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Programming for a 25-year old client (Full Body)

Jun 16, 2020


How to Program for a 25-year old client (Full Body)

The following is a case example of a 25-year old client who wants to lose fat and add a few pounds of muscle. He has been working out 4-5x a week with body weight exercises for the past 4-8 weeks (prior he was lifting weights but took time off due to COVID-19): push-ups, lunges, squats, bridges, chin-ups, and jumps. Analyze the program, give feedback on exercises, the acute variables and what you would want to change:

Learn how to analyze programs while training clients at SHOW UP FITNESS.

Monday: 1. (Super Sett): Banded Back Box Squat 4 x 15 Banded Goblet Box Squat 4 x 8

2. 3-Way Sliding Lunges 4 x 4 into SL Glute Bridge 3 x 6ea

3. DB Side Bends 2 x 20ea Farmers Walks 4 x D/B 80s BB Calf Raises 4 x 20

Tuesday : 1. Flat BB Bench Press 4 x 15 into Incline Alt. DB Press 3 x 10ea

2. Bent Over DB Row 3 x 10ea into DB Tri Ext 3 x 8

3. Inverted Rows 3 x 10ea Skull Crusher 3 x 8 Ab Wheel 4 x 12 Palof Press 2 x 20ea

Wednesday: 1. Deadlift 4 x 15 Reverse Hypers 3 x 8

2. Band Pull Thrus 3 x 12 Back Extensions 3 x 4 weight

3. Good Mornings 3 x 8 KB Windmill 3 x 6ea Plank w Taps 4 x 1:30 BB Calf Raises 4 x 20

Thursday: 1. Hang Clean 3 x 20 Box Jumps 3 x 20 Barbell Step Up 2 x 8ea

2. Pull Up 4 x max Push Up 4 x max

3. Dead Bugs 2 x 30 Bird Dogs 2 x 30

Friday: 1. TRX SL Squat 3 x 10ea Cossack Squat 3 x 8ea Reverse Lunge Press 2 x 10ea

2. SL RDL 2 x 20 Suitcase Carry 3 x D/B ea Cop. Plank 4 x 20s ea

3. Ab Wheel 3 x 20 BB Calf Raises 4 x 20


When analyzing a program, the first things that you need think about are the clients goals and “WHY”? How long has be been doing this program & what are the expectations? Does he have favorite exercises? How's his sleep? Stress levels? Injuries that we need to learn more about? How's his ankle, hip & shoulder mobility? So let's dive into this program and see where we can add value:

1- Never criticize, “Why are you doing this program? There's too much of this or that.” Begin with a compliment, “I like how you prioritize legs and the addition of Copenhagen planks, that's a great exercise. Can you tell me what the structure is based on? Is it patterns, or muscles, or what?” From this program, I'm not sure if it's a leg day, then push vs pull, then power, etc. I'd like more structure to it.

2- Looking at the first exercise per day, I'd like to optimize tension first by going heavier, then incorporate super sets afterwards i.e. Squats 135 x 15, 145 x 12, 155 x 10, 165 x 8, 135 x AMRAP resting 2-3 minutes THEN box squats into lunges.

3- Why do guys train calves like abs? I see this all the time. If you want bigger arms, would you do 3-sets of 20 and call it a day? No WAY! You'd his 3-5 exercises from different angles. Do the same with calves. On Monday do 4 sets of 15-12-8-6 on seated calf raises and then end the workout with 500 jump ropes. Wednesday do 4 sets of 25-20-15-10 on standing calf raises and then end the workout by walking on the stair master for 10-minutes with plantarflexion. Friday do a super set of both 10-10 for 5 sets. After a month, begin implementing single leg calf raises 3x a week on top of an increase in volume and intensity previously (progressive overload.)

4- Lower body volume vs upper body volume. Monday we're doing 16 sets of legs and then Tuesday we're doing 7-for pushing. The total volume per week is quite ambiguous with the optimal range being between 10-40 total sets. My rule is, if you aren't putting on size, you need to lift heavier weights & increase the volume (yes, protein needs to be addressed as well; 1g per body weight pound).

5- Deadlifts & power cleans. Typically we don't like to program more than 10-reps for deadlifts due to the complexity of the lift. When fatigue sets in, form goes out the window. I'd prefer to see sets of 4-8 at different intensities i.e. 4×4 @ 70% Monday, 3×6 @80% on Thursday. As for power / explosive movements, we want to keep the repetitions under 10-reps due to type II muscle fibers and their inability for muscular endurance. I'd suggest either A- Power cleans 4×5-8 resting 3-5 minutes AND THEN do jumps before step ups for 5-8 reps OR B- Do 5-8 jumps and then 3-5 cleans at a low intensity. HIIT / AMRAP for explosive exercises is not suggested.

6- TRX single leg squats. I'd prefer to see these at the end of the workout for reps to burn calories OR replaced with plate front loaded pistol squats first. The TRX is similar to a Smith Machine in a sense that it doesn't optimize core engagement.

7- Why not add in another day? I'd challenge him to have a Saturday or Sunday workout like this:

1- Favorite chest exercise into favorite back exercise. 20-15-10-6-15-25. Rest 2-3 minutes

2. Favorite explosive leg exercise into favorite shoulder exercise. 8-10 legs into same rep scheme above for shoulders.

3. Favorite leg exercise into favorite arm exercise. Same as above

4. Accessories & METCON: Calves into Battle Ropes into Abs – 5 rounds.

By taking a decent program, we've now turned it into an amazing one. Stick to this program for 4-6 weeks and then come back for more.

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