When developing a workout program for yourself, regardless of the goal to lose fat, gain muscle, increase strength, improve athletic performance, etc., it is important to follow a set of rules so that your training can be smart and directed each and every time. That said, I thought it was about time that I had a brief look into my rules of programming. So here are 5 rules that I always abide by when writing a program for someone.

  1. Individualization- You must program according to individual needs. If you have shoulder problems it would not be smart to be doing any pressing movements with a barbell. You'd be better served to focus on pushups and its variations. If you need to gain power and already have a high level of strength, than using the maximum effort method is not the best course of action to take.
  2. GPP-GSP-SPP- When programming for sport it is important to program from a general means of development to a specific means as competition nears. Most programs are focused year around on a general means of development, and the result is a failure to develop the appropriate bio-dynamic, bio-energetic, and bio-mechanical factors related to the sport action. A wrestler for example, if developed inappropriately, would tire it before the 3rd period and fail to be able to produce high levels of strength and power through the end of the match.
  3. Have a Purpose – If you can not justify why something is in your program then get rid of it. There is no need to waste energy training something that will have little to no impact on producing the desired training effect.
  4. Competing Demands- In order to write a successful program you must analyze and take into account all facets that will impact the training process. If your running program or your number of practices per week are increasing, you must make the necessary adjustments within your program. State what your priorities are and plan from there.
  5. Preparedness Level- This rule has two phrases to it. In the first phase, you have to actively program to ensure that you provide enough rest periods / days between intensive training sessions. In the second phase you must learn to be able to listen to your body and make the necessary changes on the fly. This may mean reducing volume and / or intensity, as well as possibly dedicating the day to an extended warm up and pre-hab work, so as to effectively recovery.

Implementing these 5 rules combined with the 2 previously posted ones into your process of programing, will put you on a path to success.