The Language of Strength Training Program Design

Much like writing software or music, a universal language of program design is required for strength training. Trainers need to have a consistent prescription format in order for trainees to obtain consistent results. Your program may be exceptional, but a haphazard interpretation will lead to haphazard results. To remove the variability, specific training parameters must be defined. This is the system that I propose to maintain consistency among practitioners.

Strength training programs should be listed in the following manner:

Sequence. Exercise: Sets x Reps @ Tempo, Rest Interval

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The Evolution of a Personal Trainer

You’ve heard the classic story: He started in the mailroom and now he’s running the company! Personal training is no different than any other business – you must start from the bottom and work your way up. As far as I see it, a career in personal training should follow this timeline:

Late Teens and Twenties

This is the time to pay your dues by working for others. It is an opportunity to build up clientele, experience, and capital. Physically you will peak, but you have a lot to learn. Education is extremely important during this period. As I’ve said in the past, “the more you learn, the more you earn!”

Take-home message: Crawl before you run!

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Attention All Personal Trainers: Guess, Do Not Assess!

Much like my dietary advice this article will go against the grain, so to speak. Every personal trainer is taught that they must go through a thorough assessment with their clients. The more information they gather, the better. Well, after 17 years in this business, I do far less assessing and far more guessing – not to be different, but to be efficient. I have found many similar patterns that exist among individuals, and through the years I have developed systems of training that produce “reproducible” results. Where the client fits into these systems depends on their individual needs and goals. Often, assessments can be conducted through the training process, rather than a separate entity on its own. This can save the client time and money and can actually lead to better results.

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