2 years ago I was approached on the floor. It was 9:30pm and I was exhausted after a 10 client day and excited to finally eat some solid food. The man who approached me was somebody I'd built a relationship with in the gym but I knew money was an issue. He had a previous shoulder injury and needed some guidance but gets bored with programs. So, like any good trainer I pretended not to be half asleep and asked him about his issues.

He said that he could afford a 10 session package but wouldn't be able to continue afterwards. I responded that I'm going to formulate a plan and get back.

Two nights later we met and, after I performed an assessment, I presented my plan. I would build a list of exercises for him and categorize them. Each group would have 3-6 exercises and he would pick 1-2. Extra emphasis was put on shoulder stability and mid-back (as it was shown to be neglected). he would keep the chart and pick and choose exercises as he liked as long as he kept the ratios the same.

Instead of taking him through a workout I showed him each exercise and pointed out 3 overwhelming cues.

Cue #1: Shoulders back and retract shoulder blades

Cue #2: Knees in line with toes

Cue #3: If your shoulder hurts... stop immediately

After the first session I gave him this chart and used it as a template for the next 10 weeks. He worked out on his own in between and I progressed some of the exercises as I saw fit when we met.

After the 10 weeks he had multiple programs to work through as opposed to a single one that would become stale. Since then he's been so happy with how I listened to his problem and didn't give him the same cookie cutter program that he's recommended me 2 clients -- both of which have bought 50 session packages.

The lesson is that you sometimes need to be creative. Ask yourself if the 3 day split is really fitting into your clients lifestyle and is something they can adhere to for the long term. Sometimes clients don't have the money to train consistently. Your job is to help. Be creative and figure out a plan that will have the greatest effect even if it isn't 100% based in science. It's all a way of building your client army.