Programming your Work-out: Is there a Method to the Madness?

by Joanna Whitney (PTS, Certified Health + Lifestyle Coach)

From the outside, it may look like your personal trainer just throws a bunch of exercises together and grins with anticipation about your upcoming training sessions and how much you’ll suffer. While there may be some trainers that take this approach, this isn’t how it should be and it definitely isn’t the way we operate at RD Athletics. 

There is a current trend in the fitness industry of pushing clients so hard that they can’t walk the next day. Social media memes make light of people’s pain after training. And throwing up during or after a training session is often seen as a feat of accomplishment by a trainer. But there are some big problems with this approach both from a motivational and physiological perspective. 

At RD Athletics, one of our goals for clients is to improve their long-term health and create a sustainable training program that is enjoyable. This means applying principles of progression that allow for gradual and effective increase in intensity, load and volume. It’s not about making you drop to the floor in a pool of sweat the first time you show up for training. We want you to enjoy the process so that you come back and reap the benefits over time. 

From a purely physical standpoint, our bodies aren’t meant to withstand back-breaking, high-intensity workouts every single day. Not only does this approach leave you dreading the gym, it is also a recipe for injury. More is not always better.

So, how do good trainers determine programming for their clients? I promise, there is a method to the madness! A competent and professional trainer will create a plan with the client’s goals, needs and desires in mind. From there, progressing them over time takes into consideration training frequency, volume, and the work intensity for individual workouts and weekly totals. It’s not as simple as picking your favourite exercises and mixing up the order occasionally. 

Can you create your own programming? Absolutely. But, to be effective over the long-term, it takes some time and research. Is every trainer equally qualified in their programming ability? Not so much. Even a newer or inexperienced trainer who is willing to learn and take into consideration the things I’ve mentioned is a better bet than someone who has been “doing it forever” but prides themselves on “killing” their client every session.

Your body deserves to be treated like the complex and amazing system that it is. Having a knowledgable trainer can take the guess-work out of your programming and allow you to not only see progress and results, but actually enjoy the process.

Ready to get started? Book you training assessment today! 

Joanna Whitney