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
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:
- Safety precautions
- Follows standards of exercise progression and readiness
- Modifications to exercises
- Ample time to rest between reps or sets
- 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 >>