How to design your own program

So you want to design your own training program?

Here are 5 easy steps you can follow to build a program that works for you.

If you're not quite ready to build your own program, CLICK HERE have a look at our ready to use programs


STEP 1 - Set your goal/s

You may have seen or even used the S.M.A.R.T. method of setting goals:

  • Specific - your goal must be direct and detailed
  • Measurable - you can track your progress over time
  • Actionable - you have the tools, resources and/or knowledge to achieve your goal
  • Relevant - the goal fits what you want to achieve
  • Time-bound -  the goal has a deadline

We’re going to improve on S.M.A.R.T. and make your goals smartER by adding:

  • Evaluate - regularly evaluate your progress, does your goal need updating
  • Reward - how will you reward yourself when you achieve your goal?

A bad example of a goal: Lose weight

A good example: I will lose 10kg of body weight by 31st December 2022

Reward - Book a dream holiday for next summer

Put a reminder in your calendar each month to check your progress, ask yourself 3 questions:

  1. Have I made progress in the last month?
  2. Am I on track?
  3. Does my goal or deadline need adjusting?


STEP 2 - How many times do you want to workout each week?

Bare minimum = 2
Solid base = 3
See good progress = 4
I've got big goals = 5
Don't push yourself too hard = 6

If you're new to the gym, start with 2 or 3 times a week and work your way up. You'll probably feel sore the first few times you go, and whenever you push yourself or try something new in a session.


STEP 3 - Decide what training split to use

Your training split is how you group exercises across your sessions each week. E.g. Full Body includes exercises for all muscle groups every time you train.

The simplest way to decide your split is based on the number of times you train each week:

2 or 3 times per week - Full Body
4 times per week - Upper / Lower or Bro Split
5 or 6 times per week - Bro Split or Push Pull Legs


STEP 4 - Add your exercises

Remember to include a specific warm and cool down section, as well as warm up sets for each exercise.

Here are some of the most popular strength exercises:

Back Squat
Front Squat
Bulgarian Split Squat
Romanian Deadlift
Standing Calf Raise

Conventional Deadlift
Hip Thrusts

Back Extension
Barbell Row
Dumbbell Single Arm Row
Chin Up / Pull Up
Lat Pulldown - Wide Grip

Bench Press
Dumbbell Incline Chest Press
Cable Chest Fly

Lateral Raise
Overhead Press
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Reverse Dumbbell Fly

Barbell Curl
Dumbbell Curl
Hammer Curl

Sit Ups
Cable Crunch
Hanging Leg Raise


STEP 5 - Add the number of Sets & Reps

Physical Quality Exercise Type Number of Sets Number of Reps Intensity (% of 1 Rep Max) Physical Intent
Strength Compound 3 to 6 1 to 6 80% to 100% Maximum Intent to Move Fast
Power Compound 3 to 6 2 to 5 65% to 85% Maximum Intent to Move Fast
Hypertrophy Isolation + Compound 3 to 6 6 to 12 70% to 80% Controlled Tempo
Endurance Compound + Isolation 3 to 4 12+ Less than 70% Controlled Tempo 


And there you have it!


Now you have your program ready to go, why not track your progress using one of our workout log books, click here for more info...