Programming Your Group Metabolic Resistance Training Sessions For Optimal Results (Part One)

This article is the first in a 3-part series on group fitness programming.  In today’s article, we are going build the foundation of your successful group training program by carefully reviewing the different considerations in putting together your group fitness programs.  In part two I will discuss the various training splits you can use and in part three I will cover the countless formats that you can use in setting up your exercises within each workout, and which ones are best for the results you’re looking to achieve.

If you run a group metabolic resistance training program like the one we have at F.I.T. Strength & Conditioning, then you know the challenges of not only getting your clients the results they’re looking for, but also keeping them engaged with workouts that are fresh & fun.

Before I go on, I want to clarify – the phrase “optimal results” in the headline of this article refers not only to strength gains or weight loss results, but also to the results that YOU are looking to achieve – client retention.

Obviously, if you have clients walking out the door after a few weeks or a few months, then you have limited opportunity to help them realize the goals they’re looking to achieve.

By taking the time to carefully plan your workouts in advance, taking into consideration several variables, you will have a better chance of goal achievement by your clients, as well as yourself.

Some things to consider when you sit down to do your programming:

  • Who are your clients, and why do they come to you?  What are they looking to achieve?  Is it strength gains?  Is it mainly weight loss? … or a combination of both?  This should be very closely related to your personal philosophy on fitness.  Essentially, this is your niche in your local fitness market, and these are the people who you should target in ALL of your marketing.  The more narrow and targeted your niche is, the more successful you will be.  The phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none” applies here.  If you try to cater to many different markets, you will never be known as being “THE person to go for if someone wants to achieve __________.”  I will go over this in more depth in a separate article in the near future.
  • What is your personal philosophy on fitness?  Do you have a strong belief in hardcore strength training?  Are you an advocate of mobility?  Do you promote a balance of mobility, strength, conditioning and skill?  Whatever your philosophy is, make sure that you’re sending that message so that it will correlate with why your clients are coming to you.  If you’re an advocate of strength training, you don’t want people coming to you looking for “boot camp” workouts.
  • What does your space look like?  Do you have a small training space? … a large warehouse-type space?  Are you renting space from someone else?  This will have an impact not only on the type of training you’re able to do, but also the size of the groups you can train.  Luckily, I have a huge space that allows us to train large groups AND incorporate lots of running, crawling and other locomotor movements.
  • What type of training tools / equipment do you have at your disposal?  What type of equipment do you promote?  Are you a kettlebell person? … a barbell person? … or maybe you’re all about suspension training.  This should tie in closely with your philosophy on fitness.  Typically, if you’re a proponent of kettlebell training, then you aren’t going to want ladies walking through your door that want to “get toned.”
  • How many days per week will your clients train?  Your training split will be one of the main elements that will determine your programming.  Does your group metabolic resistance training program run 3X per week? … 4X per week? … or even 5X per week?  This should also tie in with the membership options that you offer for your training facility /gym.  I will be going over this in great depth in part two of this series.

While there are more things you can consider, these are the some of the main things that you’ll want to think about as you plan out a successful group training program.

Take 10 – 15 minutes and answer each one of these questions.  If it’s something that you’ve never done, you’ll find this to be a VERY useful exercise that will have a dramatic impact on your business.  It will clear things up for you and give you a clear vision of where you want your business to go.  I made the mistake of not doing this in the beginning, and it was a nightmare trying to rectify my mistakes.

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NEXT UP: Programming Your Group Metabolic Resistance Training  Sessions For Optimal Results (Part Two)


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