A lot goes into developing a well thought out exercise program. It’s more than just picking the exercise of the month that’s on Instagram and throwing it up against the wall. A one size approach does not fit all.

A good coach develops your program and considers all of the below:

What is your number one goal?

How is your week spread out?

Who are you as a person?

What are you highest priorities in your life and where does training fit into the equation?

When it comes to Strength Training…

What is the weakest link in your chain? – sometimes squatting isn’t the best way for you to get better at squatting

Do your muscles need to get stronger? Or do you need to get bigger (bigger doesn’t mean bulky by the way)? Are you weak in that movement pattern? Is it a mobility issue? Is it a left to right imbalance issue?

How is that rep in that set going to affect the rest of the week’s training? How about the rest of the cycle’s training?

What exercises are best going to suit what we are trying to achieve? Is it too complex for you just yet?

How long should your tempo be?

How much rest will you require between sets?

When it comes to Conditioning…

Is your essence “Enduring” or “Powerful” e.g. Is this person more comfortable doing short, intense workouts (powerful) or longer, sustainable workouts? (enduring) –  your body and mind are more inclined to one way over the other?

What workouts do you need more to achieve their goal? If you really struggle with the heavier weights but kill the longer sustainable workouts then you may need more power based workouts, but if you can lift the heavier weights but anything over 5 – 7 minutes is like running a marathon, you may need more enduring workouts.

What time frames should you be working at? 5 -7 minutes, 7 – 12 minutes? 12 – 20 minues? 20+ minutes?

What movements are going to give you the correct dose? Weightlifting? Cyclical (running, rowing, bike), bodyweight?

What weights create the dose effect that you/we are looking for? e.g. Heavy weights will give you a stop / start type of workout; light weights make it more likely touch n go and gets the heart rate going faster.

What gymnastic movements can be put into the session which allow you to keep moving as opposed to having to break up the reps and slow down?

How many reps will make you have to break it up?

How will you be progressed from one week to the next or to the next cycle?

Regarding the structure of the strength training and workouts…

Are you going to feel fatigued after doing that movement / reps / sets that will significantly effect the integrity of the next movement? Or the next day

How much time do you have to complete the session?

General Questions…

What injuries are you carrying? Is it a movement pattern issue? Mobility issue? Muscle strength issue?

Are they recovering well enough, eating enough? eating high quality foods? sleeping enough? stressing too much?

What’s going to get you the results while keeping you interested?

Are you warming up correctly?

Are you cooling down and stretching or just walking away?

Does your coach tick all the boxes?



Amanda de Souza
Amanda de Souza

My health and fitness journey began in 2012 and although I am still a work in progress I am learning more every day and want to educate others as much as I can. Follow more great advice from Amanda on Instagram.