In the context of strength and weight training i have always been wondering how a trainer or physiotherapy determines when a training program is well prepared. Which parameters decide that exercises go well together and here i'm primarily talking in terms of multiple muscle groups. Some exercises create overhead, which is not always desired.

All these questions arises hence i am trying to figure out how to formalize a description of how one can describe the quality rating of a training program.


I am a Personal Trainer, and to determine whether a programme is any good or not. There are a number of things you need to find out about the client first.

Firstly what is the clients goal?

A programme written for weight loss would look very different for one written to increase muscle size. Again someone who was deconditioned against a sports person.

One programme, most definitely does not fit all.

Even 2 people with the same goal, may need different programmes depending on their fitness level and lifestyle.

So a good programme is one that is client specific. It's important to help the client set SMART goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time framed. This is the starting point of any decent programme.

Regarding muscle groups, it still comes back to the goal.

For weight loss, you need to work the larger muscles, for full body workout. Working opposite muscles works quite well. Doing less reps heavier weights, or more reps lighter weight, it all comes back to, why are you doing it, and what do you want to achieve.

Lifestyle, hobbies, age and more are all consideration when writing a programme.

I hope this goes some way to answering your question.

  • Love the specific, measurable goals. I wish more personal trainers really worked with their clients to develop those. I think I would have gotten a lot more out of the time I used a personal trainer had he taken the time to define what "more fit" meant. I work with a strength coach now, and one of the things he did in addition to this was to take time to find out what did work well for me, and what didn't work as well for me. – Berin Loritsch Apr 1 '14 at 18:37
  • I wish they did too. The SMART goal setting works well for both the client and Personal Trainer. It's great for the client because they know exactly what to do, and when they can expect to reach their goal. This is great on keeping them focused and motivated towards their goal. And for PT's it's a great way to justify your worth. Your clients success is your success. Great job satisfaction, and a great advert for your services. – Tracy at 2bactive Apr 1 '14 at 19:14

A good program is one that meets the intended objective. As long as the processes can be replicated to obtain the expected result, that's a good program.

Since your question deals specifically with strength and weight training, a good training program is one that emphasizes working the entire body..

Weightlifting and strength programs should emphasize both the upper and lower parts of the body. For example,

As long as the program works the whole body and covers almost all the body's muscles, the program should be good.

How each program might differ is in repetitions, sets, and the frequency of the exercises. Also, the diet might be different as well.

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