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7 Keys of A Successful Training Program

With nothing more than a quick google search and a swift click of the button we have access to an unlimited amount of training and nutrition options.

Pretty sweet huh?

Well kind of.

It’s sweet because there is no limit on how much we can learn and we don’t have to pick up and move every time we are looking to learn from a new coach that does not live close by.

What is not so cool is the ability to become overwhelmed by the array of information FAST. There is too much information available, most of which is extremely contradicting, this leads to confusion and frustration on where to start and knowing what might be right for you.

Free weights vs. machines, linear periodization vs daily undulating periodization (DUP), HIIT cardio vs low intensity cardio and much more!

Which program is the best?

Which will make me look and feel the best?

And to be fair, there is no “best” program. The answer to this question will really come down to your specific goals and your unique abilities to adhere to the program.

But there are non-negotiable key components you must follow if you wish to see great results.

To help achieve your goals, I have listed the 7 keys of a successful training program below.

1. Fun

No workout program will be as effective if you are not having fun with it. Plain and simple.

Because think about it, you will not do anything for long if you are not having fun while doing it.

Do you remember homework? It was terrible wasn’t it?

But the point is, when we do not have fun with stuff like homework, or eating proper fruits and vegetables, or reading 10 pages a day, one of two things will end up happening

Option 1. We come up with a million excuses as to why something is stupid.

Option 2. We half ass it and see just about zero benefit or progress from the activity.

Both above options are coming from the fact that you aren’t having fun!

Training is no different. If you wish to see progress and I mean lasting progress, you must have fun!

Because having fun in your training means you will be more consistent for much longer.

More consistency for a longer period = much better results!

2. Simplicity

An effective training program does not need to be complex.

In fact, the most effective programs are the simple ones!

Not too simple to the point where it does not provide a training stimulus but not extremely complex to the point where it stresses you out, makes you want to say “ahh screw it” and look for an easier to understand program anyway.

You do not need a crazy amount of equipment; a mass number of bands and chains and you do not need crazy tempos to see results either!

The basics are your friend. Stick with them.

Prioritize mastering the foundational movement patterns and focus on loading them heavy when earning the right. Switch out exercises underneath each movement pattern every few weeks, implement a form of progression model (details on this will be outlined later), stay consistent and have patience!

I can promise you will see tremendous results!

3. Flexibility

Now if you expect to see long lasting results you must adhere to having flexibility in your training!

Because I am going to take a guess and say you are very busy, you have kids/meetings/work/family commitments/travel, etc.

And sometimes, you can not make it to the gym because training is just not a priority in your life.

I get it, we are all busy and sometimes training is not number 1 in our lives and I know missing workouts can be worse than stubbing your toe BUT if you wish to see results and create a healthy relationship with your training, you must approach this with a FLEXIBLE mindset.

Throw out the “all or nothing” mindset right now, it’s garbage and will be detrimental to your long-term success.

If you genuinely want to get stronger, leaner, and healthier, I suggest you choose the latter.

4. Progression

Progression is at the forefront of every good training program.

Compared to the progression scheme, the sets, reps, tempos, and exercises are arbitrary.

Simply put, if you do not adhere to a proper progression model, you will not create an environment for growth and results… otherwise known as GAINZ.

How do you progress?

· Add weight to the bar

· Add more reps with the same weight

· Add more sets

· Decrease rest time between sets

· Increase time under tension

There are many more ways to progress, but a progressive overload article is for another time. Just ensure that you have your workout planned before going to the gym, ensure that you have earned the right to progress the movement (working with a coach) and push yourself to get better each time you walk in the gym!

5. Individualization

If you wish to see the best results, you must individualize your programming. Take into consideration your goals, fitness level, joint mobility, previous training history, illnesses, career, etc.

No two people are the same and no two people will get the same results from the same program.

That is why at Matrisciano Fitness we believe in tailored programming specifically for the individual and their personal goals because we know firsthand this will yield the BEST results.

Now, does this mean you can not follow or perform some of the more universal programs out there like GVT or 5/3/1? Of course not because these are great programs.

The point is to apply individualization to each of your workouts and if you are unsure how, do some experimenting or talk to a coach!

6. Specificity

All this means is that you are training specifically to achieve your very intended goal!

So, in other words, if your goal is to deadlift 700 pounds, running 5-6 miles a day is most likely not going to be the best route in achieving that goal. Not to say it can not be done, but it would not be the most optimal.

In addition, if you want to pack on as much muscle mass as possible, you wouldn’t stick to bodyweight only training programs.

The point here is that whatever your main goal is, make sure that you have your training and nutrition in line to hit said goal!

This does not mean that you cannot put forth attention to other fitness related qualities because of course you can and you should, but your main focus should be on achieving the goal that is of top priority.

7. Tracking

You must track your training.

By this I mean, keeping track of the sets, reps and weights you are using for each movement in your workout.

A simple way to do this is to keep a notebook in your workout bag and document information about weight, sets, and reps, during your rest break when you are trying not to die.

It might be a pain in the ass at first, but it will be extremely beneficial for you in the long run.

Tracking will allow you to see what has worked and has not worked in your training, it allows you to check the stats, and make the adjustments necessary to keep progressing and seeing results. But it also allows for you to see how your training has evolved over the years and will ultimately help you figure out how to continue to apply these 7 keys into your programming.

Wrapping It Up

I understand that I did not dive into a specific training plan (this is an article for another time) but if the 7 keys listed above are not in place, the little details about a specific training program do not matter.

It is extremely easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of free knowledge out there today and as you should always strive to better yourself, never lose sight of the big picture and your goals.

Keep these 7 Keys at the forefront of your training. These are your principles, your anchors. Everything else will be built upon these. As long as these principles remain at the center of your programming you will make tremendous progress and everything else will fall into place!

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