The Key Elements of a Great Training Program


There are as many opinions on what constitutes a great training program as there are trainers and coaches.

Although that may be the case, most coaches understand the importance of a balanced approach to training and put together individualized plans that are best suited for each client/athlete.

1. A great training program takes into consideration that everybody is different.  Every client and athlete has their own strengths and weaknesses, all of which need to be considered in order to put together the right training plan.

In addition, different people enjoy different training styles and workouts so what works for one person may not work for another.

Above: Photo by Armando Tura

2. It is response-regulated. If the athlete is not making the type of progress that he/she should be making or if the workouts appear to be too difficult (or not challenging enough), then changes to the training plan must be made. The knowledgeable coach will make those changes as necessary and will know what needs to be done.

A response-regulated approach offers the right amount of balance between making the workouts challenging enough to see results over time while at the same time keeps the client/athlete motivated and injury-free.

3. It is balanced. It has the right combination of aerobic, strength, flexibility, and core training which is based on the client/athlete’s goals. In addition, it is balanced in a way that allows for recovery time, as well as treats.

Therefore, it keeps the workouts diverse, interesting and challenging while at the same time allows the athlete/client to enjoy life (and food).

4. It’s progressive. The program gets adjusted and becomes progressively more challenging to suit the person’s developing fitness level. It makes sense because as the body adapts, it will require safe, yet progressive overload in order to keep making gains.

5. It’s suitable for the client/athlete’s lifestyle. Not everyone has the time to train 2 hours a day 5 days a week. Work, travel and other commitments must be taken into account when developing a perfect training plan.

If a training plan does not take the aforementioned into consideration, then it will be very difficult for the client/athlete to stick to the program and see results, which defeats the purpose of having the program in the first place.

6. It is enjoyable. Let’s face it, if a fitness program is making your life miserable and you are not enjoying it, then you will not stick to it long enough to see results.

A great training program will consistently remind you why you are enjoying the process, which will make progress inevitable.

In summary, a great training program is one that delivers the types of results that you are looking for because you are able to stick to it long enough. You stick with it because it allows you to balance your other commitments while you keep on working towards your goal. Lastly, you genuinely enjoy it.

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Scott Harrigan
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