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?
Depends on the client and how they are progressing and what their goals are.
Usually get someone onto starting strength to simply give them a foundation. Most people we find ourselves working with are extremely de-conditioned. Simple routine is the safest and best way to get them used to a program.
The programs I run are always structured, but I aim to put them on a steady upward slope.