Program Design

October 8, 2017 No Comments by Tess Aisthorpe

As a Personal Trainer/Coach I spend about 50% of my total work hours designing programs, or researching program design. Whether it’s for individual clients, our open group sessions or for myself and Cara, I write programs every single day.

Program design is one of the most important skills a personal trainer should have…and it should be exciting! It should be constantly studied and you should constantly be improving as education changes and your learning and knowledge expands.

For anyone that has walked through our doors in the early mornings…you can appreciate the importance of structured programming. We can have anywhere between 4-6 classes running in the space of two hours. Each group or class are training differently based on their skills, levels and goals.

There are lots of indicators in regards to whether you have a good program, but the most important one — the one that you should care about the most — is that it simply gets you results. I‘ll let you argue about what’s optimal when it comes to exercise…but the reality is that people get results with many methodologies, whether this is from CrossFit, Boxing, Yoga, Running, Cycling, etc., What really matters is if a person will actually “DO” the training not just “exercise” and do this consistently. Ultimately, as a trainer, your “style” should be adaptable to the client’s results. And by results we mean – Are you seeing muscle definition? Are you losing body fat? Are you getting stronger in certain lifts? Are you more functional? Do you feel better?

We change programs about every 4-6 weeks, but we don’t just change programs for shits and giggles — we do it in a periodised fashion. Either with the training progression itself, or with adding new layers and facets to progression or intensity, or changing the focus of different muscle groups, movements, Olympic lifts and so on, there are lots of ways to progress!

One of our core principals is: train smarter, not harder. They can be correlated, but they shouldn’t always be intertwined. We believe our style of programming which we refer to as “Hybrid” will aim to improve one’s overall health & fitness by using combined movements which encompass all elements throughout persistently varied sessions, to develop unlimited conditioning, simultaneously.

We are all about understanding and managing recovery, and learning when systems are “fresh” enough to hit again, or when they can handle being hit differently. Our unique style is about pushing the body to its limits, giving necessary stimulus for adaptation, then giving just enough recovery to allow some level of compensation before hitting that same system again. Our programs can be modified to suit everyone’s needs.

Every session needs to have a purpose. Our sessions are simple, effective, varied and definitely not complicated. At some stage you would have walked away from the gym thinking how easy that sessions was. We are here to tell you that at times they are supposed to be…recovery days are an integral part of our programming. We want to make you better and to do that we take into account the bigger picture of total programming.

There’s no magic pill out there, no “advanced training methods only the pros know” – what distinguishes our programming from the rest is our ability to ignore the garbage out there and focus on what will make you better as an individual… and then we encourage (ok, make) you do it twice as hard.

So why do we program the way we do? It is about analysing the different stressors involved in various forms of strength and endurance training, and designing programs based around consolidating these stressors, minimising interference and maximising recovery.

Our unique programming combines simultaneous methods of different physical disciplines, such as intensity and volume, that do not explicitly support one another, and whose dissimilar components are not essential to success and performance, alone.

You DO need strength and a lot of it. You DO need endurance, the more the better. You DO need muscle. You DO need to rest and recover. We will tailor your training to your specific needs. You need to, in essence “have it all”!