A Coach’s Perspective: How to create a fitness program – Part II


Welcome back! In this edition, we’ll go a little deeper into how to create a fitness program tailored to your needs! 

How Much Do I Do in a Session?

It can be time-dependent, but usually, 90 minutes is the longest your sessions should be unless you’re a powerlifter who’s taking 10 minutes between sets. I tend to shoot for somewhere around 7-8 movements per session at the most. As we mentioned last time around, make sure that you can recover between sessions too.

So if 7-8 movements are going to leave you extremely beat down, start with 3-5 movements per session and build up if desired. This goes especially for someone who has acclimated to training 2-3 days a week and has more specific goals in mind; whether it’s hypertrophy, strength, fat loss, or anything else.

More work done will always be more calories burned, so it’s most important to eat according to your goals. That’s another conversation, though. Just eat your vegetables for now. 

Most of my clients live somewhere within the 8-12 rep range for most exercises. Why? Well unless you’re looking to test your overall strength, I rarely go below sets of 6. If a client is adamant about knowing their one-rep max, I’m willing to go there at some point. We just have to do the prerequisite work to get there, which starts in that 8-12 rep range. A general rule of thumb is to just do more work overtime, which is basic progressive overload 101. A good example would be going from a 3×8 at 100 lbs for squats, which is 3,000 lbs of work overall (3x8x100 = 2,400) to doing 4×6 at 120 lbs (2,880 total lbs of work).  You can see the number of overall reps is the same; but lower reps meant I was able to move heavier weights than at 8 reps. 

How Do I Know What Movements To Do?

Long story short, do a little of everything. I like lots of single leg/arm work for the majority of my clients, as those types of movements often involve some good ole trunk rotation in one way or another. They also allow you to focus on just one limb at a time, especially if you’re a newbie. Doing things slow and controlled is always a must at the start, as well.

Free-falling and bouncing out of a squat or off of your chest in a dumbbell press is not going to stimulate much of anything. It will probably not feel all that great on the joints in the long run. Cardio is also just as important, so make sure to get that heart rate up as well. And don’t forget to do your planks, Pallof Press variations, and carries too! 

I hope this has been helpful to anyone who comes across this article. Whether it be the client who wants pointers for going to the gym alone or the average gym-goer who just needs a finger pointing them in the right direction! If you want to learn more about how to create a fitness program, please contact us or check out our Instagram and follow our community; we will be happy to assist you.