Fit 024 Training Program Design

Be your own Personal Trainer! Keep your body improving! Avoid boredom and plateaus! Training program design is not as hard as you may think! These are some simple steps to get you started designing your own workout program:
  1. Set your goals
  2. Be specific with your workout days and time allotment
  3. Determine who you will split up your body parts for training: Back & Chest or Back & Biceps or Chest, shoulders and triceps (infinite possibilities!)
  4. Get a notebook and list all the exercises you know how to do for each body part.
  5. Cycle 1: Pick 3-4 exercises for larger body parts (legs and back) and 2-3 for smaller ones (chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps).
  6. Cycle 2: repeat #5 but use different exercises.
  7. Keep a workout log!
  8. Review the body part training podcasts for more info!
The most important part of program design is to make sure you do two programs first. That way when you complete the first (cycle) the second one is done and you can start it! If you stay on the same program too long your body will not change. Conversely, if you change your programs too frequently you won't see your best results either. Give yourself from 3-6 weeks on a given program cycle. you will actually see the changes form one program while doing the next!

If you listen to the podcast and find you have questions about design, please leave a comment and I can answer on the blog.

The Fitness Makeover Kit covers in detail training program design as well as exercise instruction, mindset and nutrition. The web site has been redone and is almost fully complete, check it out!

Link to Fit 024:Training Program Design
Fit 024 Training Program Design Fit 024 Training Program Design May 07, 2008 Rating: 5


  1. Thank you for this podcast/blog post. I have worked out for 10+ years, off and on with a personal trainer. I have been trying to develop my own program but I didn't have any clear goals in mind. This has helped clarify how I can get focused and get my program started. Thank you!

  2. WOW! This was a great podcast in combination of you previous "body part focus" series. This finally makes total sense. Do you recommend a method for recording down your fitness plan(s)? I can't seem to get a method that makes sense and is easy to follow. I find myself starting in an excel table, recording reps and weights with the date and the exercise but it's too much information. If there was a sample log then I could program something to record my workout (I'm a web application programmer). Thanks again for your GREAT podcasts!

  3. Thanks! I am so glad the podcasts are helping people!

    I love excel and computer print-outs, but I must say, I always end up with a notebook for my workouts. Good ol' paper and pen!

    I use a notebook that is 1/2 size, like 8.5 x 5.5 and draw my own lines. I write my program on the first few pages of each new "cycle" then have 2 open faced pages per body part so I can easily look across for my progress. I used to have one week on a page for all body parts but found it easier to view all on one page. That way I can review the last several workouts for the cycle and see my notes etc.

    Also, if I have to change the exercise or "adapt" b/c someone is on a machine or rack or using dumbells that I need, I can alter the program and not be messy on my book. (Aren't we all so anal sometimes!)

    I record each set as I do it (ok, well, after I complete it). This makes me rest adequately and sometimes I can't remember 2 minutes ago so I have to write it immediately!

    I will scan two of my pages and put it on the website or this blog so you can see what I mean.

    I have forms and am working on combining those with my favorite nutrition log. Will let ya know when that is available too!

    Thanks for listening!


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