How to Schedule Weekly Training Sessions for Your Clients

How to Schedule Weekly Training Sessions

Do you find yourself creating the same training splits for clients over and over? Always using the weekdays to train and weekends to rest? It’s easy to fall into a training split rut, or conversely, to waste time trying to reinvent the wheel for every client.

Designing a weekly training split can become complicated when coaching a diverse group of clients who all require personalized paths to reaching their individual goals. Every client has a unique function (what they do in life), responsibilities, and time they can and should dedicate to training. 

Whether you find yourself writing the same routines or spending way too much time at your computer trying to design the right training routine for a particular client, this article will address how to schedule a weekly training split to best compliment a client, whether they are an athlete, busy professional, shift-worker, student and answering the question you may be asking yourself as a coach: What days should my clients train?

4 Different Ways to Schedule Training Days

AVATAR: COMPETITIVE FITNESS ATHLETE

Individuals looking to improve performance in functional fitness require a large number of training sessions. Seven or more total training sessions per week is optimal. Every day should be utilized for training. This can increase to two or more sessions per training day based upon the level they are competing at within the sport. 

EXAMPLE 1: OFF-SEASON

Mon – Train (1-2 Sessions)

Tues – Train (1-2 Sessions)

Wed – Train (1-2 Sessions) 

Thur – Active Recovery (1-2 Sessions) 

Fri – Train (1-2 Sessions) 

Sat – Train (1-2 Sessions) 

Sun – Active Recovery (1-2 Sessions)

This split will maximize the number of training sessions necessary to accumulate the proper amount of volume required for competitions. 

EXAMPLE 2: COMPETITION SEASON

Fri – Train (1-2 Sessions) 

Sat – Train (1-2 Sessions) 

Sun – Train (1-2 Sessions) 

Mon – Active Recovery (1-2 Sessions) 

Tues – Train (1-2 Sessions)

Wed – Train (1-2 Sessions) 

Thur – Active Recovery (1-2 Sessions) 

This split is arranged so a client is training on the same day(s) they will be competing–Friday, Saturday, and Sunday–creating rhythm and preparation for the body. 

(Coaching Resource: If you’re looking for a more in-depth discussion about the different energy systems that need to be trained and how to program for them, check How to Organize Daily Training Sessions.)

AVATAR: BUSY PROFESSIONALS

Clients who are executives, laborers, educators, coaches, and generally busy during weekdays, will have great success prioritizing training on the weekend while taking more rest days mid-week.

EXAMPLE 1: 

Sun – Train

Mon – Rest

Tues – Train

Wed – Rest

Thur – Train

Fri – Rest

Sat – Train 

EXAMPLE 2: 

Sun – Train 

Mon – Rest

Tues – Train

Wed – Train

Thur – Rest

Fri – Rest

Sat – Train

These splits are simple in principle. It will minimize the compounding training stressors with work and other lifestyle variables. Prioritizing training away from reoccurring obligations will create a sustainable balance and rhythm for busy professionals. 

AVATAR: SHIFT WORKERS

Firefighters, nurses, and other shift workers who experience continuous changes in circadian rhythm need to keep stress to a minimum especially on night shifts. Working during the night puts a high demand on the body alone and requires unique, adaptable training splits based on shift timing.

EXAMPLE:  

Day 1 –  Night Shift – Rest

Day 2 – Off – Train 

Day 3 – Night Shift – Rest

Day 4 – Off – Train 

Day 5 – Day Shift – Train

Day 6 – Off – Train 

This split follows the same principles as busy professionals but will re-arrange based upon the client’s rotation in shifts. Clients who are coming off of a night shift should train after an adequate rest period. For example, If a client has just completed a shift from 11 PM to 9 AM they should sleep 7-8 hours during that day and then proceed to train in the afternoon once they wake. 

AVATAR: STUDENTS

Clients who are attending college or in school typically have a lower life demand of stress. Having a minimal input of lifestyle factors allows for higher training frequencies, so many students can do some training every day and recover appropriately.

During times of exams, it is best to add in a rest day on the day of the exam so that all energy and mental acuity are allotted to the tests at hand. If there are multiple exams on back to back days then a lower intensity training day should be added in as a time to promote blood flow and give the client a mental break from the long hours of mental focus. 

EXAMPLE 1: 

Sun – Rest

Mon – Train 

Tues – Train 

Wed – Train 

Thur – Train

Fri – Train 

Sat – Train 

EXAMPLE 2: 

Sun – Rest

Mon – Train 

Tues – Train 

Wed – Train 

Thur – Train

Fri – Train 

Sat – Train 

The examples listed above for different avatars demonstrate the variations you can create when planning training days.

The next step is knowing exactly what type of training should go inside the training days you’ve planned for your clients. The answer to this will always depend on the individual you are designing the program for.

To take the next step and learn how to design training sessions for individuals, sign up for our free course, the Coach’s Toolkit and start designing today.

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