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  • Lauren Aikins

What goes into designing a workout plan?

Have you ever wondered how trainers come up with workouts? Do you think they just put some exercises together that they like? I wanted to share how I design my workout plans.

I am a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. NASM designed the Optimum Performance Training (OPT) Model to improve all functional abilities including flexibility, core stabilization, balance, strength, power and cardiorespiratory endurance. The OPT program has been successful in helping clients reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and strength, and improve performance and overall health.

Many different variables go into building the plan including repetitions, sets, intensity, tempo, volume, rest, frequency, duration and exercise selection. These variables are determined by what phase the client is in. There are 5 phases in the OPT model.

Phase 1 - Stabilization Endurance Training

Phase 2 - Strength Endurance Training

Phase 3 - Hypertrophy Training

Phase 4 - Maximal Strength Training

Phase 5 - Power Training

For each client, I make weekly, monthly and yearly plans based on their fitness goals. Clients will go through many of these phases but most likely not all of them. Everyone starts in Phase 1 no matter their athletic ability.

If a client has a goal of reducing body fat, the plan is to move more. This includes weight training and cardiorespiratory training. Stabilization and Strength Training is key here in addition to regular cardio workouts. Power Training can be included for greater calories burned.

This is an example of the thinking that goes into my workout programming. There are a lot of factors that go into each workout that I design. I believe this is how you get the best results!

NASM Essentials of Personal Training

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