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5 Points to Consider When Designing Exercise Programs and Why Progression is Crucial


It’s not surprising that the fitness industry is filled with so many diligent people. The fitness industry is expected to keep growing and with all the health concerns plaguing America, anyone can see why. Trainers have so much at their disposal to help combat these issues; one such method is the workout plan or exercise program. I’m sure you’ve seen them online, but how many trainers are using the right program for the wrong groups of people?


[National Posture Institute] 5 Points to Consider When Designing Exercise Programs and Why Progression is Crucial


It happens


It’s far easier to find an exercise routine than creating one, but the problem with this lies with the audience that’s being subjected to it. It’s important that trainers pay close attention to the workout programs they’re using during their sessions, because it may not match the current fitness level of their client’s.


Let’s face it, it’s challenging to create an easy exercise plan let alone find one tailored to one’s needs online. Everyone wants to go hard or go home. Sometimes the plans are sensational or hard on purpose because there’s this expectation that every workout must be gut-busting, heart-wrenching, and induce buckets of sweat after. What about the people doing these programs? Is it really effective if someone can’t finish or even do the workout properly because they just aren’t on that level?


I don’t think so…


Believe it or not, there are trainers who take workout routines they find online and give it to their clients. It isn’t normally a problem if the class’ fitness and skill level match the program, but what about newbies and everyone else who isn’t a master of fitness? Can you imagine how it feels to go through a hard session, struggling through the techniques, and sweating up a storm believing it’s the best way forward even if you can’t do it properly? Sure, some people need to be pushed, but what about meeting them where they’re at first?


Proper progression is the solution


If you’re thinking a bit more about your clients and the kinds of workouts you’ve been using with them, that’s great. Even if you’re a client and you’re working with a trainer that puts you through torture sessions, it’s something for you to think about. You need proper progression if you want to be successful. Someone who isn’t accustomed to exercising or performing complex and difficult techniques shouldn’t perform full burpees or jump squats until their overall fitness level increases. The person needs to be challenged, but the correct modifications need to be issued to help keep them safe, engaged, and motivated.


It’s like throwing a log on a fire


Have you ever started a fire? You use twigs or smaller pieces to start the fire, if you threw a big log onto the fire it would probably put it out. Trainers need to think of this example when constructing and issuing workout programs. Too much too soon is the blueprint for loss of motivation, injuries, and an unsuccessful workout.


Here are 5 points I feel every trainer need consider when creating or issuing an exercise routine:

  1. Safety precautions
  2. Follows standards of exercise progression and readiness
  3. Modifications to exercises
  4. Ample time to rest between reps or sets
  5. Presents a challenge, but isn’t overbearing

Some may struggle with the concept of proper progression, but it’s important to understand that conducting assessments will help when constructing or issuing an exercise program.  For example: If someone can’t perform a squat properly, they shouldn’t be jumping around or performing jump squats.


If you’re teaching a larger class and their fitness level is unknown then it can also be a problem. First, I suggest letting everyone know the kind of class you’re hosting and the difficulty level. You may also want to mention prerequisites before joining. Next, while designing the program for the class, remember that you have a mixed class of people and some aren’t capable of going from zero to one hundred in seconds. You may even need to stop and explain during your class where needed, offer modifications, and be patient with them.


If you kept the points above in mind when designing your programs, you’ll be fine.


For those who don’t assess their clients, never learned, or aren’t sure what to do, I have a resource that would help you learn this process. Our friends at the Educational Fitness Solutions have an Online College Certificate in Personal Fitness Training that will help solve some of those concerns. The program also teaches you more about safety and proper exercise progression.


You can check out the program here >>

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