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6 Principles To Achieve Program Mastery

6 Principles To Achieve Workout Plan Mastery

Written by
April 28, 2015
Updated April 11, 2018
Category: Fitness

Onnit 24kg KettlebellWorkout Plan mastery involves more than just creating a difficult, fancy program to produce outstanding results. There are many factors that will decide whether a program will produce its desired effect.

In this article I will cover six principles that act as a general guideline to ensure that your workout plan is progressive, based-on and caters-to the needs of your clients.

How do you know that the exercises you select will actually get the results you seek? There is such a vast array of exercises that we perform with a multitude of tools. How do you know that one exercise will be better for you than another?

What factors do you need to consider when constructing training programs? There are some key principles that, when applied, will lead to workout plan mastery.

These principles are the difference between average programs and programs that get results.

Workout Plan Principle #1: Assess Your Desired Training Outcome

You need to make sure that there is a congruence between your exercise selection and the outcome you want to achieve. For example, there is no point in selecting a barbell bench press with a slow tempo if you are looking to develop explosive power. A plyometric push up variation is a far superior choice.

The demands of your goal will not only impact the exercise selection, it will also impact the repetitions, load, and rest. For example, if you are looking at competing in Girevoy Sport, then you want to develop your power endurance. Lots of repetitions over an extended period would be much more beneficial than a few repetitions at 80-100% 1RM load.

Workout Plan Principle #2: Too Much of One Thing is Overkill (Making Programs Fun, Variable, & Challenging)

Specificity is important but you do need to ensure that there is balance in any program with time dedicated to soft tissue releases, mobilizations, and auxiliary exercises. Professional athletes do not just practice their sport as their training regimen, they develop strength using weight training, they enhance their aerobic capacity by undertaking cardio, and they prevent risk of injury by doing specific core and balance training.

You need to mix up your training or you will be at risk of over training or developing hindering compensations. Ensure you are challenging your body by incorporating movements through different planes of motion. Too many programs forget rotation or twisting and simply move forwards and backwards.

You need to move side to side as well as twist as activity demand for this is great. You should also incorporate a variety of movement patterns that may range from basic crawling to complex movements such as Windups with the Mace. Think about exercise as a journey with workout plan facilitating longevity, enjoyment, and an overall appreciation for movement.

Workout Plan Principle #3: People Are Not the Same

Remember that people are not the same when programming your workout plan

People come in all shapes and sizes with different abilities and fitness levels. This means no two fitness programs should ever be the same. One person will always be stronger or fitter than another. Workout plan mastery means creating a customized program to the person’s ability level. Generic programs produce vague results. You need to assess before programming a workout plan, otherwise you are just guessing!

If you are seeking to get stronger then you need a baseline measurement. You then need to compute the levels of attainable strength from week to week and program accordingly to achieve the desired result. This requires an analytical approach, time, and a strategy. These are all vital ingredients in attaining workout plan mastery.

People all move differently as a result of their training habits, work demands, injury history, and genetics. For example, some people need more core based exercises, while others may need specific hip dominant exercises, while others may be unable to do some movements at all. You need to determine what your limitations, asymmetries, and areas of weakness are and include a strategy in your workout plan to address these.

These things make you unique and a masterful program will result in significant progress in these shortcomings. Again, it takes detailed knowledge and awareness to uncover these shortcomings in the first place. Just because a particular training program produces excellent results for one individual does not mean that the achievement can be duplicated with another.

Workout Plan Principle #4: Consult the Experts

There will always be people who have greater knowledge than you on how to perform certain exercises and how to best create a training program. You need to use these people, adopting their techniques and ideas. This is how you will “sharpen the ax” and create very skillful training programs.

You can never know everything about training. That presents wonderful opportunities to improve and learn new workout plan methods or exercises. Mastery will not occur without continuous learning and adaptation.

Workout Plan Principle #5: Programming is More than Just “Training”

Principle #3: People Are Not the Same

Workout plan mastery is more than just exercise; it needs to address and take into account a number of factors such as stress, rest, hydration, and nutrition. The greatest program in the world will fail if it only addresses exercise. Many other factors determine your capacity to perform and a poor outcome in one will have a domino effect on the others.

Stress comes in many forms and is a result of work, family, etc. Stress can fatigue the body and deplete it of rest and recovery. The last thing your body needs when under high levels of stress is more stress. Workout plan mastery results in programs that reduce stress and energize the body. You cannot perform your best if you are sleep deprived. The training length and intensity will suffer compared to someone who is sleeping optimally. Your program needs to cater for these “tired” days and have a realistic outcome.

Rest is vital in any great training program. You need to have deload periods and weeks where you are not always trying to seek a personal best. It is physically impossible to continually increase workout intensity without a rest period. The best designed training program will fall short of its desired outcome if it doesn’t consider the nutrition required to support the training. It needs to consider important principles such as caloric intake, meal timing, macronutrient breakdown, and supplementation.

Workout Plan Principle #6: Adapting & Adopting New Ways of Programming

Workout plan mastery does not occur overnight. The best coaches, trainers and athletes are always inventing new methods of training, adopting new research, and not resting on their laurels. They know that mastery is a continually evolving practice that takes time and effort.

If you adopt these 6 principles then you will be on the path to attaining program mastery. You need to address each one in detail before designing training programs. By doing so, you will see vastly improved training outcomes and results.

Matt Powell is the creator of and MSF Systems (Mission Specific Fitness). Teaching publicly since 2001 throughout the world and tactical community in the US, Matt’s mission is to apply practical sciences to the martial arts, combatives, tactical training, and fitness. Publishing four books on training methodology, two dozen instructional videos on science, fitness, and combatives, Matt lives in Atlanta running Pramek, his pitbulls, and the popular PramekRadio podcast.
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