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Programming an Athlete for Success | 3 Easy Steps to Individual Design

By May 17, 2017May 18th, 2017Road To MN

Helping your athletes prep for the Kill Cliff Granite Games is a crucial part of the equation in ensuring they’re successful in their competition goals. They rely on you to help them realize their full potential. It’s a big responsibility, which is why we’ve picked OPEX Fitness’ brain for how you can succeed in sending your athletes off on the Road to Minnesota in peak physical condition!

Many coaches rely on training templates for their clients. While this may ease the coach’s workload, it significantly impedes the athlete in reaching their competitive potential. Why? Every client is physically unique; therefore a program any short of 100% tailored to their values, priorities and needs, simply won’t work.

When first faced with individual program design, a coach can be daunted. That’s why OPEX Fitness devised a framework to simplify the process. Once you’ve undertaken a thorough assessment of your client, try – The Three P’s.

  • Prioritize
  • Periodize
  • Plan

First, start to consider a client’s program in relation to their priorities. Prioritizing is the idea that at each stage of training, an athlete is going to have different priorities specific to them. Knowing someone’s priorities allows you to align not only their exercise program but their nutrition and lifestyle pieces.

Next, periodize. Before breaking down an athlete’s program into days and weeks this stage sees you work back from the athletes’ priorities, asking what needs to be in place for them to achieve a spot on the podium. As they near their competitive season, you’d take them, for example, through an intensity phase: a period in which their work is a little harder, but low in volume.

Finally there’s planning.  Planning is done in deep consultation with your athlete and comes down to questions of lifestyle. How well does your client respond to stress, day to day, in terms of rhythm and circadian rhythm? When can they fit in their training sessions given work and home-life? When are they mentally acute? How do they best recover? Knowing the answer to these questions will allow you to get down to the intricacies of the program; the exercise selection, tempo, repetitions, sets and rest time, confident that you’re designing a program your athlete can execute on.

Program design is OPEX Fitness’ specialty. Learn more about our theories and methods by checking out our Coaching Certificate Program (CCP):