Big Picture Program Design

Whether you’re new to the game or a savvy veteran, many coaches struggle with designing programs for their clients and athletes.

While some feel challenged because they don’t understand the fundamentals of program design, others may feel hindered by a lack of design systems and principles.

And trust me, I know…because I struggled too when I was getting started!

Creating a program that meets what clients want to achieve with what they need to reach their goals felt like a real challenge, but, as time went on, my process of designing programs has evolved and improved.

So in this episode, I give a broad view of how I design programs for athletes and clients.

I discuss the importance of committing to improvement and having the right mindset for program design.

I reveal the five critical areas I prioritize when designing programs, and describe how my process for writing training programs has changed over time.

I also underscore the role of assessing your clients, creating a vision with them, and highlight the value of remaining flexible when writing and executing a training program.


Don’t become a slave to your program. Be malleable. Be flexible. Do whatever is in the best interest of your clients and athletes, and you will be successful. – Mike Robertson


This week on the Physical Preparation Podcast:

  • Having the right mindset in coaching, training, and designing a program
  • Committing to writing your best program
  • The importance of creating an assessment process for new athletes and clients
  • How focusing on table tests lost us clients and how we evolved our assessment process at iFAST
  • Evaluating a client’s fitness or athletic goals and the three big markers of an assessment process
  • Crafting a vision with your clients and athletes
  • How drafting your program design with pen and paper can gear you toward success
  • Planning movements and why improving movement quality is the first thing you should consider
  • Determining activities that will help clients or athletes achieve their movement goals
  • Never giving up your superpower as a coach or trainer
  • Structuring movements for your program and how time under tension sets the stage for sets and reps


Stop the Frustration! Get the Complete Coach Certification

Are you a young fitness trainer or coach?

Are you frustrated by the results you’re getting or the lack of resources available to learn the skills you need to be successful?

Are you struggling to get enough clients or wondering how long you’ll be able to follow your passion for helping others?

It’s time to stop the frustration and stop worrying. It’s time to get certified!

If you’re serious about improving your results, serious about becoming a better coach, and serious about increasing your bottom line, then you need the Complete Coach Certification.

In this massive course, you’ll learn:

  • How to use the R7 system to create seamless, integrated and efficient programs for clients and athletes of all shapes and sizes
  • How to create the culture, environment and relationships with everyone you train so you can get the absolute best results
  • The exact progressions, regressions, and coaching cues I use in the gym – from squatting and deadlifting to pressing and pulling and everything in between
  • The assessment process I use to determine the best exercises for a client or athlete on Day 1, and how to set them up for maximal success down the line!

This massive certification course is jam-packed with everything I’ve learned over the last 20 years of my career.

So if you’re ready to get serious about the results you’re getting for your clients and the impact your programs have on your income, head over to to sign up for the Complete Coach Certification course today!

Spots are limited, and the next certification is set to launch in September 2021.

To learn more, please join my FREE Insiders List and stay tuned for our launch details to save $200 when the course opens!


Subscribe, Rate & Share!

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Physical Preparation Podcast with Mike Robertson – your one-stop-shop for fitness trainers, coaches, and athletes.

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Google Podcasts and leave your honest review. I’d also love to connect via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit our website.

And last but not least, please don’t forget to share your favorite episodes with your friends on social media. Thank you!

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Notebook with pencil icon Write better programs
Trophy icon Learn how to motivate clients outside the gym
Meditation icon My most popular resets for instantly improving movement quality


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