How to design a strength and conditioning program

December 27, 2021 at 7:00 AM
How to design a strength and conditioning program

It doesn’t matter if you’re training as an athlete or just want to get in better shape; having a structured workout plan is important for meeting your goals and creating sustainable habits. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to design a strength and conditioning program that properly meets their needs. Our team at Fog City Fitness can help you put together a strength and conditioning program that’s designed to fit your unique needs. Read more below about what goes into creating your program.

Know your goals

It’s essential that you know where you’re trying to go with your strength and conditioning program. If you’re an athlete, have specific benchmarks in mind that you’d like to reach before your next season. Those who aren’t athletes can also set goals regarding their fitness. Is there a time you’d like to be able to run the mile? Do you want to train for a marathon? Is there a certain weight you’d like to bench press or squat? Have these things in mind putting together your program, so you know where you’re headed.

Get a health screen

Exercising can be dangerous if you’re not in as good of health as you thought you were. It’s possible to push yourself too hard and pass out, have an asthma attack, or even a heart attack. Meet with your primary care physician before starting a strength and conditioning program, so you know if you’re going to have any limitations while working out or eating.

Decide your frequency

How much time you have to dedicate to your exercise program each week is a major factor in determining your approach. Those who have time to dedicate four or five days a week to working out will have a different program than someone who has only two or three days available each week. It’s possible to create a program that fits your time constraints, but not unless you’re honest with yourself regarding how much time you have available and how much you’re willing to dedicate.

Choose your movements

Before you do any of the physical parts of your program, you must know what you’re planning to do during your workouts. Choose lifts that will make you push and pull to build balanced muscle groups. For example, bicep curls are considered a pulling lift as you pull the weight up toward your body. In contrast, tricep curls are a pushing exercise as you push the weight away by extending your elbow back.

Additionally, your plyometrics or other speed and agility training movements should be used as a way to supplement your lifting. It will improve your muscle strength, balance, core strength, and overall athleticism.

Physical testing

Before starting a program, you need to understand your baseline for each movement. By understanding where you’re starting, you can effectively put together your plan to help you achieve your goals. Your testing will also make for safer lifting as you know where you should be with each weight before you ever pick one up for a workout. Physical testing will help you see areas of your workout plan where you’re already proficient, while you’ll find others that you’ll need more attention.

Establish a tracking system

Tracking your workouts is crucial for ensuring that you’re making progress. It’s a reminder system that will help you see where you should be each time you do your workout. Make sure that your system is easy to follow and mark so you never have to take an extra few seconds to make down your sets or check off your workout. Your tracking system will help to encourage you through your strength and conditioning program as you can see the progress you’ve made week to week and month to month.

Book a consultation with us

While this is all helpful, it’s not easy to design a strength and conditioning program on your own. Get in touch with us at Fog City Fitness, and we’ll help walk you through the process to ensure that your program fits your individual needs. We're experienced in creating unique programs that can help you achieve your goals. Give us a call at 415-602-2777 or send a message using our online contact form.