Most people that step foot into a gym are partaking in one form of programming or another, whether they’re aware of it or not. Programming ranges from week by week installments of a Les Mills Pump or Spin class, to the consideration given to producing athletes in a chosen sporting field, to the basic rep scheme and movements provided to a new member of a standard gym.

Now, all of these programs have a set outcome of some form, the important thing is you need to become educated on what your desired outcome is and to match it to the correct program for you. For example, if your goal is to be physically active for 45 minutes in an uplifting social environment, choreographed to the latest soundtrack, then regimented, pre-set group classes at a busy gym are for you.

If you’re wanting to make personal improvements on particular areas, whilst maintaining the group atmosphere, then you may try a smaller, independently run gym like us at Family First Fitness, or our neighbours at The Cave, or even your local CrossFit Box. Here, the owners are generally the coaches and program their sessions based around their members needs with the goal to make them fitter, stronger and healthier. These small gyms are happy to modify their programs to cater for individual needs, limitations or injuries and/or strengths.

fitness programmingFinally, if you’re wanting to up your game on every level and take your fitness and strength beyond that of a group class, personal programming is definitely for you. But firstly, what is personal programming? In a nutshell, this is a training program, written by an expert coach/trainer, (make sure you look into this and don’t end up paying an ‘Instagram Expert’) in your field of choice.

This may be strength and/or bodybuilding, running a marathon or increasing your fitness and strength to that of a competitive level. Now many of you may be thinking, why not just get a personal trainer? Absolutely, if you can afford it and if your personal trainer is an expert in their field. The beauty of programming is that you don’t need the trainer beside you and you are receiving the expert advice for a significantly lower price than a PT.

Personally, I am lucky enough to have the best of both worlds – that is, a regular PT with my programmer, but this is not always feasible for many. A good programmer should be easily accessible to answer questions or provide scaling options for exercises beyond your current level.

Sounds fantastic, right? However, committing to a personal training program is exactly that. Commitment!  Firstly, you need to dedicate yourself to your training without a coach standing beside you. You need the discipline to keep pushing and complete your workouts, because believe me, personal programming is not for the feint-hearted, and you need access to the equipment required for your program.

Once you have ticked all of these boxes, you are ready to step up to the next level. Choosing a programmer and getting it done!

Here are my top tips/questions to ask when finding the right programme for you:

  1. fitness programmingDoes the program provide a variety of levels of progression, with a clear focus on development to the next level?
  2. Is the programming team easily contactable to answer questions or provide options for you?  This is particularly important in times of injury.
  3. What support does the program offer to participants? Ie. Facebook support page, handbook of terms and definitions, YouTube examples of exercises
  4. Can the program demonstrate their results and provide real life testimonials of participants and customers, and are the programmers qualified to be doing what they are doing?
  5. Do the goals and outcomes of the program align with your personal goals?

If you can answer yes to these 5 tips, you’re onto a winner! I know I certainly can. I swear by GibbonMode Nation programming, and I am a walking advocate for the results this program has produced for myself and many members at our gym.

So now you need to ask yourself, are you ready to take the plunge and raise the bar?

Go out there and GET IT DONE!