When you are training a client 2-3 times a week, how do you find the right balance between a structured and predictable program vs. a new challenging workout every time. I want my clients to make measurable progress, but I also want to keep my clients guessing and teaching them new things. Clients want to see progress, but that often involves a lot of repetition with certain exercises, but if you are always doing the same thing, your are not really doing a good job of challenging your clients. Any tips?
You have a lot of great answers here, Yves. To add to what’s already here, I sometimes mix things up by either swapping equipment or changing the position the client is working in. This helps them feel like they’re doing a totally new routine although I can measure their progress based on their previous rep/set numbers. It also lowers their risk of injury since they’re familiar with the body position & cues on the motion. For example, if someone is familiar with a barbell bench press, I can either swap out the barbell for dumbells or have them try a standing band press. If they’ve been doing a lat pulldown I’ll have them try pullups or a bent over (sometimes alternating) band pull in the same plane of motion. Obviously there are new considerations with new equipment- most people need less weight to fatigue with dumbells than they do with a barbell- but I think it’s worth it to keep the client engaged. I’ve also cycled routines- Workout 1 & 2 one week, Workout 3 & 4 the next, then 1 & 3, then 2&4. It’s repetitive yet less predictable than doing them in the same order every week. Thanks for the question and good luck!