This is part three in my series on 7 Necessities in Program Design. As a reminder here are the 7:
Intentions - What’s your why?
Lifestyle/Nutrition Habits - BLGs or Basic Lifestyle Guidelines
Alignment - Does this align with your Values/Priorities/Goals?
Tough Muscle Contractions - The Strength training
Breathing and Sweating - The Conditioning training
Progress Monitoring - Are you improving? What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
Fun! - Is this enjoyable and fulfilling?
When talking about alignment we are really talking about remembering your goals, priorities and values when constructing your program design. If your goal is to add 100 pounds to your Back Squat in 4 weeks but your highest priorities are your two young children and your very demanding full time job then maybe your goals are not aligned with your priorities. If you follow a vegan diet I’m not going to prescribe that you add chicken breast to your diet to increase your protein intake because that clearly does not align with your values.
Also, if the program design is not aligned to what the client is capable of then they will not maximize their experience. A client should not be doing burpees if they can’t touch their toes. No one should run a 5k for maximum effort if they can’t walk a 5k. Through a proper assessment the coach should be able to design the correctly aligned movements for what the client is able to express.
The program design that works is the one that aligns with your goals, values and priorities. In addition, the coach and the client need to be in alignment with each other on the program. A client may want to have a complete meal plan and 6 days a week of hard work when they really need to drink more water and walk more first. A coach should always ensure that what is being prescribed in the program, whether it be exercise, lifestyle or nutrition, is always aligned with the clients goals, values and priorities. But more importantly the coach and client need to be both in alignment with the program and need to be open to adjusting whenever that alignment is lost.
These three parts of the program design process, correct intentions, BLGs, and proper alignment are essential to setting up the relationship between the coach and client. Without these in place the nuts and bolts of the day to day work are incomplete. Those nuts and bolts will be outlined in the next parts of this series, but we must always start with proper alignment first.