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Fitness Programming: A How to Guide - Pt 1. How to Develop a Fitness Program posted Nov 8, 2017



When developing the program to accomplish your fitness goals, I look at the program at three levels.  

  1. Macro,
  2. Mezzo, and
  3. Micro.  

The Macro level is the big picture level.  It represents your short term and long term goals, or big picture purpose, behind the program. These goals are typically your reasons for wanting to start a fitness program.  Loose weight, gain muscle, get sick less often, etc.  A good fitness program is catered and progressed in a way to put you on the path towards those goals.

The Mezzo level is a sub-level that is more narrowly focused than the Macro. There is often multiple Mezzos that combine to fulfil the Macro goals.  The Mezzo represents groups of individual workouts (often called “Blocks”) that combine to support the development of one or more of the 10 broader fitness attributes that will support the fulfilment of the Macro goals.  A program will create multiple Mezzos blocks that once completed will build to support the successful accomplishment of the Macro goals.

The Micro represents the individual workout itself.  Each Micro will have a theme, a skill or skills to be taught, and a particular stimulus or stimuli.  We combine these micros together to support the Mezzo goals, which then combine to support the Macro. 

You can think of this as a pyramid, where the many micros at the bottom support the few mezzos, which support the macro.



Lets assume your Macro is to “be able to be active in life, while staying injury free.”  

As such, one of your Mezzos might be to work on your shoulder stability because you or your coach has noticed weakness while in the push-up position or doing pushing movements in general.  

In this case, Micros workouts may include plank based stagnant exercise to teach stability, moving exercises while in plank to challenge the ability to come in and out of a stable position, shoulder stability under fatigue to test and progress continued stability, and so on.  

As such, if you are programming you may look to increased the number of low plank holds, pike to high plank walks, and push-ups after a bunch of jump ropes.

That is just one example of hundreds that can occur over the course of a year long fitness program or thousands in a lifetime of fitness.  

A good fitness program, geared to help you reach your fitness goals is much more than just the individual workout you do each day that you got for free off-line or on Facebook.  Instead, it is a series of well thought out building blocks structured to fit in such a way as to better ensure you are able to meet your goals.

LINK: Pt 2. What are the Pieces of a Program

LINK: Pt 3. Parts of a Session

960 PointsSilver

Joshua Boone

/ Nutrition, Health and Wellness Coach