Want to improve your performance programmes? Want to get more from your clients’ performance programmes? We hear you! When it comes to improving, it can be tricky to see where you can improve and how to do it! Try these 8 Points for a Better Performance Programme from our CEO, Brendan Chaplin. With over a decade of experience in coaching athletes at many different levels of performance, he’s identified some trends that great programmes exhibit, that get big results!
Below are his ‘golden rules’ to consider when it comes to programming for performance. This is not just for athletes, rather these are principles that will improve pretty much any programme for any individual.
8 Tips to Improve Performance Programmes
1. Quality vs Quantity
Less is more, don’t pad your performance programme out with unnecessary volume and sessions that won’t add anything to your clients training. Think about doing less to get more. Why do 8 sets when 5 will do the job nicely?
2. If you add something in, you need to take something out
Much as in our tip quality vs quantity – if you add something into your performance programme, you’ll generally need to take something out too. If your clients are training hard in a finely balanced programme you need to take a session out before you add a session in to avoid overtraining/long term burnout.
3. Prioritise Recovery
Recovery comes in 3 different levels. Level 1 is getting 8-10 hours sleep a day, quality nutrition and a good warm-up and cool down post-training – everyone should be doing this as standard! Level 2 is active recovery, which can include low intensity exercise such as swimming or other recovery techniques such as foam rolling. Level 3 brings us to more advanced methods of recovery such as ice baths and compression clothing. Adding recovery into your clients performance programmes will not only help aid recovery, it will also help them perform better in the long run. Here’s a bonus tip – don’t think about level 2 or 3 until you’ve got level 1 sorted!
4. Don’ train when injured
It’s important to aid recovery during an injury – training whilst injured will only increase your recovery time. If your clients are injured, build injury preventative work into a new performance programme rather then having them complete their usual performance programme. Injury preventative work includes stretching, core training, mobility, and most importantly specific work that should improve your clients movement, and address any imbalances they have as an athlete.
5. Develop a high level of strength
A key priority and a goal of any strength and conditioning programme – strength building! Work towards a 1.5x bodyweight back squat, 1.3x bodyweight press and pullup amongst other strengths that need to be developed. This won’t happen overnight, so build it up in your clients performance programme gradually. Strength training takes commitment and dedication.
6. Think long term
Don’t just think of your clients next month or competition, think about their performance programme as a long term plan. The best performance programmes look at 1 year a a medium-term plan, and the next 3-5 years as a long term plan. This way you can set achievable goals for sports technical and physical development and make plans to achieve them. The same for strength and conditioning.
7. Joined-up approach to training
Do you work with multiple coaches? What about physio’s? Do they all know what each other is doing and the plans for the development of the client or athlete? It’s your job to link them up and make that clear. As a strength and conditioning coach, you need to know what the sports technical goals are as it will affect the programme you put in place.
8. Get the basics right
The best way to conserve energy and have great endurance in sports is by having excellent technique. Commit to making sure your clients’ technique is spot on before increasing weight or moving onto the next exercise. Speaking as a martial artist for a second, efficient technique means you use less energy to execute movements and you will execute your technique on better opponents with this improvement. The same goes for your clients Strength and Conditioning. Does your clients have great mobility so they can get into deep squat positions, lunge perfectly, press and pull with efficient and controlled shoulder movement? If not you need to work with your clients to get excellent technique in the basic movements in the gym. In doing this your clients will become more loadable which means it’s far easier to develop high levels of strength, power and rounded athleticism.
Follow these tips and let us know how they work for you! What are your key tips for improving performance programming? Remember these tips next time you sign up a new client & we hope you can use them to help them achieve greater things!