The Differences Between a Cookie Cutter and a Personal Training Program.

Written by Anagha

A long-standing member of the team, Anagha has won gold medals in powerlifting at national level competitions. After a freak accident caused a serious leg injury, she has been training hard to get back to her best while supporting others that have also gone through similar injuries, proving to them that they should never be defeated.

September 9, 2019

Why a personalized training program might be the secret to your success in the gym

Ever been given a cookie-cutter (a general program written for the masses) program and not gotten the results you desire? Do you find pre-written programs incredibly dull or difficult to follow? Do you have any injuries or nagging pains that you need to workaround?

 If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then a personalized training plan is just what you need.

 Below are a few benefits of following a personalized program.


Catering to your specific needs: 

When a program is written for a group, it is general. However, a personalized program is designed to cater to your specific needs. The purpose of the program would be to help you achieve your goals in the gym as safely and efficiently as possible. It takes into account your training ability and any muscle imbalances or weaknesses specific to you. Other factors such as your lifestyle, your schedule and recovery time required, the amount of time you would like to spend in the gym,  are also taken into account when designing a personalized training program. In addition to this, your likes and dislikes are taken into account in the program design process. (how great is that!)


Technique and proper form: 

A cookie-cutter program will contain pre-written exercises to suit a particular purpose. However, an individual may not always be able to perform those exercises safely or with proper technique. For example, if barbell squats are programmed and the trainee is unable to perform them with proper technique or a full range of motion, it would need to be regressed or substituted effectively along with the necessary mobility work until such time that they can move on to performing the barbell squat with proper technique. A personalized program takes care of this.

Another instance is, a pre-written program for fat-loss might contain tri-sets (three exercises performed back to back). However, the trainee may not have the aerobic capacity to perform tri-sets so the program would need to be tweaked. 


Working through injuries: 

The next scenario where a personalized program would be beneficial is when you are working through an injury or need to work through any postural issues (anterior pelvic tilt, kyphosis, etc.). A general template would generally not cater to these needs as they are written for the general population for whom it is assumed, are relatively able and healthy. 

Considering there is also a lot less room for error when training through an injury or health condition; it would require careful planning. If you have a particularly trying time coming up, a lighter phase or a deload would be programmed in. Another instance would be if you returned from a vacation, a transition phase would be programmed in before the more intense phase starts. Recovery such as nutrition, sleep and stress management would also be taken into account during this process. This approach would also keep you accountable for finishing the program, as all the breaks are planned. 


A personalized program will get you faster results, help you make the most of your time in the gym and would help you reach your potential faster. On that note, happy training!

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1 Comment

  1. Tanvi

    Well written! Great info!


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