As a new trainer I'm reading a ton of different books and articles on creating workouts and programming and different ways trainers create their workouts and programs for clients. With each one I get caught up in it and feel mine should be created that way, when instead I strive to build confidence in my own workouts and how I would initially plan a program. My question is how did you (more established trainers) come into your own in planning your clients programming?
Congratulations on your new status.
My thorough training through ACE prepared me to design programs from the detailed consultation forms. Our instructor, who is wonderfully educated, tells us that there are many program options and that no two people will design the same workout for the same client.
I use the answers from the client to decide what to put in the program, then go by what they are able to do and what their goals are.
The reading you are doing is a great supplement to add ideas or remind you of things that may have gone to the wayside. I am also constantly studying health and fitness, to add to my toolbox of tricks, if you will.
No worries, the more experience you attain will increase the amount of confidence you have and project. It is good to be humble; but, believe in yourself, also.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
I went through the same thing when I started training, so I understand how you feel. It can be an overwhelming process at first. Congratulations on your new certification--and t is great that you have been reading more and feel prepared to develop various programs for your clients.
The right way to develop a program is what feels right for you and the client. Let your client's health history, goals, workout "personality" --with regard to likes and dislikes--guide you in program design. Also, you can have a plan A, but sometimes it's ok and necessary to go to plan B. One thing that has helped me is to really build rapport and make connections with my clients. When you really understand them it will become easier for you.
You will feel more confident the more you train! Good luck to you!
I'm certainly feeling more confidant in reading a client and designing something they will like and have the ability to be good at put be pushed as well.
experience really plays a big role, and there is nothing wrong with starting with workouts from books as long as they are appropriate for a client.
Once you are comfortable with assessing clients and discussing their goals, you will find that the choice of exercises easily derives from there. One of the things I have as a principle is to make sure that the client can be successful with the exercises I choose. Particularly people who are new to exercise often lack confidence in themselves and their abilities. I remind them that the assessment is there to detect weaknesses to make sure that the exercise programming can be safe. It is not a character test. The exercise programming initially should build confidence and establish a base of motor skills.
You will soon come into our own and move away from books once you have been working with a few clients.
Good luck and success.
They have quite a few templates of basic workouts. When I was newer at training, I used several of these, then customized them for individual clients.
Welcome to the industry!
Program design is a true art and science of personal training. It is what will ultimately determine the amount of success your clients achieve. You got some pretty great suggestions from our fellow IDEA members.
Here are my helpful hints:
1) Have an exercise library readily available, whether in the form of a book, dvd, chart, social media or even via YouTube. This is a great start for a new trainer as it gives you a source to always go to if you need an exercise for a certain muscle group. Over time, and as you garner experience, you'll rely less on this library and just know what to do.
2) Have a way of keeping track of clients' workouts. You can only play the 'freestyle game' so long. I fell into that habit early on in my training career. I used to train clients by guessing my way around the gym and just doing whatever came to mind. While this can still be helpful, it won't give you an idea of how much progress your client is making. You should and must record reps, sets, and loads of your clients every session. There are a plethora of forms, charts and apps that have easily, usable workout sheets. I currently use an app called 'The Workout Journal' on my iPad. It allows for creating client profiles, assessments and well-presented columns for plugging in reps, sets and loads.
3).Finally, like Frank said above, you should find a way to progress workouts between days, weeks and/or months. Linear periodization is the most commonly used method for progression because it calls for weekly increments of intensity over at least 3 weeks followed by a week of De-load.
A great book you can pick up is 'Program Design For Personal Trainers - Bridging Theory Into Application' by Douglas S. Brooks, MS.
Good luck and keep up the good work!