Currently, I use tons of books, educational material, ptonthenet, seminar and workshop info, have asked other trainers for help, and do not have enough people where I can do expensive software. I am looking to maximize my options for client program design and just come up with the best I can offer. Some days it can be overwhelming with looking through tons of books to come up with a great plan for each session. My clients love what I come up with but I’d like to know what people use that is free but great quality.
I do not use any software but often take pictures of my clients doing exercises which I plug into exercise descriptions. That way I a not hamstrung to illustrations in books and can add changes and modifications as I go along.
I also found that clients like to have themselves (or sometimes me) in the picture.
Others may have input with some good programs for you… I do not use any software programs, and like you, I try to educate myself with the same resources. But, it sounds like you are doing a great job with educating yourself on how to design client programs. Software programs are not always necessary–and you may actually learn more doing exactly what you are doing and creating them yourself.
It may help you to sit down and look at each individual client and their goals and limitations. You’re right–it can be overwhelming to look at all of the available resources out there. But, you know your clients better than any software program. Starting simple with client form and mastering the basics of stability before mobility–and then planning for progressions and challenges to the exercises you’ve chosen. Also, keep in mind that repeating some of the same sessions is not necessarily a bad thing and will help clients to see gains in their strength/endurance/flexibility. It will get easier to plan as you gain more clients and experience. Sometimes it can be easy to overthink the design because we all want to do the best job with our clients (and make sure they don’t get bored!).
Others may have more of an input with regard to software… I just like to keep it simple.