Stop Trying To Reinvent The Wheel by Ian Stevenson

As a new trainer I thought I had to be different from everyone else.  We all want to have our own style of training.  My problem was, I was trying to make EVERY session different.

The Problem

Every session had to be different.  I didn’t allow myself to programme the same exercise in case my clients got bored.  Even the 18:30 group coming in after the 17:30 group got a different session.  I never programmed sessions in 4 or 6 week blocks, I wrote new sessions every week! It got to the point where I ran out of exercises and then made the cardinal sin of trying to make up my own exercises.  It amazes me that I never seriously hurt any of my clients.

At first, it looked really good as sessions were fresh and different.  Then, members started to get a little disgruntled as every time they came in the workout was different, so they never had time to get used to an exercise.  Clients were never getting the chance to see any progression.  On Monday they performed a back squat.  The following Monday they were doing bench press.  The sessions were disjointed and tight for time because I was having to teach new exercises all the time.

There was no consistency to my sessions or the way I programmed them.  Just random exercises put together.  When it came to writing new sessions for my gym members, I got myself in a right old state.

The Solution

I remember one of the LTB members posting up their template for writing programmes.  This rocked my world lol.  It gave me the idea to create my own template for writing sessions.  This way my sessions would have structure to them and it would be easier for my clients to see progression.  Instead of new sessions every week, they would follow the same session for 6 weeks with slight progressions each week.

LTB taught me that in order for my clients to progress they didn’t need a new workout every week.  As long as there was a slight progression each week whether that be in the form of extra weight, more reps, more sets, less rest time or a variation of the exercise then it was ok.  There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

I still use that same template today when designing sessions for my clients and it is one that my coaches use also.  Having a structure in place has given me and my coaches more free time because we are not having to spend hours upon hours on designing sessions and trying to reinvent the wheel with every exercises.  It also means clients can track and measure their progress.

I thought that in order for members to stay, sessions had to be fresh and engaging.  Now, my members are engaged because we have a structure and progression to our programmes and they stay because they get results and love the environment.

The basics work and the basics work well.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel in order to be a good trainer.