit such as dumbbells or a cable machines which makes it much easier to quickly change resistance levels between the three exercises.
Once you’re happy with trisets…
Enter giant sets.
Though their name sounds a bit intimidating, giant sets are great for people looking to burn extra body fat in a short amount of time.
In my opinion, going to the gym is about quality of the workout and not quantity of time spent exercising – and giant sets hold my philosophy to task.
A giant set really consists of four sets (usually of 10-ish reps, but you can choose any rep range) of four different exercises working the same muscle group. So very similar to trisets by adding a forth exercise.[Note: if you love Giant Sets, check out…The Truth Behind Giant Sets]
For example, a chest giant set might consists of
10 reps on a flat bench,
10 reps of dumbbell pec flies,
10 reps on an decline bench press
10 reps of incline dumbbell presses.
You can tailor the giant set to whatever muscle group you’d like to work (i.e. back, legs, arms, etc.), and you can create any combination of four corresponding exercises, providing each exercise targets the same muscle.
When performing a giant set, quickly move from exercise to exercise. Your rest period should not exceed 6 – 8 seconds. It’s fast!
And it’s not easy.
It may take a bit of adjusting to figure out how much resistance you should be using in each exercise, as you will certainly be fatigued from the previous exercise. Nonetheless, you’ll really need to push yourself! When you finish a giant set of the four exercises, take your allocated rest time.
So now you are fully accustomed to supersets, trisets and giants sets, the final training system today is Peripheral Heart Action or better known as PHA system.
Ultimately PHA takes the previous three training systems above and wraps them all up into one.
Leading to huge benefits… The main benefit for
Say good bye to Painfully Boring Cardio Workouts.
The PHA method was specifically designed to keep blood circulating throughout the whole body during the entire workout. The smaller muscles around the heart are worked first before the larger muscles around the body’s periphery.
The approach to PHA training is quite simple.
You choose exercises that will allow you to pump blood to extreme ends of the body so blood doesn’t localise and develop “the burn.” This is where PHA differs in comparison to many training systems.
A typical PHA workout has an individual using a handful of exercises that stress the upper and lower musculature, with the intention of alternating one exercise for the upper torso and one for the lower extremities – or at least not focusing in the same area as the previous movement. Traditional methods for a PHA workout would emphasize using five to six compound movements for five to six cycles with an increase in resistance for each cycle.
For instance, here is a sample PHA workout:
Standing Press (barbell, dumbbell, sandbag, machine, kettlebell)
Squat (barbell, dumbbell, sandbag, machine, kettlebell, trapbar)
Abdominal Crunch (body, dumbbell, suspension apparatus)
Chin-up (body, machine, assisted)
Standing Calf Raise (barbell, dumbbell, sandbag, kettlebell)
Dip (body, machine, assisted)
Each exercise would be performed for 10-12 repetitions (more if you like), moving swiftly from one exercise to the next (not through the exercise itself) – resting only long enough to get to the next movement. After the first cycle, a short rest should be taken, just enough to recover!
The next cycle should see an increase to the resistance for each consecutive cycle. No sets are taken to muscular fatigue/failure and the last cycle should be challenging. This workout should last about 30-45 minutes, depending on your level of fitness and proximity of the exercises being used.
So these 4 training systems logically progress and fall within Intensity of FITT.
To recap, you MUST know the clients current status of FITT before planning which training systems are suitable to elicit the clients goal.
Using and progressing FITT really does give you the backbone to your clients achieving their goals and micro planning each session… Ultimately leaving you more confident in your ability to build a training programme.
Until next time
Neale ‘The FITT’ Bergman
PS. Also grab your free ultimate programme card template; so you can transform your workouts further <<< click here