3 Ways to Individualize Group Training

Programming for groups can be exhausting. Finding safe and effective ways to keep clients motivated week after week can be challenging.

One thing that has allowed me to succeed is the ability to program on the spot, allowing for individuality among groups. Being able to accommodate for all types of fitness levels during a single session makes or breaks the class.

Here are 3 ways to Individualize Group Training 

# 1 Know Your Basic Progressions and Regressions First

Deadlift Variations

Many of times, interns at CSP ask me how I can tell the difference between a seasoned client and a newer client and are able to accommodate for both at the same time. My answer is simple: Knowing regressions and progressions for all the basic exercises. As a coach, you should know at least 1 way to progress and regress every exercise you program.

Don’t know where to start? Check out these basics:

Bi-Lateral Quad Dominant Lifts: Body Weight Squats, Goblet Squats, Goblet Squat With Pulse, Off Set Goblet Squats, Front Squats, Back Squats

Bi-lateral Hip Dominant Lifts: Pull Throughs, KB Deadlifts, Trap Bar Deadlifts, Sumo/Conventional Deadlifts, Hip Thrusts/Glute Bridges Variations

Vertical/Diagonal Pressing: Tall Kneeling /1/2 Kneeling KB Chop, Landmine Presses, Overhead presses

Horizontal Pressing: Pushup Variations, DB Presses, Cable Presses, Bench Press variations

Vertical Pulling/Horizontal: Lat Pull Down Variations, Pull-up variations, Suspension Trainer Rows, cable row variations, dumbbell rows, barbell rows

 Single Leg Variations : Split Squats, Reverse Lunge Variations, Forward Lunges, Walking Lunges, lateral Lunges, Step-ups, Single Leg Deadlift Variations, single leg glute bridges

Core : Plank Variations, Chops/Lifts, Anti-rotation Presses, KB Carries

Of course, these are just the basics, and the list goes on and on. But the point is not to list every exercise in the book, but to get get you thinking about programing on the spot during a group setting. Even if you do not program for groups, knowing regression and progressions for basic movement patterns will put you ahead of the game.

# 2 Keep it Simple

 It can be very easy to get caught up in the next big thing especially in the group setting. We all want our groups to be fun and energetic and too often tend to resort to the more difficult exercises. Most of our clients don’t need the next biggest thing because without time to learn the basics they will never be able to maximize their benefits. What they really need to do is move more often and move well by mastering the basics.

When someone comes into CSP Strength Camps for the first time and does not have a great background of training, it is not uncommon for that client to stick to the basics throughout the month in order to see sufficient strides in both weight loss and movement.

Below you can see three different types of squatting variations where everyone is able to achieve a desirable training effect.


Squat Variations If you are programing for groups, stick to the basics and adjust accordingly per individual.

# 3 Have a Template

 This goes hand in hand with # 1, and when you are coaching a lot of groups throughout the week, having a template in place is going to make your job a lot easier.

Every great coach has a template to fall back on, as it is how we learn and grow as coaches.

In order to set yourself apart from every other group trainer out there and to individualize your programming, having a go to template for your groups will make everything more systematic and easy.

Being able to outline your training week or month will make designing your programs faster and more effective. At CSP Strength Camps we have a template for our density-training day, METCON Day, and Strength Day, which you can read more about that here.

You can also learn more about structuring here, which is the link to an article I wrote for the PTDC. 

Click Here For The CSP Strength Camp Template






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