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August 7, 2021

Over my many years working as a personal trainer, the subject of how I design my clients training programs has often come up in conversation during sessions. I have no doubt the average gym goer, often looks over at what a personal trainer is doing with their client in the gym and thinks, ‘That doesn’t look hard, I could do that job’. On the surface, it can often look like any other regular workout, what a lot of people don’t realise is, before we even consider an individual’s goals, injuries, experience, nutrition, barriers, or decide on the mode of training (frequency, duration, intensity, exercises, sets, reps and recoveries). We must 1st have a good understanding of the 8 Principals of Training, by which all programming is based upon.

These are the first 4 Principals of Training

  • Individuality: A training cycle that works well for one person, can be less effective for another. Exercise benefits vary between individuals based on their characteristics (age, fitness level, genetics, hereditary, gender, lifestyle, ethnicity) (Corbin 2013, p. 88) Trying different modes of training (strength/endurance/cardio) allows you an opportunity to evaluate what your body responds best to. 
  • Specificity: To improve you must overload specifically for that benefit, training is most effective when it closely resembles the activity you are training for (Corbin 2013, p. 86). Train at what you want to improve – running hills has a limited capacity to improve your cycling times.
  • Progression: Training is most effective when progressed over time. It is not always necessary to feel sore (delayed onset muscle soreness DOMS) in order to improve. Too much progression usually leads to injury (Corbin 2013, p. 86).

Progression tools can include increasing resistance weight, increasing volume (sets/reps), reducing recovery time, using more advanced exercise choices and reducing recovery periods between exercises. Progression was founded by a Greek, Milo of Crotona whofound he was able to lift his calf as it grew into a bull, he became progressively stronger by repeatedly lifting it each day (Corbin 2013, p. 172).

  • Overload: More than normal must be done to get better. To improve Flexibility, muscles must be stretched to longer than normal, to improve Muscle Endurance – muscles must be exposed to sustained exercise for longer, to improve Muscular Strength – muscles must work against a greater load (Corbin 2013, p. 86). If you don’t stress/overload a system, it will not adapt and improve.    

And this is only half of it! Keep an eye out for next months BLOG, to learn about the other 4.

Til then, Stay Safe and well and we’ll see you in the Mix at FH