A Guide to Exercise Selection

A Guide to Exercise Selection with James FitzGerald

Knowing what exercises to program for your client can be confusing. There are many factors to consider, such as volume, movement pattern, intensity, and capability. But, what if there was a simpler way to choose what exercises to program for your clients?

In this week’s Ask Me Anything sneak peek OPEX Fitness Founder, James FitzGerald, covers how to improve your exercise selection. If you are currently an OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP) Coach you can submit your question for next week’s AMA here. New to OPEX Fitness? In short, we are a fitness coaching education provider, get a free introduction to our principles here.

Varying Volume and Intensity With A Single Exercise

James begins the AMA by answering the question of “is it ok if I use the same exercise but just vary volume and intensity over time?” The short answer is yes. “If you are a new coach you can use one exercise over time and alter the volume and intensity and the client will still improve. But you will see more results through using variation.” Get an introduction to varying volume and intensity in your programs here.

Exercise Selection and Variation

To make the act of programming and choosing an exercise easier James’ asks coaches to understand the goal. “If the client is training for a sport then focus on the movements found in the sport. But, if the client is just exercising for health the goal should be to develop motor control”. 

How do you develop motor control? To build motor control James believes that coaches should focus on the fundamental movement patterns and include as much variation as possible. “A lot of people use templates because it is easy, but if you really want to develop motor control there must be variation”. 

One of the fundamental movements patterns is the squat. Watch as James explains how to improve your or your clients back squat.

Does James Use A Template

James concludes the AMA by mentioning that he does have a certain template that he follows. “It’s not on paper, it is in my head, it is built off of principles and includes, training age, adaptation ability, and the overall goal. Once you understand that the goal is variance programming becomes easier”. 

It has taken James 25+ years of coaching to develop the principles in which he uses to program for his clients. But, as a career coach, he has now set his sights on coaching coaches, hence the creation of the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP). Get an introduction to James’ coaching principles and learn how core concepts such as training age influence program design in this free Coach’s Toolkit.

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