I recently had a new client ask me about how we program for individual goals and why we take the time to print out their training program weeks in advance. My answer was simple.
We are setting expectations.
Every service that we offer here at Lift Lab, whether it’s weightlifting, group fitness or personalized training, us coaches program at least 4 weeks ahead of time. When someone new starts with us, we immediately program and show them their first month of training. Yes, part of the reason we do this is so we can game plan and follow scientific periodization strategies. But, from the client’s perspective, it lets them know that we expect them to follow through with their training. We presume that you’ll show up here consistently and work hard. The coaches put the effort in up front to program for you in advance, now it’s your turn to bring the effort.
If you were to look at our white board in our office right now you will see the 8-week training block written out for our fitness classes. This is how we piece together all of the elements that we want to focus on in the upcoming cycle.
The important part is that we are not shy about showing this to our athletes. We readily welcome questions about their training program. After all, they are the ones that have to put in the work so they should know what they’re getting into. It’s important to us that we set the expectation early on so athletes can buy into what we’re doing.
A conversation can go something like this.
“Hey coach, I am out of town next week on vacation. Will I be missing anything?”
“Hey Lift Lab athlete, we just finished writing the next 2 months of your training. Let’s take a look at the board. We’re starting to dial in our pulling technique from the floor to the knee. We’ll take 3 days next week with pauses at the knee. We’ll also be retesting clean and jerks maxes. If you have a gym available, retest your max clean and jerk and work on getting in proper pulling position off of the floor. The Monday that you get back, were doing some barbell clean complexes and need you to get after it!”
“Thanks coach. I’ll be rested and ready!”
We like to keep the athletes as informed as possible about how we program and what to expect. When it comes time to test heavy lifts and peak for a competition, they know exactly what the plan looks like leading up to that day and hopefully have a better understanding of the work that needs to be put in between now and then.
Do your work early. Let your athletes see it. Set the expectations.