The Grind: Part III

Part III: Delivering the Goods.

5 mornings a week, the “Sleep Better” app on my iPhone sends me sounds of the ocean and seagulls crowing, causing me to stir from a deep slumber. At some point between when I went to bed about 8 hours prior and when the chorus of waves ripped me from dreams better fit for another blog, I received a text from Coach Nick laying out exactly what the program has in store for me that day.  

Program design is delivered almost entirely in this manner.  Accompanying the number of prescribed sets and reps are detailed performance keys.  Things like: “Stay in your heels on the pull. Snap into the bottom of the balance. Commit to the jerk. Unleash the fury.”  These are all ques that Coach Nick regularly includes so they stay top of mind as I move through the day.  See, program design is not personal training, and Coach Nick and I can’t always be in the gym at the same time.  So we rely on technology.  It brings us into the gym together, even if we don’t cross paths more than twice a week. 

The beauty of program design is as long as I have that text, I’m free to go about the day’s programming whenever and wherever I can.  At Verge, that means fitting in at the back of class, or making use of the competitor’s class time; but it could just as easily mean doing the work at home (provided I didn’t live above a spa and my squat rack wouldn’t fall through the floor into the pedicure chairs). Just get it done.  Program design has a freedom about it that allows me the flexibility to get the work in where I can.  

It’s not all freedom, though. Our respective crazy schedules mean Coach Nick and I are not often in the gym at the same time.  That means that during training, I have to let my inner Michael Bay out.  If you follow me on Instagram (and it’d be cool if you did: @jcamp04), you know what I mean.  Videos have become a regular part of my training, including different angles, slow-mo, screenshots and time-lapse.  

These videos aren’t just so I can become instafamous, though. Coach Nick and I rely heavily on video for coaching tips.  Since personal program design is not personal training (are you sensing a theme here?), the video allows Nick and I to break down the movements as if he was there with me.


People are busy. 40-50 hours of work, 10 hours of training, and 2 hours of dedicated mobility is what goes into my typical week.  But for me, weightlifting is a priority.  In order for program design to be a success, I simply have to rely on things like technology. By tracking my results in a journal and videoing my lifts, the level of personalized attention I am able to receive makes progress inevitable; which is good because as you are reading this I am less than 7 weeks out from the LVB Open.  That’s it for Part III of the “The Grind”! Thanks for the continued support and, as always, stay grinding.  Until next week…