I’ve worked with a number of people over the last several years teaching them how to eat and exercise for their health goals.

That experience has given the opportunity to experiment with a lot of different workout plans and schedules as each individual has a different lifestyle.

However one common thing I’ve seen is that everyone has a really difficult time sticking to a set workout schedule.

It was one of the things that frustrated me most when I was doing in-person coaching.

It seemed like without fail almost every client would have to cancel or reschedule at least one or two sessions a week due family emergencies or unplanned circumstances outside of their control.

That’s ultimately what led me away from doing 1-on-1 coaching and focusing on small group and semi-private training.

There was more flexibility for the clients, more certainty for me, and all around just a better service experience that delivered more value for less money.

However while switching my training model did help with the scheduling issues it didn’t address how to write a program that could adapt to someone being able to train twice a week one week and four times a week the next.

That is what led me to what I like to call the “Flexible Workout Plan.”

It’s actually really nothing new or cutting edge, but I do think it’s unique for this use case.

My basic goal was to lay out a workout plan that was comprehensive, addressed client goals, and was challenging regardless of whether the client showed up for two workouts a week or four.

You may be wondering why the workout frequency ranged from two to four times per week and honestly it’s just a professional opinion of mine based on a lot of experience.

I’ve found most people rarely have enough free time to train more than four times a week for more than sixty minutes at a time and really don’t get much additional benefit from completing more than four structured workouts in a given week.

I mean I’m all for daily exercise and activity, but those other 3 days can be less structured and more about activities people enjoy.

And I’ve also found that most people can’t really make much progress towards their goals if they don’t take on a minimum of two structured training sessions a week.

Anyways the way I approached this was by combining two different classic training splits into one plan.

I took total-body workouts and paired them with upper and lower body workouts.

This is what the end result looked like:

  • Day 1: Total-Body Workout

  • Day 2: Total-Body Workout

  • Day 3: Upper-Body Workout

  • Day 4: Lower- Body Workout

Then you’d add in the three days of rest preferably like this:

  • Day 1: Total-Body Workout

  • Rest Day

  • Day 2: Total-Body Workout

  • Rest Day

  • Day 3: Upper-Body Workout

  • Day 4: Lower- Body Workout

  • Rest Day

However the whole idea here is for the plan to be flexible and adapt to a client’s rapidly changing and evolving weekly schedule

The above example would be what would happen if a client was able to ideally make all four workout sessions in a week.

But what if their boss calls a late evening emergency meeting preventing them from getting to the gym?

No worries on this workout plan because you can just adjust and do the following:

  • Day 1: Total-Body Workout

  • Rest Day

  • Day 2: Total-Body Workout

  • Rest Day

  • Day 3 Couldn’t make it to the gym

  • Day 4: Upper-Body or Lower- Body Workout (Pick whichever one you are more focused on.)

  • Rest Day

Or maybe things got so crazy you only get in two workouts.

No worries you can just leave it at the following:

  • Day 1: Total-Body Workout

  • Rest Day

  • Day 2: Couldn’t make it to the gym

  • Rest Day

  • Day 3 Total-Body Workout

  • Day 4: Couldn’t make it to the gym

  • Rest Day

Are you seeing the beauty of having these four types of workouts planned for a week?

You can mix and match them based on your scheduling needs and goals in real time as your week goes on.

I’m not sure I’ve heard or read anyone talk about approaching a training plan this way, but I think it could be helpful to a lot of busy individuals.

I know it has definitely helped me as a coach better serve my clients.

Obviously there are many more details we could dig into about such a workout plan, abut just being able to add this flexibility I think will be a benefit.

If you do have specific questions please just send me an email at sfreeborn7@gmail.com and we can dig into them.

Happy moving and heavy lifting!

Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training