Getting Back to the Basics 2 of 3

Behavior Change Strategies: Ultimately, when a client retains your services, what they are wanting is to make their life better. To be happier. It may start with saying they want to lose 10 pounds, but the PDQ will enable you to extract the true “Why” behind the “What.” Now the hard part starts! Losing 10 pounds is a simple formula. Burn more calories than you consume, right? Ha! We know it’s not that simple.  Learning new behaviors and/or changing existing ones becomes training from the “neck up.”  PTA Global sets itself apart by providing numerous behavior change strategies and techniques such as the science behind behavior change, visualization, the righting reflex, the transtheoretical model, self-determination theory, motivational interviewing and the confidence ruler just to name a few. Want a tool to get started right away? Check out the PTA Global Decisional Balance Sheet which allows the interviewee an opportunity to view the pros and cons of making a behavior or lifestyle change in THEIR OWN WORDS, so they arrive at THEIR OWN CONCLUSIONS.

Exercise Equipment: Today’s fitness professional has a plethora of tools and equipment to choose from when creating exercise programs. So many in fact, that it can easily become overwhelming. While it is certainly advantageous to have a large assortment of equipment available to you, it’s important to come back to the basics and the equipment that is most universally found in a health club. What would those be? Machines, free weights, and cables. An effective program can be designed with one or any combination of this equipment.  BUT, did you know there are numerous ways to utilize these pieces of equipment and how you use them can be the difference between your client liking it or not? If they don’t like the exercise, they won’t want to do it again and that means they will not want to train with you! So, what do you do? PTA Global has a solution there too by way of the Gray Institute.  We took their movement classification system and made a few tweaks to it so any one simple movement can have hundreds of variations. Check out the PTA Global 3-Dimensional Checkpoints tool for yourself! 

These Boston Gyms Lent Out All Their Fitness Equipment to Members




Hmmmm, so we now know how to take one movement and turn it into hundreds of variations. How do we know which one to use? Well, what NORMALLY happens is the client will assign the movement THEY like the best instead of what the CLIENT likes best… Enter, PTA Global Movement Style (moSTYLE), where we classify exercisers into three movement styles; Traditional, Hybrid and Progressive. Try the PTA Global moSTYLE Questionnaire! What’s YOUR moSTYLE?

Acute Variables and Periodization:
Acute variables such as sets, repetitions, frequency, intensity, tempo, volume, and rest intervals are the bread and butter behind asking the body to make specific changes. These changes are also known as Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands (SAID Principle). Think as each of these variables as small dials lined up on a programming box. Turning any one of these dials will elicit a certain response (and it may not be the response we want), and turning several dials can create even larger responses… How do you know which dial to turn? How do you know which dial to turn down because you turned another one up? Which dial changes will burn more calories? Which dial changes train the aerobic vs. anaerobic energy systems? Which dial changes stimulate an anabolic hormonal response leading to hypertrophy?  The absolute foundation to effective program design lies in the acute variables.

Once you understand how the moving of the dials influences outcomes, we take training to the next level by ensuring that the client is always making progress. We do this by applying periodization principles and techniques. PTA Global teaches both linear and undulating periodization to make sure you have the right options for your clients. Periodization is used for many reasons including:

Preventing overtraining
Reducing risk of injury
Maximizing performance
Achieving a goal by a set date
Reducing plateaus
Reducing boredom and staleness of workouts!

Take a peek at the PTA Global Acute Variables Tool to get you started on both acute variables and linear periodization!

Energy System Development (ESD)

Most of us have heard the terms “workout” and “cardio” as if they are two different things.  From a programming perspective, they often can be. For example, a session may begin with a “cardio” warm-up like an easy jog on a treadmill, then the “workout” starts using gym equipment and strength training principles including some stretching, then there could be more “cardio” such as 20-minutes on a treadmill or rower.  Nothing wrong with that, BUT, consider this: ALL movement is exercise, and ALL exercise is Cardio.

A good understanding of the body’s energy systems is a “must have” to develop efficient and congruent training programs.  For example, with a lead-off (beginner) client, the strength session will likely be in the sensorimotor phase. This phase includes higher volumes and lower intensities such as two sets of 20 repetitions of squats.  For my “cardio” to be congruent, I may choose a treadmill or running session of 15-30 minutes at 70% of max heart rate.  The strength and cardio sessions will be aerobic energy system dominant and congruent.  BUT, if I’m training a client in the power phase, they may be doing five sets of 3 repetitions of squats and their “cardio” might be eight 20-yard all-out sprints.  Now we’re training both “strength” and “cardio” using predominantly the anaerobic energy system.  World-class training requires a very good understanding of energy systems and acute variables.  Check out the PTA Global ESD “cheat sheet” called Gears and Goals.


Program Design: Ahhhh, this is where the magic happens! Think of making your favorite dish in the kitchen.  Before preparing it, you make sure you have all the ingredients. Then you add the right amounts at the right times to end up with something you will love to eat.

Program design is the same concept, but now our ingredients include things like gym equipment, acute variables, periodization techniques, tissue preparation techniques, flexibility, and FUN.  We add the right ingredients in the right ratios at the right time and voila! A workout! AND, keep in mind that just because you like a dish, it doesn’t mean your client will like the dish. The same applies for a workout. That’s why we created moSTYLE. Add the ingredients your CLIENT LIKES while still preparing the dish you set out to make and you have just personalized the training session. This is called turning a session into and EXPERIENCE. PTA Global has created more than 840 programs already custom-made for your client. Think of these as “ready-made” recipes. Click HERE to see one for a lead-off (beginner) client who prefers the progressive movement style and has a goal of losing weight.

What if you want to create your own recipe? Write your own program? No problem!  Just use our PTA Global Program Design Templates. Yes, the templates are periodized and include the acute variables for you. You’re welcome!

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