What is Individual Program Design? Who can benefit?

Individual program design (ID) has been popularized over the past 2 decades.  It first started to take shape in the professional bodybuilding community and amongst professional athletes worldwide.  The original intention was for the elite, with body transformation or sport specific endeavours in mind. 

It then made its way into the personal training field.  As personal trainers started to get inundated with clients, the idea of a 1 on 1 custom programming was formed.  Present day ID is something that is accessible to the masses.  It’s no longer just for the elite.  In fact, it is suitable for your everyday client who’s had experience in the weight room but needs a nudge in the right direction

The concept is brilliant.  At a fraction of the cost of personal training, coaches could service more clients while still providing an intimate 1 on 1 training experience.  The training program would be written with the goals of the client in mind, and consistency and accountability would be monitored through frequent check-ins.  

Some coaches do it with phone calls and text messages, nowadays we use interactive apps such as True Coach that keep workouts, nutritional recommendations, daily messaging and check-ins all in one central location.

What are the benefits of ID?
– Help clients identify their specific goals and the “why” behind them
– Custom workouts with YOUR goals in mind.
– Adjustments made for you based on your travel and work schedule.
– A dedicated coach to help you with accountability.
– A custom app to help track your progress over time.
– Monthly 30 minute check-ins with your coach.
– Monthly Inbody scan (for clients on site)
– Private gym access (for clients on site) 

Who could benefit from ID?
Anyone with a basic understanding of movement mechanics and weight training can be successful here.  It is important to note that I would never suggest ID to a complete beginner as they are more likely to hurt themselves when training alone.  The apps we use at Westchester Fit do allow clients to send video messages, recording themselves lifting, but nothing could ever replace in person coaching.  This is the main reason I’d only suggest ID for an intermediate or advanced client.

What benefits could I get from doing ID versus group classes?
Group classes are amazing.  They’re fun, community driven workouts where most of us push past the limits we would on our own.  For the vast majority of people this is enough.  However, the group classes do not have YOU specifically in mind – we cater to the general population and overall health and fitness.  Clients with very specific goals and needs would be great candidates for ID.  Perhaps you want to achieve your first pull-up.  This kind of goal requires very specific training that needs to be somewhat repetitive in nature to develop the strength in the upper body to do so.  Other goals such as marathon training, triathlon training, competing in the sport of CrossFit or any other sport for that matter, generally require a much more specific focus.  In these examples, having a dedicated coach writing your program, and holding you accountable to executing such a program would be very beneficial.

Who should NOT consider ID?
If you are someone who loves the gym as part of your social network (who doesn’t :)) I would not recommend ID as it will take you out of the community feel of the gym and have you working out on your own.  
If you are someone that relies on the accountability of an in person coach, and classmates pushing you to do better, I’d also advise against it.

Who should consider ID?
If you are someone who is very driven and self motivated, and have very specific goals but personal training sessions are not in your budget, I’d recommend ID.  You would benefit from having one of our expert coaches write a detailed program specific to you and your current needs and wants.

Here at Westchester Fit we have been writing custom programs for our clients since back in 2014.  I myself saw the benefit of having a coach help me in 2011 when I made a run for the CrossFit games 5 years in a row.  My coach would write the workouts I needed in order to progress in the sport by constantly attacking my weaknesses and forcing me to do things that I normally wouldn’t do on my own.  I’m certain that although I was extremely dedicated to my training, if I didn’t have a coach, I would not have been as successful as I was.

In summary ID is for EVERYONE, not just the elite competitor.  It helps to have a coach keep you laser focused working on your specific goals.  The best part about it is we have coaches at Westchester Fit with different areas of expertise so we can service a wide array of needs and wants.  You can find a templated program anywhere, but with individual design we keep the person at the forefront of the plan and write the program based on the person.

If you’ve been pondering doing some 1 on 1 work with a coach but the investment has been the biggest hurdle, I’d love to speak with you.  I want to know specifically what your pain points are, and how we help you with these problems.  As always, I’m here to help 🙂

– Coach Chris

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