Fitness coaches must develop comprehensive training programmes that have a logical and systematic approach to training. A well-designed integrated training programme will optimise the client’s performance outcomes.

Anyone can walk off the street and make a client ‘work’ – it’s easy to ‘empty’ someone. The difficult thing for a fitness coach to do is to direct the work so that it’s productive and has a purpose for both the short- and long-term development of the client’s performance.

We break down our approach into three sections:

Section 1: Patterns

There should always be a focus on developing fundamental movement skills that focus on quality of movement before quantity. All clients will share common movement patterns that need to be developed. The body is a complex system and training must take into account how the musculoskeletal system actually functions. Your primary goal as a coach is to establish technical competency in these fundamental movement patterns.

These patterns are what we call the functional movements:

  • Squat
  • Hinge
  • Pull (vertical and horizontal)
  • Push (vertical and horizontal)
  • Single Leg
  • Loaded Carries
  • Core

Section 2: Planes – Sagittal/Frontal/Transverse

In each plane, several different movements occur at the joints. We’ll break down each plane to help you further understand how each of these fit into a programme.


The sagittal plane divides the body into left and right. When we move along this plane, we’re using the strength of our muscles to move parts of the body forward or backward. Extension and flexion happen along the sagittal plane. For example, in a squat, both hips move from extension into flexion, and back into extension.

Flexion: Decreasing the angle between two bones
Extension: Increasing the angle between two bones
Dorsiflexion: Moving the top of the foot toward the shin (only at the ankle)
Plantarflexion: moving the sole of the foot downward (pointing the toes)



The frontal plane divides your body into front and back halves. However, despite the plane’s name, the exercises you perform on the frontal plane consist of side-to-side — rather than front-and-back— motion.

Adduction: motion toward the midline
Abduction: motion away from the midline of the body
Elevation: moving to a superior position (only at the scapula)
Depression: moving to an inferior position (only at the scapula)
Inversion: lifting the medial border of the foot
Eversion: lifting the lateral border of the foot


The transverse plane divides your body into top and bottom halves. When you perform movements of rotation, you are working in the transverse plane of motion. Exercises that involve twisting happen in this plane.

Rotation: internal (inward) or external (outward) turning about the vertical axis of the bone
Pronation: rotating the hand and wrist medially from the bone
Supination: rotating the hand and wrist laterally from the bone
Horizontal Flexion (adduction): from the 90-degree abducted arm position, the humerus is flexed (adducted) in toward the midline of the body in the transverse plane
Horizontal extension (abduction): return of the humerus from horizontal flexion

Section 3: Extras – a combination of patterns and planes integrated together

This section is where we integrate different tools, movements, and variables to allow you the opportunity to introduce some variety into your programming whilst sticking to the foundational principles.

These extras may be using tools such as strongman implements, varying grips/angles and specialised bars.