Systems. That’s a word I say VERY frequently throughout the day at Champion PT and Performance. Our center revolves around systems.
The two biggest mistakes I see with new personal trainers and strength coaches are very simple:
- They don’t have a plan
- They don’t have a system of developing a plan
One of my biggest pet peeves in this industry is just slapping together a bunch of exercises without a solid rationale. This often happens when you pick the exercise first. Maybe you just went to a new continuing education course and learned a new exercise, or you just read a new article on the web, or saw an exciting new exercise on Youtube. You’re excited and want to try this shiny new exercise.
The second phase of our coaching evolution often revolves around understanding the fact that it’s better to build a solid program first, then fill in the exercises second.
That’s great, you’re evolving. But… my second biggest pet peeve is writing programs month-to-month. I use the phrase “start with the end in mind” quite often when it comes to program design. Most of our clients have clear goals that we should be prioritizing when designing their program.
If their season starts in 4-months, or their wedding is in 12-weeks, to achieve the best results we should assure the program is designed to peak and maximize their performance at the perfect time. You can’t do this when writing programs month-to-month. You need to have the program mapped out ahead of time. Sure, you’ll probably tweak the program a few times as the client progresses, that’s the art of coaching, but it’s always better to start with the end in mind.
3 Systems You Need to Have in Place to Be an Elite Strength Coach
I really think that if you want to become an elite strength coach or personal trainer (or heck, physical therapist…), you need to have a few systems in place. It really all comes down to developing systems to allow you to quickly and easily provide your expertise in a consistent and reliable fashion.
You Need to Have a Program Design System
When we are just starting out in this field, program design is one of the most challenging aspects your job. It’s because you don’t have a system in place and try to re-create the wheel each and every time you write someone a program.
You don’t need to sit down and start from scratch with each and every client. You need a program design system to accomplishes the goals you’ve established and style of training you provide.
You Need to Have a Periodization System
Once you understand how to design a program, the next system to master is how to string together multiple programs. This is essentially periodization.
Again, you don’t need to get fancy and mix this up for each and every client. I’ve overview a a little bit of my periodization system for strength and rehabilitation in an Inner Circle webinar.
There are periodization schemes that fit well with specific goals and specific clients. Developing a system of categorizing all this is the next step in becoming an elite coach.
You Need to Have a Coaching System
Lastly, it doesn’t matter how good of a program you can write, or how well you periodize the program, your results are going to suffer if you don’t know how to coach.
The third system that I think you need to reach that elite level is a coaching system. This involves developing a consistent approach to cueing, analyzing technique, making adjustments, progressing and regressing exercises on the fly, and connecting with you clients in general.
Just like anything else, this can be a system as well.
How to Develop Your Own Systems
Systems take time and experience to develop. This is natural. But finding an excellent mentor and always seeking out continuing education is a great step. You have to find what works for you.
I’ve learned so much from some of the experts in the field by studying their systems. I am always assessing how other people do things and trying to determine which aspects of their system I can adopt and integrate into what I am currently doing myself.
Alwyn Cosgrove has done a great job outlining his systems in his educational work. Mike Boyle has as well. But the person that I can say I have probably learned the most from over the years is Mike Robertson. As my readers know, I really connect to Mike’s style of coaching, ability to teach information, and his focus on developing his own systems.
Physical Preparation 101
Luckily for us, Mike has just released his latest DVD which completely overviews his program design and coaching systems. And when I say “completely overviews,” I mean it! Mike has just release Physical Preparation 101, a whopping 12-DVD set that discussing exactly how Mike has built his systems.
I watched almost all of the 12 DVDs over the weekend and can say that if you don’t currently have a system in place, this is the resource you should invest in to begin developing your system.
The program is $100 off this week for the launch and a must have for all of our educational libraries. Click below to save $100: