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If you're looking for spectacular results from your workout program, you will first need to give some careful thought to program design. While you will most definitely benefit from any of the fitness exercises outlined on this site, an intelligent, well thought out training plan will get you the results you're looking for more quickly. There's nothing more frustrating than faithfully sweating it out in the gym, only to look in the mirror and feel like you're getting nowhere.

Hiring an expert to design a training program for you is always a good idea, regardless of your experience level. A qualified professional will put together a program that considers your age and current fitness level, your lifestyle and your specific training objective(s), as well as any limitations due to health issues or previous injury.

Working with a professional trainer or coach will help keep the program more interesting and fun, as well as provide you with additional exercise ideas. In addition, having to answer to someone else helps keep you more motivated. And perhaps most important of all, a good coach will tell you what you need to hear as opposed to what you want to believe. I highly recommend my own coach, Scott Abel, who can provide you with ongoing coaching services (includes both diet and training) or design you a one time program for an extremely reasonable fee.

However, if you can't afford to hire a personal trainer, or if you would prefer to try working out on your own for a while before deciding whether to hire one, then I suggest you review the following program design fundamentals. Incorporating them, along with my Basic Workout Guidelines, will help you obtain maximum results for your training effort. If you have any specific questions about your own program design, please feel free to email me and I will be happy to help.

Program Design Fundamentals
(Click on each Program Design Fundamental to reveal/hide details.)


Always exercise in a safe and responsible manner. Please be aware that as with most physical activities, there is always a risk of injury associated with weight training and other exercise programs. While I have made every effort to describe how to perform the exercises outlined on this site in a safe manner, note that every body is different and so not all exercises can or should be peformed by all people. Therefore, if you feel pain or discomfort when attempting any of the exercises described on this site, please stop immediately.

It is always important to consult your physician before starting any exercise program, especially if you have been sedentary for an extended period of time. This is particularly true if any of the following apply to your current medical condition:
  • chest pain or pain in the neck and/or arm
  • shortness of breath
  • a diagnosed heart condition
  • joint and/or bone problems
  • currently taking cardiac and/or blood pressure medications
  • have not previously been physically active
  • dizziness
In addition, if you have any chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes or arthritis) or risk factors (such as smoking or being more than 20 pounds overweight), and have not discussed exercising with your doctor, you should do so before beginning. Exercise is often an important part of the treatment for such conditions, but you may have some limitations or special needs that your doctor can tell you about.

If none of these apply to you, start gradually and sensibly. However, if you feel any of the physical symptoms listed above when you start your exercise program, contact your physician right away.


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