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This is the training plan of an online personal trainer

Today I will provide you with a training plan that is one of many that helped me build, and will continue to help me build, a 500+ pound squat as well as deadlift, stand on my hands, complete difficult CrossFit workouts, build a 275-pound clean and jerk, and run 1000+ miles per year at an 8:00 pace, as well as many other feats. Before that, I want to provide context. I am a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and wellness coach who specializes in online training. I have a 20 year background in exercise, nutrition, and wellness, during which I completed tens of thousands of practical hours in my profession, almost 10,000 hours of personal time in the gym (plus more on my nutrition), and I hold three degrees, completed 12 certification programs, and spent countless hours reading, viewing, or absorbing information from media or other professionals. It is this education and experience that makes me a qualified online personal trainer, nutrition coach, and wellness coach. It also makes me personally successful in my physical goals. The training plans I follow, including the one I share today, are an essential part of my success.

The logic behind the plan Like any plan we create for a client, when creating my training plan, I considered:

  1. Program for the goal (specificity)

  2. Account for situational factors (individual differences)

  3. Create a structured plan (periodization)

  4. Make the program progressive (progressive overload)

  5. Manage intensity and recovery (fatigue management)

We previously wrote blogs that go into more detail about these areas, but I will provide a brief overview for each point.

  1. Program for the goal (specificity)—the program should focus on the goals of the individual.

  2. Account for situational factors (individual differences)—each person’s individual situation, such as schedule, ability, and interests, should be considered.

  3. Create a structured plan (periodization)—the plan should be organized, whether loosely or with very specific detail.

  4. Make the program progressive (progressive overload)—the program should improve a person’s ability over time by modifying intensity as appropriate, which may include pushing hard or pulling back at certain intervals.

  5. Manage intensity and recovery (fatigue management)—the program should monitor and adjust based on how well a person is recovering in order to manage fatigue which leads to better results over time.

Briefly stated, for me this means the plan needs to call for average session length to be no more than 75 minutes, but ideally 60 minutes, though I can work out seven days per week. At seven days per week intensity needs to be monitored and managed closely. My goals are maintenance of ability, so the program should allow me to maintain or improve my skill, strength, cardio ability, conditioning, and mobility in every expression of each. The program should push me hard enough for these things to occur, but also pull back as needed to make sure I am not over working. This briefly covers points 1, 2, 4, and 5.

The template for the plan Point 3— Create a structured plan (periodization)—is what you will see in the template I included. The plan is:

  1. 13 weeks long

  2. Includes resistance training

  3. Includes traditional cardio

  4. Includes conditioning work

  5. Includes skill work

The plan is a template and I vary it based on progress and other factors, such as fatigue or schedule. This is how we approach programming for clients. Every training plan is a guideline and should be adjusted over time based on results or other factors such as schedule.

The daily layout is:

  1. Strength and skill

  2. Strength, conditioning, and skill

  3. Strength, conditioning, and skill

  4. Run, optional movement work

  5. Run, optional movement work

  6. Run, optional movement work

  7. Run, optional movement work

I focus more of my time running. That is not to say strength, conditioning, or skill take a back seat or are in some way less important. I can complete quality work and reach goals with fewer days for strength work. Cardio and strength play into conditioning, meaning there is beneficial overlap. Skill work occurs with strength, conditioning, and movement work, meaning there is beneficial overlap. This makes the overall program more efficient and takes less time.

Running 10 miles is running 10 miles. A person can run faster but cannot do anything else to make running 10 miles quicker. I am not a fast runner per se, but not slow either. At my best I could/can complete a sub 6:00 mile and run upwards of 9 miles in an hour. But to run 10 miles, I still have to run for more than an hour. Add in warm-up, cool down, and running between 20-40 miles per week, and running just takes more time. A little more detail about the components.

  1. Strength—Day 1 has three different strength movements that vary each week and I always work within 70-100+ percent of 1RM depending on the lift. Days 2 and Day 3 have 1-2 strength movements each week that vary periodically and I always work within 70-100+ percent of 1RM depending on the lift. Generally, I target heavy sets of 1-3 reps, with occasional volume work.

  2. Conditioning—Day 2 and 3 include regularly varied conditioning work that may include a cardio component, calisthenics components, and weighted components. The exact conditioning work balances against the other days. For example, right now I do not include running in my conditioning work due to the four days focused on running.

  3. Skill—Days 1-3 each have a standalone skill movement I focus on such as handstands, muscle-ups, toes to bar, or levers. That said, the movement work post running also has skill work. These sessions often include many different movements and some are identical or related exercises to the skill work on days 1-3.

  4. Running—I base my weekly running on how I feel. I have set paces I should reach for various distances and these do not change. The variance occurs in distance ran, though I try to average at least 22 miles per week, meaning the total weekly distance should support this. In general, I run no less than three miles per session but not more than 10 miles per session. The 10 miles pushes my workout upward of the maximum time I want to spend working out. The three-mile runs occur as recovery work when I am beat from the other sessions in the week.

Implementation of the plan The plan is a guideline. It can, should, and will change over the 13 weeks. This idea applies to all training sessions. Certain specifics are not included in the text above or in the spreadsheet I included. These omissions include target weight ranges, target paces, and for some movements, target sets and reps among other missing details. This is intentional. This information is in my head and I do not need to plot it all, but you can pick out some of the details for the text above. At the same time, how the program progresses each week in terms of weight used, distance ran, or other variables such as speed and sets, is not included. This is determined based on how well I am performing, fatigue, and other factors such as schedule, meaning I cannot insert all the details now.

You can use the plan as a general guideline for your training or input the missing details based on what you think you can do and follow it as laid out. If you use the training plan in conjunction with a good nutrition strategy, you will improve your physique and performance. This requires you put in the necessary effort. Using light weight or always completing short, easy runs is not going to provide many results. A plan is just a plan. For the plan to work, it requires effort on a consistent basis. The link to the template: I also added a second 13-week template which is an examples of the last training cycle I used. If you want a plan built for you, visit If you have questions about the services we offer, you can email me directly at

Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA. 

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