Do you find your programming off the internet the night or even the week before your classes because you saw a workout that you had to try?

There are inherent risks to programming this way and although plugging workouts into your clients’ schedules may seem simple, programming for consistent results and longevity is anything but simple.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that thoughtful programming has a template and design and is NOT random. Simply taking something you saw on the internet completely disregards these aspects of a thoughtful plan and does not put your clients in the best possible position.

Here is some reason why you should NOT program this way.

  • Mindset: It’s nearly impossible to know the mindset of the coach from whom you are taking your programming. Although it would seem obvious based off of the program design, and if you did your homework researching months leading up until this day of programming, then you may be able to speculate, but you’re only guessing at best.
  • Overtraining: The risk of overtraining is real. This is a phenomenon that athletes may not recover from and lose all motivation to train at your box again. Other deleterious effects are a loss of appetite, weight, depression; clearly, all things that will not lend themselves to longevity. Consequently, without having background information, there may not be ample recovery between sessions which, over time, will run your clients into the ground. Many coaches are still of the mindset that hard-work = results and while there is some truth to this the work must be intelligently structured.
  • Overuse: Without knowing what has happened before and what is happening after a specific day of training, there are inherent risks that can play into our last point but put simply, overuse injuries will take your clients out of the game and diminish the trust they have for you and your coaches. We know that core movements play a role in your clients’ success, but too much of anything is a bad thing.
  • Negligence: It’s perfectly fine to use other peoples’ workouts, CrossFit benchmarks, Hero Workouts, etc., but they MUST fit into a PLAN and be accounted for. By taking someones else’s programming, there is no way that you can know this. Also, how much time and effort are you putting into the health and welfare of your clients if you’re simply taking your programming off of the internet the night before your classes?
  • Research: Who are you taking your programming from? It may be from someone that has zero background in program design. Even taking a workout from an advanced programmer may not yield the long-term results you’re hoping your clients will obtain. Anyone can write a cool looking workout, but being mindful of the “bigger picture” outweighs the “cool factor” a workout may have.
  • Testing Fitness: If you’re using someones else’s programming how can you have a normal timeline of testing to prove to your clients that they are getting better? The great part of having a structured plan is we know exactly when to retest vital training pieces and we aren’t just haphazardly inserting pieces into our programming.
  • Audience: It’s commonplace to take CrossFit Competitor programming off the internet and apply to the general population. Stop doing this! Your clients want to look and feel better, not incur a skeletal injury. If you’re doing this take a hard look at the logic here and ask yourself if doing high-volume, high skill movements is really going to translate to long-term health.
  • “The Why”: More times than not you’re not going to receive background information when taking programming off of the internet. Things like the desired outcome, recommended loading, how a workout should “feel”, or overall objectives. How many workouts do you see on social media that actually tell you what the loading and effort should feel like? Or better yet, how many tell you the actual method that is being used other than just “going hard AF?” These are things that can be instrumental in your athletes receiving the proper stimulus and therefore improve their chances of long-term success.

Overall, as Louie Simmons always says, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Taking workouts off the internet and using them down the road assuming they fit into your template/plan is perfectly fine.

Taking programming off the internet the night before and posting for the next day, you’ll completely miss the boat on key aspects of program design that will help increase the chances of success for your clients.