Secrets to Effective Beginner Personal Training Programs

Paul steps you through his system of analysis to transform a weak beginner personal training program into a successful workout plan that sets you and your client up for success.

Overview: This article provides in-depth look at how we edit and revise programs.  The program you’ll see was submitted to me by a “certified” personal trainer.  You’ll see how we analyze the program for mistakes, and revise the program to optimize it for beginner personal training lessons.

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As the owner of a personal training company, I've been recruiting and training personal trainers for almost a decade. If you are considering working for Sand and Steel, there are five elements you need to master: (1) programming, (2) optimizing scaling, (3) correcting exercise technique, (4) commitment to continuing education, and (5) strong selection of corrective exercises and mobility exercises.  We have the industry's best mentoring program, but the program is not for everyone.  About 3/4 of applicants drop out.  And that's fine by me.  Every coach I hire is a direct reflection of my and Sand & Steel Fitness's reputation. I'd rather hire one rockstar coach than 10 mediocre ones.

Secrets to Effective Beginner Personal Training Programs

Beginner Personal Training Workout Plan Review

To the right (or below on mobile) is the first workout of the Beginner Strength Personal Training Program. Let’s analyze this workout as written, and see where it can be improved.

Beneath the title of each workout plan, I expect to see a five to seven words summary of the overarching structure of the workout plan.  This draft plan doesn’t have that, so we will need to look at it de novo.  So we are writing a strength training program.  The first thing I notice in this program is that there is no exercise called the TRX squat extension. When when you write TRXworkouts TRXhas gone through the trouble of actually naming every workout there is.  And there is no movement called TRXsquat extension in TRX. You want to look up the actual name for the exercise so that other coaches know what you mean by TRX Squat Extension.

Take Me Home - Beginner Strength Program

WOD 1130: Beginner Strength Workout for Personal Training

So the workout is one round for quality.  We have dumbbell snatch dumbbell, push press, dumbbell snatch, hang high pull, snatch, shoulder press, snatch and incline row

So this is a speed-based workout and it focuses more on conditioning.  A dumbbell snatch is very difficult for a beginner to do.  Beginners don’t have the flexibility to get down all the way, they don’t have the overhead mobility to pull the dumbbell overhead.  Beginners don’t understand hip timing.  I would really never put a snatch movement in a beginner workout. Certainly not one for strength, because the snatch teaches kind of speed which is kind of the opposite of what we do for strength.

I also would always think about the movement patterns right a push press is a more complex version of the strict press. We haven’t taught this brand new member how to do a strict press.  So why are we going to go to a push press, when we haven’t taught them the strict press?  Learn to walk before you learn to run.

The hang high pull…well they don’t even know to do a deadlift yet.  Granted the hang high pull isn’t that complicated.  Although the dumbbell hang high pull is a weak movement compared to the barbell ones.  Plus the sumo deadlift high pull is a better choice.  The dumbell hang high pull overall is not a great exercise really in any program.

The other thing that’s weird about this workout is we have the shoulder press and then we have an incline row.  An incline row i’m assuming on like a bench seems like a weird choice because these are all standing exercises and we have a bench out of nowhere.  The bench adds extra equipment and setup plus you have to teach all these movements and that’s just too much to do for a brand new person.

For the Cooldown we have t-spine stretch thoracic rotation quads and hamstrings. I’m actually i’m okay with the choice of mobility for this workout, but there are problems with this workout overall so i think this makes sense if we were going to do this workout, but i probably wouldn’t do this workout for a lot of different reasons.

In addition, this beginner workout is missing all the weights.  The beginner workouts need to have weights. The weights should be designated by the skill level of the member.  You should know the average weight a beginner does for a shoulder press.  Somewhere around 30/ 20 lbs for men/ female.

So let’s fix this broken workout and turn it into something similar that would be appropriate for a beginner.  TBC

Beginner Workout Plan Revised WOD 1130

Personal Training Edits and Rationale 

  1. So we listed the equipment we need for the workout.
  2. Warmup is the same.
  3. We teach the skill work for the Dumbbell Press and Kettlebell Press
  4. Then we setup a strength-based sequence that focuses on the one exercise, the dumbbell press.  Each set having fewer reps as the load goes up.
  5. Then we do a straight forward conditioning sequence using the Sumo Deadlift High Pull with the kettlebell.
  6. Cooldown is the same.

Personal Training Program Summary of Edits

As revised this workout is much easier to coach and just as effective to do.  More complex exercises are not better for building strength.  More complex exercises lead to injury when they aren’t done properly.  The Dumbbell Press and Sumo Deadlift High Pull are plenty complex for a beginner to master.  Less is more.

Beginner Strength Personal Training Program Analysis for WOD 1131

Issues with the Original Version

Warmup: too many exercises, too complicated, setup is too long.

  • It doesn’t make sense for a personal trainer to teach a beginner 5 different TRX Exercises for a warmup. 
  • It also doesn’t make sense to exactly 7 of each exercise.
  • There is no exercise called a twisted grip row

Workout Overview: Too many exercises.  Exercises are too hard.  Exercises are too complicated.  Sequencing isn’t correct for strength.  The program will take too long to teach.

  • Barbell static lunges take too much time to setup
  • Barbell static lunges are too difficult for a beginner to perform
  • Wall Balls are for conditioning not strength
  • Why would alternate exercises like the lunge, backsquat and step up in a strength program?
  • Controlling a barbell step-up is very difficult and exposes the member to injury

Revised Version

Warmup as revised doesn’t require any equipment promoting a much faster transition time.

If we wanted to do a strength and conditioning based WOD, then we can do the Goblet Squat by itself.  

The AMRAP conditioning sequence now only uses two exercises: the wall ball and lateral step-up. The wall ball allows to practice the squat form we just learned.  The lateral step-up helps us build control across the frontal plane.  

The Revised Workout is simpler to coach, safer to perform, and properly focuses on strength as the program design requires.


all right let’s look at the next one hip


trx glute bridges trx overhead press trx

hamstring bridges

twisted grip row this is not a named


so look up what that movement is i have

a book that has all the names of the


it’s probably a real movement we need to

look it up okay

so three rounds for quality 25 minutes

barbell static lunge

the static lunge i’m assuming the

barbells on their shoulders

that’s actually a hard position for a

lot of beginners to get into they don’t

have the requisite shoulder mobility

eight wall balls six barbell squats

eight wall balls six barbells step

ups eight wall balls six barbell squats

this workout isn’t good for the same

reason as the previous one wasn’t

so you have to teach this movement the

squat the wall ball

and the step-up a new client

is not likely to have enough lateral

flexion control

to do this kind of movements so

um i think what would be better is to

keep that same

pattern right so maybe you can even do

the same workout just about right we’re

gonna actually just copy it

because what you’re trying to do is

simmer so

we can switch the movements right we can

take this to a goblet squat

and we can do goblet squats for load

and we have heavy enough kettlebells to

do that with

um so are you um would you indicate

the um excuse me sorry about that would

you indicate

uh the weight that um

like you did here you don’t need to


so when you write a workout you lock all

the variables except for one

load is not locked on this one reps are


time is as much time as they need to

recover you’re going to give more time

as the reps go down like in any strength


certainly you could write it in if you

wanted to right you could say something


you know 90 seconds between sets

but i think that’s kind of implied so

yeah now you have wall balls which is a

conditioning exercise

and you have step ups okay let’s put


together but we’re going to do it this

time as an amrap to give a little bit of







so does this technically

so do wall balls and

step up qualify as a strength

no it depends it does not so

right now based on the last workout i’m

looking at the movements

this workout is very similar to the last

one this would be a strength and

conditioning program

am i okay with you doing a strength and

conditioning program for beginner

yes as long as it’s scaled correctly

but if we start with strength and

conditioning we need to do all eight

workouts i want a consistent structure

that makes sense it does okay it’s easy

to understand

you do one strength component you do one

conditioning component

okay so the second part

works by um they’re gonna go through as

many rounds as they can do in

12 minutes we have fixed the time domain

we’ve fixed the weight the meta med ball

lateral step up is like a side step up

and then they’re going to press the ball

up overhead assuming they have the


you may need to scale that down take the

med ball out

or remove the press if they don’t have

the balance for that we made the

press very light but not every beginner

has enough control

you might also specify the height of the


we’ll do a lower box on this one because

that’s a hard move for beginners

the height of the box should depend on

the on the height of the client though

so this would be for


right somebody who’s six eight is

certainly going to do a higher box


it’s easier okay make sense

it does so the idea is that uh they’re

gonna try to do that as many

times as they can in 12 minutes and

we’re going to log

rounds completed

did you take a look at the crossfit

template doc that was mentioned in this


i did there’s a lot of very lot of

different choices that you can use if

you’re doing crossfit programming

that was very helpful yeah it took me

forever to write it but it was

very much worth it okay well let’s put a

strike through through this




i think you can apply what i just went

over to this workout it

suffers from some of the same comments

and you can fix it

much the same way so i’m gonna skip this


take what i went through and apply it to

this one okay

uh workout six

all right i want you to look at workout

6 and explain to me what i don’t like

see if you can apply the rationale and

how i would change it because we have to

keep the same

structure and even structure aside

right we’re doing strength and

conditioning but

let’s take it back to the original

request i asked for a beginner strength

program right sure well what’s wrong

with this one

uh okay so it’s it has a lot of the same

um weaknesses that you pointed out it’s


there are several com complex

uh movements here when

uh that the client may not know

um they may not be comfortable


with um

the maybe the awkwardness of the


uh there’s some i think those comments

you’re saying

those are things to look out for i don’t

think they apply in this case though

okay that is things i said it’s not

relevant to this workout this workout

has different problems

okay um well let’s see we have


well there’s a lot of like

uh unnecessary

um movements from like

the bench press to an upright

then to a different um

then to incline and then to a rear

so there’s a lot of like i think one of


10 criteria behind writing a workout

plan was

um uh minimizing transitions

there’s just a lot of like there’s a lot

of dead time in here that is a big

problem with it

you got that right another issue is

we want to work compound to accessories

right this one kind of mixes them in

and when you write a workout like this

where it has rounds

it emphasizes speed kickbacks are an

accessory and so are rear delt flies

they’re not done for speed you do them

for equality

but the workout has time as the main

time domain it doesn’t have weights


so and i also don’t see

the need to have both dumbbell press

and bench right so

let’s switch it up right let’s think

about what we’d want to do so we want to


maybe the same exact rep scheme

although bench bench we might switch

just because

it’s it works slightly differently but

we’re going to just take this as our

starting place

we’ll do dumbbell incline press which

you wanted to do which i’m good with

yeah and instead of going to threes i

think we’ll keep the reps a little

higher because it’s a little harder to


which was the awkwardness you talked

about right and then this is dumbbell


dumbbell incline press for load

okay i’m good with doing that

and then you want to switch which is


if you want to do kickbacks and rear

delt flies

right those are accessories it’s no

longer conditioning

right it’s a different style workout but

still important for beginners to do

right and so kickbacks we gotta write

our weights though right so we’ll do



10 kickbacks for

load and when you have a chiral exercise

you got to specify it’s 10 left and then

10 right

because it’s never clear whether you man

10 each side or 10 total so

always specify it so it’s clear and then

the rear delt fly

the rear delt fly with dumbbells is okay

but since you have access to exercise

tubing you have access to

a cable machine you might use a better

one those are better tools if you have

them if you don’t have them sure

dumbbell is okay

but might as well use a better tool

since we have it

cable machine

assuming you’re used to using that right

if you’re not used to using it then use

dumbbells obviously

okay and then we can do yes i have a


um with the workout is so we have

uh incline press um and then

followed by another incline press i just

that’s just a notation

so this would be like on sugar wad which

would you have to do it this will be the


dumbbell incline press and then this is

the workout definition

i understand okay i understand thank you

so is there a good reason to stick these

together there’s not

because we’re alternating which is the

rest there’s no reason to cram these

together into the same sequence

so we’re just going to space it out so

this is accessory



okay and this is also for load and when

you think about it

when you set up the workout this way as

a coach

isn’t this going to be easier to control

the client you got one exercise you’re

doing at a time

yes right it’s easier it’s easier to log

the workouts right

it’s less rushed there’s less things for

them to remember up front

right they don’t know how to do any of

these exercises so it’s a lot to just

put up in front

and this is this is less effective

than this style so this is both harder

to coach

more frustrating to the client and less

effective than the simpler one

make sense absolutely that’s great

great feedback a big point do not

put corrective accessory type exercises

in circuits with compound exercises

it doesn’t make any sense to do that

they are good exercises

they shouldn’t be sequenced this way

they should be sequenced this way

all right

i think this workout has the same kind

of issues

um but let’s see more particular

so hang higher pull front squats client

beginner clients often can’t do front

squats because of the mobility

but they might be able to do the

kettlebell version


so in this case you have less movements

you have two

okay that’s better off the top so you’re

trying to teach the clean

patterning okay i’m okay with that idea

um i think you might put in your workout


right that’s where this description is

like um

area skills hang high pole

okay you wrote it as a high pole in

front squat okay that’s fine

um but you’re right it’s it’s it’s

it’s part of that

that uh teaching that clean um

yeah clean clean drills you know barbell

clean drills

and if i was going to be teaching a

brand new person

how to do a clean right

i probably would be looking at these

kind of these kind of things


i might do

uh just two things i don’t like one is i

probably would include

the hang muscle clean

in the sequence um

and i might do it this way

because they should at least see the the

general movement here

i put in the middle because you know

once it’s up there then they do the


um i think this

sequence would be better done

as follows






okay so here we’re going to work each

one of these patterns

at a specified weight for five minutes


right and then this becomes uh the

kind of the scoring you need to specify

scoring is going to be description based

that’s one of the choices or i think it


text or something like that but they can

write how it went

and it’s going to be three different

sets so three sets of

other texts as you’re scoring so they

can write

this is really hard i’m working on this

etc etc

so this is your drill right

so um

and we might put it in a comment

uh we’ll put it right here star

increase weights if

patterning is good okay

so once we’ve done that we actually know

what weights are good for this client

right we can set up our 12

or we’ll do maybe 10 minutes

and uh 10 minutes

well we’ll do it this way three rounds

for time


twenty one fifteen nine




what makes this work well is

you’ll spend this 15 minutes kind of

teaching these patterns and seeing what


should be selected for these ones

does that make sense uh

yes because the way the way you wrote


too right adjusting the weights

like kind of as you’re doing it because

you have low weight medium weight high


while we’re doing this that’s just not

going to work like then that’s a switch

weight so you need multiple barbells

and multiple barbells for each movement

doesn’t really make makes sense

right so just drill the movements right

you’ll find what weights are appropriate

when you do that and then this is the

workout right so this is the skills


and this is your wad


and this is exactly how i would teach a

crossfit class or a strong class this is

more crossfit

from the time domain

why can’t we make this in its

conditioning why can’t we make this

strength because the

clean is too complicated to do

max effort would you ever have a

brand new clients do max effort

hang cleans no it’s too hard

they’ll hurt themselves could you have

an experienced person do that sure

i do max effort hanging cleans all the


so because you chose a hard movement

you can’t do strength i still think it’s

okay because i

do want members to learn it and so

you’ll teach it to them and so that’s


but that’s why it has to be a

conditioning workout because you chose

patterns that they can’t be done for max


or even a heavy effort for beginner

so so far so good all right

um five good mornings five air squats

five bend pull parts five side lunges

okay squat thrusters planks with chest


low balls playing side taps

or floor slams it’s not a strength


right for one the reps don’t make

sense like why would we do only five

wall balls

i don’t understand that i don’t

understand why we’d have a time domain

based workout

with a static move like a plank that

doesn’t make sense to me either

crossfit workouts never have static


in an an as many rounds for time

or rounds for time methodology they do

use them but not

in this kind of sequencing um

so that doesn’t mean i’m not okay with

the movements though

you can do squat thrusters fine if they

can do a

front squat okay and they can press


right they could do plank chest taps

and wall balls we use them in the last

movement why don’t we copy the same

pattern we just did

because this same pattern works

for this workout that you’re trying to


okay what is it though


how would you do this how would you take

your work out here

and turn it into the same format we just



um uh let’s see

i would take

a hard question take your time yes so

maybe type it out if you want to type it


oh well i have my sleeping son in my

arms but uh don’t worry about i’m

talking about

i think what i i mean based on what what

we developed the last one i would say

um for the skills uh

to take five minutes each um uh

to work on the squat thrusters okay

um and uh

uh the wall balls so practice those


i lose you um

and i would do um higher series or

higher numbers of

um the squat thrusters and the wall


let me ask you a question yeah

functionally what’s the difference

between a squat thruster

and a wall ball uh

so that’s a

yeah so that’s a great question is there

a big difference between the two

no i would say that the thruster maybe


going further to the ground but maybe

not that

no you’re going exactly the same depth

you don’t use we squat to parallel

so they’re functionally the same just


there’s a slight difference from the

explosive aspect of the wall ball

maybe but nothing that would matter to


so because of that

there’s no reason you should combine

them in a beginner workout

you’re just making your job harder by

teaching two movements when one will do

the way the way to change this workout

is as follows


all thrusters by the way are squat

thrusters by definition so you don’t

need to write the squat portion

it’s understood


now you want to put i’m going to make an

assumption that you want to put these

two movements which i’m cool with

into the workout because you want to do


we’re going to change the time and make


number of reps less so we have more time

to do that extra movements you want to

do in the back of the workout which are

movements beginners need

okay 10 10 10

dumbbell front squats dumbbell strict

press dumbbell thruster

you just taught them how to do it up

here all right we worked on the skills

we can combine them together okay

and then this movement’s slightly less

complicated than the clean we’re gonna

take you to three minutes each

so now we’re at 19 minutes and now you

want to do some planks and some side


i’m okay with it but i think

i’m concerned about the fact that we did

a lot of shoulders here and then you

have lots of shoulders here

too much shoulders for sequencing these

together so maybe we can do

one though so we’re gonna do this






okay so because there are 30 second


each we’re no longer trying to force a

client to move

quickly through the chest tap or the

wrist tab wrist app is better for

beginner chest apps more of an

intermediate level movement

because it does them no good to go

faster going faster isn’t the design of

that it’s to maintain stability

and then they have a fixed movement 10

sit ups if they finish that early they

get a rest if they don’t

they’re back to the planks and we’ve

taken some of the extra work off the


by doing the sit-up which still works


right yes

okay that workout’s good


i’m gonna skip these two because one of

the things i do need to

need you i need to make sure that you

can make changes like these without me

giving you answers because

it only works you always have to make

changes on the fly when you’re working

with people

and your ability to recognize what

should be done at the time is a skill

i need to make sure you have which is

why i don’t just give people the

workouts because

i can write it in the abstract and then

there’s something going on the client

has an injury

you need to change it and so i need to

make sure you can develop this skill

okay so we’ll skip those we’re going to

look at this one now

so this one is

is our weight loss program so we have

road machine for 250 meters

five push-ups five med ball slams 25

dumbbell unders

or single lenders okay

what don’t i like about this


uh what do you think it is

let’s see well

in this well i guess in the skill area

i indicated that it was going to be a

single arm dumbbell row

which one are you looking at hold on i’m

looking right i’m looking right here

yeah okay um

oh yes well that that’s certainly a


let me tell you what it is because none

of the stuff i told you before

there’s different problems with this so

rowing’s fine rolling 250 meters how

long does it take a beginner to do


a very long time uh how long

probably about uh

three to four minutes that’s the right

answer about three minutes 3 30

maybe how long does it take to five


yeah 20 seconds

yeah there’s a problem there right

there’s a balancing problem

right five med ball slams is also like

30 seconds

right and then 25 dumbbell enders

or double unders is not happening for

beginner period they’ll never

i won’t even put it in there double

unders is advanced or expert level skill


because it’s really hard for them to do

it um can you do double unders

uh i’m on a good day on a good day never

put in any

techniques that you can’t demonstrate

well and

not everybody can do double unders

they’re very hard uh if you can do them


not everybody can just like handstands

not all my coaches can do them

but if you can do them you can use them

but not a beginner workout

um i think

the problem


now that’s okay

am i am i running the risk of

just exhausting getting them to the

point of exhaustion

like within the first few minutes of the

with it

with an 18-minute amrap for the beginner


you’re going to have to teach a new

beginner client

pacing on this kind of workout right and

yes they might go too fast that you can


to telling them how fast to go through

and things

so this workout

as revised is fine

you’re going to start though let’s say

actually let me finish talking about

this and they’re going to ask pose the


with this revision your workouts fine um

now these movements take about the same

amount of time more or less

um and we’ve taken away the push-up

which is a strength movement which did

not fit in here at all

it just was fi it just didn’t make any

sense when we raised the reps up on here

simplify this and increase reps so this

is fine

um can i ask you a question one of the

workouts in the template was um

every minute on the minute could i also

use that here where

maybe um maybe

whenever they finish the minute they

move on to something else

would that be inappropriate sure so you

could you could do

instead of doing that you can do four


on an imam right and then we score

reps completed

okay and if we do that


score plus calories we have to change

its fouls this is no longer a fixed item

this is now calories

this is not fixed this is not fixed

we’re scoring reps completed

this will be easier than the previous


because you’re not forcing the client to

do so many reps

when they want to slow down they just

slow down this is

easier even though it’s the same

movements it’s better

than the previous version for beginner

it’s actually good for anybody people

like these workouts having written many

of them

everybody feels like a winner and that’s


you know there’s nothing and every

workout don’t have to be super super


okay um

your skills on this workout should be

the jump rope that’s not an easy skill

for beginners

even the single under let’s say they do


and they’re really just struggling like

they’re doing the one foot then the

other foot they’re jumping and then


and you work on the skill for 10 minutes


the jump rope is nowhere is where it

needs to be for this workout what are

you going to do

i’m going to nix the actual rope

i’ll ask the person to um

do the jump rope movement

without the actual rope you do air ropes

arrow jumps

fine you could do jumping over little

plastic hurdles

um you could do a lot of variations like

that you want to do air ropes air ropes

are fine

okay it’s good

they fixed it you’ll need to make your

adjustments could be updating your

workout obviously to the warm-up and the

cool down to apply it to that

but let me see what you picked for the

cool down so you pick the isometric


flexor stretch chest stretch

shoulder stretch okay so you have

stretches related to the exercises that

were worked we took out the chest aspect

so that one’s no longer in there


all right let’s look at the next one we

don’t have battle ropes in the gym

because of covid i do own battle ropes

we don’t have any in the gym

right now so we don’t have that piece of


um reverse lunges frog jumps

single arm dumbbell row let’s take the


as you wrote it assuming we did have

battle ropes

okay analyze the workout based on

everything i told you

and tell me what’s good and what’s not

good about it

well um similar uh

to uh

something like double unders

um reverse lunges may not be

um very doable

for a beginner especially

with the knees frog jumps the same thing

a lot of those jumps can be hard for

somebody who’s

a beginner or is deconditioned

and so there’s a lot of there’s a lot of


on the on the knees i would agree

there’s strain on the knees if you don’t

have control of your hips

i’d agree with that what else

let’s see

the timing if

the timing i guess like if you’re doing

five rounds of this


one two


it doesn’t add up to 18 minutes is 18

minutes a time

cap or how long the workout takes um

i think it was supposed to be the time

cap yeah

so it would have that itself

based on the 20 second or the the

this style there’s definitely an issue

there because it’s not

as you programmed it this workout

wouldn’t take 18 minutes

there’s another problem though that’s

even more significant


i’m gonna ask you some questions and i

think the answer will come to you

this is a conditioning movement right


this is stability and conditioning

okay this one is

explosive strength and conditioning

what’s this oh that’s strength does it


no it doesn’t not at all

so get rid of that one

now your comments about them being too

hard for beginners yes you’re right

trx squat jump

when you’re holding the trx we’ll deal

with the problem about stability

the trx reverse lunge will deal with the

stability issue you mentioned

and then we can just pick a third trx


so both of them are facing the anchor



and these are this is moderate

that’s high we’ll do trx cycle jumps

we’ll change this to one minute


and we’ll actually put in a rest because

that’s going to be very hard for a

beginner to do

and that takes us to a 20-minute workout

if you don’t know these movements make

sure you talk with one of the coaches

before you

program them right or substitute them


i picked these this is not the only

right answer

okay if you don’t know what cycle jumps

are make sure you look

make sure you look them up from a source

or talk to a coach who’s certified in


don’t trust the youtube channel of some

guy who’s got a great six-pack who

doesn’t know damn thing about training

we all know those videos okay these are

real movements they have real

points of performance and make sure you

know them or pick other movements

that you can find good resources for

so i don’t look at your program and tell

you in front of the client that’s not

even a cycle jump

and you’re looking like you don’t know

what you’re doing

okay cool downs make sense

good we do have lots and lots of videos

on youtube

you can probably search our channel for

those movements that probably come up

but i can tell you that mark max

and brian will know those movements

brian actually has several

certifications in trx

um and i’ll be able to tell you what

they are if you don’t know what they are

okay let’s look at the next workout

okay talk me through it

do you think it’s good or not good

um i think it’s got

i think it’s got some of the same um

weaknesses uh as the other ones okay

i want you to take all the principles

i’ve taught to you

so far and then i want you to think

about the different problems

and then i want you to stack them in

order of like the most severe

okay what would you say

is the most severe issue with this


program or this workout right here

number one

mistake um well

again this is a this is a

this is a weight loss program um this is

not a strength

uh program and um lots of

and and so

it’s there shouldn’t be as much of an a

focus on

strength but also you know

you’re teaching some very complicated

moves like

that’s the problem like we discussed

snatches and

do you think do you think i could teach

this workout to a brand new beginner

and get them to do it safely no no i

can’t do it

you’re right i would never program this

workout for brand new clients

you definitely should not do it that’s

the main

problem it’s such a severe problem

that i would take out these movements

altogether there’s no point in doing

them you won’t get them to work

that’s the biggest issue second

you just did jump rope i think in the

two workouts ago

so i might not put it in this early

although you know

if if if you are you know some coaches

like to teach

jump rope as an important skill and for

that i could see keeping it

um five kettlebell swings

doesn’t make any sense to me incredible

things are high volume movements

you know minimum 25 you know

normally we do 50 or even 100 is what

we’re doing

five we would never do cleaning jerks

are heavy so certainly you could do five

um this workout if it was written this


you could be and there’s no per side


they’re barbell movements um

that workout could be an okay

advanced level crossfit workout

but we don’t have an advanced level


yes so it doesn’t work

so what do you want to do about it how

do you want to change it yeah

i i want to get rid of the uh cleaning


and i want to get rid of the snatches


and i want to uh

do more kettlebell swings

um i i’d like to keep

um is that an inter is that interest

is that interesting enough is that


enough for the client

i would do something like this



okay underneath this structure we can

reinforce that we already taught the

client had to jump

ropes so they’ll be better at it we’re

given 10 minutes of time to teach the

kettlebell swing which is very hard to

teach to do clients

then we’re going to do it in a workout

and then

we’re going to put the single leg

deadlift which uses the same kettlebell

that we can use for the swing probably a

lighter one though

um and we can do that by itself and and

work on teaching that

this weight will probably be

15 and 10.


okay um i wouldn’t do

this warm-up because the row machine

takes a lot of time to clean and take

apart and then you have

conditioning here you don’t need this


and then the lat pull down also takes


um i probably wouldn’t do lat pull downs

with a rowing either because once

conditioning and one is

pull parts they’re both okay i wouldn’t

sequence them this way

like if i wanted to use these movements

i probably would simply do

row machine

500 meters

i’m 30 watt

maybe even 40 that’s you know

that’s going to be better you don’t have

enough time though

with what we’ve done now so paul um

can i ask you a question since there’ll

be so much emphasis on

kettlebell swing is there something

that we could do in the warm-up that

would open up those

yeah yeah absolutely so think about what

the kettlebell

swing requires right what does it

require requires thoracic

extension on the hip hinge


and maybe

shoulder extension all right okay

yeah so that’s the idea that the

warm-ups are connected to what

that’s challenging that’s not an easy


thoracic extension we can do

so a simple a simple movement at this

thoracic extension is a good morning

right or

what we call arcs which is when you lay

on your stomach and your arc your back


the hip hinge the good morning has that


but you can also do glute bridges

uh the arc is also superman is that is


yeah you can think of that superman it’s

slightly different

superman tends to be more lumbar flexion

thoracic extension has to come from the

top of the shoulders

okay then just think about where the

extension’s coming from

and then shoulder extension

might be that’s basically pulling your

arms down right that’s your shoulder


because we need that for the swing to

maintain the

tightness right so maybe we can do a



and then you just write your times right

and you’ve warmed up the patterns

and you can use these warm-ups for

talking when you’re teaching the swing

then which muscles are going on

okay okay we can check our time we got

10 minutes

20 minutes 30 minutes

i’d give you maybe eight minutes for


so that was what 28

cool down 38 minutes okay


i want you to do the rest on your own

because they’re not going to come out as

well as the ones we just did together

but i want you to have a chance to apply

everything as best you can

we’ll review them and we’ll go through

and make corrections

as needed again excellent i’ll um

i’ll work on this and i’ll try to get

let me look at one of your mobility

workouts though because i didn’t look at

any of them

squat position frog jumps dead bugs

squats down walk out


your at least initially your

understanding of corrective exercises

is superior to your sequencing

of workouts which is not a common thing

it is often harder for new coaches to

come up with

the right correlation for which

exercises should be done for warm-ups

and mobility

than sequencing workouts you have it the

other way

this is harder to learn i find and

harder to teach

uh let’s see what you got for

standing fold hip burn on

yeah you got these this is all the right


um they’re not the most sophisticated

choices but they’re certainly fine

for where you are now i don’t have any


with you doing these exercises

you’ll use these exercises when for


you’re doing strict press and you notice

the client cannot press the bar

straight overhead without opening up

their ribs they don’t

have the requisite shoulder mobility

to do the exercise correctly okay

no problem you’ve got an overhead

mobility workout already

right yes you have a front rack

workout planned when you’re going to do

the front the front squat

they cannot get into that position they

can’t get their elbows up right well

that’s good well you got

mobility to work on that with them

that’s why you put them in

these look fine um

any questions oh this has been immensely

helpful thank you

good okay um revise them and let me know

when you’re ready to go through it again

i think you’ll get most of it


on the plus side you did a good job of

keeping your formatting

consistent which is hard for coaches to

do and that actually

is a good thing it looks very well


i saw the consistency of what you were


and that’s also good it just wasn’t


the right answer but it’s still but it’s

still good that you were you know that’s

hard to keep

you know the same line of thinking and

going through that and so those those

points are really good

i would suspect it’ll be like we talked


i think you’ll be able to get it up to a


plus on the next run and there’ll be

some things you won’t get and we should

be able to close it

in one or two more cycle throughs

make sure that you are

really good at teaching

any movements in here for example the

kettlebell swing

okay think about where did you learn

that who taught

that to you right

was it self-taught did you take a

certification on it

because i’m gonna check to make sure

that you have the knowledge base to

teach that

and if you don’t it shouldn’t be in your


now maybe you do maybe you know i

learned it from andrew duquesne

who’s one of the founders of the russian

kettlebell club and that’s where i

learned to do the swing from and before


worked with her i didn’t know what the

hell i was doing

and and there was some tough lessons i

learned from her

so just think about that from some of

the more difficult movements in here

you know where did i learn this movement

and how confident am i that i know all

the points of performance and the

sequencing for changing them

because you don’t get any bonus points

for picking harder movements

doesn’t get people in shape any faster

just get some hurt faster

if you don’t know what to correct

i understand so not that you can’t have

swings and begin a program you totally


i just expect you’d be damn good at

teaching them that’s all

so don’t use them unless um

that’s something i can always

incorporate later on when i have the

technique yeah when you’ve learned more

about it and i don’t know

you might be very good at it i have no

idea how good you are swings i’m

coaching them

nope i’m not okay there’s no need to put

them in

because you know think about it right

our swing is a necessary exercise to get

somebody in good shape no absolutely not

people were in good shape long before we

even had swings in this country

so just just focus on the stuff so that

any movement i come and watch you coach

you’re like well i know this movement i

know all the points i know how to

correct i know it’s important

i know how it should be done and you’ll

keep the clients safe

and you’ll have more confidence and

you know harder movements you know

you’ll learn them it takes

it takes time to learn them but um you


that way you know

what will happen too if you don’t know

the movements well

clients can’t always tell um

clients can see even if they can’t do

the movements

you can see whose movements look better

right like just like in dance right i’m

not an expert at dancing

but if i and i don’t think you’re an

expert at dancing either are you

but i know nothing about dancing

honestly but i bet you if i watched you

dance and i watched a pro dance i could

see who’s better at dancing

right i can’t do it and i couldn’t even

tell you why

but you can see something’s better than

the other

so don’t pick movements that you can do


because otherwise it’s going to

undermine your authority because they’ll

see the other coaches are better and

they won’t book you again because they

don’t think

you know what you’re doing

so i understand and i don’t i do that in

my own classes

i don’t put stuff in my classes that i

can’t impress

clients with and honestly if i can’t

impress them i probably shouldn’t be

coaching them

and then that’s why i hired you to teach

my yoga because you know what she looks

way more impressive

teaching yoga than i do good for her yes

good stuff all right um just give me a

call or send me an email when you have

the next revision

and we’ll go through it and hopefully

finalize the next shot if not we’ll do

it on the fi

on the third one oh thanks i’ll try to

knock this out um by the weekend

so okay yeah you have some time here to

to do it it’s

it’s much less time than the first time

but it’s still going to take some some

some time to

clean up these pieces paul thank you for

all the features you’re welcome

i’ll talk to you soon all right good


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