5 Benefits of Proper Programming: Is Your Coach Up to Par?
St. Pete Beach, Florida, United States
Strength and Conditioning
I cannot tell you how many countless times I have seen trainers and/or coaches scrambling around just minutes before their class(es) start, throwing equipment down(in no particular order), scribbling random workouts up on the whiteboard, and all the meanwhile scratching their sweaty chins trying to figure out (in a minute or less) what in the world they are going to do with all this equipment for an hour. This is the “pre-workout” most do not see and that is the careless, unplanned, randomly made-up workout that will (hopefully) last at least an hour - and two minutes. (We wouldn’t want to “short” our clients or athletes, right?) The problem however, is that they are shorting their athletes and clients and in more ways than just a workout.
Programming takes time, experience, a little bit (or a big bit) of science, forethought, and planning. It also takes knowing the athletes and what their goals are in order to train them well and efficiently, and to be able to coach them on to be their best and to reach those goals injury-free. Every individual is different and in sport, just like anything else, no one size fits all. Everyone has a different athletic history and a different fitness goal and level.
Coaches and trainers: it is your responsibility to consider each person and what it is that they want as you tailor every workout and/or session to meet their needs. That one hour (and two minutes) is not our time to shine, but it is theirs. It is simply not enough to dance around while neglecting form and technique, yell, pump up the music, or motivate (as great as that is - as a supplement), but there must be real care, effort, and thought throughout, and that time starts long before the clock does.
5 Facets of Proper Programming
1. Individualized, personally tailored workouts.
2. Designed for achieving both long and short-term goals.
You have to know why you are training and more than that, where you want to ultimately end up. This is result-based programming design. To do that, as a client or athlete and as a coach or trainer, you must have a plan. Doing the same thing day in and day out (and this is usually because it is easier for a trainer to throw thirty people in one session and have them run around in circuits with no real thought as to why or what for) can not only cause one to be more prone to injury (high repetition with poor form), but also puts them at risk of getting stuck in the same rut with little or no improvement. Designing a program that is result-based with real set goals in mind builds up an athlete one workout at a time.
3. Tracks progress, builds on successes, pinpoints weaknesses and strengths.
It is extremely important to take clients and athletes through the natural progression of a program in order to obtain (and then maintain) results. Programming that is personalized picks apart weaknesses and strengths, causing goals to be met much faster. Keeping an eye on achievements allows for sessions designed around maintaining those new successes and then building on them.
4. Eliminates plateaus.
5. A coach or trainer who programs cares.
Trust me, a lot of work goes into real and thoughtful programming. Who doesn’t want a coach or a trainer who spends many late nights and many hours researching and planning ways for you to reach your goals? Knowing that you can trust someone who knows from experience and who does this not only for a living but also with a passion for his/her work should put your mind at ease. Great coaches care. Your job as an athlete/client is to show up and to work hard knowing the rest has been very carefully thought out for you. Now, all you need to do is give it everything you have, put in the effort, be patient, and stick to the programming.
“Perfect technique + great programming = optimal results.” – Jeff Martone
Photos courtesy of Katie Chasey and RXBound.