Training Methods: Incorporating Self Regulation to Achieve Better Results


Here at the PFCA, we don’t just focus on immediate results; we’re committed to the long game. Self-regulation is a tool that we prioritise to ensure that our approach to training isn’t just effective, but also sustainable. This sustainability is key to long term success, as it is the consistency which breeds results, not singular efforts. The skill of self regulation means that you can adapt each workout to your current physical and mental state, which lends itself better to long-term success and health.

What is Self-Regulation?

Self regulation in the context of fitness is the adjustment of your training session to align with what you can physically and mentally give at that given moment. 

It’s about listening to your body and responding appropriately to its signals. This could mean altering the intensity, volume, or even the type of exercises you do based on how you feel that day. You may feel niggles in different parts of your body, you may not have slept well, or you might just feel under the weather. The approach of self regulation respects the body’s varying needs and capacities, helping prevent injuries and burnout. It is this which leads to long term success through consistency and sustainability.

Self-Regulation in Training Programs

Every effective strength training system that has demonstrated repeated success at the highest levels has incorporated an element of self-regulation. Recognising that not every day is perfect, these systems allow for flexibility. 

It’s all about changing variables such as intensity, training volume, exercise selection, tempo, rate of perceived exertion, and rest periods to match daily capabilities and goals. At the PFCA, we implore our personal trainers to encourage clients to make the best decisions for their workouts, to benefit both immediate performance and long term development.

It is important to note though that self regulation is NOT just changing something for the sake of it. Self regulation may lead to no changes on a given day at all. The regulation itself is the act of assessing the self’s state; which may result in not making any changes to the prescribed programme. There is a high degree of honesty to self required for proper self regulation.

Benefits of Self-Regulation


By avoiding overtraining and reducing the risk of injury, self regulation helps maintain a consistent training schedule over the long term.


It accommodates daily fluctuations in energy levels and mood, which means you’re always training at an optimal level for that day.


Self regulation teaches clients to become more attuned to their bodies’ signals, promoting a better understanding of their own bodies. 

Implementing Self-Regulation

  1. Daily Check-Ins: Before you begin your workout, take a moment to assess your physical readiness, mental state, mood, and stress levels.
  2. Flexible Reps and Sets: Adjust your rep and set ranges based on how you feel. If you’re energised, push a little harder. If you’re not, then understand that it’s okay to scale back.
  3. Intensity Adjustments: Choose your workout based on your current state. Some days might be about maintaining pace, while others might focus on slow, deliberate movements.
  4. Clear Intentions: Set clear goals for each session so you can adjust the workout to meet the intended stimulus. This helps in achieving the desired ‘dose-response’ from your training.
  5. Exercise and Load Adjustments: Offer yourself a range of exercises and loads to choose from. This flexibility ensures that you’re not pushing beyond your limits on days when you might not be fully up to it.


We believe at the PFCA that the key to long term success in any fitness endeavour is listening to your body. By training smart, getting to understand your body and implementing self regulation you are setting yourself up for more success in the future. 

If you like our style of coaching and want to learn more, then be sure to explore our Level 3 PT Course.

the nuances of your body’s daily needs, you’re setting yourself up for success, both now and in the future. Remember, it’s better to listen when your body whispers, rather than waiting until it screams.