Characteristics of a Sound Training Program


I have been getting many requests to evaluate certain popular training programs. Rather than specifically evaluate any program I think it is better to describe the characteristics of a sound program and you can use this to evaluate and draw your own conclusions.

Progression – You should be able to see clear definitive progression both inter and inter workout. In addition the progression should take into account training age and gender.

Clearly Defined Goals – A sound program starts with the end in mind and clearly works toward that end.

Training is a means to an end – Training should not be an end unto itself.

Individual – A sound training program fits the individual and takes into account trainability and recoverability.

Beyond the Exercise – It is always more than an exercise or a drill. The drill or exercise is a means to an end.

Can Do – A sound program will focus on what the athlete can do, not what they can’t do. Optimize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.

Risk – Manage risk by weighing the risk:return ratio of the training methods.

Variation – Incorporate programmed systematic variations to insure continual adaptation.

Spectrum – Incorporate a spectrum of methods that insure all systems are trained all the time.

Basics – Never stray far from the basics, no gimmicks, no fads and no quick fixes.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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